Limassol (Turkish: Limasol) (Greek: Λεμεσός)  is the second largest city (after the capital, Nicosia) of Cyprus. Limassol has become the principal sea port and has also developed into a significant tourist destination.
Limassol landscape, Cyprus
Limassol is the second largest town in Cyprus after Nicosia, with a population of approximately 200 000. Apart from being a major tourist destination, it is also a principal hub for international business in Cyprus. This gives Limassol a more cosmopolitan feel compared to other district centers. Recent renovation projects in the old town and old port area are seeking to rejuvenate the historic center, making it more accessible and interesting for sightseeing.
Limassol has a typical mediterranean climate and it's most known for its warm winters. The city has the warmest winter in Cyprus and is equivalent to other mediterranean cities like Heraklion, Valletta and Malaga. Temperatures don't usually get below 8°C (45°F) in the night and days are around 18°C (64°F). That's why it's not uncommon to see Cypriots wearing light clothes even in the middle of January. When a cold wave from Siberia hits the island, the mercury can occasionally dip to 5°C (42°F) but long cold periods are really rare. The record low is 0.5°C (33°F). Sleet falls once every 10-15 years but snow is extremely rare and when it falls it's usually in the northern suburbs. Summers are hotter than Larnaca and Paphos but significantly cooler than Nicosia and the rest of the interior. That's why Cypriots also visit Limassol from the interior to escape the heat and relax in the nearby beaches. However, days are still hot (32°C+ or 90°F+) but nights are pleasantly cool (around 22°C or 72°F). Hot waves often hit Limassol, pushing temperatures above 35°C (95°F) and occasionally up to 40°C (104°F). The record high is 41.4°C (106.52°F). Spring and fall are very good periods to visit but keep in mind that May and September can still be hot and 30°C+ (86°F+) readings can be observed as early as mid-April and as late as late October.
Limassol Municipal Garden, Cyprus
Limassol is about a 40 minutes drive from both Larnaca and Paphos international airports. Larnaca mainly serves traditional scheduled airlines, whilst all of RyanAir's flights land in Paphos. There is a regular shuttle bus service from Larnaca and Paphos airports . As of Aug 2013, the shuttle bus has a stop opposite the Grand Resort Hotel in Limassol's tourist area, which is also serviced by Bus #30 that goes around the sea road, thus allowing for easy transfer to hotels. The other stop at Ag. Georgios is located a long distance away from hotels and central intra-town bus routes.
Limassol is home to Cyprus' largest commercial shipment port and a reasonable passenger port, with several regular cruise routes:
- St. Raphael Marina  St. Raphael Marina on the outskirts of Limassol.
- There are special Green Buses which operate intercity. Buses are available for Troodos, Larnaca, Pafos and Nicosia. It is best to confirm timings from the closest CTO Tourist Information Center.
The three main roads are:
- The Beach Road
- Makarios Avenue
- Griva Digeni (which transforms into Kolonakou / Spyros Kyprianou later to the east)
The bus service has recently been upgraded, with more routes and better schedules, however waiting times may still be singificant. The principal tourist route is #30, serving the beach road from Le Meridien hotel to My Mall, and runs approximately every 15 minutes. You can find detailed information and maps on the EMEL bus company  website. Cost per trip is 1.50 Euro until 9 pm and 2.50 Euro for the late evening.
Limassol Seafront, Cyprus
Taxis are the most popular means of transportation for tourists, but are expensive and drivers commonly ignore the meter charge. Of late, shared taxis are popular, and may result in a more reasonable fare.
The beach road has a dedicated bicycle lane stretching from the Old Port to Dasoudi area. Keep in mind that in summer it gets very hot.
Cars, scooters and bicycles can be hired easily, however be cautious that locals have a relaxed approach to the Highway Code and road safety.
The following four locations are located next to each other within a walking distance:
- Akti Olympion, a 3-km beach-side walking park area stretching from Municipal Gardens to the Old Port, with a number of interesting sculptures.
- Limassol Marina: a high-class, newly built Marina with luxurious yachts, as well as dinning/shopping/residence complex, located next to the Old port.
- Limassol Castle: located in the Old Town
- Limassol Old Town: recently renovated, especially around the Limassol Castle & Saripolou street areas.
- The ancient city of Amathus
- The ancient city of Kourion (outside Limassol), with beautifully preserved Roman-era mosaics
- Kolossi Castle (outside Limassol)
The Colorful Limassol Carnival
- Relax on one of the many beaches and beach cafes.
- Take a stroll on the seafront known as "Molos promenade", followed by Old Port and Limassol Marina.
- Wander around the renovated Old Port & Limassol Marina area, enjoying the port & sea views.
- Explore the Limassol Castle and nearby Old Town area.
- Visit Anexartisias street in the Old Town, a popular shopping area for both tourists and locals.
- Visit Old Town's Saripolou square in the evening, which has become a busy center of nightlife, with many bars & cafes.
- Take a 2-4 hour catamaran party trip from the Old Port.
- Take a walk on the wooden promenade along the sea opposite the archeological site of Kingdom of Amathus.
- Take a walk along a Eucalyptos tree park or enjoy the beach at Dasoudi.
- Visit one of the traditional buzukia (tavern with live music).
- Visit the Limassol Wine Festival, every September.
- Party during the Limassol Carnival, every February/March. Truly Colorful!
- Visit Fasouri Watermania waterpark which is located nearby Limassol, the largest waterpark in Cyprus.
- Escape the summer heat and visit one of the many Troodos villages.
- Watch the Cyprus Rally every Autumn.
- Drive or bus to the Kourion (15 km) area offers ancient sites of historic importance, namely The House of Achilles, and The Altar of Appollo and spectacular views of the Curium Beach.
- The Municipal Garden along the beach road is a good place to spend some time and catch some interesting flora.
- Visit the zoo located right next to The Municipal Garden. It is a small yet cozy place perfect for small children and their parents to relax on a hot afternoon.
- Off The Eaten Track - City Walking Food Tour, ☎ 99041595 / 99484197, . A really good food tour around old town Limassol where you'll eat loads of traditional food and try traditional drinks. Turn up hungry! edit
For a taste of local sport, visit the home games of the local clubs: AEL, Apollonas and Aris. All three compete in the first division of the Cyprus Soccer and Basketball leagues. Recently Apollonas' football and AEL's basketball teams have enjoyed considerable success in European competitions. So you never know, you might be lucky and catch a Manchester United visit. Expect double a figure score in such a case. Tickets are relatively cheap when compared to European leagues where on average a full price ticket costs less than €20. However football hooliganism is a problem as of late, so take care.
An annual marathon event takes place in March, the Limassol Marathon GSO . Limassol Marathon GSO is expanding into a big athletic celebration where Marathon runners from all over the world will meet to compete and at the same time enjoy a memorable experience race.
The Beach Road of Limassol
- The traditional shopping streets are Ayios Andreas and Anexartisias street. These streets provide an ambiance of the old cobbled path lanes, away from the modern city.
- Several western style supermarkets (Sklavenitis, Debenhams, LIDL, Orphanidies etc) are spread across the city and warehouse-style shopping centres have mushroomed on the outskirts of the city.
- My Mall is the biggest mall-type shopping center in the district, located to the west of New Port. Reachable by bus #30.
- Sea Sponges is popular product of Cyprus, used as a bath/face scrub. Loofa is used as a bath scrub. Available at most tourist/souvenir shops. Also there is a Sea Sponges Exhibition at the roundabout at the Old Port. However, sea sponges may be pricey!
- The Lefkara Lace and other lace products may be brought from Limassol or any other city than Lefkara itself, as they may be often over priced in Lefkara, due to a large number of tourists flocking there, especially during the tourist season.
- Opening hours for most shops are M-F 9AM-1PM / 3PM-7PM (siesta time in between, outside of the tourist area most smaller shops are not open on Wednesday afternoons) and Saturdays 9AM-2PM. Only some convenience stores (Periptero in Greek) would be open 24 hours on all days.
Kebab can be optimum for a relatively cheap, fresh and filling meal. Be careful with colourful "tourist" cafes since those are often over-priced and offer low quality conventional sandwiches or English Breakfasts. Mousaka or Kleftiko are popular, however your best bet (especially if you are hungry), is a traditional Cyprus Meze (either of the meat or fish variety), which usually includes a myriad of small hot and cold dishes for a reasonable price.
Try targeting restaurants that cater for the locals. You should not encounter a client/waiter language barrier as virtually everyone speaks English.
All major western chains are present, e.g. McDonald's, KFC, Burger King, Pizza Hut, Friday's, Bennigan's, et al.
- Kyrenia Nautical Club, beach-side tavern in Yermasoyia tourist area (opposite Mirage traffic lights). Traditional Cypriot fish meze.
- Syrian Arab Friendship Club, Lebanese-style tavern/restaurant with excellent meze. Located in Yermasoyia tourist area.
- Ocean Basket, fish restaurant chain at My Mall and Galatex area.
- Tapas Bar, tapas with a local twist, located opposite St. Raphael hotel (next to Chesters). Also known for expensive, but good shisha (hookah).
- Piazza Cafe - Bar, located opposite the Limassol Medieval Castle. Wide variety of dishes, specialized in Pizza's that are prepared with fresh ingredients, in a woodfired oven.
- Avli Tou Vasilea, an upscale Greek restaurant with a nice stone courtyard.
- Pier One, located in Old Port, restaurant with a bar area, with wonderful views.
- Columbia Steakhouse [www.columbiaplaza.com/columbia-steak-house/], located in Old Town.
- Roku , Japanese Restaurant.
- Puesta Oyster Bar , Sea food restaurant located right on the beach, specializing in oysters, clams, lobster etc. Located nearby Four Seasons hotel.
Drinking water: It is generally safe to drink water directly from the tap. Most apartments/hotels would have a separate tap provided along with the sink, for water that bypasses the storage tank on the roof.
Limassol has the reputation amongst locals of being the party capital of Cyprus. When Ayia Napa hibernates in the winter, Limassol powers on drawing much of the local clientele especially during the carnival season.
The Potamos Yermasoyia tourist area is littered with countless bars and pubs to cater for everyone's tastes and budget. The old medieval town centre is more popular with the locals and offers classier but pricier establishments. Most hotels will also have a variety of in house bars (either with a local or international twist), which are open to non residents too.
Sport is religion here and sports bars abound. Football is in your face everywhere, especially the British and Greek leagues. Being here during a European or World cup competition finals stage is only next best to attending the real thing.
Zivania is the equivalent local version of Grappa or Eau de Vie. Drink frozen zivania shots at your peril.
Commandaria is a sweet dessert wine and a speciality of Limassol is worth tasting especially after a meze.
- Mallon Glikis Casual, local spirits and beers, snacks. Located in the old town/city center, Saripolou square.
- Chesters , Irish-style bar locaged in tourist area opposite St. Raphel hotel. Good selection of beers and food.
- Draught Microbrewery , restaurant and bar located in the Carob Mill next to the Limassol Castle. Has its own small beer brewery.
- Molly Malones , Irish-style bar located in tourist area opposite Elias Beach hotel. Good selection of beers and food.
- La Isla, located next to Drifters in Ayios Tychonas beach road area. Good cocktails and music for 21+ crowd. Can get very busy.
- Friday's bar @ Limassol marina, located on the roof of the building with a nice panoramic views of the Marina & Old Port.
- Gin Fish Cafe/bar at the Old Port, in a building over the sea in summer, offering excellent views.
- 7Seas , located in Old Town. Probably the classiest live music nightclub in the town.
- Dolce , located next to Amathus excavation. Nightclub which often has live music and international DJs.
- Londa bar, located inside Londa hotel. Stylish bar with good cocktails and without TVs (and therefore no football).
- Columbia Beach, Made up of: Restaurant, bar, pool area (adults only), grass areas with sandpits & sunbeds and public beach.
Apart from local luxury and boutique hotels Limassol boasts many branches of international hotels. However one can easily find low budget accommodation. An increasingly popular option is private apartment and villa rental.
As far as renting a Studio Apartment (with cooking facilities) goes, there are plenty of them around, and one may find accommodation easily, both long term and short term.
- Park Beach Hotel : a 3* hotel located in Dasoudi area next to the beach.
- Mediterranean Beach Hotel Tel: +357-25559999 Email: [email protected] . A 4 star hotel located on the West coast of Limassol. The hotel has a fantastic outdoor pool, Italian and Sushi restaurant and the hotel's facilities are great for families.
- The Royal Apollonia Tel: +357-25508800, Fax. +357-25814131, Email: [email protected] . A luxury 5 star hotel nestling directly on a quiet beach in the cosmopolitan city of Limassol, the second largest city on the beautiful island of Cyprus.
- L'Onda. Tel. +357-25865555, Fax. +357-25320040, Email: [email protected] . The forerunner of a new wave of boutique hotels. Pricy but classy. Highly rated and expensive restaurant, with a good selection of local wines. Popular with locals and tourists alike.
- Le Méridien Limassol Spa & Resort. Old Limassol - Nicosia Road. Tel.+357-25862000, Fax. +357-25634222.  Considered as one of the best hotels on the island but you pay for what you get.
- Amathus Beach Hotel Tel. +357-25832000, Fax. +357-25832540 email: [email protected], , member of The Leading Hotels of the World. A five star hotel that does not belong to a globalized conglomerate but non the less, a worthy rival.
- Four Seasons Tel: +357 25 858 000, Fax: +357 25 310 887 email: [email protected], . A 5 star hotel. But beware, getting a room facing the road can mean noisy nights, as this becomes a race track for locals after 10PM.