When Americans or Russians come to Europe and book an apartment with one room on the fist floor, it turns out to be an apartment with two rooms on the second floor!
Why? Because they have different systems of floors or even room numbering.
Apartment or flat?
Cyprus is a former UK colony and there are a lot of Brits living on the island who certainly use the word 'flat'. At the same time most of non-English native speakers (Cypriots, Greeks, Russians) prefer American name 'apartment'. Thus you can hear both terms, but they mean definitely the same.
The apartment/flat is a living space with several rooms: a living room, a kitchen (often it is a part of a large room), bedroom(s), bathroom(s).
Also in Cyprus, it is not very common, but there are studio apartments, and they can make good competition for one-bedroom apartments.
Only the number of bedrooms is mentioned
Some foreigners (such as Russians) count the number of all rooms (1 room apartment, 3 room house). Cyprus (as Europe) has another system. Here only bedrooms are counted (1 bedroom apartment, 3 bedroom house).
If the apartment has two bedrooms and a living room with a kitchen, it is a 3 room apartment for some foreigners, but a 2 bedroom apartment for Cypriots.
How to count the number of floors in Cyprus?
This can be strange not only for Russians, but also for Americans. In Cyprus (as well as in Europe), the floor that is at the same level as the ground outside is called 'ground floor'! Not 'first-floor'. Thus, the American/Russian second-floor = European first-floor, and so on.
Sometimes the ground floor in Cyprus can be understood as the first non-residential floor, if it houses a concierge booth, mailboxes, places for strollers, bicycles and so on.
Apartment numbering in Cyprus
Some foreigners are shocked how Cypriots number their apartments. They do it according to the number of the floor. The first digit(s) means the number of the floor and the last one(s) means the number of the apartment on this floor.
For example, in some countries, if the first residential floor has 9 apartments, they have numbers '1', '2'... '9' and the next floor starts with the '10' number apartment. Cyprus has another system: the apartments on the first floors are '11', '12'... '19' and the next floor starts with '21'.
If there are apartments on the ground floor, they can be '01', '02'... '09'. Or even '001' if there are more than 10 apartments per floor.
- Studio vs. 1 bedroom apartment in Cyprus. Which one is right for you? (link)
- Good manners when renting a property in Cyprus (link)
- Renovation in a rented apartment in Cyprus: all the pros and cons (link)
- Types of property in Cyprus (link)
Photos: pixabay.com, free images.google