List of cities by time of continuous habitation

List of cities by time of continuous habitation

This is a list of present-day cities by the time period over which they have been continuously inhabited.

The age claims listed are generally disputed. Differences in opinion can result from different definitions of "city" as well as "continuously inhabited" and historical evidence is often disputed.

Several cities listed here (Balkh, Byblos, Aleppo, Damascus, and Jericho) each popularly claim to be "the oldest city in the world". Caveats to the validity of each claim are discussed in the "Notes" column.


  • Africa, Northern 1
  • Africa, Sub-Saharan 2
  • America, Middle 3
  • America, North 4
  • America, South 5
  • Asia, Central and Southern 6
  • Asia, Eastern 7
  • Asia, Southeastern 8
  • Asia, Western 9
  • Europe 10
  • Oceania 11
  • See also 12
  • References 13
  • External links 14

Africa, Northern

Name Historical region Location Continuously inhabited since Notes
!a !a !a −9e99
~z ~z ~z 9e99
Faiyum (as Shediet, Crocodilopolis, Ptolemais Euergetis, Arsinoe) Lower Egypt EgyptFaiyum Governorate, Egypt -4000 ! c. 4000 BC[1][2]
Luxor (as Waset, better known by its Greek name Thebes) Ancient Egypt Egypt -3200 c. 3200 BC First established as capital of Upper Egypt, Thebes later became the religious capital of the nation until its decline in the Roman period.
Zeila/Avalite Bilad al-Barbar Somalia -400 !c. 9th century BC Major trading city in the Horn of Africa
Carthage Tunisia 814 BC Founded by the Phoenicians.[3]
Axum Kingdom of Axum Ethiopia -400 !c. 400 BC Ancient capital of the Kingdom of Axum
Berbera Bilad al-Barbar Somalia -400 !c. 400 BC The city was described as 800 stadia beyond the city of the Avalites, described in the eighth chapter of the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, which was written by a Greek merchant in the 1st century AD.
Alexandria Egypt -332 !332 BC Founded by Alexander the Great[4]
Mogadishu Bilad al-Barbar Somalia -200 !c. 200 BC Successor of the ancient trading power of Sarapion
Djenné-Jeno Mali -200 !c. 200 BC One of the oldest known cities in sub-Saharan Africa[5]
Old Cairo Egypt 100 !c. 100 Babylon Fortress moved to its current location in the reign of Emperor Trajan, forming the core of Old or Coptic Cairo[6]
Kismayo Bilad al-Barbar, after the 14th century part of the Ajuran Empre Somalia 100 ! 4th century The Kismayo area was originally a small fishing settlement and expendad to a major trading city on the Somali coast.[7]
Fes (as Fes-al-Bali) Morocco 789 !789 Founded as the new capital of the Idrisid Dynasty[8]
Marrakesh (Murakuc) Morocco 1070 !1070 Founded by the Almoravid Dynasty[9]

Africa, Sub-Saharan

Name Historical region Location Continuously inhabited since Notes
!a !a !a −9e99
~z ~z ~z 9e99
Igodomigodo Kingdom of Benin Nigeria -400 !c. 400 BC City of Benin, one of the oldest cities in Nigeria
Ife Osun State Nig Nigeria -350 !c. 350 BC Earliest traces of habitation date to the 4th century BC.[10]
Sofala Mozambique 900 !c. 700 One of the oldest harbours documented in Southern Africa,
Cape Town Cape colony South Africa 1652 Founded by Dutch settlers from Dutch East India Company and is the oldest city in South Africa
Kumasi Ashanti Empire Ghana c. 1680 Founded as Akan village and capital of the Kumaseman State, later becoming capital of Ashanti Empire,

America, Middle

Name Historical region Location Continuously inhabited since Notes
!a !a !a −9e99
~z ~z ~z 9e99
Santo Domingo Hispaniola Dominican Republic 1496 Oldest European settlement in the New World
San Juan New Spain Puerto Rico (US) 1508 Oldest continuously inhabited city in a US territory
Nombre de Dios, Colón New Spain Panama 1510 Oldest European settlement on the mainlands of the Americas
Baracoa New Spain Cuba 1511 Oldest European settlement in Cuba
Panama City Cueva Civilization. After European colonization: New Spain Panama 5th century[11] Oldest European settlement on the Pacific.

America, North

Name Historical region Location Continuously inhabited since Notes
!a !a !a −9e99
~z ~z ~z 9e99
Cholula Old Cholula Mexico -150 ! c. 2nd century BC Pre-Columbian Cholula grew from a small village to a regional center during the 7th century. Oldest still-inhabited city in the Americas.
Mexico City Mexica culture Mexico 1325 Founded as twin cities Tenōchtitlān (1325) and Tlāltelōlco (1337) by the Mexica. Named changed to Ciudad de México (Mexico City) after the Spanish conquest of the city in 1521. Several other pre-Columbian towns such as Azcapotzalco, Tlatelolco, Xochimilco and Coyoacán have been engulfed by the still growing metropolis and are now part of modern Mexico City. Oldest capital city in the Americas.
Vera Cruz New Spain Mexico 1519 Oldest continuously inhabited European established settlement continental America.
St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador Newfoundland Colony Canada 1540s Oldest city in Canada, and oldest English-speaking city in the Americas
St. Augustine, Florida New Spain US 1565 Oldest continuously inhabited European-founded city of the current 50 U.S. states; oldest city in state of Florida.
Santa Fe, New Mexico New Spain US 1607 Oldest continuously inhabited state or territorial capital in the continental United States.
Quebec City New France Canada 1608 Second oldest city in Canada and oldest French-speaking city in the Americas.
Albany, New York New Netherlands US 1614 Followed by Jersey City, New Jersey (Communipaw) in 1617 and New York City (as New Amsterdam) in 1624 or 1625. (Note: While there was an abandonment in 1617 or 1618 of the Albany settlement, it was re-established within a few years; also, the Jersey City settlement was a factorij or trading post in the 1610s and didn't become a "homestead" (bouwerij) until the 1630s. Settlements in New Netherlands sometimes moved around in the early years.)
Plymouth, Massachusetts Plymouth Colony US 1620 Fourth oldest continuously inhabited European-founded city in the United States[12]
Saint John New France Canada 1631 Third oldest city in Canada
Trois-Rivières New France Canada 1634 Fourth oldest city in Canada
Montreal New France Canada 1642 Fifth oldest city in Canada
Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan New France US 1668 Oldest European-founded city in the Midwestern United States and third oldest American city west of the Appalachian Mountains.
San Diego New Spain US 1769 Birthplace of California and oldest city on the West Coast of the United States

America, South

Name Historical region Location Continuously inhabited since Notes
!a !a !a −9e99
~z ~z ~z 9e99
Upper Xingu Xingu culture Brazil c. 800 AD A network of settlements continuously inhabited since the late 1st millennium AD. A highly urbanized Kuikuro settlement was home to upwards of 10,000 people in the densely forested Upper Xingu. Their numbers declined sharply after contacts with Europeans in the 16th century.
Quito Quitu culture Ecuador 980 Quito's origins date back to 2000 BC, when the Quitu tribe occupied the area.
Cusco Inca Empire Peru c. 1100 The Killke occupied the region from 900 to 1200, prior to the arrival of the Incas in the 13th century. Carbon-14 dating of Saksaywaman, the walled complex outside Cusco, has demonstrated that the Killke culture constructed the fortress about 1100.[13]
Santa Marta New Granada Colombia 1525 Oldest still-inhabited city founded by Spaniards in Colombia.
São Vicente, São Paulo Governorate General of Brazil Brazil 1532 First Portuguese settlement in South America
Popayán New Granada Colombia 1537 Second oldest continuously graduating University in Colombia after Universidad del Rosario in Bogotá, the University of Cauca, established in 1827,
Santa Fe de Bogota New Granada Colombia 1538 Oldest European-founded capital city in South America.
Santiago Captaincy General of Chile Chile 1541 Oldest continuously inhabited European established settlement in Chile.
Santiago del Estero Río de la Plata Argentina 1553 Oldest continuously inhabited city in Argentina

Asia, Central and Southern

Name Historical region Location Continuously inhabited since Notes
!a !a !a −9e99
~z ~z ~z 9e99
Balkh (as Bactra) Bactria AfgBalkh Province, Afghanistan -1500 ! 1500 BC
Varanasi Iron Age India IndUttar Pradesh, India -1100 ! c. 1200–1100 BC[14] Iron Age foundation (Painted Grey Ware culture).
Ujjain (As Avanti) Malwa India -800 ! c. 800 BC[15] Rose to prominence in ca 700 BC as capital of Avanti during India's second wave of urbanization. Walled in ca 600 BC.
Samarqand Sogdiana Uzbekistan -700 ! 700 BC
Rajagriha (Rajgir) Magadha IndBihar, India -600 ! 600 BC
Madurai Pandyan kingdom IndTamil Nadu, India -500 ! 500 BC There are accounts of Megasthenes (c. 350 – 290 BC) a Greek ethnographer in the Hellenistic period, author of the work Indica, having visited Madurai (then, a bustling city and capital of Pandya Kingdom). Mahavamsa, the Sri Lankan chronicle mentions that King Vijaya married a princess from Madurai, and his period is mentioned to be around 543 BC.
Vaisali Magadha IndBihar, India -500 ! 500 BC[16]
Patna Magadha IndBihar, India -450 ! 5th century BC[17] As Pataliputra was founded by Ajatashatru.
Peshawar Gandhara PakKhyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan -350 ! c. 400–300 BC[18] Ongoing excavations in the Gor Khuttree region have given proof of the ancient foundations of the city and have established Peshawar as one of the oldest settlements in Central and South Asia.
Mahasthangarh, Bogra Pundravardhana BanBogra District, Bangladesh - 300BC ! 4th century BC[19] Remains of the ancient city of Pundranagara.
Thanjavur Early Chola kingdom IndTamil Nadu, India -300 ! 300 BC Some scholars believe that the city has been existing since the Sangam Period
Anuradhapura Kingdom of Rajarata Central Province, Sri Lanka -300 ! 4th century BC[20]
Bamyan Bactria AfgBamyan Province, Afghanistan - 1st century AD ! 1st century AD
Kathmandu-Patan, Lalitpur Nepal Kathmandu valley, Nepal - 2nd century AD ! c. 2nd century AD The epigraphically attested history of Kathmandu valley begins in the 2nd century. Folklore speaks of a hoarier past.

Asia, Eastern

Name Historical region Location Continuously inhabited since Notes
!a !a !a −9e99
~z ~z ~z 9e99
Luoyang (as Zhenxun, Xibo) Xia Dynasty ChiHenan, China -2070 ! c. 2070 BC
Xi'an (as Haojing, Fenghao, Chang'an, Daxing) Zhou Dynasty ChiShaanxi, China -1100 ! c. 1100 BC
Beijing Ji, Yan ChiBeijing, China -1000 ! c. 1045 BC
Suzhou (as Gusu, Wu) Wu ChiJiangsu, China -514 ! 514 BC
Chengdu Shu ChiSichuan, China -400 ! c. 400 BC The 9th Kaiming king of the ancient Shu moved his capital to the city's current location from today's nearby Pixian.
Nanjing (as Yecheng, Jianye, Jiankang, Jinling) Wu ChiJiangsu, China -495 ! c. 495 BC Fu Chai, Lord of the State of Wu, founded a fort named Yecheng (冶城) in today's Nanjing area.
Kaifeng (as Daling, Bianzhou, Dongjing, Bianjing) Wei ChiHenan, China -364 ! c. 364 BC The State of Wei founded a city called Daliang (大梁)as its capital in this area.
Guangzhou (as Panyu) Qin Dynasty ChiGuangdong, China -214 ! 214 BC
Hangzhou (as Lin'an) Qin Dynasty ChiZhejiang, China -200 ! c. 200 BC The city of Hangzhou was founded about 2,200 years ago during the Qin Dynasty.
Pyeongyang (as Wanggeom-seong) Gojoseon North Korea 194 BC Built as the capital city of Gojoseon in 194 BC.
Gyeongju Silla South Korea 57 BC Built as the capital city of Silla in 57 BC.
Seoul (as Wiryeseong) Baekjae South Korea 18 BC Built as the capital city of Baekjae in 18 BC.
Osaka (as Naniwa) Japan Japan c. 400 AD It was inhabited as early at the 6th-5th centuries BC, and became a port city during the Kofun period. It temporarily served as the capital of Japan from 645 to 655.
Nara (as Heijō-kyō) Japan Japan 710 AD Built as a new capital city in 710.
Kyoto (as Heian-kyō, and sometimes known in the west as Miyako) Japan Japan 794 AD Shimogamo Shrine was built in the 6th century, but the city was officially founded as Heian-kyō when it became the capital in 794.

Asia, Southeastern

Name Historical region Location Continuously inhabited since Notes
!a !a !a −9e99
~z ~z ~z 9e99
Hanoi Jiaozhou Vietnam 454 AD First mentioned as Tống Bình in 454 AD, the Đại La citadel was built in 767 during the reign of Emperor Daizong of Tang; Ly Cong Uan renamed it Thăng Long in 1010.
Palembang Srivijaya Indonesia 600 ! c. 600 AD Oldest city in the Malay Archipelago, capital of the Srivijaya empire.
Luang Prabang Muang Sua Laos 600 ! 698 AD
Siem Reap Khmer Empire Cambodia 800 ! 801 AD[21] Capital of the Khmer Empire.
Bagan Kingdom of Pagan Myanmar 800 ! 849 AD[22]
Manila Kingdom of Tondo and Kingdom of Maynila Philippines 900 ! 900 AD[23] Oldest known settlement in the Philippines as documented by the Laguna Copperplate Inscription; when the Spanish, led by Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, arrived, it was still inhabited and led by at least one datu.
Bandar Seri Begawan Kingdom of Po-ni and Bruneian Empire Brunei 900 ! 977 AD[24] Oldest city in Borneo.
Butuan Kingdom of Butuan Philippines 1000 ! 1001 AD[25][26] Oldest city in Mindanao.
Yangon Konbaung Dynasty Myanmar 600 ! 1043 AD <[27] Yangon was founded as Dagon in the early 11th century (circa 1028–1043) by the Mon but was renamed to "Yangon" after King Alaungpaya conquered Dagon.
Kediri Kediri Kingdom Indonesia 600 ! 1042 AD[28] Along with changes in name, it is essentially a union of the two capitals of Panjalu Kingdom and Janggala Kingdom. The settlements are always interspersed along both banks of Brantas River. Administratively, the Government of Indonesia divides Kediri into two political entities, Kediri Regency and the Town of Kediri which is located in the middle of the regency. Nevertheless, archaeological remains exist beyond administrative boundaries and settlements often spread disregarding administrative boundaries between both entities.
Singapore Kingdom of Singapura Singapore 1100 ! 1170 AD[29]
Banda Aceh Aceh Sultanate Indonesia 1205 AD Originally named Kutaraja, which means "City of the King".
Muar Majapahit Malaysia 1361 AD[30]
Phnom Penh Khmer Empire Cambodia 1372 AD[31]
Malacca Malacca Sultanate Malaysia 900 ! 1396 AD [32]
Pattani Pattani Kingdom Thailand 1516 AD [33]
Medan Sultanate of Deli Indonesia 1590 AD [34]
Klang Johor-Riau Sultanate Malaysia 900 ! 1643 AD [35] Klang remained under Johor's control until 1742.
Bangkok Ayutthaya Kingdom Thailand 900 ! 1688 AD[36] Modern Bangkok was built after the Siege of Bangkok from French imperialists.
Alor Setar Kedah Sultanate Malaysia 1735 AD[37] Founded in 1735 by Kedah’s 19th Ruler, Sultan Muhammad Jiwa Zainal Adilin II and is the state’s eighth administrative centre since the establishment of the Kedah Sultanate in 1136.
Dili Portuguese Timor East Timor 900 ! 1769 AD[38] Dili was settled about 1520 by the Portuguese, who made it the capital of Portuguese Timor in 1769.
George Town Straits Settlements Malaysia 900 ! 1786 AD[39] Founded by Sir Captain Francis Light after the Penang was ceded from Kedah to British Colony.

Asia, Western

Continuous habitation since the Chalcolithic (or Copper Age) is vaguely possible but highly problematic to prove archaeologically for several Levantine cities (Jericho, Byblos, Aleppo, Damascus, Sidon and Beirut).

Cities became more common outside the Fertile Crescent with the Early Iron Age from about 1100 BC. The foundation of Rome in 753 BC is conventionally taken as one of the dates initiating Classical Antiquity.

Name Historical region Location Continuously inhabited as a "city" since Notes
!a !a !a −9e99
~z ~z ~z 9e99
Byblos (Jubayl) Levant Lebanon Chalcolithic (3000 BC)[40][41] Settled from the Neolithic (carbon-dating tests have set the age of earliest settlement around 7000[42]), a city since the 3rd millennium BC.[40] Byblos had a reputation as the "oldest city in the world" in Antiquity (according to Philo of Byblos).
Aleppo Levant Syria Chalcolithic (4,300 BC or earlier)[43] Evidence of habitation at the current site of Aleppo dates to about c. 8,000 years ago, although excavations at Tell Qaramel, 25 kilometers north of the city show the area was inhabited about 13,000 years ago,[44] the Temple of Hadad inside the Citadel date to c. 2400 BC.[45]
Damascus Levant Syria Chalcolithic Damascus is often claimed to be the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world, and evidence exists of a settlement in the wider Barada basin dating back to 9000 BC. However, within the area of Damascus, there is no evidence for large-scale settlement until the 2nd millennium BC.[46]
Susa (Shush) Khuzestan Iran 4200 BC Archaeological excavations indicate that the site has been inhabited since at least 5000 BC.[47] The emergence of acropolis in Susa is determined by C14 dating from 4395-3955 BC,[48] roughly dated about 4200 BC as time of foundation.[49] Susa was a large city during Ancient and Medieval periods, but marginalized in 13th century[47] due to Mongol invasion. The city further degraded from 15th century when a majority of its population moved to Dezful and it remained as a small settlement until the 20th century.[50]
Sidon Levant Lebanon 4000 BC[51] There is evidence that Sidon was inhabited from as long ago as 4000 BC, and perhaps, as early as Neolithic times (6000 – 4000 BC).
Gaziantep Anatolia Southeastern Anatolia, Turkey c. 3650 BC[52] Although most modern scholars place the Classical Antiochia ad Taurum at Gaziantep, some maintain that it was located at Aleppo. Furthermore, that the two cities occupy the same site is far from established fact.[53] Assuming this to be the case, the founding date of the present site would be about 1000 BC.[54]
Jericho Levant West Bank Chalcolithic (3000 BC or earlier) Traces of habitation from 9000 BC.[55][56] Fortifications date to 6800 BC (or earlier), making Jericho the earliest known walled city.[57]

Archaeological evidence indicates that the city was destroyed and abandoned several times (sometimes remaining uninhabited for hundreds of years at a time), with later rebuilding and expansion.[58][59]

Rey Media Iran 3000 BC[60] A settlement at the site goes back to the 3rd millennium BC. Rey (also Ray or Rayy) is mentioned in the Avesta (an important text of prayers in Zoroastrianism) as a sacred place, and it is also featured in the book of Tobit.[60]
Beirut Levant Lebanon 3000 BC[61]
Jerusalem (Old City) Levant West Bank/Israel 2800 BC[62]
Tyre Levant Lebanon 2750 BC[63]
Jenin Levant West Bank c. 2450 BC[64] Jenin's history goes back to 2450 BC, when it was built by the Canaanites. After 1244, Jenin flourished economically because of its location on the trade route, until a major earthquake completely destroyed the city.[65]
Erbil Mesopotamia Iraqi Kurdistan, Iraq 2300 BC[66][67] The Citadel of Arbil is a fortified settlement in Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan. The city corresponds to ancient Arbela. Settlement at Erbil (kurdish: Hewlêr) can be dated back to possibly 5000 BC, but not urban life until c. 2300.
Kirkuk (as Arrapha) Mesopotamia Kirkuk Governorate, Iraq 3000–2200 BC[68]
Jaffa Levant Israel c. 2000 BC Archaeological evidence shows habitation from 7500 BC.[69]
Hebron Levant West Bank c. 1500 BC "Hebron is considered one of the oldest cities and has been continuously inhabited for nearly 3500 years."[70]
Gaza Levant Gaza Strip c. 1000 BC While evidence of habitation dates back at least 5,000 years, it is said to be continuously inhabited for a little more than 3,000 years.[71][72]
Hamadan (as Ecbatana) Median Empire Iran c. 800 BC[73]
Nablus (as Shechem) Levant West Bank c. 100 Nablus is a Canaanite city. It was inhabited since the 4th millennium BC. In 724 BC it has been ruined by Assyria and after revival in the 3rd and 2nd centuries, it has been finally destroyed by the Hasmonean Hyrcanus in 128 BC. 200 years later the new Roman city was founded next to the ruined settlement.[64]
(as Rabbath-Ammon)
Levant Jordan c. 1878 Amman has been inhabited at several times. The first known is during the Neolithic period, around 7500 BC, when archaeological discoveries in 'Ain Ghazal. It was then destroyed by several earthquakes and natural disasters in the Middle Ages, and remained a small village and a pile of ruins for about 500 years, until the Circassian settlement in 1878.[74]


Name Historical region Location Continuously inhabited since Notes
!a !a !a −9e99
~z ~z ~z 9e99
Argos Neolithic, Mycenaean Greece Greece -5000 ! 5th millennium BC Continuously inhabited mostly as an urban settlement, for the past 7,000 years,[75] historical, recorded history since second half of 1st millennium BC.
Athens Neolithic, Mycenaean Greece GreAttica, Greece -4500 ! 5th–4th Millennium BC[76] Earliest human presence 11th–7th millennium BC,[77] recorded history begins in 1400 BC.
Plovdiv Thrace BulPlovdiv Province, Bulgaria -3000 ! 3000[78] – 4000 BC[79][80] Thracian foundation. Earliest evidence of a settlement dates back to 6000 BC.[81][82]
Kutaisi Colchis Georgia -2000 ! c. 2000 BC Founded as Aia. Archeological evidence indicates that the city functioned as the capital of the kingdom of Colchis as early as the 2nd millennium BC. It is widely believed by historians that when Apollonius Rhodius was writing about Jason and the Argonauts and their legendary journey to Colchis, Kutaisi/Aia was the final destination of the Argonauts and the residence of King Aeëtes.
Chania Crete GreCrete, Greece -1400 ! c. 1400 BC Minoan foundation as Kydonia
Larnaca Alashiya Cyprus -1400 ! c. 1400 BC Mycenaean, then Phoenician colony
Thebes Mycenaean Greece GreBoeotia, Greece -1400 ! c. 1400 BC Mycenaean foundation
Trikala Mycenaean Greece GreThessaly, Greece -1201 ! before 1200 BC founded as Trikke
Chalcis Mycenaean Greece Greece -1201 ! before 1200 BC mentioned by Homer
Lisbon Iron Age Iberia Portugal -1200 ! c. 1200 BC A settlement since the Neolithic. Allis Ubbo, arguably a Phoenician name, became Olissipo(-nis) in Greek and Latin (also Felicitas Julia after Roman conquest in 205 BC).
Cádiz Iron Age Iberia SpaAndalusia, Spain -1100 ! 1100 BC founded as Phoenician Gadir, "Europe's oldest city"[83][84]
Patras Mycenaean Greece Greece -1100 ! c. 1100 BC founded by Patreus
Zadar Illyricum Croatia -1000 ! c. 1000 BC founded by Liburnians. Oldest continusly inhabited city in Croatia. Main Liburnian settlement.
Mtskheta Caucasian Iberia Georgia 1000 ! c. 1000 BC Remains of towns at this location have been dated to earlier than the year 1000 BC, and Mtskheta was capital of the early Georgian Kingdom of Iberia during the 3rd century BC – 5th century AD. It was the site of early Christian activity, and the location where Christianity was proclaimed the state religion of Georgia in 337.
Mytilene Lesbos GreNorth Aegean, Greece -950 ! 10th century BC
Chios Chios GreNorth Aegean, Greece -1100 ! c. 1100 BC
Yerevan Urartu Armenia -800 ! 782 BC[85] Founded as Erebuni. The Shengavit Settlement in the southwestern district of Yerevan was founded in the late 4th millennium BC, during the Calcolithic period.
Seville Iron Age Iberia Spa Andalusia, Spain -750 ! 8th century BC founded as Tartessian Spal.[86]
Málaga Iron Age Iberia Spa Andalusia, Spain -750 ! 8th century BC founded as Phoenician Malaka.[87]
Cagliari Sardinia ItaSardinia, Italy -750 ! 8th century BC Founded by Phoenicians from Tyre as Krly, Caralis in roman times, Callaris in middle ages.
Rome Latium ItaLazio, Italy -753 ! 753 BC Continuous habitation since approximately 1000 BC.; pastoral village on the northern part of the Palatine Hill dated to the 9th century BC; see also History of Rome and Founding of Rome.
Messina (as Zancle) Sicily ItaSicily, Italy -750 ! 8th century BC
Reggio di Calabria (as Rhégion) Magna Graecia ItaCalabria, Italy -743 ! 743 BC[88] Continuous habitation since approximately 1500 BC, as we have notice about the Ausonian-Italic pre-Greek settlement and about the sculptor Léarchos of Reggio (early 15th century BC)[88] and King Iokastos (late 13th century BC).[88]
Palermo (as זִיז, Ziz) Phoenicia ItaSicily, Italy -734 ! 734 BC Settlement presence since approximately 8000 BC, as we know through cave drawings in the area now known as Addaura, but continuous documented habitation since the Phoenician times (734 BC is traditionally considered as the founding year).
Syracuse Sicily ItaSicily, Italy -734 ! 734 BC A colony of the Greek city of Corinth
Volterra Tuscany ItaTuscany, Italy -725 ! c. 725 BC An Etruscan mining settlement[89]
Crotone (as Kroton) Calabria ItaMagna Graecia, Italy -710 ! 710 BC
Taranto (as Taras) Magna Graecia ItaApulia, Italy -706 ! 706 BC
Corfu, Kerkyra Corfu GreIonian Islands, Greece -700 ! 700 BC
Naples Magna Graecia Italy -680 ! c. 680 BC[90] Actually the date at which an older settlement close by, called Parthenope, was founded by settlers from Cumae. This eventually merged with Neapolis proper, which was founded c. 470 BC.
Istanbul/Byzantion Thrace Anatolia Turkey -667 ! 685 BC Anatolia
667 BC Thrace
Neolithic site dated to 6400 BC, over port of Lygos by Thracians c. 1150 BC
Durrës Illyria Albania -627 ! 627 BC Founded[91] by settlers from Corcyra & Corinth as Epidamnos
Kerch Crimea Russia/Ukraine -600 ! 7th century BC
Feodosiya (as Theodosia) Crimea Russia/Ukraine -600 ! 7th century BC
Edessa, Greece Macedonia Greece -601 ! before the 6th century BC capital of Macedonia up to 6th century BC
Marseilles (as Massilia) Gaul France -600 ! 600 BC A colony of the Greek city of Phocaea
Varna Thrace BulBulgarian Black Sea Coast, Bulgaria -570 ! 585 BC – 570 BC founded[92] as Odessos by settlers from Miletus
Sant Martí d'Empúries (as Emporion) Iberia Catalonia, Spain -575 ! ca. 575 BC A colony of the Greek city of Phocaea. Present Sant Martí is on the ancient Palaiopolis of Emporion, in an island next to the coast; in 550 BC, the inhabitants moved to the mainland, creating the Neapolis: Palaiapolis remained as a small neighbourhood.
Kavala Macedonia Greece -550 ! 6th century BC founded as Neapolis
Mangalia Dacia Romania -550 ! 6th century BC founded as Callatis
Constanţa Dacia Romania -550 ! 6th century BC founded as Tomis
Mantua Po Valley ItaLombardy, Italy -550 ! 6th century BC Village settlement since c. 2000 BC; became an Etruscan city in the 6th century BC.
Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi Bessarabia Ukraine -550 ! 6th century BC founded as Tyras
Serres Macedonia Greece -450 ! 5th century BC first mentioned in the 5th century BC as Siris
Lamia Greece Greece -501 ! before the 5th century BC first mentioned 424 BC
Veria Macedonia Greece -432 ! c. 432 BC first mentioned by Thucydides in 432 BC
Rhodes Rhodes, Aegean Sea GreDodecanese, Greece -408 ! c. 408 BC
Sofia Moesia BulSofia Valley, Bulgaria -350 ! 4th century BC Celtic foundation as Serdica.[93]
Metz Gaul France -350 ! 4th century BC founded as the oppidum of Celtic Mediomatrici. However, Human permanent presence has been established in the site since 2500 BC.
Roses (as Rhode) Iberia SpaCatalonia, Spain -350 ! 4th century BC The exactly origin of the city is unknown, but there are remains of a Greek colony from the 4th century BC, although some historians consider the foundation earlier, at the 8th century BC. However, permanent human presence has been established in the site since 3000 BC as evidenced by the different megalithic monuments surrounding the city.
Qabala (as Kabalaka) Caucasian Albania Azerbaijan -350 ! 4th century BC Archeological evidence indicates that the city functioned as the capital of the Caucasian Albania as early as the 4th century BC.[94]
Stara Zagora Thrace Bulgaria -342 ! 342 BC It was called Beroe in ancient times and was founded by Phillip II of Macedon[95][96][97][98] although a Thracian settlement neolithic inhabitation have been discovered as well.
Thessaloniki Macedonia (ancient kingdom) Greece -315 ! 315 BC founded as a new city in the same place of the older city Therme.
Berat Macedonia (ancient kingdom) Albania -314 ! 314 BC Founded[99] by Cassander as Antipatreia
Vukovar Illyria Croatia 3500 BC3500 BC Vučedol culture
Zagreb Illyria Croatia 1 st century1 st century In the region of today's Zagreb, Romans founded the city Andautonia.
Belgrade Illyria Serbia -279 ! 279 BC Vinča culture prospered around Belgrade in the 6th millennium BC. Founded as Singidunum.
Niš Illyria Serbia -279 ! 279 BC Founded as Navissos. Neolithic settlements date to 5000–2000 BC.
Cartagena (as Carthago Nova) Iberia Spain -228 ! 228 BC Carthaginian colony, founded by Hasdrubal Barca
Barcelona (as Barcino) Iberia SpaCatalonia, Spain -250 ! 3rd century BC Unknown origin. Several neolithics tombs (5000-4500 BC) and remains from the Iberian period have been found, as well as several drachma coins inscribed with the word "Barkeno". There is also a hypothesis about a small Greek settlement called Kallípolis to have existed in the area. However, the first archaeological remains of buildings are from the Roman period.
Tarragona (as Tarraco) Iberia SpaCatalonia, Spain -250 ! 218 BC Roman colony, founded by Gnaeus and Publius Cornelius Scipio
Stobi/Gradsko Macedonia Republic of Macedonia -217 ! 217 BC founded as Stobi by Philip V of Macedon
Sremska Mitrovica Illyria Serbia -50 ! 1st century BC Founded as Sirmium. Neolithic settlements date to 5000 BC and are with other archeological findings evidence to continuous habitation.
Smederevo Illyria Serbia -50 ! 1st century BC Founded as Semendria.
Ljubljana Italia Slovenia 50 BC ! 50 BC Area first settled by people living in pile dwellings around 2000 BC. Around 50 BC, the Romans built a military encampment that later became a permanent settlement called Iulia Aemona.
Ptuj Pannonia Slovenia 1st century BC ! 1st century BC Ptuj is the oldest city in Slovenia. There is evidence that the area was settled in the Stone Age. In the Late Iron Age it was settled by Celts. By the 1st century BC, the settlement was controlled by Ancient Rome.
Évora Lusitania Portugal -53 ! 53 BC (Roman conquest) Evidence of Lusitanian settlement prior to Roman occupation.
Paris Lutetia France -52 ! 52 BC Archaeological evidence indicates human habitation as early as 4200 BC.[100] During the Gallic Wars, Caesar's armies set fire to Lutetia "a town of the Parisii, situated on an island on the river Seine."[101] While only a garrison at best on the Île de la Cité during some periods after 1st and 2nd century, was renamed Paris in 360 AD[102][103]
Zürich (Lindenhof) Gaul Switzerland -50 ! c. 50 BC lakeside settlement traces dating to the Neolithic.
Trier Gallia Belgica Germany -30 ! 30 BC Oldest city in Germany.
Maastricht Germania Inferior Netherlands -19 ! 500 BC Oldest city in the Netherlands.
Chur Raetia Prima SwiGrisons, Switzerland -15 ! 15 BC habitation since the 4th millennium BC (Pfyn culture).
Worms Germania Superior Germany -14 ! 14 BC The name of the city derives from the Latin designation Borbetomagus which is of Celtic origin.
Tongeren Germania Inferior Belgium -10 ! 10 BC Oldest city in Belgium.
Solothurn Gaul Switzerland 20 ! c. 20 AD Evidence of pre-Roman, Celtic settlement; newly founded by the Romans between 14 and 37 AD, called the "oldest city in Gaul besides Trier" in a verse on the city's clock tower.
London (as Londinium) Britannia England 43 ! 43 AD Archaeological evidence near Vauxhall Bridge indicates that the wider area has been occupied for at least 3,500 years.[104]
Bath (as Aquae Sulis) Britannia England 43 ! 43 AD The city was established as a spa town by the Romans in 43 AD[105]
Cologne Germania Inferior Germany 50 ! 50 AD Founded in 38 BC by the Ubii, a Germanic tribe, as Oppidum Ubiorum. In 50 AD, the Romans adopted the location as Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensium and the city became in 85 AD the capital of the Roman province.
Winchester (as Venta Belgarum) Britannia England 70 ! c. 70 AD Winchester was built as a Roman town in c. 70 AD.[106]
York (as Eboracum) Britannia England 72 ! c. 72 AD The city was founded in or around AD 72 when the 9th Roman Legion set up camp there.[107]
Skopje Macedonia (Roman province) Republic of Macedonia 96 ! 81–96 AD Founded in the time of Domitian as Scupi.
Novi Sad Illyria Serbia 50 ! 1st century AD Founded as Cusum.
Baku Azerbaijan Absheron peninsula The 1st century AD The first written evidence for Baku dates to the 1st century AD[108]
Verdun Lotharingia France 350 ! 4th century seat of the bishop of Verdun from the 4th century, but populated earlier.
Kiev Medieval East Slavic civilization Ukraine 482 ! 482 AD Founded by Slavic tribe leader Kyi. Some sources suggest Kiev was founded in 640 BC.
Tbilisi Caucasian Iberia Georgia 500 ! c. 500 According to the widely accepted legend the city was founded by King Varaz-Bakur's reign.
Aberdeen Pictland Scotland 580 ! c. 580 A settlement was established by c. 580 when records show the city's first church was built then. However, there is archaeological evidence of settlements in the area dating back to 6000BC.[109]
Edinburgh as Din Eidyn Gododdin Scotland 580 ! c. 580 Edinburgh is mentioned as a settlement in the poem Y Gododdin, traditionally dated to around the late 6th and early 7th centuries.[110] The Poem uses The Brythonic name Din Eidyn (Fort of Eidyn) for Edinburgh and describes it as the capital of Gododdin. It is not until around 638 that the city starts being referred to as Edin-burh or Edinburgh, after the city was conquered by the Angles of Bernicia[111]
Prague Bohemia Czech Republic 550 ! c. 6th century The first written record dates back to the 10th century.
Inverness Pictland Scotland 550 ! c. 6th century A settlement was established by the 6th century when St Columba visited the Pictish King Brude at his fortress there.[112]
Glasgow Dál Riata or Alt Clut Scotland 550 ! c. 6th century A settlement was founded in the 6th century[113] by St Mungo, who is the city's patron Saint.[114]
Ioannina Byzantine Empire Greece 565 ! 527–565 founded by emperor Justinian I
Kraków (Wawel Hill) Lesser Poland Poland 650 ! 7th century[115] The first written record dates back to the 10th century.
Århus Denmark 700 ! c. 770
Ribe Jutland Denmark 710 ! 704–710[116] Oldest town in Denmark
Staraya Ladoga Russia 753 ! 753
Heraklion Crete Greece 824 ! 824 founded by the Saracens
Dublin Ireland IreIreland 841 ! 841 Dublin was founded as a city by the Vikings in the 9th century, but there were two older Irish settlements which existed on the same spot several centuries before they arrived; Áth Cliath ("ford of hurdles") and Duiblinn ("Black Pool").
Veliky Novgorod Russia 859 ! 859
Polatsk Belarus 862 ! 862
Reykjavík Iceland Iceland 871 ! c. 871[117]
Xanthi Thrace Greece 878 ! before 879 first medieval reference as Xantheia
Vitebsk Belarus 947 ! 947
Sigtuna Sweden 980 ! 980 Is reputed as the oldest town in Sweden, the name is derived from an old royal estate Fornsigtuna situated nearby.
Skara Sweden 988 ! 988
Lund Denmark Sweden 990 ! c. 990[118]
Trondheim Norway Norway 997 !997 Founded by king Olav Tryggvason. Archaeological findings of city settlement back to the 8th century.


Name Historical region Location Continuously inhabited since Notes
!a !a !a −9e99
~z ~z ~z 9e99
Ternate Sultanate of Ternate Indonesia 1100 ! 1109 AD[119] Twin of Tidore, oldest surviving Papuan cities.
Tidore Sultanate of Tidore Indonesia 1100 ! 1109 AD[119] Twin of Ternate, oldest surviving Papuan cities.
Sydney New South Wales Australia 1788 Oldest city in Australia and oldest city in Oceania, State Capital
Hobart Tasmania Australia 1803 Second oldest city in Australia, State Capital
Newcastle New South Wales Australia 1804 Third oldest city in Australia
Launceston Tasmania Australia 1806 Fourth oldest city in Australia
Kerikeri Northland New Zealand 1818 ! c. 1818 Oldest European settlement in New Zealand
Brisbane Queensland Australia 1825 Fifth oldest city in Australia, State Capital
Albany Western Australia Australia 1827 Oldest city in the West Coast of Australia
Perth Western Australia Australia 1829 State Capital
Melbourne Victoria Australia 1835 State Capital
Adelaide South Australia Australia 1836 State Capital
Darwin Northern Territory Australia 1869 State Capital
Canberra Australian Capital Territory Australia 1913 Capital city of Australia

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External links

  • "What is the oldest city in the world?". 
  • "The world's 20 oldest cities".