The town was founded by Greek colonists from Phocaea in the 6th century BC. Soon afterwards it became a main competitor of Miletus, controlling the trade roots in the Dardanelles. The modern Turkish name derives from the original Greek name. Lapseki was founded about 500 BC, one of 4 settlements along the Dardanelles at that time. In ancient times, while the city was under the rule of King Mendrom and named Pityausa, the king, who defended the colonists from Foça from the attacks of the local people, minted coins for the first time in its history in the name of his daughter Lapseke and later the city was given this name by the colonists to express their indebtedness to him. In this way, the name Lampsakos, then Lapseki, was passed down to the present day.
The city was under the Byzantines for a long period before being passed into Ottoman hands after its conquest by Süleyman Pasha in 1356. Occupied at the end of World War I, the town was freed from the British and French forces on 25 September 1922 as a result of the unity and solidarity of the people of Lapseki, toward the end of the War of Independence. In the district are the graves of 15,000 soldiers who lost their lives during the War of Independence.
Possessing all the natural beauty of the Dardanelles, the primary livelihood of the people in the area is agriculture with fishing and tourism also being important. The most famous fruits of the district are cherries and peaches. First held in 1983, the annual Cherry Festival takes place 2-12 June. A fair is also held in Lapseki on 1-4 September