List of oldest continuously inhabited cities

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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. Caveats (and sources) to the validity of each claim are discussed in the "Notes" column.


Northern and the Horn[edit]

Name Historical region Location Continuously inhabited since Notes
!a !a !a −9e99
~z ~z ~z 9e99
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.
Carthage Carthage Tunisia -814 c. 814 BC Founded by the Phoenicians in 814 BC.[1]
Tripoli (as Oea) Libya -700c. 700 BC Founded in the 7th century BC, by the Phoenicians.[2]
Benghazi (as Euesperides) Cyrenaica Libya -525c. 525 BC Founded in the 5th century BC, by the Greeks.[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[unreliable source?][6]
Zeila/Avalite Bilad al-Barbar Somalia -400 !c. 1st century AD Major trading city in the Horn of Africa
Kismayo Bilad al-Barbar, after the 13th century part of the Ajuran Empre Somalia 100 ! 4th century The Kismayo area was originally a small fishing settlement and expanded 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[unreliable source?][9]


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, 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]
Zanzibar Swahili Coast Tanzania 1st–3rd centuries A Greco-Roman text between the 1st and 3rd centuries AD, the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, mentioned the island of Menuthias (Ancient Greek: Μενουθιάς), which is probably Unguja (An island suburb of the city)
Sofala Swahili Coast Mozambique 900 !c. 700 One of the oldest harbours documented in Southern Africa,
Pate Swahili Coast Kenya 8th century According to the Pate Chronicle, the town of Pate was founded by refugees from Oman in the 8th century
Mombasa Swahili Coast Kenya 900 AD A historical Swahili trading centre, it has been controlled by many countries because of its strategic location.
Moroni Swahili Coast Comoros 10th century Founded by Arabic settlers, possibly during the 10th century, as the capital of a sultanate connected commercially to Zanzibar in Tanzania
Malindi Swahili Coast Kenya 13th–14th centuries Once rivaled only by Mombasa for dominance in this part of East Africa, it was first referenced in writing by Abu al-Fida (1273–1331), a Kurdish geographer and historian
Lamu Swahili Coast Kenya 1370 One of the original Swahili settlements along coastal East Africa and is the best preserved Swahili town being a UNESCO site, first attested in writing by an Arab traveller Abu-al-Mahasini, who met a judge from Lamu visiting Mecca in 1441
Quelimane Swahili Coast Mozambique 1400AD One of the oldest towns in the region, one tradition alleges that Vasco da Gama, in 1498, inquired about the name of the place from some inhabitants laboring in the fields outside the settlement
Tanga Swahili Coast Tanzania 1500 The earliest documentation about Tanga roots from the Portuguese who established a trading post as part of their East African coastal territory and controlled the region for over 200 years between 1500 and 1700
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,


North America[edit]

Name Historical region Location Continuously inhabited since Notes
!a −9e99 . ~z ~z ~z 9e99
Cholula Old Cholula Mexico -150 ! ~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. Name 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.
Santo Domingo Hispaniola Dominican Republic 1496 Oldest European settlement in the New World
Panama City Cueva Civilization. After European colonization: New Spain Panama 15th century[11] Oldest European settlement on the Pacific.
San Juan New Spain Puerto Rico 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
Vera Cruz New Spain Mexico 1519 Oldest continuously inhabited European established settlement continental America.
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.
Havana New Spain Cuba 1592 Oldest major city in Cuba, granted city status in 1592 by Philip II of Spain
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]
St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador Newfoundland Colony Canada incorporated in 1883, inhabited continuously since sometime after 1630 some claims to being the oldest city in Canada
Saint John New France Canada 1631 Oldest incorporated 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.
Detroit, Michigan New France US 1701 First European settlement above tidewater in North America.
Winnipeg British America Canada 1738 Founded as Fort Rouge. Oldest city in the Canadian Prairies.
San Diego New Spain US 1769 Birthplace of California and oldest city on the West Coast of the United States
Victoria British North America Canada 1843 Oldest city on the West Coast of Canada

South America[edit]

Name Historical region Location Continuously inhabited since Notes
!a !a !a −9e99
~z ~z ~z 9e99
Quito Quitu culture Ecuador 980 Quito's origins date back to 2000 BC,[dubious ] when the Quitu tribe occupied the area.
Cusco Inca Empire Peru c. 1100[dubious ] 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]
Cumaná New Granada Venezuela 1515 Oldest continuously-inhabited, European-established settlement in the continent
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
Cali New Granada Colombia 1536 On 25 July 1536 Belalcázar founded Santiago de Cali, first established a few kilometres north of the present location, near what are now the towns of Vijes and Riofrío.
Lima Peru Peru 1535 Second oldest continuously inhabited European-settled capital city in South America
Piura Peru Peru 1532 Oldest European-founded city in Peru[14]
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


Central and Southern[edit]

Name Historical region Location Continuously inhabited since Notes

Varanasi Kashi Uttar Pradesh, India -600 ! 1800 BC Recent excavations at Aktha and Ramnagar, two sites very near to Varanasi, show them to be from 1800 BC
Balkh (as Bactra) Bactria AfgBalkh Province, Afghanistan -1500 ! 1500 BC[citation needed]
Samarqand Sogdiana Uzbekistan -700 ! 700 BC[citation needed]
Ujjain Malwa Madhya Pradesh, India -600 ! c. 600 BC[15] Rose to prominence in ca 600 BC as capital of Avanti.
Rajagriha (Rajgir) Magadha IndBihar, India -600 ! 600 BC[citation needed]
Madurai Pandyan kingdom IndTamil Nadu, India -500 ! 500 BC[citation needed] 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[unreliable source?][16]
Patna Magadha IndBihar, India -450 ! 5th century BC[17] As Pataliputra was founded by Ajatashatru.
Mahasthangarh, Bogra Pundravardhana BanBogra District, Bangladesh - 300BC ! 4th century BC[18][dubious ] Remains of the ancient city of Pundranagara.
Anuradhapura Kingdom of Rajarata North Central Province, Sri Lanka -300 ! 4th century BC[19]
Peshawar Gandhara PakKhyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan -350 ! c. 2nd century BC[20] Ongoing excavations in the Gor Khuttree region have uncovered evidence of the earliest building in the city.
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.[citation needed]


Name Historical region Location Continuously inhabited since Notes
!a !a !a −9e99
~z ~z ~z 9e99
Luoyang (as Xibo, Luoyi, Zhongguo, Henan, Dongdu, Shendu) Shang Dynasty ChiHenan, China -1600 ! c. 1600 BC
Xi'an (as Haojing, Fenghao, Chang'an, Jingzhao, Daxing) Zhou Dynasty ChiShaanxi, China -1100 ! c. 1100 BC
Handan Jin ChiHebei, China -1080 ! c. 1080 BC


Beijing (as Ji, Youzhou, Fanyang, Yanjing, Zhongdu, Dadu) Ji, Yan ChiBeijing, China -1000 ! c. 1045 BC Paleolithic homo sapiens lived in the caves from about 27,000 to 10,000 years ago.[21]
Zibo (as Yingqiu, Linzi, Qiling, Zichuan, Boping) Qi ChiShandong, China -1045 ! c. 1045 BC The Lord of Qi, Jiang Ziya, set the capital of his manor at Yingqiu(营丘), which is today's Linzi District.
Jinzhou (as Jinan, Yingdu, Jiangling, Jingsha, Nanjun) Chu ChiHubei, China -689 ! c. 689 BC
Hefei (as Luyi, Ruyin, Luzhou, Hezhou, Lujiang) Zhou Dynasty ChiAnhui, China -650 ! c. 650 BC The Viscount of Lu was asked to set the capital of his manor at Luyi(庐邑), which is in the north of today's downtown Hefei.
Suzhou (as Gusu, Wu, Pingjiang) Wu ChiJiangsu, China -514 ! 514 BC
Taiyuan (as Jinyang) Jin ChiShanxi, China -497 ! c. 497 BC
Nanjing (as Yecheng, Moling, Jianye, Jiankang, Jinling, Yingtian, Jiangning) 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.
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.
Changsha (as Linxiang, Xiangzhou, Tanzhou, Tianlin) Chu ChiHunan, China -365 ! c. 365 BC
Kaifeng (as Daliang, 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.
Liaoyang (as Xiangping, Changping, Liaodong, Pingzhou, Liaozhou, Dongdu, Dongjing) Yan ChiLiaoning, China -279 ! c. 279 BC
Guangzhou (as Panyu) Qin Dynasty ChiGuangdong, China -214 ! 214 BC[citation needed]
Hangzhou (as Lin'an, Yuhang, Qiantang) 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.


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[22] Capital of the Khmer Empire.
Bagan Kingdom of Pagan Myanmar 800 ! 849 AD[23]
Manila Kingdom of Tondo and Kingdom of Maynila Philippines 900 ! 900 AD[24] 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[25] Oldest city in Borneo.
Butuan Kingdom of Butuan Philippines 1000 ! 1001 AD[26][27] Oldest city in Mindanao.
Yangon Konbaung Dynasty Myanmar 600 ! 1043 AD[28] 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[29] 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[30]
Banda Aceh Aceh Sultanate Indonesia 1205 AD

Originally named Kutaraja, which means "City of the King".

Surabaya Singhasari Indonesia 1293 AD

Derived its name from the words "suro" (shark) and "boyo" (crocodile), two creatures which are in a local myth.[31]

Muar Majapahit Malaysia 1361 AD[32]
Phnom Penh Khmer Empire Cambodia 1372 AD[33]
Malacca Malacca Sultanate Malaysia 900 ! 1396 AD[34]
Hội An Nguyễn dynasty Vietnam 14th century[35]
Bogor Sunda Kingdom Indonesia 1482 AD
Teluk Intan Perak Sultanate Malaysia 1511 AD[36]
Pattani Pattani Kingdom Thailand 1516 AD[36]
Medan Sultanate of Deli Indonesia 1590 AD[37]
Oudong Kingdom of Cambodia Cambodia 1601 AD
Makassar Sultanate of Gowa Indonesia 1607 AD
Klang Johor-Riau Sultanate Malaysia 900 ! 1643 AD[38] Klang remained under Johor's control until 1742.
Bangkok Ayutthaya Kingdom Thailand 900 ! 1688 AD[39] Modern Bangkok was built after the Siege of Bangkok from French imperialists.
Alor Setar Kedah Sultanate Malaysia 1735 AD[40]

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[41] 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[42] Founded by Sir Captain Francis Light after the Penang was ceded from Kedah to British Colony.


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

Name Historical region Location Continuously inhabited as a "city" since Notes
!a !a !a −9e99
~z ~z ~z 9e99
Damascus Levant Syria Chalcolithic 3rd millennium BC[43] Damascus is often claimed to be the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world. Excavations at Tell Ramad on the outskirts of the city have demonstrated that the general area was inhabited as early as 9000 BC. However, it is not documented as an important city until the arrival of the Aramaeans.[43][44]
Byblos (Jubayl) Levant Lebanon Chalcolithic (5000 BC)[45][46] Settled from the Neolithic (carbon-dating tests have set the age of earliest settlement around 7000[47]), a city since the 3rd millennium BC.[45] 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)[48] 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,[49] the Temple of Hadad inside the Citadel date to c. 2400 BC.[50]
Susa (Shush) Khuzestan Iran 4200 BC Archaeological excavations indicate that the site has been inhabited since at least 5000 BC.[51] The emergence of acropolis in Susa is determined by C14 dating from 4395–3955 BC,[52] roughly dated about 4200 BC as time of foundation.[53] Susa was a large city during Ancient and Medieval periods, but marginalized in the 13th century[51] due to Mongol invasion. The city further degraded from the 15th century when a majority of its population moved to Dezful and it remained as a small settlement until the 20th century.[54]
Sidon Levant Lebanon 4000 BC[55] 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[56] 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.[57] Assuming this to be the case, the founding date of the present site would be about 1000 BC.[58]
Jericho Levant West Bank Chalcolithic (3000 BC or earlier) Traces of habitation from 9000 BC.[59][60] Fortifications date to 6800 BC (or earlier), making Jericho the earliest known walled city.[61]

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.[62][63]

Rey Media Iran 3000 BC[64] 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.[64]
Beirut Levant Lebanon 3000 BC[65]
Jerusalem (Old City) Levant Israel/West Bank 2800 BC[66]
Tyre Levant Lebanon 2750 BC[67]
Jenin Levant West Bank c. 2450 BC[68] 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.[69]
Homs Levant Syria (2,300 BC) Excavations at the Citadel of Homs indicate that the earliest settlement at the site dates back to around 2300 BCE.[70]
Erbil Mesopotamia Iraqi Kurdistan, Iraq 2300 BC[71][72] 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[73]
Jaffa Levant Israel c. 2000 BC Archaeological evidence shows habitation from 7500 BC.[74]
Hebron Levant West Bank c. 1500 BC "Hebron is considered one of the oldest cities and has been continuously inhabited for nearly 3500 years."[75]
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.[76][77]
Hamadan (as Ecbatana) Median Empire Iran c. 800 BC[78]
Lod Levant Israel 200 AD[79]


Name Historical region Location Continuously inhabited since Notes
!a !a !a −9e99
~z ~z ~z 9e99
Sydney New South Wales Australia 1788 Oldest city in Australia and oldest city in Oceania. Radiocarbon dating suggests human activity occurred in and around Sydney for at least 30,000 years, in the Upper Paleolithic period.[80][81] However, numerous Aboriginal stone tools found in Sydney's far western suburbs' gravel sediments were dated to be from 45,000 to 50,000 years BP, which would mean that humans could have been in the region earlier than thought.[82][83] The first people to occupy the Sydney region were an Indigenous Australian group called the Eora.[84][85]
Hobart Tasmania Australia 1803 Second oldest city in Australia. Prior to British settlement, the area had been occupied for at least 8,000 years, but possibly for as long as 35,000 years,[86] by the semi-nomadic Mouheneener tribe, a sub-group of the Nuennone, or South-East tribe.[87]
George Town Tasmania Australia 1804 Third oldest city in Australia
Newcastle New South Wales Australia 1804 Fourth oldest city in Australia
Launceston Tasmania Australia 1806 Fifth oldest city in Australia
Kerikeri Northland New Zealand 1818 ! c. 1818 Oldest European settlement in New Zealand
Brisbane Queensland Australia 1825 Oldest city in Northern Australia, State Capital
Albany Western Australia Australia 1827 Oldest city in the West Coast of Australia
Perth Western Australia Australia 1829 The area had been inhabited by the Whadjuk Noongar people for over 40,000 years, as evidenced by archaeological findings on the Upper Swan River.[88]
Melbourne Victoria Australia 1835 Before the arrival of European settlers, the area was occupied for an estimated 31,000 to 40,000 years.[89] At the time of European settlement, it was inhabited by under 20,000 hunter-gatherers from three indigenous regional tribes: the Wurundjeri, Boonwurrung and Wathaurong.[90][91]
Adelaide South Australia Australia 1836 State Capital
Darwin Northern Territory Australia 1869 State Capital
Canberra Australian Capital Territory Australia 1913 Capital city of Australia. Artefacts suggests early human activity occurred at some point in Canberra dating at around 21,000 years ago.[92]


Name Historical region Location Continuously inhabited since Notes
!a !a !a −9e99
~z ~z ~z 9e99
Argos Neolithic, Mycenaean Greece Greece -5000 ! 6th–5th millennium BC[93] The city has been cycling between village and city status for 7,000 years, recorded history begins in latter 1st millennium BC.
Athens Neolithic, Mycenaean Greece GreAttica, Greece -4500 ! 5th–4th millennium BC[94][95][96][page needed] Earliest human presence 11th–7th millennium BC,[97] recorded history begins in 1400 BC.
Plovdiv Thrace BulPlovdiv Province, Bulgaria -3000 ! 3000[98][not in citation given] – 4000 BC[99][100] Thracian foundation. Earliest evidence of a settlement dates back to 6000 BC.[101][102]
Kutaisi Colchis Imereti province, Georgia -2000 ! c. 2000 BC[citation needed] 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 -1700 ! c. 1700–1500 BC[103][unreliable source?] Minoan foundation as Kydonia
Thebes Mycenaean Greece GreBoeotia, Greece -1600 ! c. 1600–1250 BC[104] Mycenaean foundation
Larnaca Alashiya Cyprus -1400 ! c. 1400 BC[citation needed] Mycenaean, then Phoenician colony
Trikala Mycenaean Greece GreThessaly, Greece -1201 ! before 1200 BC[citation needed] founded as Trikke
Chalcis Mycenaean Greece Greece -1201 ! before 1200 BC[citation needed] mentioned by Homer
Lisbon Iron Age Iberia Portugal -1200 ! c. 1200 BC[citation needed] 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[citation needed] founded as Phoenician Gadir, "Europe's oldest city"[105][106]
Patras Mycenaean Greece Greece -1100 ! c. 1100 BC[citation needed] founded by Patreus
Nicosia Cyprus c. 1050 BC[citation needed] Mycenaean foundation as Ledra. Archeological evidence of continuous habitation since the beginning of the Bronze Age 2500 years BC.[citation needed]
Zadar Illyricum Croatia -1000 ! c. 1000 BC[citation needed] founded by Liburnians. Oldest continusly inhabited city in Croatia. Main Liburnian settlement.
Mtskheta Caucasian Iberia Georgia 1000 ! c. 1000 BC[citation needed] 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[citation needed]
Chios Chios GreNorth Aegean, Greece -1100 ! c. 1100 BC[citation needed]
Yerevan Urartu Armenia -800 ! 782 BC[107] 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[citation needed] founded as Tartessian Spal.[108]
Málaga Iron Age Iberia Spa Andalusia, Spain -750 ! 8th century BC[citation needed] founded as Phoenician Malaka.[109][page needed]
Cagliari Sardinia ItaSardinia, Italy -750 ! 8th century BC[citation needed] Founded by Phoenicians from Tyre as Krly, Caralis in Roman times, Callaris in Middle Ages.
Rome Latium ItaLazio, Italy -753 ! 753 BC[citation needed] 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[citation needed]
Reggio di Calabria (as Rhégion) Magna Graecia ItaCalabria, Italy -743 ! 743 BC[110][page needed] 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)[110] and King Iokastos (late 13th century BC).[110]
Palermo (as זִיז, Ziz) Phoenicia ItaSicily, Italy -734 ! 734 BC[citation needed] 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[citation needed] A colony of the Greek city of Corinth
Volterra Tuscany ItaTuscany, Italy -725 ! c. 725 BC[citation needed] An Etruscan mining settlement[111]
Crotone (as Kroton) Calabria ItaMagna Graecia, Italy -710 ! 710 BC[citation needed] Greek colony
Taranto (as Taras) Magna Graecia ItaApulia, Italy -706 ! 706 BC[citation needed] Founded as the only Spartan colony by the Partheniae, children of unmarried Spartan women and perioikoi, free non-citizen residents of Sparta and her territories.
Corfu, Kerkyra Corfu GreIonian Islands, Greece -700 ! 700 BC[citation needed] A colony of the Greek city of Corinth
Naples Magna Graecia Italy -680 ! c. 680 BC[112] 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[citation needed]
Neolithic site dated to 6400 BC, over port of Lygos by Thracians c. 1150 BC. Greek colony.
Ibiza (as 'Ybsm) Balearic Islands Spain -654 ! 654 BC[citation needed] Founded by the Phoenicians, according to Diodorus Siculus, book 5, chap. 16. Date consistent with archaeological finds.[113]
Durrës Illyria Albania -627 ! 627 BC[citation needed] Founded[114] by settlers from the Greek cities of Corcyra & Corinth as Epidamnos
Kerch Crimea Ukraine -600 ! 7th century BC[citation needed] Greek colony
Feodosiya (as Theodosia) Crimea Ukraine -600 ! 7th century BC[citation needed] Greek colony
Edessa, Greece Macedonia Greece -601 ! before the 6th century BC[citation needed] Greek city, capital of the kingdom of Macedon up to the 6th century BC
Marseilles (as Massilia) Gaul France -600 ! 600 BC[citation needed] A colony of the Greek city of Phocaea
Varna Thrace BulBulgarian Black Sea Coast, Bulgaria -570 ! 585 BC – 570 BC[citation needed] founded[115] as Odessos by settlers from the Greek city of Miletus
Sant Martí d'Empúries (as Emporion) Iberia Catalonia, Spain -575 ! ca. 575 BC[citation needed] 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[citation needed] Greek colony. Founded as Neapolis
Mangalia Dacia Romania -550 ! 6th century BC[citation needed] founded as Callatis
Constanţa Dacia Romania -550 ! 6th century BC[citation needed] founded as Tomis
Mantua Po Valley ItaLombardy, Italy -550 ! 6th century BC[citation needed] Village settlement since c. 2000 BC; became an Etruscan city in the 6th century BC.
Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi Bessarabia Ukraine -550 ! 6th century BC[citation needed] founded as Tyras
Serres Macedonia Greece -450 ! 5th century BC[citation needed] Greek city. First mentioned in the 5th century BC as Siris
Lamia Greece Greece -501 ! before the 5th century BC[citation needed] Greek city. First mentioned 424 BC
Veria Macedonia Greece -432 ! c. 432 BC[citation needed] Greek city. First mentioned by Thucydides in 432 BC
Rhodes Rhodes, Aegean Sea GreDodecanese, Greece -408 ! c. 408 BC[citation needed] Greek city
Sofia Moesia BulSofia Valley, Bulgaria -350 ! 4th century BC[citation needed] Celtic foundation as Serdica.[116]
Metz Gaul France -350 ! 4th century BC[citation needed] 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[citation needed] 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[citation needed] Archeological evidence indicates that the city functioned as the capital of the Caucasian Albania as early as the 4th century BC.[117]
Stara Zagora Thrace Bulgaria -342 ! 342 BC[citation needed] It was called Beroe in ancient times and was founded by Phillip II of Macedon[118][119][120][121] although a Thracian settlement neolithic inhabitation have been discovered as well.
Thessaloniki Macedonia (ancient kingdom) Greece -315 ! 315 BC[citation needed] Greek city. Founded as a new city in the same place of the older city Therme.
Berat Macedonia (ancient kingdom) Albania -314 ! 314 BC[citation needed] Founded[122] by Cassander as Antipatreia
Vukovar Illyria Croatia 300 BC300 BC[citation needed] Vučedol culture
Belgrade Illyria Serbia -279 ! 279 BC[citation needed] Vinča culture prospered around Belgrade in the 6th millennium BC. Founded as Singidunum.
Niš Illyria Serbia -279 ! 279 BC[citation needed] Founded as Navissos. Neolithic settlements date to 5000–2000 BC.
Cartagena (as Carthago Nova) Iberia Spain -228 ! 228 BC[citation needed] Carthaginian colony, founded by Hasdrubal Barca
Barcelona (as Barcino) Iberia SpaCatalonia, Spain -250 ! 3rd century BC[citation needed] 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[citation needed] Roman colony, founded by Gnaeus and Publius Cornelius Scipio
Stobi/Gradsko Macedonia Republic of Macedonia -217 ! 217 BC[citation needed] founded as Stobi by Philip V of Macedon
Valencia Iberia Valencia, Spain 138 BC Roman colony founded as Valentia Edetanorum
Bratislava Pannonia Slovakia 2nd century BC[citation needed] Founded by Celtic Boii tribe. The first written reference to a Slavic settlement dates to 907.
Sremska Mitrovica Illyria Serbia -50 ! 1st century BC[citation needed] 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[citation needed] Founded as Semendria.
Ptuj Pannonia Slovenia 1st century BC ! 1st century BC[citation needed] 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)[citation needed] Evidence of Lusitanian settlement prior to Roman occupation.
Paris Lutetia France -52 ! 52 BC[citation needed] Archaeological evidence indicates human habitation as early as 4200 BC.[123] During the Gallic Wars, Caesar's armies set fire to Lutetia "a town of the Parisii, situated on an island on the river Seine."[124] 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[125][126]
Ljubljana Italia Slovenia 50 BC ! 50 BC[citation needed] 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.
Zürich (Lindenhof) Gaul Switzerland -50 ! c. 50 BC[citation needed] lakeside settlement traces dating to the Neolithic.
Trier Gallia Belgica Germany -30 ! 30 BC[citation needed] Oldest city in Germany.
Augsburg Raetia, Roman Empire Germany 15 BC Second oldest city in Germany after Trier. Located in the Swabian region of Bavaria. Founded by the Romans as Augusta Vindelicorum.
Chur Raetia Prima SwiGrisons, Switzerland -15 ! 15 BC[citation needed] habitation since the 4th millennium BC (Pfyn culture).
Worms Germania Superior Germany -14 ! 14 BC[citation needed] The name of the city derives from the Latin designation Borbetomagus which is of Celtic origin.
Tongeren Germania Inferior Belgium -10 ! 10 BC[citation needed] Oldest city in Belgium.
Solothurn Gaul Switzerland 20 ! c. 20 AD[citation needed] 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[citation needed] Archaeological evidence near Vauxhall Bridge indicates that the wider area has been occupied for at least 3,500 years.[127]
Bath (as Aquae Sulis) Britannia England 43 ! 43 AD[citation needed] The city was established as a spa town by the Romans in 43 AD[128]
Cologne Germania Inferior Germany 50 ! 50 AD[citation needed] 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[citation needed] Winchester was built as a Roman town in c. 70 AD.[129]
Maastricht Germania Inferior Netherlands 70 ! c. 70 AD[citation needed] Oldest city in the Netherlands.
York (as Eboracum) Britannia England 72 ! c. 72 AD[citation needed] The city was founded in or around AD 72 when the 9th Roman Legion set up camp there.[130]
Skopje Macedonia (Roman province) Republic of Macedonia 96 ! 81–96 AD[citation needed] Founded in the time of Domitian as Scupi.
Novi Sad Illyria Serbia 50 ! 1st century AD[citation needed] Founded as Cusum.
Baku Azerbaijan Absheron peninsula The 1st century AD[citation needed] The first written evidence for Baku dates to the 1st century AD[131]
Trenčín (as Laugaricio) Slovakia before 179 AD[citation needed] First mentioned in 179 AD on a roman inscription on Trenčín castle rock, when roman army was stationed in settlement Laugaricio. Settlement was probably Germanic, since 7th century Slavic.
Vienna Pannonia Austria c. 300 AD[citation needed] "It is uncertain when Vindobona became a municipium; this elevation seems to have taken place at the beginning of the 3d c. A.D."[132]
Verdun Lotharingia France 350 ! 4th century[citation needed] seat of the bishop of Verdun from the 4th century, but populated earlier.
Kiev Medieval East Slavic civilization Ukraine 482 ! 482 AD[citation needed] Founded by Slavic tribe leader Kyi. Some sources suggest Kiev was founded in 640 BC.
Tbilisi Caucasian Iberia Kartli province, Georgia 500 ! c. 500[citation needed] According to the widely accepted legend the city was founded by King Vakhtang I Gorgasali of Georgia. New archaeological studies of the region have revealed that the territory of Tbilisi was settled by humans as early as the 4th millennium BC. The earliest actual (recorded) accounts of settlement of the location come from the 4th century, when a fortress was built during King Varaz-Bakur's reign.
Aberdeen Pictland Scotland 580 ! c. 580[citation needed] 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.[133]
Edinburgh as Din Eidyn Gododdin Scotland 580 ! c. 580[citation needed] Edinburgh is mentioned as a settlement in the poem Y Gododdin, traditionally dated to around the late 6th and early 7th centuries.[134] 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[135]
Prague Bohemia Czech Republic 550 ! c. 6th century[citation needed] The first written record dates back to the 10th century.
Inverness Pictland Scotland 550 ! c. 6th century[citation needed] A settlement was established by the 6th century when St Columba visited the Pictish King Brude at his fortress there.[136]
Glasgow Dál Riata or Alt Clut Scotland 550 ! c. 6th century[citation needed] A settlement was founded in the 6th century[137] by St Mungo, who is the city's patron Saint.[138]
Ioannina Byzantine Empire Greece 565 ! 527–565[citation needed] founded by emperor Justinian I
Kraków (Wawel Hill) Lesser Poland Poland 650 ! 8th century[139] The first written record dates back to the 10th century.
Aarhus Denmark 700 ! c. 770 [140]
Deventer Netherlands 700 ! 956[citation needed]
Ribe Jutland Denmark 710 ! 704–710[141] Oldest town in Denmark
Staraya Ladoga Russia 753 ! 753[citation needed]
Kalisz Greater Poland Poland 9th century[citation needed] Founded as a provincial capital castellany and a minor fort. Kalisz has long been considered the oldest city of Poland, having been mentioned by Ptolemy in the 2nd century AD, but the claim is now doubted by some (cf. Calisia)
Heraklion Crete Greece 824 ! 824[citation needed] founded by the Saracens
Nitra Principality of Nitra Slovakia c. 828[citation needed] Slavic settlement since 5th century reached its peak when it became centre of Principality of Nitra. There was built first known Christian church in Central and Eastern Europe.
Dublin Ireland IreIreland 841 ! 841[citation needed] 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").
Madrid Castile Spain mid. 9th century[citation needed] Developed around a fortress built by emir Muhammad I of Cordoba.
Veliky Novgorod Russia 859 ! 859[citation needed]
Polatsk Belarus 862 ! 862[citation needed]
Xanthi Thrace Greece 878 ! before 879[citation needed] first medieval reference as Xantheia
Gniezno Greater Poland Poland before 940 Early Slavonic settlements are dated to the 8th century.[142] An important Piast stronghold that gave birth to a medieval town is believed to be erected at least around 940 AD[143]
Vitebsk Belarus 947 ! 947[citation needed]
Poznań Greater Poland Poland before 968 Settled from at least the 9th century AD,[144] Poznań is one of the suggested places of the AD 966 Baptism of Poland.[145] Poznań Cathedral was raised to the status of a cathedral around 968.
Brussels Belgium 979[citation needed] Founded by Charles, duke of Lower Lorraine. A chapel on an island in the river Senne was built around 580.
Sigtuna Sweden 980 ! 980[citation needed] Is reputed as the oldest town in Sweden, the name is derived from an old royal estate Fornsigtuna situated nearby.
Skara Sweden 988 ! 988[citation needed]
Lund Denmark Sweden 990 ! c. 990[146]
Trondheim Norway Norway 997 !997[citation needed] Founded by king Olav Tryggvason. Archaeological findings of city settlement back to the 8th century.
Gdańsk Pomerania Poland 997 !997[147] Gdańsk became capital of Duchy of Pomerania (approximate date).[147]

See also[edit]


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