A Trip to the World’s Oldest Cities


Athens is known as the “cradle of ancient civilization”, ranked number 16th in the list of the oldest settlements in the world, with a history dating back to 3400 years ago. The first inhabited city in the world was founded 11,000 years ago.

Today we’ll take a look at the ranking of some of the oldest inhabited cities in the world – prepare to be amazed!

10. Beirut – Lebanon

First evidence of life: around 3000 BC

Population: 2 million

The capital of Lebanon is the administrative, economic and cultural center of the country, but it is also one of the most visited tourist destinations in the region, a city with a history dating back over 5000 years. Archaeological excavations revealed the remains of Phoenician, Hellenistic, Roman, Arabic and Ottoman civilizations.

9. Gaziantep – Turkey

First evidence of life: 3.650 BC

Population: 1.4 million

Gaziantep is the sixth largest city in Turkey, located in the south of the country, near the border with Syria. Initially, this residential settlement was named Aïntap, and after several centuries it was renamed Antep. Since 1921 the name has been changed to Gaziantep.

8. Plovdiv, Bulgaria

First evidence of life: 4000 BC

Population: 400,000 people

Plovdiv is the second largest city in Bulgaria after Sofia. With a history of more than 6,000 years Plovdiv was founded by Thracians, and then became a Roman city. The city then fell under Ottoman rule before becoming a part of Bulgaria. It still contains many old buildings, including a Roman amphitheater and canal, as well as Turkish baths.

7. Sidon – Lebanon

First evidence of life: 4000 years BC

Population: 260,000 people

Sidon is located about 40 km from Beirut, and is one of the most important settlements of the Phoenician civilization. Founded more than 6000 years ago, it is said that Sidon was visited by both Jesus and St. Paul. Also, the gates of Sidon were crushed by Alexander the Great who conquered the city in 333 BC.

6. Faiyum – Egypt

First evidence of life: 4000 years BC

Population: 350,000 people

In ancient times, Faiyum was part of the city of Crocodilopolis, which worshiped Petsuchos, the sacred crocodile. Nowadays, tourists arriving in Faiyum can visit some great bazaars, squares, mosques, and the Lehin and Hawara pyramids, just a short distance from the city.

5. Susa – Iran

First evidence of life: 4200 years BC

Population: 65,000 people

With a history of over 6,200 years, Susa was the capital of the ancient empire before being captured by the Assyrians. Later, the city was conquered many times, by the Persians, by Alexander the Great, the Seleucid Empire, and Parthia. The modern city, Shush, is located in the same place as the ancient city of Susa, which was destroyed in the third century BC, by Shapur I.

4. Damascus – Syria

First evidence of life: 4300 years BC

Population: 2.8 million

Damascus is the capital of Syria and the oldest capital in the world. There are opinions that the city has been inhabited since 10,000 BC, but not all specialists agree on this fact. Over the years, Damascus was conquered by the Romans, Byzantines and Ottomans, and is currently one of the most important Arab cities and an economic, cultural and political center.

3. Aleppo – Syria

First evidence of life: 4300 years BC

Population: 4 million

Aleppo is located 310 km from Damascus and less than 50 km from the border with Turkey, and is the largest and oldest city in Syria. Aleppo is located at the intersection of major trade routes since ancient times and was under the rule of many kingdoms. The city was founded under the name of Aleppo and was called Beroea by the Greeks and Romans.

2. Byblos – Lebanon

First evidence of life: 5000 BC

Population: 100,000 inhabitants

Today the Lebanese call this city Jubayl. The city was the capital of Phoenicia in 1200 BC. Current tourist attractions here include many Phoenician temples that survived from ancient times such as Byblos Castle and the St. John Baptist Church, built in the 12th century.

1. Jericho – Palestine

First evidence of life: 9000 years BC

Population: 20,000 people

Jericho is a Palestinian city located less than 30 km from Jerusalem, the oldest inhabited city in the world. Archaeologists say the place has been inhabited without interruption for 11,000 years. It is also the settlement with the world’s first fortifications, being described as the “palm city”.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.