Top 10 Oldest Cities In The US With The Most Beautiful Sites Top 10 Oldest Cities In The US With The Most Beautiful Sites
Top 10 oldest cities in the world
Top 10 oldest cities in the world

What are the Oldest Cities in the World?

The history of every city on Earth is waiting to be told. The stories of the ancient cities are much more deeply rooted in their cultural history. They provide witness to the evolution of human civilization and include fascinating histories and stunning architecture.

The title of "oldest city on Earth" hasn't been chosen just yet, but several competitors have emerged. You can find the world's 10 oldest continuously inhabited cities listed below.

Top 10 Oldest Cities Around the World Still Inhabited

(Compiled and introduced by

10. Argos, Greece

Photo: Wikipedia
Argos, Greece

The city of Argos, Greece, is the administrative center of the Argos-Myknes dmos in the northeastern part of the Peloponnese (Modern Greek: Pelopónnisos) region. Specifically, its location is just north of the northern tip of the Gulf of Argols (Argolikós Kólpos).

Several ancient Greek regions were given the name rgos, which appears to have meant an agricultural plain. Historically, the city of Argos was the seat of power for the Argols, the easternmost region of the Peloponnesian peninsula. Homer's Iliad features prominently Agamemnon, Diomedes, and other heroes from the fertile plain of Argolis. Below Kástro hill (ancient Lárissa), about 4 miles (6.5 km) from the gulf, is the modern city of rgos. This location has likely been inhabited since the Early Bronze Age, and it played a significant role during the Mycenaean era (c. 1300–1200 BCE). It is a small market town on the train line between Corinth and Nafplion, and it was constructed on top of the ruins of the Classical city.

Saint Peter's Square, home to the town's church, and Dimokratias Square, where a flea market is held every Wednesday and Saturday, are at the epicenter of town life. The pedestrian streets ("pezodromoi" as they are called in Greek) of Eleftheriou Venizelou, Panagi Tsaldari, and Mihail Stamou are also well-known landmarks in the heart of the city.

Near the downtown area you can find the majority of businesses. The Byzantine Museum of Argolida, located in the Kapodistrias Barracks, and the Archeological Museum of Argos are also nearby (though the former will be closed until March 2021).

9. Faiyum, Egypt

Photo: CNN
Faiyum, Egypt - Photo: CNN

Middle Egyptian city of Faiyum. The modern capital of the Faiyum Governorate, it is located 100 km (62 mi) to the southwest of Cairo in the Faiyum Oasis. Known as Shedet in ancient Egypt, the city was renamed by the Greeks as Krokodilópolis in Koiné Greek and Arsinoe in Byzantine Greek. This city's prime location makes it one of Egypt's oldest settlements.

The city of Al-Fayym serves as the governorate's main marketplace and distribution hub. It has rail connections to Ban Suwayf in the Nile valley and a highway leading north across the desert to Cairo. Agricultural communities in the governorate are connected to the town by a network of narrow-gauge railways, and the Ysuf Canal branches out into a web of irrigation channels. Pop. (2006) 315,940.

Although it is commonly thought of as an oasis, this large fertile basin is actually irrigated by the Nile through hundreds of capillary canals, many of which were dug by ancient civilizations. Numerous small but significant archaeological sites can be found in the region, including the sagging, stumpy remains of pyramids and the crumbling ruins of once-vast Ptolemaic cities that served as major centers of crocodile worship. Wadi Al Hittan, where prehistoric whale skeletons sit amid a sweep of rock-outcrop dotted sand, and the desert lakes of Wadi Rayyan can both be reached from Fayoum.

8. Sidon, Lebanon

Photo: Britannica
Sidon, Lebanon - Photo: Britannica

Sidon, or ayd in Arabic, is an ancient city on the coast of the Mediterranean in Lebanon. It is the capital of the al-Janb (South Lebanon) mufaah (governorate). It is the Mediterranean endpoint of the 1,069-mile (1,720-kilometer) long Trans-Arabian Pipeline from Saudi Arabia and the location of large oil storage tanks in addition to being a fishing, trade, and market center for an agricultural hinterland.

Purple dye, made for the first time in Sidon, was so rare and expensive that it came to be associated with the nobility.

7. Plovdiv, Bulgaria

Photo: Jewish week
Photo: Jewish week

Plovdiv is the southern-central capital of Bulgaria and the country's second-largest city. Situated on a series of six hills that rise 400 feet from the surrounding Thracian Plain, it borders the Maritsa River (120 metres). Originally known as Pulpudeva during Thracian rule, Philip II of Macedon renamed the city Philippopolis in 341 BC. Known as Trimontium after the year 46 CE, it served as the Roman province of Thrace's capital. During the Middle Ages, Plovdiv passed hands several times before falling to the Turks in 1364. The Turks renamed the city Philibé. It was the capital of Turkish Eastern Rumelia, which merged with Bulgaria in 1885, following the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–78. After WWI, it formally adopted its current moniker.

However, there's more to the tale than just quaint, National Revival-era architecture and sentimentality. Plovdiv has always been Bulgaria's runner-up metropolis, but its 2019 stint as European Capital of Culture seems guaranteed to put it over the top. The city's renewed sense of optimism is thanks in part to the success of recent music and art festivals, as well as to the revitalization of the Kapana creative quarter and Tsar Simeon Gardens. The city has blossomed from a pleasant stopover on the way to Greece or Turkey into an essential stop along any route through central Bulgaria.

6. Athens, Greece

Photo: Gavel International
Photo: Gavel International

Ancient and modern Greek names for the same city, Athens is both Greece's cultural epicenter and its administrative heart. The city is widely recognized as the conceptual and artistic epicenter of Classical civilization and the cradle of Western culture.

Athens is home to a vibrant cultural scene that takes place in and around landmarks that date back centuries or even millennia. Of course, a little thing called democracy guarantees that the relics of Ancient Greece will be the center of attention. Oh, and there's also philosophy, drama, and mythology. However, the 'later' years should not be forgotten, as evidenced by the thousand-year-old Byzantine churches that sit calmly in the middle of streets and are affixed to hillsides. Both the architecture and the cuisine have Ottoman influences. The neoclassical style of the nineteenth century contributes a touch of class to the interior.

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5. Byblos, Lebanon

Photo: Agoda
Photo: Agoda

Located on the Mediterranean coast about 20 miles (30 km) north of modern-day Beirut, Lebanon, the site of the ancient seaport of Byblos (modern Jbail, also spelled Jubayl or Jebeil, biblical Gebal) is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. To this day, it has remained a thriving community. The Greek name Byblos comes from the city's role as an Aegean export hub for papyrus, which led to the material being given a Greek name (byblos, byblinos) in antiquity. Byblos, meaning "the (papyrus) book," is the source of the English word Bible.

Byblos (Jbail in Arabic) is a lovely option for those looking to spend a night or two away from Beirut due to its ancient harbour, medieval town center, Crusader-era castle, and atmospheric archaeological site. It's a popular summer destination due to its beach, variety of high-quality restaurants and hotels, and raucous nightlife in the historic souq.

4. Jericho, West Bank

Photo: Britannica
Jericho, West Bank - Photo: Britannica

The West Bank city of Jericho is called Ar in Arabic. It is estimated that Jericho was inhabited continuously beginning around 9000 BCE. Jericho has been around for a very long time, as archeological digs have shown. The site of the city is extremely significant from an archaeological standpoint, as it shows the earliest stages of urbanization and, by extension, the beginnings of civilization.

Jericho, one of the world's oldest continuously inhabited cities, has a rich and interesting past. Jericho, in the West Bank, is a city of great religious and historical significance due to its proximity to the Jordan Valley and the Jordan River.

Which Is The Oldest City in Europe Which Is The Oldest City in Europe

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3. Beirut, Lebanon

Photo: DW
Beirut, Lebanon - Photo: DW

Beirut (Arabic: Bayrt; French: Beyrouth) is Lebanon's capital, largest city, and main port. It rests at the base of the Lebanon Mountains on the Mediterranean coast.

Beirut's character combines elements of the sophisticated and cosmopolitan with those of the provincial and parochial, making for a city of baffling contradictions. Before 1975, Beirut was regarded as the most Westernized city in the Arab Middle East. However, the city's 15 years of civil war destroyed large swaths of the city and stripped away much of the sheen that had previously concealed the Arab—as opposed to the Levantine—side of its character.

Beirut is the place in the Middle East where East meets West in a way that is truly remarkable. It's not a place to go to slow down; the city is too crowded, polluted, and chaotic for that. However, New York's vitality, soul, diversity, and intoxicating atmosphere make it a city worth visiting. Some of the best museums in the world can be found here, but the city's neighborhoods, waterfront, and vibrant restaurant and bar scenes are also worth your time. Because of its compact size and convenience for day trips, some visitors choose to spend their entire trip in Lebanon.

2. Damascus, Syria

Photo: Al Arabyia
Photo: Al Arabyia

Damascus, or Damashq in Arabic, is the name of Syria's capital city. The city in the southwest of the country has been called the "pearl of the East" for its beauty and lushness, and it was even considered one of the four earthly paradises by the traveler and geographer al-Maqdisi in the 10th century.

Located in modern-day Syria, the city is special because it incorporates features of both Roman and Greek city urban planning alongside influences from other cultures. The Umayyad Mosque is an excellent example of Islam's profound impact on the area. It was constructed between 705 and 715 CE, making it one of the world's oldest and largest mosques.

1. Aleppo, Syria - The First City In the World

Photo: BBC
Aleppo, Syria - Photo: BBC

The city proper and its surrounding metropolitan area are home to nearly 4.4 million people, making it the most populous in Syria. Known as "Halab" in Paleo-Babylonian times, Aleppo is undeniably one of the world's oldest cities.

Top 10 Oldest Cities In The World
Aleppo in Syria

While Aleppo's precise age is a mystery, a temple built there around 3000 B.C. has been dated by the Encyclopedia Britannica. The founding of Aleppo has been put back to at least 5,000 B.C. At least 30 percent of ancient Aleppo, a UNESCO heritage site, has been destroyed by the prolonged and violent civil war that has ravaged the modern city.

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