8 Of The Oldest Cities In The World That Are Still Inhabited

Cities that have stood the test of time are silent witnesses to the evolution of human civilization. They bear both – the scars of our wars, and the trophies of our history. They’re the closest thing we’ve got to time travel.

So without further ado, here are 8 such cities, some of the oldest in the world.

1. Varanasi, India

Varanasi is often described as the spiritual capital of India and has been home to people continuously dating back to at least 1,700 B.C. The city has also been a centre of learning for over 3000 years.

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It’s no wonder then that Author Mark Twain once said, “Benaras is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend and looks twice as old as all of them put together.”

2. Damascus, Syria

Founded in the third millennium B.C., Damascus is widely believed to be the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world.

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Over the centuries it’s been occupied by Assyrians, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Mongols, Ottomans and many others who each left behind something that became part of the city’s rich tapestry.

3. Luoyang, China

This historic city dating back to 1,900 B.C. is largely credited as the origin of Chinese civilization. Luoyang was once home to nine ruling dynasties and the imperial kings.

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It serves as an important reference point for the country’s Buddhist history, as the site of China’s first Buddhist temple.

4. Luxor, Egypt

Dating back to 3,200 B.C. Luxor was the capital of Egypt in the 12th century. It also houses the famous town of Thebes, also called the City of a Hundred Gates, and boasts temples dating back to 2,000 B.C.

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5. Plovdiv, Bulgaria


This ancient city dates back to 4,000 B.C. and was an important epicentre for travel and commerce during the Roman Empire. Boasting walls, buildings, and an early water and sewage system, it was also a leader in architecture and infrastructure.

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6. Jericho, West Bank

I first heard of Jericho in a bible story. Dating all the way back to 8,000 B.C., the city has been continuously inhabited for more than 10,000 years. The city’s freshwater springs and proximity to the river Jordan are probably what made it a desirable place for agricultural settlements.

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7. Athens, Greece

The capital city of Greece has been continuously inhabited since 5,000 B.C., for over approximately 7,000 years.

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Brimming with incredible experiences for those interested in history, art, and cuisine, the “Birthplace of Democracy” represents various empires such as the Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman.

8. Jerusalem, Israel

An important religious centre for the Jewish, Christian and Islamic faiths, some of the earliest inhabitants of the city can be traced to 2,800 B.C.

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With a history that long, the city has been besieged, attacked, and captured numerous times throughout its existence.

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Posted by

Amanda Francesca Mendonça

After spending pretty much all of my teen years waiting for a Hogwarts letter that never came, I gave up and settled for being a wizard with words instead. A hopeless romantic, when I’m not penning down short stories, I’m busy imagining my own happily ever after.

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