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What is the oldest city in the world?

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a) Damascus, Syria

b) Beijing, China

c) Jerusalem, Israel

d) Istanbul, Turkey

e) Athens, Greece

(Scroll down for the answer…)

What is the oldest city in the world?

What is the oldest city in the world?


















What is the oldest city in the world?

There is some debate about what constitutes a city as well as how long a location has been a city versus how long the place has been continuously inhabited. From the answer choices given above, the only possible correct answer is a) Damascus, Syria. There is evidence that people have been living in Damascus since 9000 BC, but the area likely did not become a “city” until around 2000 BC. Other contenders for the title of oldest city in the world? Byblos in Lebanon, Jericho in the West Bank of the Palestinian territories of Israel, and Balkh in Afghanistan. According to UNESCO, Damascus is the oldest city in the world as well as the oldest capital city in world.

I don’t know about you, but I’m thinking maybe I need to add Damascus to my bucket list now! My list is getting unwieldy. Are any of the cities mentioned in this post on your bucket list? Let us know in the comments!

Photo by hotblack. (Creative Commons)

About Colleen Lanin

Colleen Lanin is the founder/editor-in-chief of As the author of her book, "The Travel Mamas' Guide," she teaches parents not only how to survive a trip with children, but also how to love exploring the world with their offspring. Her stories have appeared online and in print for such outlets as the "Today" show,, Parenting Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, Chicago Tribune, Expedia, San Diego Family Magazine, and more. Colleen gives tips on television, radio, and as a public speaker. She has a master’s degree in business administration with a background in marketing. She lives in Arizona with her husband and two kids.

  1. Tom Lanin says

    You might want to wait on adding Damascus to your bucket list until the civil war is over there. Once that happens you could combine Byblos, Jerusalem, Jericho and Damascus along with Petra in Jordan and see a wide swath of ancient history in one small geographical area.

  2. Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says

    Yeah, I’ll wait until the civil war is over. Visiting a civil war-torn country is NOT something on my bucket list.

  3. I’ll bet Alexandria, Egypt will be on the list of very old cities. I’ll have to Bing or Google this.

  4. Debbie Ferm says

    Hey, I got it right! I knew that Catholic school taught me something:)

  5. Actually, according to UNESCO, the oldest city in the world (defined as continuously inhabited) id Jericho in Palestine, first inhabited in 9000 BC, followed by Aleppo in Syria then Damascus. You are right that Damascus is the oldest Capital city. 10 of the the 20 oldest cities, according to UNESCO, are located in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Palestine and Faiyum in Egypt. It’s sad that the west is on a mission to destroy the cultural heritage of these countries by promoting friction and arming extremists.

  6. Damascus is the oldest city but the most beautiful is Istanbul 🙂

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