World Facts

The Oldest Capital Cities in Europe

Athens, Greece is the oldest capital city in Europe.

Europe is an incredible continent replete with historical cities. Many of these ancient cities, however, are not the capitals of their respective countries. Here is a list of the 15 most ancient capitals in the continent.

Oldest Capitals in Europe


The capital city of Greece is the oldest capital in the entire continent. Populated since the fourth millennium BCE, it has been the center of learning and art for hundreds of years. It has also seen bloody battles and has produced some of the greatest statesmen, politicians, and warriors in the history of mankind. Today the capital is an ancient city, modernized for the urban traveler to marvel at.


The capital of Portugal was established in 1,200 BCE. Today, it is a modern city, but the ruins of the ancient cultural center are tourist hotspots. The city in itself has gone through a number of facelifts and today it supports a truly cosmopolitan culture. The urban centers are home to some of the best accommodation for tourists.


The capital of Italy is synonymous with culture and democracy. Established in 753 BCE, the local residents attribute its first habitation to the myth of Romulus and Remus. These were two brothers who were looked after by a she-wolf. The ancient city has modernized itself with dignity, preserving its ancient monuments for the future generations.


The capital of Bulgaria is an ancient city established around the turn of 4th century BCE. It contains some of the most impressive ancient monuments in the entire continent. Home to about 1.3 million people and nestled in the Balkans, the city may not be boisterous but it is a hidden gem for tourists.


The capital of Serbia has been at the center of attention in the recent years and not for the right reasons. However, the ancient city is slowly throwing off its veil of notoriety and giving visitors a glimpse of its true nature. An ancient city which has existed since 297 BCE, it is now a modern metropolis with a thriving population and is a great destination for tourists.


The capital of Slovakia has been a thriving hub of arts and architecture since its establishment in the 2nd century BCE. Although it is one of the smaller capital cities population wise, it is a thriving community and the city in itself has a number of historical monuments.


The so-called "City of Romance" is also an ancient one. The capital of France was established in 52 BCE. Today, it has historical monuments around every corner. The history of Paris is two-fold. While some flock to the city to marvel at its ancient and antique pieces, there are many others who wish to visit more recent historical destinations, such as the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triumph.


The capital of Slovenia was established in 50 BCE and is home to some of the most important historical monuments of the country. With a vibrant nightlife and a truly diverse culture, the capital city embodies all that Europe has to offer to its visitors.


The capital of England, thriving since its first habitation around 43 CE, is the greatest metropolis in the world. Considered by many to be the heart of England and perhaps Europe as well, it is a must-see destination for many tourists. Many of them marvel at the Londinium of old and others admire the cosmopolitan London of the twenty-first century.


The capital of Macedonia has been an established city since 81 CE. Although not as flashy as other capital cities of Europe, it has many historical landmarks and monuments that make it worthwhile to visit.


The capital of Azerbaijan was established in the 1st century CE. It is one of the most important historical sites in the entire continent as it contains many landmarks from the past age. Tourists have only recently begun to flock to the city as the national infrastructure has been upgraded to better manage the tourism industry.


One of the oldest and most beautiful capitals in Europe is that of Austria. Established in 300 CE, it is replete with incredible architectural wonders.


One of the most recent tourists' hotspots to open up is the capital of Ukraine. The city is quite ancient, as it was established around 482 CE.


The capital of Georgia is an incredible city with a vibrant culture and great history. It was established in 500 CE and has since been a thriving city.


The capital city of Czech Republic was established in 6th century CE and is home to some of the finest gothic architecture in entire Europe. It is, therefore, a mecca for tourists who wish to marvel at its historical landmarks and monuments as well as religious buildings such as cathedrals and churches.


All in all, Europe is brimming with capital cities dating back to ancient times. Now, these cities are far more developed and are renowned tourist destinations. Tourism to Europe has increased, contributed 624.3 billion euros to Europe's GDP in 2016 alone.

The Oldest Capital Cities in Europe

Rank´╗┐CityCountryYear Founded
1AthensGreece5th-4th Millenium BCE
2LisbonPortugal1200 BCE
3RomeItaly753 BCE
4SofiaBulgaria4th Century BCE
5BelgradeSerbia297 BCE
6BratislavaSlovakia2nd Century BCE
7ParisFrance52 BCE
8Ljublana Slovenia50 BCE
9LondonEngland43 CE
10SkopjeMacedonia81 CE
11Baku Azerbaijan 1st Century CE
12ViennaAustria300 CE
13KievUkraine482 CE
14TbilsiGeorgia500 CE
15PragueCzechia6th Century CE

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