Which cities are located on two continents?

Credit: Shutterstock image by Belikova Oksana
  • Cities located on more than one continent are said to be transcontinental and there are five of them in the world.
  • Istanbul, a city located both in Europe and Asia, is a bridge between the two continents.
  • The city of Suez is an important commercial center as well as the starting point of the pilgrimage to Mecca (hajj).

Imagine being in two places at once. It may seem impossible, but for people living in transcontinental cities, it’s a daily occurrence. Extremely rare, a transcontinental city is a city located on more than one continent and today there are only five: Istanbul, Suez, Magnitogorsk, Orenburg and Atyrau. While Turkey has been considered a bridge between Europe and Asia for centuries, dating back to the historic Silk Road, the five cities offer a truly unique destination where cultures from different continents merge into one. only.

Istanbul, Turkey

Perhaps the most familiar name on this list (it also has the highest population, with around 15 million) Istanbul is crossed by the Bosphorus Strait, a narrow but sizable body of water that separates the Asia from Europe. It is one of the most visited cities in the world and throughout history has been a major political, ethnic and commercial center.

Built in 657 BC bridge and obstacle between the two continents. About 65% of its citizens live on the European side, while the rest reside on the Asian side.

Suez, Egypt

The port city of Suez, with an estimated population of 744,000, sits on the border between Asia and Africa. The ancient location of the Greek city of Clysma, and the 7eMuslim city of Qulzum in the last century, it became an important trading port after its conquest by the Ottoman Empire. With the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869, the city remains to this day a naval and commercial center, as well as the starting point for the pilgrimage to Mecca (hajj).

Magnitogorsk, Russia

Long before becoming the city it is today, Magnitogorsk began as the line of forts in Orenburg built during the reign of Empress Elisabeth of Austria in 1743. Boasting a unique history, beginning Due to its location along the European and Asian border, the city underwent rapid changes during Soviet control. Beginning in the 1930s, Joseph Stalin redesigned the city as part of his five-year plan to transform the mainly agrarian area into an iron and steel zone. To this day, Magnitogorsk remains an industrial city, divided by the Ural River, with the steelworks mostly located on the Asian side and the residential areas located on the European side. Like many industrial metropolises, its river is heavily polluted by industrial waste.

Orenburg, Russia

Also located on the Ural River, Orenburg is another transcontinental city in Russia located in Europe and Asia. Founded in 1735 as a military stronghold for the Ural Cossacks, it was an important trading hub to Central Asia. Today, the city has an estimated population of 534,000 and is home to industrial factories, gas processing facilities, engineering industries and educational institutes.

Atyrau, Kazakhstan

Gateway to the largest oil field in Kazakhstan, this last transcontinental city is again located on the Ural River. Atyrau was born in the middle of the 17e century as a fishing village called Guryev. It was renamed Atyrau in 1992. Straddling the European/Asian border, the city has a population of around 235,300.