I had established several trade routes with another player when both of us agreed to a peace treaty. However, the deteriorating political situation has forced both of us to cancel the treaty and declare war on each other.

Now I want to place a trade embargo on that player, and cancel the trade routes to that player's cities because the trade routes are helping the enemy reach technology and financial goals (both of which I find unacceptable). I can comfortably survive without those problematic trade routes, but I've determined that the enemy cannot survive without them.

But how can I cancel trade routes that go to enemy cities?

I know that I can try to find better trade routes in hopes of replacing the problematic trade routes, but ...

  1. The replacement of old trade routes is not guaranteed as new trade routes have to yield more trade points in order to replace old trade routes.
  2. The seas are now infested with enemy battleships, cruisers, submarines and aircraft carriers, making it extremely impractical to establish long-distance trade routes that can replace the problematic trade routes.

2 Answers 2


You have to wait for the trade route to expire. I think it is 30 turns.

  • I have not noticed that trade routes can expire. Can you provide a citation? In the games I've played so far, the trade routes appear to never expire.
    – Flux
    Apr 4, 2019 at 12:31
  • it may be a server configuration. In civ 5 for example they said it was linked to the distance between the cities. ex: reddit.com/r/civ/comments/2zq8a3/… Apr 4, 2019 at 13:02
  • In Freeciv, trade routes don't expire. Nov 13, 2019 at 17:51

A trade route can only be cancelled by establishing another, more valuable route.

A trade route's value isn't trivial to calculate, but basically, you need to have a city with enough distance and enough trade to offset the existing trade route's advantage of leading to a remote, foreign city.

If that is too hard, you can empty your own city to decrease the route's value; or even remove the city (but not with the default game settings).

  • How is it possible to "remove the city"?
    – Flux
    Jun 6, 2021 at 0:36
  • If the game option to allow it is set, a size 1 city may shrink, which dissolves the city, producing a settler. Jan 6, 2022 at 20:54

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