Founded by Romanian shepherds, its name is derived from the word "urzică" (nettle). It was mentioned for the first time in a written document on 23 April 1596, during the reign of Mihai Viteazul. It gained in 1831 the status of market town and in 1895 the city status. For 117 years, it was the capital of Ialomiţa county (between 1716 and 1833).
A little town by any standards, Urziceni is perhaps best known for its football team, Unirea Urziceni. Urziceni holds the record for the smallest town to have a team in the Champions League.