The capital is the city of Fukui.
Fukui originally consisted of the old provinces of Wakasa and Echizen, before the prefecture was formed in 1871.
During the Edo period, the daimyo of the region was surnamed Matsudaira, and was a descendant of Tokugawa Ieyasu.
The province faces the Sea of Japan, and has a western part (formerly Wakasa) which is a narrow plain between the mountains and the sea, and a larger eastern part (formerly Echizen) with wider plains including the capital and most of the population. The mountain side of the eastern part has much snow in winter.