Which Countries Have More Than One Capital?

So did you know that some countries decide to split capital functions and have them seated in two separate cities? Various reasons are behind such moves, dependent on the country.

There are currently at least 12 countries in the world that have more than one capital. For 11 of them this means two capitals, and one has them three in total. All are listed here.

Country with three capitals

In my separate text you can read about South Africa as the only country in the world with official three capitals. Apparently, they decided to have them three so that no one part of the country has too much power

The list of countries with two capitals

There are quite a few countries with two capitals. All of them are shown in this interactive map so zoom in to see more details:

The list includes the following countries given in alphabetical order:

Benin

Benin is a county in West Africa. Its neighbors are Togo, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, and Niger.

The city Porto-Novo is the official capital and center of parliament, and Cotonou as de facto center of government and jurisdictional center.

Bolivia

Here you have La Paz and Sucre. The former is the executive capital or the seat of the government, and it is at the highest elevation in the world and you can read about it in a corresponding text, so just follow the link.

Sucre is a constitutional capital, this means also a seat of seat of the judiciary.

Chile

The capital is the largest city Santiago which is an enormous city inside of the land, with more than 6 million of people. But legislative center is Valparaiso (shown in the picture), a pleasant coastal city which is several times smaller than Santiago.

I have been in both cities, they are very different but relatively close to each other. As you know Chile is a narrow but long country, and these two cities are at a similar latitude.

Valparaiso Chile.
Valparaiso Chile.

Cote D’Ivoire 

Here you have Yamoussoukro as the de jure capital and an autonomous district. But Abidjan, which is a large coastal multi-million population city, is the economical capital of the country.

Eswatini

Perhaps not many people know about this country under its current name Eswatini. In the past it was known as Swaziland. The name was changed in 2018. This is a landlocked country that borders Mozambique and South Africa.

The two capitals are Mbabane (the picture below) and Lobamba. The former is an administrative capital and the latter is a legislative city where the parliament is located, and and the royal capital as well.

Mbabane in Eswatini.
Mbabane in Eswatini.

Georgia

Tbilisi (the picture below) is the largest capital and the official capital of Georgia, and here you have the executive government, including the president and the cabinet.

But the legislative capital of the country is Kutaisi, a place that was the capital of the Colchis in the sixth to fifth centuries BC. I have seen statements that this is one of the oldest cities in the world.

Tbilisi Georgia.
Tbilisi Georgia.

Malaysia

In this country, Putrajaya as an administrative capital, and the much better known Kuala Lumpur (the top picture above) as an executive capital with parliament.

Putrajaya is a planned city, see the picture, built specifically to be a an administrative and judicial capital of Malaysia. This is a small city with a population in between 100 and 200 thousand people. Kuala Lumpur is a multi-million city, overcrowded and huge. Note also that this city is in my list of the youngest capital cities in the world.

Putrajaya city.
Putrajaya city.

The Netherlands

From what I know, according to the constitution, Amsterdam is the capital city of Netherlands. For Europe, this is a big city with over two million people.

However, the seat of the parliament and the government is in The Hague, and this has been so for centuries already.

South Korea

In South Korea there are two capital starting from 2012. So Seoul is the official capital and the economic and cultural center, but Sejong City is now the administrative capital. This means that many of the government’s most important agencies are in this city.

Here you have again an attempt to deconcentrate the political power, similar to several other countries in the world, like in Brazil, Malaysia, Indonesia, etc.

Sri Lanka

In this country you have Colombo as an executive and judicial capital. Far less known Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte as a legislative capital, a small city with the population little above 100000 people. Colombo metropolitan area is a multi-million space.

Note that the two cities are practically connected to each other.

Colombo, Sri Lanka.
Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Tanzania

In this country you have Dar es Salaam as the historic and huge coastal city and capital. It is also by far the largest city of Tanzania with its population of well over 6 million people.

But in 1973 the official capital became the city of Dodoma which is more in the central part of the country. However, many foreign embassies remain in Dar es Salaam.

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

So this was the list of countries with more than one capital. Let me know if you think I have missed to add some, there is a comment box below.

Bookmark this site and keep as a reference, it is all about capitals in the world. Thank you for reading and have a nice day.

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