Which Countries Have Two Or More Capitals?


Benin, a country in West Africa has two capital cities, Port-Novo and Cotonou. In Benin, Porto-Novo has always been the official capital, even when Benin was a French colony. Despite this, Cotonou has always been the city that hosted the government of the country. This tendency of these two cities that play these roles continued even after Benin reached its independence in 1970.


The reason why Bolivia has two capital cities dates back to the Federal Revolution of 1899. The Liberal Party was mostly supported by families of tin mines in La Paz, while the conservative ruling party was mostly supported by mining families silver in Sucre. The liberals overthrew the conservatives and one of their requests was to transfer the official capital to La Paz. In the end, there was an agreement to maintain the official capital in Sucre, while La Paz would have gained more power as the executive and legislative posts of the government were located.


The reason why Chile has two capitals is quite recent and dates back to the end of the reign of the dictator and president Augusto Pinochet. Santiago has always been the official capital of Chile, going back to colonial times. Towards the end of the Pinochet regime in 1990, it was decided to move the National Congress of Chile from Santiago to the city of Valparaiso both as a gesture of decentralization and as an effort to appease the ruling public.


The reason why Georgia has two capitals is that it can distribute the functions of its government between the two cities and also honor the past of both cities. The city of Tbilisi is the official capital of the country, and it is here that the executive functions of the government take place. The city of Kutaisi, on the other hand, is the legislative capital of the government. The Georgian Parliament is also here. Both Kutaisi and Tbilisi have in the past passed the capitals of past kingdoms and dynasties that have come and gone in the past of Georgia, which is why both are honored to have a role in the government.


Tegucigalpa had been the capital of Honduras since 1880 had been designated capital. The catalyst for the passage of Honduras from a single capital to a country with two capitals was therefore started in 1937. That year the 1936 Honduran Constitution was changed to unite the capital of Tegucigalpa and its twin city of Comayagüela in a District Central. In 1982, when the current constitution of Honduras was established, it was decreed that the Central District Municipality would serve as capital, which means both cities, where it is now the capital since they formed the Central District.

Ivory Coast (Ivory Coast)

The city of Abidjan was declared the capital of Ivory Coast in 1933 when it was still under French rule as a colony and remained the capital after the country became independent. However, the reason why Ivory Coast has two capitals is quite recent and is associated with the country’s first president. After twenty-three years in office, President Félix Houphouët-Boigny decided to move the country’s official capital from Abidjan to his hometown of Yamoussoukro. Houphouët-Boigny did it to stimulate development in the center of the country and to raise his hometown. Despite this change, most embassies and government institutions remain in Abidjan.


The reason why Malaysia has two capitals is recent and has to do with overcrowding and political congestion in the official capital of Kuala Lumpur. The Government of Malaysia understood that this was a problem and decided to act. They started working on planning a planned city to specifically manage the administrative functions at the federal level of the government. The city of Putrajaya was founded in 1995 and by 1999 was ready for the seat of government and the judiciary to move to the city.


The reason why Montenegro has two capitals is because it is a way to honor its past history. Podgorica is the official capital of Montenegro and where all the functions of the government of the country take place. The city of Cetinje has the honor of having the status of historical capital of the country. This is to honor Cetinje’s role as the former capital of Montenegro and as the cultural center of the country.


Unlike most countries on this list, Holland has always had two capitals. Amsterdam was the official and constitutionally obliged capital of the country from 1814 when the new kingdom of the country was formed following freedom from French rule. However, the Hague was the seat of virtually all government functions for the country from 1588, only a few years after the establishment of the Republic of the United Netherlands. The Dutch have always had a separate official capital and a capital for government functions before most other countries, to prove this.

South Africa

The reason why South Africa is the only country in the world with three different official capitals dates back to the 1910 unification of South Africa. At this point in time, the four founding provinces of South Africa, the Cape Colony, the Orange River Colony, the Transvaal Colony and the Natal Colony, could not decide on a capital that could be shared by all. Eventually they came to an agreement in which they would each have a capital: Cape Colony (Cape Town), Orange River Colony (Bloemfontein) and Transvaal Colony (Pretoria). Each of these capitals would have administered a different branch of the government. The capital of the colony of Natal, Pietermaritzburg, was granted financial compensation as part of the agreement for not being a capital.

South Korea

South Korea is the most recent country on the list to adopt two capitals. Seoul was the official capital of South Korea even in historical times, but in 2003 the government began to consider moving certain functions of the government elsewhere to reduce political congestion. After a bit of politics, it was agreed in 2007 that a new special administrative district would be created to host these governmental functions. Finally in Xnumx Sejong City was officially opened to the administrative capital of the country and many government agencies moved there.

Sri Lanka

A few decades after gaining independence, the Sri Lankan government came to the conclusion that the capital of Colombo became too politically congested. In 1977 the government decided to transfer the national legislature to a suburb of Colombo, Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte. A few years later, in 1982, the country’s parliament moved to Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte and has since become the legislative capital.


Swaziland has always had two capitals. The city of Lobamba has always been considered the traditional seat of the kingdom and is where the rulers of the country live. It is also the city where the Parliament of the country meets. Mbabne is the administrative capital of the country that manages all other governmental functions outside Parliament.


Before 1973, Dar es Salaam was the official capital of the country of Tanzania. However, in that year the government decided to move the capital from Dar es Salaam to the city of Dodoma due to its centralized location. Despite this change, the National Assembly delayed the transition to Dodoma until 1996 and most of the government and embassies did not move to Dodoma in Dar es Salaam.

Western Sahara

Western Sahara has two capitals due to its complicated status as a disputed territory between Morocco and the partially recognized state of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic, which both claim Western Sahara as their land. The city of Laayoune is the capital of the Laâyoune-Sakia El Hamra region claimed by Morocco and is under the supervision of the United Nations. Tifariti is the capital of the proclaimed Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic since their government moved there in 2011 from their former capital of Bir Lehlou.

Which countries have two or more capitals?

degree State Capital
1 benin Cotonou and Porto-Novo
2 Bolivia La Paz and Sucre
3 Chile Santiago and Valparaiso
4 Georgia Kutaisi and Tbilisi
5 Honduras Comayaguela and Tegucigalpa
6 Ivory Coast Abidjan and Yamoussoukro
7 Malaysia Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya
8 montenegro Cetinje and Podgorica
9 Holland Amsterdam and The Hague
10 South Africa Bloemfontein, Cape Town and Pretoria
11 South Korea Sejong City and Seoul
12 Sri Lanka Colombo and Kotte
13 swaziland Lobamba and Mbabane
14 Tanzania Dar es Salaam and Dodoma
15 Western Sahara (Saharan democratic Arab Republic


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