Photo Credit: Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Getty Images
Did You Know That These 12 Countries Have More Than One Capital?
When asked how many capital cities does each country have, most people would answer one, but did you know some countries have multiple capital cities?
There are 12 countries with two or more capital cities and each one has various reasons.
For many countries, the capital city is where politicians meet to pass laws.
Some countries have had a hard time deciding on which city should be the capital and have changed capitals in the process. For example, “In 1973, Tanzania declared that a new capital would be established in Dodoma, hundreds of miles inland from the colonial-era capital of Dar es Salaam,” according to CNN Travel.
Canada is another country that had a hard time deciding which city should be the capital. “The capital use to move every two years, because the Federation could not agree on where the capital should go,” says professor David Gordon in the book, “Planning Twentieth Century Capital Cities.”
As we’re all home plotting on our next destination once this pandemic is over, it’s a great opportunity to learn about these 12 countries with more than one capital city:
Benin – Cotonou and Porto-Novo
Cotonou is a vibrant city and also the biggest in Benin. It’s the city where travelers visit most and is where the seat of government is located.
Only an hour away is the official capital of Porto-Novo. This city is more historic and calm than Cotonou.
Bolivia – La Paz and Sucre
La Paz is located in the Andes Mountains and is perfect for views of snowy mountain tops. It is also known as the administrative capital while Sucre, located hundreds of miles away, is the constitutional capital.
Chile – Santiago and Valparaiso
Located only 72 miles away from each other driving, the two cities are total polar opposites. Santiago is filled with buildings and city life while Valparaiso is very picturesque.
Cote D’Ivoire – Abidjan and Yamoussoukro
Abidjan is where all of the business goes on. This bustling city is where you can find beautiful architecture, markets, and beautiful art. Yamoussoukro is very quiet and was made the second capital in 1983 by former President Félix Houphouët-Boigny because it was his childhood city.
Czech Republic – Brno and Prague
Brno is where the Supreme Court of the Czech Republic is located and home to students in busy cafes. Prague is where you go to learn about the culture and history of the Czech Republic.
Kingdom of eSwatini – Mbabane and Lobamba
The Kingdom of eSwatini was known as Swaziland and is a landlocked country located inside of South Africa.
Mbane is known as the administrative capital while Lobamba is is where the royal family resides.
Malaysia – Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya
Kuala Lumpur is ideal for nightlife, bars and ‘doing the most’. It is also the city where Malaysia’s monarch resides.
Putrajaya was constructed by the government in 1995 and is a quiet city located around a man-made lake.
Montenegro – Cetinje and Podgorica
Cetinje is home to the President’s residence and is known as the Old Royal Capital.
Podgorica is home to the official government and is much more laid-back than Cetinje.
Netherlands – Amsterdam and The Hague
Amsterdam is definitely a city known for its coolness, 4/20 friendly cafes and party scene.
The Hague is where the governing takes place and where the King of the Netherlands conducts his annual speech from the throne.
South Africa – Bloemfontein, Cape Town and Pretoria
South Africa is the only country in the world to have three capital cities. Cape Town is a popular tourist city and offers epic views of Table Mountain and beaches. It is also the legislative capital of South Africa.
Bloemfontein has a chilled, residential vibe and is the judicial capital of South Africa.
Pretoria has the most beautiful views of jacaranda trees every September and also the home of the executive capital of South Africa.
Sri Lanka – Colombo and Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte
Colombo is located along the coast of Sri Lanka and boasts beautiful beaches and landmarks.
Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte is also called Kotte and is the home of the Sri Lankan Parliament Building.
Tanzania – Dar es Salaam and Dodoma
Although it was announced in 1973 that the government would move from Dar es Salaam to Dodoma, it took until October 2019 to actually do so.
Dodoma may have all of the official buildings but a lot of government business still is conducted in Dar es Salaam.