List of capitals outside the territories they serve
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|Lists of capitals|
|Of country subdivisions|
There are many cases where a subnational territory (a federated state, municipality, or other unit) is governed from a capital city that is not itself a part of that territory. In most of these cases, the city itself is constituted as a separate local government unit, but also administers a surrounding or neighbouring territory. In cases such as Telangana in India, a new area is created by division but is still administered from the same capital.
- Aberdeen, United Kingdom – Aberdeen was the historic county town of Aberdeenshire but now forms a separate local authority. Aberdeenshire Council's headquarters remain within the city of Aberdeen, the only local authority in Scotland to have its council sit in another local authority area.
- Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan – capital of Chuy Province which surrounds the city, though the city itself is not part of the province but rather a province-level unit of Kyrgyzstan
- Bogotá, Colombia – capital of the surrounding Cundinamarca Department, while constituting its own capital district.
- Brussels, Belgium – Brussels is the capital of the Flanders region, while itself being part of the Brussels Capital Region
- Bucharest, Romania – location of many of the institutions of Ilfov County, itself a municipality with special status
- Budapest, Hungary – capital of Pest county, and also the Central Hungarian Region, itself having a county status, thus outside Pest county, but within the Central Hungarian Region
- Bujumbura, Burundi – capital of both Bujumbura Mairie and Bujumbura Rural provinces; the city itself is located in the former
- Central, Hong Kong – the area where the district council and district office of the Islands District is located, itself within the Central and Western District
- Chandigarh, India – shared capital of the states of Punjab and Haryana, itself a union territory
- Cotobato City, Philippines – regional center of the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao, but under the region of Soccsksargen
- East London, South Africa – administrative centre of the Amathole District Municipality, itself in the Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality
- Francistown, Botswana – capital of the North-East District, itself a separately administered urban district.
- In Germany, several rural Kreise (districts of a state) have their capitals in larger nearby cities that have their own separate administration (they are urban Kreise of their own) and are not part of the usually homonymous rural Kreis. Some examples are Karlsruhe, Offenbach, Kaiserslautern, Munich, Kassel, and Osnabrück, but there are many other cases.
- Honiara, Solomon Islands – capital of Guadalcanal Province, while itself a separate capital territory
- Hot Springs, South Dakota, United States – seat of Fall River County, whose administration is under contract from neighbouring Oglala Lakota County to also perform the latter's administrative functions.
- Hyderabad, India – since 2 June 2014, the joint capital of the states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. Hyderabad itself is located in Telangana, which was newly carved out of Andhra Pradesh on that date. The Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014 determines that Hyderabad will remain provisionally the capital of both states "for such period not exceeding ten years." Many Andhra Pradesh state government institutions have moved to Vijayawada, which has become de facto the new state capital. On 4 September 2014, it was officially announced that a new, specially planned capital city would be built just outside Vijayawada and would be called Amaravati. Still, until the new capital is completed and officially moved, Hyderabad remains de jure Andhra Pradesh's capital city.
- Invercargill, New Zealand – seat of government for the large, rural Southland District to its north while also a territorial authority in its own right.
- Ishigaki, Japan – government seat both of the Yaeyama District of Okinawa Prefecture, and of the town of Taketomi, located in that district. Ishigaki itself is a city, outside any district and with its own separate administration.
- Jiagedaqi District, China – administrative centre of the Da Hinggan Ling Prefecture, Heilongjiang Province, itself (nominally) located in Inner Mongolia.
- Kagoshima, Japan – hosts the municipal offices for the island villages of Mishima and Toshima.
- Kiev, Ukraine – administrative center of Kiev Oblast, itself a city with special status
- King Salmon, Alaska, United States – seat of government for the Lake and Peninsula Borough but lies in the Bristol Bay Borough.
- Kingston upon Thames, United Kingdom – administrative headquarters of Surrey, England, itself within Greater London
- Lankaran, Azerbaijan – capital of Lankaran Rayon, itself administratively separate
- Lyon, France – capital of the Rhône department, though itself the bulk of the administratively separate Lyon Metropolis since 2015
- Minsk, Belarus – administrative center of Minsk Voblast, itself a city with special status of capital
- Moscow, Russia – capital of Moscow Oblast, itself a federal city
- Oslo, Norway – administration headquarters of Akershus county, itself a separate county
- Paramaribo, Suriname – vast and sparsely populated Sipaliwini District in the South of the country does not have a capital, and is administered from a distance directly by the central government, in the national capital city of Paramaribo on the coast. Paramaribo does not even border the Sipaliwini District.
- Several provinces of the Philippines technically have their capitals outside their borders when the cities are classified as highly urbanized (independent); by law these cities are not included in any province, although most of the time these cities are tightly connected and were sometimes once part of the province that surrounds them. See cities of the Philippines for a more extensive explanation and the Virginia entry below for a comparison.
- Port Elizabeth, South Africa – administrative centre of the Cacadu District Municipality, itself in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality
- Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea – capital of Central Province which surrounds city, but the city itself is in (and also the capital of) the National Capital District
- Prague, Czech Republic – capital of Central Bohemian Region, Prague-West District and Prague-East District, itself an administrative unit on its own
- Recife, Brazil – seat of the administration of the Fernando de Noronha islands. The Atlantic archipelago of Fernando de Noronha is a unique case in Brazil of a state district, not part of any municipality and administered directly by the government of the state of Pernambuco. The administrative offices are located in the state capital city of Recife, on the mainland, 540 kilometres (340 mi) away from the islands.
- Saint Petersburg, Russia – capital of the Leningrad Oblast, itself a federal city
- Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands – seat of the mayor office of the largely evacuated Northern Islands Municipality, itself another municipality
- Shaki, Azerbaijan – capital of Shaki Rayon, itself administratively separate
- Shusha, Azerbaijan – capital of Shusha Rayon, itself administratively separate; administered by Nagorno-Karabakh
- Sofia, Bulgaria – capital of the Sofia Province, itself an administrative unit (oblast) on its own
- Tashkent, Uzbekistan – capital of Tashkent Province, itself an independent city
- Thessalon, Ontario, Canada – seat of Cockburn Island township, itself a separate municipality on the mainland. Cockburn Island, in Lake Huron, has no longer any permanent population, yet it is still legally incorporated as a township of the province of Ontario, with the administrative offices located in Thessalon.
- Virginia in the United States – has unique laws regarding independent city status, where a city is not part of its surrounding county. Because of this, many county courthouses and county government offices are technically located outside of the county. These include Albemarle County, Alleghany County, Augusta County, Bedford County, Frederick County, Greensville County, Prince William County, Rockbridge County, and Rockingham County. The government offices for Roanoke County, James City County, and Henrico County are located within the borders of the county while the historic courthouses are located in the independent cities of Salem, Williamsburg, and Richmond, respectively. In Fairfax County, the courthouse is situated in an enclave within the city of Fairfax, which is an independent city that is itself an enclave within Fairfax County. This is a rare example of a counter-enclave. The county's government offices are outside of the City of Fairfax's borders.
- Zagreb, Croatia - Capital of Zagreb County, itself administratively separate
- Winner, South Dakota, United States – seat of both Tripp and Todd counties, itself located in Tripp County.
- Yevlakh, Azerbaijan – capital of Yevlakh Rayon, itself administratively separate
- Busan, South Korea – capital of the province of South Gyeongsang, itself a metropolitan city (from 1963, when the city was separated from the province, to 1983, when it was replaced by Changwon)
- Calicut (Kozhikode), India - until 1964, the administration of the then Union Territory of the Laccadive, Minicoy and Amindivi Islands (now Lakshadweep) was conducted from offices in the city of Kozhikode (better known in English as Calicut), located on the mainland, in the state of Kerala. The territory's government is now seated on the island of Kavaratti.
- Canberra, Australia – seat of government of the Territory of Papua
- Canton (now Guangzhou), China – capital of the province of Kwangtung (now Guangdong), Republic of China, itself a centrally-administered city
- Copenhagen, Denmark - from 1952 to 1992, the administration of Copenhagen County was located on Blegdamsvej in Copenhagen Municipality, which was surrounded by, but not part of the county.
- Daegu, South Korea – capital of the province of North Gyeongsang, itself a metropolitan city (from 1981, when the city was separated from the province, to 2016, when it was replaced by Andong)
- Daejeon, South Korea – capital of the province of South Chungcheong, itself a metropolitan city (from 1989, when the city was separated from the province, to 2012, when it was replaced by Hongseong)
- Gwangju, South Korea – capital of the province of South Jeolla, itself a metropolitan city (from 1986, when the city was separated from the province, to 2005, when it was replaced by Muan)
- Havana, Cuba - capital of former La Habana Province, which was distinct from the city of Havana (Ciudad de la Habana), administered separately. A reorganization of Cuban provinces in 2011 split La Habana Province into two new provinces, Artemisa and Mayabeque, their respective capital cities being Artemisa and San José de las Lajas.
- Isabella, Philippines - former capital of Basilan and designated as highly urbanized city. Basilan is previously part of Zamboanga Peninsula and the province is transferred to the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao. Isabella is still considered part of the region and still considered part of the province. Since 2017, the seat of the provincial government of Basilan was moved to Lamitan. Isabela still remains part of Basilan provincial services but regional services remains in Zamboanga Peninsula instead of ARMM where the province of Basilan belongs.
- Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – former capital of the state of Selangor. In 1974, Kuala Lumpur was separated from the state and made into a federal territory. Kuala Lumpur remained the state capital until 1978, when Shah Alam was declared as the new capital.
- Mafikeng, South Africa – from where the former British protectorate of Bechuanaland, today Botswana, was administered. It is part of South Africa.
- Marshall, Texas, United States, was the capital of the exiled Confederate government of Missouri during the American Civil War.
- Mukden (now Shenyang), China – capital of the province of Fengtian (now Liaoning), Republic of China, itself a centrally-administered city
- Ottawa, Ontario, Canada – location of the 2nd Council of the Northwest Territories from 1905 to 1951
- Pasig, Philippines – former capital of Rizal and designated as a highly urbanized city. Pasig was made a part of Metro Manila in 1975, taking it outside the border of Rizal. Rizal has since moved its provincial government to Antipolo, within the border of Rizal it is a component city.
- Peshawar, Pakistan – administrative center of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) from Pakistan's independence in 1947 until March 2018, when the FATA were merged into the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, where Peshawar itself was and is located, and of which it is also the capital city.
- Saint-Louis – The Senegalese city was the administrative capital of the French colony of Mauritania from 1902 to 1960.
- Seoul, South Korea – capital of the province of Gyeonggi, itself a metropolitan city (from 1946, when the city was separated from the province, to 1967, when it was replaced by Suwon). It was also claimed as the capital of North Korea until 1972, where the de facto Capital, Pyongyang, was also made the de jure capital.
- Sian (now Xi'an), China – capital of the province of Shensi (now Shaanxi), Republic of China, itself a centrally-administered city
- Sneek, The Netherlands – capital of the municipality of Sneek and nearby Wymbritseradeel
- Stockholm, Sweden – capital of the Stockholm County, itself not a part of the county, administered by the Office of the Governor of Stockholm until 1967
- Tønsberg, Norway – administration headquarters of Sem municipality, itself a separate municipality. In 1988 Sem was incorporated into Tønsberg.
- Vienna, Austria – capital of surrounding Lower Austria, itself a federal state of Austria (until 1986, when it was replaced by Sankt Pölten)
- Xindian, Taiwan – capital of the province of Fukien, Republic of China from 1956 to 1996, itself located in Taiwan Province. Before 1956, the capital was Jincheng; it was moved back to Jincheng in 1996.
- "The Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill, 2013". Parliament of India. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-05-18. Retrieved 2014-06-10.
- Government of the State of Pernambuco. "Administração Geral de Fernando de Noronha" [General Administration of Fernando de Noronha] (in Portuguese). Retrieved 2017-06-03.
- "Official Website of Union Territory of Lakshadweep - Administrative Setup". Retrieved 2014-04-03.