Asia is the largest continent in the world and has 50 independent nations. Below are the capitals of all 50 Asian countries and some information about each one.
All capital cities have their importance to each country in one way or another. Capital cities are often home to parliament, the highest courts of justice, and all important leaders of the nation.
Kabul is the capital of Afghanistan. It is also the largest city with over 4.4 million people and its only city with over 1 million people. Thanks to rapid urbanization, Kabul has become the 75th largest city globally. Kabul is also one of the world's highest capitals, sitting at 5,873 feet above sea level.
Yerevan became the capital of Armenia since the independence of the First Republic of Armenia in 1918. It serves as the country's administrative, cultural, and industrial center. The population is approximately 1.1 million, making it Armenia's largest city. In 2012, the capital was named the 2012 World Book Capital by UNESCO.
Azerbaijan's capital is Baku. With a population of over 3.1 million people in its urban area and over 5.1 million in its metro area, Baku is the largest city in Azerbaijan and the Caspian Sea and the Caucasus region. Azerbaijan's capital is also the lowest-lying capital globally, sitting at 28 meters (92 feet) below sea level.
Manama is the capital and largest city of Bahrain. The name is derived from the Arabic word al-Manãma, which means "the place of rest" or "the place of dreams." Manama is home to about 157,000 people and is often referred to as a cosmopolitan city due to being a hub for migrants and migrants workers.
In 1971, Dhaka was declared the capital of Bangladesh by Article 5 of the Constitution of Bangladesh. Dhaka's population is over 8.9 million people (21 million in its metro area) and has a population density of 121,720 persons per square mile. This makes the capital the ninth-largest city and sixth-most densely populated city in the world. Additionally, Dhaka accounts for about 35% of Bangladesh's economy.
Thimphu is Bhutan's capital and largest city. Thimphu has about 115,000 inhabitants and has an altitude that ranges from 3,375 feet to 8,688 feet, making it the fifth-highest capital city in the world. The capital is the economic and political enter of Bhutan, containing critical economic sectors and importuning political building such as the National Assembly. Tourism is strictly regulated in Thimphu, helping to preserve the balance of tradition, development, and modernization in the city.
Bandar Seri Begawan is Brunei's capital and largest urban area. About 280,000 people live in the capital and surrounding area, account for over half of the country's population. The city's economy is driven by the production of furniture, textiles, and timber.
The capital of Cambodia is Phnom Penh. Formerly known as Krong Chaktomuk Serimongkul, Phnom Penh has been the capital since the French colonization of Cambodia. The capital has over 2.1 million people, making it the most populous city in Cambodia. It is also the country's economic, industrial, and cultural center. The city accounts for a significant portion of Cambodia's economy and has seen a double-digit economic growth rate in recent years with new restaurants, hotels, residential buildings, and educational institutions.
China, one of the world's most populous countries, has the world's most populous capital city. Beijing has a population estimated at 21.7 million people. Beijing, however, is not China's most populous city. Shanghai is China's largest city, with 24.1 million people, and Guangzhou is China's largest metropolitan, with 44.5 million people.
The capital of Cyprus, Nicosia, is split into two parts, like how Berlin, Germany, was divided. Nicosia is also the seat of government and the largest city in Cyprus. The southern part of the capital has 55,000 inhabitants, and the northern has about 61,000. Nicosia has eight universities and, therefore, a large student population.
Georgia's capital is Tbilisi, which is also the country's largest city. Tbilisi currently has a population of about 1.5 million people. Tbilisi generates almost half of Georgia's GDP, with the service sector being the most dominant and contributing 88% of the city's GDP. The capital's proximity to the Silk Road and its position between Europe and Asia has historically made it an important transit location.
New Delhi is the capital of India and the second-largest capital in Asia behind Beijing, China. New Delhi is home to about 18.6 million people. The capital is the second-largest city in India behind Mumbai, which has 22 million people. New Delhi is the seat of all three branches of the Government of India.
Jakarta, known officially as the Special Capital Region of Jakarta, is the capital of Indonesia. Jakarta is the largest city and economic, cultural, and political center of Indonesia. The capital has about 10.8 million people in 255.7 swore miles, which gives Jakarta a population density of 42,120 persons per square mile.
The capital of Iran is Tehran. Tehran is the most populous city in the country, with about 9 million people in the city and about 15 million in its metropolitan area, the second-largest in the Middle East behind Cairo. About 99% of Tehran's population understands and speaks Persian, with a large population of other ethnolinguistic groups.
Baghdad is the capital of Iraq and its largest city. Baghdad is home to 7.6 million people. Baghdad was founded around the 8th century and soon evolved into a significant commercial and cultural center in the Muslim world. The capital has faced significant infrastructure damage, primarily due to the United States-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the following Iraq War that continued until December 2011. Baghdad has been ranked as one of the least hospitable cities to live in and the worst major city for quality of life.
Israel's capital and largest city is Jerusalem. The city is home to about 940,000 inhabitants, while its metro area has over 1.25 million inhabitants. Jerusalem is one of the world's oldest cities and is considered holy to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Both Israel and the Palestinian Authority claim Jerusalem as their capital, but neither claim is widely recognized internationally.
Tokyo is the capital of Japan and the country's most populous prefecture. The prefecture has a population of about 13.9 million people as of 2019, and the Greater Tokyo Area has over 37.39 million residents, making it the most populous metropolitan area in the world. Tokyo has the most extensive urban economy in the world in terms of GDP of US$1.893 trillion.
Jordan's capital and largest city is Amman. Amman has over 4 million people, making it the largest city in the Levant region and the sixth-largest city in the Arab world. Amman was named one of the best cities in the Middle East and North Africa for its economic, labor, environmental, and socio-cultural conditions. Additionally, it is one of the most-visited cities in the Arab world.
Nur-Sultan is the capital of Kazakhstan. The city was initially called Akmola, which became the capital in 1997 and was renamed Astana in 1998. In 2019, Astana was renamed to Nur-Sultan after a unanimous vote in Kazakhstan's parliament. The capital is the seat of government, home to parliament, the Supreme Court, and the presidential palace, among many other government departments. The city was designed by Japanese architect Kisho Kurokawa and is full of modern and futuristic buildings.
The capital of Kuwait is Kuwait City. Kuwait City's population is about 4.1 million, making it the country's largest city too. The capital is Kuwait's political, economic, and cultural center, home to Kuwait's parliament, most government departments, and most of the country's bank and corporation headquarters.
Bishkek is the capital and largest city of Kyrgyzstan. Bishkek is home to about 1.05 million people. The capital was formerly called Pishpek and then Frunze during Soviet control. Until the 1990s, the city was mostly Russian and people of European descent (mainly Ukrainians and Germans). Today, about 66% of the city's residents are Kyrgyz, while Europeans comprise less than 20% of the city's population. Russian is the primary language in the capital despite this, and Kyrgyz is slowly waning away.
The capital and largest city of Laos is Vientiane. Vientiane became the capital in 1573. It is home to over 820,000 people and has become Laos's economic center thanks to rapid economic growth in recent years. Foreign investment has driven this economic growth, and tourism has helped dramatically.
One of the oldest cities in the world, Beirut is Lebanon's capital and largest city. While a census hasn't been conducted since 1932, Beirut is estimated to have between 361,000 and 1.3 million people and the metro area over 2.2 million. Beirut has been inhabited for more than 5,000 years. The capital is Lebanon's seat of government and economic center, with most banks and corporations located there.
Officially the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur, Kuala Lumpur is the capital city of Malaysia. The capital spans over 94 square miles and has a population of over 1.73 million, making it the country's largest city. Kuala Lumpur is home to the country's parliament; however, the executive and judicial branches are located in Putrajaya. UNESCO named the city a World Book Capital in 2020.
Malé is the Maldives' capital and largest city. With a population of about 215,000 in just 3.58 square miles, it is one of the most densely populated capitals with a population density of 59,570 persons per square mile. The country is a very popular tourist destination, and Malé has many attractions and resorts. The central port of the Maldives is also located in Malé, making the capital the commercial center.
Ulaanbaatar is Mongolia's capital and largest city. Its population is over 1.4 million, almost half of Mongolia's population. Ulaanbaatar was founded in 1639 as a nomadic Buddhist monastic center. Today, Ulaanbaatar is the economic center of Mongolia and plays a significant role in the nation's wealth.
The capital of Myanmar is Naypyidaw, officially spelled Nay Pyi Taw. Naypyidaw is the third-largest city in Myanmar, with about 925,000 people. The city replaced Yangon as the country's administrative capital in 2006. It is organized into several zones: residential, ministry, military, hotel, and diplomatic.
Kathmandu, also known as the city of temples, is the capital of Nepal. It is also the country's largest city, with over 1.4 million people. Kathmandu is currently one of the fastest-growing metropolitan areas in South Asia. The city is considered to be the center of Nepal's culture and economy. It's also a popular tourist destination, considered the gateway to the Himalayas and the home of several world heritage sites.
The capital of North Korea is Pyongyang. Pyongyang became the de facto capital upon North Korea's establishment in 1948. The capital is the largest city, with over 2.87 million inhabitants. Pyongyang is the home to central government and public offices and all major North Korean security institutions, including the largest, the Ministry of People's Security.
The capital and largest city of Oman is Muscat. As of 2018, the population was 1.4 million in Muscat. Muscat's economy is dominated by trade, including exports like dates, fish, and mother of pearl. Additionally, Petroleum Development Oman has been a driving force in Muscat's economy and is Oman's second-largest employer.
Islamabad is the capital of Pakistan. The capital was a planned city built in the 1960s to replace Pakistan's former capital, Karachi. Islamabad is also the country's ninth-largest city, with a population of over 1 million, and its metropolitan area is over 3.1 million, making it the fourth-largest in Pakistan. The city's name, Islamabad, means "City of Islam."
Palestine is a de jure sovereign state claiming Jerusalem as the designated capital; however, its administrative center is currently located in Ramallah. Ramallah has about 35,000 residents, the majority of whom are Muslims.
Manila is the capital of the Philippines. It is a highly urbanized city and the most densely populated city proper in the world with over 1.78 million inhabitants and a population density of 107,520 persons per square mile. Manila is one of the wealthiest regions in Southeast Asia, being a major center for banking and finance, commerce, media and advertising, retail, transportation, tourism, and more.
Qatar's capital and most populous city is Doha. Doha has a population of about 2.83 million and a population density of 47,000 persons per square mile. About 80% of Qatar's population lives in Doha and the surrounding area. It is also the country's fastest-growing city. The city was founded in the 1820s and was officially declared the country's capital in 1971.
Moscow is Russia's capital and largest city. About 12.5. million people live in the city, over 17 million in the urban area, and over 20 million in the metropolitan area. Moscow is the most populous city, urban area, and metropolitan area in Europe. The city is known for its architecture and is home to several UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
The capital of Saudi Arabia is Riyadh, which means "The Gardens." Riyadh is the largest city in Saudi Arabia and on the Arabian Peninsula, with about 7.7 million inhabitants. The capital is the second-most visited city in the Arab World, attracting over 16 million tourists annually. Riyadh is the political and administrative center of Saudi Arabia, as well as a massive contributor to the country's economy.
Singapore is a sovereign city-state in Southeast Asia. As a city-state, there is no official distinct capital city. Singapore is home to over 5.7 million people. It is currently the highest developed country in Asia (excluding Hong Kong) and ranks ninth on the Human Development Index. Singapore also has the freest economy in the world, according to the World Economic Forum.
Seoul, officially the Seoul Special City, is South Korea's capital and largest metropolis. Seoul has a population of over 9.73 million people. The city receives over 10 million tourists every year, making it the ninth-most visited city globally and the fourth largest earner from tourism. Seoul is the business and financial hub of South Korea, home to several Fortune 500 countries such as LG, Hyundai, and Samsung.
The official administrative capital of Sri Lanka is Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte (also known as Kotte), and its economic and legislative capital is Colombo. Kotte is home to over 115,000 people and has over 2.2 million in its metropolitan area. Colombo has over 752,000 inhabitants in its city and over 5.6 million in its metropolitan area. Colombo was made the capital of Sri Lanka was the country was ceded to the British Empire in 1815 and remained the capital after gaining independence in 1948. In 1978, administrative functions were moved to Kotte, and Colombo was designated as the commercial capital.
Syria's capital is Damascus, which is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. The capital is also the largest city in Syria, with a population of about 2.08 million people. Damascus is titled as the City of Jasmin in Syria and is a major cultural center of the Levant and Arab worlds. Unfortunately, Damascus has been named the world's least livable city by the Economic Intelligence Unit due to the Syrian Civil War.
Taipei, officially Taipei City, is the capital of Taiwan. Taipei has about 2.65 inhabitants in its city proper, and its metropolitan area has a population of over 7.04 million, making it the 40th most populous urban area globally. About one-third of Taiwan's population lives in the Taipei-Keelung metro area. Taipei is a high-tech industrial area, home to several famous architectural landmarks, and serves as the political, cultural, education, and economic center of Taiwan.
Tajikistan's largest city and capital is Tajikistan. Dushanbe's population is about 863,000 in its capital and over 1.05 million in its metropolitan area. Before 1929, the city was known as Dyushambe, and from 1929 to 1961, it was known as Stalinabad, named after Joseph Stalin. Much of the city's modern culture has Soviet influence, including music, theatre, film, sports, and opera, all of which began around the 1920s.
Thailand's capital and the most populous city is Bangkok, home to about 10.539 million people. Bangkok is home to about 15.3% of Thailand's population. Over 14 million people live in the surrounding metropolitan area, comprising 22.2% of the country's population. Bangkok is a top tourist destination globally, attracting over 20 million people in a single year. The capital also serves as a financial, business, and cultural hub for Thailand.
Dili is Timor-Leste's capital, largest city, chief port, and commercial center. The capital is known as the City of Peace and is home to over 222,000 people. Dili was settled by the Portuguese in 1520 and became the Portuguese Timor's capital in 1769. After Timor-Leste declared independence in 1975, Dili was invaded by Indonesian forces, inciting a guerrilla war until 1999. In 2002, Dili became the capital of a new independent Timor-Leste.
Ankara is Turkey's capital and second-largest city after Istanbul. Ankara has a population of 4.5 million in its urban center and over 5.7 million in the Ankara Province. The General National Assembly of Turkey was established in Ankara in April 1923 and became the capital in October 1923. The capital is an industrial and commercial center for Turkey and serves as a large employment center because of the government.
Ashgabat is the capital and largest city in Turkmenistan. The city has over 1.03 million people and spans over 170 square miles. The capital is comprised of four bureaus, each with its mayor. Cotton textiles and metalworking are the dominant industries in Ashgabat, and the government provides a large percentage of the city's employment.
The capital of the United Arab Emirates is Abu Dhabi. Abu Dhabi is the second-most populous city in the UAE, with a population of over 1.45 million. The city's rapid growth and development are attributed to its massive oil and gas reserves and production coupled with relatively high wealth among its citizens. Abu Dhabi alone accounts for about two-thirds of the UAE's economy.
Uzbekistan's capital is Tashkent. Tashkent is the largest city in Uzbekistan and is ex-Soviet Central Asia, with over 2.75 million people. Throughout its history, the capital has had several name changes and political and religious affiliations, including a Soviet period.
Hanoi is Vietnam's capital and second-largest city. There are over 8.05 million people in Hanoi's municipality and 3.96 million in its urban center. Hanoi has had several name changes throughout its history, significantly as dynasties changed. Industrial production, trade, and agriculture are the most vital sectors in Hanoi's economy. Over three-quarters of jobs are state-owned, 13.3% are in the private sector, and collectively owned organizations provide about 9%.
The capital of Yemen is disputed between Sanaa and Aden. Sanaa is Yemen's constitutional capital, but the seat of the Yemen government moved to Aden after the Houthi occupation. Aden was declared the temporary capital by President Hadi in 2015. Sanaa is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities globally and is also one of the highest capital cities, sitting at an elevation of 7,500 feet. Sanaa's population is 2.55 million, making it the largest city in Yemen, and Aden's population is 863,000.