Cities are special zones characterized by a total lack of hostile NPCs, Renown Hearts, hero challenges and dynamic level adjustment. Fast traveling to the zone's waypoints is free while in the city. Special dynamic events can still occur in cities, such as during Wintersday or Halloween.
- Map completion of a city rewards experience based on the character's level and 1 transmutation charge.
List of cities
Each of the playable races has a capital city, which is the first city that characters of each respective race will visit during their personal story. Large portion of every character's story plays in their capital city, often within their own home instance.
- Asura - Rata Sum – the greatest above-ground city and current capital of the asura, a magical construction that floats high above Maguuma Jungle
- Charr - Black Citadel – home of the Iron Legion and base of operations of the three High Legions in Ascalon
- Human - Divinity's Reach – the royal seat of Kryta and largest human settlement in northern Tyria ever since the flooding of Lion's Arch
- Norn - Hoelbrak – originally established by the legendary norn hero Asgeir Dragonrender, the great lodges here serve as home, refuge and trade hub for many norn
- Sylvari - The Grove – a city built in the trunk of the Pale Tree, mother of sylvari in Tyria
In addition to the capital cities of the playable races, there is also Lion's Arch, the central trade and cultural hub of Tyria. Lion's Arch contains unique features that are not found in other cities.
Lobbies are another special subtype of zones. They work similarly to cities, but they serve as the staging points for specific game modes or activities.
- Heart of the Mists — The lobby for Structured PvP.
- Hub — The lobby for Super Adventure Box.
- Dragon's Stand (Heart of Thorns) — The lobby for Hearts and Minds, the final Heart of Thorns story mission.
- Lion's Arch Aerodrome — The lobby for raids.
- Eye of the North — The lobby for Icebrood Saga story, Strike Missions and Dragon Response Missions.
- Mistlock Sanctuary — A lounge for Fractals.
- Armistice Bastion — A lounge for World versus World.
There are several large establishments located in zones throughout the world of Tyria. Unlike the cities listed above that encompass a zone in and of themselves, establishments can be notable settlements or forts found within larger explorable zones.
- Stronghold of Ebonhawke — A city fortress in the Fields of Ruin. Led by Duke Commander Wade Samuelsson, it is a human establishment allied with Kryta. There is an asura gate connecting Ebonhawke to Divinity's Reach. Has crafting stations as well as Black Lion Traders.
- Fort Trinity — A large fort in the Straits of Devastation and the stronghold for the Pact's assault on Orr. It features prominently in several personal story chapters, has asura gates to each of the three orders and other services.
- Skrittsburgh — An intricate series of caverns and tunnels found underneath Mount Gnashington in the Brisban Wildlands. It is inhabited by friendly skritt with crafting stations and other services. The location acts as a capitol and center of skritt culture ruled over by the Skritt King.
- Zintl Holy Grounds — The biggest hylek village in Central Tyria. Has a temple dedicated to the hylek god Zintl, as well as crafting stations.
- Free City of Amnoon — A human port city in the Crystal Oasis. Led by Amnoon's City Council, its autonomy is threatened by the volatile politics in the region. Contains the Lily of the Elon, a lounge with crafting stations and other services.
- Garden of Seborhin — An extensive garden complex inhabited by humans and Awakened under the rule of Palawa Joko.
- Palawadan, Jewel of Istan — A port city of both humans and Awakened in the Domain of Istan. Formerly known as Kamadan, it was renamed by Palawa Joko after his conquest of Istan and remains hostile to anyone not approved by Joko's regime.
- Jaka Itzel — A sizable tree village in Verdant Brink. Led by Kaana Miatli, it is the home of the nimble Itzel tribe of hylek.
- Tarir, the Forgotten City — An ancient city in Auric Basin. Led by the Luminate, it is populated by the mysterious Exalted who do their best to protect the city and its secrets from various threats.
- Teku Nuhoch — A sizable village located within a hollowed, giant tree in Tangled Depths. Led by Kaana Pahua, it is the home of the sturdy Nuhoch tribe of hylek.