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.
There are several large establishments located in zones throughout Tyria.
- Ebonhawke — A city fortress in the Fields of Ruin, Ebonhawke 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 assault on Orr. It features prominently in several personal story chapters, has asura gates to each of the three orders and other services.
- Skrittsburg — An intricate series of caverns and tunnels found underneath Mount Gnashington, in the Brisban Wildlands, 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 Tyria. Has a temple dedicated to the hylek god Zintl, as well as crafting stations.
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.