Capital of Vana'diel's Near East and seat of the Empire of Aht Urhgan, Al Zahbi is a walled fortress of a city led by the Empress Nashmeira. It is constructed in two levels, an upper and a lower, with frequent staircases allowing simple passage between the two. Stone bridges form the roads of the upper area, and large, heavy wooden doors stand ready to be closed at a moment's notice. Frequent beastmen attacks plague the town, giving rise to its defensive structure, and guards stand always at the ready. The Imperial Whitegate is the town's busy merchant center, housing its two ports, and closed off from the general public stands the Imperial Ward, home of the Empress, the Imperial family, and the military.
Capital of the kingdom of the same name, Alexandria is a regal city set in the center of a lake surmounting a cliff face, lending to a dramatic view of waterfalls that drop off for hundreds of feet on one side, while a crystal spire rises above the castle within the city itself. Despite its impressive look and ruling monarchy - currently headed by Queen Garnet til Alexandros XVII - its residents are mostly common peasantry, so the streets themselves are pleasantly simple in contrast to Alexandria's outward opulence.
The capital of the Archadian Empire, Archades is a sprawling town that has developed as much up as it has outward. Filled with ardents and gentry, it is a place for the wealthy, and nowhere is this more evident than in Old Archades, a slum attached to the city where those who failed to make it there live in the depths of poverty. Among the residents, knowledge is life, and it is those who find the most information who tend to make it the farthest - provided what they find is true.
Archades is led by the young Lord Larsa, a boy whose intelligence and capability as a leader make him far more suited to the role than his age would lead one to believe.
This seaside town is a quiet, close-knit place, the only city on the small continent upon which it is situated. Due to its former proximity to Balamb Garden, a large number of its younger population attend the mobile academy, so the sight of students and alumni wandering the streets in uniform isn't uncommon.
A military academy which accepts young students from across the world. Most graduates join the ranks of SeeD mercenaries, which are hired for various tasks across the world; the SeeDs then stay on at the Garden, accepting their missions from there. The Garden is mobile, and as such, is not found in one fixed location. However, it travels frequently to Balamb town, as many of its students and SeeDs are originally from there.
Balfonheim Port has long been a gathering place for pirates, both of the sky and of the sea. While most of its residents are simply cargo-carriers and respectable, hardworking people, the town was once a den of thieves and cutthroats. This came to an end when the sky pirate Reddas came into the town and turned it around, and though he has since died, his work has been carried on by Balfonheim's people, most notably those few pirates who were closest to him. Though technically within the territory of the Archadian Empire, Balfonheim remains a neutral, self-governed town, and thus is a prosperous place, hosting travelers from all over the world.
Once a peaceful farming village famous for its "dumbapples", Banora became the center of a series of experiments that would, over the course of many years, lead to Meteorfall. To hide what their scientists had done there, Shinra destroyed the town, leaving little more than a broken ruin behind. There is a large series of caves still accessible beneath where the village once stood, which at one time housed the Goddess Materia.
One of the centers of Vana'diel Hume society, The Republic of Bastok is a place of industry and technology. Galka populate the city as well, and while there is some measure of racial tension present, their coexistence is overall a peaceful one. Bastokan society centers around mining, with the city itself opening into the Zeruhn Mines, and metalworking of all kinds is a common trade. The city is led by a Hume president, elected by the people, and is defended by its bands of Musketeers, the most elite Mythril Musketeers consisting of only a handful of members.