The Best City States in Final Fantasy XIV (All Ranked)

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Eorzea is a realm full of wonderful places to explore, from the frozen wastes of Ishgard to the gentle forests of Gridania.

And for this ranking we’ll be counting down some of the best City States in all of the FFXIV expansions to date.

There is, however, one city state we won’t rank. I hear all of you on the subreddit.

Sharlayan was once a beautiful place, and how can we not include the birthplace of Alisaie and Alphinaud – but it no longer exists.

With a bit of a prayer and a lot of letters we may convince the writers to let us visit the Sharlayan homeland. But right now that little bit around Matoya is no more than a pit stop.

That said, we do have plenty of city states to talk about.


8. Ala Mhigo

Ala Mhigo FFXIV screenshot

Officially a city state, Ala Mhigo is in the process of building their own government.

While Ala Mhigo looks the most like a city with its high walls and many streets and alleyways, it has one shop, one aetheryte, and one repair man.

But it doesn’t have any exchange or guilds in the area, which is why it is deserted.

If you want to access the shops from the Ala Mhigan story, you need to go to Rhalger’s Reach.

Hopefully as the story progresses into the next expansion, the shops will move out of the cave and into the city we fought to reclaim.


7. Foundation (Ishgard)

Foundation (Ishgard) City Screenshot in FF14

Some call this place cold and depressing.

It’s always snowing, it has amazing church music for the background, and it’s mostly deserted. So this is not a favorite of the people; it has some hard memories to deal with, but that doesn’t mean the place isn’t worth visiting at all.

It takes a long time to run anywhere in this place.

But you do have some spectacular views while doing so.

The shops stock everything you need from level 30 to level 60 in gear, and this city has the usual helpful supplies at the food and crafting stall.

The Inn is also worth visiting, even if only for the experience.

I mean, I’ll admit it’s dark and gloomy, and it has beer bottles on the floor. Plus the unending journey desk doesn’t even work.

Basically, the room is a mess, representing a poorer place dealing with the dragonsong war.

But one place of note is the Firmanent; the ongoing project that’s rebuilding Ishgard.

This is a haven for crafters and gatherers during times when orders are open. Each new patch brings a wave of activity to this town as the work continues.

Fighting Classes: Machinist (DPS), Dark Knight (TANK), Astrologian (Healer)


6. Eulmore

Eulmore in Final Fantasy XIV

The main level of Eulmore is full of life.

The primal exchange and the stores are right next to the aetheryte.

Plus the realm is full of noise and laughter when you reach a point in the story. Before that point the place is… weird.

While Eulmore lacks an inn room, the gentleman’s club is a nice place to kick back your heels and chat with your mates as you watch the girls dance.

It’s also the perfect place to wait for your queues to pop so you can grind out those tomestones and exchange them for better gear.


5. Kugane

Kugane FFXIV City Screenshot

Kugane hosts one of the best-looking inn rooms in the game.

Everything goes down a traditional Japanese route for the look and feel, and this makes the whole city and surrounding area feel unique.

The inn room has a samurai man behind the unending journey. The roofs all have that deep green and red look with the curl at the bottom, plus the music feels authentic to the era.

So why is this place deserted?!

The shops nearby have everything you’ll need between levels 60 and 70, and the town is one big square with bridges between areas.

But ultimately, unless you’re doing the main story, there’s no need to travel around Kugane.

Like the Firmanent in Foundation, you do have a rebuilding effort out here. And this is a great place to hand in all that extra gear for them to sell on as they build out the pace.

But unlike the firmament, this area is instanced to you alone – so it’ll only develop if you put in the work.

This specific area is known as the Doman Enclave and, once unlocked, can be reached by aetheryte.


4. Uldah

Uldah in FFXIV screenshot

The Jewel of the desert, full of money grabbing lalafells.

Uldah has the memories of the end game in A Realm Reborn smeared across it, causing many to frown while passing through its gates.

Who still wants Lord Lolorito’s head on a silver platter, despite how it turned out? I know I do.

As another starting town, the shops have everything you need at a low level (shops sell gear up to level 49). But they’re harder to find in Uldah.

The quickest way would be to take another aetheryte journey to the Sapphire Avenue Exchange, otherwise you have to run around the outer ring of Uldah.

I find this place the most difficult to navigate as well.

It has one outer ring which has access to all your fighting class guilds, the adventurer’s guild, and the shops. The inner ring has access to one of the fighting guilds and all the crafting gathering guilds across 2 levels.

Every area looks like the last while inside the main ring. But there are clues as to where you are in the decorations hanging on the walls.

For example, you’ll find displays of clothing on stands near the weaver’s guild.

And also, the inn room has an issue. Why no curtains? It’s a bedroom with no curtains, in a city in a desert land – I bet it gets steaming in there!

Crafting and Gathering: Goldsmith, Weaver, Alchemist, Miner
Fighting Classes: Gladiator (TANK), Pugilist (DPS), Thurmatage (DPS), Samurai (DPS), Red Mage (DPS)


3. Gridania

Gridania City State in FFXIV

This might be the prettiest of the three starting states, and where I began my FFXIV journey.

Gridania is a beautiful forest realm with gentle music and a lot of gorgeous nature to look at.

With its babbling brooks and little waterfalls, every corner has a delight for the eyes.

The Aetheryte is not near the marketplace here, but it is right next to the carpenter’s guild, adventurer’s guild, and grand company.

Going through to the next area, you can come out at the marketplace which is one long line with everything you need up to level 49.

Everything looks pretty in a darker light, with some glorious sunshine through the trees.

Gridania is a bit of calming paradise that you can always return to.

Like the other starting states, it’s still quite busy. And it is a good place to sit on a bench and cheer on the level 1s that are running around.

I like to sit there and use the pat on head emote for everyone who comes back via aetheryte after an untimely death.

Fighting Classes: Archer (DPS), Lancer (DPS), Conjurer (HEALER), Gunblade (TANK)
Crafting and Gathering: Botanist, Carpenter, Leatherworker


2. Limsa Lominsa

Limsa Lominsa in Final Fantasy XIV

Limsa is one of the starting states, and easily the most populated.

It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been playing this game. It you teleport to Limsa, it’s always busy (at least on my server).

It makes sense though. Limsa Lominsa is a dock town. Dock towns always see more traffic than more inland areas.

This place is also run by pirates and swashbucklers who live on grog and speak proper Yorkshire. They’ll be the coolest NPCs in the game till sea swallows all.

Shops-wise, Limsa is a starting town, so it’ll have everything at a low level.

Being located right next to the aetheryte, you can’t miss them.

This makes Limsa the only starting town with the shops right there.

Every guild has a mini aetheryte near a guild too. And the only gripe I have heard about Limsa is that the Grand Company is so far from the main aetheryte.

Though it can be difficult to navigate to begin with, you can always see the aetheryte on-screen when you’re running around, so you can’t really get lost.

Crafting and Gathering: Culinarian, Fishermans, Armorer, Blacksmith
Fighting Classes: Rogue (DPS), Marauder (TANK), Arcanist (DPS can become HEALER), Dancer (DPS), Sage HEALER (released with Endwalker)
Random Class: Blue Mage (fighter, gatherer)


1. Crystarium

Crystarium FFXIV screenshot

Ah yes, the newest city state.

This place is huge and can be difficult to navigate.

But the beauty of this place is easy to see. Plus the power of the music thrumming through the halls, the crystal exarch himself…

So many reasons to love the Crystarium.

Here’s a few:

  • The amazing library.
  • The Psychedelic garden on the lower levels.
  • The shops in the rotunda that sell all the higher-level stuff.
  • The inn room that has a kitchen.
  • The view from the very top of the Crystarium.
  • The Amaro launch and the gardens where they tend to the Amaro.

I could go on with the stories of the people here, the crazy quests found in the area, the long staircase to see the exarch… but if you’ve played it, you know what I mean.

And if you haven’t, I wouldn’t want to spoil it.

Everything in the Crystarium, from the inn room to the pub, is a treat to be enjoyed.

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