Crusader Kings 3 - Best & Most Interesting Counties - Gamer Empire (2024)

There are thousands of counties in Crusader Kings 3, and most of them are unique in their own way.

Some counties stand out due to their amazing special buildings, while others boast amazing max holding sizes.

Recommended Read: How to Increase Control in Crusader Kings 3

When it comes to the best counties in CK3, we have to consider many things, such as terrain, possible buildings, and surrounding duchy.

So, here are some of the best counties in Crusader Kings 3 that you should use as a possible capital for your empire.

Table of contents

  • 10 Best Counties in CK3
  • Counties with the Most Holdings in CK3
  • Counties with Special Buildings in CK3

10 Best Counties in CK3

Since there is no clear best county in CK3, we have compiled a list of the 10 best overall counties in the game. Here they are, in no particular order:


The county of Baghdad is situated right in the center of one of the most economically advanced regions in the world.

Baghdad has 6 holding slots, and since the maximum is 7, this is very good. It also has a special building present from the start.

The House of Wisdom is a special building present just in Baghdad and it increases taxes in the county and monthly development growth by 20%. The development will also grow by 0.2 per month as a bonus.

The ruler of the kingdom that holds Baghdad will also get the following bonuses from the House of Wisdom:

  • +2 Learning per Level of Faith
  • +20% monthly Lifestyle experience gain
  • -20% Faith Creation and Reformation Cost
  • +15% Cultural Fascination Progress
  • +10 Different Culture Opinion

The terrain where the capital of the county of Baghdad is situated is called a Floodplain, and this is also really good for development growth (+20% development growth).

The duke of Baghdad would also control 5 counties if the 4 castles they could control from the Baghdad county weren’t enough.

Brysis + Constantinople

The county of Brysis is a weird one in CK3, as its capital is situated in the hills to the north of Constantinople. The county of Byzantion, where Constantinople is situated, has only one holding, the castle itself.

Though the county of Brysis wouldn’t be that impressive by itself, if you combine it with the one-holding county of Byzantion, these two make an amazing capital.

Brysis has 6 holding spaces which are mostly plains and is also part of the Thrace duchy, which is one of the best in the game.

Byzantion also has the special building Hagia Sophia Cathedral, which gives the county +20% development growth, and also gives its holder the following bonuses:

  • +2 Learning
  • +5% Monthly Renown
  • +2 Number of Knights
  • +20% Knight Effectiveness
  • +2 Intrigue per Level of Fame
  • +0.1 Monthly Piety per Knight


The county of Cordoba (or Qurtubah) is the best capital in CK3 for someone that wants to start their world conquest in the Iberian Peninsula.

Cordoba is a relatively small county compared to others on this list (4 holding slots), but it has a really good special building and farmlands (+20% development growth and the best money-making buildings in the game) in almost every holding.

The Great Mosque of Cordoba will give the county the following bonuses:

  • +15% Holding Taxes
  • +20% Monthly Development
  • +0.2 Monthly Development
  • +15% Levy Size

And the holder of the county:

  • +0.5 Monthly Piety
  • +5% Monthly Renown
  • +5 Different Culture Opinion
  • +0.2 Monthly Development in Realm Capital

One of the best things about the Great Mosque of Cordoba is that you will also get a flat tax of 3 gold per month just by having it in your territories.


Though the county of Giurgiu doesn’t have a terrain that would impress anyone (plains, no bonuses), it is surrounded by rivers in all directions, giving it incredible defensive abilities.

You have the Danube to the south, where you only have one bridge that can access the province, one river to the west, and another one passing through the county.

Giurgiu also has 6 holdings spaces, and almost none of them are built, which means you can get a maximum of 4 castles from it.

There are no special buildings in Giurgiu, but you are situated in a very interesting spot on the map, surrounded by great powers, and you have one of the best starting points in CK3.

Isle de France

The county of Isle de France has 6 farmlands holding slots and a special building, buildable by decision: the Notre-Dame.

Players can get a lot of amazing benefits from Notre-Dame. The county will get the following bonuses:

  • +2 Monthly Tax
  • +20% Holding Taxes
  • +30% Monthly Development
  • +0.2 Monthly Development
  • +5 Popular Opinion

And the player will personally get these bonuses:

  • +1 Monthly Piety
  • +5% Monthly Renown
  • +1 Stewardship per Level of Devotion

Though some might say that France might be a relatively basic location, Isle de France is still a really good county that can work incredibly well for newer players.


South of the Taklamakan Desert, CK3 players can find the amazingly big county of Khotan, which can hold 7 holdings in it.

Though this is one of the largest counties in the game, it has a bit too many deserts. Deserts have a -50% development growth debuff, which is really bad.

However, the capital barony of the county is set in an oasis (+10% development growth), which makes this location viable for a world conquest.

Since this is one of the only 4 counties where you can have 5 castles for yourself, Khotan is a really good county that players should look at once in their lifetime.


The county of Kyiv is probably the best CK3 county in eastern Europe. It has 6 holdings slots, like most counties on this list, and also has an amazing special building.

The Golden Gate of Kyiv will offer players a lot of bonuses. In the county itself, the ruler will get the following buffs:

  • +2 Fort Level
  • +2 Defender Advantage
  • +250 Garrison
  • +10% Holding Taxes
  • +10% Monthly Development
  • +0.1 Monthly Development

Also, the player will get these bonuses from the Golden Gate of Kyiv in CK3:

  • +10% Monthly Piety
  • +10% Monthly Prestige

Kyiv would get a spot on this best counties in CK3 list just by having this amazing building at the start of the game. However, it is also a really large county, with half of its holdings being farmlands.


The county of Madurai is considered by many CK3 players that frequent Indian playthroughs as the best province in the game.

It is extremely large, being in the top 4 largest counties in the game, with 7 holdings slots, and 5 of those are farmlands.

Madurai is also situated in an amazing spot, south of the Indian subcontinent. By taking over Sri Lanka, the ruler of Madurai can make sure that there are no more dangers to the south.

If a player starts in Madurai, they can also extend a bit to the north and also get the Brihadeeswarar Temple special building, which will give them some really good buffs.


At the southeastern edge of the world, players can find the county Pagan, where they can find some of the best experiences in CK3.

The county of Pagan has an interesting terrain combination, with mountains, plains, and farmlands all over.

It also has 6 holding spaces, which should be the norm for these really good counties. Pagan can also hold a really good special building if you invest the necessary resources to build it.

The Ananda Temple will give the county of Pagan the following bonuses:

  • +3 Monthly Tax
  • +20% Monthly Development
  • +0.1 Monthly Development

And players will also get some special bonuses from the Ananda Temple:

  • +2 Learning
  • +5% Monthly Piety
  • +10% Monthly Control
  • +5 Popular Opinion

The only slight problem is that you will need to follow an eastern faith to get these bonuses from the Ananda Temple.


Rome was once the center of the world, and the county in CK3 shows this with its amazing terrain and special buildings.

The Rome county is one of the only provinces in CK3 that has two special buildings: the Aurelian Walls and the Colosseum

The Colosseum has relatively tame bonuses for players:

  • -10% Building Construction Time
  • -5% Army Maintenance

However, the real breadwinner here is the Aurelian Walls. In the county, the Aurelian Walls will give:

  • +3 Fort Level
  • +50% Garrison Size
  • +500 Garrison
  • +10% Monthly Development
  • +0.2 Monthly Development
  • +50% Hostile Raid Time

And they will also give players the following buffs:

  • +15% Duchy Levy Size
  • +15% Duchy Holding Taxes

One of the only problems with Rome is that you will have to take down the Pope, which can be a really challenging task.

Counties with the Most Holdings in CK3

The most holdings a county can have in CK3 is 7. There are exactly 4 counties that manage to meet this standard:

  • Khotan
  • Nasaiya
  • Gurganj
  • Madurai

Counties with Special Buildings in CK3

There are a lot of special buildings in CK3, and most of them can make a county god-like with their bonus effects.

Here is a list of all the counties that have a special building at the 867 start of the game, in no particular order:

  • A Corunnã – Farum Brigantium
  • Aachen – Palace of Aachen
  • Al-Madina – The Prophetic Mosque
  • Algeciras – Rock of Gibraltar
  • An-Najaf – Imam Ali Mosque
  • Baghdad – House of Wisdom
  • Baidha-Petra – Petra
  • Bamiyan – Buddhas of Bamiyan
  • Bebbanburg, Carleol, Hexham, and Whitehaven – Hadrian’s Wall
  • Canterbury – Canterbury Cathedral
  • Chester, Clifford. Clun, Gloucester, Hereford, Shrewsbury, and Wigmore – Offa’s Dyke
  • Constantinople – Theodosian Walls, Hagia Sophia
  • Cordoba – The Great Mosque of Cordoba
  • Dagon – Shwedagon Pagoda
  • Gaya – Mahabodhi Temple
  • Genoa – Walls of Genoa
  • Gizeh – The Pyramids
  • Granada – Alhambra
  • Halab – Citadel of Aleppo
  • Hedeby – Danevirke
  • Indraprastha – Iron Pillar of Delhi
  • Isfahan – The Friday Mosque
  • Jerusalem – The Third Temple / Dome of the Rock
  • Lugo – Roman Walls of Lugo
  • Mecca – Great Mosque of Mecca
  • Pataliputra – Nalanda University
  • Rome – Aurelian Walls, The Colosseum
  • Salisbury – Stonehenge
  • Samarra – Great Mosque of Samarra
  • Sigtuna – Temple of Uppsala
  • Toledo – City Walls of Toledo
  • Venezia – Doge’s Palace

There are also buildable special buildings that are already there from the 1066 start:

  • Chanderi – Temple City
  • Cairo – Al-Azhar University
  • Dhara – Iron Pillar of Dhar
  • Tanjavur – Brihadeeswarar Temple
  • Tirakka – The University of Sankoré
  • Zaragoza – Aljafería

Other counties in CK3 that can have special buildings, but they will need to be constructed in every start date, are:

  • Pagan – Ananda Temple
  • Cologne – Cologne Cathedral
  • Jenne-Jeno – Great Mosque of Djenne
  • Isle de France – Notre-Dame
  • Lund – Lund Cathedral
  • Santiago – Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela
  • Siena – The University of Siena
  • Middlesex – The Tower of London
  • Visby – Visby Ringmur
  • Benin – Walls of Benin
  • Kyiv – Golden Gate of Kyiv
  • Túnsberg – Heddal Stave Church
  • Cuellar – Alcázar of Segovia

That’s everything you need to know about the best and most interesting counties in Crusader Kings 3!

Have any input or suggestions for this guide? Let us know in the comment section below.

Crusader Kings 3 - Best & Most Interesting Counties - Gamer Empire (2024)
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