How well do you know capital cities around the world?


By: Abi Luftig

6 Min Quiz

Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

To date, there are 196 countries in the world, and they all have capital cities that are celebrated by their citizens. Surely you know the capital city of your own country, but test your knowledge to see how you fare with other parts of the world!

What is the capital city of the United States?

Washington D.C. (District of Columbia) was founded in 1790 as a result of the Residence Act, which designated it as a capital district. Therefore, D.C. is not part of any state in America, and residents do not have a voice in Congress. They can vote for an elected official, but that official does not have the right to partake in any Congressional votes. Given that D.C. residents must still pay federal taxes, this lack of elected representation has led to discontent. Many residents cite “No Taxation Without Representation” as the city’s unofficial motto. The official motto, however, is Justitia Omnibus (Justice for All).


What is the capital city of Russia?

Russia’s capital city, Moscow, was named after the Moskva River upon which it was built. The Moskva River and its sister, the Oka River, are used primarily for casual travel and entertainment cruises. Other methods of public transportation in Moscow include five airports, nine railway stations, monorails, buses, trolleys, and the Moscow Metro system. The Metro system is known worldwide for its ornate decors, such as murals, mosaics, chandeliers, and marble walls.


What is the capital city of Argentina?

In addition to being the capital, Buenos Aires is also the most populous city in Argentina. Much like Washington D.C., Buenos Aires does not belong to a state or province. It is an autonomous city, which is similar to federal districts. The full name of the city is the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires (in Spanish, Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires).


What is the capital city of Spain?

Madrid is the largest city in Spain, but the third largest in the EU (after London and Berlin). At 2,188 ft above sea level, Madrid holds the honor of the highest European capital.


What is the capital city of Netherlands?

While Amsterdam is often associated with marijuana, the red light district, and other such things, it is important to note that the city is host to a multitude of museums and galleries. Most of these museums are located in the Museumplein (Museum Square), including the Van Gogh Museum, Stedelijk Museum (Municipal Museum), House of Bols Cocktail & Genever Experience and Coster Diamonds, the Rijksmuseum (National Museum), the Verzetsmuseum (Resistance Museum), the Anne Frank House,the Rembrandt House Museum, the Tropenmuseum (Museum of the Tropics), Amsterdam Museum (formerly known as Amsterdam Historical Museum), Hermitage Amsterdam, and the Joods Historisch Museum (Jewish Historical Museum).


What is the capital city of Japan?

Officially, the City of Tokyo no longer exists. On July 1, 1943, the City of Tokyo and the Tokyo Prefecture merged to form Tokyo Metropolis. Once called Edo, Tokyo was renamed when the Emperor moved the government from Kyoto to Tokyo. Tokyo Metropolis is the most populated metropolitan area in the entire world.


What is the capital city of Mexico?

Ciudad de México, or Mexico City, was established by Aztecs in 1325, destroyed in a 1521 siege by the Spanish, and rebuilt in the style of the conquering Spain in 1524. It is the oldest capital city in the Americas, and is occasionally called the City of the Palaces, The City of Hope, CDMX, and Chilangolandia.


What is the capital city of the United Kingdom?

London is a host of culture in a wide range of media. Classical music fans enjoy the London Philharmonic Choir and London Symphony Chorus, rock music fans can tour the famed Abbey Road recording studio, and art enthusiasts can tour The National Museum and The Tate Gallery. Sports fans can visit Wembley Stadium and visit the site of the 2012 Olympics.


What is the capital city of Greece?

Athens has the distinction of not only being the capital city of Greece and its largest ​but also being one of the oldest cities in existence. It is estimated that Athens became home to its first citizens between the 11th and 7th centuries BC. It’s not the oldest city in Greece, however. That honor, according to most historians, is given to Trikala.


What is the capital city of Australia?

The honor of being Australia’s capital city does not go to the largest or most-known municipality, but instead to the eighth largest. It was chosen to be capital in 1908 as a compromise between those who wanted the government to be placed in Sydney and those who wanted it to be placed in Melbourne.


What is the capital city of Israel?

Jerusalem, one of the oldest cities in the world (9th oldest in the western Asia region), has certainly not had an easy time. Since its founding in approximately 2800 BC, the city has been destroyed twice, attacked 52 times, put under siege 23 times, and has been captured/recaptured 44 times.


What is the capital city of France?

Paris is split in half by the Seine River, and the two sides, Rive Gauche (Left Bank) and Rive Droite (Right Bank) have very distinct personalities. Rive Gauche is more Bohemian and artistic, having once been a home and source of inspiration to Anaïs Nin, Pablo Picasso, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Gertrude Stein, to name a few. Rive Droite boasts a more sophisticated and elegant feel and is home to the famed Champs-Élysées.


What is the capital city of Germany?

While it has a well-established urban development, Germany’s capital city of Berlin is far more steeped in nature than many realize. Approximately one-third of the city’s area consists of undeveloped land and water, such as forests, parks, gardens, rivers, canals, and lakes.


What is the capital city of Belgium?

The City of Brussels, alternately called Ville de Bruxelles or Brussel-Stad, is unique in that it is the de jure, or legal, capital of Belgium. The de facto capital (the one that everyone accepts as the capital) is, in fact, the Brussels Region. Those familiar with London and the City of London understand this differentiation.


What is the capital city of Brazil?

This was a bit of a trick question, as it did not specify whether to choose the past or current capital. Rio de Janeiro used to be the capital of Brazil, but on April 21, 1960, Brasilia, the 4th most populated city in Brazil, was declared the capital.


What is the capital city of Cambodia?

Phnom Penh, chosen as capital city during the French colonization of Cambodia, is actually a nickname for the city, based on the name of the founder and city leader, Daun Penh. Its official name is Krong Chaktomok, or "City of Four Faces." The Four Faces refer to the bodies of water that surround the city: Mekong River, Bassac River, and Tonlé Sap, which refers to both a lake and a river of the same name.


What is the capital city of Canada?

Ottawa, in the Province of Ontario, takes its name from the Ottawa River, which took its name from the Algonquin word Odowa, meaning “to trade.” Due to its two public universities, two public colleges (yes, they are different things), two private Catholic universities, and two Quebecois schools, Ottawa is consistently ranked the most educated city in Canada.


What is the capital city of Denmark?

Copenhagen became the capital of Denmark in the 15th century, having previously been a small Viking fishing village. After dealing with outbreaks of the Plague and citywide fire in the 18th century, Copenhagen underwent a cultural revival while rebuilding. It is now home to several famous landmarks, such as the Amalienborg and Christiansborg palaces, Rosenborg Castle Gardens, Tivoli Gardens, and perhaps most famously, a statue honoring The Little Mermaid. (Side note, The Little Mermaid’s author, Hans Christian Andersen, is also buried in Copenhagen.)


What is the capital city of Ecuador?

Quito loves to come in second. Not only is it the second most populous city in Ecuador (behind Guayaquil), it is also the second highest official capital city in the world, sitting 9,350 ft above sea level. However, it wins first place for being the capital city closest to the Equator.


What is the capital city of Vietnam?

Hanoi is similar to Berlin, in that it was the capital before, during, and after the split of its nation. Hanoi served as the capital of Vietnam prior to the war in 1954. From 1954 to 1976, it was the capital city of North Vietnam. After North Vietnam won the war in 1976, Hanoi was, once again, the capital of all of Vietnam. In October 2010, Hanoi celebrated its Millennial Anniversary.


What is the capital city of Egypt?

Cairo is a winner all around. Not only is it the capital and largest city in all of Egypt, it also holds the title for the largest metropolitan area in the entire Middle East. It doesn’t win overall, however. It’s only the 15th largest metropolitan area in the world.


What is the capital city of Finland?

While Helsinki is the capital of Finland, it is technically incorrect to call it the capital city. There is no actual Finnish word for “city,” the closest equivalent being suurkaupunki, or “large town.” Other names for Helsinki include Helsingfors, Stadi, and Hesa.


What is the capital city of Hungary?

Tourists in Budapest will never be bored. In addition to 223 museums and galleries, 40 theatres, seven concert halls, one opera house, 80 geothermal springs, and the second-largest synagogue in the world, there are also several music and cultural festivals held every year.


What is the capital city of Italy?

Rome is one of the oldest cities in the world, having been originally settled in approximately 753 BC. It has been called The Eternal City, The City of Love (sorry, Paris!), the Throne of St. Peter, and The Capital of the World, the latter being a rallying call during the expansion of the Roman Empire.


What is the capital city of Kenya?

Nairobi was founded as a railway depot in 1899 by the British East Africa colonial authorities. Due to the Nairobi River flowing through town, the area was referred to as “Enkare Nairobi” or “cool water.” Like many major cities, Nairobi has a nickname: the Green City in the Sun.


What is the capital city of Libya?

Tripoli was founded in 7th century BC by the Phoenicians, who then called it Oea. By the 2nd century BC, Oea had been overtaken by the Romans, who renamed it Regio Tripolitana. This eventually became known as Tripoli.


What is the capital city of New Zealand?

The Maori lived in the area that would become Wellington since approximately 1280. It was settled by Europeans in 1839 and became the capital in 1865. With an average wind speed of 26 km/hr, Wellington is the windiest city in the world.


What is the capital city of Oman?

Muscat is home to a variety of rocks. There are volcanic rocks, such as serpentine and diorite, and plutonic rocks, such as greenstone and basalt. The nearby hills are also very rich in iron.


What is the capital city of Pakistan?

Despite being the capital city, Islamabad is only the 10th largest city in Pakistan. The name of the city comes from the Arabic word “Islam” (referring to the largely Muslim population in Pakistan) and the Persian word “abad” (meaning city). Therefore, Islamabad is The City of Islam.


What is the capital city of Qatar?

Doha was founded in the 1820s but did not become the capital city of Qatar until 1971, when Qatar gained independence from Great Britain. In 2010, Doha (Arabic for “the big tree”) was chosen as the Arab Capital of Culture.


What is the capital city of South Africa?

Strange but true, South Africa has three capital cities, each with a different role. Bloemfontein ("fountain of flowers") serves as the judicial capital, where the High Court is located. Cape Town is the legislative capital, where the laws are made. Last but not least, Pretoria functions as the executive capital and home of the executive branch of government.


What is the capital city of Turkey?

Contrary to popular belief, Istanbul/Constantinople is not the capital city of Turkey. There is a reason for this misconception, however: it used to be. In 1923, after the fall of the Ottoman Empire, Ankara was chosen to be the capital. It shares a quirk with its predecessor, Istanbul, in that it is known by other names, chiefly Ancyra and Angora.


What is the capital city of Wales?

Cardiff officially became a city in 1905 and was declared to be the capital of Wales fifty years later. The population of Cardiff is approximately one-third of the entire population of Wales. The city also serves as the filming locale for many popular BBC shows, such as such as "Casualty," "Doctor Who," "Merlin," "Sarah Jane Adventures," "Torchwood," "The Valleys," "Upstairs Downstairs" and "Sherlock."


What is the capital city of Yemen?

One of the oldest cities in the world, Sana’a can trace its roots back to Biblical times. According to popular local legends, Shem (son of Noah) founded the walled city. The walls helped give Sana’a its name, from the Arabic word for “well-fortified.” ​In 1986, the Old City district in Sana’a was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


What is the capital city of Zimbabwe?

The capital city of Zimbabwe was founded in 1890 by the British colonists, who named it Fort Salisbury, after then-Prime Minister Lord Salisbury. Over time, the “Fort” was dropped and the city was officially known as Salisbury until 1982, when it was renamed Harare to celebrate the second anniversary of Zimbabwean independence from Britain. It is sometimes called Sunshine City and H-Town by residents.


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