Are You a World Capital Expert?


By: Beth Hendricks

6 Min Quiz

Image: DANNY HU / Moment / Getty Images

About This Quiz

​Pastéis da nata in Portugal's capital city? Roaming the streets in Italy? How about braving the Canadian cold in this handpicked town? There are so many cool, unique and wonderful places to visit in this world. And, many of them are fairly accessible, thanks to being located in their country's capital. Did you know you can visit the world's driest place by heading to the southwest coast of South America? The world's largest bell awaits you in Philadel ... nope ... Russia! Love museums? Then, a trip to Germany's capital will shoot up your bucket list after taking this quiz.

How well could you identify some of these popular locales? That's the "capital" request in this quiz! We've pulled together 35 questions with fun and fascinating facts about some of the world's most iconic cities. Do you know the "city of lights?" What about the world's northernmost capital? Surely you can tell us which capital is practically the birthplace of classical music. 

Think worldly thoughts as you navigate these questions. From North America to South, from Europe to Asia to "Down Under," we want to see how many virtual passport stamps you can rack up! Put it all together and you have a capital case of big-time fun!

John Milton called this capital of Greece, "the eye of Greece, mother of arts and eloquence." What is its name?

John Milton, who famously wrote the epic poem "Paradise Lost," was intrigued by Athens, calling it the eye of Greece and the mother of arts and eloquence. As a poet, we'd consider him something of an expert.


Israel's capital has been conquered more than four dozen times, including by the Roman and Ottoman empires, among others. What is its name?

Jerusalem seems always to be a city under siege. It has been conquered by outside forces at least 40 times in its history, but manages to keep standing. Its residents have been living in the capital city for roughly 3,000 years.


If you love classical music, this Austrian capital is a must-visit. What is it?

Vienna, Austria, almost singlehandedly gave us classical music. In this city, you can see the lives of classical greats like Mozart, Beethoven, Haydn and Schubert up close and personal.


If you want to visit the largest city in Africa or the Middle East, you'll have to travel to which of these cities in Egypt?

Cairo, Egypt, is the country's center of government, but it also holds the distinction of being the largest city (nearly 200 square miles) in all of Africa and the Middle East. Cairo's metropolitan area boasts a population of more than 20 million people.


Sometimes confused as part of the Middle East, Libya and its capital city are planted firmly in north Africa. What is the capital's name?

Libya and its capital city of Tripoli are firmly a part of north Africa, all 679,000 square miles of it. Tripoli itself, noted for its nearby turquoise waters, is often called the "mermaid of the Mediterranean."


Luxembourg is home to the most castles per capita in the entire world, as well as which of these capital cities?

Trick question? Not exactly. Luxembourg kept it simple here by naming its capital city, well, also Luxembourg. It fits well with the country's motto, which translates to, "We want to remain what we are."


At 750,000 square feet, the castle in Czech Republic's capital city is the world's largest. In which city would you find it?

Prague Castle, appropriately named for its location in the capital city of Prague, occupies 750,000 square feet and attracts upward of two million visitors each year. Those stats helped the castle land a spot in Guinness World Records.


The Beatles' music was once banned in this Cuban capital, but today a statue of John Lennon can be found in a local park. What capital are we referencing?

While the rest of the world was enamored with them, The Beatles were not welcome in Cuba, thanks to the policy of one-time leader Fidel Castro. Today, a statue in Lennon's honor sits in, surprisingly, the city's John Lennon Park.


This capital city of Sweden has been called the world's "smallest big city." What do we know it as?

Stockholm, with its nearly one million residents, serves as the capital of Sweden. It has earned the nickname of "world's smallest big city," thanks to its many city-sized amenities in a much smaller package.


And, you thought your grandmother's recipes were top secret! Which capital city of Portugal is home to one of the world's most prized recipes, a dish called pastéis da nata?

Loosely translated, pastéis da nata are a type of custard tart exclusive to Portugal and its capital city of Lisbon, specifically. Don't fall in love with it, though: The rumor is that only three people in the entire world are privy to the recipe.


You might get so busy sight-seeing at places like The Colosseum or Trevi Fountain that you forget you're in the capital of Italy. What is it called?

Rome is a tourist hotspot for many, thanks to its ancient sites like The Colosseum, Trevi Fountain and St. Peter's Basilica, but for citizens of Italy, they know Rome as their capital or seat of government.


India's Lotus Temple, a flower-shaped structure for worshippers of the Bahai faith, is the only building dedicated to that religion in all of Asia. Where is it found?

New Delhi is India's capital city and home to the Lotus Temple, the only structure of the Bahai faith situated in Asia. The building is particularly beautiful and memorable for its flower-like shape.


Kenya's capital (and largest) city translates to "cool water," thanks to a river of the same name inside the city's limit. What is it called?

Nairobi translates in the Maasai language to "cool water," which may seem like an interesting choice for a country in Sub-Saharan Africa. The Nairobi River, which runs through the city itself, may have contributed to that moniker.


This Japanese capital is the largest metropolitan area in the entire world. What is its name?

As the capital of Japan, Tokyo (once named Edo), is considered the largest metropolitan area in the world. Think a place like New York City is large? Tokyo is home to some 32.5 million people!


Norway's capital plays host to the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony every year. Where can it be found?

Oslo, Norway, holds the distinction of playing host to the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony every year, which takes place at Oslo City Hall. The prize has been awarded annually since the early 1900s.


Iceland's capital city is practically in the Arctic Circle. Where is this northernmost world capital?

Reykjavík is situated so near the Arctic Circle that it qualifies as the world's northernmost capital city. Because of its positioning, residents of this town may only get four hours of sunlight in the winter. Brr!


Lots of cities have a Chinatown, but this one in the Philippines' capital city is the oldest. Where is it?

Manila is the seat of government for the Philippines and home to the world's oldest Chinatown district. It was started in the 16th century as a way for Chinese Catholics to buy and sell goods and services.


The world's largest restaurant bears this capital city's name in Syria. What city is it in?

You'll find the Damascus Gate Restaurant in, you guessed it, Damascus, the capital city of Syria. The restaurant can seat more than 6,000 patrons, so be prepared to wait for your appetizers.


You could visit a new museum every other day in Germany's capital and never go to the same one twice. What city are we referencing?

Berlin is home to somewhere between 170 and 180 museums, according to various sources. That's more than enough for you to visit a new one every other day for a year and never go to the same one twice!


It wasn't the capital of the Netherlands, officially, until the 1980s, but everyone treated it like it was for years. What is its name?

Amsterdam was officially named the capital of the Netherlands in 1983 sort of as a byproduct of a revision to the country's constitution. Though it was the unofficial capital dating back as far as the early 1800s, the constitution didn't mention Amsterdam until the 1980s.


Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice famously composed, "Don't Cry For Me, Argentina," for the movie "Evita," which detailed the life of Eva Perón. In which city did she lead?

Eva Perón led from the capital city of Buenos Aires, in the pink-hued presidential quarters known as Casa Rosada. Perón became legendary in Argentina for her work in women's rights and helping lower socioeconomic classes.


This Spanish capital has its own official symbol, a bear eating berries from a tree. Where is it located?

Madrid is an old city; recorded history of the city dates back to the 9th century. But, that doesn't stop the residents from thinking progressively. The capital city's official symbol is a metaphor for growth in the area.


Founded in 1551, this capital city of Peru is home to the oldest continually operating university in the Americas. Where is this located?

Lima, Peru, holds the distinction of being home to the oldest continually operating institute of higher learning in the Americas. The National University of San Marcos has been around since the 1500s.


China's capital had a bit of an identity crisis, going through 16 names including Jicheng and Zhongdu before settling on which of these?

We know China's capital today as Beijing, but it was not also so. Before becoming the 16th and (so far) final name, it was known as Jicheng, Yanjing, Nanjing, Zhongdu, Dadu and Beiping, among others.


Move over, Liberty Bell! This capital city of Moscow boasts the largest bell in the world, all 200 tons of it. Where is it situated?

Moscow is the capital city of Russia and home to the 200-ton Tsar Bell, officially the largest bell in the world. It can be viewed on the grounds of the Kremlin, the world’s largest medieval fortress.


The Long Bein Bridge in Vietnam's capital city shares an interesting connection to the Eiffel Tower. What is Vietnam's capital called?

The Long Bein Bridge in Hanoi was designed by Alexandre Gustave Eiffel – yes, of that Eiffel, the Eiffel Tower. Eiffel is also credited with designing the Statue of Liberty, which sits in New York Harbor.


Better bring some water: This capital city of Chile is home to the driest place on Earth. What is this city's name?

Santiago is the capital city of Chile and also home to the driest place on the planet – the Atacama Desert. Scientists believe there are parts of the 140,000 square miles of the desert that have never experienced rain.


This North Korean capital was the namesake for the country's own time zone, established in 2015. What is the name of the town?

You've heard of Eastern Standard Time and Mountain Standard Time, but what about Pyongyang Time? In 2015, North Korea declared its own time zone, opting to name it after the country's capital city.


This locale is the capital of the richest country in the world. Which of these is Qatar's capital city?

If Qatar is the world's richest country, does that make Doha its richest city? We're not sure we can make that association, but Doha is, indeed, Qatar's capital city. The majority of Qatar's nearly three million citizens reside in or near the city.


If you don't love snow, steer clear of this Canadian capital which makes the Top 10 of coldest capitals worldwide. What is it?

Queen Victoria herself hand-selected Ottawa to be Canada's capital in 1857, so she clearly wasn't concerned about the weather. Ottawa does get chilly, though; the lowest-ever recorded temperature there was -33 degrees.


The Petronas Towers in this Malaysian capital were the world's tallest from 1998 to 2004. What city are they located in?

Kuala Lumpur is Malaysia's capital city and the country's largest. It was a perfect spot, then, for the oversized twin Petronas Towers, jutting 1,483 feet into the air. They lost their title of "world's tallest" in 2004 with the construction of Taipei 101.


This Australian capital has a NASA base, one of only three such stations in the world. Where is it situated?

No hard feelings if you selected any of the other three answers, cities that often obscure the capital city of Canberra. Canberra is a noteworthy location in its own right and home to one of only three NASA stations of its kind in the world.


Ireland's capital city has nearly 800 licensed pubs ... and growing. In what town are they situated?

Ireland comes by its love of the drink honestly; Dublin alone is home to roughly 800 licensed pubs by itself. That variety gives its nearly 1.4 million residents plenty of places to grab a pint on a Saturday night.


At 16 miles long, this street in South Africa's capital city is one of the world's longest and straightest. In what city would you find it?

Though parts of the 16-mile Church Street have since been renamed, it remains one of the world's longest and straightest stretches of road anywhere. It serves as a significant piece of Pretoria's grid-like layout.


France's capital city is frequently regarded as the "city of lights." What name do we know it by?

Ah, Paris! Paris in the springtime, summer, fall or winter – we don't care, we love it all. Paris earned its "city of lights" nickname for the lanterns placed strategically around the town to help prevent crime, but the 20,000-light Eiffel Tower probably didn't hurt, either.


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