Can You Name These Global Cities from Three Clues?


By: Zoe Samuel

6 Min Quiz

Image: shutterstock

About This Quiz

Cities rise and cities fall, and the ones that stand astride the world don't always last. From Troy to Babylon to Nineveh to Karakorum, great cities often end up merely ruins - but others always rise to take their place. Currently, there are supposedly around 50,000 cities in the world, though of course that figure varies depending on how you count a city. In some countries, it means just a certain size of population; in others, it means a large town with a cathedral. Cities are generally places with more significant financial, cultural and political impact than towns and villages, even when they're not necessarily that much bigger. Typical definitions for a city can be anything with over 50,000 people. If we only count over 500,000 people there are 1,063 cities, and if you put the line at a million, there are still just short of 500!

Thus, clearly, no one can know all the cities in the world. Still, there are some that are so consequential that everyone has heard about them, meaning they can draw millions of tourists annually as well as all sorts of hopefuls and dreamers who move there to make their fortune. Let's see how many of them you can identify from just three clues!

It's home to the Changing of the Guards, Regent's Park, and Nelson's Column.

London is one of the top 5 biggest cities in the world, as well as one of the most expensive to live in. Around 10m tourists a year visit the city.


It's home to the Sidi Yahiya Mosque, was built by nomads, and it's in Mali.

Timbuktu dates from the 12th century but it became a cultural center in the 15th century. Today it is very poor but definitely beautiful and worth a visit!


It's home to the Champs Elysée, the Louvre, and Washington D.C.'s design is inspired by it.

Paris is one of the most filmed cities in the world. It began on an island surrounded by the natural moat of the Seine and has been a powerful walled city for over 1000 years.


It's the capital of Germany, home to the Brandenburg Gate, and also to the Reichstag.

Berlin is capital of unified Germany, though it was one capital of the separated halves of Germany. As of recently, the Berlin Wall has been down for as long as it was up.


It's a lakeside city, it has great cheese and chocolate, and it's where bankers go to do secret deals.

Geneva is one of the main cities in Switzerland, albeit not the biggest or the capital. It's a very important financial center where a lot of money just disappears.


It's home to the Uffizi, the Medici family and Leonardo da Vinci.

Florence is one of Italy's main cities and is one of the most beautiful places in the world. Check out the Uffizi gallery for beauty inside and out.


It's the capital of Ireland, it has free horses and it's home to James Joyce.

There really are horses just roaming around Dublin, so if you see one, that's not just the Guinness talking!


It's home to geothermal baths, it has an airport that is much too big and its nation has very few trees.

Iceland's capital built a really big airport back when transatlantic flights had to stop there on their way over the pond. Now planes go further and the airport is too big.


It's home to the Meiji Shinto Shrine, it has 35 million residents and its Jingu Bridge is quite a fashion parade!

Tokyo is capital of Japan and one of the densest cities in the world. Just don't worry if someone shoves you into the subway: that's literally their job (as long as they have the uniform on!)


It was home to Kubla Khan, it's the first city to host both the winter and summer Olympics and it is a really bad place to criticize the government.

Beijing is the capital of China and has been a capital for 1800 years, on and off.


It had a very bad quake in 2012, it's called the City of Sails and it is the largest Polynesian city.

Auckland is capital of New Zealand and is located on the larger South Island.


It's the capital of Australia, largest inland city in the nation, and only has just over 400,000 residents.

Sydney is not the capital of Australia, though people tend to think so is as it is the biggest city. Canberra actually holds that position.


It is often mistaken for the capital of Canada, it is always one of the top 3 cities in the world for living standards, and it contains North America's only real European-style castle.

Toronto is the biggest city in Canada and 5th biggest in North America. Thanks to good transit, universal health care and a vibrant economy, it is one of the happiest cities on earth.


It is home to Microsoft and Boeing, Frasier Crane lives there and it has a space needle.

Seattle is one of the rainiest cities in America and also one of the most economically significant, being the main port in the northwest.


It's built on limestone, it's the largest city in Florida and it is home to Art Basel.

Miami is a very prosperous city with the main port in the southeastern USA. It is very vulnerable to rising sea levels due to its porous limestone and extremely low-lying position, and tragically, parts of it will be submerged by the end of the century!


It is home to the biggest carnival in Brazil, it has some very poor areas known as favelas and its biggest statue is Christ the Redeemer.

Rio is one of the most fun cities in South America and has some of the best beaches on the planet, but it suffers from amazing levels of income inequality.


It is was a major Aztec city, it is well over a mile above sea level and it is the oldest city in the Americas.

Mexico City is very high up so you can get altitude sickness. Despite unfair stereotypes, it is a very economically vibrant place with beautiful ancient architecture.


It has been around for about 5,000 years, at war for almost all of them and three religions call it their starting point.

Jerusalem is a beautiful and ancient city that is tragically riven by conflict, and seems like it may be for many years yet. Still, it's actually very safe, and definitely worth a visit.


It was capital of the Assyrian Empire, it has been at war since 2011 and it's the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world.

Damascus, like Jerusalem, has been through far too much strife. It is a beautiful city known as the City of Jasmine.


It is the biggest economic center in India, it is home to Bollywood, and it is a major world tech hub.

Mumbai is a very important world city that has a vibrant economy and entertainment sector. It is not the capital of India, but is instead capital of the major state of Maharashtra.


It is capital of Yemen, noted for its striped architecture and despite being over 7000 feet above sea level, it is still at the foot of Mount Nuqum.

Yemen's beautiful capital is noted for exquisite Islamic architecture. Sadly much of the city is currently being destroyed by a war between Saudi and US-backed Sunni government forces, against Iranian and Russian-backed Shia rebels. When at peace, Sana'a is a beautiful and vibrant city.


It was founded in 1514, it is known as the City of Columns and it is the home of Bacardi.

Havana is capital of Cuba and only 90 miles from Florida. Travel restrictions are in place for US citizens but people find plenty of ways around them!


It is capital of Nigeria, home to Zuma Rock, and also the Millennium Tower.

Abuja is a modern, cosmopolitan city that was intentionally developed as the capital since it was in a relatively neutral area and not a seat of power for existing forces in Nigeria's politics.


It is home to Desmond Tutu, largest city in the province of Gauteng and home of the Apartheid Museum.

Johannesburg is capital of South Africa, which is currently going through quite a lot of upheaval with a land redistribution law and water shortages. Still, Johannesburg is a great place to visit!


It is home to the Doge and Casanova, it has the Basilica San Marco and it is noted for its water bus.

Venice is one of the most beautiful and recognized cities on the planet and also very vulnerable to sea level rise. An absolutely massive lock is being built to save it, as it is a UNESCO site and massive tourist draw.


It is noted for its garlicky chicken, it is a former Soviet capital and it is home to Saint-Sophia Cathedral.

Kiev has had a rough run of it, with the east part of its nation currently occupied by Russian troops. The city also suffers from some horrible Soviet architecture. However, the older city is beautiful and the Kiev Pechersk Lavra monastery is well worth seeing.


It used to be called Constantinople, it is a bridge from East to West and it contains the Blue Mosque.

Istanbul was the capital of the Ottoman Empire and is the center of the modern nation of Turkey. It was also the eastern capital of the Roman Empire.


It is on the Nile, it has some very nice pyramids and it contains the ancient city of Memphis.

Cairo is known as the City of the Thousand Minarets due to having so many mosques. It has been through a lot in the last 100 years with military dictatorships, World War Two, more dictators, the Arab Spring and then sadly, another dictator.


It is a nation unto itself, home of St. Peter and its leader is a religious figure.

Vatican City is a country in a city - in a city. It is in Rome but is technically sovereign as home of the Catholic faith.


It is the home of Gaudi, capital of Catalonia and noted for its amazingly good soccer team.

Barcelona is known for its bizarre and beautiful Gaudi buildings. It is also capital of the state of Catalonia which is currently undergoing a separatist push, though it may not actually leave Spain.


It is largely below sea level, it has over 50 miles of canals and supposedly it has over 800,000 bicycles.

Amsterdam is a very, very old city and a lot of it is on reclaimed or built-up land. As it is very flat, it is very good for cycling.


It is a nation unto itself, it is noted for gambling and Princess Grace is probably its most famous resident.

Monaco is its own little country and is a tax haven. Movie star Grace Kelly married its prince back in the 1900s but it was not a happy union, sadly. Monaco is a great place to gamble and also to see the most expensive cars in the world.


Its full name is the longest city name in the world, it is on the Chao Phraya River and its name in its local language translates to City of Angels

Bangkok is one of the top tourist destinations in Asia and is noted for its massive markets, plus stunning Buddhist temples. Thailand used to be called Siam and managed to avoid being colonized even when its neighbors were.


It has the fastest internet of any world city, it has more art openings than any city and it is home to the Five Grand Palaces

Seoul is a very exciting city on the bleeding edge of modern tech. It is under threat from South Korea's northern neighbor as it is very near the border - but in the meantime it is safe and vibrant.


It has five boroughs, its massive natural harbor has the most coastline of any in America and it used to have a Dutch name.

New York is the economic capital of the US, though not its political one. It has five boroughs that include Manhattan, the most densely populated and wealthiest, whose name means Island of Many Hills.


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