Last updated on August 20, 2022
How many of the 195 world capitals do you know?
Our capital cities of the world quiz doesn’t ask you to list them all (we’re not THAT cruel), but it will heartily test your knowledge of fun facts about world capitals. But before you put your brainpower to the test, we’ve got 39 facts for you to study below. From learning about the different kinds of capitals to who has the longest official capital city name on the planet (it’s Bangkok – whose official capital name clocks in at 168 characters), we’re sure that you will learn something new below!
Do you already consider yourself an expert on world capitals? Then go ahead and test your knowledge in our quiz, or if you’re not quite ready for that, read on to learn facts about world capitals.
Fun Facts About World Capitals
Travel and Tourism
~ El Alto International Airport (LPB) in La Paz, Bolivia is located at 4,061.5 m (13,325 ft) above sea level and is the highest international airport in the world, the sixth-highest commercial airport in the world, and the highest commercial airport outside of China.
~ Despite La Paz being the home to Bolivia’s government offices, its financial center, and being the de facto capital, it is not actually the country’s constitutional capital. The honor of that distinction goes to Sucre, which is most commonly referred to as the “administrative capital”.
~ South Africa is home to the most national capital cities in the world, with Cape Town, Pretoria, and Bloemfontein sharing that distinction. Can you even say you’ve been to South Africa if you haven’t visited them all?
~ With around 20 million tourists per year, London (England) is the second most visited capital city in the world after Bangkok (Thailand).
~ Romans are very fashion-conscious, so if you plan to visit Rome (Italy’s capital), try to look your best because it certainly will be a huge help when trying to gel with the locals.
~ Nauru, an island country situated in the Pacific Ocean, is the second smallest country in the world. However, unlike most other countries that have a seat of government, it has no capital city.
~ Wellington, New Zealand, is the southernmost capital in the world.
~ La Paz in Bolivia is the highest capital city in the world, sitting at 3,869 meters above sea level.
~ On the other side, Reykjavik in Iceland is the most northerly capital in the world, and it’s also the most westerly capital city in Europe.
~ Besides being the most populous city on the planet, Tokyo (Japan) is also known for being the most “natural disaster-prone” city in the world. (Maybe this isn’t one of the most fun facts about world capitals, but it’s interesting nonetheless.)
~ The Danube River passes through four major European capital cities: Vienna (Austria), Bratislava (Slovakia), Budapest (Hungary), and Belgrade (Serbia).
Biodiversity and Climate
~ Cape Town, South Africa is known for being the most biodiverse capital city in the world. In addition to this, it is home to many species that are only to be found there. This makes it a great tourist destination!
~ Ottawa, Canada is the seventh coldest capital city in the world. It is just a little warmer than Astana, Moscow, Helsinki, Reykjavik, Tallinn, and the coldest one: Ulaan-Baatar in Mongolia.
~ Lima, Peru is the third most populous desert city only after Cairo in Egypt and Karachi in Pakistan. It’s also the second driest capital city in the world after Cairo.
~ With an average of 5,131 millimeters of rainfall per year, Monrovia in Liberia is the wettest capital city on earth.
People and Languages
~ Mumbai is the most populous city in India, with an estimated population of over 20 million. It’s not, however, the country’s capital – that honor belongs to New Delhi (Delhi), with a population of just over 16 million.
~ Georgetown in Guyana is the only South American capital city in which English is the official language. The majority of the population, however, speak Guyanese Creole which derives from a combination of African and European languages.
~ With around 800 inhabitants, Georgetown is the capital city of Ascension Island and doesn’t have a school. Thus students must travel 3 miles inland to a different village to study.
~ Luxembourg (also of the country Luxembourg) is the most multilingual city on the planet. The majority of people in Luxembourg speak four languages, but the rate of foreign residents almost reaches fifty percent of the total population!
~ Lagos (Nigeria) is the most populated capital city in Africa with an estimated population of 9 million. Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of the Congo) is following closely behind with 7.8 million. Cairo (Egypt) is rounding out the top three reaching 7.7 million.
~ Malabo in Equatorial Guinea is the only capital city in Africa where Spanish is the official language.
~ Kyiv is the largest city and the capital of Ukraine. Kyiv officially celebrates its founding year as 482 AD, but the city may date back at least 2,000 years taking archaeological evidence into account.
~ Bridgetown, the capital city of Barbados, is the only city outside the current U.S. territory to have ever been visited by George Washington.
~ The colors of Paris’ flag are the origin of the blue and red stripes in the French flag. The white stripe in the middle was originally meant to symbolize the monarchy which ruled at the time.
~ The metro system in Buenos Aires, Argentina, is the oldest in Latin America and the twelfth oldest in the world. The oldest one on the planet is the London Underground constructed in 1890.
~ Damascus in Syria is the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world as it was first inhabited around 6500 BCE.
~ Brasília was constructed in only 41 months, and it was officially inaugurated on April 21, 1960, when it became the new capital of Brazil.
~ One of the most famous people born in Warsaw, Poland, was Maria Skłodowska-Curie, who conducted research into radioactivity and eventually became the first female recipient of a Nobel Prize.
~ In Croatian folk etymology, Zagreb‘s name has been derived from the verb za-grab-, meaning “to scoop.”
~ Cairo, Egypt is the only city in the world that has an ancient wonder of the world still left standing. Out of the seven original wonders, only one still exists today: The Great Pyramid at Giza.
~ There are more than 150 museums in Mexico City. In fact, Mexico City has more museums than any other city in the world!
~ The United States Capitol Building in Washington DC, was designed by a young Irish-born architect, James Hoban. And William Thornton, the designer of the White House, was born in Scotland.
~ Rome, Italy has a museum dedicated exclusively to pasta. Centuries worth of stories related to the history of pasta are spread throughout the museum’s eleven halls.
Random Fun Facts About World Capitals
~ Most commonly known as Bangkok, Thailand’s capital city’ full name translates as “City of angels, great city of immortals, magnificent city of the nine gems, seat of the king, city of royal palaces, home of gods incarnate, erected by Vishvakarman at Indra’s behest”. Written out, the name is the longest in the world: Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthara Yuthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udomratchaniwet Mahasathan Amon Piman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukam Prasit
~ In 2018, U.N. Environment Programme suggested that Kigali in Rwanda is “the cleanest city in the world” and this capital city is known as Africa’s cleanest capital after a long decade ban on plastics.
~ Caracas, Venezuela is one of the most dangerous capital cities in the world and held this title in 2017.
~ The Goreangab Water Reclamation Plant, located in Windhoek, Namibia is internationally renowned as the first plant in the world to reclaim domestic sewage for drinking water purposes. It has been operating for 32 years and continues to be the world’s only plant of its kind to do so.
~ Warsaw, Poland hosts the Guinness World Record for the largest parade of hybrid cars ever recorded.
~ Naypyidaw, the new capital city of Myanmar (since 2005), is about 4.5 times the size of London but with a population that is nearly five times smaller.
Now that you’ve learned so many fun facts about world capitals, now’s the time to test your knowledge with our quiz!
This post was compiled by the Travel Trivia Challenge (TTC) team. TTC was founded by Dalene and Pete Heck who traveled the world non-stop for almost 8 years.