Can You Name the Most Populated Cities in the World From a Hint?


By: Beth Hendricks

6 Min Quiz

Image: steve lorillere / Moment / Getty Images

About This Quiz

Times Square. The Kremlin. Christ The Redeemer. The Great Sphinx. They're some of the world's most popular tourist attractions, drawing millions to their respective cities every year. So, it is any surprise these locales are among the world's most populated as well?

In fact, people who study this sort of thing say that more and more of us are flocking to city lifestyles and eschewing more rural existences. Why? Is it the overall hustle and bustle of city life? Or, is it the plethora of places to go and things to do? Heck, for some of us, it might even be just because a bunch of other people like us live there. And that's OK, too!

As you work through this quiz, you may be surprised to learn that many of the world's most populous cities are in far-flung locations. Think Los Angeles is large with its four million people? You ain't seen nothin' yet. Chongqing in China has more than 30 million. That's Los Angeles times seven ... plus a few. 

Maybe you don't live in one of these megacities, but you don't need to! We can transport you there through this quiz featuring some of the world's most crowded locales. Can you guess which city is known as the "Paris of the East?" In which city can you visit the Picasso Museum? Where are you most likely to catch a glimpse of the Royal Family? Stamp your passport and visit some of the most populated cities in the world ... without ever leaving your couch!

Take a "bite" out of this easy one: Which of these cities is known as the Big Apple?

You may not know it, but this city of roughly eight million earned its name from ... horse racing? It's true. Before the city adopted it as its nickname, the term "big apple" referred to a prize won at horse races.


If you want to see the Great Wall of China, you'll have to mosey to which of these cities?

The Great Wall of China, the longest such structure in the world at more than 13,000 miles long, cuts through parts of Beijing. Beijing boasts more than 21.5 million residents within its borders.


This state is the smallest in Nigeria but the most populous in Africa. Which is it?

With 21 million people and growing, some experts believe that Lagos could double in size over the next 30 or so years. Lagos, located in Nigeria, is a port city on Africa's west coast.


It used to be called Bombay, but today, it's known by which of these names?

Whether you refer to it as Bombay or Mumbai, this city of 20 million in India boasts quite a history. The name change from Bombay to Mumbai happened in the mid-1990s as locals attempted to separate the city from its history of British colonialism.


The name of this massive city means "on the sea." Which Chinese city are we talking about?

This city of 24 million is appropriately named Shanghai, which means "on the river." It sits at the mouth of the Huangpu River. The Huangpu River flows for more than 70 miles, emptying into the East China Sea.


It's a city with a "heavenly name." Which of these translates to "the angels?"

Los Angeles, which means "the angels" in Spanish, is the second-largest city in the United States. With a population of roughly four million people, it's easier to understand why the 405 is always crowded!


This Turkish city has been home to the Roman, Byzantine, Latin and Ottoman Empires. Which is it?

Istanbul, with a current population hovering around 15 million, has been a center of activity for some of the largest empires the world has ever seen, including the Roman, Byzantine, Latin and Ottoman Empires.


Every 40 feet in this city in Japan, you can find a vending machine with everything from ice cream to blue jeans. Which city are we talking about?

Hey, Tokyo's roughly 14 million citizens need a lot of stuff, and apparently they'd rather punch a button and get it from a vending machine than go in a store. Actually, that doesn't sound too bad.


Of its more than 12 million residents, this city boasts one of the largest numbers of billionaires. Which Russian city is it?

Russia's capital city, Moscow, has more than 12 million residents, including one of the highest numbers of billionaires in the world. For a long time, they were No. 1 but were recently surpassed by New York City.


Founded by missionaries in 1554, this Brazilian town is named in honor of Saint Paul. Where are we?

At last count, São Paulo had more than 12 million citizens, not bad for a city founded by Jesuit missionaries almost 500 years ago. São Paulo is a financial center of Brazil but is not its capital; that honor goes to Brasilia.


From 14 gates to just five, this Indian city is home to almost 30 million people. Which city are we talking about?

Delhi, India, grew from 18 million to almost 30 million in the past decade. Gates once surrounded the town — 14 to be specific, but only five remain standing today. Some of them date back to the 13th century.


This city's most famous "resident" of 20 million might just be the Great Sphinx. Where is it located?

Cairo is Egypt's capital city and the largest city in the Middle East, with approximately 20 million residents. It is also home to Giza, the home of the world-famous pyramids and the Great Sphinx.


You can see four states from Willis Tower in this city of 2.7 million. Which location are we talking about?

Chicago is home to almost three million people and a lot of cool sites, including the 110-floor Willis Tower. From the top on a clear day, you can see Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and Michigan.


Theme park lovers, add this city to your list! This South Korean capital has the world's largest indoor theme park. What is the city's name?

Seoul, South Korea, with a population hovering around 10 million, is its nation's capital, but that doesn't mean it's all work and no play. The world's largest indoor theme park, called Lotte World, exists here.


Don't pay anybody on the head in this capital and largest city in Indonesia. What is its name?

Jakarta is Indonesia's capital city — and its largest, at 10 million residents. But don't pat any of them on the head if you visit. That simple act is considered an evil omen in and around Jakarta.


This desert capital is situated between the Pacific Ocean and the Andes Mountains in Peru. What is its name?

Lima, Peru boasts almost 10 million people scattered among 43 different districts. These numbers make it the second-largest capital city in a desert, behind Egypt's capital, Cairo.


Thailand's capital is actually named Krungthepmahanakhon Amonrattanakosin Mahinthara Yutthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udom Ratchaniwet Mahasathan Amonphiman Awatansathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukamprasit, but you probably know it by this name. What is it?

Phew, aren't you glad we didn't ask you to spell that one? Bangkok, Thailand is the capital of the country that has its own series of islands and roughly 9.7 million people. The longer version of this city's name has been Guinness World Record certified as the world's longest place name.


Nine million people live in this, the largest city in Vietnam. What is it called?

Ho Chi Minh City is a modern and vibrant city in Vietnam and home to approximately nine million people. Fun fact: Ho Chi Minh City is home to millions of motorbikes, which residents use to make commuting easier.


Iran's capital sits at the base of the Alborz Mountains and is home to more than nine million people. What is this city's name?

Tehran is the capital city here, home to millions who live at the base of the Alborz Mountains. Tehran is situated in Iran and is its most populous city. It's also pretty high up the list for cities in the Middle East, second only to Cairo.


This American city is home to the world's largest medical center and more than two million people. Which Texas town is it?

Houston is home to the Texas Medical Center, the largest facility of its kind in the entire world. In addition to Houston's two million residents, the city hosts more than 10 million patient visits at the center.


Christ the Redeemer stands watch over this Brazilian town. Where is it located?

Rio de Janeiro boasts 13 million or so residents, including one very tall one in the form of the 125-ft.-tall Christ the Redeemer statue that looks over the city and dominates the skyline.


A town of three million, this city was actually founded not once but twice. Which Argentinian locale is it?

Buenos Aires is Argentina's largest city and also its capital. It was officially "founded" twice: once by Spaniard Pedro de Mendoza in the 1500s and a second time by Juan de Garay 50 some years later.


More than two million people call the "City of Lights" home. Where are they?

Paris earning of its "City of Lights" nickname has two different influences. First, the name was derived from of its role during the Age of Enlightenment. Later, the city's gas lamp-lined streets further fueled the moniker.


This Canadian town was home to the first-ever ice hockey game and hosts the appropriately named Canadiens of the NHL. What city is it?

Montreal's ice hockey history runs deep among its nearly three million residents. The first recorded ice hockey game took place here, and the Canadiens of the National Hockey League are the world's longest continually operating professional ice hockey franchise.


Four thousand works of art by Pablo Picasso are on display in this city of more than five million. What Spanish location is it?

Barcelona may not have been where Pablo Picasso was born, but he did spend some of his youth there, and that time is captured in the form of a museum, which hosts thousands of pieces of his work.


Residents of this Mexican city are called "tapatíos," popularized throughout the United States thanks to a brand of hot sauce. What town is it?

The roughly seven million people from Guadalajara are known colloquially as "tapatíos," a word derived from an ancient form of money. Today, Americans may recognize that word from a famous brand of hot sauce, invented by Guadalajara immigrants, that appears in restaurants.


This city of roughly 1.5 million people was the capital of Japan for more than a thousand years. What is its name?

Before Tokyo became the capital city of Japan, Kyoto had the honor for more than 1,000 years. Fun fact: Kyoto and Toyko are anagrams, meaning they have the same letters rearranged in two different ways!


The capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, this city is also one of the world's largest French-speaking populations. Where is it?

More than 11 million people call Kinshasa, the capital and largest city of the Democratic Republic of Congo, home. The official language of this city is French, making it one of the largest French-speaking populations outside of France itself!


You might catch a glance of the Royal Family in this city of roughly nine million. Which one are we talking about?

The Royal Family has been a fixture in London, England for almost 40 generations. If you hang around outside of London's Buckingham Palace, you might just catch a glimpse of one of them!


The world's largest Spanish-speaking city is this one in Mexico. What is it called?

"Mexico" City was kind of a giveaway, wasn't it? This capital city of Mexico has roughly nine million residents, but there are more than 21 million who make up Mexico City's metropolitan area.


Almost two million people are crammed into this 16-square-mile capital city of the Philippines. What is its name?

If you're claustrophobic, you might want to reconsider a trip to Manila, where nearly two million people are stuffed into the city's roughly 16-square-mile area. Expansion efforts in and around the city are ongoing.


Petronas Twin Towers, the world's tallest "twin" buildings, sit in this city, the capital of Malaysia. What is it called?

Construction on the Petronas Twin Towers began in 1994 and concluded with two 88-story-tall buildings that dominate the skyline of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The capital city is home to nearly two million people.


The inventor of the Rubik's Cube was born in this Hungarian town, which is also its capital. What is the name of this town of nearly two million?

Erno Rubik, the inventor of the Rubik's Cube, was a Hungarian architect born in Budapest. The Rubik's Cube was created in 1974, but it was never intended to be a child's toy; rather, it was created to become a way to explain geometric concepts.


This locale in Poland is sometimes called the "Phoenix City" after it was destroyed in World War II and rebuilt. What is its name?

Warsaw, Poland, with a current population of roughly 1.8 million, is called the "Phoenix City" by some. After Nazi forces destroyed it in World War II, it was rebuilt, like a Phoenix rising from the ashes.


Uganda's capital, which has 1.6 million citizens, is also home to one of seven Baha'i Temples in the world. What is this capital city's name?

Kampala is the capital of the Ugandan nation on the continent of Africa. The city is one of the area's fastest-growing places and is home to one of only seven Baha’i Temples in the entire world.


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