Can You Name All of These European Capitals?

Zoe Samuel

Image: shutterstock

About This Quiz

Some capital cities enjoy global name recognition and rank as top tourist destinations on the planet. These economic powerhouses bring in billions to their native lands and are centers of power, culture, and innovation. Others are smaller, less pushy about their global position and less desirous of millions of foreign visitors -- They're too busy being the home of their country's government, securing its borders and housing some of its best and brightest cities.

A capital city always represents the best and worst of its nation's character. It can be a showcase of beautiful architecture, great restaurants, diverse communities, and new ideas, and also home to nasty urban sprawl, character-free strip malls, and plenty of people who never look up and enjoy all the opportunities around them. They will have safe, clean neighborhoods and dangerous slums, extensive public transport mixed up with snarled traffic, great wealth and crushing poverty.

Capitals are key to the face their country presents to the world, meaning they usually have a downtown or central area that is especially impressive for visitors to see. That's usually how we remember them best -- by a landmark, by the type of crowd we saw in the middle of town, by the food and the art and the buildings. So call up your mental Eiffel Tower, your Spanish Steps, your Schonnbrunn Palace, and let's get quizzing!

What is the capital of Germany?

Germany in its modern form was founded by Bismarck in the 1870s. Due to its complex past, having been the aggressor on the wrong side of both World Wars, Germany is known for educating kids about the responsibility of the population to ensure they stand up when radicalization threatens.

What is the capital of Italy?

Italy is formed by a number of city states that came together

What is the capital of Spain?

Spain is a somewhat centralized federation with autonomous regions, including Catalonia, which has recently made moves towards independence. Catalan and Spanish are both official languages.

What is the capital of Ireland?

Dublin is the capital of the Republic of Ireland, which is a predominantly Catholic country that gained independence in 1916, in the middle of World War One (which was probably a smart move, since a lot of Irish troops were necessary to the British war effort and alienating them would have been a bad idea).

What is the capital of Belgium?

Brussels is the capital of Belgium and home of the Brussels sprout, the tiny little cabbage that is delightful fried in a little honey and balsamic vinegar. It is also the home of the EU, which was a smart compromise between Germany and France.

What is the capital of the United Kingdom?

The UK is made up of several united kingdoms and a principality (Wales). London is the capital of the entire territory but Cardiff, Edinburgh, and Belfast are regional capitals.

What is the capital of Austria?

Vienna is the beautiful capital of Austria. It is the home of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Sigmund Freud (before he moved to London), and sits on the Danube River.

What is the capital of Denmark?

Cophenhagen is one of the smaller capitals, with only 580,000 inhabitants. It is a very safe and prosperous city, being part of the Scandinavian bloc of countries that enjoy the highest literacy, numeracy, income, and gender equality rankings in the world.

What is the capital of Portugal?

Lisbon is the most western capital in this quiz. This settlement on the Tagus River is over 2,000 years old and is consistently rated one of the best cities in the world to visit as it offers a great combination of culture, art, history, all at very reasonable prices.

What is the capital of France?

We'll assume you got this one right. Paris is the city of love, embracing both banks of the Seine. It has been a fortified city for over 1,000 years and is the home of the Enlightenment, without which our modern understanding of democracy would not be what it is.

What is the capital of Finland?

Helsinki is a beautiful city on a peninsula and spreads out over more than 300 islands. It is one of the most egalitarian and prosperous cities in the world. Finns drink twice as much coffee as the European average, probably because it is so often dark there, and are the best drivers in the world due to very strict requirements to get a license.

What is the capital of Norway?

Oslo is the most northerly capital in this quiz. Ever since Norway and Denmark parted ways in 1814, it has been the capital city. Thanks to the steep topography of Norway, it is surrounded by forested hills.

What is the capital of the Netherlands?

Much of Amsterdam is on reclaimed land. The Netherlands is the flattest country in Europe and very concerned about rising seas. The country has invested hundreds of billions into raising and reclaiming land and building dikes​ and dams that are second to none. They are also largely running on wind these days.

What is the capital of Poland?

Visit the Palace of Culture and Science for a monument to Soviet rule. Warsaw - and Poland generally - typically gets kicked around whenever Russia and whoever is on the other side of Poland start one of their periodic shoving matches. Poland is a member of the EU but with rising tensions with Brussels and Brexit on the horizon, there are rumblings that they may try to "Polexit" in the near future.

What is the capital of Romania?

Bucharest is around 550 years old and near the Bulgarian border. It its noted for the Palace of the Parliament, the largest parliamentary building in the world, as well as the most valuable and the most expensive to heat and cool.

What is the capital of Hungary?

Another Danube city, Budapest is a great place for tourists to enjoy a wide range of experiences. From the thermal Rudas Baths to the shocking House of Terror - a monument to Soviet atrocities - there's everything you could want. Just be careful what you say in public as Hungary is slipping into authoritarianism at present, and you don't want to be kicked out.

What is the capital of Switzerland?

You'd have thought it was Geneva, but it's Bern! Watch out for bears, the symbol of the city. There are bear friezes, bear statues, the famous Bear Park, and lots of actual bears.

What is the capital of Albania?

Tirana used to be kind of an awful place, neglected by decades of Stalinism and then falling into chaos. However, it is now a much better place to go, like Albania itself. Check out the lovely rainbow buildings, where formerly monochrome brutal architecture has been made pretty by creative residents.

What is the capital of Serbia?

Belgrade is home to some Habsburg, Ottoman, and Soviet architecture, making it rather a mess. Check out the Roman Well, which creeped out even Alfred Hitchcock, and the nearby Gunpowder Magazine, a former artillery building that is now a museum.

What is the capital of Turkey?

Ankara, formerly known as Angora (hence the sweaters), features buildings from its Hittite, Phrygian, Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman pasts. Yes, it's confusing and magnificent. You don't need to dress too modestly but ladies, take a shawl with you if you intend to go into a mosque or church, as it is polite to cover your shoulders and head.

What is the capital of Belarus?

Minsk is a city that has suffered hugely in the last 100 years, from both Soviets and Nazis. More than two million Belarussians died at the hands of the Nazis, and you can find out more about that at the Museum of the Great Patriotic War, which is built to ensure that such things are never forgotten. Considering what it has been through, Minsk is definitely heading in the right direction.

What is the capital of Sweden?

The capital of Sweden is Stockholm. It is one of the most egalitarian and prosperous cities in the world, with among the highest living standards.

What is the capital of Croatia?

Zagreb is a city on the way up. Since the Balkan War and the breakup of Yugoslavia, Croatia has taken its place as a wonderful tourist destination and a safe and beautiful place to visit. Check out the Museum of Broken Relationships for a hilarious and thought-provoking trip into the history of human love.

What is the capital of Latvia?

Riga is noted for its art nouveau buildings. Avoid annoying groups of men on their bachelor party weekends and check out the Museum of the Occupation of Latvia. St Peter's Church, and the president's home, the House of the Blackheads, which is much nicer than it sounds.

What is the capital of Lithuania?

Lithuania was formerly a Soviet state and before that, a part of imperial Russia, as the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. It is very flat, very cold, and a very good place to eat potatoes in a dish called kugelis, that is quite yummy.

What is the capital of Slovakia?

Bratislava's pastel Old Town is still beautiful, while more Soviet architecture can be mostly avoided. Check out the Danubiana Museum of Art for national treasures.

What is the capital of Slovenia?

Slovenia is a former Austro-Hungarian province that is now an independent state. It fell under Soviet rule and is now an EU member. Ljubljana is noted for its many bridges, which are often hundreds of years old.

What is the capital of Ukraine?

Kiev is the capital of Ukraine, a country which is constantly under threat of (even more) Russian invasion. Ukraine is one of those countries that gets invaded a lot, because it is between power centers: it has been Soviet and even Mongol. Check out St Michael's Cathedral with its gold domes, which is one of Kiev's most beautiful sites.

What is the capital of Cyprus?

Nicosia is the Cypriot capital and, due to its location, it has a whole lot of Neolithic and Roman history. Check out the Turkish market, Buyuk Han, to buy local jewelry, rugs, and fabric.

What is the capital of Greece?

Greece is the oldest democracy in the world, albeit not continuously. Athens was not always the strongest of its bickering city states, and the whole Greek civilization was eventually dominated by the Romans. However, Athens is the capital today, home to one of the most beautiful buildings in the world: the mathematically perfect Parthenon.

What is the capital of Malta?

Valletta is a small but marvelous little city. Check out the views of the Mediterranean while surrounded by Baroque architecture. It's beautiful and the weather is beyond complaint.

What is the capital of San Marino?

San Marino is an independent city state, and as such, is its own capital. However, it is twinned with Scranton, Pennsylvania, San Leo, Italy and Rab, Croatia.

What is the capital of Monaco?

Monaco is another tiny little city state. It is a city built on a rock overlooking the Mediterranean. Former movie star Grace Kelly married into the ruling Grimaldi family, whose money today mostly comes from the tax haven status of their principality.

What is the capital of Andorra?

Andorra la Vella is the biggest "city," with only 40,000 residents. Andorra is a tax haven that also makes money from tourism due to its beautiful mountains, and also a range of local brandies.

What is the capital of Kosovo?

Pristina is the capital of Kosovo, which was spared the worst of a terrible ethnic cleansing campaign by foreign intervention. It became independent from Serbia in 2008 and is a proud EU member state.

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