On August 24, 1690, Job Charnock established a settlement on the banks of River Hooghly which grew into the city of modern Kolkata. This quiz is about cities from around the world.

City life

1 Which city — one in which Annie Besant founded the Central Hindu College — was once described by author Mark Twain as “older than history, older than tradition, older than even legend, and looks twice as old as all of them put together”?

2 If Beijing’s name literally means ‘northern capital’ in Chinese, which city’s name translates to ‘southern capital’ in the same language?

3 This African capital city is one of the fastest growing in the continent and the home of musicians Salif Keita and Ali Farka Touré. Identify the metropolis whose name means ‘crocodile tail’ in the local Bambara dialect?

4 In which city are the Reeperbahn, also known as die sündgiste Meile (the sinful mile) and the Sternschanze, the centres of its colourful nightlife?

5 What connects the cities of Toronto, Kolkata, Zurich, Melbourne, New Orleans, Hong Kong and Wellington? The list is not exhaustive; think Tennessee Williams.

6 If the Tokyo Yokohama urban sprawl is the most populous in the world with over 40 million residents, and the Delhi-NCR the third most populous, which Asian capital city comes in second with over 30 million residents?

7 If the Sutter’s Mill gold rush helped set up the city of San Francisco, which city was established after an extremely large gold deposit was found in the Witwatersrand range of hills in the late 19th century?

8 This ancient city was on the eastern side of the Lake of Tunis and was destroyed by the Romans in 146 BC. It was then sacked by Umayyad forces in the 7th century. Name this city, founded in legend by Queen Dido and regarded as one of the most prosperous cities of the ancient world?

9 If a resident of Buenos Aires is known as a Porteño and a Scouser resides in Liverpool, which city’s residents are known as Brummies?

10 Which Asian city’s tallest buildings are the International Commerce Centre and Two Financial Centre, with the local jockey club being the largest taxpayer, providing almost seven per cent of the revenue?


1 Varanasi. The college later was the foundation of Banaras Hindu University

2 Nanking

3 Bamako, the capital of Mali

4 Hamburg in Germany

5 Cities that still run tramcars or streetcars, as the Americans call them

6 Greater Jakarta, locally known as Jabodetabek

7 Johannesburg in South Africa

8 Carthage

9 Birmingham

10 Hong Kong


Joy Bhattacharjya is a quizmaster;

Twitter: @joybhattacharj