With seven billion people on the planet spread throughout 196 countries and all sorts of weird and wonderful cultures, place names can end up being enormously diverse. Some places have names that sound very exotic to a foreign ear but in their native tongue actually just mean something super simple like "place where lots of people live", or perhaps something that was designed to be helpful like "oasis with fresh water" or "place where those delicious thistles grow". Others are named after the founder, discoverer, or someone the citizenry intended to honor. Many towns and cities take the name of whatever came before them on the same site, like a forest, a lake, or even a single farm, and many are defined by the geography or topography of their location. Some towns and cities, rather amusingly, have names that sound very mundane in their own language but are a naughty word when translated!
As a world traveler, no doubt you've been to plenty of cities and towns - and as a cultured person, you'll recognize many more. But how many do you know that start exclusively with the letter P? Take this quiz to prove yourself the most expert in all places P!
Philadelphia is the sixth most populous city in the United States and is a significantly important city in the country – both currently and historically as well. Philadelphia played a key role in the American revolution, is the United States’ only World Heritage City and is widely regarded as the origin of the United States Marine Corps.
The Indian city of Panipat has served as an important location in the history of the country when it comes to conflicts – with three significant battles being fought in or near the city. The city is also notable for being referred to as the “Textile City” or the “City of Weavers” due to its importance in both the local and global textiles industry.
Paradise is an unofficial city and an unincorporated area that is located in the U.S. state of Nevada. The fact that it is directly adjacent to Las Vegas makes Paradise the unincorporated area in Nevada with the highest population. Paradise is notable for actually containing a large majority of the famous Las Vegas Strip.
Located in relatively close proximity to Mumbai (the most populous city in India), Parbhani is known for being a center for agricultural learning in the region. The city is named for the goddesses Parvati and Lakshmi; it has also earned the nickname “City of Saints”.
While Athens may be one of the more well-known cities in Greece and Eastern Europe, Patras – Greece’s third largest city – holds a great amount of significance as well. The city has earned itself the nickname, “Gate to the West”; due to the fact that it has served as a point of trade with Italy and Western Europe.
Located in the county of Devon in England, the city of Plymouth has a history of being an important trading port and commercial shipping port in the area. In U.S. history, the city is notable for being the departure point for the Pilgrim fathers who founded Plymouth Colony, the second English settlement in the U.S.
Pomona is a city in Los Angeles County, California, that is locate in the eponymous Pomona Valley. The city gets its name from the Roman goddess of fruit, Pomona. The city is probably best known throughout the state for being the host of the famous L.A. County Fair – the fourth largest fair in the U.S., with over one million people in attendance each year.
Nigeria’s evolving status as an emerging market – and its title as the “Giant of Africa” – is due to a wide combination of factors. One such factor is the city of Port Harcourt, the primary oil-refining city in the country and the largest city in Rivers State (one of the wealthiest states in Nigeria).
Praia Grande is a city that is located in the state of Sao Paulo in Brazil. The city itself is notable for holding the title of city with the largest amount of surveillance cameras in the Americas. In fact, on a global scale it is the city with the second-highest number of surveillance cameras, coming in behind London in the United Kingdom.
Named by religious exile Roger Williams in honor of “God’s merciful Providence”, the city of Providence currently serves as the capital of Rhode Island and is also the most populous city in the state. Not only is Providence one of the oldest cities in the country, but it is also one of the first U.S. cities to effectively industrialize.
Port Said in Egypt is notable for a wide variety of reasons. Firstly, it is was established during the building of the Suez Canal and to a great extent serves as a fueling station, duty-free port and an export harbor. Port Said is also home to the world’s first reinforced concrete building – the Lighthouse of Port Said.
Puri is a moderately-sized city in India that holds more cultural, religious and historical significance than its stature would let on. The city is host to the Jagannath Temple, one of the original Char Dham pilgrimage sites for Hindus. Religion and culture is so important to the city, that almost 80 percent of its economy is in some way depended in the temple, the festivals that are held in and around it, and the resulting cultural tourism.
Panama City is the largest city and the capital of the Republic of Panama. The city is renowned for being an hub for commerce and banking in the western hemisphere and on a global level as well. Panama City owes a great deal of its growth and development to the Panama Canal and shipping and trade associated with it.
Widely considered to be one of the oldest cities in Europe, Plovdiv currently also holds the title of being the second largest city in Bulgaria. Plovdiv also served as a home to the oldest American educational institution outside the United States – the American College of Sofia – which was founded in 1860 but has since then been moved to Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria.
Pabna is a city that is located in Bangladesh, more specifically in the Rajshahi Division. The city is notable for several reasons, one of which is health care. Not only is it home to a prominent general hospital and several medical centers, but it is also where Bangladesh’s largest mental hospital can be found.
Known as the “Imperial Villa”, Potosi is notable for being the historic location of the Spanish colonial mint for hundreds of years. The city lies at the foot of Cerro Rico (Spanish for “rich mountain”) a mountain that supplied the Spanish Empire with large amounts of silver ore. Potosi is also notable for being one of the highest cities in the world.
Located in the western reaches of Colombia, close to the Pacific Ocean, Palmira serves as one of (if not the) largest agricultural areas in the country. This agricultural industry is so evident that the city has often been referred to as the agricultural capital of the country. Crops, such as tobacco, sugar cane, corn, coffee and rice, are all produced here.
Port-au-Prince is the capital of Haiti and also the most populous city in the country as well; it is also the second largest metropolitan area in the West Indies, behind Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. In 2010, the city was subjected to one of the deadliest earthquakes in history, with the 7th highest estimated death toll in recorded history.
An ancient city that has undergone several name changes throughout the years, Pankpattan is the capital of the eponymous Pankpattan District in the Punjab province. The city is of significant importance in Islam, since it is where the Shrine of Baba Farid is located.
The largest city and capital of North Korea (officially the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea), Pyongyang is the economical and municipal center of the country. The city’s primary economical strengths lie in its industrial sectors which cater to things like the abundance of coal, limestone, iron and other natural resources; as well as the manufacturing of mechanical implements, weapons, and ceramics.
Posadas is an Argentinian city that is located in the province of Misiones. The city is not only the capital of its province, but it also serves as a relatively powerful industrial force in the area – producing textiles, furniture, tobacco and food products.
Perth is the fourth-most populous city in Australia and the largest city – and capital – of the Australian state of Western Australia. While other areas of Western Australia are more focused on various industries like mining, agriculture and oil, Perth is still an economic giant in the state, primarily focusing on the service industry.
Pittsburgh is the county seat of Allegheny County and the second largest city in the state of Pennsylvania (coming in behind Philadelphia). Pittsburgh is a manufacturing center in the United States and it is even nicknames the “Steel City” due to the significant steel industry and hundreds of steel related businesses in the city.
Pinar del Río ranks as the 10th largest city in Cuba and is also the capital of Pinar del Río Province. Since its founding by the Spanish, the city of Pinar del Río has been one of the major tobacco growing centers in the country and also an invaluable part of the cigar industry as a result.
Pagadian City is the capital of the province of Zamboanga del Sur in the Philippines. Agriculture serves as the major source of income for the city, with both livestock and crops (corn, rice, coconut, etc.) being produced and sold. A secondary part of the local economy is based around crafted products, such as furniture, ceramics, and even jewelry.
Port Louis is the capital city of Mauritius that located in both Port Louis District (eastern area of the city) and the Black River District (western part of the city). Port Louis serves as not only the country’s political center, it is also considered to be the primary cultural and economic center of the country as well.
Prague is not only the largest city in the Czech Republic, but it is also the capital of the country as well and also the 14th largest city in the European Union. The city holds significant cultural and historical importance in Europe, serving as the residence of multiple Holy Roman Emperors and also the historical capital of the Kingdom of Bohemia.
Porbandar is a moderately-sized coastal city that is located in the Indian state of Gujarat. Although it may be considered as being relatively small in both population and size (especially when compared to other Indian cities), the city still boasts significant cultural importance in the country – partially due to the fact that it has multiple temples and is the birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi and Sudama.
Located just north of Bucharest, the city of Ploesti (the county seat in Prahova County) is an important transport hub for the surrounding areas. The city has historically based its economy around oil production; however, with reserves on the decline, there has been a gradual shift toward a corporate and service-based industry.
Pinsk is a city that is located in Belarus in the Polesia region. Over the years the city has seen a significant amounts of destruction, primarily due to its location and the subsequent military conflicts that occurred in and around it – from the Polish-Soviet War to both World Wars.
Pachuca de Soto – commonly referred to simply as Pachuca – is a Mexican city that serves as the capital (and largest city) of the state of Hidalgo. Throughout history, Pachuca and the areas surrounding it have been primarily built around an mining based economy – currently producing over 50 percent of the state’s gold and silver.
Pingxiang is a prefecture-level city that is located in western Jiangxi province in the People's Republic of China. The city is known for its abundance of mineral resources and water – with five or more significant rivers flowing through the area. Some inhabitants call the city “the coal center of southern China”, due to the high quantity in the city.
Poznań is a city that is located on the Warta River in the Greater Poland region in the area of west-central Poland. Poznań is one of the oldest cities in the country and is a significant business center and also an important cultural location.
After the country’s capital of Brazzaville, the city of Pointe-Noire is the second largest city in the Republic of the Congo. Although it is not the capital and municipal center of the country, Pointe-Noire is however considered to be the commercial center.
Portsmouth is a port city that is located in Hampshire in England – with the vast majority of the city being geographically located mainly on Portsea Island. Portsmouth has the world's oldest dry dock and has been an important port since Roman Britain.
Located in southeastern Peru, the city of Puno serves as both the capital of the Puno Region and the Puno Province. The city itself is located on the shores of Lake Titicaca. The city has a deep connection with Peruvian folklore.
By far one of the most famous cities in Europe and the world, Paris serves as the capital of France and is the country’s most populous city as well. The city region is notable for having the largest regional GDP in the EU and also the third-highest GDP in the world.
The former capital city of the Kingdom of Navarre, the city of Pamplona is one of the most culturally and historically significant cities in Spain. The city is quite possibly most famous globally for the annual running of the bulls during the San Fermín festival.
Palangka Raya is the capital of the Indonesian province of Central Kalimantan. The city is notable for having a large amount of forested regions and technically being the largest city by are in Indonesia. In Asia, the city is notable for being one of the most important nature conservation areas.
Located in the Eastern Cape Province, The city of Port Elizabeth is one of the largest cities in South Africa. Due to its location and importance as a port city, Port Elizabeth is sometimes locally referred to simply as “The Bay”; it has also earned the nicknames "The Friendly City" and "The Windy City".
Formerly known as Krong Chaktomuk, Phnom Penh is the capital and most populous city of the Southeast Asian country of Cambodia. The city was historically known as the "Pearl of Asia," it was considered one of the loveliest French-built cities in Indochina.
Puente Alto is a Chilean city that serves as the capital of the Cordillera Province in the Santiago Metropolitan Region. With over half a million citizens in the city proper, Puente Alto is considered to be the second largest city in Chile and one of the most economically important ones as well.
Palmas is the capital and largest city in the state of Tocantins in Brazil and is a relatively new city, just being newly organized under the 1988 constitution. While the areas surrounding the city are more focused on industries like agriculture, Palmas is a more administrative area in Tocantins.
Pskov is a city that is located in Pskov Oblast in Russia. The city is notable for being located just over 10 miles from the Estonian border, and is one of the westernmost cities in Russia. With over 1,100 years of history, Pskov is widely considered to be one of the oldest cities in the country.
Port Moresby is the capital city of Papua New Guinea and also the largest city in the country. In fact, it is also the largest city in the South Pacific that is not a part of New Zealand or Australia. The city is a substantial exporter of several natural resources in the region.
Phuket is a city in Thailand that serves as the capital of Phuket Province and is found primarily on the eponymous Phuket Island. The city is one of the oldest in the country and has significant Buddhist roots; with tourism to the numerous temples being a major part of the economy.
Phoenix is the capital of the state of Arizona and is a significant city in the United States for several reasons. Firstly, it is the most populous city in the state of Arizona and subsequently also the fifth most populous city in the country. It is also the most populous state capital in the U.S.
Palermo is a city that holds a significant amount of historical and modern importance. For centuries, it served as the capital for the relatively powerful Kingdom of Sicily and was at one point in time even the capital of the Holy Roman Empire.
Putian is a prefecture-level city that is located in China, specifically in eastern Fujian province. The city has based its economy off of both exports (agriculture, machinery, shoe-making, electronics, etc.) and cultural tourism.
With a history that is intertwined with the Red Sea, the city of Port Sudan serves as the capital for the aptly named Red Sea state in Sudan. As a result of its geographic location, the city has – since its inception – served as a primary port in the country.