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!
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