El Bocho, Little Paris & Auld Reekie: Around the World 

127 Cities and their Nicknames!

A nickname is simply a substitute for the proper full name of either a familiar place, person or thing, done for 1 of three reasons- affection, ridicule or your just plain and simply lazy to say or type the whole name. I’d like to think we nickname cities because it defines the city better than the name itself, tells us a story or  gives us an insight to its history.

Since there are so many lists out there, I decided to make my own for personal reference. Below, is a list of 127 of the most important cities in alphabetical order, listed under their continents. Hope it helps someone, somewhere, someday!


Amsterdam, Netherlands – Venice of the North

Ancona, Italy – Doric City

Athens, Greece – The City of Violet Crown

Barcelona, Spain – The City of Counts, the City of Gaudi

Bilbao, Spain – El Bocho

Birmingham, England – The City of a Thousand Trades, Brum

Berlin, Germany – The Grey City

Bologna, Italy – Red City; La Dotta, La Rossa, La Grassa (the educated, the red, the fat)

Bolzano, Italy – The Door to the Dolomites, The German One

Bordeaux, France – City of Wine

Bruges, Belgium – Venice of the North

Bucharest, Romania – Little Paris

Budapest, Hungary – Pearl of the Danube

Cadiz, Spain – The Little Silver Cup

Dublin, Ireland – The Fair City

Dubrovnik, Croatia – The Pearl of the Adriatic

Edinburgh, Scotland – Auld Reekie

Florence, Italy – The City of Lilies

Geneva, Switzerland – The Peace Capital

Genova, Italy – The Superb

Grenoble, France – Capital of the Alps

Helsinki, Finland– The White City of the North

Kiev, Ukraine – The Mother of Rus’ Cities

Leipzig, Germany – Bimbo Town

Lisbon, Portugal – City With a Future

London, United Kingdom – The Square Mile, the Old Smoke, the Smoke

Madrid, Spain – El Foro, The Forum

Marseille, France – Phocean City

Milano, Italy – Fashion Capital of the World, The Drinkable City

Munich, Germany – World City with Heart

Naples, Italy – City of the Sun

Nice, France – Angels City

Oslo, Norway – Tiger Town

Palermo, Italy – The Happy

Paris, France – The City of Love, The City of Light, La Ville-Lumiere

Porto, Portugal – The Invincible City

Prague, Czechia – The City of Hundred Spires, The Golden City, The Mother of Cities

Rome, Italy – The Eternal City, City of the Seven Hills, Capital of the World

Rotterdam, Netherlands – Manhattan upon Meuse

Salzburg, Austria – White City

Sanremo, Italy – The City of Dreams

Split, Croatia – The Diocletian’s City

The Hague, Netherlands – City of Peace and Justice

Tivoli, Italy– City of Delights

Torino/Turin, Italy – City of Four Rivers

Udine, Italy – Capital of the Great War

Venice, Italy – La Serenissima, Bride of the Sea

Vicenza, Italy – City of Gold

Vienna, Austria – The Imperial City

Warsaw, Poland – Default City, Big Village in the Middle of Nowhere

Wroclaw, Poland – City of Hundred Bridges

Zagreb, Croatia – Little Vienna

Zurich, Switzerland – Little Big City


North America

Boston, Massachusetts – The Hub

Chicago, Illinois – The Windy City, Chi Town

Cuernavaca, Mexico – The City of Eternal Spring

Dallas, Texas – Big D

Detroit, Michigan – Motor City

Honolulu, Hawaii – Sheltered Bay

Las Vegas, Nevada – Sin City

Los Angeles, California – The City of Angels

Memphis, Tennessee – Bluff City

Miami, Florida – The Magic City, Little Cuba

Montreal, Canada – La Belle Ville, Frenchtown, The City-Mountain

New Orleans, Louisiana – The Big Easy

New York, New York – The Big Apple

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – Steel City,  The ‘Burgh, Golden Triangle

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – City of Brotherly Love, Philly

San Francisco, California – Frisco

Seattle, Washington – The Emerald City

Tijuana, Mexico – Television Capital of the World

Toronto, Canada – Queen City, Muddy York, The Big Toe

Vancouver, Canada – The Big Smoke

Victoria, Canada – Garden City


South America

Bogotá, Columbia – The South American Athens

Buenos Aires, Argentina – Paris of the Americas, Queen of the Plata

Caracas, Venezuela- La Sultana del Ávila (The Avila’s Sultana)/La Sucursal del Cielo (Heaven’s Branch on Earth)

Callao, Peru – Pearl from the Pacífic, El Primer Puerto (The First Harbor).

Lima, Peru – City of the Kings

Medellín, Columbia – City of the Eternal Spring, City of the Mountain, City of Flowers

Quito, Ecuador – Luz de América (Light of America), Carita de Dios (God’s Face), Ciudad de los Cielos (City of the heavens)

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – Cidade Maravilhosa (Marvellous City)

Santiago, Chile – The City of the Island Hills

Sao Paulo, Brazil – Brazil’s Locomotive, Land of Drizzle, Sampa

Ushuaia, Argentina – The End of the World



Adelaide, Australia – City of Churches

Auckland, New Zealand- City of Sails

Melbourne, Australia – City by the Bay, Bleak City, Europe of Australia

Sydney, Australia- The Harbour City

Wellington, New Zealand – The Beehive



Bangalore, India – The City of Gardens

Beijing, China – The Forbidden City

Beirut, Lebanon – Paris of the Middle East

Calcutta, India – City of Palaces, City of Love, City of Joy

Hong Kong, China – Pearl of the Orient

Jaipur, India – The Pink City

Jerusalem, Isreal – The Holy City

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Golden Triangle

Macau, China – Oyster City

Manila, Philippines – City by the Bay

Moscow, Russia – The Whitestone, The Forty Forties, Third Rome

Mumbai, India – The City of Dreams

Petra, Jordan – The Rose Red City

Singapore, Malaysia – The Lion City

St Petersburg, Russia – The Mind of Russia

Tel Aviv, Israel – The City that Never Stops

Tehran, Iran – The City of 72 Nations



Abidjan, Ivory Coast – The Paris of Africa, Small Manhattan, Pearl of the Lagoons

Addis Ababa, Ethopia – The City of Humans, Sheger, Adu Genet

Antananarivo, Madagascar- Tana

Asmara, Eritrea- Piccola Roma/Little Rome

Bloemfontein, South Africa- City of Roses

Cairo, Egypt – Paris of the Nile

Cape Town, South Africa- The Tavern of the Seas, The Mother City

Djibouti – The pearl of the Gulf of Tadjoura

Fez, Morocco- Mecca of the West

Gaborone, Botswana- Gabz

Harare, Zimbabwe- The Sunshine City

Johannesburg, South Africa – Jozi, City of Gold, Joeys

Khartoum, Sudan- The Triangular Capital

Lagos, Nigeria – Lasgidi

Maputo, Mozambique – The City of Acacias

Marrakesh, Morocco – The Ochre City

Mogadishu, Somalia- The White Pearl of the Indian Ocean

Nairobi, Kenya – Silicon Savannah

Port Elizabeth, South Africa – The Friendly City, Windy City

Pretoria, South Africa- Snor City, Jacaranda City


Do you know any other city nicknames?

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