World Largest Coastal Cities


First choose the number of cities by typing ‘100’, ‘250’, ‘500’, or ‘all’ – then try to achieve the highest population among the top World 50K+ population coastal cities you chose. For purposes of this quiz, coastal refers to cities whose coordinate I use is within a certain distance of a detailed world coastlines boundary shape. Cities must be within 25km for 1M+ pop, 20km 500K-1M, 15km 250-500K, 10km 100-250K, and 5km for 50-100K. Quiz is not timed. Map is only zoomable to a certain level, otherwise city labels would appear.

Enter # of cities (100, 250, 500, or 'all')


  1. Can Tho is about 2 hour’s driving from the coastline, 80+ KM. Don’t think it should be included, it’s purely a river city. Reckon it’s included since it’s in the Mekong Delta region, but it’s extremely dubious to refer to it as coastal.

  2. What about the Great Lakes? Why are cities like Chicago, Milwaukee, Detroit, Toledo, Erie, Cleveland, Rochester (NY), Buffalo and Green Bay on the US version, but not the world version?

    This also affects the Toronto metro area.

  3. Argument or not, but the ommission of Rotterdam, for a long time during the 20st century the largest seaport in the world, is a bit ironic 🙂 But I understand, most of harbour activities take place over 15 miles west of the city center, but nevertheless the sea is closer to Rotterdam than to Hamburg or Seattle (?!).
    And Almere isnt a coastal town at all, it’s near a lake (which used to be a inland sea).

    1. Jacksonville, clearly a coastal city, is also missing. I think Almere is more or less like Quebec City, both are placed near bodies of water which are connected to ocean/seas. On the other hand Rome is a stretch… But better take the quiz for what it is… a non-scientific collection of cities near oceans.

    2. It might be too hard to do technically, but it seems that if a city’s boundaries extend to the coastline that should also count, even if the center isn’t within the radius. It won’t make any difference for most of the largest cities, but there are some (irregularly shaped) cities with notable beaches or shoreline that seem unfairly excluded because the geographic center isn’t close enough to the water.

      As for Seattle, the quiz is cities on the world coastline, which includes seas and bays, not just cities on the open ocean.

      1. yeah i don’t have boundary files for all cities so i can’t do that analysis, gotta just go with the coordinate i have and its distance to the coastline boundary file.

    1. Yes, no Oceanside there… I also noticed a string of missing Florida cities: Palm Coast, Daytona Beach, Port Orange and Melbourne. And I could make a case for Anchorage too… but anyway given its concept the quiz is fine as it is… there will always be omissions and qestionable inclusions.

  4. obviously there can be argument on which cities are truly ‘coastal’ so i used the definition in the description with the coordinates and detailed boundary file i had to make a determination if a city is on this quiz or not. larger cities were given a little more freedom to be farther from the coast than smaller ones.

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