ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Cool and Unique City Names for Writers... and Travelers

Updated on January 4, 2020
ControlledChaos1 profile image

I've been a small time traveler for years and always seem to find a treasure trove of inspiration for stories I write.


Unusual, Unique and Cool City Names That Writers Will Find Quite Useful

There are a lot of cities with cool names that dot our planet. Most of them are an average snapshot of a small town, the only difference being a weird or unusual name. Any writer knows that a city can be a character unto itself, and the better name your characters have, the more memorable they are, especially when that city or town is a real place.

This article is chock full of unique town names that actually exist or once existed at some point in time. I've also included where the city is located in case you want to do more research on the actual destination (to make your story seem more real). I really hope you find an interesting name that you can use, and be sure to check back every once in a while as I plan to keep adding to the list. Thanks for taking a look.

Name Importance?

Have you ever visited a town or city because it had a cool name?

See results

Cool Cities Around the World

I've saved the city and town names from the United States for a little further down. The first half of this article is dedicated to everyone else.

Abasha (Georgia - the Country)

Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates)

Acapulco (Mexico)

Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) (Check out the Ethiopian National Library to see old letters written by kings and princes.)

Akrotiri (Greece)

Algiers (Algeria)

Alice Springs (Australia)

Al Jahrah (Kuwait)

Amman (Jordan)

Amsterdam (Netherlands) (The city's name was derived from the fact that it grew around a dam that was in a river called Amstel.)

Andorra La Vella (Andorra)

Angers (France)

Ankara (Turkey)

Animas (Bolivia)

Antigua (Guatemala)

Arusha (Tanzania)

Assisi (Italy)

Athens (Greece)

Attopu (Laos)

Auckland (New Zealand)

Axim (Ghana)

Baghdad (Iraq)

Balls Pond (London, England)

Balzers (Liechtenstein)

Bangkok (Thailand)

Barka (Oman)

Battambang (Cambodia)

Beijing (China)

Beirut (Lebanon)

Beltsy (Moldova)

Berlin (Germany)

Berne (Switzerland)

Big Sandy (Tennessee, U.S.)

Bitola (Macedonia)

Bluefields (Nicaragua)

Bodden Town (This Cayman Islands village was named after a government leader named William Bodden.)

Bogota (Colombia)

Bratislava (Slovakia)

Brest (Belarus)

Bridgetown (Barbados)

Brussels (Belgium) (The Grand-Place is the main market square and between March and October you will find a daily flower market there.)

Bucharest (Romania) (The Palace of Parliament is one of the largest buildings in the world and is a must visit via a guided tour.)

Budapest (Hungary) (Has lots of municipal parks with seasonal activities.)

Buenos Aires (Argentina)

West end of Noordereiland - Rotterdam, The Netherlands (Holland)
West end of Noordereiland - Rotterdam, The Netherlands (Holland) | Source

Cairo (Egypt) (Most people will want to visit the pyramids on the outskirts of Cairo, but leave plenty of time to explore the rest of the city.)

Calabar (Nigeria)

Calydon (An ancient Greek city that took its name from the founder Calydon, son of Aetolus.)

Cannes (France) (A city known for its association with the rich, famous and powerful; also the annual yearly destination for those that go to the Cannes Film Festival.)

Capellen (Luxembourg)

Cape Town (South Africa)

Caracas (Venezuela)

Carthage (Tunisia)

Casablanca (Morocco)

Castletown (Isle of Man)

Chittagong (Bangladesh)

Cidra (Puerto Rico) (Also known as the "Town of the Eternal Spring" due to its cool temperatures.)

Cologne (This German city's name dates back to Roman times when it was called Colonia.)

Constantine (Algeria)

Copenhagen (Denmark)

Cork (Ireland)

Damascus (Syria) (One of the oldest inhabited cities in history.)

Dangzai (Macau)

Danisher (Turkmenistan)

Darkhan (Mongolia)

Delhi (India)

Dori (Burkina Faso)

Dresden (Germany)

Dubai (United Arab Emirates) (This global city is one of the main business hubs of the Middle East.)

Edinburgh (Scotland, UK)

El Estor (Guatemala)

Elk (Poland)

Epworth (Zimbabwe)

Fagatogo (American Samoa)

Fairy Dell (Victoria, Australia) (An unusual, but beautiful name for a city or town.)

Faro (Portugal)

Freetown (Sierra Leone) (A harbor city that is known for being the oldest capital founded by African Americans.)

Friendship (Suriname)

Geneina (Sudan)

Geneva (Switzerland)

Georgetown (Guyana)

Ghent (Belgium)

Giza (Egypt)

Gore (Ethiopia) (What a great name for a city or town in a scary movie.)

Things You Should Know Before You Visit New Zealand

Greymouth (New Zealand)

Hague, The (Netherlands)

Halifax (Nova Scotia, Canada)

Hanoi (Vietnam)

Havana (Cuba)

Hell (Norway)

Helsinki (Finland)

High Rock (Bahamas) (Relax in seclusion on white sandy beaches and clear, blue water that is perfect for snorkeling, fishing and kayaking.)

Himera (ancient Sicilian city)

Hong Kong (Hong Kong, China)

Honolulu (Hawaii) (Means a place of shelter.)

Innsbruck (Austria) (Well known internationally for its winter sports center.)

Islamabad (Pakistan)

Istanbul (Turkey)

Jakar (Bhutan)

Jakarta (Indonesia)

Jaww (Bahrain)

Jerusalem (Israel)

Kandy (Sri Lanka)

Kant (Kyrgyzstan)

Kathmandu (Nepal)

Keflavik (Iceland)

Kells (Republic of Ireland)

Khiva (Uzbekistan)

Khost (Afghanistan)

Kiev (Ukraine)

Killarney (Republic of Ireland)

Kingston (Jamaica)

Kolari (Finland)

Kolding (Denmark)

Kota Sorong (Indonesia)

Kowloon (Hong Kong)

Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia)

Kukes (Albania)

Kyoto (Japan)

Kythrea (Cyprus)

La Serena (Chile)

Las Tunas (Cuba)

Leeds (England)

Lima (Peru)

Limerick (Republic of Ireland) (A boat tour along the River Shannon is highly recommended.)

London (England)

Luxor (Egypt)

Madrid (Spain)

Malaga (Spain)

Manila (Philippines)

Things You Should Know Before Visiting China

Macau (China)

Maputo (Mozambique)

Marbella (Spain)

Maribor (Slovenia)

Maripa (Venezuela)

Marrakesh (Morocco)

Marseille (France)

Mecca (Saudi Arabia)

Merthyr Tydfil (Wales)

Milan (Italy)

Minas (Uruguay)

Mogadishu (Somalia)

Monte Carlo (Monaco)

Motootua (Samoa)

Moscow (Russia)

Mumbai (India)

Munich (Germany)

Naifaru (Maldives)

Nairobi (Kenya)

Nakasi 9 ½ Miles (Fiji)

Nancy (France)

Nazca (Peru)

Nazret (Ethiopia)

Nord (Greenland)

Odessa (Ukraine) (Sometimes called the "Pearl of the Black Sea".)

Omoka (more of a village in the Cook Islands)

Oradea (Romania)

Oran (Algeria)

Orange Walk (Belize)

Oxford (England)

Pagan (Myanmar)

Palmira (Columbia)

Perth (Australia)

Pigg's Peak (Swaziland)

Piti (Guam)

Plymouth (an abandoned city in Montserrat)

Point-Noire (Congo)

Port Royal (Jamaica)

Positano (Italy)

Prague (Czech Republic)

Pretoria (South Africa)

Rakvere (Estonia)

Rhodes Town (Greece)

Ridder (Kazakhstan)

Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)

Riyadh (Saudi Arabia)

Rize (Turkey)

Road Town (Virgin Islands)

Rome (Italy)

Ruma (Yugoslavia)

Sabaneta (Aruba)

Saldus (Latvia)

Salinas (Ecuador)

San Lorenzo (Paraguay)

San Sebastian (Puerto Rico)

Sao Paulo (Brazil)

Sarajevo (Bosnia)

Sarband (Tajikistan)

Sekong (Laos)

Seoul (South Korea)

Shanghai (China)

Siazan (Azerbaijan)

Silute (Lithuania)

Sinpo (North Korea)

Sisian (Armenia)

Skien (Norway)

Sliven (Bulgaria)

Snug Corner (Bahamas)

Sparta (Greece)

Split (Croatia)

Strand (South Africa)

Strasbourg (France)

Surat (India)

Taipei (Taiwan)

Taizz (Yemen)

Tamboril (Domincan Republic)

Teheran (Iran)

Thunder Bay (Ontario, Canada)

Toledo (Spain)

Discover Kyoto

Don't overlook travel ads when trying to come up with interesting destinations. While made to showcase the best of the area, they are a good place to start your research.

Toliara (Madagascar)

Tralee (Republic of Ireland) (Be sure to check out the Rose of Tralee International Festival that has been held every August since 1959.)

Trinidad (Bolivia)

Tripoli (Libya)

Tsavo (Kenya)

Tutong (Brunei)

Twizel (New Zealand)

Tyre (Lebanon)

Valletta (Malta)

Valparai (India)

Venice (Italy)

Veracruz (Mexico)

Varrettes (Haiti)

Visby (Sweden)

Vladivostok (Russia)

Wolfsberg (Austria)

Wuhu (China)

Zambezi (Zambia)

Zaranj (Afghanistan)

Zenica (Bosnia)

Zurich (Switzerland)

Zuwarah (Libya)

Cool, Unique and Unusual City Names From the United States

The U.S. does have a wide selection of city names that range from dull to normal to outright strange. That's what I love about the country.

U.S. cities with strange names can make your stories better, not worse.

Finding cool city names in the U.S. is easier than you think because we are such a melting pot of a nation. Our city names can come form anywhere and be inspired by anything past, present or future.

Seattle skyline.
Seattle skyline. | Source



Bear Creek

Five Points (Got its name from the five roads that all converged to a single point.)



Barrow (Named after Sir John Barrow, a British Admiral, by explorer Frederick Beechey in 1825.)








Snowflake (The town was named by its founders Erastus Snow and William Jordan Flake.)




Lead Hill

Little Rock





Los Angeles


Palm Springs

Roads End

San Diego

San Francisco (Got it's name from a mission called "Mission San Francisco de Asis a la Laguna de lost Dolores" which was established back in 1776.)


Boulder (Believed to have gotten its name from Boulder Creek.)

Castle Rock




Sugar City





Slaughter Beach (Name from crabs that wash up on shore and die each year.)

How Do Towns And Cities Get Their Names? - It's often simpler than you think.

  • Sometimes a town is named after a person, no matter how weird that person's last name is. Sometimes they're famous. Sometimes they're infamous.
  • An offhand remark or sarcasm can sometimes be taken seriously.
  • Some cities are named after a prominent landmark or an abundant resource, even though it may be a bit of an embarrassment (gold, wood, etc.).
  • Odd celebrations can be an inspiration for names.
  • Naming a place after a certain plant or animal indigenous to the area is always an option.
  • A famous person's opinion can sometimes be the best (or worst) thing to happen to a town. Their opinion can give a town an immediate name, especially if the press gets hold of it.


Key West (Mallory Square is a waterfront plaza that you've got to visit for the "sunset celebration".)

Lake Placid (Many movies named after cities or towns are quite good.)


Treasure Island

Waldo (I could not find Waldo during my visit to this town.)


Climax (A unique name for a city, to be sure.)

Iron City (This would be a great setting for a Fantasy story.)



Alewa Heights

Eden Roc




Spirit Lake



Blue Mound

Chicago (Derived from the Native American word "shikaakwa", which means "smelly onion".)



Small Towns And Out of the Way Places Are A Lot Easier To Find With A Map - A City With A Cool Name Isn't Always Enough - You Must Do Your Research

If your story takes place in a town or city with your own specific layout, then a good name for it is all you will need, but if you plan on basing your story in a real place, then you need to investigate. I have actually planned three vacations based upon how weird, strange or unique the city name was. They were all very memorable and very enjoyable trips.

Old London tube map.
Old London tube map. | Source


Battle Ground

French Lick (Hometown of NBA legend Larry Bird.)



Rocky Ripple



Cedar Rapids

Harpers Perry



Dodge City

Strong City



Bowling Green


Hell For Certain (The official name is "Dryhill", but the community's common name comes from the Hell For Certain creek.)

Science Hill (Named by Willie Bobitt after his favorite subject and for the hill which the town is located on.)


Baton Rouge

Bridge City






Kittery (Named after the birthplace of founder Alexander Shapleigh. Born and raised in Devon, England from his manor Kittery Court at Kingswear.)










Bad Axe (a weird name for a city, for sure)

Hell (Named when someone asked an early settler what it should be called and his reply was, “Name it ‘Hell’ if you want to, I don’t care.”)




Blue Earth

Circle Pines






Bloody Springs


Hot Coffee (The community name came from an inn ran by L.J.Davis back in 1870 which was well known for “the best hot coffee around”.)






Knob Lick (Takes its name from nearby Knob Lick mountain; "knob" referring to an isolated summit and "lick" referring to a natural salt lick or spring.)




Cut Bank



Weeping Water


Virginia City

New Hampshire


New Jersey


East Orange

Hackensack (The Ice House is a complex with several full size skating rinks that you've got to see to believe.)

Roswell, New Mexico

New Mexico

Old Moses

Roswell (made famous by the events that happened there)

Silver City

Truth or Consequences (Changed its name from Hot Springs to the current one on March 31, 1950 after Ralph Edwards, the host of the game show Truth or Consequences, made a challenge for an American town to do so.)

New York




Red Hook


North Carolina

Bath (Derived from John Granville, Earl of Bath.)

Bear Grass

Chapel Hill

Seven Devils

Wake Forest

North Dakota

Devils Lake


Pick City

Spiritwood Lake

White Earth




Pepper Pike

Shaker Heights



Broken Arrow


Little Axe

Sparks (Named after George T. Sparks in 1902, a director for Fort Smith and Western Railroad Company.)




Burnt Woods (Forest fire problems, anyone?)

Coos Bay

Echo (Great name for a town in a horror film.)

Lone Elder








Upper Black Eddy

Rhode Island


West Warwick


South Carolina

Cross Hill

Due West


Ninety Six

South Dakota

Deadwood (Visit Mount Moriah Cemetery to pay your respects to people such as Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane.)



Bluff City

Bulls Gap


Tellico Plains


Archer City


Cut and Shoot (The name came from a threat of violence back in 1969 that never happened when someone remarked, "I'm going to cut around the corner and shoot through the bushes.")





Hideout (I wonder if this city would make a good one?)

Woods Cross


Satan's Kingdom



Gate City



Rich Creek



Ghoul Creek



Soap Lake

West Virginia






Black Earth

Round Lake






Ten Sleep

Airport and Airplane Travel Tips and Tricks

Some Of My Favorite Fictional Cities

Which made-up city below would you like to spend some time in?

See results

© 2013 Don

Tell Others About Any Interesting Towns Or Cities You've Visited - Especially those with strange names.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Wanderingteacher profile image

      Julia Rose 

      8 months ago from Japan

      I like that this combines traveling with writing. Sometimes fact really is stranger than fiction. I'll have to keep some of these city names in mind when writing my next story. Thank you for the wonderful information!

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      13 months ago from UK

      Some familiar, but many unfamiliar place names here. I often base my choice of a book or film on the location. I tend to favour the places I have already visited so I can recognise and visualise the location.

    • Maria de Guzman profile image

      Maria Grace de Guzman 

      15 months ago from Philippines

      Thank you for sharing this list. I have learned something new today.

    • profile image

      Afroditi Chaida 

      18 months ago

      Very nice! Love Damascus.

    • simplehealthtips profile image

      Ellen Adarna 

      20 months ago from San Diego, California

      Nice List. Thanks for it!!!!!

    • Glecerio Tatoy profile image


      20 months ago

      Cool stuff. Those are a must visit places for tourists, including myself.

      Thanks for sharing, Don!

    • Bills Place profile image

      Billy Haynes 

      21 months ago from Paragould, AR

      Couple names you could add to the list:

      Success, Arkansas (we pass this small town when going to visit the girlfriends parents in Missouri).

      Pilot Knob, Missouri

      Bald Knob, Missouri

    • Guckenberger profile image

      Alexander James Guckenberger 

      2 years ago from Maryland, United States of America

      I would love to visit Delhi one day.

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 

      2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      This is a great list of places to set your stories and scripts. I lived in Shaker Heights OH for 5 years, when I first moved to Ohio from New Jersey. And my first summer Nano novel took place to the Florida Keys, mainly Key West. Thanks for sharing. No strange named towns that I've visited or lived in.

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      Petra is an ancient city that no longer exists that has a cool name, though I would only use it in as story as an actual setting.

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      I'm quite fond of the name Trieste, in Italy.

    • profile image


      3 years ago


    • profile image


      3 years ago

      I know a few amateur writers that have written stories after traveling to certain cities or towns, and I believe there are some well-known authors who have done so as well.

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      If you could explain a little bit of history of the names it would be even more interesting

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I think they definitely missed one. Angel Fire New Mexico.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I think a story with cities named after Sodom and Gomorrah (from Bible) would be kind of cool. The other cities allied with these two were Zeboim, Bela and Admah; collectively they were known as the "cities of the plain".

    • ControlledChaos1 profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Tennessee

      @rasgriz: I just love a lot of the city names in other parts of the world. They have so much more history and have been around a lot longer than the younger countries. I've often wondered why any older city would change its name from the one it had in ancient times. I guess to commemorate a new start?

    • rasgriz profile image


      6 years ago

      you should put Bandung (indonesia) its very unique name, and of course the city itself

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I wonder how many people visit Hazard, Kentucky because of the Dukes of Hazard tv show? I'm one of them!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Once visited a small town called Arches (in Utah I think) several years ago. I've always wondered how a town chooses its name. Maybe you could put that in your article?

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I've just finished watching Spartacus. There's lots of interesting city names in that one from ancient Rome. Capua. Thrace. Gaul.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)