London has been through a lot since the Romans first settled on the banks of the River Thames two millennia ago. It has been sacked by armies, ravaged by plague, burned to the ground, bombarded by air and targeted by terrorists. And through it all, it has picked up, persevered and thrived.

Now the city is home to 8.5 million people, 3.1 million of which were born outside the UK – a diversity that is a source of immense pride to Londoners. Whether because of its once-thriving ports or its financial prowess, London has always been a hub for the world: it is a place where people want to live, work and play.

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Londoners' unique temperament is, for better or worse, famous the world over. London natives can be frosty, bad-tempered and territorial as they can be self-deprecating, sarcastic and irreverent. The city is as famous for its museums, pubs and history as it is for its iconic transport system, the London Underground, and the misery it inflicts on millions of us every day.

As the race for mayor picks up speed, much will be said by the candidates about what the city means, but Londoners know that no politician can speak for London – the city speaks for itself. Like the huge daily tides that rise and fall on the River Thames, sweeping millions of gallons of water through the heart of the city and back to the sea, London has its own energy, its own pulsing, seething heart.

There is too much to learn about London – a lifetime's worth – but even the newest of arrivals can amass enough to get by, to make it as a Londoner. Take our quiz to see just how far you have to go.