A political map focuses on boundaries between entities, like countries, states or counties. They are generally brighter colors to easily distinguish the boundaries.
A physical map focuses on the geography of the area and will often have shaded relief to show the mountains and valleys. Typical colors are blues, greens and browns. Many rivers, mountains and lake features are usually labeled. Cities, towns, countries and other political features are often labeled as well its just not the focus of the map or the first thing you notice.