The 11 Sunniest Cities in the World
When you’re looking for your next home, you want to be bathed in as much sunshine as physically possible.
Everything looks better when it’s sunny, plus your mood improves – and that’s a scientific truth. Sunshine increases your brain’s levels of serotonin, which produces feelings of happiness, optimism, and satisfaction.
Using in-depth data from the United Nations’ World Meteorological Organisation, we’ve found the places where you’ll pretty much always be doused with sunlight – and the areas you should avoid.
1. Yuma, US
Hours of sunshine per year: 4,015.3
The US city made famous by the 1957 western 3:10 To Yuma – and its equally popular 2007 remake – is your best bet for constant, glorious sunshine.
With an average of 11 hours of sun per day, Yuma is one of four southwestern cities in the top five, and one of three in Arizona – but it’s clearly superior to the others.
This city of around 100,000 people experiences sunshine during 91% of daytime hours, meaning you’ll almost never be without direct access to your best provider of Vitamin D.
And what’s more, you’ll only have to deal with 3.36 inches of rain per year.
2. Phoenix, US
Hours of sunshine per year: 3,871.6
When you have a basketball team called the Suns, your city should be blessed with huge dollops of daily sunshine – and thankfully, Phoenix fulfils this promise.
As well as copious amounts of rays, Arizona’s state capital also offers average highs of 40°C throughout the summer, and an overall average temperature that never drops below a brisk 11°C, even in the depths of winter.
And despite being in the middle of the desert, Arizona is also home to some beaches where you can take advantage of the sunny weather.
3. Aswan, Egypt
Hours of sunshine per year: 3,862.8
Ancient Egyptians, Romans, and biblical civilisations have all enjoyed the sun in Aswan
The sunniest place in the world outside the US – and the first of three Egyptian destinations in the top 11 – this city on the Nile is a heavenly location for fans of history and sunshine.
Aswan is at least 5,000 years old, meaning it has relics and ruins of every group of people that has graced its land, including the Ancient Egyptians, Romans, and biblical civilisations.
You can see a giant, 3,500-year-old unfinished obelisk, the 2,000-year-old temple of Kom Ombo, or the 5,000-year-old ruins of Abu – and you can do it all in perfect sunshine, with an average high that never dips below 22°C.
4. Las Vegas, US
Hours of sunshine per year: 3,825.3
Las Vegas may be famous for its 24/7 hyper-capitalist offering of casinos, music, and other forms of entertainment, but it’s also in the desert, meaning your days will be blessed with sunny warmth.
For five months of the year, the average high will be 32°C or above, and the high never drops below 15°C – perfect weather for sunbathing after a heavy night of fun.
You’ll be thankful for Vegas’s scorching nine-month summers and constant sunlight, but watch out – when the sun sets in the winter, temperatures can drop below 0°C.
5. Tucson, US
Hours of sunshine per year: 3,806.0
Rounding off Arizona’s dominance at the top of this list is Tucson, which was founded by Spanish colonists, won independence as part of Mexico, and was then purchased by the US in 1853.
Tucsonans get their news from both the Daily Star and the Daily Sun, which they can read while travelling on the city’s public transportation system, the Sun Tran.
All this to say, the sun is an ever-present resident, shining down on 85% of days throughout the year. The city’s ubiquitous solar companion guarantees highs of 38°C during summer and 19°C in winter.
6. Faya-Largeau, Chad
Hours of sunshine per year: 3,792.4
0.46 inches of rain per year means a lot of desert, even in this oasis
Want to spend 10 months of every year enjoying highs of 31°C and above? Then Chad’s largest northern city is the place for you.
You’ll be able to sunbathe all year round too, with at least 10 hours of sunshine on offer every day, and average lows that don’t fall below 13°C.
And that pairs excellently with an average yearly rainfall of 0.46 inches – if it rains at all.
7. Kharga, Egypt
Hours of sunshine per year: 3,790.8
This city can be found in an oasis around 125 miles west of the Nile, in the middle of the mostly barren Western Desert.
Its location makes Kharga the muggiest place on the list so far, with a humidity level that hovers around 50% for much of the winter.
The average high across the year is 32.5°C, and the average temperature is 24.6°C, which makes for an eternally hot, sunny climate in which to enjoy remnants of Persian, Roman, and prehistoric communities.
8. El Paso, US
Hours of sunshine per year: 3,762.5
Welcome to Texas, where the sunshine is common as cornbread – and nowhere more so than in El Paso.
If you make your home in this town on the border with both Mexico and New Mexico – which has been inhabited for around 12,000 years – you’ll be able to enjoy sunshine during 84% of the daytime available throughout the year.
Everything is bigger in Texas, and that goes for the temperature too, which stays at a high of 27°C or above for seven months every year.
There’s very little rain, at 8.8 inches per year. There’s generally some snow, but what better way to enjoy a seasonal flurry than in bright sunshine?
9. Upington, South Africa
Hours of sunshine per year: 3,731.8
You may not think that this arid city, with its desert climate and high temperatures, would be home to a successful wine industry – but gloriously, you’d be wrong.
Local growers congregate on the banks of the Orange River, using the fertile floodplains to create award-winning wines in Upington’s neverending sunshine.
From November to March, the average high doesn’t dip below 32°C, and with an average rainfall of just 7.4 inches, you might as well sell your umbrella now.
10. Bilma, Niger
Hours of sunshine per year: 3,674.2
Seven months of the year have highs of 39°C? Yes, please
If you have a deep-seated hatred of rain, this oasis town in north-eastern Niger will be paradise for you.
The 4,000 residents of Bilma experience just half an inch of rain per year, meaning there’s nothing getting in the way of you developing your tan during the seven months each year where the average high doesn’t go below 39°C.
The average temperature across the year is 28°C, and you can expect around 10 hours of stunning sunshine per day, every day.
11. Minya, Egypt
Hours of sunshine per year: 3,666.4
The average high is 30°C in this 5,000-year-old desert city on the western bank of the Nile.
Each summer, residents of Minya can absorb glorious sunlight from 5am to 6pm every day, while enjoying highs that typically stay above 36°C and come with little humidity.
The city, which locals call the Bride of Upper Egypt, is replete with beautiful architecture that charts the different eras the city has seen, from the Pharaohs, Greeks, Romans, and the Abbasid Caliphate, through to the current day.
The least sunny cities in the world
|Location||Country||Annual hours of sunshine|
|Bjørnøya (Bear Island)||Norway||595|
|Sal Island||Cape Verde||819.6|
|Franz Josef Land||Russia||1,004|