107 World cities by latitude: Things line up in surprising ways

While this site mostly deals with the economics of world travel, we’ve also included typical weather and climate information for each destination for each month of the year. Hopefully this is useful to those who are planning a trip so they can compare what to expect weather-wise between each destination with just one click.

So building on the weather part, I always thought it would be interesting to see exactly where all the major tourist destinations of the world line up with regard to latitude (distance from the equator). The data below might contain some surprising facts, as it seems like most of us picture the globe in ways that may not match reality.

For example, as an American, the map in my mind says that France is east of England, while in reality it’s due south. And at the moment I’m in Istanbul, which seems surprisingly cold in April, but it’s less surprising after I remind myself that Istanbul has the same latitude as Chicago, as well as Barcelona and Rome, and is farther north than New York City.

For good measure, I’ve added the rank of each destination on our World Backpackers Index for 2011, which lists all these cities in order of costs for a typical set of expenses for the budget traveler.

And since it seems more interesting to compare cities by absolute distance from the equator rather than purely from north to south, I’ve added the Southern Hemisphere cities in with their northern counterparts, so, for example, Melbourne, Australia is listed (in italics) with San Francisco, as they are the same distance from the equator.

107 popular destinations by latitude

(Number in parentheses is Backpacker Index rank, with 1 being cheapest and 107 being most expensive.)

Southern Hemisphere cities are in on the same list, in italics.


Reykjavik, Iceland (79)


Helsinki, Finland (100)


Oslo, Norway (106) – Stockholm, Sweden (105) – Tallinn, Estonia (57) – St. Petersburg, Russia (50)


Edinburgh, Scotland (76) – Copenhagen, Denmark (102) – Moscow, Russia (56)


Galway, Ireland (89) – Dublin, Ireland (81) – Hamburg, Germany (80)


Amsterdam, Netherlands (97) – Berlin, Germany (64), Warsaw, Poland (48)


London, England (65) – Bruges, Belgium (58)


Brussells, Belgium (96) – Prague, Czech Republic (51) – Krakow, Poland (24)


Vancouver, Canada (90) – Luxembourg City, Luxembourg (88)


Paris, France (94) – Munich, Germany (82) – Vienna, Austria (92)


Zurich, Switzerland (107) – Budapest, Hungary (41)


Montreal, Canada (72) – Milan, Italy (84) – Venice, Italy (103) – Zagreb, Croatia (53) – Queenstown, New Zealand (83)


Bucharest, Romania (30)


Toronto, Canada (95) – Nice, France (86) – Florence, Italy (75)


Dubrovnik, Croatia (70) – Sofia, Bulgaria (11)


Chicago, USA (91) – Barcelona, Spain (87) – Rome, Italy (93) – Istanbul, Turkey (45)


New York City, USA (85) – Madrid, Spain (73) – Naples, Italy (77)


Beijing, China (26)


Washington DC, USA (69) – Lisbon, Portugal (60)


San Francisco, USA (68) – Athens, Greece (71) – Seoul, South Korea (42) – Melbourne, Australia (101)


Las Vegas, USA (59) – Auckland, New Zealand (66)


Tokyo, Japan (104)


Los Angeles, USA (63) – Fez, Morocco (28) – Buenos Aires, Argentina (39) – Montevideo, Uruguay (40) – Sydney, Australia (98)


Beirut, Lebanon (43) – Santiago, Chile (38) – Cape Town, South Africa (52)


Tel Aviv, Israel (62)


Marrakech, Morocco (34) – Amman, Jordan (29) – Shanghai, China (33)


Cairo, Egypt (14)


New Orleans, USA (61)


Delhi, India (21)


Kathmandu, Nepal (17)


Miami, USA (99) – Dubai, UAE (74) – Taipei, Taiwan (35)


Macau, Macau (22) – Hong Kong, Hong Kong (47) – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (54)


Honolulu, USA (78) – Cancun, Mexico (55) – Hanoi, Vietnam (1)


Mexico City, Mexico (31) – Luang Prabang, Laos (8)


Mumbai, India (32) – Chiang Mai, Thailand (7)


Antigua, Guatemala (36) – San Pedro, Belize (49) – Vientiane, Laos (4)


La Paz, Bolivia (15)


Goa, India (2) – Hội An, Vietnam (3)


Dakar, Senegal (44) – Manila, Philippines (6)


Bangkok, Thailand (12) – Siem Reap, Cambodia (18) – Cusco, Peru (19)


Lima, Peru (25)


Phnom Penh, Cambodia (10)


Cartagena, Colombia (16) – Caracas, Venezuela (67) – Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (5)

San José, Costa Rica (37)

Panama City, Panama (23) – Kuta, Bali, Indonesia (9)

Phuket Town, Thailand (20)

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (27)

Singapore, Singapore (46)

Quito, Ecuador (13)

15 Responses to “107 World cities by latitude: Things line up in surprising ways”

Expatify says:

I guess I have subconsciously also wanted to live somewhere cheaper, and not only warmer.

saintsaens says:

Good, but aren’t you kind of forgetting a hemisphere??

    admin says:

    saintsaens, I know it was a bit confusing, but I added the Southern Hemisphere cities in the with others, in italics, and mentioned it at the top. I just thought it was more interesting to see where they matched up with the north. -Roger

damon durant says:

Pse make a list of cities in the northern hemisphere and southern and how they relate as far as distance from equator go’s. For example I was in San Fran recently and being from Cape Town I wondered how our weather patterns compared and how far we were respectively from the equator or tropics

SarahNewlife says:

I was flabbergasted but a map confirmed your results. New York and Naples? LA and Sydney?? New Orleans is further south than Cairo??? Singapore is 1° from the Equator???? Oh boy! Has the world gone mad? This was great fun and very enlightening. Oh… and my geography really stinks. :-)

Joao says:

Very good! I also like to do the same kind of research to myself.

Some places in my opinion that should be included: Oporto (Portugal) 41º north as well as some places in the southern hemisphere that are in a higher latitude than the paralel 40º south: Hobbart – Australia, Christchurch – New Zealand, Punta Arenas – Chile, Ushuaia – Argentina. The latter, albeit a small town, standing at the paralel 54º south is the most southerly town in the world. Its winters… in July and August… have plenty of snowfall.


    Joao, thanks for the kind words and the comments. I agree that I could have added many interesting cities, like Murmansk or others right on the equator, but I was starting with my previous list of popular tourist cities, so I mainly wanted to see where those lined up around the world. -Roger

Joao says:

… and by the way aouthern hemisphere many cities in the tropical zone or close, are also missing: Salvador – Brazil, Brazilia – Brazil, Belo Horizonte – Brazil, São Paulo – Brazil (the largest city of the southern hemisphere, stands by the Tropic of Capricorn), Darwin – Australia, Brisbane – Australia (subtropical), Johannesburg – South Africa (subtropical), Durban – South Africa (subtropical). Jakarta – Indonesia.

Mike Martin says:

I was also surprised at the longitude of some countries; Brazil pokes way out into the East. The Jet Lag was fierce when I arrived in Sao Paolo from Minneapolis!

Herman says:

How do I find out which middle eastern cities line up with Los Angeles? Ideas? Thanks, guys.



    Interesting question. It looks like Los Angeles (34 degrees north) is a bit north of Beirut and Baghdad, and a bit south of Tehran. I hope that helps. -Roger

Twony says:

Actually the majority of Sydney, including the city of Sydney, except the Sutherland shire to the south, is in the 33 latitude category, though the high 33 degrees.

kiwichick says:

you could add Wellington and Christchurch , New Zealand

and for interest sake Invercargill ,New Zealand is at 46 degrees South

(which makes it the 2nd most Southerly city on the planet)

    Joey says:

    Actually off the top of my head I can name Punta Arenas in Chile and Ushuaia in Argentina which are more southerly. Probably Puerto natales and El Calafate as well.

Rafa says:

Interesting site. I think that you should include Usuahia in Argentina and Punta Arenas in Chile the most austral cities of the world.


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