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Top 10 Coldest Cities in the World

In most parts of the world, winter means adjusting the thermostat or covering yourself up with one more layer of clothes. But in some parts of the world, the temperature drops are almost unbearable. In some places, the temperature goes down to -40°C. If you want to know where these places are, then here is the list of the 10 coldest cities in the world. 

List of 10 Coldest Cities in the World

  1. Yakutsk, Russia
  2. Oymyakon, Russia
  3. Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
  4. Dudinka, Russia
  5. Yellowknife, Canada
  6. Harbin, China
  7. Winnipeg, Canada
  8. International Falls, Minnesota, U.S.
  9. Fairbanks, United States
  10. Irkutsk, Russia

1) Yakutsk, Russia

One of the coldest cities on the planet is Yakutsk in Russia. The high winter temperatures in this far-flung Siberian city, around 450 kilometers south of the Arctic Circle, surprise even the most seasoned locals. Yakutsk experiences the lowest average temperature of -40°C in January, the coldest month of the year. The temperature can frequently dip even lower, to an incredible -50°C (-58°F).

Yakutsk, which was founded in 1632, has developed into a thriving metropolis with roughly 300,000 residents. The city prospers despite its severe environment thanks to its abundant reserves of gold, diamonds, and other minerals. With creative adaptation, the locals have avoided the bitter cold by digging tunnels beneath the surface and building structures on stilts to retain heat.

Due to the harsh winter circumstances, Yakutsk’s record low temperature was -64.4°C (-83.9°F) in February 1891. Summertime, however, brings about a sharp change in the weather, with occasional highs of above 30°C (86°F), illustrating the city’s amazing temperature variety. Yakutsk’s residents combine resiliency with a distinctive cultural legacy that flourishes in the frozen heart of Siberia, leaving visitors frequently in awe of how they manage to survive and prosper in one of the world’s most hostile climates.

2) Oymyakon, Russia

Russia’s Oymyakon is well known for being the world’s coldest inhabited location. Situated around 750 kilometers northeast of Yakutsk, this little rural community in the Sakha Republic (Yakutia) has winter temperatures that are unbearable for humans. Oymyakon experiences average lows of -50°C (-58°F) in January, the coldest month of the year, and frequent lows of -60°C (-76°F).

The lowest temperature ever recorded outside of Antarctica was -67.7°C (-89.9°F), which was recorded at Oymyakon on February 6, 1933. The settlement, which is inhabited by about 500 residents, exemplifies human resilience and adaptation in extreme conditions.

In Oymyakon, surviving the bitter cold is the main focus of daily life. Thick insulation is used in the construction of buildings, and residents heat their homes with coal and wood. To keep engines from freezing, cars are either stored in heated garages or left running. The town prospers despite the harsh weather, upholding customs like ice fishing and reindeer husbandry.

There is a brief break from the hard winters during the summer when temperatures can occasionally go beyond 20°C. Oymyakon’s residents, who have evolved to one of the harshest climates on Earth, are known for their stoic endurance and distinctive cultural customs, which frequently astound tourists visiting the area. The harsh weather and strong community of Oymyakon make it an intriguing case study for anyone wishing to survive in the world’s coldest inhabited region.

Also Read: Cold Places in Pakistan 

3) Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

Mongolia’s Ulaanbaatar is notable for being the world’s coldest capital. Ulaanbaatar, which is situated at an elevation of roughly 1,350 meters (4,430 feet) above sea level, is known for its lengthy, bitterly cold winters, during which the temperature frequently drops well below freezing. The coldest month in the city, January, often has lows of -40°C and average temperatures of about -20°C.

Since its founding in 1639, Ulaanbaatar has grown to become a thriving home to more than 1.4 million people. The city is Mongolia’s political, economic, and cultural center, and it survives despite the bitter weather. Since winter lasts for most of the year from November to March, thermal insulation and reliable heating systems are essential to the survival of the local population.

Ulaanbaatar’s severe climate presents many difficulties. Wintertime brings with it a serious problem with air pollution since so many people use coal-burning stoves to stay warm. Because of the city’s increased reliance on coal, there are health risks associated with the air quality. Despite these challenges, Ulaanbaatar’s residents have persevered in embracing both contemporary inventions and age-old traditions to survive the harsh winters.

Ulaanbaatar’s summers are a striking contrast, with sporadic highs of 30°C (86°F). The stark continental climate of the city is emphasized by this seasonal contrast. 

4) Dudinka, Russia

Russia’s remote Arctic port city of Dudinka is well-known for its bitterly cold climate. Dudinka, which is situated in the Krasnoyarsk Krai region of Siberia on the Yenisei River, experiences severe winters, with typical January temperatures falling to about -30°C. Extreme cold is common in the city; on occasion, the temperature falls below -40°C.

Dudinka was established in 1667 and is home to over 22,000 people. The city’s strategic location and important port facilities contribute significantly to the Russian economy, albeit with its harsh environment. It acts as a major hub for the export of minerals taken out of the neighboring Norilsk industrial zone, including copper and nickel.

Dudinka’s winters are especially hard because they run so long often from October to May. The city’s polar night, which lasts for several weeks, brings on constant darkness, making its winters even more severe. These conditions have a significant impact on daily life and infrastructure, as buildings and transportation systems are built to withstand the cold.

In Dudinka, summers are short but generally pleasant, with occasional highs of 15°C. The city’s inhabitants have persevered in adapting to one of the harshest climates on earth, as evidenced by this striking seasonal contrast. The bleak beauty of the Arctic scenery and the resilience of the people who live in this frozen settlement frequently enthrall visitors to Dudinka.

5) Yellowknife, Canada

One of the coldest cities in North America is Yellowknife, Canada. Yellowknife, which is located in the Northwest Territories on the northern coast of Great Slave Lake, has severe winters. In January, the average temperature is roughly -26°C (-15°F), and it frequently drops as low as -40°C.

Since its founding in 1934 in the wake of the gold rush, Yellowknife has developed into a thriving city with more than 20,000 residents. It is the capital of the Northwest Territories and a major mining and tourism hub despite its bitterly cold environment. Rich natural resources, like gold and diamonds, support the city’s economy, and its advantageous location positions it as a major hub for trade and government in the Canadian Arctic.

The winters in Yellowknife are marked by long, gloomy nights and a lot of snow. To withstand the cold, residents rely on sturdy heating systems and well-insulated dwellings. A variety of outdoor pursuits, including dog sledding, ice fishing, and witnessing the breathtaking Northern Lights, draw tourists looking for authentic Arctic adventures.

Yellowknife’s summers offer a stark contrast, with sporadic highs of over 20°C (68°F). Both locals and visitors can take advantage of the prolonged daylight hours provided by the Midnight Sun phenomenon, where the sun hardly sets. Yellowknife is a unique location in Canada’s north because of its harsh climate, rich cultural heritage, and stunning natural surroundings.

Also Read: Coldest Countries in the World

6) Harbin, China

China’s Harbin is well known for its harsh winters and lively winter culture. Harbin, the provincial capital of Heilongjiang, endures severe winter weather, with January highs of -18°C and frequent lows of -30°C. This city in the northeast, which is close to the Siberian border, has made amazing adjustments to its extremely cold climate.

Originally established as a Russian colony in 1898, Harbin has developed into a thriving metropolis with a population of more than 10 million. Heavy industry, manufacturing, and tourism are the main drivers of the city’s economy, especially in the winter. Annually drawing millions of tourists, the Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival is the city’s most well-known event. The festival, which takes place in late December and early February, showcases ice sculptures that turn the city into a wonderland.

People in Harbin have a strong winter culture despite the extreme temperatures. Because of its historical connections, the city is peppered with buildings in the Russian style and offers a wide range of winter sports. Popular winter activities include skating, ice swimming, and ice sailing. The Songhua, the city’s main river, freezes solid and turns into a playground for snow lovers.

Harbin experiences a dramatic change in climate throughout the summer, with average highs of 23°C (73°F). The stark continental climate of the city is emphasized by this seasonal contrast. Harbin is a unique and fascinating place in China because of its ability to embrace its chilly climate and turn it into a cultural and economic advantage.

7) Winnipeg, Canada

Winnipeg, Canada, is renowned for both its thriving cultural scene and its bitterly cold winters. Winnipeg, the capital of Manitoba, experiences lengthy, cold winters, with January lows of -30°C or less and average lows of -16°C. Situated at the meeting point of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers, the city is frequently referred to as the “Gateway to the West.”

Originally established as a fur trading center in 1738, Winnipeg has expanded to become a thriving metropolis home to more than 750,000 people. The city prospers despite its bitterly cold winters, providing a fusion of varied cultures, a rich past, and a strong manufacturing, banking, and transportation sector.

In Winnipeg, winter brings a lot of snow and wind, which causes severe wind chills. The people in the city are ready for the cold; they have sophisticated heating systems and insulated clothes. Winnipeg becomes a center for outdoor events and festivals during the winter. Every year, the city’s French-Canadian heritage is honored with ice sculptures, traditional music, and winter sports during the Festival du Voyageur. One of the longest naturally frozen skating tracks in the world, the Red River Mutual Trail draws both locals and visitors with its unique winter experience.

Winnipeg’s summertime offers a sharp difference, with average highs of 25°C (77°F). Numerous festivals, such as the Winnipeg Folk Festival and the Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival, bring the city to life and highlight its thriving arts sector.

8) International Falls, Minnesota, U.S.

The United States city of International Falls, Minnesota, is known as the “Icebox of the Nation” because of its extremely cold winters. This small city, which is situated along the Rainy River on the border between the United States and Canada, has some of the lowest temperatures in the contiguous United States. The coldest month, January, typically has lows of -20°C, with frequent dips to -40°C or below.

International Falls was established in 1901 and is home to over 6,000 people. Because of the presence of a sizable paper mill, the city has a strong local economy that is mostly driven by the paper and packaging industry, despite its tiny size and hard winters. The region’s natural beauty and winter sports attract tourists, who play a big part in the economy.

The town of International Falls welcomes the long, snowy winters with a sense of celebration and resilience despite the terrible cold. Held in January, the annual Icebox Days festival offers unusual winter sports including frozen turkey bowling, smoosh racing (a team sport involving racing in specially designed snowshoes), and the Freeze Yer Gizzard Blizzard Run, a series of running competitions that test competitors’ bravery in the cold.

In International Falls, summertime offers a sharp change in temperature, with average highs of 25°C (77°F). In the neighboring Voyageurs National Park, there are many outdoor activity options throughout the warmer months, including boating, hiking, and fishing.

Also Read: Cold Places In the USA

9) Fairbanks, United States

Fairbanks, Alaska, in the United States, is renowned for its lively and very cold community. Fairbanks, which is in the center of Alaska, often has some of the lowest temperatures in the nation. Average lows in January, the coldest month, are as low as -23°C, with rare excursions to extreme lows of -40°C.

With 30,000 residents, Fairbanks is the second-largest city in Alaska, having been founded in 1901 during the Klondike Gold Rush. With the University of Alaska Fairbanks playing a significant role in the town, the city acts as an important center for education, the military, and transportation.

Long nights and bitter cold characterize Fairbanks’ winters when the sun seldom rises above the horizon on the shortest days of the year. The community prospers despite these challenging circumstances, as its citizens enjoy winter activities like dog sledding, ice fishing, and snowmobiling. Every year in February and March, the World Ice Art Championships draw ice sculptors from all over the world, turning the city into a breathtaking exhibition of ice art.

In Fairbanks, the Aurora Borealis, often known as the Northern Lights, regularly illuminates the night sky, attracting tourists from all over the world to see this amazing natural phenomenon. The city is among the best spots on Earth to see the aurora because it is situated beneath the auroral oval.

10) Irkutsk, Russia

One of Siberia’s largest cities, Irkutsk, Russia, is well-known for both its lengthy history and its bitterly cold winters. Situated next to the western bank of Lake Baikal, the oldest and deepest freshwater lake in the world, Irkutsk endures bitterly cold winters. The coldest month, January, has average lows of less than -30°C (-22°F) and highs of roughly -20°C (-4°F).

Irkutsk, which was first settled by Cossacks in 1661, has developed into a thriving hub of both culture and commerce, home to more than 600,000 people. The city was vital to the Siberian fur trade and eventually developed into a major hub for the Trans-Siberian Railway, which enhanced its connectivity and growth.

Irkutsk is a center of industry, culture, and education despite the harsh winters. The city’s architecture, which combines opulent Russian Orthodox churches with traditional wooden Siberian homes, is a fitting reflection of its historical significance. Irkutsk’s winters are characterized by a lot of snow and icy weather, but the city’s citizens have adapted effectively, using efficient heating systems and warm clothes to stay warm.

Travelers wishing to experience this natural marvel can enter Irkutsk through its proximity to Lake Baikal. The lake freezes over in the winter, providing exceptional chances for ice skating, ice fishing, and even ice diving. Every year in March, runners from all over the world come to the Baikal Ice Marathon to run across the frozen lake.

Also Read: Most Visited Cities in the World


In conclusion, human adaptability and resilience in the face of harsh temperatures are exemplified by the coldest cities in the world. These cities have prospered despite their difficult circumstances. Ingenious infrastructure, enduring cultural customs, and a resilient mindset have taught the locals to accept and even enjoy the cold. These cities serve as reminders of the astounding diversity and resilience of human life, encouraging respect for those who call them home as the environment continues to change.


Which Is the Coldest City in the World?

Yakutsk in Russia is the coldest city in the world where the average temperature is -40°C.

Which Is the Coldest City in the United States?

International Falls, Minnesota is the coldest city in the world with an average temperature of -20°C but the temperature can go as low as -40°C as well.

Oleksandra Mamchii

Working as a academic lead at Best Diplomats.

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