As the world rapidly changes, so does the climate. In the past 100 years, the Earth has seen a rise in average temperatures of about 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit. We wonder which is one of the coldest cities in the world.
While this may not seem like much, it has caused drastic changes in weather patterns and increased extreme weather events. As a result of this global warming, cities around the world are experiencing more cold snaps and longer winters.
With the increase in global temperatures, many cities are now at risk of becoming uninhabitable because of the cold.
In this article, we will explore the 20 coldest cities in the world and what these cities are doing to combat the heat.
From building cooling towers to planting trees, these cities are taking steps to make sure their residents can still enjoy a comfortable life despite the rising temperatures.
So read on!
Table of contents
- What Is It Like Living In The Coldest Cities?
- How To Determine The Coldest Cities?
- What Are The Top 20 Coldest Cities In The World?
- 1. Oymyakon, Sakha Republic, Russia
- 2. Harbin, China
- 3. Irkutsk, Russia
- 4. Fraser, Colorado
- 5. Fairbanks, Alaska
- 6. Snag, Yukon, Canada
- 7. Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
- 8. Nursultan, Kazakhstan
- 9. Yakutsk, Russia
- 10. Utqiagvik, Alaska
- 11. Anchorage, Alaska
- 12. Naryn, Kyrgyzstan
- 13. Grand Forks, North Dakota
- 14. Erzurum, Turkey
- 15. Hell, Norway
- 16. Coral Harbour, Nunavut, Canada
- 17. Vladivostok, Russia
- 18. Novosibirsk, Russia
- 19. Winnipeg, Canada
- 20. Ottawa, Canada
- Frequently Asked Questions
What Is It Like Living In The Coldest Cities?
For many people, the thought of living in a cold city is daunting. The thought of having to bundle up every time you leave the house and dealing with ice and snow regularly can be enough to deter even the most intrepid traveler.
But for those who will brave the cold, there are some incredible places to live – places where the snowfall is so heavy that it feels like living inside a snow globe, where the Northern Lights dance across the sky on winter nights, and where you can always find a cozy spot to curl up with a good book.
If you are thinking about making the move to a colder climate, here are some of the best coldest cities in the world to consider.
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How To Determine The Coldest Cities?
There are a few different ways to determine the coldest cities in the world. The first is by looking at the average temperatures. The second is by looking at the lowest temperatures ever recorded. And the third is by looking at the number of days with snowfall.
The average temperature method is probably the most common way to determine the coldest cities. To do this, you simply look at what the average temperature is for each city over a year. The cities with the lowest averages are typically going to be the coldest.
The lowest temperature method is a bit more specific. With this method, you are looking at which cities have recorded the lowest temperatures ever. This can be -20 degrees Celsius (-4 degrees Fahrenheit) or even lower in some cases. These cities are going to be up there on the list of the coldest cities in the world.
Finally, you can also look at snowfall days to help determine which cities are the coldest. This metric is not quite as reliable as either of the previous two, but it can give you an idea nonetheless. Typically, cities that see a lot of snowfall are going to be pretty cold overall.
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What Are The Top 20 Coldest Cities In The World?
Below is the list of the coldest cities in the world you can explore:
1. Oymyakon, Sakha Republic, Russia
Oymyakon is a small village located in the Sakha Republic of Russia. It is widely considered to be the coldest permanently inhabited place on Earth, with an average temperature of −58.3 °C (−72.9 °F).
Oymyakon has only about 500 inhabitants, who live mostly off of reindeer herding and farming. The village is cut off from the outside world for much of the year due to its remote location and harsh winters.
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2. Harbin, China
Harbin is located in Northeast China and is known for its bitterly cold winters. The average temperature in January is -16.6 degrees Celsius (2.1 degrees Fahrenheit).
The city experiences a continuous period of cold weather from November to March, and the temperatures can drop as low as -35 degrees Celsius (-31 degrees Fahrenheit).
Despite the cold, Harbin is a popular tourist destination, especially in the winter months when the city hosts the annual Ice and Snow Festival. The festival features massive ice sculptures, snow sculptures, and ice lanterns, and attracts visitors from all over the world.
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3. Irkutsk, Russia
The city of Irkutsk in Russia is known for its cold winters. The average temperature in January is -17.9 degrees Celsius, making it one of the cold cities in the world.
Despite the cold weather, Irkutsk is a popular tourist destination. Its proximity to Lake Baikal, the world’s largest freshwater lake, makes it a popular destination for outdoor activities like hiking and skiing.
If you have plans to visit Irkutsk in winter, be sure to dress warm! Bundling up in layers of clothing is essential to staying comfortable in cold temperatures.
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4. Fraser, Colorado
Fraser, Colorado is a small town located in the Rocky Mountains of the United States. The town is known for its cold weather, with temperatures often reaching below freezing in the winter months. The town’s population is just over 1,000 people, and it is located approximately 60 miles (97 kilometers) northwest of Denver.
Its elevation causes the town’s cold weather. Fraser is located at an altitude of 8,574 feet (2,614 meters), which makes it one of the highest towns in the Rocky Mountains.
This high elevation means that Fraser experiences colder temperatures than lower-lying areas. Fraser is often referred to as the “Icebox of America.” Despite its cold temperatures, Fraser is a popular tourist destination in the winter months.
The town is home to several ski resorts, and its proximity to Rocky Mountain National Park makes it a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts.
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5. Fairbanks, Alaska
When most people think of cold weather, they generally picture snowy landscapes with frigid temperatures. For many, the word “cold” is synonymous with “winter.” However, there are places in the world where the temperatures can drop so low that even winter seems warm by comparison.
Fairbanks, Alaska is one of those places. It is not uncommon for temperatures to dip below -60 degrees Fahrenheit (-51 degrees Celsius) in Fairbanks. Even in summer, the average temperature is only a little over 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius). Needless to say, Fairbanks is not a place for those who don’t like cold weather!
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6. Snag, Yukon, Canada
While most people think of cold places as being near the poles, there are many locations on Earth that experience colder temperatures than even the Arctic and Antarctic regions. One such place is Snag, Yukon in Canada.
This small town of just over 100 residents is located in a valley near the Alaskan border, and it is known for its very cold winters. The average temperature in December and January is around−40 °C (−40 °F), with lows often dipping below −50 °C (−58 °F). These temperatures make Snag the coldest permanently inhabited place in Canada and one of the coldest places in the world.
7. Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia is known as the “coldest city in the world.” The average winter temperature in Ulaanbaatar is -30°C (-22°F), and the average summer temperature is only +15°C (59°F). Even in the summer, nights can be cool, with temperatures dipping down to +5°C (41°F).
The Mongolian capital experiences all four seasons, but winter is by far the longest and most intense. From November through March, temperatures are almost always below freezing. January is typically the coldest month, with an average temperature of -27°C (-17°F).
8. Nursultan, Kazakhstan
Nursultan, Kazakhstan is also one of the cold cities in the world. The average temperature in winter is -30°C (-22°F), and in summer it can get as hot as 40°C (104°F). Nursultan is located in the middle of a desert, so there is little to no moisture in the air.
This makes the heat feel even more intense. The city experiences around 300 days of sunshine per year, which helps offset the cold temperatures. However, when the sun does go down, it can get very cold very quickly. Nights in Nursultan can get as low as -50°C (-58°F).
There are a few things that make Nursultan a bit more bearable during the winter months. The first is that most buildings are well-insulated. The second is that many people wear fur coats to keep warm. Finally, there are plenty of places to get warm food and drink throughout the city.
9. Yakutsk, Russia
Yakutsk is the capital city of the Sakha Republic, Russia, located about 450 kilometers (280 mi) south of the Arctic Circle.
It is the world’s largest city built on continuous permafrost and has an extremely cold climate. The average temperature in January is −34 °C (−29 °F), with temperatures as low as −60 °C (−76 °F) possible.
Because of its very cold climate, Yakutsk is sometimes called “the Pole of Cold”. It experiences both warm summers and severely cold winters.
During the Soviet era, Yakutsk was a major industrial center for diamonds and other minerals. Despite its harsh climate, Yakutsk is a very beautiful city, with many parks and green spaces. The Lena River runs through the city, and there are also several lakes nearby.
10. Utqiagvik, Alaska
Utqiagvik, Alaska is the northernmost city in the United States and is known for its cold weather. The average temperature in Utqiagvik is -15.8 degrees Fahrenheit (-26.2 degrees Celsius). The city has a population of 4,082 people and is located on the Arctic Ocean.
Utqiagvik is a very cold place to live. It is dark for much of the year and the wind can be brutal. However, the people who live there are used to the cold and have developed ways to cope with it. They dress in layers of clothing and build their homes to withstand the elements.
Despite the challenges, life in Utqiagvik can be very rewarding. The scenery is beautiful and there are many opportunities to experience traditional Inupiaq culture. If you are looking for an adventure, Utqiagvik may be the place for you!
11. Anchorage, Alaska
Anchorage, Alaska is known for its cold weather. The average temperature in Anchorage is 20 degrees Fahrenheit (-6 degrees Celsius). In the winter, the average temperature can dip to as low as -15 degrees Fahrenheit (-26 degrees Celsius). This makes Anchorage one of the cold cities in the world.
Anchorage is very cold because it is located in the northern hemisphere and its proximity to water. The Earth’s axis is tilted towards the sun in the summer and away from the sun in the winter. This means that Anchorage gets less direct sunlight in the winter, making it colder.
And since Anchorage is surrounded by water on three sides, it cools down quickly at night. So if you have plans to visit Anchorage in the winter, be sure to dress warm!
12. Naryn, Kyrgyzstan
Naryn is a city in Kyrgyzstan, located in the Naryn Province. The city has a population of about 11,000 people and is the capital of the province.
The average annual temperature in Naryn is -3°C. The city is located in the foothills of the Tien Shan mountains and experiences a continental climate with cold winters and warm summers.
Naryn is one of the cold cities in the world and experiences temperatures as low as -35°C in winter. The city is also one of the windiest cities in the world, with winds reaching up to 120 km/h. Despite its cold climate, Naryn is a beautiful city with many parks and green spaces.
13. Grand Forks, North Dakota
Grand Forks, North Dakota is home to the coldest temperatures in the world. The average winter temperature is a frigid -22 degrees Fahrenheit, and the town has been known to reach below -60 degrees Fahrenheit during extreme cold snaps. Despite the brutally cold winters, Grand Forks is a thriving community with a population of over 52,000 people.
The city is located on the banks of the Red River of the North and is known for its strong sense of community pride. Grand Forks residents are no strangers to cold weather, and they know how to make the most of it. Winter activities in Grand Forks include ice fishing, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, and ice skating.
The town also hosts an annual Polar Bear Plunge, where brave souls take a dip in the icy waters of the Red River. If you are looking for a truly unique winter experience, Grand Forks is the place for you!
14. Erzurum, Turkey
Erzurum is a city in eastern Turkey. It is the capital of Erzurum Province. The city has a population of 361,235 (2019 census). It is situated 1,988 meters (6,527 feet) above sea level. Erzurum is one of the cold cities in the world.
The average temperature in January is -11.2 °C (11.2 °F). In July, the average temperature is 11.6 °C (52.7 °F). Erzurum experiences an extreme climate with very cold winters and hot summers.
The lowest temperature ever recorded in Erzurum was -35.8 °C (-32 °F) on January 17, 1985. The highest temperature ever recorded was 41°C (106°F) on July 8, 2000
15. Hell, Norway
Norway is home to some of the coldest temperatures in the world. The average winter temperature in Norway is a frigid -13 degrees Fahrenheit. And while that may not sound too bad, keep in mind that the average summer temperature in Norway is only about 46 degrees Fahrenheit. So, when it comes to cold weather, Norway has some of the most extreme conditions in the world.
One of the coldest places in Norway is Hell, which is located in the northern part of the country. Hell freezes over every year, and temperatures can dip as low as -22 degrees Fahrenheit.
But despite the freezing temperatures, Hell is a pretty popular tourist destination. Every year, people from all over the world come to experience the unique beauty of this frozen landscape.
16. Coral Harbour, Nunavut, Canada
Coral Harbour is a small town located on the south coast of Nunavut, Canada. It is known for being the coldest city in the world, with an average temperature of -25°C (-13°F). The town is home to just over 500 mostly Inuit people.
The Inuit have lived in this area for centuries and have adapted to the cold climate. They use traditional knowledge to survive in this harsh environment.
The town of Coral Harbour is located in an area that is extremely cold even by Canadian standards. It is situated on the shores of Hudson Bay, which freezes over in winter. The surrounding landscape is also covered in snow and ice. This makes it very difficult for people to get around, as there are no roads or pathways. Even walking is difficult, as the ground is often frozen solid.
Despite the challenges, life goes on in Coral Harbour. The Inuit people have developed a way of life that allows them to survive and thrive in this extreme environment.
17. Vladivostok, Russia
Vladivostok is the largest city and the administrative center of Primorsky Krai, Russia, located at the head of the Golden Horn Bay, not far from Russia’s borders with China and North Korea.
The city is the home of the Russian Pacific Fleet and a major port for trade with East Asia. Vladivostok has a temperate continental climate with long, cold winters and cool summers.
The average January temperature is −8 °C (18 °F), while in July it is +19 °C (66 °F). Extremes have ranged from −32.9 °C (−27.2 °F) in 1926 to +33.7 °C (92.7 °F) in 2015 (the unofficial record was +35.0 °C (95.0 °F)). Snowfall occurs on an average of 40 days per year, though it can be heavy in some years.
18. Novosibirsk, Russia
Winter in Novosibirsk, Russia, is brutal. The average temperature in December and January is bone-chilling -22 degrees Fahrenheit (-30 degrees Celsius). It can also get colder than that. In 2018, the city recorded a low of -62 degrees Fahrenheit (-52 degrees Celsius). What makes Novosibirsk so cold is Its location.
The city sits in the middle of Siberia, which is one of the coldest regions on Earth. Novosibirsk also experiences what’s called the “urban heat island effect.” This occurs when a city has more concrete and asphalt than vegetation.
These materials absorb heat during the day and release it at night, making the city warmer than its surrounding rural areas.
But regardless of why it’s so chilly, there is no denying that Novosibirsk is one of the cold cities in the world. If you are planning a visit, be sure to pack your heaviest winter coat!
19. Winnipeg, Canada
Winnipeg, Canada is known for being one of the cold cities in the world. The average winter temperature is -15.6 degrees Celsius (4 degrees Fahrenheit).
The city is located in the province of Manitoba, which is situated in the middle of Canada. Because of its location, Winnipeg experiences very cold winters with lots of snow.
The city’s proximity to the Arctic Circle also means that it gets very little sunlight during the winter months. This can also make it feel colder than it is. If you are thinking about visiting Winnipeg during the winter, be sure to pack your warmest clothes!
20. Ottawa, Canada
As one of the world’s coldest cities, Ottawa experiences frigid winters with an average temperature of -15°C. The coldest recorded temperature was -37.8°C in January 1985. Snowfall is common, with an annual average of 190 cm. The City of Ottawa has a Winterpeg nickname because of its weather conditions.
If you have plans to visit Ottawa during the winter, be sure to pack plenty of warm clothes!
Frequently Asked Questions
The coldest city in the world is Oymyakon, Russia, where temperatures can fall to -71.2 degrees Celsius (-96.16 degrees Fahrenheit) in winter.
The people who live in the coldest cities have adapted to their cold climate over generations, and have developed strategies for coping with the extreme cold. They build warm homes, dress in layers of clothing, and eat high-fat diets to help keep their bodies warm.
The lowest temperature ever recorded in Oymyakon was -71.2 degrees Celsius (-96.16 degrees Fahrenheit), set in 1933.
A city is considered to be cold if its average temperature is below the freezing point. The coldest cities in the world are typically located in Siberia or other parts of Russia, as well as in Antarctica. In these regions, the temperatures can drop to -60 degrees Celsius or even lower. So do you have plans to travel to a cold place? Do you like cold weather? If yes is your answer, then this article is for you.