Top 7 Coldest Cities In The World In 2023
In some places on Earth, temperatures can plummet to dangerously low levels, but for most people, a cold front in winter means bundling up with an extra layer. Fortunately, most winters aren't nearly as brutal as the bone-chilling -90 F/-68 C temperature of Oymyakon, a remote village in Russian Siberia known as the world's coldest city. According to Guinness World Records, when temperatures reached an all-time low in 1933, the town became the most permanently populated human community.
7. Yakutsk, Russia
Yakutsk, the capital city of Russia's Sakha Republic, is situated about 280 miles south of the Arctic Circle. Yakutsk is thought to be the coldest city on Earth, at least when major cities are included, with average January temperatures of -41 F/-40 C. For those who don't mind the cold, attractions such as the Permafrost Kingdom Ice Museum, the Christian Market, and the National Art Museum of the Republic of Sakha make this city a worthwhile vacation. Average July temperatures of 67 F/19.5 C make it a midsummer option for fair-weather travelers.
6. Norilsk, Russia
Norilsk, with a population of over 100,000 people, is the world's most northern metropolis and one of only three major cities located in the continuous permafrost zone. It has the coldest mean annual temperature of any major city, at 14 F/ -10 C, with winter lows reaching -63 F/ -53 C. Despite having museums, an art gallery, and one of the world's northernmost mosques, Norilsk is unlikely to become a popular tourist attraction because the mining industry has made it one of the most polluted places on Earth, and the city has been closed to foreigners since 2001.
5. Yellowknife, Canada
The Northwest Territories' capital is located 250 miles south of the Arctic Circle. Yellowknife has the coldest year-round temperature, the coldest winter, the most intense windchill, and the longest snow cover season of the 100 Canadian communities surveyed by Environment Canada. The coldest temperature ever recorded was -60 F/-51 C, but it also has the sunniest Canadian summer. Yellowknife, rich in gold-rush history, is a paradise for explorers, offering activities such as midnight sun trekking, dog-sledding, snowmobiling, and witnessing the northern lights, in addition to being one of the world's oldest cities.
4. Barrow, United States
Barrow, Alaska, is the northernmost city in the United States, located above the Arctic Circle. It has the lowest average temperature of any Alaskan city, which is aggravated by regular cloud cover and gusts of up to 60 miles per hour. The sun is below the horizon for 65 days of the year, whereas only 120 days of the year have high temperatures above freezing. Despite record low temperatures of -56 F/ -49 C, there are plenty more reasons to visit Barrow. These include its rich Iupiat culture, the grandeur of the surrounding tundra, and the chance to see the northern lights in this freezing city (which, admittedly, is not the coldest city on the planet).
3. Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
Ulaanbaatar is the world's coldest national capital, perched 4,430 feet above sea level on the border of Mongolia's steppes. With recorded summer highs of 102 F/ 39 C and falling lows of -44 F/ -42 C during the long winter months, Ulaanbaatar has an average yearly mean temperature that hangs just below freezing. Ulaanbaatar is not only the international entrance to Mongolia's beautiful wilderness areas, but it also has a plethora of rich cultural attractions ranging from Tibetan-style Buddhist temples to fascinating modern art galleries.
2. International Falls, Minnesota, United States
This northern Minnesotan community bills itself as "The Icebox of the Nation," and with record lows of -55 degrees Fahrenheit/-48 degrees Celsius and an average seasonal snowfall of 71.6 inches, the boast is well-founded. International Falls boasts the most days with high temperatures below freezing in the contiguous United States, not to mention some stunning night skies. It is most well-known for its Canadian border crossing and as the entry point to adjacent Voyageurs National Park. In the summer, kayaking and hiking are popular, and in the winter, cross-country skiing and ice fishing are popular.
1. Astana, Kazakhstan
Astana is a modern metropolis with futuristic architecture, gleaming mosques, and a plethora of retail and entertainment options. Although the summers are pleasant, the winters in Astana are long, dry, and bitterly cold. Extreme lows of -61 F/-51.5 C have been reported, despite the fact that the January monthly average is 6.4 F/-14.2 C. The city's river is usually frozen over from mid-November until early April.