Top 10 Coldest Cities in the World for True Winter Lovers

Top 10 Coldest Cities in the World for True Winter Lovers

Dare to visit during the ruthless winters of the coldest cities in the world!

Winter lovers, you’re in for another level of bone-chilling adventures! Although soaking up the summer sun by the beach has its own charm, there’s something undeniably unique about frosty holidays. Layering up and hot beverages might not be enough though because the coldest cities in the world are here to test your bravery and survival skills. 

Despite the brutally frigid climate, these places are home to the most magical destinations and astonishing landscapes. Here, a range of things to do await you besides struggling to keep warm and snug indoors. From fun winter activities and sports to exciting snow festivals and more. Here are the top ten coldest cities in the world, where natives have learned to thrive under freezing conditions.

Also read: Winter is Coming: 4 Chilliest Regions Worth Getting Cold For

Coldest cities in the world

1. Yakutsk, Russia

coldest cities in the world

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Yakutsk is the city and capital of Sakha Republic, Yakutia, situated in northeastern Russia. It is widely believed to be the coldest city in the world, with an average low temperature of -35°C. Natives in Yakutsk are so used to surviving the harsh and intense winters, given that the typical freezing temperature in the city will drop further to at least -70°C! 

2. Oymyakon, Russia

coldest cities

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As expected, another city in Russia follows in the top list of world’s coldest cities. Oymyakon is a small town with no more than 500 inhabitants, thriving in a typical winter temperature of -50°C. Markets in the city don’t even have to worry about fish or meat going bad because they’ll stay frozen just from being exposed outside. But do expect annoying frozen pipes and the inevitable frostbite! 

3. Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

coldest cities in the world

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Ulaanbaatar is the largest city and capital of Mongolia, home to just under 1.5 million citizens. 

The temperature during the summer can go up to 25°C, with cooler nights around 11°C. When the colder months start rolling in, the city can experience winter lows of -40°C.

4. Dudinka, Russia

Dudinka is a town situated in Russia, located just right above the Arctic Circle. The town’s locals often experience an average daily temperature of -33.3°C during January. In Dudinka, the warmest season would be around July, where they have an average maximum temperature of 19°C. Needless to say, Dudinka’s average temperature during its warm seasons definitely prove it’s one of the most frigid and coldest cities in the world! 

5. Yellowknife, Canada

coldest cities

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Yellowknife is the capital of Canada’s Northwest Territories. It is the only city and has the largest community in the Northwest Territories, with about 20,000 citizens. Besides being one of the coldest cities in the world, Yellowknife takes great pride in being the best place in the country to view the beautiful Northern Lights. During its dark and cooler months, Yellowknife will have winter lows of -26°C

6. Harbin, China

coldest cities in the world

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Harbin is a city located in the northeast of China and is popularly called the “Ice City” of the country. Winter lows will usually range from -22°C to -24°C around January. 

Part of Harbin’s annual tradition is to host a snow and ice sculpture festival, the biggest one yet in the entire world. The festival typically exhibits beautiful frozen castles and ice towers that are quite unforgettable! 

7. Winnipeg, Canada

winnipeg cold city

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Winnipeg is the capital of Manitoba, a province located in the middle of Saskatchewan and Ontario, Canada. During January, Winnipeg will often experience winter lows ranging from -21°C to -23°C. 

8. International Falls, Minnesota, U.S.

The International Falls city of Minnesota has been dubbed as the “Icebox of the Nation” with an average low temperature of -22°C. That being said, it’s definitely one of the country’s coldest cities. International Falls is situated on the Rainy River directly across Fort Frances in Ontario, Canada, and is one of the coldest cities in the United States

Also read: Freezing Temperatures Turn Niagara Falls Into a Winter Wonderland  

9. Fairbanks, United States

fairbanks city

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Another beautiful place to witness the gorgeous Northern Lights is in the Alaskan city of Fairbanks. If you’re visiting around January, expect average winter lows of -22°C. If you call yourself a winter lover, then you’ll find lots of joy when exploring the icy wonderland of Alaska. 

10. Irkutsk, Russia


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Irkutsk is one of the largest industrial cities in the Siberian region of Russia. It is home to just over half a million citizens who have learned how to survive the harsh winter weather, especially during January. The freezing city of Irkutsk has winter lows of -19°C and stays below zero for pretty much the entire month. 

Also read: Winter Travel: Why It Is So Much Fun

If you think you’ve got what it takes to face the ruthless arctic air, then consider one of these coldest cities in the world as your next travel destination. If you plan to visit soon or if you have any experience living in these frigid cities, share your stories with us!

Featured image credit: Priscilla Du Preez | Unsplash

About Author

Andrea Larice Yap
Andrea Larice Yap

Andrea is a writer and creative individual based in Manila. This tiny human runs on iced coffee, music and films. You’ll probably catch her daydreaming in a park or jotting down random words to to put in a song. Otherwise, expect her taking a dive in the pool of uncertainty called “life.”