After the heat wave we are currently experiencing in France, it is not surprising to want a bit of freshness. Want to know which is the coldest city in the world? Here is a selection of 20 destinations where the mercury is more than freezing.
#1 Harbin, Chine
Direction the northeast of China and more particularly the capital of Heilongjiang, Harbin . It is part of my selection of the coldest city in the world, in particular by the nickname it has from its inhabitants, “ the city of ice ”.
Each year the International Festival of Ice and Snow take place in the capital and is an integral part of its culture. It is also not for nothing since here the temperatures are around -24 degrees Celcius very easily and can even go up to -42 degrees Celcius during the winter period.
#2 Dudinka, Russia
Located on the territory of Siberia, the small town of Dudinka is populated by 20,000 determined and persevering inhabitants. It is one of the northernmost cities in the world, but that does not prevent its inhabitants from living there year-round.
Average temperatures are -24.5 degrees to -33 degrees Celcius in January but it is not uncommon to see the mercury drop much lower.
#3 Winnipeg, Canada
Among the coldest major cities in North America , we can easily name the capital of Manitoba, Winnipeg . Here the minimum temperatures are between -20 degrees and -22 degrees Celcius in January.
A few records have already been recorded, notably -45 degrees Celcius in February 1966 and -47.8 degrees Celcius in December 1879.
#4 Yellowknife, Canada
Yellowknife is only 500 kilometers from the Arctic Circle and has a population of only 20,000. Its ice roads are very busy despite the winter period and have a special layout to facilitate travel.
In terms of temperatures, expect to drop to -32 degrees Celcius in January , but don’t expect to go above 21 degrees Celcius in summer. In February 1947, the city recorded record temperatures of −51 degrees Celcius .
#5 Irkoutsk, Russie
Irkutsk is undoubtedly the coldest city in the world during the winter period it observes. Being less than 500 kilometers from the Arctic Circle, the temperatures can then be very harsh, oscillating between -38 degrees and -41 degrees Celcius .
Due to its location, the city has a cold season which starts much earlier than elsewhere in the world. Autumn temperatures are very often around 1 degree Celcius.
#6 Astana, Kazakhstan
Astana is not known to be a very active city during winter, especially between November and April. Indeed, the city hibernates when the temperatures begin to drop, down to -51.5 degrees Celcius .
But the inhabitants are adapting very well since the government has been able to put in place a very well thought out system so that the inhabitants do not need to leave their homes during this period.
#7 Ulan Bator, Mongolia
The capital of Mongolia, Oulan Bator promises you a total change of scenery, both in terms of its culture and its environment. The overall temperature is -42 degrees Celcius but can easily vary between -35 and -40 degrees Celcius depending on the winter period.
#8 Norilsk, Russia
Located north of the Arctic Circle, it is difficult for the city of Norilsk to expect high temperatures. It is infamous for being Stalin’s favorite place of imprisonment and today it has the reputation of being one of the most polluted cities in the world .
The winter periods are particularly harsh since the city observes average temperatures of -30 degrees Celcius . But don’t even try to get there, the city has been off-limits to foreigners since 2001.
#9 Barrow, Alaska
Barrow is an Alaskan town that sits just above the Arctic Circle. It has the particularity of having months when it is completely dark whatever the hour. The temperatures are also very harsh with an average of -25 degrees Celcius in mercury and are accentuated by winds that can go up to 100 km/h.
While you will mainly encounter Inuit around here, only a few adventurous tourists will come to the area to observe the Northern Lights.
# 10 Vostok, Antarctica
Not surprisingly, Antarctica is home to very cold cities. We can also name Vostok , which is not a city but rather a Russian research station. Coldest city in the world you say? This is an understatement since here the temperatures can go up to – 89.2 degrees Celcius and on average it takes -50 degrees Celcius.
The research station is at 3800 meters above sea level and the oxygen concentration is equivalent to that at 5000 meters. It would almost be the penitentiary to go there.
#11 Erzurum, Turkey
Surprisingly but true, Turkey has regions where temperatures can be extremely low. This is particularly the case with Erzurum which observes temperatures around -7.8 degrees Celcius in January . It still has nearly 400,000 inhabitants and is the largest city in the country.
#12 Urumqi, China
Direction China and more particularly in the capital of Xinjian, Urumqï . Between modernity and tradition, the city has a lot of charm and history, but also extreme temperatures ranging around -9.8 degrees Celcius in January .
But this also allows it to be one of the least polluted cities in China since transport is stopped and poorly developed here.
#13 Ottawa, Canada
Capital of Canada, but also one of the coldest cities in the world according to unseasoned visitors, Ottawa observes temperatures that can go down to -10.2 degrees Celcius in the middle of January.
For the little anecdote, it is not uncommon to come across locals on ice skates to go further from town to town center and avoid the incessant traffic jams.
#14 Murmansk, Russia
Murmansk has over 300,000 inhabitants and ranks as the largest city north of the Arctic Circle. The temperatures are particularly harsh but do not seem to slow down locals and visitors.
Indeed, although its temperatures are around -11.3 degrees Celsius , its ski slopes are very famous and offer breathtaking landscapes. Note also that temperatures are below zero degrees Celcius more than 9 months of the year. So you have to hang on to want to live there.
# 15 Vladivostok, Russia
Located in the Russian Far East, Vladivostok is very close to China and still observes particularly extreme temperatures in winter. In January, it will be necessary to count on average temperatures around -13.1 degrees Celcicus .
#16 Iqualuit, Nunavut, Canada
Direction the Great Canadian North with the city of Iqualuit . It is the largest Arctic capital of the territory of Nunavut where the inhabitants are Inuit accustomed to extreme temperatures.
Here, temperatures go from +7 degrees Celcius to -14 degrees Celcius in just a few weeks to reach -30 degrees Celcius in the middle of winter.
#17 Novosibirsk, Russia
Unsurprisingly, Novosibirsk is a coldest city in the world and it is also in Russia. Prepare for temperatures around -15.98 degrees Celcius in the middle of winter.
But that does not detract from the charm of the city, quite the contrary. You can admire the monuments in their most beautiful winter clothes.
#18 Fairbanks, Alaska
If Alaska already has the reputation of being particularly extreme, the city of Fairbanks will only be accessible to the most courageous and persevering. Indeed, it is often considered the coldest city in the world by locals.
Count on average temperatures of -22 degrees Celcius in January. But it would be a shame to stop at the climate since it is also the best spot to observe the aurora borealis at this time of year.
# 19 Reykjavik, Iceland
Iceland can also be part of the ranking of the coldest cities in the world with Reykjavik having average temperatures of -15 degrees Celcius during the winter season.
The city is also known for its hot springs which have therapeutic purposes. The inhabitants therefore do not make themselves desired to make the most of it when the mercury continues to drop.
#20 Helsinki, Finland
Against all odds, it is not Russia or Canada that completes this selection of the coldest city in the world , but the city of Helsinki in Finland.