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Top 10 Coldest Cities in the World

The top 10 coldest cities in the world are Irkutsk, Russia; Astana, Kazakhstan; International Falls, Minnesota, United States; Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia; Barrow, United States; Yellowknife, Canada; Norilsk, Russia; Yellowknife, Canada; Fairbanks, Alaska, United States; and Harbin, China. In these cities, winter temperatures can drop to extreme levels, making them some of the coldest places to reside.

From the bitterly cold Russian city of Irkutsk to the freezing Barrow in the United States, these cities endure harsh winters that test the limits of human endurance. Whether it’s the bone-chilling cold of Ulaanbaatar or the frosty winds in Astana, the residents of these cities experience some of the most frigid temperatures on Earth.

1. Irkutsk, Russia

Irkutsk, Russia, is known for being one of the top 10 coldest cities in the world. Located in Siberia, Irkutsk is a major industrial city and offers stunning winter views of the Cathedral of the Epiphany.

Winter View Of The Cathedral Of The Epiphany

Irkutsk, located in Russia, is one of the coldest cities in the world. With its long and freezing winters, Irkutsk offers a winter wonderland experience. The city is famous for its beautiful winter view, especially the Cathedral of the Epiphany. This stunning cathedral becomes even more picturesque under a blanket of snow. Irkutsk is not only known for its cold temperatures, but it is also a major industrial hub in Siberia. Being one of the biggest industrial cities in the region, Irkutsk has played a significant role in the economy of Siberia. Despite the freezing temperatures, the city’s industrial sector thrives, contributing to its development and growth.

City Country Winter Temperature
Astana Kazakhstan -30°C
International Falls United States -25°C
Ulaanbaatar Mongolia -40°C
Barrow United States -20°C

2. Astana, Kazakhstan

The city of Astana, located in Kazakhstan, is renowned for its extreme cold temperatures. As the capital of Kazakhstan, Astana experiences freezing cold winters with temperatures that can plummet well below zero degrees Celsius. The city is known for its modern infrastructure, which stands in stark contrast to the harsh climate it experiences. Astana has become a symbol of the nation’s economic and political growth, showcasing futuristic architecture and a bustling city life despite the challenging weather conditions. Despite the extreme cold, the city continues to thrive, attracting tourists and business professionals from around the world who are mesmerized by its unique blend of modernity and cold climate.

3. International Falls, Minnesota, United States

International Falls, located in Minnesota, United States, is considered one of the top 10 coldest cities in the world. Known for its frigid temperatures, it experiences extreme winter conditions that make it a challenging place to live in.

Known as the “Icebox of the Nation”, International Falls in Minnesota, United States, is one of the coldest cities in the world. The city experiences frigid temperatures year-round, with extremely cold winters and cool summers.

Home to the Icebox Days Festival, the city embraces its chilly climate and celebrates its uniqueness. The festival includes events such as ice fishing, snow sculpting, and a polar plunge. Despite the cold, International Falls is a popular tourist destination, attracting visitors who want to experience the true meaning of a cold winter.

4. Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

Mongolia’s capital city, Ulaanbaatar, experiences harsh winters and freezing temperatures. Located in the heart of Mongolia, this city is surrounded by mountains and has a continental climate. The average temperature in January, the coldest month, is around -20 degrees Celsius (-4 degrees Fahrenheit), with occasional dips below -40 degrees Celsius (-40 degrees Fahrenheit).

Ulaanbaatar is known for its extremely cold weather conditions and heavy snowfall. The city is equipped with necessary infrastructure to cope with the cold, including well-insulated buildings and a district heating system that provides central heating to most homes. However, the extreme cold still poses challenges to the city’s residents, with increased risks of hypothermia and frostbite.

Despite the harsh winter climate, Ulaanbaatar offers unique cultural experiences and attractions for visitors, including historical sites, museums, and traditional Mongolian festivals. It is a city that truly embodies the resilience and spirit of the Mongolian people.

5. Barrow, United States

Located in Alaska, near the Arctic Circle, Barrow is one of the coldest cities in the world. It experiences months of darkness during winter, a unique phenomenon that adds to its extreme coldness.

Barrow is known for its freezing temperatures and harsh winters, with average temperatures reaching as low as -20 to -30 degrees Fahrenheit (-28 to -34 degrees Celsius). The city is also susceptible to strong winds, making it feel even colder. These extreme weather conditions have a significant impact on the day-to-day life of the residents, as they need to take extra precautions to stay warm and safe.

Despite the challenging climate, Barrow’s residents have adapted and even embraced their cold environment. The city offers various winter activities, such as dog sledding and ice fishing, allowing residents and tourists to make the most out of their unique surroundings.

6. Nuuk, Greenland

City Country Average Temperature (°C)
Nuuk Greenland -9

Nuuk, the capital city of Greenland, is known for its extreme cold temperatures. Located in the Northern Hemisphere, it is considered one of the coldest cities in the world. With an average temperature of -9°C, Nuuk experiences chilly conditions throughout the year. The city, despite its cold climate, is an important industrial hub in Greenland. Its picturesque landscapes, including glaciers and fjords, attract tourists who brave the cold to witness its natural beauty. If you are planning to visit Nuuk, make sure to pack warm clothes and prepare for the cold weather.

7. Norilsk, Russia

Top 10 Coldest Cities in the World

Norilsk, located in Russia, is known as one of the coldest cities in the world. It is also recognized for its high pollution levels. Despite its extreme weather conditions, Norilsk is one of the biggest industrial cities in Siberia. The city experiences extremely low temperatures throughout the year, making it a challenging place to live. To put it into perspective, Norilsk is often colder than other well-known cold cities, such as International Falls in the US and Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia. The cold climate and industrial activities make Norilsk an intriguing destination for those interested in understanding the impacts of extreme weather and human activities on a city.

8. Yellowknife, Canada

Yellowknife, Canada is ranked as one of the top 10 coldest cities in the world. Known for its extreme winter temperatures, Yellowknife offers a true arctic experience with its icy landscapes and freezing temperatures.

Top 10 Coldest Cities in the World
8. Yellowknife, Canada
Capital city of Canada’s Northwest Territories
Known for its long, cold winters and Northern Lights
Yellowknife, located in Canada’s Northwest Territories, is known for its long, cold winters and mesmerizing Northern Lights. As the capital city of the territory, Yellowknife experiences extreme temperatures throughout the year, making it one of the coldest cities in the world. The city is surrounded by pristine wilderness and is a popular destination for winter enthusiasts who enjoy activities such as ice fishing, dog sledding, and snowshoeing. With its unique blend of natural beauty and frozen landscapes, Yellowknife offers a truly unforgettable experience for those seeking adventure in a winter wonderland. Brace yourself for the sub-zero temperatures and prepare to be amazed by the stunning displays of the Northern Lights in this captivating Canadian city.

9. Harbin, China

Harbin, China is known for its annual Ice and Snow Festival and experiences sub-zero temperatures in winter. Located in northeastern China, Harbin is one of the top 10 coldest cities in the world. With its extreme cold weather, the city transforms into a winter wonderland during the festival, attracting tourists from all over the globe. Harbin’s average winter temperature drops below freezing point, with temperatures as low as -30 degrees Celsius. The city is famous for its ice sculptures, ice lanterns, and snow activities. Visitors can enjoy ice skating, snowboarding, and even ice swimming if they dare. The Ice and Snow Festival showcases stunning ice sculptures and structures, illuminated in a multitude of colors, creating a magical atmosphere that captivates visitors.

Top 10 Coldest Cities in the World


10. Fairbanks, Alaska, United States

Top 10 Coldest Cities in the World

Fairbanks, located in Alaska, is the second largest city in the state. It is known for its extreme cold temperatures, which can reach as low as -66 degrees Celsius (-87 degrees Fahrenheit) during winter. The city is part of the subarctic climate zone, characterized by long and extremely cold winters with short and cool summers. Despite the harsh weather conditions, Fairbanks offers a unique experience for visitors, with activities such as dog sledding, ice fishing, and Northern Lights viewing. Its proximity to natural wonders like Denali National Park and Preserve adds to its appeal. Fairbanks is a must-visit destination for those seeking an unforgettable winter adventure.


As we reach the end of our journey exploring the top 10 coldest cities in the world, it’s clear that these frigid destinations boast extreme temperatures that challenge human endurance. From Irkutsk, Russia to Barrow, United States, these cities serve as a reminder of the raw power of nature.

Whether you’re huddled next to a warm fire or bundled up in layers, the residents of these cities experience a unique way of life. Through snowfall and icy winds, these coldest cities of the world remind us of the diversity and resilience of our planet.

Stay warm, wherever you may be!

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