Coldest Cities in the World 2023
Winter temperatures around the world vary greatly, depending on a location's latitude. Those closer to the equator have warmer year-round temperatures, while those close to the poles have colder year-round temperatures and more extreme winters.
In some cities, days above 50°F are just a dream. In this list, subzero temperatures are the norm, and annual average temperatures rarely rise above 40°F. Researchers compiled data from Accuweather, U.S. Climate Data, The Weather Channel, and the Norwegian Meteorological Institute.
Coldest Cities in the World
Unsurprisingly, many of the world's coldest cities are in Russia and Canada, closer to the poles. Below are a few of the world's coldest cities.
Oymyakon, Russia, is the coldest inhabitable city globally, where temperatures average around -58°F. In January 2018, temperatures dropped to -88°F, and in 1924, temperatures were at a record-breaking -91.16°F. Despite this, summers can get relatively warm, averaging around the 60s and 70s. Because Oymyakon is home to only 500 people, it may not be considered a "city."
Yakutsk, located in far northeastern Russia, has average January temperatures of -42°F.
In Harbin, the capital of Heilongjiang, China, 9.5 million residents embrace their city's feeling temperatures by holding one of the world's largest ice festivals. Temperatures in January range from -8°F to -12°F.
In the United States, one of the coldest cities is International Falls, Minnesota, where winter temperatures drop as low as -55°F. In 2008, the city legally trademarked itself as the "Icebox of the Nation" and has held the Icebox Days Winter Festival for 40 years.
Snag, Yukon, Canada set the record for the coldest day in Canadian history at -81°F. In January, the average temperatures range from lows of -27°F to -7°F.
Another Russian city, Dudinka, is one of the most northern cities globally, located above the Arctic Circle. The average low in January is -28°F, and the average high is -12°F. Barrow, Alaska, in the United States also sits above the Arctic Circle.
Here are the world's seven coldest cities by average January temperatures:
- Yakutsk, Russia: -41°F /-40°C
- Norilsk, Russia: -22°F/-30°C
- Yellowknife, Canada: -18.2°F/-27.9°C
- Barrow, Alaska, United States: -13°F/-25°C
- Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia: -11.2°F/-24.6°C
- International Falls, Minnesota, United States: 4.4°F/-15°C
- Astana, Kazakhstan: 6.4°F/-14.2°C