Top 10 Coldest Countries in the World

Even if you love the temperature drop that ushers in winter while autumn waves goodbye, some frigid and frozen landscapes of the world will test your body’s limits. In these cold countries closer to the earth’s poles, winter isn’t just some Christmas present to be enjoyed; it comes with harsh climates and low temperature that affects everything from food production to shelter and clothing. 

1. Russia

Norilsk, Siberia
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Unarguably the largest country on the planet, Russia doubles as the world’s coldest. The temperature in Russia could plummet to as low as -40°F, causing rivers and lakes to freeze. In winter, you can literally walk on water in Russia.

2. Canada

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Canada is known for its quality of life and welcoming immigration policies, but the extreme climatic condition can put tourists off. Canada’s average temperature is pegged at -6°F, a temperature reading that makes outdoor activities difficult.

3. Kazakhstan

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Nestled in its vast steppes and harsh winters of Central Asia, the largest known landlocked country experiences low temperatures that regularly drop below zero. Kazakhstan’s climate is reflective of the nations (Russia, China, Kyrgyzstan) bordering it, as they are equally some of the coldest in the world.

4. The United States

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If you live in the United States or are touring its borders, stopping by Texas or Florida in the summertime wouldn’t ask that you robe in thick cardigans or lock your hands in gloves. But winter demands so much in some states, and temperature could go as low as 33°F in mild areas.

5. Kyrgyzstan

Skier man ski touring uphill with beard and backpack at high snowy mountain near traditional nomad yurt house at ski resort Shymbulak in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Sport outdoor backcountry winter season.
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Sharing a similar climate with Kazakhstan, what’s interesting is the duality of weather conditions peculiar to Kyrgyzstan. The Fergana Valley in the Southwestern part of the country could experience severe heat of up to 104°F in the summer and a frosty -22°F in winter, making it one of the coldest in the world.

6. Mongolia

Yurt or ger in winter at mongolia
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Mongolia, the Land of the Eternal Blue Sky, famous for its nomadic traditions and rugged landscapes, is not strange to below temperatures that humble the safety of your booths and gear. Winter got readings between -67°F and -22°F, making it one of the coldest on the planet.

7. Norway

Svalbard, Norway
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At its mention, we remember Norway for its majestic fjord and mesmerizing northern lights that make its winter’s beauty unparalleled. Despite most of the country’s borders bordering coastlines (which should theoretically be one the warmest in Europe), Norway is a contradiction as the temperature can go as low as 35°F on average.

8. Finland

Beautiful picture of massive multicolored green vibrant Aurora Borealis, Aurora Polaris, also know as Northern Lights in the night sky over winter Lapland landscape, Norway, Scandinavia
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One of earth’s most remote countries, Finland doubles as one of the coldest, requiring that you kit up before hitting the roads. Its winters are stretched, lasting over three months in the southwestern regions and almost seven months in the northern Lapland region. The temperature in the north often falls to -49°F.

9. Sweden

A view of Stockholm's gamla stan region from across the frozen river in winter time.
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Sweden is home to the indigenous Sami, boasting a rich winter heritage. You would imagine Sweden in landscapes dotted in red painted wooden houses under a clear, warm sky, but the temperature in winter tells a different story. It drops to as low as bone-freezing -52°F, especially on its Lapland border with Finland.

10. Iceland

A Bridge Between Two Continents, Miðlína - Iceland - March 2017
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Just by its name, it is easy to assume Iceland is the coldest country in the world, but it’s far from being one. Summer can see mild temperatures of around 54°F, but it gets so cold in the winter that you can expect between 34°F and 36°F  outdoors.

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