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Coldest Countries in the World

Seasons change. The earth experiences four seasons throughout the year. Of all the four, winter is the coldest. Some regions experience winter all year round, making them some of the coldest places on the planet earth. But, do you know what the coldest countries in the world are? 

Here is a list of countries with the lowest temperature ever recorded. Note that there are two main ways to determine the coldest countries in the world – by the coldest temperature ever recorded or by the average annual temperature.

List of the coldest countries in the world

What are the Coldest countries in the world?

Antarctica 

Technically not a country, but Antarctica is the coldest continent and coldest place on the planet. The whole landmass is covered in snow throughout the year and winter temperatures and summer temperatures are not that different. Antarctica usually experiences extreme conditions and is only inhabited by scientists and researchers. It is known for recording sub-zero temperatures over and over. Antarctica is colder than Russia, the coldest country in the world. Canada Glacier in Antarctica is known to be among the most beautiful glaciers in the world.

The lowest temperature ever recorded in this region is -100 degrees Celsius. 

Russia 

Straddling two continents of Europe and Asia, Russia is among the largest countries in the world and the coldest country in the world in terms of the coldest temperature ever recorded. Two villages of Oymyakon and Verkhoyansk experience winter all year round and have both experienced an extremely cold temperature of -67.8 degree Celsius, which is also the lowest temperature ever recorded in Russia. 

Most regions in Russia experience extremely cold temperatures throughout the year. The northernmost region, Siberia, for instance, is permanently blanketed by snow, especially its mountain ranges.  

With its lowest ever recorded temperature, Russia is the world’s coldest country and perhaps the second coldest region on the planet after Antarctica.

Greenland 

The autonomous state of Greenland is under the Kingdom of Denmark. Known for being the largest island on the planet, this country is one of the coldest in the world. And Greenland has the 4th longest coastline in the world. Oh, and don’t be fooled by the name ‘Greenland’, there is hardly vegetation there. This large landmass is usually covered by snow throughout the year and even summer months usually experience sub-zero temperatures.

The country also has long nights and days depending on the season. Summer temperatures can be extremely cold yet there are 22 hours of sunlight. 

Despite its extreme winter temperatures, still many people visit this country to have close a close experience with the Northern Lights and to explore the Viking Ruins. 

The lowest temperature ever recorded is -66.1 degrees Celsius, making Greenland the 3rd coldest country.

greenland

Greenland greenland

Canada 

Located in North America, Canada is usually covered by snows caused by extreme winter temperatures. The temperature in Canada can drop to -40 Celsius below zero, making it the world’s third coldest country. Though some places experience cold or temperate climates all year round, some parts experience high summer temperatures.

As with most countries in the northern part of the globe, Canada usually experiences extreme sunlight in some parts and extreme darkness. Despite this, it is one of the most visited countries on the planet, especially due to the Rocky Mountains, Niagara Falls, CN Tower in Toronto, and many other attractions.

banff national park
Banff National Park – Canada

The United States of America 

Regions in the northern pole tend to experience extremely cold temperatures, but as you move towards the equator, the climates change towards warmth. Being south of Canada and slightly away from the North Pole the United States is the sixth coldest county in the world, especially its Pacific North West regions. 

The US is the third-largest country on the planet, and since it is spread out to cover a variety of geographical regions, the climates vary depending on the region you are in. But generally, its north is much colder than the south. Alaska experience a polar climate and has recorded -60 degree Celsius, the lowest in lowest temperature recorded in the United States. 

Other states that are colder include Montana, Utah, Wyoming, and Colorado. 

China 

China usually experiences two distinct climates – extreme cold in the north and warmer temperatures in the south. The northern region is what makes China the coldest country in Asia and one of the coldest countries in the world. In winters the temperature is usually freezing, with the lowest temperature recorded being -58° China, apart from being the coldest country in East Asia, is also known for being the world’s most populated country and the second-largest county in terms of land area. 

The city of Harbin is also known for being the coldest of the major cities in the country. 

Mongolia 

Situated between Russia and China, Mongolia also experiences large variations of temperatures throughout the year, characterized by warm summers and cold winters. The lowest temperature ever recorded in Mongolia is between -20 degrees Celsius and -45 degrees Celsius in winter. 

Its scattered mountain ranges are usually covered by snow thanks to the extreme winter temperatures. The cold winds traveling from the North are trapped by the tall peaks, causing snowfalls throughout the country and can experience sub-zero temperatures during winter. 

Kyrgyzstan

Also located in Central Asia like Mongolia, Kyrgyzstan is one of the coldest countries on the planet, having once recorded a below-zero temperature of -30° Celsius. Its valleys and mountain ranges are mostly covered by snows virtually all-year round, with winter starting from December and lasting through February. 

Sweden 

Though Sweden experiences relatively warmer summer temperatures compared to other coldest countries in the world, it shares the same latitude as Siberia in Russia and Hudson Bay in Canada. The northern part of the country is where you will find extreme winter temperatures with snowfalls.

The lowest temperature ever recorded in Sweden reached -53° Celsius, in Malgovik in Vasterbotten County. 

It is common to have temperatures of about -4- degrees Celsius during winter in Sweden. However, its southern part and mid-Sweden usually experience lower temperatures.

Overall, Sweden usually makes the list of the top 10 coldest countries in the world. Its climates have been massively affected by the Gulf Stream as well as warm steam that flows from Norway. 

Norway 

Sharing its borders with some of the coldest countries in the world, including Russia, Sweden, and Finland, Norway also tends to make the list of the top 10 coldest countries in the world. The country is geographically located in the North-western part of Europe. It also has temperate climates because of the North Atlantic Current. 

In winters the temperature can go as low as -50°Celsius. 

Kazakhstan 

Known for being the world’s largest landlocked state, Kazakhstan is located in Europe. It experiences extreme continental climates with warm summers and cold winters. Its capital, Astana, is the coldest capital city in the world after Mongolian Capital Ulaanbaatar, with winter temperatures dropping as low as -30° C and -35°C.

Iceland 

Many folks think to expect Iceland to be the coldest country in the world, but in reality, rarely crack the top 10 coldest countries in the world. In fact, Iceland has more green spaces than Greenland. Iceland doesn’t experience harsh winter temperatures like some of the countries situated on the same latitude. 

The warm climates are due to the fact that Iceland lies on the path of the North Atlantic Current, making most of the region temperate. Temperatures usually drop to sub-zero during the winter months, with the lowest temperature recorded being -30 degrees Celsius. 

gullfoss in winter

Iceland is usually loved by tourists because of its unusual Icelandic landscapes, hot thermal baths, and ever famous northern lights. 

Finland 

Located in the northernmost region of the planet, there is no wonder Finland is one of the coldest countries in the world. It is known for being the most sparsely populated country in Europe due to the extreme weather conditions, particularly in winter. The country is located in the boreal zone, which is a term used to refer to a region that is characterized by harsh cold temperatures and warm summers. 

The country’s winter usually lasts for 100 days, though its northern region in Lapland, lasts up to 200 days. Its landscape is covered in snow from October to May. 

Lapland is the coldest region in Finland, with temperatures here dropping as low as -45 degrees Celsius. This region doesn’t see a lot of sunrise during and only receives 51 days of sunlight during winter and around 73 days in summer.

Estonia 

This small country is situated in Northern Europe. Though Estonia usually experiences warmer and temperate climates compared to even some of the top 10 coldest countries in the world, its inconsistent rainfall tends to cause a massive drop in temperature throughout the year. However, the cold winter temperatures in Estonia are caused by the monsoon winds that usually render the country perennially frigid. 

The coldest temperature to ever be recorded in Estonia is around -43°C during winter. 

Belarus 

Known for its extremely cold winters and relatively warmer summers, Belarus is one of the coldest countries in Europe. Its coldest time of the year is when the Siberian Anticyclone reaches the country, during which the sub-zero temperatures reach -30°C. In some cases, the temperatures have even dropped to -40°C and its winter usually lasts from December to March. 

Denmark 

Denmark is comparatively warmer compared to other coldest countries in the world, the country, just like Sweden, shares the same latitude as Siberia in Russia and Hudson Bay in Canada. The warm summer temperatures are brought about by the warm ocean currents flowing from the southern United States. 

The lowest temperature ever recorded in Denmark was -31.2 °C. 

Latvia 

Located in the Baltic region of Northern Europe, Latvia often experiences cold and grey winters characterized by snowfalls. According to records, the lowest temperature in Latvia was -43.2°C and the coldest months are January and February where temperatures can fall between -4.6°C and -4.7°C.

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Ania James

photographer, traveller, mother of twin girls, wife, worldschooler, rulebreaker

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