World Facts

The Coldest Capital Cities In The World

Surprisingly, the coldest capital city in the world is not located in Europe, Canada, or Russia. Instead, it is Mongolia's Ulaan-Baatar.

Capital cities are usually the most important cities in their respective countries. These cities act as the political, economic, educational, and cultural centers of their countries. Capital cities are most often located strategically to allow the government proper control over other parts of the country. Capital cities are also popular centers of tourism and attract a large number of tourists from across the world. Here, we discuss some of the coldest capital cities in the world.

Ulaanbaatar, The Coldest Capital City In The World

When speaking of the coldest capital cities in the world, we usually think of the capital cities of Canada, Russia, Iceland or the Scandinavian countries. However, it is Mongolia’s capital, Ulaanbaatar that is the coldest capital city in the world. The city experiences an annual average temperature of -1.3°C. The city has short, warm summers while winters are bitterly cold and dry. Temperatures in January are as low as −36 to −40 °C.

Astana, The Second Coldest Capital City In The World

Astana, Kazakhstan's capital city, is the world’s second coldest capital city. The city has an extreme continental type of climate. Summers are short and warm in Astana while winters are severely cold and dry. Winter temperatures are as low as −30 to −35 °C. The Ishim River of the city remains frozen from mid-November to April beginning.

Moscow, The World’s Third Coldest Capital City

Russia’s capital city is the third coldest capital city in the world. Moscow has a continental climate characterized by long, cold winters and warm summers. Winter temperatures in Moscow range from −25 °C in the city proper to −30 °C in the suburbs.

Helsinki, Finland

Helsinki is the capital city of Finland that experiences a humid continental climate. Though it experiences a cold winter, temperatures here are relatively higher than in many other locations along the same latitude in other parts of the world. This is due to the moderating influence of the North Atlantic Current and the Baltic Sea. Winter temperatures in Helsinki fall as low as −20 °C. The lowest temperature recorded in Helsinki was −34.3 °C on January 10, 1987.

Reykjavik, Iceland

The capital city of Iceland, Reykjavik, ranks fifth among the coldest capital cities in the world. The city has a sub-polar oceanic climate, and despite its northern latitude, temperatures rarely fall below −15 °C. The lowest temperature of −19.7 °C was recorded in this city on January 30, 1971.

Tallin, Estonia

Tallin in Estonia is one of the coldest capital cities of the world. It has a humid continental climate with mild, warm summers and winters that are cold and snowy. However, due to the coastal location of the city, winters are relatively milder than that of other places located on the same latitude. The average temperature in the coldest month here, February, is −4.3 °C.

Ottawa, Canada

Ottawa, Canada’s capital city, is the seventh coldest capital city in the world. The city experiences a humid continental climate. The average minimum temperature in January is −14.8 °C. Snow and ice are dominant during the winter season. Summers are humid and warm.

The Coldest Capital Cities In The World

RankCapital CityAverage Annual Temperature
1Ulaan-Baatar (Mongolia)-1.3°C
2Astana (Kazakhstan)3.5 °C
3Moscow (Russia) 4.1°C
4Helsinki (Finland) 4.5°C
5Reykjavik (Iceland) 4.6°C
6Tallin (Estonia) 4.8°C
7Ottawa (Canada) 5.5°C

More in World Facts