What Is the Coldest Capital City in the World?

It may be difficult to provide exact information about the coldest capital city in the world because this depends on reliability of the available data. The temperature differences among the coldest cities are quite small.

The coldest capital city in the world seems to be Ulaanbaatar (Ulaan-Baatar, Ulan Bator, or Ulanbatar). The average year-round temperature in this city is 31.3 degrees Fahrenheit (-0.4 °C). This is not only because of its geographical location but also because of its elevation which is 1350 m (4429 ft).

The second coldest capital city is Astana in Kazakhstan with 38.3 °F (3.5 °C). 

Ulaan-Baatar basic information

Ulaanbaatar city was established in 1639 as a Buddhist monastic center. Perhaps you did not know but it became the capital with the proclamation of the Mongolian People’s Republic in 1924. Roughly half population of the country is in the capital, according to Wikipedia this means around 1.5 million people.

Mongolia is a huge country with the area of more than 1.5 million square kilometers, and this is roughly three times larger than France. Yet its population is around 3.3 millions or so. The country is with only two neighbors, and as you know it is rarely in world’s news.

Ulaanbaatar is the coldest in January when the temperature is in the range between −32.8 and −40.0 °F (−36 and −40 °C). But note that in summer months it can be very hot in the city, this means between 18 and 39 degrees Celsius.

So speaking about average temperatures gives a misleading information about the city. You realize this when you compare it with La Paz which is the capital with the highest elevation, and coldest-warmest months are with the temperature range 41 °F (5 C) and 49 °F (9 C) average. In other words, it is always cold there.

Mongolia as a country and the city are remote, but the city is connected by rail to the Trans-Siberian Railway in Russia and the Chinese railway system.

Note that there is a very detailed description of the city on Wikipedia. The interactive map below shows its position so you realize that it is more to the south than Astana (Nur-Sultan) which is the northernmost Asian capital city. Zoom in to see more details.


Is Ulaanbaatar a polluted city?

Unfortunately yes, from what I have found, in 2016 air pollution was 80 times the recommended safety level set by the world health organization. This is because of fossil fuels used for heating which is required in most of the months during a year.

Do they speak English in Ulaanbaatar?

With older generation I would not count on this very much, they will speak Russian. But this is the time of mass media and Internet, so younger people will speak English as well.

Please see more about the city in this video:

But if you want to see more about the countryside, here is a video by Eva zu Beck:

So this was the basic information about the coldest capital city in the world. In my separate text you can read also about the coldest capitals in Europe.


Please use the comment box below if you have questions or comments.

This site is all about capitals so bookmark it and keep as a reference, new texts are added here on a regular basis. Check also my text about the hottest capital city in the world and about countries that have more than one capital. Thank you for reading.

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