Oymyakon, Siberia – The Coldest Town on Earth

by Benjamin Kerns

May 20, 2019

© Valentina Kobzeva | Dreamstime

Trends / Unique Itineraries & Tours

Oymyakon, Siberia, is literally the coldest inhabited town on Earth. The town of only 500 residents is nicknamed “The Pole of Cold” and has witnessed temperatures as low as -98 degrees. Here, where eyelashes freeze in mere moments, cars must be kept running continually to avoid a dead battery, and vegetables cannot grow naturally; locals have managed to eke out a quaint, and oddly endearing, existence.


Visitors to the town are rare, and its location near the Arctic Circle makes it difficult to reach. In fact, most tourists have to rely on the kindness of strangers as they hitchhike their way in and out. The closest major city is a whopping 500 miles away, and trips there and back are irregular at best. The tiny town was once a way station for reindeer herders thanks to a local thermal spring that doesn’t freeze. Nowadays, it’s little more than a remote village where residents enjoy the peaceful way of life.


Don’t expect luxurious accommodations if you plan a visit. Bathrooms here are essentially outhouses, since the harsh temperatures mean the ground is too frozen for pipes. During the winter months you can expect 21 hours of darkness each day. Due to a lack of fertile ground, meals consist primarily of soup and meat. Even exploring the region is a task. With an average of -58 degrees many months of the year, it’s not uncommon for saliva to freeze right on your lips. As you can imagine, there aren’t many locals found wandering the town.


However, we can’t really think of a more perfect place for lovers of the cold, or anyone who wants to hide away from modern society.



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