News & Blog

Countries with the Harshest Winters

News & Blog

Countries with the harshest winters

Here, at Global Moving Services (GMS), we can move your goods anywhere in the world, including Paris in France and New York in the USA but also to obscure places you wouldn’t really think of, such as Oymyakon in Russia. Is it difficult sometimes? Yes, but we get always get the job done!

The country that tops our list of having the harshest winter is actually the coldest continent in the world – Antarctica.

Covered in snow all year round, Antarctica is also known as the most inhabitable place in the world. There are actually 66 scientific bases in Antarctica, of which about 37 are occupied year-round, and whilst no one lives there indefinitely there are about 4,000 people in the summer months and 1,000 overwinter each year.

With high-speed winds, a lack of portable water, food, or shelter and temperature falling to 100 degrees Celsius below 0, it’s clear to see why people prefer not to move here unless they are doing scientific research. If you are going, it is wise to invest heavily in high-quality winter gear; glovers, sweaters, coats and boots!

The coldest country in the world after Antarctica is Russia, a town called Oymyakon that has an average temperature of -50C (-58F). Generally considered the coldest inhabited place on earth, it’s a two-day drive to the closest town of Yakutsk, the region’s capital which has the lowest temperature of any city in the world. The lowest recorded temperature was in 1924 at -78C. It’s too cold in the town for any underfloor plumbing as it is frozen solid, this means that most toilets are outside. Cars also have to be left running otherwise they will freeze up and be unable o get started again. The solitary school only shuts if temperatures fall below -52C!

Recently the population has dwindled in Oymyakon from 2,500 to around 500 inhabitants. The village was originally a stopover for reindeer herders and its name actually means “non-freezing water” due to the thermal waters nearby. Like in the Antarctic you have to be well wrapped up as frostbite can occur after just a few minutes.

Canada can also be a pretty cold place to move to with the coldest temperature ever recorded at −63.C (−81.4F), in Snag, Yukon in 1947. Montreal also has an underground shopping mall so people can shop in comfort all year round!

The coldest winter on record in the UK occurred in 1982 with a temperature of -27.2C in the north of Scotland, which in retrospect is still a lot warmer than both of the above places.

The world meteorological organisation puts the world record for lowest ever temperature to be a reading of -89.2C which was recorded in July 1983 at the Vostok weather station in Antarctica.

However, due to global warming, these temperatures could be rising higher in the future as Russia is currently warming 2.5 degrees faster than the rest of the world. Meaning that a future for these inhabited towns could allow for underground plumbing and fewer layers resulting in an overall better living situation.

Living in these cold climates can be exhausting but is also a testament to humanities ability to live and be happy anywhere in the world.

Feeling a bit chilled after reading about the coldest countries in the world? Why not take a look at our moving guides to find a beautiful tropical locations to relocate to or get in touch with our relocation team for some expert moving advice.


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