Coldest areas in the world from -55C village to town with polar bears by the pub

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  • The weather in the UK this week has been freezing cold with snow blanketing much of the country.

    Temperatures sunk to -5C today in London while in cities like Cardiff, Liverpool and Edinburgh it currently sits at about 0C.

    The cold snap was unwelcome due to the spiralling cost of heating – and we could be in for a white Christmas too.

    READ MORE: Lake Placid has been named the world's most beautiful winter wonderland

    However, Britain is far from the coldest place on Earth right now.

    That honour goes to Oymyakon, Russia – largely considered the coldest village in the world.

    Today, the small settlement is an incredible -49C.

    Around 500 people live in the area and the average temperature is about -50C.

    While it seems like the well beyond freezing weather would make the area uninhabitable it seems the community runs just fine.

    Students are still expected to go to school unless the temperature gets colder than -55C.

    Permafrost means that the ground of the village is covered in ice – but they do get some sun in the summer.

    During the hottest months of the year, June and July, Oymyakon is usually 10C and above, but sinks back below 0C from September to May.

    The warmest month villagers have ever seen saw an average temperature of 18C back in 2010.

    Thankfully, despite the shocking temperatures the region is dry so there is little rain or snowfall.

    Visitors are usually able to go to Oymyakon by flying to the closest airport is Ust-Nera, which is still a 14 hour drive away.

    However, the FCDO advises against Brits going to Russia in any circumstances currently.

    But, if you’re interested in going to ice cold human habitations then there are some other options.

    Astana in Kazakhstan often vies for the top spot of coldest place in the world.

    TripSavvy notes that the modern city has seen major low temperatures of -51.5C at times.

    But, the monthly average in January is -14.2C meaning it’s not close to Oymyakon’s long stretches of ice cold winter.

    Astana is far easier to visit though and regularly ranks as one of the coldest cities in the world.

    The city is Kazakhstan’s capital city and so you can fly there to the Nursultan Nazarbayev International Airport.

    Astana has a population of well over 1million people and there’s plenty of futuristic buildings and architecture to admire.

    Another incredibly cold place to visit is Longyearbyen in Svalbard.

    The town is technically a part of Norway but sits on an island in the Arctic Ocean – half way between Northern Norway and the North Pole.

    Svalbard experiences both the midnight sun in summer and the long polar night in winter as it is the world’s most northernmost settlement.

    The average temperature in December in Longyearbyen is around -14C.

    Visiting can be tricky, and expensive, but there are hotels in Svalbard.

    These include the Basecamp Hotel, Svalbard Hotell and Funken Lodge all in Longyearbyen.

    If you do choose to visit you could see incredible sights like the Northern Lights, glaciers, fjords and even wandering polar bears approaching the local pub.

    Would you visit one of these places? Tell us which in the comments…

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