Nanete Braithwaite

Nanete Braithwaite

Modified & Updated: 08 Oct 2023


Yakutsk, the capital city of the Sakha Republic in Russia, is a place like no other. Known as the coldest city in the world, Yakutsk is a destination that fascinates and bewilders visitors with its extreme climate and unique cultural heritage. This city, located in the heart of Siberia, is renowned for its frigid winters, where temperatures can plummet to -50 degrees Celsius (-58 degrees Fahrenheit) or even lower. But there’s much more to Yakutsk than just its icy temperatures.

In this article, we will delve into 40 intriguing facts about Yakutsk, exploring everything from its history and geography to its vibrant culture and fascinating attractions. Whether you’re planning a visit or simply curious about this remote city, get ready to discover the wonders and insights that make Yakutsk truly extraordinary.

Table of Contents

Yakutsk is the coldest major city in the world.

With average winter temperatures dropping to around -40 degrees Celsius (-40 degrees Fahrenheit), Yakutsk holds the title for the coldest inhabited city on Earth.

The city is located on the Lena River.

Yakutsk sits on the banks of the Lena River, one of the longest and most pristine rivers in the world, stretching for about 4,472 kilometers (2,780 miles).

Yakutsk is the largest city built on permafrost.

Permafrost, or permanently frozen ground, covers a significant portion of Yakutsk’s territory, making it a unique city that faces distinct challenges related to construction and infrastructure.

The population of Yakutsk is over 300,000.

Despite its extreme weather conditions, Yakutsk is home to a substantial population, with over 300,000 people residing in the city.

Yakutsk was founded in 1632.

The city has a long history, dating back to its establishment in 1632 by Russian explorer Pyotr Beketov.

Yakutsk is known for its breathtaking diamonds.

The region surrounding Yakutsk is rich in diamonds, making it one of the world’s leading sources for these precious gemstones.

Yakutsk is the political and cultural center of the Sakha Republic.

As the capital city of the Sakha Republic, Yakutsk plays a crucial role in the governance and cultural development of the region.

The Yakutsk State Agricultural Academy is based in the city.

Yakutsk is home to the Yakutsk State Agricultural Academy, an esteemed institution that focuses on agricultural research and education.

Yakutsk experiences the phenomenon of polar night.

During the winter months, Yakutsk plunges into prolonged periods of darkness, with the phenomenon known as polar night.

The city has a unique transportation system called the “Ice Highway.”

In winter, the frozen rivers around Yakutsk become the “Ice Highway,” enabling transportation of goods and people across vast distances.

Yakutsk has a rich cultural heritage.

The city preserves and celebrates its Yakut traditions through various cultural events, folklore festivals, and museums.

The Yakutsk Permafrost Kingdom is a popular tourist attraction.

Visitors to Yakutsk can explore the frozen wonders of the Permafrost Kingdom, an ice palace filled with impressive ice sculptures.

Yakutsk is home to the Mammoth Museum.

The Mammoth Museum showcases the remains and artifacts of ancient creatures found in the Yakutsk region, including well-preserved woolly mammoths.

Yakutsk is known for traditional Yakut clothing.

The Yakuts, the indigenous people of the region, have a distinct style of clothing that reflects their cultural heritage and survival in extreme temperatures.

Yakutsk hosts the “Pole of Cold” festival.

Every year, Yakutsk celebrates the “Pole of Cold” festival, dedicated to embracing and showcasing the city’s freezing temperatures and unique winter experiences.

The city is famous for its ice sculptures during winter festivals.

Yakutsk’s winter festivals feature mesmerizing ice sculptures created by talented local artists.

Traditional Yakut cuisine is diverse and reflects the region’s resources.

Yakutsk offers a range of traditional dishes made from local ingredients such as fish, reindeer meat, and wild berries.

Yakutsk is home to the Lena Pillars.

The Lena Pillars, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, are stunning rock formations along the banks of the Lena River, located just outside Yakutsk.

The city experiences vast temperature variations throughout the year.

Yakutsk witnesses extreme temperature differences between the bitterly cold winters and relatively warm summers.

Yakutsk is a significant center for diamond cutting and polishing.

Due to the diamond deposits in the region, Yakutsk has developed a thriving diamond industry, including cutting and polishing facilities.

Yakutsk has a vibrant music and arts scene.

The city is home to numerous talented musicians, artists, and performers who contribute to an active cultural atmosphere.

Yakutsk is surrounded by serene natural landscapes.

From picturesque frozen rivers to vast tundra and breathtaking mountains, Yakutsk offers stunning natural beauty.

The Yakutsk State Theater of Drama is a prominent cultural institution.

The Yakutsk State Theater of Drama showcases a wide array of theatrical performances, including local Yakut plays and international productions.

Yakutsk experiences hot summers despite its frigid winters.

Summer temperatures in Yakutsk can reach up to 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit), providing a stark contrast to the extreme cold of winter.

Yakutsk holds the world record for the greatest temperature range.

The city has seen a staggering temperature range of over 100 degrees Celsius (180 degrees Fahrenheit) between its coldest and hottest recorded temperatures.

Yakutsk is a scientific hub for studying permafrost and its effects.

With its unique geographical conditions, Yakutsk attracts researchers and scientists from around the world who study permafrost and its impact on the environment.

The city celebrates the Yakut New Year, “Ysyakh.”

Ysyakh is an annual festival celebrated in Yakutsk to mark the arrival of summer and to honor the Yakut people’s rich cultural heritage.

Yakutsk is surrounded by vast expanses of untouched wilderness.

Beyond the city limits lie untouched landscapes, allowing adventurous visitors to explore the pristine beauty of Yakutsk’s surroundings.

The city’s architecture reflects its cultural heritage.

Yakutsk’s architecture is influenced by both Russian and Yakut traditions, creating a unique blend of styles.

Yakutsk is connected to other cities in Russia by the Trans-Siberian Railway.

The Trans-Siberian Railway, one of the most famous train routes in the world, provides a connection from Yakutsk to other major cities in Russia.

The city is home to many research institutes and educational institutions.

Yakutsk boasts several prestigious research institutes and universities, including the North-Eastern Federal University.

Yakutsk has a growing film industry.

The city has become a filming location for both national and international productions, showcasing its unique landscapes and cultural richness on the silver screen.

Yakutsk sits on immense reserves of natural resources.

The Yakutsk region is known for its abundant reserves of gold, coal, natural gas, and other valuable minerals.

The unique Yakut horse is native to the region.

The Yakut horse is uniquely adapted to thrive in the harsh Yakutsk climate and plays an essential role in the culture and economy of the region.

Yakutsk has its own local time zone.

Yakutsk operates on the Yakutsk Time Zone, which is nine hours ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC+9).

The city hosts the “Ysyakh Olympics.”

The “Ysyakh Olympics” is an annual sports event that showcases traditional Yakut sports and athletic competitions.

Yakutsk is a gateway to exploring the remote Russian Far East.

From Yakutsk, adventurers can embark on expeditions to remote regions, such as the Kamchatka Peninsula and the Russian Arctic.

The city has its own symphony orchestra.

Yakutsk’s symphony orchestra contributes to the vibrant cultural scene, performing classical concerts and collaborating with local and international artists.

Yakutsk is known for its rich folklore and oral traditions.

The Yakut people have a rich tradition of storytelling, music, and dance, which are celebrated and passed down through generations.

Yakutsk is a city of contrasts, blending ancient traditions with modern development.

The city’s unique combination of rich cultural heritage and rapid urbanization creates a captivating and ever-evolving atmosphere.

Discover the Wonders of Yakutsk

With its extreme climate, remarkable natural beauty, and vibrant cultural scene, Yakutsk offers a truly unforgettable travel experience. Whether it’s exploring the icy wonders of the Permafrost Kingdom, witnessing the grandeur of the Lena Pillars, or immersing yourself in the rich Yakut traditions, Yakutsk will leave you in awe. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit this extraordinary city and uncover the 40 fascinating facts about Yakutsk!


In conclusion, Yakutsk is a truly fascinating city with a rich history, unique climate, and vibrant culture. From being the coldest city on earth to boasting stunning natural landscapes, Yakutsk offers a myriad of experiences for travelers and locals alike. Whether you’re interested in exploring the majestic Lena River, immersing yourself in the traditional Yakut way of life, or marveling at the mesmerizing Northern Lights, Yakutsk has something to offer everyone.

As you delve into these 40 facts about Yakutsk, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the city’s past, present, and future. From its resilience in the face of extreme weather conditions to its commitment to preserving its local heritage, Yakutsk showcases a unique blend of tradition and progress. So next time you’re planning a trip to explore hidden gems around the world, consider adding Yakutsk to your list—you won’t be disappointed!


Q: How cold does Yakutsk get?

A: Yakutsk experiences incredibly cold temperatures, with average winter lows reaching -40 degrees Celsius (-40 degrees Fahrenheit).

Q: Are there any unique attractions to visit in Yakutsk?

A: Yes, Yakutsk is home to several unique attractions, including the Mammoth Museum, where you can learn about the Ice Age and see well-preserved mammoth remains.

Q: What is the best time to visit Yakutsk?

A: The best time to visit Yakutsk is during the summer months of June to August when temperatures are milder, and outdoor activities are more enjoyable.

Q: Is it safe to visit Yakutsk during the winter?

A: While Yakutsk experiences extreme cold during the winter, it is considered safe to visit as long as you take appropriate measures and dress warmly.

Q: Are there any traditional festivals celebrated in Yakutsk?

A: Yes, Yakutsk celebrates various traditional festivals, including the Ysyakh summer solstice festival, which showcases the rich cultural heritage of the Yakut people.

Q: How can I get to Yakutsk?

A: The easiest way to reach Yakutsk is by taking a flight to Yakutsk Airport, which is well-connected to major cities in Russia.