Do you remember the different types of climate and their characteristics from your school and college classes? If you forgot, today scientists split Earth's climate into five climate types: tropical, dry, temperate, continental and polar.

You surely know about the extreme climate of Arctics, Sahara, and Amazonian forest, but these are all places which aren't inhabited by people. Did you know that there are many extreme climate environments around the world where hundreds of thousands of people live and withstand every test that nature puts in front of them?

There are hot cities where plastic trash bins melt because they can't stand the heat. You can bake cookies right in the car's interior or fry eggs on a windshield. On the other hand, there are cities where winter freezes everything around and immerses the surroundings into the grey lifeless landscape so that when the snow melts you feel like a character from the old fairy-tale freed from an evil warlock's winter spell. There are also sunless cities where people are devoid of sunlight for 40 days a year. And many other places which are too far from being normal in terms of climate.

Let's take a look at top 20 cities where climate went crazy and try to imagine ourselves, at least for a moment, as people who live there and withstand all the vicissitudes of local weather.

20 World's Coldest City: Yakutsk, Russia

Yakutsk, which is the capital of the Sakha Republic of Russia is the coldest city on Earth. You'll be surprised to know that almost 270,000 residents of Yakutsk are withstanding minus 40º C every winter on a daily basis. An all-time low-temperature record (minus 64º C) was set in 1891.

But the bad news doesn't end here. In contrast with cities situated in other continental zones, winter season in Yakutsk begins from the beginning of October with below zero temperatures. And when the winter starts, the residents of Yakutsk don't expect warm weather to come until May.

Funny fact: An electronic thermometer was installed as a tourist attraction in the village of Oymyakon, not far from Yakutsk. It didn't last long because it was too cold for it to function.

19 One of the Foggiest Cities in the World: San Francisco, California

San Francisco is definitely not the foggiest place on Earth (because Grand Banks, near Newfoundland island in Canada, is) but we can surely call it one of the foggiest cities in the world. And if the image of the Golden Gate Bridge covered in the fog doesn't come to your mind when you hear about San Francisco then you probably haven't been there for a sufficient amount of time during winter months.

It gets especially foggy in San Francisco during winter because fog loves humid conditions.

“You never think you’ll get used to living in a cloud all the time,”said one resident. “But one day, you find you just don’t mind anymore.”

18 World’s Driest City: Aswan, Egypt

You can find Egyptian sweets, open markets, modern art sculpture parks, numerous cafes in Aswan, but don't expect to encounter rain. This city is known for being the driest in the world because very often you shouldn't expect even a millimeter of rainfall here. Fortunately for its residents, Aswan has access to water because it's located on the Nile and in addition to that there's the world's largest rock-filled dam south of the city.

Funny fact about this city is that its name translates from old Nubian as 'too much water'. Initially, there was a sense in that because it was named this way a long time ago because of the flood cycle of the Nile River.

17 Icy City: Harbin, Heilongjiang, China

There is two reason why this city is called 'ice city'. First of all, it gained this name for having a harsh winter climate and secondly because its famous for hosting one of the largest ice festivals in the world called the Hardin International Snow and Ice Festival.

Over 10 million residents live in this far northeastern city in China. Average winter temperature in Hardin is about minus 24º C and the lowest recorded temperature was as low as minus 42º C. It's great that people of Hardin have this huge festival because it makes their lives more diverse during cold days of endless winter.

16 World’s Highest City: El Alto, Bolivia

Some readers may wonder how the altitude of the city is related to the climate of the area, but the correlation is direct. El Alto is located 4,150 meters above the sea level in the Altiplano plains region of Bolivia. Even in the warmest months, the temperature is low here because of its tundra climate. For instance, the hottest it can get during the summer is 15º C. Interestingly, the temperature here is almost the same during all year with a maximum of 17º C in November and minimum of minus 4º C in July.

No matter the climate, it's a big city. El Alto started at the beginning of the 20th century as a slum but now it now has 1.18 million residents and it's the second largest and fastest growing city in Bolivia with the largest urban cable car in the world.

15 Sunless City (40 Days Without Sun): Murmansk, Russia

I have already mentioned one destination in Russia (Yakutsk) known for being the coldest city in the world. Murmansk is also a very cold place, but it is included in the list not for being cold, but for being sunless for 40 days during the year. Imagine 300,000 people doing their daily routines, going to work and relaxing without the sun for six weeks every winter. Difficult isn't it? Take a look at this The Guardian article to try to understand how it is like to live in the dark for 40 days.

The good news about visiting Murmansk during this period is that you will get a good chance of seeing northern lights and even light pillars (less known, but no less impressive phenomenon).

14 World’s Wettest City: Buenaventura, Colombia

Buenaventura is the largest port city in Colombia and it is famous for being a dangerous city to visit because of high criminal activity and also for being the wettest city in the world with 6,275.6 mm of rain annually.

Everything that can rot, rots there because of non-stop rain and humidity which creates ceaseless moisture in the air. As for the criminal side of the story, Buenaventura is a big hub of drug trafficking, arms smuggling, kidnapping, and torture so it's not advised to visit it if you don't want to get involved in a war of violent street gangs.

13 One of the Hottest Cities in the United States: Phoenix, Arizona

There are several hottest cities in the United States and Phoenix in Arizona is situated on the top of the list. According to NOAA, the average high temperatures hover between 40º C and 41º C.

Maybe you remember the news reports about the extreme heat wave in Phoenix which made people do weird things. Frying eggs on the asphalt, baking cookies in their cars, driving a car with gloves because the steering wheel is too hot and dressing animals in boots because the temperature of the asphalt is too high are just a few of them.

At least people got a chance to open their creative side because of the heat.

12 World’s Windiest City: Wellington, New Zealand

Forget about heat because we're going to Wellington, the windiest city in the world located in beautiful New Zealand. Just to compare, Chicago which is known for being America's windiest city has an average wind speed of 11km/h, while the wind-speed in Wellington is almost three times higher, namely 29 km/h.

But if you're not afraid of the wind, Wellington can surprise you in many ways. Recently listed as one of the top 5 cities in the world to visit by Lonely Planet, its home for impressive 'Beehive' building, the Royal New Zealand Ballet, New Zealand's National Museum, and many other interesting attractions.

11 A city with One of the Most Unpredictable Weather Conditions in The World: Saint Petersburg, Russia

I was first visiting St. Petersburg in August about seven years ago and I remember my wife telling me to take a jacket and an umbrella with me. I'm glad that I listened to her and took a jacket because you shouldn't expect any stability of weather in this city. The weather can change during the course of 50 minutes from a warm sunny day to pouring rain with strong wind and back.

Too bad I didn't take an umbrella. Now my old worn out national passport serves a reminder that you can't be prepared to whims of weather in St. Petersburg.

10 One of the Most Humid Cities in Asia: Bangkok, Thailand

Remember the explanation we gave on how to define whether the climate is humid or not? If you're leaving the airport and the city embraces you with sauna air, know that you landed in the city with high humidity. This is exactly what you will feel while visiting Bangkok. To tell the truth, I wasn't able to adapt to this crazy level of humidity during my stay in this city.

When it comes to year-round intense heat, Bangkok has the world’s most extreme summer temperatures. The temperatures in the capital of Thailand rise above 40º C during the day and it doesn't get much better at night.

Thank God they have tangerine and passion fruit juice.

9 One of the Coldest Major cities in North America: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

I bet that during winter months people of Winnipeg, Manitoba dream about the heat of Bangkok. Winnipeg is one of the coldest major cities in North America with more than 700,000 residents. The average temperature in January is about minus 20º C. But it can get much lower than that. For instance, the lowest recorded temperatures in Winnipeg was minus 45º C in 1966 and minus 47.8º C in 1879.

However, people of Winnipeg are not sitting in their homes waiting for the snow to go away. They're having a lot of fun during the winter months. Just take a look. Isn't it great?

8 City of No Rainfall: Wadi Halfa, Sudan, Africa

Sudan is known as one of the hottest places in Africa and Wadi Halfa is arguably the hottest city of Sudan. Having a desert climate, 15,000 resident of this area don't expect any rainfall during the year. Summer months are hell hot, with the average temperature of 41º C and autumn and winter months are slightly cooler with a maximum temperature of 36º C in October. The hottest temperature in Wadi Halfa was 53º C in April 1967.

Since Sudan is a nation plagued with various turmoils and issues, it is not advised to travel there.

7 America's Piece of Ice Age: Fairbanks, Alaska, United States

One of the coldest places in the United States is Fairbanks in Alaska with such harsh below-freezing winters that sun lovers will find difficult to endure. Similar to Yakutsk, Russia, the winter in Fairbanks starts at the beginning of October with highest temperatures of 2º C, and end in April.

In addition to being one of the places with harshest winters in the United States, Fairbanks is also the most polluted city of America according to the 'State of the Air 2018'. Wood-burning stoves in homes continue to be a major source of pollution in the area.

Although it's a great place to see northern lights, if you're sensitive to air pollution it is advised to visit Murmansk or Yellowknife in Canada.

6 The Wettest Place on Earth: Mawsynram, India

Mawsynram is not a city, but I decided to make an exception and include it in the list because of how crazily wet it is. This village in the Maghalaya state of India has the highest annual rainfall according to Guinness World Records. Most of the rain comes during the monsoon season between June and September and surprisingly many tourists visit the village just to see how wet it can get.

For those planning a visit to this place, I would also advise taking a look at the Nohkalikai Falls, a 340m waterfall which is located not far away from the village.

5 Coldest City of Canada: Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada

The last cold destination on the list is Yellowknife which is famous for being the coldest city in Canada. Founded in 1934 it has 20,000 resident and is located only 320 miles from the Arctic Circle.

Even though Yellowknife has a subarctic climate, low temperatures during January can get as low as 32º C. The coldest recorded temperature in the area was minus 51º C in February 1947.

Like Murmansk in Russia and Fairbanks in Canada, Yellowknife has excellent conditions for viewing aurora borealis.

4 Center of Mexican Hotness: Mexicali, Mexico

This Mexican city is home to extreme temperatures. Mexicali is a huge metropolis with more than one million residents who were forced to get used to 40° C heat on most summer days. And it's not a rare case when temperatures get even higher than that, during the ultra-hot periods, making it impossible to function outside.

Remarkably Mexicali has one of the largest Chinese communities in Mexico. It happened because initially, it has been a predominantly Chinese town. A rare place where you can have the best of both Mexican and Chinese cuisine.

As you see, many of the cities on the list have a lot to offer despite having an extreme climate. Don't hesitate to visit them if you can stand the mentioned weather discomforts.

3 World's Hottest City: Kuwait City, Kuwait

Kuwait City is the capital of Kuwait country. It's a rather big city with a population of 2.4 million residents who somehow live in this boiling place often attacked by sandstorms. The annual mean high temperature in Kuwait city is 34.3º C, while during the summer average highs range between 45-47º C.

The government imposes a ban on outdoor work from 11 am to 4 pm during the Summer months. People save themselves from heat in a huge aqua park, on the beach or in the largest shopping mall in Kuwait. Because of climate change, life in Kuwait city is getting more and more difficult.

2 One of the Most Humid Cities in the World: Dhahran, Saudi Arabia

There are many characteristics by which you can judge how extreme climate is and one of them is humidity. If you're coming out of the airport and feel like you were placed in the sauna, know that you've landed in the place with high humidity. Heat Index defines how it feels when relative humidity is factored in and the Persian Gulf is a place where the highest Heat Index temperatures where recorded.

The city of Dhahran in Saudi Arabia holds the record for the highest humidity. In 2013, 42 degrees Celsius felt like 81 degrees. Imagine the number of underwear changes which were required on that historical day.

1 Sunbather's Nightmare: Torshavn, Faroe Islands, Kingdom of Denmark

Torshavn, located on Faroe Island is called sunbather's nightmare for a reason. In fact, it won't attract any because the average amount of sun it gets per year is just 840 hours which is equal to about 70 days (only a third of what Sydney gets). This means that you shouldn't expect the sun the other 295 days of the year. The temperatures there are also low, with the average summer temperatures creeping up to only 11º C.

If you aren't afraid of sunless days and low temperatures, Torshavn has its charm. You can visit massive seabird colonies, enjoy cute traditional villages, old whaling stations and indulge in moody clifftop hiking while being there.

References:, Bobvila, Skyscrapercity, Accuweather, The Guardian,,, World Atlas, Farmers Almanac, Globe Guide,