MOST KNOW YAKUTSK for its jaw-dropping winters—if they know it at all—but it’s the city’s brief, sunny summers that draw travelers by the hundreds of thousands.
Yakutsk is the capital of Russia’s Republic of Sakha (familiarly known as Yakutia), a region of the Siberian Far East where a population roughly the size of Austin, Texas, stretches over an expanse of mountains, rivers, and taiga the size of India. With winter lows around -70°F rocketing up to summer highs of 70°F, Yakutsk holds records as both the world’s coldest city and the one with the greatest variation in temperature. Such a superlative has attracted tourists eager to test themselves against true cold—but it’s worth visiting during the summer festivals to get the most colorful glimpse of the region’s culture.
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