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8 cold-weather cities worth braving in winter

Harbin Snow and Ice Festival

Photo: Lukas Hlavac/Shutterstock

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Harbin, China

In some cold cities, the best attractions require a parka, mittens and all your other wintertime gear. That is the case in Harbin, China, which has a vaguely European feel thanks to its proximity to and historical ties with Russia. Harbin celebrates its cold climate with the annual Ice and Snow Festival, which features life-sized ice castles and sculptures that are illuminated at night.

Running from December or early January until the end of February, the festival includes special events to celebrate traditional holidays such as the Chinese Lantern Festival and the Chinese Spring Festival. Despite the cold, the party is pretty much nonstop throughout the winter in Harbin. If you want to warm up, the city has plenty of saunas and traditional bathhouses that locals visit almost every day.