Sister cities

Sister cities

The ties that bind

Sydney has 6 sister cities around the world that share significant historical, cultural, social or geographic similarities with Sydney. The City's guidelines for sister city relationships outline the program's main objectives, which are to:

  • extend the hand of friendship overseas on a person-to-person basis
  • perpetuate an understanding between people and cultures
  • bring together similar interest groups in each city
  • provide a forum for the exchange of sister city experiences
  • extend the level of contacts through all sectors of the community
  • develop economic, trade, cultural, educational and other beneficial exchanges.

San Francisco, US

The long link between Sydney and San Francisco was formally recognised in 1968 to strengthen civic, cultural, business, trade, tourism and sporting ties between the 2 ports on opposite sides of the Pacific. In 1977, cooperation between gay activists in both cities started the first Sydney Gay Mardi Gras the following year.

Nagoya, Japan

Sydney and Nagoya signed a sister city relationship in 1980. The cities have since seconded staff trainees and supported reciprocal visits by school rugby union teams, bands and dance ensembles. The City also supports the student exchange agreement between educational authorities and is involved in the sister zoo relationship between Taronga Zoo and Nagoya Higashiyama Zoo.

Wellington, New Zealand

Since signing a sister city agreement in 1983, Sydney and the capital city of New Zealand have focused the relationship on trade and business matters.

Portsmouth, UK

In 1787, Arthur Phillip led what was to become known as the First Fleet from Portsmouth's harbour. The following year the boats entered Port Jackson and the European settlement of Sydney began. In 1984, to commemorate this link, Sydney and Portsmouth signed a sister city agreement to develop and perpetuate economic, trading, cultural, educational and sporting links.

Guangzhou, China

In 1986, Sydney signed a sister city agreement with Guangzhou, a city in the trade-focused southern region of China. The Chinese Gardens in Sydney's Darling Harbour are a gift to the people of Sydney from Guangzhou authorities.

Florence, Italy

In 1993, Sydney signed its most recent sister city agreement, with the Tuscan city of Florence.

Friendship cities

The City of Sydney has friendship city relationships with 4 cities around the world – involvement is not as high as a sister city relationship. The first friendship city agreement was signed with Paris in 1998, followed by Athens and Berlin in 2000. Dublin became a friendship city 2 years later.


Toola Andrianopoulos
Protocol Project Coordinator
02 9246 7602

Last updated: Thursday, 14 August 2014