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Meet Raleigh’s sister cities

Raleigh has sister city partnerships with five locations across the globe to promote cross-cultural connection, understanding, and cooperation.

A giraffe walking walking in the grass with the city of Nairobi, Kenya in the background.

Nairobi is home to the Nairobi National Park, which is inhabited by animals like zebras, giraffes, lions, leopards, and baboons.

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Raleigh really knows how to put the all in y’all. Since 1986, the city has been affiliated with Sister Cities International, an organization that connects cities with one another to create global partnerships and promote peace.

What are sister cities? They’re municipalities that partner with each other in order to promote human connection, mutual respect, cross-cultural contact, understanding, and cooperation. Sister cities often engage with each other across activities and programs, including those related to healthcare, business, education + the arts. Read up on Raleigh’s sister cities below.

Kingston-upon-hull, England (Partnered in 1986)

A longtime British supply base + port, this city is located on the River Hull in Yorkshire, about midway between London and Edinburgh, Scotland in the UK. Hull (as it’s often called) is home to the Queen’s Gardens and has partnered with Raleigh for visual arts and agriculture exchanges, beer collaborations, and Guy Fawkes night celebrations.

A green field in Raleigh's Compiegne Park.

Compiegne Park is named in honor of the Raleigh sister city partnership with Compiègne, France.

Photo provided by City of Raleigh

Compiègne, France (Partnered in 1989)

Located less than an hour from Paris, this village is situated on the Oise River near France’s national forest. Known historically as the site of Joan of Arc’s capture, Compiègne also features a traffic roundabout named for Raleigh — le carrefoure du Raleigh. The cities partner on events such as school exchanges and performance group visits.

Rostock, Germany (Partnered in 2001)

Home to the oldest university in continental Europe, Rostock is a port city located two hours north of Berlin on the Baltic Sea. It’s home to the annual Hanse Sail festival + is a major player in the German shipping industry. The city has partnered with Raleigh in various ways, including culture and film nights and research exchanges.

Nairobi, Kenya (Partnered in 2012)

Known as the capital and the largest city in Kenya, Nairobi has dense tree cover, parks + green spaces, not unlike Raleigh. The National Museums of Kenya have collaborated with with NC Museum of Natural Sciences, and the partnership also creates a lot of engagement with the large Kenyan population in the Triangle.

An aerial view of the Rock of Gibraltar.

The Rock of Gibraltar stands ~1,400 ft tall and is made of limestone.

Gibraltar (Partnered in 2021)

This British Overseas Territory is located on the southern tip of the Iberian peninsula. Because of its “commanding position at the western gateway to the Mediterranean Sea,” Gibraltar has served as an important international naval base for 1,000+ years. Raleigh is Gibraltar’s first sister cities relationship, and the partnership is geared towards highlighting each location’s commitment to education, technology, and diversity.

Guess what? Raleigh has three more sister city partnerships in the works. Partnership building is currently in the works with Rionegro, Colombia; Guadalajara, Mexico; and Sir El Danniyeh, Lebanon.

Learn more about the org’s partnerships and how you can get involved. Also, sign up to attend the org’s upcoming event, Bike Ride to NC Museum of Art, on Saturday, June 1.