Discover 11 International Treasures That Are Phoenix’s Sister Cities

Downtown Phoenix, Arizona at Night
© Brandon Burris/

Written by Patrick MacFarland

Updated: September 26, 2023

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Sister Cities is a relatively new concept that originated during World War II. A city in one nation and a city elsewhere in the world agree to ensure cultural and commercial cooperation. This is a worldwide phenomenon that has spread throughout the world. In the UK, they are called “twin towns,” instead of sister cities. In Europe, this pact is referred to as “partner towns” or “friendship towns.”

Phoenix has a total of 11 sister cities — Calgary, Canada; Catania, Italy; Chengdu, China; Ennis, Ireland; Grenoble, France; Hermosillo, Mexico; Himeji, Japan; Prague, Czechia; Ramat-Gan, Israel; Suwon, South Korea; and Taipei, Taiwan. Let’s take a look at the 11 international treasures that are Phoenix’s sister cities more closely.

Calgary, Canada

There are more than 120 languages spoken in Calgary, Canada.

©Alix Kreil/

With a population of 1.3 million, Calgary owed much of its population increase to the successful oil refinery located on the outskirts of the city. Calgary is also known for its cowboy and Western culture. So much so, that there’s an annual July rodeo festival that attracts many tourists from Canada and afar.

Phoenix and Calgary work together to promote business opportunities with one another, as well as doing student exchanges between the two cities.

Catania, Italy

Mount Etna

Mount Etna, an active volcano in Italy, is in Catania.

©Alberto Masnovo/

Located in Sicily, Catania, Italy has a rich cultural history. The port city has been around for more than a thousand years, boasting elaborate buildings, fountains, and statues. Its specialty cuisine is seafood, and the city has a well-recognized fish market.

Phoenix and Catania work together to promote business and cultural opportunities with one another. They also collaborate to host a yearly wine tasting in Phoenix, which helps to promote wines from Catania and Sicily.

Chengdu, China

Giant panda bear cub and Mother Breastfeeding Chengdu, China

The giant pandas make Chengdu, China their home.


Located in the Sichuan province of China, Chengdu is world famous for its giant panda research center, where visitors from all over the world can check out exhibits, as well as a panda breeding center.

Phoenix and Chengdu work together to promote business and cultural opportunities with one another, as well as a mutual relationship in the education sector and organizations in both cities. They work together to promote Chinese Week in Phoenix every year. 

Ennis, Ireland

A back view of the ruins of Clare Abbey a Augustinian monastery just outside Ennis, County Clare, Ireland at sunset

Ennis, Ireland won an award that proclaimed the city as the “Most Friendliest Town” in Ireland.

©2checkingout/iStock via Getty Images

The town of Ennis, Ireland is in County Clare. It is one of the only towns in Ireland that did not start with a wall around its limits. Clare Abbey is a medieval, Gaelic monastery that is now in ruins.

Phoenix and Ennis work together to promote friendship and a mutual welcoming of both cities with each other. They help each other out by facilitating mutual events like the Irish Faire and the St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

Grenoble, France

Grenoble. The city embankment.

According to many historians, the start of the French Revolution commenced in Grenoble, France in 1788.

©Pel_1971/iStock via Getty Images

Grenoble, France is a city situated in the southeast area of France. Winter sports are huge there, with active participation by many of its residents. It is also a university town with several research centers.

Phoenix and Grenoble work together to enhance economic opportunities, school exchanges, and art appreciation with one another. Volunteers in Phoenix work with Grenoble to promote the Beaujolais Nouveau, which is considered the first French wine to come out in November of every year.

Hermosillo, Mexico

Plaza Hidalgo en Hermosillo Sonora

Hermosillo, Mexico is consistently on the list of the hottest cities in the world, with 121 degrees Fahrenheit as the record in June 2014.

©Arturo Sanchez Antunez/iStock via Getty Images

The city of Hermosillo, Mexico is the cultural and economic center of the state of Sonora. With a population of 800,000, there are many activities to do in the state capital. It was known as Pitic before the name was changed to honor a general who succeeded in giving lands back to the locals.

Phoenix and Hermosillo work together to promote economic and educational opportunities between them. They also collaborate on disability awareness projects, as well as ensuring sports teamwork between the two cities.

Himeji, Japan

himeji city

Himeji Castle, located in Himeji, Japan, is one of the most visited castles in the country.

©Jui-Chi Chan/iStock via Getty Images

Located in the Kansai region of Japan, Himeji is mostly known for its feudal castle, Himeji Castle. The castle is an immense six-story structure. Himeji also has a traditional Japanese garden called Koko-en. Other cultural attractions in Himeji include the Engyoji Buddhist temple.

Phoenix and Himeji work to ensure the Japanese and Japanese-American cultures are well-promoted. Phoenix has a Japanese Friendship garden that was the vision of both sister cities. There are also teacher and student exchanges between the two cities.

Prague, Czechia

Prague cityscape at night

The largest castle in the world is located in Prague, Czechia.


Prague has a deep-rooted and rich culture with art and innovation. Its gothic churches are a sight to see, as well as their baroque-period buildings. There is a medieval astronomical clock that gives visitors and residents a show every hour on the hour. The Charles Bridge is also a famous pedestrian bridge lined with Catholic saints.

Phoenix and Prague work together to promote Czech culture in the US city. There is an annual Czech film festival that takes place in Phoenix. There are also student and professional programs to further develop their close relationship.

Ramat-Gan, Israel

Speed limit traffic signs in israeli town Ramat-Gan

Among Raman-Gat, Israel’s other twin cities are Strasbourg, France; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; and Wroclaw, Poland.

©Dzurag/iStock via Getty Images

Ramat-Gan is located near Tel Aviv and it has a population of 153,000. The city is home to one of the largest diamond exchange districts in the world. The tallest building in Israel is located in Ramat-Gan, as well as the largest sports stadium.

Phoenix and Ramat-Gan work together to ensure the promotion of cultural, educational, and economic opportunities between the two cities. Both are located in deserts and there is a unique force that attracts these two cities. 

Suwon, South Korea

Hwaseong Fortress

Suwon, South Korea is a walled city, the only one remaining in the entire country.

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The famous Suwon Hwaseong Fortress is located in Suwon, South Korea. The city is thousands of years old and boasts its deep history with its buildings and culture. Several landmarks make Suwon unique to South Korea, including the Hwaseong Haenggung Palace and Paldal Gate.

Suwon is the most recent city to become a sister city to Phoenix. Both Phoenix and Suwon’s delegations signed the agreement on October 28, 2021, establishing cultural and economic connections between the two cities. 

Taipei, Taiwan

night view of taipei city by the river with taipei 101 tower

Taiwan boasts the title of the first country in Asia to enact marriage equality.

©Richie Chan/

Taipei is a large metropolis of more than 2.6 million people. The buildings are sleek and modern, with the tallest skyscraper, Taipei 101, shaped like a bamboo tree. Its nightlife and food scene make the city vibrant. There are also many historical and cultural landmarks worth visiting and broadening your knowledge and horizons.

Phoenix and Taipei have established a connection that promotes economic and cultural opportunities with one another. The sister cities work together to ensure a successful Chinese week in Phoenix, as well as Taiwanese art and culture exhibitions.


Phoenix’s sister cities are indeed international treasures. They are a diverse collection of rich cultural heritage. The Phoenix community has learned much about these sister cities, ensuring that their cultural and commercial ties are strong. Their close cooperation has been met with strong praise from communities at large in the Phoenix area, too. Sister cities as a whole are an important tool to create a network of opportunities for everyone and bridge connections that were shattered during COVID-19.

The 11 international treasures that are Phoenix’s sister cities have given Phoenix so much, and in return, they have received rich heritage about Phoenix and Arizona, as well. Their connection is a strong and lasting one.

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About the Author

Patrick Macfarland is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering travel, geography, and history. Patrick has been writing for more than 10 years. In the past, he has been a teacher and a political candidate. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science from SDSU and a Master's Degree in European Union Studies from CIFE. From San Diego, California, Patrick loves to travel and try new recipes to cook.

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