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The goal of sister cities is to create cultural exchange between cities. Mayors of two cities sign a memorandum of understanding thus creating sister cities. Sister Cities were created in 1956 at a White House Summit initiated by President Eisenhower. Did you know Indianapolis has nine sister cities? These are also known as town twins.

Where are Indianapolis’ sister cities?


Hyderabad, India:

The city of Hyderabad was founded in 1591 by Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah. It served as a center for culture and became a popular trading spot for diamonds and pearls. It’s the fourth largest city in India. Hyderabad is the capital of southern India’s Telangana state. A major center for the technology industry, it’s home to many upscale restaurants and shops.

Piran, Slovenia:

Piran, Slovenia is a sister city Indianapolis formed a relationship with in 2001. Piran is a resort city on Slovenia’s Adriatic coast, known for its long pier and Venetian architecture. Piran is also well known for its salt because of its unique texture. A common Slovenian saying is “Piran is made of salt.” Traditional salt-making techniques that date back to the 14th century are still often used by salt makers. It is common to season the fresh seafood with the town’s famous salts.

Hangzhou, China:

Hangzhou, China became a sister city to Indianapolis in December of 2008 under Mayor Greg Ballard. Hangzhou, located in central East China, is the capital city of the Zhejiang Province. Indiana and Zhejiang Province have had a sister state relationship since 1987. Hangzhou, the capital of China’s Zhejiang province, is the southern terminus of the ancient Grand Canal waterway, which originates in Beijing.

Northamptonshire County, UK:

Northamptonshire County, UK became a sister city to Indianapolis in November 2009. Northamptonshire, is a county in the South Midlands of England.  It is known as “The Rose of the Shires”. Northamptonshire’s main industry is manufacturing of boots and shoes.

Campinas, Brazil:

Campinas is in the state of São Paulo, Brazil. Campinas was renamed several times, having previously been called São Carlos. The name, Campinas, means “grass fields” referencing the city’s landscape. Campinas, Brazil became a sister city to Indianapolis in July of 2009. 

Monza, Italy:

Since Indianapolis and Monza are home to the two oldest active motor speedways in the world (Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Autodromo di Monza), and two of the most famous car racing events (the Indy 500 and the Formula 1 Grand Prix of Italy) the theme of motorsports appeared the most natural starting point for the collaboration. Monza, Italy became a sister city to Indianapolis in December of 1994. Monza is a city just northeast of Milan, in northern Italy.

Cologne, Germany:

Cologne is known for its beautiful cathedrals. Cologne Cathedral is the most well-known of the churches, and it is often the landmark associated with the city of Cologne. Cologne has numerous restaurants that serve distinctive German dishes. Cologne is the fourth largest German city. It has become successful in the banking and automotive industries. Cologne, Germany became Indianapolis’s sister city in 1988. Cologne is a 2,000-year-old city spanning the Rhine River in western Germany.

Onitsha, Nigeria:

Onitsha, Nigeria is Indianapolis’ newest sister city and Indy’s first sister city from the African continent, established in 2017 under Mayor Joe Hogsett. The city lies on the east bank of the Niger River and is one of the largest cities in Africa. Onitsha is the biggest river port city in Nigeria. It is often known as the “Crossroads of Nigeria”, similarly how Indiana is the “Crossroads of America”.

Taipei, Taiwan:

Taiwan’s culture is a melting pot of different Asian cultures.  In 2002, Taiwan joined the World Trade Organization and has increased their presence in the world economy. Taipei currently has 48 sister cities, 12 of which are in the United States. Taipei, the capital of Taiwan, is a modern city with Japanese colonial lanes, busy shopping streets and contemporary buildings.