Travel the World in Your Own Backyard: Seattle’s 21 International Sister Cities

Did you know that Seattle currently has sister city relationships with 21 cities throughout the world? Up until recently, I certainly did not.  The establishment of sister cities fosters relationships between two locales thus creating greater understanding of their respective cultures.  The exchange program began in 1956 thanks to President Dwight Eisenhower.  His intention was essentially one of world peace and less conflict; or at least more peaceful relationships between the United States and other countries of the world.

My interest in sister cities began about three years ago.  Upon researching our trip to Bergen, Norway we found out about the sister city relationship with Seattle.  We made a point to visit the park in Bergen that is home to a totem pole given to the city of Bergen from the city of Seattle.  It was neat to experience a little piece of home so far away.  In fact, we were so touched by the experience that we chose to name our son after the city that holds such a special place in our hearts.

Pacific Northwest Totem Bergen Norway

Totem Pole Bergen Norway

My plan is to honor as many Seattle Sister Cities as I can in 2013 with the ultimate goal being to highlight all 21 cities. Some of the ways that we can “travel” to the cities will be fairly easy,  like visiting local Seattle parks created to showcase the sister city relationship or taking in an exhibit at a local museum that highlights the city.  Attending festivals representing the country of the sister city is also a possibility, but with many others, I’ll have to get quite creative, and really keep my eyes out for events and activities that will allow us to experience the city.

Are you curious about Seattle’s 21 Sister Cities? Here they are in alphabetical order:

  • Beer Sheva, Israel
  • Bergen, Norway
  • Cebu, Philippines
  • Chongqing, China
  • Christchurch, New Zealand
  • Daejeon, Korea
  • Galway, Ireland
  • Gdynia, Poland
  • Haiphong, Vietnam
  • Kaohsiung, Taiwan
  • Kobe, Japan
  • Limbe, Carmeroon
  • Mazatlan, Mexico
  • Mombasa, Kenya
  • Nantes, France
  • Pecs, Hungary:
  • Perugia, Italy
  • Reykjavik, Iceland
  • Sihanoukville, Cambodia
  • Surabaya, Indonesia
  • Tashkent, Uzbekistan

I myself have actually traveled to a grand total of 3 Seattle Sister Cities: Galway, Reykjavik, and of course, Bergen.  I’m hoping to add to that total, but in the meantime I’m happy to take some time to enjoy the various cultures right here in Seattle.  Besides, it’ll keep us busy since you as you may have read, we are holding off on international travel (aside from maybe British Columbia) with Bergen this year.

Stay tuned as we Travel the World in Our Own Backyard!

Sister City Resources:

Have you traveled to any of the Seattle Sister Cities? Tell us a little tidbit about your experience! We want to learn more. 

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8 thoughts on “Travel the World in Your Own Backyard: Seattle’s 21 International Sister Cities

    • You’re not lame! I think I just got lucky to have even been to 3…

      Nice to have traveled to Italy though–I’d love to go someday soon. Thanks for commenting, Joy!

  1. Pingback: A Wild Tales of…Travel and Adventure 2013 « Wild Tales of…

  2. Had been to Bergen many times before moving to Seattle. Wish I would have known this then. And love story behind the naming of your son. I actually wondered if there were a tie somehow to his name and the city! Norway ~ heaven on earth ❤

    • Nice! How lucky for you to have traveled to Bergen so many times. We loved the city & the rare 70 degree temperatures while we were there didn’t hurt either 🙂

      Yup, we had the name picked out, but there were still other (name) contenders and when he put up such a fight during the delivery, that we had to choice but to give up a strong Norwegian name.

  3. Pingback: Traveling the World in our own Backyard with Seattle’s 21 International Sister Cities: Beer Sheva, Israel | Wild Tales of...

  4. Pingback: Tashkent, Uzbekistan: Traveling the World in our Own Backyard with Seattle’s 21 International Sister Cities | Wild Tales of...

  5. Pingback: Kobe, Japan: Traveling the World in our Own Backyard with Seattle’s 21 Sister Cities | Wild Tales of...

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