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What’s the Honolulu Sister Cities Program?

Are you wondering about the Hawaii sister cities? Scroll to find everything you need to know about the Honolulu sister cities program and which cities are members!
This list of Honolulu sister cities was written by Marcie Cheung (a Hawaii travel expert) and contains affiliate links which means if you purchase something from one of my affiliate links, I may earn a small commission that goes back into maintaining this blog.

Honolulu is one of the major cities in Hawaii and is one of the most popular cities in the United States, both in the country and the world. 

With its stunning beaches and vibrant culture, it’s no wonder people are so drawn to the city. However, what many don’t realize is that there is so much more to this Hawaiian city!

Because it is such a huge focal point worldwide for both business and hospitality means, it participates in the Sister City Program to help other cities as well. 

Curious about my expertise? With over 40 trips to Hawaii, my experience in the travel realm is hard to match.

Read on to learn more about all the Honolulu sister cities for inspiration on where to travel for your next trip! 

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Top Honolulu Sister Cities to Visit

The Sister City Program started after World War II when the world wanted more peace, friendship, and support. Starting in 1959, Honolulu has become a sister city for many cities all around the world. 

Each year Hawaii puts on the Honolulu Festival, during which many of Hawaii’s sister cities come to promote themselves to bring in more tourists to their country. It is just one of the many ways Hawaii helps with its sister city programs. 

Here are a few of the top sister cities to Honolulu! Each would make for a perfect place to visit next time you are looking to go on an international trip. 


The Philippines is one of many countries that have several Honolulu sister cities. The first to join this program was Laoag, Philippines, back in 1969, and the most recent was Candon, Philippines, in 2015. 

Pagoda and dragon sculpture of the Taoist Temple in Cebu, Philippines.
Check out the temples in Cebu City, Philippines.

Cebu City, another Honolulu sister city in the Philippines, is another bustling city very similar to Honolulu, with many international citizens. The city’s historical roots, culture, and vibrant nightlife make it an ideal spot for travelers from Honolulu. 

Here are the several sister cities to Honolulu in the Philippines worth visiting: 

  • Baguio, Philippines
  • Candon, Philippines
  • Cebu City, Philippines
  • Laoag, Philippines
  • Mandaluyong, Philippines
  • Manila, Philippines
  • Vigan, Philippines

Baku, Azerbaijan

Honolulu established a sister-city relationship with Baku, Azerbaijan, back in 1998. It is the largest city in the Caspian Sea, known for its grand architecture, vibrant culture, and diverse population.

Ancient Maiden Tower in Baku Azerbaijan
Ancient Maiden Tower in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Tourists can explore its incredible buildings and experience the culture this city has to offer during their trip. 

Bruyères, France

Bruyères is a beautiful town that offers many historical sites to see during your stay. The city is well known for its cheese and wine production as well as its natural beauty.

Bruyères became a sister city to Honolulu back in 1960 and is a wonderful place to stay during your trip to France. 

Cali, Colombia

Cali, Colombia, is a more recent Honolulu sister city and is another wonderful place to visit during your travels to South America. Here you can learn to salsa dance and explore the very exciting nightlife during your trip.

La Ermita Church - Cali, Colombia
Don’t miss La Ermita Church in Cali, Colombia.

There are blends of Spanish, Indigenous, and African traditions throughout the city, making it a great place to learn more about a variety of cultures. 

Caracas, Venezuela

Located in northern South America, Caracas is the capital and largest city of Venezuela and became a sister city to Honolulu in 1990.

A beautiful Blue and yellow macaws standing on balcony fence in a line in Caracas, Venezuela
Yes, you can see macaws in Caracas, Venezuela.

This city is known for its wonderful culture, with various cuisines, galleries, parks, skyscrapers, and theaters worth exploring.

Experience riding a cable car through the El Ávila National Park and enjoy the beauty surrounding you. 


China has seven sister cities of Honolulu and is another great country to explore during an international trip. Haikou, China, was the earliest Honolulu sister city back in 1985, with the most recent being Fuzou, China, in 2021. 

Shanghai at night, China
Shanghai is such a cool city worth exploring!

From Shanghai to Zhongshan, any of the China sister cities you visit will be full of incredible cities filled with cultural sites you will love. 

Here are the Honolulu sister cities located in China: 

  • Chengdu, China
  • Fengxian (Shanghai), China
  • Fuzhou, China
  • Haikou, China
  • Qinhuangdao, China
  • Zhangzhou, China
  • Zhongshan, China


There are a few sister cities in Japan as well. The oldest is Hiroshima, Japan, created in 1959, and the newest is Chigasaki, Japan, created in 2014. 

Image of a temple gate in Miyajima, Hiroshima, Japan
Check out the Great Floating Gate in Hiroshima, Japan.
  • Chigasaki, Japan
  • Hiroshima, Japan
  • Nagaoka, Japan
  • Naha, Japan
  • Uwajima, Japan

Chigasaki is a fun city to visit, and it is filled with a variety of cultural attractions, including the Chigasaki Museum of Art and the Chigasaki Marine Tower. You will also love visiting Yuigahama Beach, which is very close by. 


You will find two sister cities of Honolulu in Portugal. Funchal, Portugal, became a sister city in 1979, and Sintra, Portugal, in 1998.

Azenhas do Mar white village landmark on the cliff and Atlantic ocean, Sintra, Lisbon,  Portugal, Europe.
Don’t miss the gorgeous Azenhas do Mar in Sintra, Portugal.

In Sintra, you will find beautiful castles, gardens, beaches, and mountains. If you love exploring natural beauty, you will love visiting Sintra, Portugal!

Funchal is also quite beautiful and filled with historical sites that are worth visiting too. 

Noreña, Spain

In 1960, Honolulu and Noreña, Spain, became twin towns. Here you will find some stunning architecture and delicious food.

If you ever want to visit Spain, spend some time in this smaller city to explore all it has to offer! 

Huế, Vietnam

Huế, Vietnam, became another Honolulu sister city in 1995. In this charming city, you will find tombs of ancient emperors to explore, along with the Perfume River, to have a romantic walk around during the evening. This city is full of historical and royal sites to explore. 

South Korea

In South Korea, you will find two sister cities of Honolulu. Seoul, South Korea, was the first established twin town with Honolulu, created in 1973, while Incheon, South Korea, was created in 2003.

Downtown cityscape of Seoul, South Korea
Downtown cityscape of Seoul, South Korea.

With its location, Incheon has become an important center and is an increasingly popular destination for tourists from all over the world. 

From skyscrapers to Buddhist temples, you will find just about everything in Seoul, making it another ideal location for a trip to South Korea. 

Kaohsiung, Taiwan

Honolulu has been proud to have Kaohsiung, Taiwan, as one of its sister cities since 1962. It is one of Taiwan’s oldest cities, so it has plenty of incredible historical sites to visit.

Kaohsiung, Taiwan Lotus Pond's Dragon and Tiger Pagodas at night.
The Lotus Pond’s Dragon and Tiger Pagodas are stunning!

But, it has been developing rapidly recently and now has many tourist attractions, such as Lotus Lake, Love River, and the National Science and Technology Museum. 

Kyzyl, Russia

In 2004, Kyzyl, Russia, became another one of the Honolulu sister cities. Here you will find the Obelisk Center of Asia, the Buddhist Prayer Drum, and many other fascinating sites to explore!

Buddhist prayer wheel on Arat square in Kyzyl - capital of the Tuva Republic, Siberia, Russia.
Buddhist prayer wheel on Arat Square in Kyzyl.

Russia is full of beautiful temples that would look awesome for some family pictures too.

Majuro, Marshall Islands

The City of Honolulu proudly recognizes the Marshall Islands capital of Majuro as its sister city since 2001.

Laura beach. Azure blue turquoise waters of lagoon. Majuro atoll, Marshall islands, Micronesia, Oceania. Woman tourist makes a photo standing on a stump. Bungee, rope swing, branches of a dead tree
Laura Beach in Majuro in the Marshall Islands.

The Marshall Islands is a great place to go snorkeling, especially at the Eneko Island, close by Majuro or the Kalalin Pass. If you love vacationing in Hawaii, you will love visiting the Marshall Islands too! 

Mombasa, Kenya

Mombasa, Kenya, became a Honolulu sister city in 2000 and has become a popular destination for a beach getaway.

Warm Indian Ocean. Fabulous beach in Mombasa with white sand and palm trees. In the ocean - the ebb, the bottom is overgrown with algae. Kenya, equator. Beach holiday and photo tourism concept
Mombasa, Kenya is a popular beach getaway.

After enjoying the beaches, spend some time at Haller Park, a special sanctuary for animals. Kids will love seeing all the different animals out in the wild! 

Mumbai, India

Honolulu and Mumbai, India, became sister cities in 1970. Here you will find a bit of everything, from old-world architecture to modern skyscrapers and traditional buildings.

Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus earlier known as Victoria Terminus in Mumbai, India
Victoria Terminus in Mumbai, India is pretty gorgeous.

You will love to see the Gateway of India, and be sure to stop at Marine Drive to see an incredible sunset.  

Rabat, Morocco

In 2007, Rabat, Morocco, became another sister city of Hawaii. This city is the capital of Morocco and is smaller and quieter than other tourist cities, making it a great place to visit for a nice, peaceful vacation.

In the ruins of mosque in ancient Chellah near Rabat - Morocco
Check out the ruins of mosque in ancient Chellah near Rabat, Morocco

Here you can explore the Hassan Tower or the Mohammed VI Museum of Contemporary Arts. 

San Juan, Puerto Rico

Sitting on the Atlantic Ocean, San Juan, Puerto Rico, became Hawaii’s sister city in 1985.

Image of colorful buildings in San Juan, Puerto Rico
Don’t miss the colorful buildings in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico.

San Juan is known for having incredible beaches, bars, and exciting nightlife, making it a popular destination for couples to have some fun. This city also has a rich culture worth checking out during your trip too. 

Honolulu Sister Cities FAQs

What are sister cities?

A sister city is a legal agreement between two locations to help promote each other economically and to create peace between the two communities. Sister cities and twin towns are used interchangeably.

How are sister cities chosen?

To become sister cities, the highest representing officials of each city meet together and sign an agreement. Many sister cities are chosen because they have similar demographics, size of cities, or business and economic similarities. However, any two cities that want to come together can be in this program.

Does Hawaii have a sister city?

Yes, Hawaii does have sister cities. Currently, there are actually 18 countries that are sister cities to Honolulu, with 36 cities between those countries.

Hawaii Sister Cities Wrap Up

You will love any of the many Honolulu’s sister cities when you go to visit. This incredible program is a great way to experience new cultures and build connections on a global level. Be sure to visit any of these amazing cities during your next vacation!

Looking for more Hawaii posts? Check out the prettiest Hawaiian flowers, historical places in Hawaii, and things to do in Honolulu!

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