People and communities

York's international relations

York has an extensive international history dating back millennia.

Today, the city is home to people from across the world and is globally recognised as a UNESCO City of Media Arts, a Human Rights City and as a home of world leading innovation.

We play an active role in the international relations of the city, supporting partners to enhance their extensive relationships around the world which in turn promotes the city and supports its residents.

For further information about City of York’s international relations activity, please contact: global@york.gov.uk.

York's relationships with its twin cities

'Twinning' links similar communities in different countries to help us share knowledge about our way of life, discuss mutual problems, form cultural and social links, and develop friendships.

Twinning began after World War II as a way of establishing links between communities of former enemy countries.

Since then, villages and towns across Europe have established twinning links with the aim of developing mutual understanding and cross-cultural awareness between people from different countries.

We have strong connections with several cities in particular as part of our sister and twin city agreements.

Twin and sister city relationships link similar communities in different countries to help us share knowledge about our way of life, discuss mutual problems, form cultural and social links, and develop friendships.

York has twin and sister city relationships with:

  • Dijon in the Burgundy region of France, since 1953
  • Münster in the North Rhine-Westphalia region of Germany, since 1957
  • Nanjing in China, since 2016
  • Jorvik, the 10th century Viking settlement and historical predecessor of York, England, 'temporal twinning' since October 2014

The Dijon and Münster relationships are particularly active with several collaborations having taken place in recognition of some of the challenges and opportunities that affect places across the world.

Our connectivity with both Dijon and Münster is becoming more prevalent in advance of the 70th anniversaries, in 2023 and 2027 respectively.

Alongside the direct relationships between us and our counterparts in Dijon and Münster, twinning associations have also been formed to allow those interested in York’s relationships with these 2 places to meet and discuss opportunities for collaboration including communications, exchanges, events and even visits.

Our relationship with Münster

Find out more about the Münster relationship:

Contact the Münster Twinning Association on email: yorkmuensterassociation@gmail.com if you’re interested in joining.

Our relationship with Dijon

Find out more about the Dijon relationship:

Contact Chris Kyriacou from the York Dijon Twinning Group on email: chris.kyriacou@york.ac.uk if you’re interested in joining.

The Alliance Française de York not only teaches French and promotes French culture, but is also active in links with Dijon.

Also see

Corporate Policy and City Partnerships Team

West Offices, Station Rise, York, YO1 6GA