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Twin Cities

Twin Cities


Dordrecht, the Netherlands

Dordrecht is a city and municipality in the Netherlands, located in the province of South Holland. The municipality covers the entire Dordrecht Island, also called Het Eiland van Dordt ("the Island of Dordt"). Dordrecht is the oldest city in Holland and has a rich history and culture. Its population is about 120 000 people.

The Twinning Agreement between the city of Varna, Republic of Bulgaria and the city of Dordrecht, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, was signed in 2001. It comprises the following areas of cooperation: good governance best practices exchange, economy, maritime sector, industry, transport, education, science and technology, healthcare and social sphere, environment and sustainable development, tourism and culture.

Official website: www.dordrecht.nl



Department Nord, France

Nord is a department in the far north of France, part of the current Hauts-de-France region.

It borders the departments of Aisne, Somme and Pas-de-Calais to the southwest, Belgium to the northeast and the North Sea to the northwest.

Nord is the northernmost department of France, and its name means “north”, with the largest population in the country after Paris - 2 600 000 inhabitants. The administrative centre is Lille.

Varna Municipality, the Republic of Bulgaria and Department Nord, the French Republic signed a Cooperation Protocol in 2010 with the following spheres of cooperation: urban development, tourism, social activities, administrative capacity development, youth policies and culture.

Official website: https://lenord.fr   



Marseille, France

Marseille, the second-largest city, is located in the southeast of France. It is the prefecture of the department of Bouches-du-Rhône and region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur. Its port is the largest in France and on the Mediterranean coast, and ranks 4th in in the EU. Marseille has a population of 870 000 inhabitants, with the urban agglomeration reaching over 1,7 million people.

The City of Varna, the Republic of Bulgaria and the city of Marseille, the French Republic, signed a Cooperation Agreement in 2007 in the spheres of sports, youth activities, port activities, coastal zone development, tourism, education and culture.

Official website: http://www.marseille.fr



Rostock, Germany

Rostock was founded in 1218 and until the 17th century is part of the historic trade association Hansa. It is located between Hamburg, Copenhagen, Öresund, Szczecin and Berlin, today the Hanseatic city of Rostock is the largest commercial and logistic center in northeastern Germany. Rostock is a city of science with the oldest university in the Baltic region, founded in 1419. Here are a number of colleges and scientific institutions such as the Academy of Music and Theater, the Faculty of Engineering and Navigation at the University of Wismar and the Leibniz Institute for research on the Baltic Sea. Many young people from all over the world live, study and work in Rostock. There are lots of exhibitions, fairs and sports events. The last 20 years have been the most dynamic in the history of the city. Thousands of houses have been built or reconstructed. The historic city center and the market square are among the most beautiful in the northern Germany.

The partnership between Varna and Rostock, Germany, dates back to 1966. In 2007 the cooperation agreement was renewed and it focuses on the exchange of good practices in the areas of economy, transport, tourism, science, education, the environment, municipal, social and public policy, culture, sports and youth activities.


Official website: http://www.rostock.de


District of Eimsbüttel, Hamburg, Germany

Eimsbüttel is one of the seven regions of the city of Hamburg, with a population of 260 000 people. It is famous for its parks - Eimsbüttel Park and Unna Park, cultural and educational institutions. The University of Hamburg, founded in 1919, the most popular scientific and educational center in northern Germany, is located in the Eimsbüttel region.

The Memorandum of Partnership between the City of Varna, the Republic of Bulgaria and Eimsbüttel Region, Hamburg was signed in 2003 and includes the following areas of cooperation: economics, tourism, urban development, culture, art, education, youth activities and sport.


Official website: https://www.hamburg.com/residents/neighbourhoods/11750322/eimsbuettel/


Turku, Finland

Turku is a city on the southwest coast of Finland, part of the famous archipelago comprising over 20 000 islands. The largest ones nearby are Hirvensalo, Ruissalo, Satava and Kakskerta. The Aura River flows through the city centre.

Turku is a charming combination, a bridge between history and modern times. The city provides its citizens contemporary living environment, but also valuable historic treasures which attract tourists from all over the world.

Turku has qualified workforce, modern municipal administration, flexible services for citizens and business. The city has well established international relationships.

Turku is a busy academic centre with 3 higher education institutions. The local port is of national importance and it handles a big amount of the country’s export.

As the most popular cultural city of Finland ( European Capital of Culture 2011), Turku offers a wide range of cultural events throughout the year. The city hosts the oldest rock festival in Europe, summer music festivals, medieval market and other cultural events.

The cooperation between Varna and Turku dates back to the 1960s. During this long period of time both cities had good collaboration and exchanged experience in various fields such as urban development, culture, education, youth activities and sport.


Official website: http://www.turku.fi

Tourist website:  http://www.visitturku.fi



Aalborg, Denmark

Aalborg is a city in North Denmark, located on the southern bank of Limfjorden Strait. With a population of about 216 000 people, Aalborg municipality ranks third after Copenhagen and Aarhus.

It emerged as a port and trade centre as early as 700 AD. The first commercial privileges date back to 1342. Aalborg is an industrial and commercial centre with heavy industry, shipbuilding, chemical, cement, textile, fish and brewing industry. There is an international airport, a harbour and a railway station. The major university is the University of Aalborg.

Aldor Fobold's Football Club is among the most popular Danish football teams.

The cooperation between Varna and Alborg is mainly in the sphere of youth activities, sports, education and culture.


Official website: www.aalborgkommune.dk


Genoa, Italy

The city of Genoa is the administrative centre of the Ligurian region in northwest Italy, with a population of over 580 000 people, and the Genoa agglomeration - with over 1500 000 inhabitants. Historically, Genoa is one of the most important ports in the Mediterranean and today it is the busiest port of Italy and the Mediterranean Sea. The historic centre connects the Old Port with Palazzi dei Rolli, which belonged to the ruling families of the city and since 2006 were declared UNESCO World heritage sites.

In 2006, an Agreement for Friendship and Cooperation between Varna and Genoa was signed in the areas of tourism, economy, social life and culture.


Official website: https://smart.comune.genova.it/


Malmö, Sweden

Malmö is the third largest city in Sweden and the administrative centre of Skåne County. More than 330 000 inhabitants live in the city, 45% of whom are immigrants and children of immigrants. Malmo is one of the oldest cities in Sweden - founded in 1250 and has the status of a historic city. It is a trade and university centrer for the western part of the Skåne region and attracts many biotech and IT companies.

The city is located on the north coast of Öresund Strait in southern Sweden and the bridge over the Strait linking Malmö with the Danish capital Copenhagen is the longest bridge over Europe's water surface.

A Cooperation Agreement was signed between Varna and Malmö in 1987 in the fields of youth activities, education, sports, urban development, culture and tourism.


Official website: https://malmo.se/


Ningbo, China

Ningbo is a city in Zhejiang province, China. It is located on the East China Sea coast and is an important port of the country. It is the largest shipping centre for large vessels in China and a key ocean port worldwide. Its population in the urban area is over 3 000 000 inhabitants, and more than 7 600 000 people live in the sun-provincial city area. Since 2008 Ningbo and Shanghai are linked by the 36-kilometer bridge over Hangzhou Bay - the world's longest bridge over the sea.

Ningbo is one of China's oldest cities, with a history and civilization dating to the Hemudu culture in 4800 BC. Ningbo was known as a trade city on the silk road at least two thousand years ago. The oldest private Chinese library is in Ningbo.

Ningbo is associated with the Butterfly Lovers Legend, the dragon from the city of Fenghuah  and the opera, which are in the catalogue of the intangible cultural heritage of China.

Ningbo hosts meetings of the 16 + 1 initiative for cooperation between China and the countries of Central and Eastern Europe annually.

The Sister City Agreement between Varna, Republic of Bulgaria, and Ningbo, PRC was signed in 2004 in the spheres of economy, trade, port activities, education, culture and tourism.


Official website: http://www.ningbo.gov.cn/


Surabaya, Indonesia

Surabaya is the oldest and the largest city in Indonesia, founded in 1293, with a population of more than 3 000 000 inhabitants, the administrative centre of the province of East Java. Located in the northeastern part of the island of Java, the city is a major economic centre and port.

The Memorandum of Understanding between the City Government of Surabaya, East Java Province of the Republic of Indonesia and Varna Municipality, the Republic of Bulgaria, was signed in 2010, covering the fields of economy, industry, trade, education, science and technology, transport, health, culture, art and tourism.


Official website: http://www.surabaya.go.id/


Cape Town, Republic of South Africa

Cape Town is the oldest city in South Africa and is the legislative capital of the country.

The city has about 500 000 inhabitants and the urban agglomeration has over 3 600 000 inhabitants.

Cape Town is the southernmost city in Africa, founded in 1652 and today is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. It was World Design Capital 2014.

In 2012, the Municipality of Cape Town and the Municipality of Varna signed a Protocol of cooperation in the sphere of economy, industry, commerce, information technologies, transport, health, culture, art and tourism.


Official website:  http://www.capetown.gov.za/


Da Nang, Vietnam

Da Nang City is located in Central Vietnam on the shores of the South China Sea and is the most important port of Vietnam. It is the fourth largest city in Vietnam with a population of more than 1 000 000 inhabitants and is an educational and commercial centre of Central Vietnam. Close to the city are three UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

The Memorandum of Understanding on the Establishment of Friendship and Cooperation between the People’s Committee of Da Nang,  Socialist Republic of Vietnam and Varna Municipality, Republic of Bulgaria, was signed in 2014 and covers the areas of commerce, tourism, culture, education, port and cruise terminals development  and high tech industries.

Official website:  https://danang.gov.vn/


Novosibirsk, The Russian Federation

Novosibirsk is located in the southeastern part of the West Siberian Plain, on the banks of the River Ob. It is the third largest city in Russia with over 1 500 000 inhabitants and the largest business, financial, scientific, industrial and cultural centre of the Asian part of Russia. Novosibirsk is an important transport hub of Siberia - connecting the Far East, Middle Asia and Siberia to the European regions of the Russian Federation.

Twinning Agreement between Novosibirsk, Russian Federation and Varna, Republic of Bulgaria in the fields of urban development, tourism, education and culture was signed in 2008.


Official website:https://novo-sibirsk.ru/


Novorossiysk, The Russian Federation

The town of Novorossiysk is located in the southwestern part of Krasnodar region, with a population of about 307 000 people coming from 108 nationalities.

The city is an important transport centre in the Russian Federation. It is the national largest port on the Black Sea, located deep into the Tsemess Bay, with passenger, freight and tank terminals. Novorossiysk is the centre of the cement industry in Southern Russia, with 5 cement plants.

Novorossiysk is also a seaside resort, visited by over one million tourists per year.

Twinning Agreement between Novorossiysk (Russia) and Varna (Bulgaria) was signed in 1997.


Official website: http://www.admnvrsk.ru


SAD of Moscow, The Russian Federation

Southern Administrative District of Moscow is one of the 12 districts of Moscow with a population of about 1 800 000 people.

Protocol for Partnership and Cooperation in the economic, scientific, technical, cultural and humanitarian areas was signed between the South Administrative District of Moscow and the City of Varna  in 2001.


Official website:  www.uao.mos.ru

Kharkiv, Ukraine


Kharkiv is the second largest city in Ukraine, the administrative centre of the Kharkov region, with a population of about 2 000 000 people. It is located in the northeastern part of the country and is one of the main industrial, cultural, educational and scientific centres in Ukraine.


Partnership and Cooperation Agreement between Varna and Kharkiv in the field of urban development and planning, infrastructure, transport, urbanization, culture and crisis situations was signed in 1995.


Official website: http://gromada.kh.ua/


Odessa, Ukraine

The city of Odessa is located in Southwestern Ukraine. It is a major port and cultural centre with a population of about 1 000 000 people.

Cooperation Agreement between the Municipality of Varna and Odessa Municipality in the field of culture, tourism, education and youth activities was signed in 1992.


Official website: http://omr.gov.ua/en/


Kiev, Ukraine

Kiev is the capital and largest city of Ukraine. It is situated on the River Desna in the Dnieper region and is one of the main ports in the country. The population of the city is about 3 000 000.

In 2003 a Protocol for Cooperation between the Municipality of Varna, the Republic of Bulgaria and the Pecherskyi District State Administration of Kyiv, Ukraine, for the period 2003 - 2005 was signed.


Official website: http://www.city.kharkov.ua/ru/


Kobuleti, Georgia

A town in Ajaria, Georgia, located on the eastern shore of the Black Sea, 21 km north of Batumi, with a population of about 75 000 people.

In 2015 a protocol for cooperation between the Municipality of Varna and the Municipality of Kobuleti in the fields of economy, transport and tourism, urban development and infrastructure, culture, youth activities and sports, health and social activities was signed.


Official website: https://www.facebook.com/Kobuleti-Municipality-Governance-626881750667468/

Suleymania, Iraq

Suleymania is one of the largest cities in Iraqi Kurdistan with a population of about 900 000 people.

A Memorandum of Cooperation between the Municipality of Varna and the Province of Suleymania in the field of construction and public works, economy and tourism, education, science and technology, culture, trade relations, health and social activities, the exchange of engineers, architects and other specialties was signed in 2014.


Official website: http://www.sharawani.com

International Networks

Varna is a member of the following international networks of cities:





Strasbourg Club  



LUCI - Lighting Urban Community International



ECAD - European Cities Against Drugs



EFA - European Festival Association



RHN - Regions for Health Network / World Health Organization