'Twin' Cities

The cities of Västerås, Sweden, Alesund, Norway, Lahti, Finland, Akureyri, Iceland, Jelenia Góra, Poland and Randers, Denmark are twin cities.

Town Twinning

Town Twinning has been around since the first contacts were made ​​immediately after the Second World War II.

The core of twinning is to contribute to the promotion of intercultural and cultural understanding and respect across borders. This approach helps to build trust and understanding of each other’s cultures. It is used as a doorway to new knowledge and new partners. It is for the benefit of local citizens and businesses of all communal areas.

Specifically, the twin cities give cooperation in the form of, inter alia, an annual liaison meeting of mayors and municipality directors, and an annual Nordic Friendship Week (Nordisk vänortsvecka för ungdom – NOVU), for young people in the Nordic countries.


NOVU Week is held alternately in each host city. The week provides 100 young people the opportunity to get acquainted with different Nordic cultures, make new friendships across language and culture differences, and improve their skills in specific areas.

This week also involves politicians and officials from each city. Their program reflects current issues in areas such as children's culture, library services, urban development, etc.

Twin Cities

The city names below are links to the cities’ websites, with information on the cities and surrounding areas:

Akureyri, Iceland - 16,800 inhabitants

Ålesund, Norway - 40,800 inhabitants

Lahti, Finland - 98,400 inhabitants

Vasteras, Sweden - 138,000 inhabitants

Jelenia Góra, Poland - 88,000 inhabitants

You can see them on the map as well:


Financial Support

The City Council allocates an annual amount for financial support to exchanges and events where the twin towns are involved.

The criteria for grants are:

  • Grants may be awarded for transportation costs, equivalent to 1 /3 of the cheapest transportation cost.
  • When visiting Randers, in addition to a reception at City Hall, a small grant is provided.
  • Recipients of grants are committed to work for the spread of the twinning.
  • Payment of the allowance is based on submitted accounts.

Applications for grants for twinning activities can be found here

Randers City Council - Adopted by the City Council on 25 June 2007. 

Policy on Town Twinning Cooperation