Sitges, a charming and festive seaside resort 30 minutes from Barcelona
Article updated 29 May, 2019.
Sitges is a vibrant, hip seaside resort, a capital of gay culture, a former fishing village, and more... a truly charming place with lots to discover!
If you’re visiting Barcelona for a week or more, and you’d like to discover another side of Catalonia whilst enjoying a change of scenery, Sitges is a great option, with a beautiful coastline, charming little streets and spectacular mediterranean light!
Sitges: miles of beaches
Once a peaceful fishing village, Sitges is now a fashionable seaside resort. Its miles of beaches offer finer sand than you’ll find in Barcelona. In summer, a whole host of beach bars spring up along the promenade. The promenade itself is perfect for cycling, walking or jogging. The other side of the street is lined with pretty restaurants offering fabulous views of the Mediterranean.
Sitges is lively, but quieter than Barcelona, and has less of a “city” feel. There’s no risk of getting bored, though! With architecture to admire, the sea, shops and a vast array of cafés, restaurants and night clubs, you won’t lack things to do.
To start with, there are plenty of activities organised on the beach, where aerobics, aquagym, tai-chi and fitness classes for the elderly are held from June to September. Get fit in the best possible conditions!
In addition to the section opposite the town, the beaches at Sitges go on and on up the coast. There’s something for everyone: big beaches, small beaches, family beaches, inlets, and even nudist beaches…
Sitges: a charming old town
Beaches aren’t the only thing Sitges has to offer! The historic part of the town is a lovely place to explore. The area around the town hall and the church of Sant Bartolomeu are particularly charming, with little streets overlooking the Mediterranean. The whitewashed buildings create a very different feel to the grandiose edifices of Barcelona.
Sitges also has its fair share of handsome neoclassical and art nouveau buildings, bilt between 1859 and 1930. See if you can spot them!
Restaurants, cafés and beach bars in Sitges
There are plenty of places to eat in Sitges, with restaurants, cafés and bars scattered all over the town. The style is generally sophisticated and extremely pleasant.
Whilst Sitges is smaller and less well-known than Barcelona, it’s a hip holiday destination, and is also one of the gay capitals of Europe. You’ll find lots of holiday-makers on the beaches, and the prices are much the same as in Barcelona.
During the sumer, bars spring up on the beach itself, serving drinks and snacks. The Alberto Beach Club is the best-known.
- Looking for a terrace overlooking the sea? The Barba Blanca, on the Passeig Maritim, offers exceptional value for money in stunning surroundings.
- Two of our favourite restaurants are tucked away in the streets of the old town: Casa Hidalgo and El Trull.
In the high season (June to September), the nightlife in Sitges extremely vibrant. The first ever Pacha club started out here, after all! Start off the evening on the Carrer del Pecado or at the Port d’Aiguadolç, then see where the night takes you…
Sitges gay capital
Sitges is also known across Europe as a gay lifestyle hub, so there are a fair few LGBT venues, although the town isn’t exclusively focused on this community, and you’ll find events of all different sorts.
Sitges Gay Pride and carnival
Sitges Gay Pride
Sitges wouldn’t be Sitges without its Gay Pride festival! The town practically disappears beneath a sea of rainbow flags during the parade, and the festival, with its cheeky, cosmopolitan vibe, lasts for four days. The 2019 edition will be held from 1st to 10th June.
The Sitges Carnival, held every February, is a must. The celebration goes on for several days, with many different activities for families, children and party-goers.
Hotels in Sitges, do you want to stay?
El Xalet: a jewel of modernist art
We stayed at this modernist hotel and it was a great experience. This modernist building is very charming and it’s located in a privileged place in the historic centre of Sitges.
The prices of the rooms are very affordable in winter (from 56 euros), but, as you can imagine, they increase a lot in summer.
Located 2km south of central Sitges and only 700m (a 15-minute walk) from one of its many beaches, this campsite is a haven of tranquility in a woodland setting.
Getting to Sitges from Barcelona
The R2 connects Sitges and Barcelona and takes around 30 minutes. Departures are every 30 minutes from the El Clot, Passeig de Gràcia and Sants stations. A return ticket costs under €10.
Prefer to travel by car? Take the coast road from Barcelona to Sitges to enjoy the spectacular views. Allow just over 30 minutes for the journey, and around €7 for tolls if you take the motorway.
Enjoy your trip, and don’t forget the camera! Sitges has extraordinarily photogenic light, even in the winter.
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