Welcome to Sitges, one of the most liberal and open-minded cities in the world. Scenic beaches, quaint old town streets, stylish restaurants and bars, all-night-long parties, lively festivals, and even historic monuments and museums… No matter if you’re a party-seeker or just looking for a picturesque getaway – this city will satisfy each traveler’s interests and needs. Stay with us and discover the best things to do in Sitges, Spain.
Interesting fact. Until the late 19th century Sitges was just a sleepy fishing village. Everything changed when famous Catalan artists decided to make it their home. Later wealthy families from Barcelona and some celebrities decided to build their summer residences there. The tourist boom started in the 1960s.
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Sitges, Spain FAQ
Sitges is a small coastal town located in Catalonia in the Province of Barcelona on Costa Dorada in Spain. It lies between the Garraf Massif and the Mediterranean Sea, about 40km from Barcelona, and 60km from Tarragona.
Sitges is best known for its LGBT-friendly atmosphere and being one of the top-rated destinations for gay couples. The town is also commonly known as the Saint-Tropez of Spain thanks to many luxury villas, high property prices similar to those of the most expensive European cities, glitzy nightlife, and beautiful sandy beaches. What’s more, world-renowned events take place in Sitges, such as Horror and Fantasy Film Festival, Carnival, or Pride.
Yes, Sitges is a very pleasant Spanish town that definitely deserves your attention. No matter if you’re looking for parties or a chilled holiday/weekend getaway – among all Sitges attractions you’ll definitely find something perfect for yourself. Sitges is also a great spot for a one-day trip, as well as it might serve as a good starting point for discovering Catalonia.
Oh yes, this is beyond doubt. There are many bars and clubs where parties last until the early morning hours. If you love parties – you’ll love Sitges. However, it is worth noting that nightlife is dominated by a male-gay scene.
Yes, Sitges is famous for being one of the most LGBTQ+-friendly places in the world. There are many gay bars, clubs, and beaches where the community members can feel comfortable and safe.
Sure thing! There are lots of straight people in Sitges. After all, it’s also a very popular holiday spot and one-day trip destination in Catalonia. In Sitges, everyone can enjoy beautiful beaches, delicious food, and a charming old town, no matter their sexual orientation. We are straight and we loved Sitges!
Best Things To Do In Sitges, Spain
Sitges Old Town
Sitges old town is full of picturesque streets and lanes filled with gorgeous buildings, architectural gems, small shops, cafes, restaurants, and bars. It’s not particularly large which makes it perfect to explore on foot and immerse in the town’s chilled vibe. The area is full of tourists and locals for most of the day, so if you want to discover it in peace we recommend early morning hours. But no matter when you do it, visiting the old town is definitely one the best things to do in Sitges.
Be sure not to miss streets like Carrer de les Parellades, Carrer Jesús, Calle de Fonollar, Carrer Primer de Maig (fondly known as a Sin Street) with Plaça de la Indústria, Carrer de Joan Tarrida, Plaça de l’Ajuntament, and Carrer d’en Tacó. In Sitges old town you’ll also find places of interest like Sant Bartomeu i Santa Tecla church, Maricel Museum, Cau Ferrat Museum, Old Market, and remains of Sitges wall.
If you’re an architecture/art enthusiast you can also follow Sitges Modernista Route which will allow you to discover the mark that modernism left on Sitges.
Church of Sant Bartomeu i Santa Tecla
Parish church of Sant Bartomeu and Santa Tecla (es. Iglesia de San Bartolomé y Santa Tecla) without a doubt is one of the most iconic Sitges landmarks, which you’ll see on many city postcards. It’s a Baroque-style church dating back to the 17th century. It sits on a small hill and features a terrace, which thanks to spectacular views is a popular spot for watching sunsets. You can reach the church by a stairway from the seaside, or from Plaça de l’Ajuntament located behind it.
If you wish to visit the Church of Sant Bartomeu i Santa Tecla interior you can try to take a look during masses. To check their current hours please visit bisbatsantfeliu.cat website.
Photo tip. Church is visible from many places in Sitges, but for the best photos head to the rocks on Platja de l’Estanyol.
Beaches in Sitges
Another thing to do in Sitges that simply cannot be missed is to hit one of its amazing beaches. The town boasts 19km of coastline along which you can find 17 beaches, among which many were awarded Blue Flag. Some beaches are right on the town center doorstep and some are located further and are more secluded. Some are busy, while some are quiet and private. All are LGBTQ+ friendly. Oh, and some are even nudist beaches! One thing is certain – beaches in Sitges are for every taste and everyone will find the perfect one for themselves.
Some of the most popular beaches in Sitges include:
- Platja de la Fragata, Platja de la Ribera, Platja de Sitges & Platja de l’Estanyol – long and sandy beaches along Sitges Promenade, featuring spectacular front views over the Church of Sant Bartomeu i Santa Tecla.
- Platja de Sant Sebastia – rather small and sandy beach located behind Sitges old town, lined with restaurants and bars.
- Platja dels Balmins – small nudist/clothing-optional beach close to the Sitges Port with nice views over the old town
If you’re looking for a place perfect for a relaxing walk seasoned with great views, direct your steps to Passeig Maritim, the main Sitges promenade. It stretches for about 3km from the Church of Sant Bartomeu i Santa Tecla up to Platja Terramar. The promenade is lined with trees, cafes, and restaurants, and many benches on which you can sit and watch people going on with their lives. It’s also perfect for cycling, running, or skateboarding.
Along it, at the beginning of Platja de l’Estanyol, you’ll also find a pink Triangle Monument Against Homophobia. It was erected in 2006 to end the tension between the LGBT community and groups of homophobic citizens.
Maricel Palace (es. Palau de Maricel) is one of the most beautiful buildings in Sitges. It was built between 1913 and 1918 by Miquel Utrillo for American art collector Charles Deering as his seaside residence and a place to store his collections. Nowadays it’s an eclectic art museum showcasing vast artworks from the 10th to 20th centuries. But to be honest, Maricel Palace probably is the most popular thanks to the spectacular sea views from its huge arches.
Maricel Palace is open to the public only on Sundays and only via guided tours (in English, Spanish, and Catalan). Tickets cost 5€ (October 2023) and can be bought online. For more information and reservations please visit museusdesitges.cat website.
Cau Ferrat Museum
Cau Ferrat Museum (es. Museu del Cau Ferrat) once was a workshop and storage for an extensive collection of art pieces collected by Santiago Rusiñol, one of the leading figures of the Catalan Modernist movement. Two years after his death, in 1933, it became a public museum in order to preserve the heritage and celebrate Catalan artists.
Inside you’ll find a vast collection of ancient and modern art, like paintings, drawings, sculptures, ceramics, or glasswork. There are also pieces by famous artists like Pablo Picasso, Ramon Casas, Ramon Pichot, Ignacio Zuloaga or Pablo Gargallo. Thanks to all of that, Cau Ferrat Museum is commonly called the ‘Temple of Modernisme’. If you’re an art lover, visiting this museum is definitely a great thing to do in Sitges.
A ticket to Cau Ferrat Museum costs 5€ (October 2023). The museum is closed on Mondays. For current prices and opening hours visit museusdesitges.cat website.
If you want to take a look at Sitges from afar and above be sure to visit the town’s viewpoints. The first one is located above Del Pebre Beach, only about 4km from the old town and offers nice views over Sitges Port and some parts of the old town. The second one, Mirador Llevantina, is located above a residential area and offers amazing views from above over the town and the coast. You choose to walk there from the Sitges center or go up by car. Its biggest disadvantage is the huge amount of garbage that definitely should have been taken care of a bit better.
The nightlife in Sitges is great and caters to almost all tastes. No matter if you prefer wild parties in nightclubs or tranquil evenings in restaurants, tapas bars, or rooftop lounges – in Sitges you’ll find something suitable for yourself. For the most thriving and wild party scene head to the famous Sin Street (Carrer Primer de Maig). This street is home to many LGBTQ+ friendly cocktail bars and nightclubs that stay open until the early morning hours.
Something we really wanted to do in Sitges was to take part in a drag queen show in Queenz Cabaret Restaurant, but unfortunately, all the tickets were already sold and we missed the chance to see it. So if you don’t want to make our mistake, get interested in the topic way earlier than 3 days before the visit.
Festivals in Sitges, Spain
Sitges is also well-known for some world-renowned events like Horror and Fantasy Film Festival, Sitges Carnival, or Sitges Gay Pride. There are also some religious festivals like Feast of Sant Bartomeu or Corpus Festival.
Sitges Film Festival
Sitges Film Festival (es. Sitges Festival Internacional de Cinema Fantàstic de Catalunya) is an annual festival that was established in 1968. It takes place every October and focuses on horror and fantasy films. One of the best and most fun parts of this festival is… zombie walk! Hundreds of people get dressed up like zombies and make their way through town before partying all night long. It’s like a Halloween before party! Doesn’t it sound like a really fun and unusual thing to do in Sitges?
Sitges Carnival is considered one of the best and wildest Carnivals in Europe. It’s also one of the oldest in Catalonia! It takes place every February for 7 days and presents an eccentric showcase of floats, costumes, and all-night parties. It attracts around 250k spectators every year! The festival starts every year on Fat Thursday, with the King of Carnival being welcomed alongside colorful flourishes and live music. For current dates please visit carnivaland.net website.
Sitges Pride is an annual event that takes place in June. It’s a 5-day long celebration of LGBTQ culture that attracts thousands of people from all around the world. Parades, an open-air stage, celebrity guests, international DJs, parties, and plenty more will be waiting for you there.
Corpus Christi Flower Festival
Each year in early June, the main streets of Sitges are covered in colorful flowers, during the celebration of the feast of Corpus Christi. How does it work? First, residents create spectacular flower carpets and a jury awards the best ones. Later, carpets are walked upon by the religious procession led by the town’s giants. Celebration with a style, right?
Feast of Sant Bartomeu
Feast of Sant Bartomeu (or Festa Major de Sitges) is an annual festival held on August 23-24th in honor of Sant Bartomeu, the saint patron of Sitges. It has been declared as a National Tourist Interest festival. Grallero flute players, dancing, parades, town’s giants, processions, human towers, and exquisite firework display… All of that is there.
How to get to Sitges, Spain?
Where to park in Sitges?
If you’re traveling by car you can choose from many paid parking lots in town. We managed to leave our car in a free zone, located only about 5min on foot from the Sitges promenade and Platja de l’Estanyol.
Airports near Sitges
The closest airport to Sitges is located in Barcelona (30km away). Next ones are located in Reus (70km away, but it looks like it’s used mostly by travelers from the UK, Ireland, and Netherlands) and Girona (123km away). All airports offer train or train+bus connections to Sitges. To learn more about connections that might interest you visit rome2rio.com website.
To Sitges by train
From many places like Barcelona, Tarragona, Girona, or Valencia you can easily get to Sitges by train. You can check out a map of available train connections on the acprail.com or rome2rio.com website.
To Sitges by bus
You can also easily reach Sitges by bus. For example, a trip from Barcelona will take about 55min (€4-7), and 1.5h from Tarragona (€5-13). To learn more about bus connections that might interest you visit rome2rio.com website.
To Sitges by taxi
The most expensive option, but also the fastest one if you care about time. For example, a trip from Barcelona will take only about 30min (€65-80). To learn more about taxi connections that interest you visit rome2rio.com website.
Best Things To Do In Sitges, Spain – Summing up
Sitges is such a beautiful town with an amazing vibe, isn’t it? If you’re looking for a place with amazing beaches, charming streets to wander, relaxed atmosphere, wild parties and good food – it will be a great choice for you. The town will also be a great one-day trip destination, for example from nearby Barcelona or Tarragona. Hope you’ll have an amazing time in Sitges!
Our opinion about Sitges
For us, a visit to Sitges was a one-day trip from Salou where we lived for a few weeks. We visited it in early June. In the early morning hours, town streets were very quiet. There were already some people sunbathing on the beach or exercising on the promenade. It all changed around 10/11AM, when everything opened, crowds appeared and the town transformed into a bustling place.
Did we like Sitges? Yes, very much! We liked strolling around its old town streets and promenade, sitting on the beaches, and enjoying the views. We also liked seeing how easy life was there for gay people, and how comfortable they felt. The only thing we regret is not buying tickets to the famous drag queen show earlier! But well… At least we have a reason to come back one day!
Restaurants, accommodations, and map
Check out various recommended places below.
Where to eat in Sitges?
Here are your best, high-rated options in Sitges:
Where to sleep in Sitges?
Hotel Sitges is a wonderful accommodation option situated in the coastal town of Sitges. With its prime location near the beach and town center, this hotel offers guests a comfortable and convenient stay. The property provides cozy rooms, friendly staff, and easy access to the vibrant culture, stunning beaches, and lively nightlife.
Melia Sitges is a luxurious beachfront accommodation nestled in the picturesque town of Sitges. This stylish hotel offers well-appointed rooms, stunning sea views, and a range of amenities, including a pool and fitness center, to ensure guests have a comfortable and relaxing stay. With its prime location, Melia Sitges provides easy access to the town's charming historic district, beautiful beaches, and vibrant cultural scene.
Apartamento Mar offers a wonderful beachside retreat in Sitges. This charming accommodation provides a comfortable and well-equipped space with beautiful sea views, perfect for those seeking a relaxing seaside getaway. Its proximity to the beach, local attractions, and vibrant dining scene makes it an excellent choice for visitors.
Calipolis is a stylish and contemporary hotel in Sitges. With its beachfront location, it offers stunning sea views and provides easy access to the vibrant atmosphere of this Mediterranean destination. Guests can enjoy comfortable rooms, excellent amenities, and a prime location that allows for both relaxation and exploration in one of Spain's most charming seaside towns.
Accommodations photos source: booking.com