Sitges Guide: Location, accommodation, beaches and events
Sitges near Barcelona
Sitges is one of the most interesting places to visit around Barcelona, if you are looking to get away from Barcelona for a short day trip. Sitges is located on the Garraf coast, 35 km south from Barcelona and only 30 minutes away by train. Sitges used to be a quiet fishing village, but now it is a very popular tourist destination, especially during summer. In Sitges you can find jet setters, families and it is very popular with gay people, catering for the gay crowds with specialist shops, hotels, restaurants and nightclubs.
Sitges – tourist attractions
The village of Sitges near Barcelona, in Spain, itself is very quaint, with narrow cobbled streets and historical buildings in medieval and modernist styles. The main landmark is the Iglesia de St. Bartolomeu i Santa Tecla, on top of a small hill on the coast, which divides the main beach in the south, from the smaller and quieter St. Sebastià beach in the north. Sitges has three main museums:
- Museu Cau Ferrat, which used to be the studio of Santiago Rusiñol, who attracted the art world to Sitges in the 19th century. The Museu hosts paintings by Picasso, Rusiñol himself and other artists.
- Museu Maricel del Mar, exhibiting handicrafts from the Middle Ages to the 20th century. The Museu is part of Palau Maricel, a palace built on the leftovers of a Gothic hospital thus combining Gothic elements with modernist elements (it was designed in 1912 by Miquel Utrillo for Charles Deering, a millionaire art collector).
- Museu Romantic, recreates with its furnishing the lifestyle of a well off Catalan family from the 19th century.
Sitges boasts 17 sandy beaches, including two naturist beaches, one of them for gay only.
Sitges hosts many event throughout the year, the most famous are:
- Barcelona-Sitges Vintage Car Rally on the first Sunday of March
- Sitges Music Festival, in July-August
- Festa Major, in honour of Sitges’ saint patron St Bartolomeu from the 21st to the 27th of August, with fireworks on the 23rd.
- Sitges International Festival of Catalonia at the beginning of October
- Sitges Carnival – in late February, beginning of March, it lasts one week during which many people go around the village in fancy dress and there are several floats and parades, from children parades in the afternoon, to extravagant gay parades at night.
Sitges nightlife, especially in summer, hosts a big night crowd and has a lot of clubs open all night. The main area for nightclubs revolves around the streets of Carrer M. Montroig, Carrer 1er de Maig and PlaVa de la Industria. Sitges nightlife can be excellent and especially if you are gay.
Sitges food and places to stay
Sitges has a lot of restaurants available in the centre and the quality of food is generally good. Also, there are a lot of hotels, hostales (cheaper hotels) and one camping.
Getting to Sitges from Barcelona
There are several trains every day, connecting Barcelona with Sitges and the trip only takes about 30 minutes. You need to take the Renfe in Barcelona Sants Estació (check www.renfe.es/cercanias/ for information on timetables).