An Ultimate Guide Of The Best Things To Do In Sitges, Spain

July 27, 2020

by David Jefferson

White and brown buildings line either side of a stone street in Sitges, Spain
©Photo by Lautaro Chamo from Unsplash

Hopping from one locale to another is one of the top things to do in Spain. From strolling around the colorful streets of Barcelona to immersing yourself in artistic and cultural experiences in Seville, there is no denying the charm of this European country. But, do not leave out the beautiful town of Sitges — a popular vacation destination for Spanish citizens and foreigners alike. This is your complete guide to the best things to do in Sitges, Spain.

 

1.

Drink Wine And Explore Gaudí’s Bodegas Güell

A shot of Gaudi's Bodegas Guell in Sitges, Spain

Photo by gandalf3007 from Flickr

 

Bodegas Güell is an architectural complex that also houses a winery and a restaurant. It was built in the late 1890s from a design by famous Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí. Now, it stands as an attraction for tourists to explore and sample wine.

 

The exterior of Bodegas Güell is something to behold, with its unique design and almost whimsical feel. As you step inside, you will feel a sense of grandeur overcome you. There is a domed chapel on the top floor of the main building and an apartment on the first. If you are a fan of Gaudí, Bodegas Güell is definitely worth a visit. It is not as packed with tourists as other Gaudí sites, but it remains a work of art that deserves its place in history.

 

If architecture and interior design do not impress you, allow yourself to enjoy the many wines available. Each one offers a distinct taste, and you may even find yourself taking a few bottles home with you. 

 

2.

Explore Garraf Natural Park

Photo of a corgie hiking at Garraf Natural Park

Photo by Lottie from Flickr

 

Garraf Natural Park, known locally as Parque del Garraf, is a nature lover’s haven. Spanning 31.5 acres of land, you’ll find this park on the mountain range called Garraf Massif, which surrounds Sitges, Spain. Garraf Natural Park is dotted with limestone hills, lush foliage, and a smattering of caves.

 

People come here from all over to inhale the fresh air produced by the Aleppo pine trees. You can also forage for wild figs, herbs, and olives as you make your way through low shrubs. The most famous of vegetation in Garraf, however, is the margalló. This Mediterranean fan palm is a distinct fixture here, and it is also a protected species. 

 

If you are in the mood for some exercise, Parque del Garraf is the right place. You can go for a leisurely walk or challenge yourself with a hike. Alternatively, you can rent out a bike and cycle your way through the area. Garraf is the perfect location if you want to get some fresh air, work up a sweat, or just enjoy a tranquil atmosphere. The city life is great, but everyone needs a dose of nature every now and then.

 

3.

Gaze At Iglesia De San Bartolomé Y Santa Tecla

Iglesia de San Bartolome y Santa Tecla stands elevated on a rocky structure as people below walk by in Sitges, Spain

Photo by Kevin Krejci from Flickr

 

For a historical and architectural feat, visit Iglesia de San Bartolomé y Santa Tecla. This parish church dates all the way back to the 17th century and remains an icon of the town today. The traditional baroque structure, with its asymmetrical silhouette, stands elevated in the Plaza Baluard right next to the sea. It is not as big as other churches in Spain, but it is worth your time nonetheless.

 

If you are not the spiritual type, there is still plenty to do here. Outside, you have a perfect view of the coastline. Walk along the shore or sit back and watch the waves crash into the breakwater below. Nearby, you will find a picturesque view of the town. Turn your gaze to the Paseo de la Ribera before climbing the stairs that connect La Punta to the Plaza de la Fragata.

 

This coastal spot is ideal for all types of travelers. Parents can make memories with their children, while couples can enjoy the romantic aura of the beachside. The flawless blending of visuals — of nature and man-made structures — make for a great backdrop for any Instagram fiend.

 

4.

Get Lost In Old Town

A bird perches on a light post surrounded by charming houses in Old Town, Sitges, Spain

Photo by Blanche Peulot from Unsplash

 

The European continent is filled with old towns whose architecture, arts, and culture are rooted in the past. Sitges, Spain is no different. The Old Town center in Sitges may not be as large as others on the map, but it is equally charming nonetheless.

 

Iglesia de San Bartolomé y Santa Tecla is just one of the fixtures you will find in Old Town Sitges. Wander around the stone streets of this historic town, with alleyways branching off every few steps. Each corner you turn brings a whole new wonder to explore. The houses here are striking, particularly in the old fishermen’s neighborhood. Here, white houses with blue borders greet tourists from far and wide.

 

Different types of art can also be found in the Old Town — from Iberian archaeological remains to Roman and medieval art. There is even a place for modernist art! Visit the medieval castle and its towering old wall that stretches all over the town. An afternoon spent on foot in this historic district will go by quickly, as your camera roll fills up with pictures that come alive at the sight.

 

5.

Go Bar-Hopping

El Gin Tub club's interior design of the bar area with dark dimmed lights

Photo from official El Gin Tub Facebook Page

 

No trip to Sitges, Spain would be complete without going out for a night on the town. Sitges is no stranger to the party scene, with bars and clubs standing at the ready. Watch as the town streets transform after dark. Sitges looks totally different at night than you may think you are not in the same place anymore.

 

There is a plethora of cocktail bars and clubs to visit, so spend a night or two crawling from one place to another. If you are a wild party animal, Carrer del Pecat or “Street of Sin” should be on your list. Alternatively, you can head to Carrer Santa Bonaventura for a tamer experience. 

 

Start your night of decadence at El Gin Tub, an underground cocktail bar that is one of Sitges’ hidden gems. Then, make your way to El Piano bar for fun cabaret nights and flamboyant drag acts. Queenz is a popular party destination among the LGBTQ+ crowd.

 

If that does not satisfy your nightlife needs, dance the night away at Beso Bar, which literally means “kiss bar,” and for a good reason. Wind down at La Sitgetana and indulge yourself in a glass after glass of local craft beer. To cap the night off, there is no better place than the Sky Bar at the MiM Hotel where a breathtaking view of the town awaits.

 

6.

Head To The Beach

People relax and play at a beach in Sitges, Spain

Photo by Humberto Moreno from Flickr

 

Sitges, Spain is a great destination for beach bums. With 17 different beach locations, it is no surprise that beach lovers would flock to this Spanish coastal town. Each of these beaches boasts its own unique charm and character, so you definitely will not be disappointed. Here are some of the most noteworthy Sitges beaches:

 

Platja de Sant Sebastià

Also known as Sant Sebastià beach, you will find Platja Sant Sebastià on the east side of Iglesia de San Bartolomé y Santa Tecla. The beach itself is not as big as other beaches in Spain, but it remains one of the most frequented due to its proximity to the town. It is important to note that this beach can get very crowded during summer months, with locals and tourists alike seeking relaxation by the shore.

 

Platja de les Anquines

Another beach that is not as big as others is Platja de les Anquines. Sitting in a secluded cove far from the hustle and bustle of town, this Spanish beach is the perfect place for tranquil afternoons. The crystal waters here are calm, ideal for swimming, and kayaking. Typical facilities like a lifeguard, beach bar, ramp access, deck chairs, and umbrellas can also be found here.

 

Platja de la Ribera

This is one of the more spacious beaches on this list. Due to its popularity and close proximity to the town, Platja de la Ribera draws people in droves, especially during the summer season. If you want to learn how to sail, this beach has a sailing school nearby. Sign up for a class and get a chance to spot the famous Spanish dancer fish out at sea!

 

Platja de Terramar

If you want to get away from crowded spaces, Platja de Terramar is the beach for you. This beach is larger than others and boasts soft sand you will want to bury your toes in. Because it is situated a bit further from the town center, Platja de Terramar is quieter and more peaceful than other beaches.

 

Platja dels Balmins

Just a 15-minute walk from the towering church lies Platja dels Balmins, a beach that is further divided into three coves. This beach is one of the most visited and even has a small restaurant where people can enjoy a meal by the shore. Platja dels Balmins is comparable to some Barcelona nudist beaches, as you will usually find naturists baring it all here. Nudity is not mandatory, though, so you can wear your swimsuit without drawing unwanted attention.

 

Cala Morisca

Cala Morisca, situated in a cove, is also a predominantly nudist beach. Its location is not the most accessible, as you cannot walk here from the town center. The only way to reach Cala Morisca is by car. But, if you are willing to make the drive, you will find this Sitges beach a truly charming one.

 

7.

Party At The Sitges Carnival

A man dressed in a vibrant costume spreads his arms as women in feathery costumes walk behind him during the Sitges Carnival in Sitges, Spain

Photo by Ybridex AngeloDemon from Flickr

 

The Sitges Carnival, locally known as Carnaval, is an annual event that is basically an all-out, booze-fueled party. It marks the end of Lent, usually taking place in February or March, and is a huge week-long, town-wide celebration. There are bright lights, vibrant floats, bold costumes, and wild parties. You can attend a number of events scattered throughout the town and unleash your inner party animal as you hop from one bash to another.

 

If you are looking for a truly unforgettable experience in Sitges, Spain, time your visit to coincide with the Carnaval. It is the perfect vacation for a group of friends who want to guzzle down booze and dance like there is no end in sight.

 

8.

Sip On Cocktails At Casa Bacardí

The exterior of Casa Bacardi Stiges at daytime

Photo from official Casa Bacardi Sitges’ website

 

While Bacardí Rum is typically associated with Cuba, the history behind the brand goes much deeper and farther than that. In fact, Bacardí founder Facundo Bacardí Massó was born in Sitges in 1814. Now, Casa Bacardi stands in Sitges as a testament to the founder’s legacy. A visit to Casa Bacardí will allow you to learn about the brand’s heritage and how this famous rum is made. Aside from the opportunity to learn, you will also be treated to some tasty cocktails at the bar.

 

9.

Spend An Afternoon At Passeig Maritim

People walking at Passeig Marítim de la Barceloneta La Barceloneta during the day

Photo by Fred Romero on Flickr

 

The Passeig Maritim is a wide boulevard encompassing the waterfront where locals and tourists can take a leisurely stroll while enjoying the vistas Sitges has to offer. Just like other famous boulevards, Passeig Maritim boasts a number of restaurants, cafés, and other food stalls. If you ever find yourself hungry or parched, sustenance is just a stone’s throw away from the boardwalk.

 

This walkway also offers plenty of places to sit where shade is bountiful. It can get rather hot when the sun is at its peak, particularly during the summer, so you can cool down under the safety of awnings. You can also sip on some ice-cold refreshments sold nearby. If you are not in the mood for food or drinks, you can always just sit back, relax, and watch as people pass by. The Passeig Maritim welcomes people from all walks of life, so it will surely make for one memorable afternoon.

 

10.

Stop By Sakya Tashi Ling

A portion of Sakya Tashi Ling is seen towering in the sky in Sitges, Spain

Photo by Toni Villaró from Flickr

 

One of the more unconventional stops in Sitges, Spain is Sakya Tashi Ling. This Buddhist monastery is located in Garraf Natural Park, with Lama Jamyang Tashi Dorje heading the religious community. It belongs to one of four Buddhist schools originating from Tibet and is run in the authentic Sakyapa tradition.

 

Tourists are often surprised by the existence of Sakya Tashi Ling, as a trip to Sitges, Spain usually entails a lot of partying. If you want to get away from the busy streets of the town and simply want an afternoon of relaxation, this monastery should definitely be on your itinerary. It offers you a chance to look inward and reflect upon life, all while enjoying the scenic views and unique architecture of Sakya Tashi Ling.

 

11.

Try Local Cuisine

Platters of Spanish pintxos are displayed on a buffet table

Photo by Rasmus Lerdorf from Flickr

 

Foodies from around the world will enjoy the local cuisine found in Sitges, Spain. The country is known for tapas, and there are plenty of tapas bars in this coastal town. The Catalonian version is called pintxos, so do not be surprised when locals refer to it as that.  The only difference is that this version finds tapas on top of bread, with a stick running through it to hold it all together.

 

If you are looking for a budget-friendly tapas bar, El Cable is the answer to your prayers. This tapas bar features a cozy interior and has options for kids. La Picara is equally popular, with its delicious patatas bravas and crispy garlic prawns. Finally, no trip to Sitges would be complete without sampling the menu at Nem Sitges. Make sure to order their steak tartare and salmon ceviche.

 

With Sitges so close to the ocean, seafood is naturally a big part of their cuisine. The seafood here cannot get any fresher. You would be remiss not to try some of the best seafood restaurants found on the waterfront in Old Town. A couple of noteworthy places are La Nansa and El Trull. Their seafood dishes are world-class, so do not miss out on your chance.

 

12.

Visit The Museu Cau Ferrat

The white stone building of Museu Cau Ferrat in Sitges, Spain

Photo by Margavela from Flickr

 

If you ask anyone in Sitges for a must-visit museum, chances are, they will all tell you about Museu Cau Ferrat. Catalan artist Santiago Rusiñol, a prominent figure of the Catalan Modernist movement, once called this seaside mansion home.

 

Today, it stands as a celebration of his legacy, housing works of art such as paintings, ceramics, and drawings. The museum contains works by Rusiñol himself, as well as artists like Picasso and other Spanish creators. Additionally, it displays a wide collection of ancient and modern antiques. Locals and tourists alike can admire these works in Sitges, in accordance with Rusiñol’s request to turn the building into a public museum.

 

If you are not a fan of art or antiquities, Museu Cau Ferrat is still a sight to behold, architecturally speaking. The building’s classic white exterior beautifully contrasts its bolder blue interior. If nothing else, this museum is a great place to escape the afternoon heat on a hot summer’s day.

 

13.

Visit The Museu Romantic

An old carriage, bike, and stroller are displayed in front of a staircase at Museu Romantic in Sitges, Spain

Photo by Ajuntament de Vilanova i la Geltrú from Flickr

 

Museu Romantic is an equally alluring museum, second only to Museu Cau Ferrat. Housed in an 18th-century building, Museu Romantic stands out for its wide collection of a peculiar item — dolls. It is a perfect place for families, as children get to spend their time admiring the selection of toys displayed in this museum.

 

Moreover, Museu Romantic consists of a game room and a ballroom that guests can visit. The museum also houses a cellar and a library. Beyond that, there is a beautiful garden outside that is ideal for couples or for just taking pictures by yourself. 

 

14.

Watch A Movie At The Sitges International Film Festival

People waiting in line to get in to the theater for the Sitges Film Festival

Photo from official Sitges Film Festival Facebook Page

 

If you thought Sitges had no glamour to offer, you would be wrong. This Spanish town hosts a famous International Film Festival every year. If you time your visit properly, you can catch upcoming films that have yet to hit public screens. You may even catch a glimpse of Hollywood celebrities like Quentin Tarantino and Sir Anthony Hopkins.

 

Perhaps the most anticipated event, though, is the annual Zombie Walk. This event sees hordes of people dressed as zombies making their way through the town in a parade of the living dead. It all culminates with a live music ball at the city center.

 

The Sitges Film Festival takes place every October, with the actual dates changing from year to year. Make sure to book your tickets way ahead of time, though, as they sell out in a blink of an eye. You may get lucky and score tickets at the door, but it is better not to risk it if you really want a seat.

 

Where Is Sitges In Spain?

Sitges is a town in Catalonia, Spain, located between the Garraf Massif and the sea. The coastal town is famous for its historical sites, nightlife, and beaches. Every year, millions of tourists flock to this Spanish destination for a vacation. Today, the town is home to a diverse population, with immigrants from other parts of Europe (such as the UK, France, and the Netherlands) settling in and calling Sitges home.

 

How Far Is Sitges From Barcelona, Spain?

Sitges is located 35 km southwest of Barcelona. Tourists often visit many cities and towns in Spain, so if your itinerary includes the capital of Catalonia, getting there from Sitges is relatively simple. There are a few options you can take.

 

By Train

Arguably the most popular mode of transportation between the two Catalan destinations is by train. You can catch a train from Barcelona to Sitges (and vice versa). The three main stations in Barcelona that offer passage to Sitges are Estació de França, Passeig de Gràcia, and Estació Sants. Board the train headed to either Vilanova i la Geltru or St. Vincenç de Calders and get off at Sitges.

 

A single ticket journey costs €4.10, while a return ticket journey costs €7.20.

 

By Bus

Alternatively, you can ride a bus to get from Barcelona to Sitges. During the day, you can take a bus called MonBus from Plaça España or Ronda Universitat. The ride from these stations to Sitges takes about 45 to 55 minutes, though weekends can significantly prolong the journey due to the volume of people. 

 

For night buses, do not look for MonBus. Instead, look for buses N30, N31, or N32. These buses run from Plaça de Catalunya all the way to Sitges. The travel time is about 35 minutes.

 

A single ticket journey costs €4.50.

 

By Taxi

Perhaps the least popular mode of transportation between Barcelona and Sitges is by taxi. The ride between the two destinations will take about 40 minutes, roughly the same amount of time it takes via bus or train. However, traveling by taxi is significantly more expensive.

 

The fare will cost you about €75.00 to €85.00.

 

What is the Weather Like in Sitges, Spain?

The Sitges weather is nice throughout the year, save for a few weeks during the winter when it is really cold. Rain and snow are also infrequent. If you want to visit Sitges when it is warm, aim for August or July. The best time to visit Sitges, however, is from April to June or September to November. During these months, the temperature in Sitges is just right.

 

Where Do I Stay In Sitges, Spain?

Champagne and glasses sit on a table in a hotel room with a hot tub and lounge chair on the terrace in Dolce by Wyndham Sitges, Sitges, Spain

Official photo from Dolce by Wyndham Sitges

 

Although Sitges is quite small, it offers no shortage of accommodations. There is an abundance of hotels tourists can book when in Sitges. From cheap 1-star hotels or hostels to luxurious 4-star abodes, this town has it all. Do not be turned off by their economic options, though. Even some of the cheapest Sitges hotels have plenty to offer.

 

If you are on a budget, Hotel El Cid boasts a great location, polite staff, and spacious rooms. For apartment-style housing for less, Apartamentos Sunway Apollo is just a short walk to the beach and town center. Hotel Noucentista, on the other hand, gives off an old townhouse vibe but with high ceilings and an exquisite roof terrace.

 

On the far end of the spectrum, luxury resorts and hotels are also available. One of the most popular 4-star hotels in town is Melia Sitges, which boasts a convenient location between the beach and town center. Other equally deluxe hotels include Alenti Sitges, ME Sitges Terramar, and Kalma Sitges Hotel. But, the epitome of luxury exists at the only 5-star hotel in the entire town: Dolce by Wyndham Sitges.

 

If you are looking for an LGBT-friendly Sitges hotel, do not fret. All of the hotels in this town are gay-friendly, so you can take your pick from the whole lot.

 

How Safe Is Sitges, Spain?

You may be wondering whether it is safe to travel to Sitges, Spain. In a word, yes. Sitges is a generally safe travel destination. It is definitely as safe as any other European town. 

 

You do have to be wary of con artists or thieves, though, as they typically like to target foreigners. Like all towns with a high tourist rate, Sitges can be rather busy at night. This opens up plenty of opportunities for thieves to snatch your belongings away as you walk down a street or leave your things unattended for a second. Con artists, on the other hand, prey on the gullible, so do not be easily persuaded or place your trust in strangers.

 

Visit Sitges, Spain Today!

Despite being a relatively small town in Catalonia, Sitges remains one of Spain’s top tourist destinations. With its historical sites, tasty local cuisine, and bustling nightlife, it is easy to see why that is so. Let this complete guide to Sitges, Spain help with your itinerary and rid yourself of any worry. Book that flight and head to Sitges, Spain today!