Sitges is a charming seaside resort, a Mediterranean coastal town about 35km south of Barcelona. It offers gorgeous beaches and excellent tourist facilities on the Golden Coast (Costa Dorada). Protected by the Garraf’s Parc Mountains, this lovely town has an excellent microclimate that allows visitors to enjoy enviable mild temperatures throughout the year.
Beyond its natural beauty, Sitges is home to 4 museums, a really picturesque old town centre and the Church of Sant Bartomeu i Santa Tecla. Sitges is a great place for a weekend break and you certainly won’t get bored there!
1) What to see
I recommend starting your visit strolling around the old city centre. Reach the waterfront (Passeig Maritim) and climb the stairs leading up to the beautiful Church of Sant Bartomeu i Santa Tecla. This church was built in the 17th century. It is Sitges’ most instantly recognizable landmark, as it overlooks the main street and the beach. Visible all along the Passeig Maritim, locals refer to it simply as ‘La Punta’ or ‘The Point’.
If you continue walking down the Raco’ de la Calma, you will walk past two museums: the Maricel Museum and the Cau Ferrat Museum. The latter was founded by the modernist artist Santiago Rusiñol in 1893 and became a public museum in 1933.
Besides these two, there are two more museums in Sitges, Palau de Maricel and the Romantic Museum, and they are all worth visiting. For more information click here
Sitges has 17 beautiful beaches. If you are only staying for a weekend you won’t have time to try them all, but you can take a nice walk along the Passeig Maritim at sunset and check them all out.
Here are my favourite 2:
Playa de Sant Sebastià – this beach is a bit more secluded. You get there by climbing the stairs to the church and walking along the path a bit further. It is equipped, but with very few sun beds and umbrellas.
Playa Ribera – it is equipped with sun beds and umbrellas that can be rented for the day or just for a few hours.
3) What and where to eat
Lots of places serve tapas in Spain, but it can be difficult to find high quality ones, especially if you enter touristy places in Madrid or Barcelona. In Sitges the quality is higher than average I have to say and we had some really amazing food. The choice of restaurants is huge considering the size of this pretty Catalan costal town.
Here are a couple of suggestions for you:
El Rincon de Pepe (Passeig de la Ribera, 35)
We started dinner with a couple of appetizers: the traditional pan con tomate and some ham croquetas. The croquetas were absolutely the best I have had since moving to Spain! As main course, we had paella, an amazing seafood paella (paella de mariscos). The price was fair for the quality and size of portions.
Casa Raimundo (Carrer Illa de Cuba, 39 – 41)
This place is a Galician restaurant. The receptionist at our hotel recommended it and it was a great suggestion indeed. They serve delicious food at an incredibly good price. Here we had a salad with goat cheese – the plate was huge, the food delicious! The salad was very rich and tasty, definitely not ideal if you are on a diet! We shared some grilled cuttlefish: simple, fresh and super tasty!
4) When to visit
World renowned for its vibrant gay and hippy scene, Sitges is also a great option for couples and families.
Throughout the year there are countless events, so you better plan your visit carefully as this quiet costal town gets packed during those weeks. The most popular events are: the Sitges International Film Festival (in October), Sitges Carnival (in February/March), the Gay Pride (in June) and La Festa Major (in August).
5) Where to stay
El Xalet (Carrer Illa de Cuba, 35)
The building was designed by the architect Gaietà Buigas i Monravà and built between 1854 and1919. It has now been tastefully styled into an Art Deco Hotel.
Surprisingly cheap for what looks like a boutique hotel, as every floor and room has its own unique style. There is a lovely dining room on the ground floor and a garden. The garden restaurant only opens during summer and breakfast is served by the pool during those hot months. It’s a huge buffet, continental style and they have great coffee.
The restaurant has a set menu (about € 30 pp, drinks not included) with starter, main and dessert. We didn’t get to try it as we only stayed one night in Sitges and we wanted to explore and head out to the old town centre. But we will definitely give it a try when back next time, as the setting looked great and everything on the menu was really tempting.
6) How to get there
Sitges is conveniently located 35km from the city of Barcelona and 25km from El Prat International Airport.
The easiest way to get there is by the Spanish Railways (Rodalies de Catalunya). The journey by train (R2) from Barcelona costs €3.60 (4 Zones on the Barcelona suburban railway services), and takes around 35 minutes. Direct trains leave from Passeig de Gràcia or Sants stations.