The Spanish town of Sitges is a great mixture of picturesque town scenery, buzzing beaches and historical attractions. During the early 1900s, a handful of modernist artists like Santiago Rusiñol and Pablo Picasso fell in love with Sitges, leaving their signature in the local architecture.
After the Spanish civil war, the city became a popular destination for counterculture activists who wanted to escape Franco's strict conservative lifestyle. Even today, Sitges is known for its liberal attitude and easygoing lifestyle. Sitges has an especially lively gay scene with multitude of gay bars and nightclubs.
Sitges film festival takes place in October each year, bringing dazzle and glamour to the town along with Hollywood stars.
Where to stay in Sitges
The center of Sitges is very compact. The area around the picture 13 has the best selection of restaurants and bars, and it’s close to the beach. Families might also want to consider Aiguadolç port area with a multitude of hotels and restaurants. Sometimes you’ll find better hotel deals on that area. The hotel prices are quite high during the summer months in Sitges.
Things to do in Sitges
Sunbathing at the beautiful beaches is the favorite activity for many in Sitges. However, you shouldn’t miss strolling between the whitewashed houses, popping into museums & shops, enjoying fresh seafood and well-crafted cocktails in the busy nightlife of Sitges, either.
La Iglesia de San Bartolomé y Santa Tecla
The church of La Iglesia de San Bartolomé y Santa Tecla is a famous landmark in Sitges. The Gothic style church, located right at the beach front, has been there ever since the 17th century. There is a catholic mass taking place every day at the church.
Museu de Maricel
The Museu de Maricel was created in 1969, when the old building was purchased to exhibit the private collection of a famous doctor with an interest in art. A visit to the Maricel Museum begins with sculptures and altarpieces belonging to the Romanesque and Gothic periods, and continues to works from the Neoclassic period and Romanticism.
Museu Romantic Can Llopis
The Romantic Museum is situated in a neoclassical building in the center of Sitges. The first owner of the building was Manuel Llopis i Fals, who bought it from his cousin to accommodate his family. The main floor is decorated with paintings by Pau Rigalt. The second floor holds Lola Anglada’s collection of dolls from 1961.
The museum is closed for renovation until further notice.
Museu Can Ferrat
The Cau Ferrat Museum is located next to Marcela Museum. It was founded in 1893 by the artist Santiago Rusiñol (1861-1931), serving as his home workshop. The house became a public museum in 1933. The Museum contains two types of collections; ancient art and modern art. The ancient art collection, gathered by Rusiñol, contains paintings, forges, ceramics, glass, archaeology, sculptures and furniture. The modern art collection contains paintings, drawings and sculptures from artists like Casas, Picasso and Rusiñol himself.
Who would’ve thought that the world-famous rum has its roots in Sitges. Facundo Bacardi, the founder of the brand, was born in the Mediterranean town, and migrated to Santiago de Cuba in 1830. The permanent exhibition, located in the Mercat Vell, exhibits the history of the brand Bacardi and tells about its ties to Sitges.
The center houses a collection that exhibits art of from the sixties to the present day, with over 70 works of contemporary artists from 21 countries.
Beaches in Sitges
The coast of Sitges has a staggering number of 17 beaches on its coastline, both inside and outside the town area. Small, large, quiet, family, naturist and urban beaches. Below, there’s an introduction to the main beaches.
All the following beaches have these basic services:
- First aid & rescue
- Parasol & deckchair hire
- Access ramp
- Public toilet
The Garraf beach is situated east of Sitges, some 10 kilometers away. The Garraf railway station is located right in front of the beach, and it only takes 5 minutes to get there by train from Sitges. There are a couple of restaurants at the beach serving a nice seafood lunch. Garraf is one of the best places to snorkel near Barcelona, with small Mediterranean fish to spot. Closer to September, the waters tend to be full of tiny jellyfish, which can be annoying but harmless.
Aiguadolç is the easternmost beach in the town area of Sitges. It takes about 15 minutes to walk there from the center, but if you’re staying in one of the hotels at Aiguadolç harbor, it’s conveniently close to you. The Platja Aiguadolç is nudist friendly.
The first beach west of Port d'Aiguadolç is called Balmins. It consists of three small coves between the port and the town center. The sunbathers on Balmins are mostly nudists.
Located just behind the church to the east, the Sant Sebastià is popular among local families.
This sporty beach is situated west of the church. Volleyball nets, pedal boats and football fields attract young people to Fragata.
Ribera is probably the busiest beach in Sitges, and one of the largest as well. It’s located in front of the city center.
The next beach to the west is called Bassa Rodona, which is the main gay beach in Sitges. It’s situated left of picture 11 on the map. The beach continues right after the Ribera beach.
Estanyol is situated in front of residential area of El Vinyet, yet very close to the center. It’s almost as busy as Ribera. The beach is equally full of locals and tourists.
Prices in Sitges
Sitges is a somewhat more expensive destination than its neighboring towns on the Catalonian coast. There is big gap in accommodation prices between the low and the high seasons. In June, the prices of hotel rooms start to rise towards the peak in July and August.
Below, you will find examples of restaurant and hotel prices in Sitges. The hotel room prices are median prices at Booking.com.
Pizza in restaurant
Steak in restaurant
33 cl beer in restaurant
Hotel room, 3-4* (April)
Hotel room, 3-4* (July)
Find your hotel in Sitges from Booking.com's Hotel Map
How to get there From Barcelona El Prat airport
By bus: You can take a direct bus to Sitges by the company Bus Garraf (Line: VNG - Roquetes - Sitges - Aeroport - Bellvitge).
By train: There are no direct trains from Barcelona El Prat airport to Sitges. First you need to take a local train from Terminal 2 to El Prat station, where you must change to another local train going to the south. That line is called R2. Trains run every 30 minutes, both from the airport and El Prat. You can buy tickets from Barcelona Airport Train station to Sitges from a ticket machine. The cost is about 4 euros.
Website for trains: renfe.com
Weather in Sitges
There is a big difference between the summer and winter months. The town goes into hibernation in November and wakes again in May-June.
The winter months from December to February are often rainy, and the average daily high temperatures vary between 10-15 °C.
The rainfalls are less frequent as the spring advances, and the sun is out more often. In March, the average daily high temperature climbs to 15-20°C, but in May, the average is already at 20 °C. Typically, there’s beach weather for the first time in May.
From June to August, it rains seldomly and sunshine is pretty much guaranteed. The temperature climbs to 30 °C and above. June isn't as hot a month as July and August.
September is still a warm month in Sitges, typically with beach weather throughout the month. In September, temperatures stay clearly above 20 °C. In mid-October, the weather cools down to under 20 °C, and it starts to rain more often. In November, the temperature is already down to about 10°C.
Text: Ville Ryynänen
Images: Jussi Ryynänen
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