Backed by the rugged mountains of Parc Natural del Garraf, Sitges is a charming little coastal town in Spain's Catalonia region. The town draws crowds to its natural golden sandy beach, clear warm Mediterranean waters, and lovely seafront promenade lined with elegant grand mansions. It is also home to an alluring Old Town with winding cobbled streets lined with stylish boutiques, interesting museums and galleries, bustling restaurants and sidewalk cafés, vibey nightclubs, and colorful gay bars. Often described as the Saint-Tropez of Spain, Sitges offers stylish fun in the sun for all.
1.A day at the beach
The seaside town of Sitges is home to no less than 17 spectacular golden sandy beaches, which caters for all needs from the family-friendly Platja de Sant Sebastià safe swimming for kids to the gay-friendly Platja la Bassa Ronda which is packed with beautiful bronzed bodies throughout the summer. Beaches are lined with swaying palm trees, buzzing restaurants and beach bars and elegant mansions dating back to the 19th century. Five of the beaches are nudist or gay, and Sitges boasts fantastic weather for most of the year, so the beaches are a popular spot year-round.
2.The Museu Cau Ferrat
© Ilhan Balta/stock.adobe.com
Located next to Sant Sebastià beach, the Museu Cau Ferrat is dedicated to honoring Catalan artist Santiago Rusiñol who was one of the leading figures of the Catalan Modernist movement. Founded in 1893 by the artist himself as a home workshop, the museum opened to the public in 1933 to preserve his life works and legacy. The museum houses a collection of ancient art gathered by the artist, including ceramics, sculpture, and paintings, as well as art from the Modernisme movement with works by artists such as Rusiñol, Pau Gargallo, Picasso R. Pichot, and several other Catalan and Spanish artists.
Carrer de Fonollar, 08870 Sitges, Barcelona, Spain, Phone: +34-938-94-03-64 ext. 1
Nestled on Spain’s beautiful coastline, Sitges is renowned for its outstanding and award-winning restaurants, many of which serve excellent seafood and fresh fish straight from the surrounding ocean. The Old Town and the waterfront area lined with seafood restaurants serving a wealth of sea-smackingly fresh fish, lobster, shellfish, and traditional seafood paella. Some of the top seafood restaurants include El Trull and La Nansa, which are highly recommended for their world-class seafood dishes.
4.The Sitges Carnival
Sitges comes alive every year in winter just before Lent with its most famous yearly celebrations – the Sitges Carnival. Hailed as one of the top ten carnival celebrations in the world, Sitges Carnival is a popular annual event and one of the brightest, most colorful, and vibrant carnivals on the Catalan coastline. Celebrated throughout Spain, Carnival is held a few days in winter before the forty days of Lent begin, giving people the chance to get down and party before settling in for winter. The festival begins on a different date each year, but must always start on a Fat Thursday, and the largest parades traditionally take place on the Sunday and the Tuesday (Shrove Tuesday) of the festival.
5.Old Town Centre
The Old Town of Sitges exudes classic coastal charm with a fishermen’s neighborhood boasting white houses with blue borders and elegant old buildings like the 15th-century Church of Sant Bartomeu and Santa Tecla and its magnificent Baroque interiors. Other iconic buildings in the Old Town include the Town Hall, which dates back to the late 1800s and is a beautiful example of Catalan Civil Gothic-style architecture. Other buildings include the Santiago Rusiñol Library, the Municipal Historical Archive, the Rectory, and the gardens and a memorial statue honoring Doctor Robert.
© Casa Bacardí
Tucked away among the cobblestone streets of Old Town Sitges, Casa Bacardí is a museum that explores the heritage of the Bacardí brand and its growth in Spain and Sitges. Don Facundo Bacardí Massó, the founder of the world-famous and prized rum Bacardí, was born in Sitges in 1814 and moved to Cuba in 1830, where he developed the brand. The museum features an array of exhibits showcasing the life and times of Don Facundo Bacardí Massó, the process of making rum, the subsequent development of Bacardí, which visitors can explore on 60-minute guided tours in Catalan, Spanish, and English led by industry professionals. Casa Bacardí also has a lounge bar where visitors can sample some of Bacardi’s products.
Plaça de l'Ajuntament, 11, 08870 Sitges, Barcelona, Spain, Phone: +34-938-94-81-51
7.Parque Natural del Garraf (Garraf Natural Park)
Parque Natural del Garraf (Garraf Natural Park) is a 12,800-hectare national park spread across the mountains of Garraf Massif and surrounding the town of Sitges. The park is home to a variety of natural landscapes, ranging from wooded areas with holm oaks and Aleppo pine trees, dense thickets of herbs and shrubs such as rosemary and thyme, and Mediterranean flora like arbutus, fig, and wild olive trees, and margalló. The park is also home to several deep caves eroded into the limestone hills, potholes, pavements, and sinkholes, and the park boasts a diverse array of wildlife ranging rabbits, quails, and rabbits to Mediterranean tortoises, and several birds of prey species.
Carretera de Ratpenat a, Carrer Plana Novella, Km 3, 08870 Sitges, Barcelona, Spain, Phone: +34-935-97-18-19
Sitges has a vibrant nightlife with a plethora of buzzing bars, cocktails cafés, and lively nightclubs, many of which are LGBT-friendly. Whether you prefer dark and mysterious holes in the wall or stylish and sophisticated cocktail bars that serve innovative drinks, Sitges has a bar or a nightclub for every taste. Top areas to try out include Carrer del Pecat, also known as the ‘Street of Sin’ and Carrer Santa Bonaventura, and head to the Skybar at the MiM Hotel for elegant sundowners or the El Piano Bar for one-of-a-kind, larger-than-life drag acts.
9.The Sitges Film Festival (Festival Internacional de Cinema Fantastic de Catalunya)
© Patrick Daxenbichler/stock.adobe.com
The Sitges Film Festival is a Spanish film festival held in the town every year in early October that specializes in fantasy and horror films. Established in 1968, the festival is one of the world's foremost international festivals and draws thousands of film aficionados, movie buffs and critics every year who flock to the city to soak up the very best of horror and fantasy. The Film Festival is held in various locations, with the main venue being the 1,384-seat Auditori (Auditorium), which is located inside the Melia Hotel in the Port d'Aiguadolç area.
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10.La Nansa Restaurante
La Nansa Restaurante is a traditional restaurant in the heart of Sitges’ old town that has been serving traditional Catalan cuisine in a warm and welcoming setting since 1963. One of the leading restaurants in Sitges, La Nansa, boasts an elegant maritime theme with crisply dressed tables and soft lighting and serves a seafood-centric menu featuring dishes like stewed cuttlefish, fresh fish and squid, lobster with snails, and grilled octopus, along with Catalan sausages and housemade pasta. The full-service bar offers a range of libations, including local malvasia wine, and wines from around the globe, craft beers and handcrafted cocktails. La Nansa Restaurante is open for lunch and dinner, Thursday through Monday.
Carrer de la Carreta, 24, 08870 Sitges, Barcelona, Spain, Phone: +34-938-94-19-27
11.La Incidencia Del Factor VI
© La Incidencia Del Factor VI
Located a short walk away from the waterfront and the beautiful beach of Sitges, La Incidencia del Factor Vi offers guests a journey for the senses. The modern bodega has an exceptional kitchen preparing award-winning cuisine prepared with locally sourced ingredients and made from scratch, along with a well-stocked cellar housing a wide selection of wines from Catalonia and Spain as well as a handful of wines from abroad. The restaurant serves contemporary cuisine and local specialties inspired by the rich flavors and tastes of Catalan, paired with world-class wines from the basement cellar. La Incidencia del Factor Vi is open for lunch and dinner, Tuesday through Sunday.
Carrer Bonaire, 25, 08870 Sitges, Barcelona, Spain, Phone: +34-938-94-82-62
© La Fragata
La Fragata is a fine-dining restaurant in the heart of Sitges that specializes in superb Mediterranean fare with a focus on Catalan and Spanish flavors. One of the leading fine-dining destinations in Sitges, La Fragata has a spectacular location tucked into the sidewall of the church promenade boasting breathtaking views over the beach and sea. Perfect for both an intimate dinner for two or a celebration with friends, the romantic restaurant serves a menu of delicious Mediterranean fare such as fresh seafood, local meats like jamón Iberico, fresh salads and vegetarian options, housemade pasta, and decadent desserts. The cuisine is accompanied by a range of 200 wines from all around Spain, and the restaurant is open for lunch and dinner daily.
Passeig de la Ribera, 1, 08870 Sitges, Barcelona, Spain, Phone: +34-938-94-10-86
© Alfresco Restaurant
Located in the heart of Sitges, Alfresco Restaurant is a modern restaurant with a cozy outdoor courtyard oozing Mediterranean charm that offers a magical environment in which to enjoy an exceptional dining experience. Drawing inspiration from around the world, the menu serves contemporary cuisine and local specialties inspired by the rich flavors and tastes of Catalan, featuring fresh seafood, local meats like jamón Iberico, fresh salads, and vegetarian options, housemade pasta, and decadent desserts. The full-service bar offers a range of libations, including local malvasia wine, and wines from around the globe, craft beers and handcrafted cocktails. Alfresco Restaurant is open for lunch and dinner daily.
Carrer d'en Pau Barrabeig, 4, 08870 Sitges, Barcelona, Spain, Phone: +34-938-94-06-00
© Restaurante Komokieras
Restaurante Komokieras is a casual, contemporary restaurant that serves traditional Catalan and Spanish cuisine in an elegant setting. The restaurant has a warm and welcoming ambiance and serves a menu of farm-to-table fare made from scratch with locally-sourced ingredients, such as fresh seafood, prime grass-fed meats, organic salads and vegetables, housemade pasta and delectable desserts. The modern bodega is stocked with over 100 wines from Catalan and Spain and around the world, as well as craft beers, handcrafted cocktails, and high-end spirits. Restaurante Komokieras is open for lunch and dinner, daily.
Carrer d'Espalter, 23, 08870 Sitges, Barcelona, Spain, Phone: +34-938-14-61-15
© Day Of Victory Stu./stock.adobe.com
Boasting breathtaking views from its superb location in the Old Town, Maricel is one of Sitges' top fine dining restaurants serving award-winning cuisine and world-class wines. The contemporary fine-dining establishment has an intimate dining space with stylish décor, beautifully dressed tables, and dim lighting, creating a romantic atmosphere that is perfect for unforgettable experiences. Sophisticated dishes are presented with an avant-garde flair and feature fresh seafood, homemade salads, housemade pasta, and mouthwatering desserts. Guests can dine alfresco-style on the outdoor terrace overlooking the beach and the magnificent old church of Sant Bartomeu and Santa Tecla. The cuisine is accompanied by a range of globally-inspired wines from around the world, and the restaurant is open for lunch and dinner daily.
Passeig de la Ribera, 6, 08870 Sitges, Barcelona, Spain, Phone: +34-938-94-20-54
15 Best Things to Do in Sitges, Spain
- A day at the beach, Photo: BRIAN_KINNEY/stock.adobe.com
- The Museu Cau Ferrat, Photo: Ilhan Balta/stock.adobe.com
- Seafood Restaurants, Photo: nikkytok/stock.adobe.com
- The Sitges Carnival, Photo: JackF/stock.adobe.com
- Old Town Centre, Photo: VladAndrei/stock.adobe.com
- Casa Bacardi, Photo: Casa Bacardí
- Parque Natural del Garraf (Garraf Natural Park), Photo: alzamu79/stock.adobe.com
- Bar Crawling, Photo: chika_milan/stock.adobe.com
- The Sitges Film Festival (Festival Internacional de Cinema Fantastic de Catalunya), Photo: Patrick Daxenbichler/stock.adobe.com
- La Nansa Restaurante, Photo: Redzen/stock.adobe.com
- La Incidencia Del Factor VI, Photo: La Incidencia Del Factor VI
- La Fragata, Photo: La Fragata
- Alfresco Restaurant, Photo: Alfresco Restaurant
- Restaurante Komokieras, Photo: Restaurante Komokieras
- Maricel, Photo: Day Of Victory Stu./stock.adobe.com
- Cover Photo: allard1/stock.adobe.com