Barcelona is an amazing city that has loads of interesting activities, monuments, cafes, museums and a vast coastline offering amazing beaches. But in case you have had enough of the local sight seeing and need ideas of day trips from Barcelona, there are many. Few of them are :
- Figueres and more…
In this blog I will take you through the complete guide to do A Day Trip from Barcelona to Sitges ! Read on –
Sitges is a small and beautiful Mediterranean town only 21 miles in the Southwest of Barcelona. The mild climate makes it a perfect beach destination anytime throughout the year. What makes it one of the best day trips is its close proximity, less travel time, easy conveyance options, pristine beaches and a really serene and calm environment. The sea front promenade of Sitges is lined with beautiful palm trees, hence making it unarguably one of the most romantic beach Resorts in Europe.
Sitges is also famous for its LGBT friendly atmosphere, it was once known as Gay Riviera.
Its often called as ‘Saint-Tropez’ of Spain.
How to Reach
By train : Trains run at every half an hour from the Estacio de França, Passeig de Gracia or Saints station to Sitges and the overall journey time is 40 minutes. One way ticket price is 4,10€, if you buy a return ticket it costs you 7,20€. Check timings here.
First train leaves around 6:30 AM, and the Last return train is at 22:30
By Bus : The Mono Bus service starts on Ronda Universidad, 33 between Calle Balmes and Plaza Catalunya. There is another stop on Calle Sepúlveda and another at Plaza España. The Sitges stop is in front of the Parc Can Robert on Avenida Vilanova, 14. The total journey time is 40-50 minutes, ticket cost is 4 Euros per side. Check timings here. This bus also starts from Barcelona Al Prat Airport Terminal T1 and the details can be found on the website.
By Car/Bike : Sitges is only 23 miles (38 km) and that makes it very easy to reach by your own personal vehicle. The highways are smooth and the drive is excellent. If you hire a taxi that would cost around 75-80 € in addition to Highway toll charges.
Take the Pau Casals Motorway C-32 (toll charge). Follow signs to Sitges and Tarragona. Exit 30.
By Flight : There is no Airport in Sitges so the nearest airport would be of Barcelona.
When to Go
Sitges is a seaside town like Barcelona so it is a great beach destination throughout the year except the rainy season. It gets pretty crowded during Summers as it is the best place near Barcelona for family outings. Sitges sees more than 300 sunshines a year having a perfect micro-climate !
Sitges also hosts carnivals, and that makes it an even better time to go so check out the dates of the carnival and plan your trip accordingly to witness different activities. Some of the best Carnivals happening in Sitges are ‘Madi Gras’, Tango Festival, Cinema Festival, Vintage Car Festival, Sitges Film Festival etc. Check out this site for more information on the events and their schedule : https://www.visitsitges.com/en/
It is advised to reach Sitges early around 11am to 12pm, so you get enough time to walk around the city, and then enough to dive in the beaches and enjoy the sunset and witness the beauty of the city in the night lights.
Check the timings of the last train from Sitges to Barcelona so you can plan your day accordingly. Though there are other modes of transport to come back but then it would be a hassle, and un-economic too.
So, if you missed the last train, there are also night buses traveling from Sitges to Barcelona. The night buses run four times per hour from 00:55 until 04:50 so there’s always an option for you to get back to Barcelona late night.
Keep with you a trash bag and dump all your garbage in it until you find a dustbin to dump it there. Do not litter.
Sitges is not a huge city so it is expected to cover its beautiful allys and pathways on foot. Be prepared to walk a lot.
Wear comfortable clothing/shoes and keep your bag light, with swimwear and a bottle of water, and packed juices / snacks.
Carry a hat and sunglasses if you are traveling in Summers.
If you need medical attention, or dosages in Sitges, check this link that tells you the nearest pharmacies from you.
Important Phone Numbers to keep Handy :
Ambulance : 061
Firefighters : +34 93 815 00 80
Emergency : 112
Local Police : 092
Sitges Tourism Promotion Agency : +34 93 810 9340
I am assuming you will be reaching Sitges by train as that is the most convenient, fast and cheap mode.
The journey is pretty beautiful as you get to see the downtown Barcelona, and ride along the beach for most part of the journey. The train halts at a couple of more stops very briefly and mostly runs close to 200 kmph throughout that makes it the fastest way to reach Sitges from Barcelona. The train is pretty neat, the seats comfortable, windows huge, and the toilets are clean too.
Get down at the Sitges stop and be mindful as the trains stops for only a minute or so. You need to cross the track by the under bridge and exit the station, and there you go – you enter the Sitges city !
Sitges station greets you with a pretty old town look that is charming. On your left will be the Tourist information center, and to your front would be the city – your area of exploration.
I recommend you to go to the Tourist information center first, as they greets you and hands over to you a guide map that is very helpful. They can also answer any other questions you have like the Hotel address in case you plan to stay overnight, or regarding any event that is happening in the city.
And Exploration begins ..!
A recommended route to explore the city of Sitges would be to explore the city first, check out the numerous shops, cafes and walk along the small lanes, then reach the beach front, walk along the beach to both the ends and then come back to the main city for a good meal before catching the train back.
So start your exploration, enjoy the beautiful buildings and explore the smallest of the lanes you can imagine for hidden gem picture places. There are beautiful avenues, network of walkable streets and every corner is a photo opportunity. The houses are beautiful, mostly colored in white and blue. Even the street names are written on a beautiful name plate.
The city has a lot of interesting souvenir shops, fashion stores, etc and is surely a heaven for shopaholics. The Fridge magnets here are some of the prettiest.
Remember, public toilets are not easy to find once you are at the beach, so empty your tank at the cafe you have coffee/meals at !
There a total of 17 beaches in Sitges, some of the best in the Mediterranean Coastline, each one is breathtakingly beautiful, enormous and serene. All the beaches are family friendly, gay friendly and even nude friendly ! The water is super clear and the sand is soft, and silky.
Climb a little and soak in the view from the 17th century Church of Sant Bartomeu i Santa Tecla. This is an iconic feature of Sitges and gives you excellent views of the coastline and the city.
If you are not in a mood to walk a lot, or if you have elderly people with you, there is a small Toy Train that runs across the beaches ends and is not very expensive, costs around 2.5 Euro one side. This is a good option and saves you a lot of time and energy.
Or, just walk the 4km stretch of the beach.
Face opposite the beach and you’ll see numerous restaurants along the shore. Walk a little towards the left and you’ll spot some of the most beautiful sea side bungalows you have ever seen.
Behind these lovely houses is a nice quaint path that is well maintained, and you can spot luxury cars.
On the right end of the beach, where the footpath ends, you can still walk a little more and get yourself some seashells as this area is not crowded much and you will have the whole section for yourself. You can also spot ducks in this small pond. Beautiful !
On the extreme left end, you will find the beautiful church Iglesia de Sant Bartomeu, museums and some beautiful houses.
Do not miss the beautiful sunset at the Sitges beach!
Beaches you should explore :
Platja Sant Sebastiá – most idyllic beach in Sitges
Platja de l’Estanyol
Platja de la Riera Xica
Platja de la Rodona – most popular gay beach
Platja de la Fragata – most popular family beach
These are the museums you can explore in Sitges :
-Museu Romantic – This museum is inside a 18th century building, and features a vast collection of dolls.
-Museu Cau Ferrat – This is the Former house-studio of Santiago Rusiñol, a pioneer of the Modernisme movement, in Catalonia. It showcases ancient relics, objects, and artwork collection from the owner and also of Picasso.
-Museo Maricel – Explore this museum and gain insight into the history and culture of the region, with a vast collection of Catalan art, from the 10th to the 20th centuries, mainly in a maritime theme.
Nightlife in Sitges is not as great as Barcelona but still decent. Majorly you can walk on the seafront promenade and enjoy the lively view of the beach and people. Or you can check out some nice pubs for dine drink and dance, specially at ‘Street of Sin’ (Carrer del Pecat’) or Carrer Santa Bonaventura .
Things to buy
Sitges has got some really world class shopping opportunities. You can get –
–Fridge Magnets – you will find some really good options even unavailable in Barcelona.
–Clothes – Some really amazing Fashion Boutiques & cool dress stores that sells jackets, shirts, gowns etc. Some shops to check out are Morgan de Toi, Escales, Sweet and Cool, Doble R etc.
–Ale Hop – The Ale hop store here is really cool and sells some exciting stuff for very cheap, some for even 1Euro, you wont find those in Barcelona !
–Name Train – Make a beautiful train with smileys along with your name alphabets, from this street hawker.
–Street Shopping – Get yourself some branded, but not actually branded stuff from these hawkers, remember to bargain hard. You might upset them but its okay.
Where to Eat :
Sitges have some really nice sea food restaurants so you don’t have to worry about food options here. You’ll find some really nice dishes of prawns, mussels, sardines, fishes etc. Dont miss out on Tapas, Paella, and the local dish Xato Salad -made with escarole leaves, cod, anchovies and olives. These are some famous cafes/restaurants in Sitges-
- Gofras Waffles and Crepes
- Montroig Café
- Cafe Roy
- Alenti Restaurant
- La Nansa Restaurant
Where to Stay :
Check out these amazing hotels in Sitges if you intend to stay overnight –
Check out these exciting activities you can do in Sitges :
Casa Bacardi Sitges
The maker of the world-renowned drink – Facundo Bacardí Massó, came from this humble province. This activity is an excellent way to spend a couple of hours in Sitges. Learn about how Bacardi was founded and how it is distilled, then have fun around the bar whilst the bar tender shows you how to make Bacardi based cocktails and then make one yourself, before enjoying it!!
Read more about this activity, check schedules and book your tickets here
Bicycle Tour -Hire a Bicycle and take a ride all over the city, there are numerous bicycle hire shops across the city. You can also do a Segway tour.
Play Sports – Try your hands on Golf at the three closest golf clubs to Sitges are Vinyet mini-golf, Terramar golf course, and CTC golf club. You can also go for Tennis at the local sports center.
Water Sports – Try one of the numerous water sports in Sitges like water skiing, scuba diving, snorkelling and sailing.
You can rent a boat / yacht in Sitges from Surcando Mares.
Museums – Enjoy the heritage of the city at the three museums in the city
Gay Friendly Sitges
Sitges is a an open-minded town, where diversity adds and enriches, everyone is welcome regardless of race, religion or sexual orientation. There is a Gay Association in Sitges that offers care, information and advice.
Some of the famous –
Gay Friendly Bars – Bar Els Jardins del Retiro, Bar Hamburguesería Nieuw Amsterdam, Bar Hotel Casa Vilella, Queenz etc.
Gay Friendly Hotels – Hotel Best Western Subur Marítim, Hotel Casa Vilella, Hotel Liberty etc.
Gay Friendly Shops – Alberto, Body & Soul, Boyzone, ES-Franc, Oscar etc.
Gay Friendly Restaurants – La Tapadera Tapas & Sushi, Restaurant Cabaret Queenz, Restaurant 13 Llunes Gastrobar, Restaurant Gramen etc.
Overall, a day trip to Sitges is a complete combination of natural beauty, exploration, fun, and serenity. It has a very different feel and flair than the city of Barcelona.
Check out a few more pictures of the city .
I had a great time exploring Sitges and it makes it one of my favorite solo trips ever. Keeping in mind the convenience, things to do, eat & shop, and the relaxation it has to offer – Sitges is the perfect choice of day trip from Barcelona !