It’s like a tourist broken record…
“If you come to Barcelona and have time for a day trip sure you check out Sitges”.
The resort town and its golden beaches, crystal-clear waters, cultural events, and status as the most gay-friendly city in all of Spain makes it an attractive escape from the city.
Luckily it’s just a hop, skip, and a jump from Barcelona.
Here’s a quick Barcelona to Sitges guide.
Where Is Sitges?
On the Costa Dorada near Garraf National Park to the southwest of Barcelona.
At just 40 kilometers away it’s one of the easiest day trip options from Barcelona.
Barcelona to Sitges
The best transport option is taking the R2 train from one of Barcelona’s main train stations Estacio de França, Passeig de Gracia or Estacio Sants.
The final destination departure boards reads St. Vincenç de Calders or Vilanova i la Geltru.
The trains normally run every 20/30 minutes and the cost is €9.20 return or €4.60 one way – buying a return ticket won’t save you any money. If you’re gonna be staying out late in Sitges get a one-way ticket in case you end up taking the bus back to Barcelona.
The bus to Sitges is caught at Placa Espanya, Ronda Universitat, or Terminal 1 of the airport and is run by a company called MonBus – the journey takes 45-55 minutes.
Keep in mind though that this particular route will have the name Autocar Plana on the front of the bus. The route is called the e16.
A single ticket is €4.50 (€9.00 return). I recommend a bus only for night travel when the train isn’t running. Check the night bus schedule here.
You’ll be able to get from Barcelona to Sitges by car in about 40 minutes.
The easiest and most scenic route is starting at the Columbus statue at the bottom of La Rambla and following the B-10 all the way down. It also won’t involve any tolls unlike your second option: the C-32 highway.
If you’re looking for the best car rental prices in the business for your holiday I recommend Rentalcars.com.
If you’re independently wealthy and want to take a taxi it’ll cost about €50.00-€60.00.
What to Do in Sitges
Of the many things to do in Sitges most people go there for the beach and nightlife scene but there are plenty of cultural things to do there as well – the historic centre is very charming.
The narrow streets and picturesque squares filter to the boardwalk and the beach with its palms and chiringuito beach bars.
The Church of Saint Bartholomew sticks out in all the post cards and you’ll get an amazing view of the coastline there thanks to its privileged position on the seafront.
Behind the Cathedral walls you’ll find the old city and its great photo spots and artisan shops.
For the full cultural monty on your day trip make sure you see any combination of the following:
- The Cau Ferrat Museum – home of painter/writer Santiago Rusiñol, who in the beginning of the 900’s was transformed into an important meeting place for bohemians. Today it hosts some of his work, some great works of Picasso and more. Entrance costs €10.00 (includes the Maricel Museum)
- The Maricel Museum – this modern building plays host to all sorts of art from the middle ages to present day, many with a nautical theme. Entrance costs €10.00 (includes the Cau Ferrat Museum)
- The Museu Romantic – this humble 17th century abode hosts some peculiar collections, among them a display of old public transport and a collection of 400 dolls. As of January 2020 the museum is temporarily closed.
Again, check them out but if you’re on the fence my very uncultured opinion would be simply walk around the centre. It’s full of life and there’s plenty to do and see.
The Sitges Beaches
One of the biggest differences between Sitges and the best beaches in Barcelona is that the beaches here are rated blue flag by the Foundation for Environmental Education.
Here you’ll find 22 beaches spread out over 4 kilometers of fine golden sand each adapted for different crowds: families, young people, gay beaches, and nudist beaches.
In general, the closer you are to the centre of the city the more crowded you’ll find the beaches but with a little walk in either direction you’ll find more isolated beaches.
The Best Beaches in Sitges
- Platja de la Fragata – popular for families, great for walks and yacht club view.
- Playa de Sant Sebastian – central, with a boardwalk of restaurants, bars, and shops.
- Platja de la Ribera – the biggest centrally located beach with two beach bars and ramp access.
- Platja de les Anquines – a calm man made beach between two breakwaters with no waves.
Gay and Nudist Beaches Sitges
I’ll preface by saying that between nudist and gay beaches in Sitges there is naturally a bit of overlap due to the ability of these tolerant communities to coexist.
The best gay and nudist beaches in Sitges are as follows:
- Playa de las Balmins – calm, shallow, clean water, 75% nude with small bar and basic services.
- Playa de la Bassa Rodona – a centrally located gay beach, thin sand strip, tons of services.
- Playa del Muerto – isolated at bottom of a cliff (hard access), nude friendly, rough waters.
A Sitges guide wouldn’t be complete without mentioning it being the gay party capital of Spain.
One of the best things to do in Sitges is get a bit rowdy on the famous Calle del Pecado – the heart of Sitges nightlife action with a seemingly unlimited number of restaurants, bars, and pubs.
Among the best gay bars in Sitges are: XXL, Man Bar, Bourbons, Oreks, Privilege, Comodin, B Side, and Leather Bar… you’ll be spoiled for choice!
Looking to stay in Barcelona for the party? Check out my list of Barcelona’s best gay bars.
Where to Eat in Sitges
When talking of a Sitges day trip I’d be dumb not to mention the food scene.
A typical offering however is called xato and is a fish dish prepared with cod, tuna, anchovies, olives, and escarole salad dressed romesco – a traditional sauce made with roasted red peppers, almonds, and garlic.
When we talk of things to do in Sitges Carnival is without a doubt the the biggest event of the year, attracting over 300,000 visitors. The motto ‘anything goes’ isn’t just a cheesy marketing ploy – you’ll see some truly bizarre stuff here between the parades and crazy costumes.
The 2020 version runs from February 15th to February 26th and more information can be found here.
Comment Away, You Blessed Tourist You
Has my Sitges guide explained exactly what to do in Sitges or does it need a little work? Any suggestions you have to make this blog a better resource will be greatly appreciated.
Also, as always any question you have about your day trip or Barcelona holiday will be answered ASAP.
Fire away 🙂