Sitges is a town that is very close to Barcelona and that many will know for its carnivals, its film festival, its beaches, and its nightlife.
In this post, I will tell you what to see and do in Sitges in 1, 2, and 3 days. Let’s go!
What to See and Do in Sitges?
These days I have had the opportunity to visit this beautiful city on the Catalan coast, and the truth is that I like it a lot.
It has a broad cultural and gastronomic offer; you can go shopping, it has beautiful beaches to relax, take a bath or do water sports.
You have Garraf, a natural park that is very close to Sitges, which can be reached by car or public transport, and the Penedés wineries, which, although not part of Sitges, are very close. Therefore, if you like wine, it is a Virtually essential visit.
* Recommendation: Guided tour of the city
Do you want to know what to see and do in Sitges? Keep reading.
A Bit of History of Sitges
In its beginnings, Sitges was a fishing village with a privileged location that was also sheltered by the Garraf massif.
Its origins date back to more than 3000 years ago. This location was described by the Greek navigators of the time. Do you imagine?
During the 14th and 15th centuries, Sitges suffered many wars and epidemics, which caused its population to drop.
The French immigrants made the city grow, and the population multiplied by three in less than 100 years.
In the 19th and 20th centuries, Sitges attracted more industry. Still, the city’s cosmopolitan prestige began with Santiago Rusiñol, a painter, writer, and collector who settled in the town, making it a meeting place for different artists of the time.
Best Things to Do in Sitges?
Almost everything you can see in Sitges can be done on foot, which is one of the things I liked the most.
If you go during the week, even in the middle of July, it is not overcrowded, and the truth is that it is appreciated.
So you see, if you had thought that Sitges was just sun and beach, let me tell you that there is much more! You are also 30 minutes from Barcelona by train or car.
I will also tell you about places where I have eaten wonderfully and at a good price.
The Beaches of Sitges
One of the things to see and do in Sitges is to go to its beaches. The city has 26 beaches, which are its main tourist attraction.
There are beaches for all tastes, from families to nudists, divided into Levante, central and western beaches.
If you feel like taking a walk and it’s not too hot, you can go to all of them on foot.
Sant Sebastia beach
San Sebastián Beach is an urban beach in Sitges, ideal for going with the whole family. It is about 200 meters long and 20 wide. It has rescue and lifeguard services, as well as a beach bar, umbrellas, and hammocks, and is adapted with an access ramp.
It is in an excellent location, behind the church of San Bartolomé, and is the gateway to the Historic Center of Sitges.
Sitges seafront promenade
Walk the Sitges Seafront Promenade on foot. In total, there are about 2.5 kilometers; it can be done on foot, by bicycle, or by renting a segway.
The route is straightforward since it is flat and takes place in front of the sea.
It is an enjoyable walk, you just have to follow the coastline, and you can stop to rest or take a dip on any of the beaches you find along the way. Without a doubt, one of the best things he does in Sitges.
You can start the Paseo de la Ribera tour on the Fragata beach (where the Bartolomé church is located) and finish in the Terramar gardens.
The return can be done along the same path or by wandering through the streets of the residential neighborhood of Terramar and Vinyet.
The Routes for Snorkeling
Sitges has two itineraries to practice snorkeling and see another part of the city if you like to snorkel.
First itinerary: Anquines – Home Mort:
- It starts at the Beach les Anquines and continues through Cap de Grills,
- Beach of Sta. Margaret
- Les Coves Beach
- Point of the Coves
- Roses Beach
- and ends at Home Mort Beach
Second Itinerary: Garraf – Port Ginesta.
- Pass by Garraf Beach
- Punta dels Corrals
- El Pas Trencat
- and Cala de la Ginesta
The Museums of Sitges
Sitges museums are always organizing something like free jazz concerts and other exciting activities.
So it is advisable to visit their website to see what is on the days you stay.
I visited the Cau Ferrat and the Museu de Maricel.
The Cau Ferrat
One of the important museums that you have to see in Sitges is the Cau Ferrat Museum. It was founded by the artist Santiago Rusiñol in 1893.
Today we can see the different collections that he gathered over the years, with works made in wrought iron, ceramics, glass, or more modern such as paintings, drawings, and sculptures.
We can find works by Picasso, Catalan, French, anonymous artists, and by himself.
During the visit, we learned that the name Cau Ferrat gave it was because Cau was a meeting place for artists, and Ferrat because of the iron that he loved to collect.
The Museum of Maricel
In the Museu de Maricel, we can see works from the 10th century to realism and the first half of the 20th century with the collections of Dr. Jesus Perez-Rosales and the Villa de Sitges.
We did the visit independently, but I think it could be fascinating to do the guided tour.
Other museums are the Museu Romantic, the Palau de Maricel, the Stämpfli Foundation.
The House of Bacardi
Did you know that the Barcardí family are originally from Sitges? Yes, those of the famous rum!
Well, I didn’t know, I found out while taking a walk when I saw it, around the corner from the famous church.
The visit to Casa Bacardí, from my point of view, is an essential visit when you visit Sitges.
I honestly had a great time. They tell you the story of Facundo Bacardi, who was born in Sitges and emigrated to Cuba in the mid-19th century.
He is the founder of Casa Bacardi in Cuba, and today his family continues with the business he founded in 1862.
During the visit, you’ll learn how Bacardi rum is prepared and taste some of its ingredients.
At the end of the visit, they teach you how to prepare four cocktails, and then you prepare one for yourself, and you can have it quietly on one of the sofas on the terrace.
In another post, I will tell you about this visit in great detail.
The Vilarnau wineries
Fer visited the winery on a segway. The truth is that they treated him wonderfully.
The first two monitors teach you how to drive the segway if you don’t know how, and then they take you through the vineyards on an exciting tour where you have the opportunity to see the vines and the grapes!
They then took a walking tour where they first explained the fundamental concepts and then took you inside the cellars to learn about the manufacturing process.
Do you know what differentiates a cava from a sparkling wine? What about an everyday wine? If you don’t know, you will learn everything on this visit.
And of course, in the end, a tasting in which they teach you what to value in a cava! A totally recommended visit.
Calle del Pecado (Sin Street) in Sitges, the commercial area
Sitges has a nice shopping area that is located in the downtown area. Where restaurants, bars, clothing, and souvenir shops are mixed.
It is on Calle 1 de Mayo; although it is better known as Calle del Pecado (the Sin Street), it is the best-known bar area in the city. It is an ideal place to go out dancing or to have a drink at night.
So if you forget something, don’t worry, you can easily get it!
The Port of Aiguadolç
We went to the port at night. There are a lot of restaurants there (which we didn’t try because it was out of our budget), but we did take the opportunity to have a drink on one of its terraces.
The truth is that we thought it would be more expensive, but the drinks cost us 8 euros each. Where we were is called Nirvana.
Major Festival of Santa Tecla
The Festival of Sitges is in honor of San Bartolomé and Santa Tecla, where the whole town participates. Both are patron saints of Sitges since the end of the 16th century. Before, it was just Santa Tecla who was the city’s patron saint.
There are many festivities and activities for the whole family. However, in September, the Santa Tecla festival is much quieter than other festivals in Sitges.
But it is certainly worth seeing; the city’s balconies are decorated, and you will see many white flags with the red cross of Sant Jordi and the coat of arms of Sitges.
The clothing worn by the participants is white, with red scarves, helmets, colored hats, and espadrilles with blue and red ribbons.
Since 1991 it has been a Traditional Festival of National Interest. On what date are the Sitges festivities celebrated?
On August 24, the Festa Major de Sitges is celebrated in honor of Sant Bartomeu. On September 23, the festival is celebrated in honor of Santa Tecla.
But, as the dates are so close, the two festivities are unified and are usually celebrated between mid and late August.
It is a festival full of traditions, rituals, colors, and fire. You don’t have to miss the “Diables de Sitges” or the great fireworks display. Without a doubt, the most striking of the party.
Church of Sant Bartomeu and Santa Tecla
The Church of San Bartolomé and Santa Tecla is the church of the city of Sitges, the one you see on all the city postcards. It was built in the 17th century and underwent many modifications over the years.
It is in the Baroque style and is located in the same place as two other previous churches, one Romanesque and the other Gothic, from 1322.
Inside, you can see several altarpieces. The central one is in the Renaissance style of San Bartolomé and Santa Tecla; the Roser altarpiece is Renaissance, and the other two are Baroque. The church organ is also Baroque style.
One of the most emblematic buildings in Sitges is the Palau de Maricel. It is also known as Maricel de Terra to differentiate it from the Museu Maricel, which I told you about above.
The main spaces of Palau are:
- The Salo d’Or
- The Blue Room
- The Chapel Room
- The Vaixells Room
- The Terraces
- The Cloister, with fantastic views of the Mediterranean.
The Maricel Palace is a modernist building with a unique decoration. It currently has three main functions: the venue where institutional and cultural events are held, such as concerts, conferences, or presentations.
Company events or weddings that rent it are also held, and finally, the rooms, the terrace, and the cloister can be visited in summer since Museus de Sitges organizes visits.
Raco of Calm
The Calm Corner of Sitges is one of the places preferred by locals due to its tranquility and proximity to the sea. In addition, it is an ideal place to hold concerts, because it has excellent acoustics.
It is located in the old town of Sitges, on a narrow street that connects the Palau Maricel and the Cau Ferrat Museum with the parish church of San Bartolomé and Santa Tecla.
The Sitges carnival takes place at the end of February. It is one of the best carnivals in Spain and probably in the world, where more than 250,000 people gather for seven days. Here you can enjoy parades, shows, and incredible parties.
The dates vary yearly, but it always has to start on Jueves Lardero. The biggest parades are on Shrove Sunday and Tuesday. But to know the exact dates, you must wait a few weeks before the event.
Sitges Old Town
In the old town of Sitges are some of the city’s most important monuments, making it a must-see.
One of the most important monuments is the parish of Sant Bartomeu i Santa Tecla, located on Cerro Punta.
As a curiosity to tell you, there was a population center already in Roman times.
The Paseo de la Ribera and the seafront promenade begin at this beautiful church.
Some of the most charming places in the historic center of Sitges can be found in the town hall square, where the castle used to be.
Walk the streets of Davallada and Carrer de Fonollar; they will transport you to another era.
Be sure to visit the essential museums in Sitges:
- Cau Ferrat Museum
- The House of Bacardi
- Maricel Palace
Can Bartomeu Carbonell or Clock House
In the Plaza del Cap de la Vila, you will find the Casa Bartomeu or the Clock Tower, which is what they call it in Sitges. A modernist building built-in 1915.
The most striking or remarkable part of the building is the one on the corner of Calle Mayor, where the clock and the tower are covered with white, yellow, and blue mosaics.
Sitges Guided Tours
Discover the medieval charm of the city of Sitges with a guided tour and a local guide.
The guide will tell you everything you need to discover and see Sitges with different eyes. All in a fun and entertaining way.
The tour lasts 1.30 hours, is done with a guide in English, and it is highly recommended to do it on the first day of your visit.
So you can ask any questions you have about places to visit, eat, beaches, or events that take place on the dates of your trip.
Sitges Fantastic Film Festival
Catalonia’s fantastic film festival is the first in the world. It began its journey in 1968 with the first International Week of Fantastic and Horror Cinema.
Currently, it is a must for movie lovers and for all the public eager to learn about new trends and technologies applied to cinema and the audiovisual world.
This festival has received top-level actors, directors, and producers, such as Quentin Tarantino, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Cameron Diaz, Jodie Foster, Guillermo del Toro, Susan Sarandon, and many more.
Enter the festival page to discover the dates for your next trip. In 2022 it will be in October.
Where to Eat in Sitges?
Here I tell you the places we have tried and some more that we have been left with the desire because Sitges has a great gastronomic offer for all tastes and pockets!
It is in Plaza España. We ordered a salad, a quarter of a chicken, and a quarter of rabbit—all delicious, good service, and well priced.
Although the portions were a bit small for dinner, they were not bad.
The bar is owned by a very friendly Englishman (or someone from nearby); we ordered a pizza and a delicious devil hamburger!
What’s more, I tried to go back a couple of times at noon, and apparently, it doesn’t open during the week for lunch.
On this day we were going to eat at the Bon Estar restaurant that had been recommended to us, but despite being Tuesday, we had to go with a reservation!
So we ended up at La Oca, a place that treated us very well, with a rich, abundant menu. The Catalan cream was delicious!
Here we were not very original, and we ate the lunch menu.
Here the quality of the restaurant was noticeable. We ate from the menu, and it was all delicious.
It is a pizzeria that is opposite the hotel where we were staying. I tried it on the last day, and it wasn’t bad, but I prefer the one from Trocadero.
Where to Stay?
We stayed in Sitges at the Calipolis hotel, a classic in the city. The truth is that the location is excellent. You are next to the beach and close to everything.
The hotel’s offer is vast, and there is accommodation for all budgets.
Don’t forget to stop by the Sitges tourist office and ask for a map and any information you need!
What are you waiting for to take a walk around Sitges?
Plan Your Trip to Sitges and Barcelona
- Tours in Sitges
- Where to sleep in Sitges
- What to see in Barcelona
- How to get around Barcelona
- What to see in the Surroundings of Barcelona
Last Updated on 20 June, 2022 by Veronica