From Beaches to Museums: Experience the Best of Sitges with Our Insider Tips and Recommendations for an Unforgettable Getaway
by Stefanie Michaels
Sitges is a coastal town located in the province of Barcelona, in Catalonia, Spain. It is situated about 20 miles/35 kilometers southwest of Barcelona on the Mediterranean Sea. Getting to this Spanish destination is an easy train ride, which takes travelers from Barcelona to Sitges in about forty-minutes.
It’s known for its beautiful beaches and laid-back atmosphere. Strolling on the promenade past cafes and restaurants is a thing. Turn off the main street and get lost on narrow cobblestone streets boasting shopping ops ranging from high-end designer boutiques to local markets and craft shops.
Sitges, Spain, is Spanish, and locals speak Castilian—a Romance language from the Iberian Peninsula, and like the rest of Spain, is on the Euro.
Here’s a list of eight things to see and do;
- Visit the Church of Sant Bartomeu and Santa Tecla: Built in the 18th century, this church is one of the most important landmarks, known for its impressive Baroque architecture and stunning frescoes.
- Explore the Old Town: Take a stroll through the narrow cobblestone streets of Old Town, lined with colorful houses, cafes and boutique shops.
- Visit the Museu Maricel de Mar: This museum is located in a Modern-style mansion. It boasts an impressive collection of art, ceramics, and furniture.
- Relax on the beach: Visitors flock to this area for its famed beautiful beaches. The most popular ones are Platja de la Barra and Platja de Sant Sebastià.
- Take a boat tour: Make time for a scenic boat tour around the town and the surrounding coast. From booking a private yacht, sailboat, or even a kayak tour, guests can view Sitges from the sea and get a different perspective of its beauty. Tours also offer views of the Mediterranean Sea and the local beaches.
- Visit the Cau Ferrat Museum: Located in the house of Santiago Rusiñol, a famous Catalonian artist and writer, this museum houses a collection of art and artifacts from the region.
- Visit the Fundació Stämpfli: This art foundation features contemporary art exhibitions and also hosts events and workshops.
- Visit the Aiguadolç Marina: Stroll along the Aiguadolç This is a place to see and be seen. Visitors and locals line the promenade at the many restaurants and cafes, taking in views of mega yachts. It’s also a great place to end the day with a sunset and a glass of local Cava— Spain’s version of Champagne.
The most popular dish is paella, the traditional Spanish rice dish from the Valencia region. Seafood paella, made with a mix of seafood, including shrimp, squid, and mussels, is particularly popular in Sitges due to the town’s proximity to the coast.
Besides “Pallella”, include “Fideuà”–a noodle dish similar to paella but made with thin noodles instead of rice, “Escalivada”, a dish made with grilled vegetables, “Suquet de Peix” — a fish stew, “Butifarra”, which is a type of sausage, “Gazpacho”, a cold soup made with tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and bread, and “Pa amb Tomàquet”, the traditional Catalan dish made with bread rubbed with ripe tomatoes and drizzled with olive oil.
A Little History:
Sitges has a rich history dating back to Roman times when it was a fishing village. During the Middle Ages, It became an essential center for producing textiles and a major Mediterranean trade port.
In the 19th century, it became a popular tourist destination for the wealthy, attracted by its beaches and mild climate. This trend continued in the early 20th century when Sitges became a center for the modernist art movement.
Also, known for being a gay-friendly destination, the 1960s and 1970s, it became a popular destination for the gay community, attracted by its liberal attitude and beautiful beaches.
Today, Sitges has a thriving gay community and is home to several gay bars, clubs, and events, making it one of the most popular gay destinations in Europe. The town celebrates its LGBTQ+ community with the annual Sitges Gay Pride event and other cultural activities.