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Sitges, a world of possibilities

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Sitges is a municipality on the Catalan coast located 38 km south of Barcelona. It boasts an extensive array of tourist facilities catering to all needs. Bars, restaurants, hotels, and shops serve the thousands of visitors who flock to the town each year to enjoy its beaches.

In fact, it is the municipality in Spain with the most sports harbors, with three, of which Port Ginesta is the largest in Catalonia.

What to See

Sitges has also received various accolades. It has been compared to Saint Tropez for its beauty and for being one of the towns with the highest real estate prices in Europe. Moreover, Sant Sebastià beach has been rated as the best urban beach in Europe.

The town offers a series of tourist and cultural routes that allow visitors to explore the city more deeply. These itineraries include the seaside promenade and parts of the coastline, houses of various architectural styles built by the americanos, or the old town with the remains of the walls and the fishermen’s houses. It is worth noting that many of these are suitable for children.

Passeig marítim de Sitges
Passeig marítim

The municipality preserves an array of streets, monuments, churches, houses, and museums that testify to the city’s past and narrate its history.

The Church of Sant Bartomeu and Santa Tecla, in Baroque style, is one of the most iconic images of the city. It occupies the space of the two previous churches, the Roman and the Gothic.

L'església de Sant Bartomeu i Santa Tecla
L’església de Sant Bartomeu i Santa Tecla

The church retains an organ from the 17th century, various Baroque altarpieces (those of the Virgin of Sorrows, Saint Telmo, the Immaculate Conception, and Saint Peter) and a Renaissance one (the altarpiece of the Rosary). In the temple, there are also two Gothic tombs that contain the remains of Bernat de Fonollar, Galceran de Ribes, and Galceran de Pacs.

In this area, known as el Baluard, there is a replica of a cannon from the late 18th century.


On its part, the Hermitage of the Trinity; built on the mountain that forms Punta de la Ferrosa, offers spectacular views that stretch from the mouth of the Llobregat River to Cape Salou.

Documents date it to the mid-14th century and, according to tradition, it was built because a cross with the image of the Trinity was found in the area. In the 18th century, the roof collapsed, hence its architecture is more modern and includes Modernist details.

The Garraf Castle, known as “the little castle”, was built in the 12th century. It appears to have had a defense tower, but today only the remains of the building are preserved.

The municipality is also known for the Sitges-Terramar Circuit, inaugurated in 1923 and which ceased operations in the fifties. This famous racing circuit hosted the First Grand Prix of Spain, and nowadays guided tours are offered and laps on the circuit can be booked in Ferraris or Porsches.

The Palau Maricel is an early 20th-century palace located in the historic center of Sitges, where weddings, congresses, and concerts are held.

The American multimillionaire Charles Deering bought the old hospital of Sant Joan and, with the help of engineer, painter, and decorator Miquel Utrillo, transformed it into his private residence.

He also purchased the surrounding fishermen’s houses to convert them into a palace with ballrooms and to have a place to display his art collections, which included paintings, sculptures, furniture, mosaics, books, and tapestries.

Moreover, he had a raised passage built that connected the palace with his home. Of the whole complex, the Blue Room, the Ship Room, and the Gold Room are noteworthy, the latter containing a large white alabaster fireplace.

Located next to the Palau Maricel, there is the Maricel Museum, which was inaugurated in 1970 and contains more than three thousand art pieces. Among these, one can admire Romanesque murals, Gothic paintings, Renaissance carvings and altarpieces, Modernist and Noucentista sculptures, ceramics, porcelains, paintings, furniture, and liturgical goldsmithing.

Museu Maricel
Museu Maricel

Since 1995, the museum has hosted the Collection of the Art of the Town of Sitges and the Maritime Collection. The former includes about fifty works by Sitges artists from the 19th and 20th centuries. The latter, which belonged to Emerencià Roig i Raventós, displays a collection of maps, miniatures, and ship models, nautical instruments, and fishing gear used historically along the Catalan coasts.

Located in a neoclassical building from the 18th century, the Romantic Museum Can Llopis is named after the first owner of the house: Manuel Llopis i Falç, a member of one of the most important families in Sitges.

It was opened to the public as a museum in the mid-20th century. It features a decor characteristic of Romanticism and displays how life was during the 18th and 19th centuries. The original structure and wall decorations of the house are preserved. The second floor houses the Doll Collection by Lola Anglada, since 1961.

We recommend a visit to Carrer Tacó, a place in the town included in the Inventory of Architectural Heritage of Catalonia.

Carrer Tacó
Carrer Tacó

Walking down Bosch Street, you will arrive at the town hall square, another of the most emblematic spots in the town.

plaça de l'Ajuntament
Plaça de l’Ajuntament

The town also hosts the Cau Ferrat Museum, established in the home of the painter and writer Santiago Rusiñol. This corner was frequented by the most important poets, painters, musicians, and writers of the 19th century, introducing the most innovative European trends to Catalonia in the field of art.

Museu Cau Ferrat
Museu Cau Ferrat

The museum displays collections related to Rusiñol and Modernism. Among them, the iron collection (featuring forge works dating back to the 14th century), the glass collection (which includes medieval samples and pieces from the 16th to 18th centuries), the ceramic collection, and the painting and drawing collection (with works by Picasso, Ramon Casas, or Miquel Utrillo, among others) stand out.

The Palace of the Moorish King, in Gothic style, which is part of the Inventory of Architectural Heritage of Catalonia, is a medieval-origin manor, whose construction dates back to the 14th century.

Palau del Rei Moro
Palau del Rei Moro

The Miramar Building, located between Sant Sebastià beach and the historic center, is a neoclassical building that hosts various exhibitions and cultural conferences.

L'edifici Miramar
L’edifici Miramar

The Hermitage of Sant Sebastià, dating from the 19th century, is part of the architectural complex of the town’s cemetery and is included in the Inventory of Architectural Heritage of Catalonia.

L'ermita de Sant Sebastià
L’ermita de Sant Sebastià

What to Do

The geographical location of Sitges, between the Garraf Massif and the Mediterranean Sea, creates a very pleasant climate that favors outdoor activities almost all year round.

Many of these activities can be carried out on the 4 km of beaches or by visiting the Garraf Natural Park. Additionally, the coastal line features a seaside promenade full of Indian palaces.

Passeig marítim de Sitges
Passeig marítim de Sitges

The city offers four kilometers of coastline, divided into seventeen beaches, thirteen of which hold the ISO 14001 certification, a recognition for efforts made to maintain good water quality, sand, and maintenance and lifeguard services. Additionally, all are separated by breakwaters that protect them from waves and storms.

Apart from the urban beaches located along the seaside promenade, in Sitges, you can also find family-friendly, wide beaches with fine sand, as well as charming coves.

Some of the most popular beaches include: les Anquines Beach, Terramar Beach, la Barra Beach, Riera Xica Beach, l’Estanyol Beach, la Ribera Beach, la Fragata Beach, and Sant Sebastià Beach.

platja de Sant Sebastià
Platja de Sant Sebastià

However, Sitges is much more than just beaches and restaurants. The town offers a wide variety of sports and cultural activities designed to satisfy the most demanding tastes. Throughout the year, sports events such as the half marathon Mitja Sitges, triathlons, sailing regattas, and competitions in rugby, basketball, or soccer are organized.

The town has various sports facilities: a municipal swimming pool, the Terramar football field, basketball and indoor soccer courts, a climbing area, a skateboarding zone, a motocross circuit, karting, and mini-golf.

Additionally, it is worth booking a visit to the Confraria de Pescadors de Sitges (Fishermen’s Guild of Sitges), as it is one of the few in Catalonia that still operates traditionally.

If you like golf, you cannot miss the Terramar Golf Club, which has become a very important meeting point for practicing this sport. Nearby, you will find the Terramar Park, which is part of the same-named garden city complex.

parc de Terramar
Parc de Terramar

The Old Market of Sitges, a work by the local architect from Sitges; Gaietà Buïgas i Monravà, is included in the Inventory of Architectural Heritage of Catalonia. Furthermore, it is highly recommended to visit the outdoor market that takes place every Thursday, a tradition dating back to medieval times.

Mercat Vell de Sitges
Mercat Vell

As for water sports, Sitges has several companies that offer the possibility to rent boats and kayaks. Additionally, equipment necessary for diving or sport fishing can also be acquired.

Located a short distance from the center of Sitges, the Port d’Aiguadolç combines tradition and modernity in a unique maritime setting, offering a varied selection of bars and restaurants, ideal for relaxing with sea views.

Port d'Aiguadolç
Port d’Aiguadolç

Cultural events have a strong presence in Sitges, starting with the International Fantastic Film Festival. Art exhibitions, classical and contemporary music concerts, theatrical performances, activities at the city’s museums during the summer, and the vintage car rally complete the cultural offerings.

At the Pere Stämpfli Cultural Space, you will find one of the most important contemporary art collections in Catalonia. Specifically, it consists of a selection from its collection, made up of 90 works by 60 international artists.

Espai Cultural Pere Stämpfli
Espai Cultural Pere Stämpfli

Thinking of children and family tourism, Sitges has equipped its parks with picnic areas and swings, like those in Terramar. Various themed workshops can also be attended at different locations around the town. Additionally, you can enjoy horseback riding organized by the riding school or follow the trails that wind through the Garraf Natural Park.

Sitges is a city that never sleeps. Its nightlife offers a wide range of options, from seaside cocktail bars and chill-outs to nightclubs and night parties, as well as outdoor concerts. Much of the city’s nightlife is concentrated on the Street of Sin, which has earned it international recognition.

On the other hand, Sitges’ open-minded attitude has made it a reference city for gay tourists worldwide, offering a wide variety of leisure options; specifically, about 40 hotels and 23 venues.


The gastronomy of Sitges is a fusion of history and geography. As a former fishing village, its cuisine is closely tied to the sea, reflected in its dishes: fish, rice, and noodle dishes (fideuà) are among the main ingredients. However, due to the city’s proximity to the Garraf Massif, inland products are also very prominent.

The most characteristic example is arròs a la sitgetana, a dish dating back to the 17th century where prawns and clams are mixed with sausages.

Arròs a la sitgetana

Another typical dish of the area is xató. The original recipe for this salad is made with endive, tuna, anchovies, and desalted and shredded cod. It is all accompanied by a sauce made with almonds, hazelnuts, fried bread, bitxo peppers, and nyora peppers. For dessert, escumes are traditional pastries baked with egg white, sugar, and Marcona almonds.

Additionally, throughout the year, the Club de Tast (a gastronomic association formed by various restaurants in the city) organizes three gastronomic festivals:

  1. The Rice Gastronomic Days in May, to showcase the various participating establishments and their dishes.
  2. The Tasta Sitges in October, where each establishment chooses a different dish from the others and offers a half-portion tasting to customers, always accompanied by a glass of wine or cava.
  3. The OctopuSitges in June, where the stars of the kitchen are octopus, cuttlefish, and squid. Customers can taste the various creations of the Club through a gastronomic circuit.

Wine is also a highly valued product in Sitges. In fact, the city is located in one of the most important wine regions of Europe: the Penedès. This is why the municipality enjoys an extensive selection of quality wines, ideal to accompany each dish.

At this point, it’s worth highlighting the Malvasia de Sitges, a sweet wine with a designation of origin made from the white grape variety called malvasia, which was already cultivated in the plains of Sitges during the Middle Ages. If you want to delve deeper into the subject, you can visit the Malvasia Interpretation Center of Sitges.

Where to Eat

The city of Sitges, considered the gastronomic capital of Garraf, boasts a wide range of dining options, and its cuisine is recognized worldwide. Along Major Street, you can find various establishments catering to all tastes.

Most of its restaurants are dedicated to Mediterranean cuisine. These establishments, working with the oldest and most traditional recipes, have taken great care with the details and quality of the products to create original and innovative dishes.

Check out all the restaurants in Sitges at Guiacat.

Where to Stay

Sitges offers its visitors an extensive variety of accommodations suited to any budget, need, or preference, close to the beach and equipped with everything essential for a few days of relaxation. Hotels, guesthouses, hostels, campsites, and luxury villas are all part of the city’s lodging offerings.

Find all the rural accommodations in Garraf at Guiacat.


Throughout the year, the city of Sitges celebrates cultural events, such as theater and film festivals, which coexist with other popular festivals where the active participation of its residents stands out. Many of these festivals are renowned beyond national borders, resulting in a large influx of visitors from around the world each year.

One of the most important events is the International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia. Considered the first of its kind in the world and one of the most significant in Europe, it is essential for anyone wanting to discover the latest trends in fantasy, horror, and science fiction cinema.

First organized in 1968, each edition showcases well-known directors and actors, both national and international.

A tradition linked to the festival is the “Sitges Zombie Walk,” where participants roam the city streets dressed as zombies.

The Sitges Carnival is another notable event in the town. It is characterized by the impressive and colorful float parades. In the afternoon, children’s parades are seen, while at night, those intended for adults take place: the Rua de la Disbauxa and the Rua de l’Extermini.

Carnaval de Sitges
Carnaval de Sitges

This carnival is recognized worldwide, which is why it attracts extensive coverage from both national and international media.

In the summer, over five days, the city hosts the Sitges Gay Pride, rated as the best in the world for small destinations. During this celebration of the gay community, thousands of people from around the world come to the city to enjoy and participate in numerous parades and concerts.

Also in the summer, Sitges organizes the International Tango Festival, which includes activities like tango classes, exhibitions, dance nights, DJ courses, and excursions.

In the world of motorsport, the Barcelona-Sitges Rally cannot be overlooked. It starts at Plaça de Sant Jaume in Barcelona and ends at the Port d’Aiguadolç, after traveling through the streets of Sitges. At this event, you can admire authentic gems on wheels and period costumes, all against a backdrop of the sea.

As for popular festivities, Sitges celebrates two major festivals: at the end of August, the Festa Major de Sant Bartomeu takes place, and a month later, the Festa Major de Santa Tecla.

The most significant events of the first include sardana dances and the traditional moixiganga, a very ancient typical Sitgetan dance that depicts scenes from the Passion of Christ. There are also parades of giants and big heads; a fireworks display and a procession that ends with the saint’s entry into the church, one of the most emotional moments.

The events of this festival are practically identical to those of the Festa Major de Santa Tecla, except that it is a bit smaller and attracts fewer people.

Just a week before Santa Tecla, the Night of Fire is celebrated, a ‘correfoc’ in which demons and fire beasts, from Sitges and neighboring towns, parade through the city streets amid a pyrotechnic display.

Another deeply rooted festival in Sitges is Corpus, known worldwide for the flower carpets that adorn the streets. If you follow the instructions of the locals, visitors can participate in their making.

In October, during an entire weekend, the Verema takes place, a festival dedicated to grape harvesting. On Sunday, the grape stomping competition is held as it was done in ancient times. Later, the pubilla of Sitges is weighed on a scale, and she is given the equivalent of her weight in wine bottles.

You can check all the activities happening in Sitges throughout the year at Turisme de Catalunya’s agenda.

Best Time to Visit

Fun also has its place in Sitges. Throughout the year, various cultural events and sports activities are organized for the whole family. Popular festivals, theater festivals, vintage car rallies, concerts… And, as mentioned, the most notable include: the Sitges Carnival, the Main Festival, the International Fantastic Film Festival, and the International Vintage Car Rally Barcelona-Sitges.


During your visit, you cannot miss the following activities:

  1. Stroll through the historic center of Sitges
  2. Swim at some of the seventeen beaches in the area
  3. Admire the Church of Sant Bartomeu and Santa Tecla
  4. Visit the Maricel Palace
  5. Go to the Cau Ferrat Museum.

What to See Nearby

Near Sitges, you can visit other places and towns such as: Barcelona, the Monastery of Poblet, Montserrat Mountain, Tarragona, Altafulla, Tamarit, the Railway Museum in Vilanova i la Geltrú, the amusement park of PortAventura World, Vilafranca del Penedès, Calafell, Castelldefels, and Olesa de Bonesvalls.


How to Get There

If traveling by car from Barcelona, both from the city and the airport, you should take the C-32 motorway (toll) or the C-31. Both lead directly to Sitges.

From Reus Airport, the A-2 motorway leads to the A-7 (toll road), from which there is an exit to take the C-32.

From Girona, follow the directions on the A-7 motorway, heading towards Barcelona, until reaching Granollers. There, take the C-33, then the C-58 towards the airport, and finally, the C-32 to Sitges.

To arrive from other parts of Spain, such as Madrid, Lleida, or Zaragoza, drive on the AP-2 towards Barcelona, then continue on the AP-7 towards Tarragona, and about 8 km later, take the C-32.

At the airports of Barcelona, Tarragona, and Girona, there are bus and taxi stops which can also be used to make the same trips.

There is a good combination of trains to reach Sitges from any point. The França, Passeig de Gràcia, and Sants stations in Barcelona have the R2 suburban line. From the airport, however, a transfer at the Prat de Llobregat station is necessary to catch one of the trains that depart every half hour.

Reus Airport does not have a train station. Therefore, you must go to the Reus station by bus or taxi and take a train to Sant Vicenç de Calders. From there, the R2 line goes directly to Sitges.

If traveling by AVE from other parts of the peninsula, it is best to travel to Barcelona-Sants, since the Camp de Tarragona station does not connect with suburban services.

Finally, it is also possible to reach Sitges by boat, with prior radio communication with any of the three marinas in the city.


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