#DesinationSpain: A Guide to Sitges
Magnificent Sitges gleams like a pearl nestled between unspoiled beaches and the gently rolling Garraf hills. Just a short half hour hop from Barcelona’s Passeo de Gracia (on the R2 train), this chic year-round destination offers an entirely different experience from that of the bustling Catalan capital.
Catering to a cosmopolitan, fashion forward clientele, Sitges boasts luxury hotels, high-end shopping, acclaimed nightlife and 18km of pristine coastline. Well-heeled bohemian folk mingle with the Barcelona jet set, and a truly international open-minded community, creating a particular brand of laid back glamour unique to this picturesque seaside town. Cobbled streets wind between whitewashed houses under immaculately pruned window boxes bursting with colour.
From the world-famous Carnival and Mardi Gras street parties, to the annual vintage car rally, International Film Festival and numerous local festivities in between, Sitges packs a serious punch even in the off-season.
With historic museums, contemporary art galleries and several newly opened chiringuitos (upscale beachside bars), there is something for everyone – discerning culture vultures, party animals and those looking to unwind.
For comprehensive information on monthly events, accommodation or anything else Sitges-related you can could possibly think of, contact the Sitges Tourist Board (+34 93 894 50 04) or pop in to their office on Carrer Sinia Morera.
Platja de la Fragata
Set just under the town’s beautiful white church, this is Sitges’ most family friendly beach. With plenty of space to set up camp, volleyball courts ideal for an impromptu family tournament and pedalos for hire, Fragata is an ideal spot for small children and teenagers alike. Take a picnic or enjoy a lazy lunch on the terrace at the creatively titled “La Fragata Beach”, great for people watching, and nice and sheltered from those midday rays.
Paseo de la Ribera 1
+34 938 941 086
For some peace and quiet, head to the far east of Sitges (around a 15 minute walk) towards the secluded Platja d’Aiguadolc, this beautiful family friendly beach is among the most picturesque with a beautiful backdrop.
Platja dels Balmains
One of the town’s most relaxed nudist beaches, it’s popular with all groups (ie clothing optional but no pressure!). The beach is home to a great restaurant overlooking the sea, surrounded by picturesque mountains, and feels very private as (unsurprisingly), it is not overlooked by any other buildings.
Platja de Terramar
Alternatively, if the nudity isn’t your thing, but you’re still looking to escape the hordes (and find a parking space with ease) head to the quieter Platja de Terramar. Be sure to bring a hefty cool box of fizzy pop and beers, and plenty of shady parasols as Terramar is further from the town centre. Powdery sand + cool clear water that stays shallow for miles = a perfect day out. Alternatively, for a grown-up, upscale Mediterranean lunch without going to the effort of constructing an elaborate picnic, head to Beach Club Terramar (on neighbouring Playa de les Anquines).
Passeig Marítim 80
+34 938 940 050
Platja de la Rodona
Sitges is known for its open attitude towards all gay couples, and its beaches are no exception. For a buzzy atmosphere, head to the narrow sandy strip of Platja de la Rodona – the town’s principal gay beach. Leave your shabby speedos at home and be sure to don your most glamorous swimwear.
Best Beachside Sundowner: El Vivero
Jutting out over the central Platja Sant Sebastià, El Vivero is one of the hottest tickets in town. Boasting several chic terraces overlooking the glittering Mediterranean, this is an ideal spot for winding down after a sunkissed day by the sea. Delicious cocktails and al fresco dancing (or gentle swaying if you’re too relaxed to move!).
Paseo Balmins s/n
+34 938 942 149
The latest addition to the “Woki Tribe” family – with their successful group of organic, locally sourced supermarkets, and Barcelona’s beach restaurant Barraca. Barracuda is summer incarnate, with a divine terrace right on the sand dunes and incredible fresh fish dishes.
C/Ribera de Sant Pere 17
+34 638 265 261
Al Fresco Restaurante
Set in a tiny alley just off Calle Mayor, Alfresco Restaurant is an uber romantic garden setting. With breezy palm trees, fragrant flowerbeds and flickering candle light, dine under the stars and celebrate life. The menu is an intriguing fusion of South Pacific and Mediterranean influences, and the service is effervescent. Reservations are usually always required.
C/Pau Barrabeitg 4
+34 938 940 600
Founded in 1956, El Cable is currently run by the third generation of the same family. Expect phenomenal tapas, with simple dishes executed to perfection (their sautéed “Roman” squid and croquettes are divine). An all round winner.
+34 938 948 761
With a huge area of 12,000m², including a large terrace with stunning sea views, it is the perfect place to chill out and relax while sampling a delicious offering of traditional tapas and Mediterraean cuisine. There is also a BBQ corner as well as a coffee lounge where you can sit back and read a book or enjoy a cocktail as the sun goes down.
“This is an absolute gem of a place in one of the most beautiful stretches of beach south of Barcelona. If you have kids, it’s a haven. They are provided with drawing materials, have trees to climb and the beach is 10 paces away. When I went, I went with a foodie snob who was gobsmacked by the quality of the dishes available and also the super efficient service. Go go go!”
— Carrie Frais, Marketing & PR
+34 936 451 188
Jardin El Secreto
This secluded restaurant in the centre of Sitges is tucked just a few metres from the beach. Offering Mediterranean cuisine with daily menus, evening tapas (with fantastic sharing platters) and wine menus, it is a great relaxed dining spot.
C/Sant Pere 12
+34 639 775 852
A stone’s throw from Sitges in Castelldefels, Latitude Norte is a haven for the discerning health conscious human. With unusual salad combinations and freshly pressed juices, there are plenty of nutritious options to counteract all of the delicious local cava that they serve!
Paseo Marítimo de les Botigues de Sitges 7
+34 655 156 976
CBC Casanova Beach Club
One of the new aforementioned high-end beach clubs in Castelldefels, this chic spot is a glistening jewel in this quieter corner of coastline. Don’t miss the weekend jazz that starts just in time for a sundowner and continues late into the night.
Passeig Marítim 297
+34 936 657 095
The Sky Bar at Hotel Avenida Sofa
This minimalist all white rooftop terrace boasts views to die for, a tantalising array of cocktails and beautiful people to boot. Described as “Ibiza meets Sitges”, this hotspot is one of the best places to see and be seen in town.
Avenida Sofia 12
+34 938 113 500
The younger more laid back sibling of the decidedly more boisterous Pacha, Sweet Pacha is home to mellow R&B and soul sessions by the water’s edge. Start with dinner and follow their lead as they crank up the ambience into the wee small hours.
Avinguda de Port d’Aiguadolç 9
+34 938 943 812
The Lizard Club
The team at Lizard club know how to throw a fantastic old school party! Specialising in disco and funk, they like to spice things up with after-work events (Pica Pica Fridays are always a hit). A groovy venue for private events, LC is guaranteed to get even the most self-conscious of chums dancing with reckless abandon all summer long!
Avenida Sofia 2-6
+34 938 941 500
HOLA Club Sitges
One of the coolest beach clubs in town, set on the Platja Cap de Grills. Enjoy magnificent sea views with the best DJs of the season (including Saturday sessions currently run by the Ministry of Sound) and great tapas, a spectacular spot to enjoy the sunset.
Platja Cap de Grills
+34 931 31 23 00
The majority of Sitges’ boutiques and cafés are scattered along four streets running from the town’s central Plaça Cap de la Vila, Calle Major, Calle Jesús, Calle Parellades and Calle Sant Francesc. For luxury, big name brands from Hermes to Prada, head to Barcelona in just 30 minutes. Sitges also hosts a weekly open air market in Parc Robert on Thursday mornings, selling a host of items from artisanal jewellery and leather goods to kitchen utensils!
La Roca Village
Chic shopping outlet La Roca Village is located just outside Barcelona and offers the leading designer brands at exceptional prices unrivalled elsewhere. Designed in the style of a turn-of-the-century Catalan town, La Roca Village allows you to stroll casually between the shops, all handily located in the same boulevard, making it a pleasurable shopping experience. There is also a children’s play area and many restaurants and cafés serving traditional Catalan cuisine.
Santa Agnès de Malanyes (La Roca del Vallès)
+34 93 842 39 39
Club Tennis Sitges
This relatively compact tennis club has a friendly local feel, with a great range of classes with the option for group or individual lessons. All of their instructors speak English as well as Spanish and the club is welcoming to new visitors.
+34 938 110 359
Club Natació Sitges
Primarily a swimming club, just a 15 minute walk from the train station, the club also has tennis courts and offers great tennis lessons. Great to have both in one place for families who have different sporting interests among them.
Passeig Isaac Albèniz 6-8
+34 938 940 106
Piscina Coberta Municipal
This local leisure centre is great for year round swimming, and boasts a state of the art gym (including a cycling room) and a full timetable of fitness classes. The spa is also generally considered to be one of the best in the area.
Camí de la Fita s/n
+34 938 114 267
Aiguadolç Vela (Escola Vela Adaptada)
This sailing school set on the Port d’Aiguadolç specialises in teaching children and young adults with disabilities. They run fantastic summer courses.
Port d’Aiguadolç Moll de Llevant
+34 938 113 105
A yacht club on the beach, under the Church of Sitges, with over 40 years of sailing history. They provide everything you need to learn, practice and enjoy sailing off the coast of Sitges.
Espigó de Llevant s/n
Platja de la Fragata
+34 937 432 057
Club de Golf Terramar
The closest golf club to Sitges, set just 1km from the city centre, Club de Golf Terramar is home to a beautiful 18 hole golf course. There is also a full practice driving range, putting and chipping greens as well as a swimming pool and tennis courts. The club house also has a restaurant and bar serving Mediterranean food and local wines from El Penedès. The region’s unique microclimate allows golfers to play all year.
Carretera del Golf s/n
+34 938 940 580
CTC Golf Club
Just a short 15 minute car journey from Sitges, CTC Golf Club in Castelldefels boasts a stunning course as well as a renowned golf academy offering a range of summer courses as well as year round coaching.
C/Dr Barraquer 32
+34 936 651 285
Museu de Cau Ferrat
The Museo de Cau Ferrat has recently reopened after an extensive 4 year renovation. The permanent collection includes several Picasso pieces, two El Grecos and extensive works by the museum’s founder and Catalan modernist Santiago Rusinol.
+34 938 940 364
Museu Romàntic Can Llopis
In this perfectly preserved local merchant’s house, dating from the late 18th Century, one is transported back to middle class Catalan life. A real treasure in the heart of the city – wander its majestic rooms for a taste of Sitges’ rich past.
C/Sant Gaudenci 1
+34 938 942 969
Take a stroll and soak in the amazing atmosphere, to a soundtrack of rolling waves, stopping off at one of the many chiringuitos en route. This wide, flat promenade is absolutely ideal for cycling or rollerblading (hire both at Rollershow, C/Espanya 4).Paseo Maritimo is always lively throughout the year (as is the rest of Sitges!).
This permanent public exhibition housed in the wrought iron Mercat Vell showcases the origins and history of the iconic Bacardi brand. Sitges native Don Facundo emigrated to Cuba in 1830, where he would go on to found the largest privately held spirits company in the world (Bacardi is the most-consumed premium rum in the world).
This fantastic, hands-on guided tour takes visitors through the stages of production, the history and heritage of the company and finally to the slick Bacardi Lounge area where guests are taught to mix several cocktails by the talented brand ambassadors. Training complete, it’s onto the beautiful Bacardi terrace to enjoy aforementioned (free-poured, thus extremely strong) cocktails!
Mercat Vell de Sitges
Plaça Ajuntament 11
+34 938 948 151
Sitges Carnaval is the most famous event of its kind in Spain. Its colourful parades, called Rúas, are a true display of aesthetic and artistic creativity, featuring some 50 decorated floats, 2,500 participants and around 300,000 annual visitors.
A wine tour at Miguel Torres.
+34 93 817 74 87
Attend the Sitges Festa Mayor, an absolutely bonkers festival involving a shower of fireworks!
Must not do
Go anywhere near the touristy bars on Carrer Primer de Maig (also known as the “Calle del Pecado”, or “Street of Sin”).
Lucas Fox favourite haunts
“This boutique hotel is set in a converted 19th Century villa and retains many of the original features. This is one of the most peaceful spots in Sitges, which retains its calm oasis feel throughout the frantic summer period. Each morning breakfast is served in their parlour or in the walled garden surrounded by honeysuckle, palm trees and Greek statues. One of Sitges’ lesser known gems, I could spend hours in their giant wicker sofas with a good book and a café con leche.”
– Julia Collins, Marketing & PR
C/San Isidro 33
+34 609 794 570
“It’s right on the Paseo de la Ribera, you can’t miss it, it’s Spain’s oldest chiringuito in fact, established in 1913. Great to watch the beach crowds passing by.”
— Rachel Haslam, Director Lucas Fox Sitges
“Just a 3 minute drive from Sitges town centre at Vallpineda, Cinnamon is a great terrace to enjoy with the entire family and friends under the cooling shade of fragrant pine trees. Very child friendly, they offer a great children’s menu and there is a cool ramp area designed for children to play, with even toddler sized scooters for whizzing about on. The atmosphere is very chilled, with a ‘laid back chic’ vibe. The lounge music they play is divine, with DJ Marc spinning some great tunes.”
— Marly Cabeza, Residential Sales & Valuations Lucas Fox Sitges
Passeig de Pujades 2
+34 93 894 08 94
What you will hear in Sitges
“Are those paisley aubergine trunks next season Dolce & Gabana?”
What you will never hear in Sitges
“Sitges is such a conservative town, I didn’t feel I could really be myself.”