Looking for a beautiful place to visit from Barcelona? As I am living in Barcelona, I have a lot of time exploring many places in the area. But I have to say a Sitges Day Trip is definitely one of my favorite ways to spend a day outside of the Catalan capital.
Sitges, Spain, is a charming town located on the Mediterranean coast of Catalonia. The small town offers a unique blend of culture and natural beauty. Visitors are welcomed to beautiful beaches, quaint cobblestone streets, and numerous places to explore local history.
From its famous festivals and reputation as the capital of the LTBTQIA+ scene to miles of coastal views, Sitges has something to offer travelers of all ages.
In today’s article, I’d like to explore the best things to do during one day in Sitges with you and give you all the info you need along the way for a perfect trip to this bustling little city. So let’s jump right into it.
What to find out in this post
- 1 Sitges Facts
- 2 Where is Sitges, Spain?
- 3 How to get to Sitges
- 4 Sitges Transport – How to get around
- 5 A Sitges Day Trip Itinerary
- 6 Sitges Old Town
- 7 Sant Bartomeu and Santa Tecla Church
- 8 Palau Maricel
- 9 Mirador Miquel Utrillo
- 10 El Baluard de Sitges
- 11 Museo Cau Ferrat and Museu de Maricel
- 12 Paseo Marítimo
- 13 Sitges Beaches
- 14 Plaza del Ayuntamiento
- 15 Plaza del Cap de la Vila
- 16 More things to do in Sitges
- 17 Events in Sitges
- 18 Sitges as the Spanish capital of LGBTQIA+
- 19 Where to stay in Sitges
- 20 FAQ about visiting Sitges
- Considered the LGBTQIA+ capital of Spain
- Located on the Costa del Garraf
- The name Sitges derives from the Old Spanish word for “granary”
- The founder of Bacardi, Facundo Bacardí, was from Sitges
Where to stay in Sitges: Liberty Sitges (A great hotel in Sitges with a garden & excellent value for money) or Hotel Capri (3-Star Hotel with Pool near the beach)
The most popular Activities & Tours in Sitges
Explore the beaches of Tarragona
Cycling Tour from Sitges with Winery Visit & Tasting
Sitges Wine Tasting with Snacks
Walk along the Paseo Marítimo
Getting there: Make sure to check for the best flight deals on Flight comparison-Sites like Skyscanner
Transport: Best by walking or by car
Want to rent a car? You can find great deals on RentalCars.
Sitges Must-Have: Practical Spanish Travel Dictionary or Catalan Travel Dictionary
Where is Sitges, Spain?
Sitges is located on the Catalan Mediterranean coast, about 35 km/22 mi south of Barcelona. With its ideal location on the Spanish coast of Garraf, Sitges is considered a popular seaside resort in the region.
How to get to Sitges
Getting to Sitges by plane
Sightseeing in Sitges is popular. However, the little town does not have its own airport. The two nearest airports are Barcelona El Prat Airport, 30 km/18.5 mi away, and Reus Airport, 65 km/40 mi away. Therefore, getting to Sitges from one of these airports requires additional travel time by car or train.
Getting to Sitges by train
From Barcelona, there are direct trains to Sitges leaving several times an hour. The journey takes about 40 minutes, depending on the departure station, and costs €3.85 each way “Sitges-Barcelona.” Take the train R2 Sud in the direction of Vilanova i la Geltrú or Sant Vicenç de Calders.
Getting to Sitges by car
Another option is to travel by car between Barcelona (or other starting points) and Sitges. The highway conditions are excellent (beware, toll road).
The trip takes about 40 minutes, depending on the exit point in Barcelona, and takes you on the C-32 highway.
Maybe you are traveling in your private car. Otherwise, you can easily find a rental car from Barcelona. For the best deals, check out RentalCars.
Extra tip: Choose El Prat Airport in Barcelona as the pick-up location for your rental car to find even better deals.
Join a Sitges Tour
If you prefer to visit Sitges in a group or guided tour, you can book a guided day trip to Sitges from Barcelona. There are several providers with different offers and prices.
This way, you don’t have to take care of anything on your own, get interesting information on-site, and spend the day in good company. You can find great offers for such a tour in travel agencies in Barcelona or online via GetYourGuide.
Sitges Transport – How to get around
Sitges’ old town, where most of the attractions on our list are located, is conveniently relatively small and walkable. Therefore, you can easily wander around Sitges in a day and explore all the great things to do in Sitges on our list without relying on public transportation.
If you want to visit one of the beaches a bit further out, it’s worth taking a car, cab, or public transportation.
A Sitges Day Trip Itinerary
Sitges Old Town
The old town of Sitges, also called Casco Antiguo, is definitely one of the most beautiful in the region. No wonder we visit this small town with its coastal charm every year. In the picturesque old town, you can find all kinds of interesting buildings.
From idyllic white fishermen’s cottages in small dreamy alleys to exciting architecture in the typical Catalan Modernist style to fancy little cafes and restaurants.
Just follow the little streets and see where they lead. There are charming buildings to be discovered on every corner. Have a café con leche in one of the cafes and enjoy the Mediterranean charm of this little seaside town.
A large part of your visit to Sitges can be spent exploring the beautiful center of the coastal town.
Sant Bartomeu and Santa Tecla Church
Opening Hours Sitges Parish Church: Tue + Sat: 11 am – 1 pm; Thu: 8 pm – 9 pm; + at Mass times. (Check Mass schedules here)
Entrance Fee Sitges Parish Church: free of charge
The church of Sant Bartomeu and Santa Tecla is one of the most outstanding buildings in the city. The asymmetrical building dates back to the 17th century but has been extended over the years.
With its exceptional location directly on the sea, the parish church attracts plenty of visitors who enjoy the view of the Catalan Mediterranean Sea from here.
Inside the church, you can find an impressive baroque organ, which also dates back to the 17th century, as well as other pieces of beautiful religious art.
Opening Hours Palau Maricel: Different opening hours. You can check their schedule on the official Website
Entrance Fee Palau Maricel: 5 €
Let’s move on to another of the most emblematic buildings in Sitges, the Maricel Palace. It is impossible to imagine the city’s coast without the imposing exterior tower. With the mixture of the impressive facade and beautiful views of the Spanish Mediterranean, the importance of the palace for Sitges is hardly surprising.
But many people do not know that the Palau Maricel, with its magnificent colorful architecture, also enchants its guests from the inside. Because of this beauty, many important cultural events, such as concerts and readings, but also private events, such as civil weddings, take place here.
Extra tip: Since the palace is mainly used for events, it is not open daily to the public. If you are planning a visit, be sure to check the opening hours beforehand and adjust your day trip to Sitges accordingly.
Mirador Miquel Utrillo
Now that you know that next to the parish church and the Maricel Palace, a great view of the sea is waiting for you, we would like to share one of the city’s best viewpoints: the Miquel Utrillo viewpoint.
This vantage point was named after the Catalan artist and designer of the same name, whose creative influences can still be spotted in the cityscape of Sitges to this day.
El Baluard de Sitges
Directly at the Mirador Miquel Utrillo, we find the next Sitges attraction on our list, the Baluard de Sitges. This is a replica of a historical cannon of the town.
Once, it had been part of the critical defense system of Sitges from the late 18th century. This cannon, in particular, had contributed to the defense against an attack of an English war fleet at the end of the 18th century.
Until a few years ago, the original cannon could still be admired here. Due to the sea air, which continued to affect the original, the cannon has now been replaced by a replica to protect the original piece from decay.
Museo Cau Ferrat and Museu de Maricel
Opening Hours Museu Cau Ferrat: Tue-Sun: 10 am -7 pm, closed Mondays (Mar.-Jun.+Oct.); Other months: Check the official Opening Hours
Entrance Fee Cau Ferrat: 10 € (combined with Museu de Maricel)
The Cau Ferrat Museum is considered one of the most important art museums in the region and is especially appreciated by lovers of the Modernisme style. With its colorful variety of different art collections, you are guaranteed not to get bored here.
Before the building became a public museum, it housed the private workshop of Catalan artist Santiago Rusiñol. Today, in addition to his own works, the rooms also contain exhibits by other influential artists such as Picasso, Casas, and Pinchol.
The entrance fee also includes access to the Museu de Maricel, which features other art exhibits, such as statues from the 10th century and realism.
Like many towns along the Catalan coast, Sitges has its own Passeig Marítim, a promenade along the coast. Hardly any other street in the small town is as idyllic as this one.
Let the sound of the sea wash over you as you stroll along, a light salty breeze blowing in your face. Why not sit down in one of the cafes overlooking the sea and enjoy an ice-cold beer or another typical Spanish drink while you watch the hustle and bustle of the visitors?
With 17 great beaches on the Costa del Garraf, Sitges is considered one of the most popular beach resorts in the region. For this reason, you should not miss the beaches of Sitges during your visit.
In addition to the city beaches, which might get crowded, especially during the summer, outside the city center, there are also a few great options for a little beach trip.
The city beaches Platja de Sant Sebastià and Platja de la Ribera are popular spots for locals and visitors alike. For those who like it a little quieter, the beaches Platja del Terramar or Platja dels Balsmins, which are a little further out, are sure to be the right choice.
Plaza del Ayuntamiento
Plaza del Ayuntamiento is one of the most symbolic squares in the city. The main attraction in this square is the town hall building from the 19th century.
For locals, the plaza in the city center is a popular meeting place. During the warmer months, events such as the popular Catalan Castellers (human towers) are regularly held here.
Plaza del Cap de la Vila
Let’s move on to another popular square in Sitges, the Plaza del Cap de la Vila. The square is famous mainly because of its unique buildings. So take a moment to look around.
It likely won’t take long for the clock tower and the modernist-style balconies of the Bartomeu Carbonell building to catch your attention.
More things to do in Sitges
Jardins de Terramar
Opening Hours Terramar Gardens: 10:30 am – 8:30 pm (Jun 15-Sept 14); 9 am – 7 pm (Sep 15-Jun 14).
Entrance Fee Terramar Gardens: free of charge
If you’re looking for a bit of greenery in addition to beautiful beaches, the Terramar Gardens are the right place for you. A short walk from the center of Sitges, you’ll find a spot of greenery where you can really relax.
The gardens were designed in the 1920s with the help of designer Miquel Utrillo, who also had a hand in many other significant projects in the city.
A visit is especially worthwhile during the Jardins de Terramar music festival, which invites you to listen to live music each year in late summer.
While many modernism lovers are drawn to Barcelona or Girona, few know how many great examples of Catalan Art Nouveau can be found in Sitges.
Influenced by the artist Santiago Rusiñol, magnificent buildings were gradually built here in Sitges, which have lost none of their charisma to this day.
Starting at the station square, you will be surprised by the first Modernist buildings. As you make your way through the old town of Sitges, you can discover plenty of them if you carefully look around.
Besides the already mentioned popular examples of the Palau de Maricel and the Bartomeu Carbonell building in the Plaza del Cap de la Vila, the interior of the Teatro Prado and the Casa Manuel Planas and Casa Bonaventura Blay buildings are also worth a visit.
Events in Sitges
The Sitges Film Festival
The Sitges Film Festival, or Festival Internacional de Cinema Fantàstic de Catalunya, as its complete name states, is one of the most important film festivals in the country.
For over 50 years, the popular film festival has occurred every year in October in the small coastal town. At this time, numerous famous national and international figures are invited to Sitges.
Therefore, you should definitely reserve your movie tickets a few days in advance, especially if you want to see one of the most popular new releases.
A big highlight of the festival is the annual Zombie Walk. Throughout the day, you can be painted as a zombie. At sunset, the parade of zombies starts walking through the city. A super fun experience we like to watch every year.
If you thought the Sitges Film Festival with its Zombie Walk was hard to top, you probably haven’t experienced the Sitges Carnival. During the Sitges Carnival, also known as Carnestoltes, there are days of colorful celebrations, flashy costumes, lots of music, and plenty of good cheer.
With its reputation as the LGBTQIA+ capital, extravagant costumes and one of the best parties in the country are simply bound to happen.
Extra tip: If you want to stay in Sitges during carnival time, be sure to book your accommodation a few weeks, ideally months, in advance, as this is considered the most popular time in Sitges.
Sitges as the Spanish capital of LGBTQIA+
Not only at carnival time but also during the rest of the year, Sitges is known and celebrated for its colorful extravagance and openness towards the LGBTQIA+ community.
Various events on the matter take place frequently, with open-minded people arriving from all over the world. In addition, there are plenty of bars and beaches that are primarily geared toward the community. Of course, heterosexual visitors are also welcome as long as they are open and in a good mood.
Where to stay in Sitges
The best Hotels in Sitges
Privat Hotel Liberty Sitges
This 2-star hotel is located in a beautiful Cuban-style building in the old town of Sitges. It offers a small garden to relax in and comfortable rooms, some of which have their own balcony or terrace.
Check more info, prices, and availability of Liberty Sitges
Hotel Capri Sitges
If you don’t want to go without a pool during your vacation, Hotel Capri is the right place for you. In this 3-star hotel, only 100 meters separate you from the beach. The rooms are cozy and colorfully decorated, and a fabulous breakfast is included in the room rate.
Check more info, prices, and availability of Hotel Capri
More great accommodation in Sitges
>>Click here to check all accommodations in Sitges
FAQ about visiting Sitges
Sitges is best known for its beautiful beaches, relaxed atmosphere, typical LGBTQIA+ scene, and popular festivals such as Carnival and the Sitges International Film Festival.
A day trip to Sitges from Barcelona or Tarragona is well worth it. The city is relatively small and can be discovered within a day.
Sitges is considered one of the most beautiful coastal towns in Catalonia. The white fishing village cottages, the idyllic coastline, and the impressive Modernisme buildings add to the beauty of Sitges.
A single trip from Barcelona to Sitges currently costs €3.85. You can buy a return ticket, but the price per leg remains the same.
The small town of Sitges is located on the Costa del Garraf (Garraf Coast) on the Mediterranean Sea.
The Spanish town of Sitges is pronounced with a sharp S, something like “Seatschess”.
The two Catalan cities of Sitges and Tarragona are very different from each other. Sitges is a quiet small town with idyllic architecture, beaches, and a famous LGBT scene, while Tarragona is a big city with ancient architecture and Roman relics.