Sitges in Spain, attractions

Sitges, Spain – entertaining facts, attractions, beaches and climate of the city

A popular tourist resort near Barcelona, famous for its constant festivals, good nightclubs and stunning beaches – all this is Sitges. This city is made for people who want to make their vacation a continuous vacation and get well equipped.

Sitges is one of the most popular holiday resorts of today’s youth and is located 36 kilometers from Barcelona on the Costa del Garraf. You can put it on a par with Ibiza for the number of nightclubs, bars, discos and other noisy entertainment. Sitges is famous for its dedication to cultural events, with carnivals, festivals and other events taking place all year round. Every year Sitges hosts the International Fantastic Film Festival and the colorful Carnival in February.

The population of Sitges is 28.5 thousand people. The city is part of the province of Barcelona. Citizens of many European countries, especially Great Britain, Holland, France, Scandinavian countries have become residents of Sitges in recent decades, almost doubling the original population. The share of foreigners in the total population of the city is about 35%.

Sitges is considered the informal capital of sexual minorities in Spain and one of the centers of European gay tourism. Generally, tourism is the main income of Sitges. There are more than 4.5 thousand hotel rooms in the city, with a large number of 4-star hotels. High quality service is the hallmark of Sitges. It is no coincidence that companies from all over the world like to hold various conferences and congresses here.

Sitges is now one of the most important ports of the Mediterranean and has three marinas. In addition to tourism, the city is alive with trade and fishing.

Centuries ago Sitges was a small fishing village set up near a church on the Costa del Garraf. In general, on the territory of Sitges archaeologists found a lot of interesting things, which allows you to consider it a city with a very ancient history. In the middle of the last century in the Giant Cave were found the remains of Neanderthal man, whose age is more than 53 thousand years, the first settlement on the site of Sitges refers to the VI century BC. – The first settlement on the site of Sitges dates back to the 6th century B.C., the 1st century A.D., and a Roman villa dates back to the 1st-3rd centuries A.D. The name of the city (“sitja”) in translation from Catalan means “deep hole” – most likely, there were once underground storages for grains and cereals on the territory of the settlement. In the 4th century A.D. there were Iberian settlements on the territory of Sitges. In the 12th century the town was ruled by the Sitges family who took the same name as the town.

During the Middle Ages Sitges Castle stood on the Punta hill and later the town hall was built in its place. In the 18th century in the vicinity of Sitges grew grapes of a special variety – Malvasía, from which the famous wine Malvasía de Sitges is still made in Spain.

Sitges is not a cheap place to stay, but that does not stop it from being one of the most popular holiday destinations on the Mediterranean. A lot of youth activities, excellent golf courses, fashionable boutiques and stores, marinas, spectacular carnivals and colorful festivals attract tourists with a variety of interests and hobbies.

Sitges is surrounded by mountains, so it has a very special microclimate and the weather can be very different from Barcelona. Sitges has a very good climate with low humidity and up to 300 days of sunshine per year, with very little rainfall.

During the spring, the temperature ranges from +16 to +22 degrees Celsius, while during the summer months it’s a hot 25-29 degrees Celsius. From September to November the temperature starts at 18 and may reach 26 degrees (in September). From December to February, the temperature ranges from 13 to 18 degrees, so winters in Sitges are also very comfortable.

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The sea in Sitges is warmest in August, with an average water temperature of 25.8 degrees. In June, July, September and October, the sea warms to an average of 22-24 degrees.

The best way to get to Sitges is from Barcelona.

A trip on the Renfe train from the airport of Barcelona takes 52 minutes and costs 3-5 euros. This trip includes a transfer from Terminal T2 to El Prat de Llobregat station, from where the train goes to Sitges. Trains leave every 30 minutes.

There is a MonBus service every hour from Barcelona Airport Terminal T1 to Sitges. The journey time is 30 minutes and the ticket price is 12-15 euros. From Terminal T2 to Terminal T1 it takes 3 minutes by train, which runs every 10 minutes.

It takes 20 minutes to get from Barcelona Airport to Sitges by car or cab, but you have to pay 35-45 euros for a cab.

There are a fast ferry, train, and bus service from Barcelona to Sitges. The ferry is probably the most scenic way to travel along the Costa Brava. A one-way ticket costs 20 euros, children under 13 – 13 euros, pensioners (over 60 years) – 15 euros. Children under 3 years of age ride for free. Ferry timetable and ticket prices can be found on the website . Travel time is 40 minutes.

Renfe trains depart regularly from central Barcelona to Sitges. Travel time – on average, 45 minutes, the fare – 3-5 euros. The train timetable and ticket prices can be found on the website .

Buses MonBus go every 30 minutes, travel time – 45 minutes, the ticket costs 4 euros.

The comfortable buses Empresa Plana take only 36 minutes from Barcelona to Sitges. The buses run 5 times a day.

A cab from Barcelona to Sitges costs 45-60 euros.

There are 17 beaches in and around Sitges. They are very clean and well maintained. Most of the beaches in Sitges have been awarded the Blue Flag. Sitges has 11 official beaches.

Once you are on the beach, you should be guided by the flags. Green flags indicate that it is safe to swim here and the beach is safe, colored flags warn of possible dangers, yellow flags mean that swimming in the sea can be dangerous, red flags indicate a total ban on bathing.

One of the most popular beaches in Sitges is Platja Sant Sebastia. It is located in the port area and is great for relaxing with small children, but it is also adapted for the disabled. The beach is 200 m long and 20 m wide. San Sebastia beach has a beautiful view over the old quarter of Sitges. The beach has bars and restaurants, showers, toilets, water toys, umbrellas and deck chairs for hire.

You can visit the lively beach of Platja de la Ribera in the heart of Sitges. A beautiful palm tree-lined promenade runs along the beach up to the next beach, Anchinés. The beach of Ribera is 260 m long and 36 m wide.

During the 20s of the last century, an artificial beach called Platja Anquines was created in front of the Terramar Hotel, surrounded by a jetty and protected against storms. The beach is very well equipped and is ideal for families with small children, as it has nice fine sand and no big waves. The beach is 160 m long and 50 m wide.

Near the golf courses, the beaches of Platja de la Barra and Platja del Terramar have 4 artificial islands that prevent the sand from being washed away. It looks very picturesque. The length of each of the beaches is about 400 m, width – 25 m. The beaches are some of the longest in Sitges. You can rent water equipment, sun loungers and umbrellas, showers and rescue services.

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At the end of the residential part of Vinyet, you will find 2 interesting beaches: Platja Riera Xica and Platja de l’Estanyol. They are interesting because 3 days a week (Friday, Saturday, Sunday) local musicians perform there. The total length of beaches is 700 m, width – 15-20 meters. The beaches are equipped with everything you need, there are bars and restaurants, water entertainment.

A small 85-metre beach called Platja de la Fragata, situated right next to the church of St Bartholomew and St Fekla, is very popular with young people. There is a small yacht club, you can rent a yacht or a water bike, there are sports, volleyball and soccer courts. It should be noted that this beach does not have sun loungers and umbrellas for rent.

To the east of Sitges, near the port of Aiguadolç, there is a 145-meter beach called Platja de la Marina d’Aiguadolç, equipped with many facilities: Red Cross lifeguard service, showers, beach volleyball nets, hammocks, pedal boats and much more. The beach is surrounded by green vegetation with cabins, offering stunning views of the sea. A grassy area serves as a convenient parking lot.

West of the port of Aiguadols, the beach of Platja Balmins has three bays and has all the necessary facilities, including lifeguard service, bars and restaurants. The beach is 240m long and 20m wide. The beach is a sunbathing area for nudists.

Those who like to sunbathe and swim in more secluded places can find small but very beautiful coves in the vicinity of Sitges. However, it is worth remembering that there are also specific beaches in the suburbs – for nudists and for gays.

The nudist beach of 140m is called Cala Morisca, west of Sitges, and is surrounded by rocks protecting the beach guests from prying eyes.

According to an unspoken tradition, at the end of the nude beaches in Sitges can sunbathe members of nontraditional orientation. By the way, the city’s 285-meter beach Bassa Rodona is also considered a gay beach.

The beaches to the west of Sitges are rather inaccessible and wild, with a minimum of facilities.

The beach of Garraf, east of Sitges, in the small village of the same name, is very secluded, quiet and peaceful. There are no noisy bars, restaurants and nightclubs. Colorful historical houses on the coast give the beach a unique flavor. The beach is 380 m long.

The biggest beach of Sitges is located 13km east of Sitges at Les Botigues de Sitges. The beach is 1,415m long and 100m wide and is called Les Botigues. It is a quiet beach, with parking, beach bars and houses-apartments along the coast. There are water and beach equipment rentals, children’s play areas, and other obligatory infrastructure.

Once in Sitges one cannot help but stroll along its wonderful 3 kilometers long promenade, the Passeig Marítim. It offers beautiful views of the sea and of the main church of Sitges, St Bartholomew and St Fecla. Closer to the church, Passeig Marítim turns into the Passeig de la Ribera, a favorite stroll because the trees around the edge protect you from the hot Spanish sun. There are interesting sculptures and monuments on the boulevard, and artists sit there to paint portraits for all comers.

The city’s famous Parròquia de Sant Bartomeu i Santa Tecla (Church of Saint Bartholomew and Saint Thecla) is literally on the beach, on Boulevard de la Ribera. The church was built in 1672 in Baroque style. In the following years it was often added to and rebuilt. Nevertheless, its bell tower and facade are a symbol of the city and are often depicted on postcards with views of Sitges. Many of Sitges’ main attractions and museums are concentrated around this church.

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The old town center of Sitges is very interesting with its old quarters and archways, the narrow streets where medieval and late medieval houses harmoniously coexist. You can eat in the charming restaurants and cafes.

One of the few examples of medieval architecture in Sitges is the Chapel of La Trinidad de Sitges, built in the 12th century. Its architectural style can be defined as vernacular without being characterized by any particular style. The chapel is included in the list of architectural heritage of Catalonia.

The Cau Ferrat mansion-museum, which means “The Iron Nest”, is the home-museum of Santiago Rusiñol, a famous Catalan post-impressionist painter who was born in Sitges. The artist once opened a painting school in this building, modernist meetings were held here, and now you can see Ruciñol’s work as well as some paintings by Pablo Picasso, El Greco, and Salvador Dali that he acquired. The collection on display also includes pieces of ancient art, archaeological finds and antique furniture. In general, the entire museum building is a unique art object, and together with the exhibited items makes an unforgettable impression. A visit to the Cau Ferrar together with the Museum de Marisel costs 10 euros. The weekend is Monday.

The Museu de Maricel, built at the beginning of the last century in Art Nouveau style, is next to the Cau Ferrar. The museum exhibits collections of art from different times and styles, as well as a collection of the best works of Catalan modernist artists and contemporary masters.

The modernist festivals and exhibitions held in Sitges at the beginning of the 20th century attracted many artists to the city, including the wealthy American collector Charles Dearing who built the Palau de Maricel. The palace complex was built on the ruins of a 14th-century hospital. The original design incorporates the best of the elegant Art Nouveau style. The interiors of the palace (especially the Golden and Blue Halls), the collection of paintings, as well as the landscape design are worth admiring. The cost of a visit is 5 euros.

The Museum of Romanticism (Museu Romàntic) is housed in a mansion owned by the Llopis family in the 18th and 19th centuries, built in the neoclassical style. Visiting this museum, you can get acquainted with the life of a wealthy family, admire the beautiful furnishings, unique antiques, in general, fully immersed in the era of Romanticism. In addition to the living rooms, visitors can also visit the wine cellars and see the remarkable collections of bicycles and street lamps. A special highlight of the museum is the collection of ancient porcelain and rag dolls of Lola Anglada, the oldest of which dates back to the 17th century. In total, the museum has more than 400 dolls.

Sitges is not called the “city of museums” for nothing. There is a large concentration of all kinds of museums, exhibitions, art galleries and permanent and temporary exhibitions. So in Sitges it makes sense to buy a single ticket to all the museums of the city and quite seriously with the savings.

Sitges is one of the best resorts in Spain

Sitges is one of the popular resorts in Spain.

In past centuries Sitges lived the quiet life of a simple fishing village built near a stone church on the Costa del Garraf. But at the end of the last century this small town – about 20,000 people – has become one of the most popular youth resorts in the world, became the “Spanish St. Tropez”, “party” place, where all kinds of cultural events and festivals are held throughout the year. However, the old narrow streets of Sitges have lost none of their original charm and you are invited to take a stroll through them.

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History

La Trinidad de Sitges chapel, built in the XII centuryThe city was built up along the coastline.

Sitges is a world famous resort on the Mediterranean and is about 30 minutes by car or local express train from Barcelona. Sitges is one of the oldest towns in Spain, not counting the Roman villas, there were Iberian settlements here in the IV century AD. In the XII century the village existed under the control of the family Sitges, which gave the village its name.

In the Middle Ages a castle was built on the Punta hill (the century before last replaced by a town hall), three towers located in different parts of the town and the still preserved La Trinidad de Sitges chapel. The settlers lived around the Baluard hill which served as the city wall that protected them from the land.

In the 18th century, some Sitges residents left and established colonies on the west coast of the Bay of Cadiz, because fishing was better there and trade with America was carried out from the west. Curiously enough, there are still some Catalan names and words found in those areas, a legacy of the settlers of those times. The Malvasia grapes were planted in the area around Sitges and are still the basis for the famous Malvasía de Sitges wine.

Modernity

Sitges is one of the most expensive cities in Spain.The city is home to a large number of foreigners.

Today Sitges is considered one of the most important ports on the Mediterranean and has three marinas on the coast: Puerto de Ginesta, Garraf and Aiguadolç. But apart from trade and fishing, a big part of the city’s economy is, of course, tourism.

The town is so attractive to tourists that wealthy Europeans and Americans at the end of the last century began to buy real estate there. As a result, since February 2008, Sitges has been considered one of the most expensive cities in Spain on the basis of the cost of buying a home. Unfortunately, prices were unaffordable for young people born in the city, and the original inhabitants were forced to move elsewhere. So today a huge part of the population of the town are expatriate foreigners, who are attracted to this coastal town beaches, nightlife and attractions.

Beaches

You can't miss the many beaches in Sitges.San Sebastian beach voted Europe's best beach

According to the New York Times columnist, the best beach in Europe is San Sebastian in Sitges. The weather in Sitges is almost always good, with about 300 days of sunshine a year, and the average annual temperature is 26-28 degrees Celsius.

There are 11 beaches in and around Sitges, which are kept perfectly clean and equipped with everything you need for a pleasant holiday. Almost all beaches in the town fly the blue flag, which means that the quality of service and that the water meets high standards of quality and is suitable for safe bathing.

Apart from the crowded city beaches, you will find secluded bays outside the town, and there are also nudist and gay beaches in the vicinity, as Sitges is considered the Spanish capital of homosexuals. This should be taken into account when planning a trip – many establishments in the city are marked that are intended for gay people, and if you want you can either avoid them, or, on the contrary, choose.

Holidays, festivals and nightlife

Colorful street performancesVintage Car Rally

After a swim, tourists demand spectacle, and in this respect Sitges is really a city that never gets bored. The Garraf mountain range that surrounds it protects it and allows you to enjoy outdoor events all year round. One festival flows into another, a carnival into a parade, and all this attracts many celebrities to the city.

In February there is a gay parade in Sitges, in March and April there is a vintage car rally Barcelona – Sitges, in late spring and summer there are flower and theater festivals, in August and September there are weekly fiestas dedicated to different patrons of the city, the harvest, and folklore festivals.

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Sitges never sleeps at night.Horror Film Festival

From October 7 to 16, 2016, Sitges is the time of the annual International Fantastic Film Festival, a serious event that attracts venerable directors and famous actors to the city.

At night, the main streets are filled with music until morning – this is where the most famous discos and nightclubs of the city are located. The best of them are the legendary Pacha club (there are branches in many Spanish cities, including Ibiza) and Atlantida, a disco on the beach.

During the summer months, there are music and sporting events on the streets almost every night, so the fun will catch up with any tourist.

Attractions

San Bartolome and Santa Tecla churches are the most famous landmarks of the city.Maricel Palace

Although the city is packed with events, rumbling music and crowds of tourists, there are also plenty of romantic and intimate spots – the narrow streets and small verandas dispose to contemplation and unhurried conversation, and the safety and friendliness of the staff make it a pleasant holiday with children.

The architecture of the city deserves a special mention. The most famous structure of the city is the Church of San Bartolome and Santa Tecla on the shore, whose foundations have been beating on the gentle waves of the Mediterranean Sea since the seventeenth century. Also of interest is the recently renovated Maricel Palace, which today houses a museum. The XII century La Trinidad de Sitges Chapel is one of the monuments of the so called popular architecture.

Sitges is called the city of museums, and indeed there is an incredible number of permanent and temporary exhibitions, art galleries and attractions. By the way, you can buy a general pass to all the museums of Sitges – it is much cheaper and will encourage you to actually go around them all. Children under the age of 12 are not charged for admission.

Gastronomy

The best paella combined with the sea breeze on the terrace of El Vivero restaurant.Xató, fish salad with walnut sauce, a signature dish in Sitges

So, in Sitges you can comfortably lie on the best beach in Europe, visit a film festival, dance until morning at the popular discos, visit a museum, check out the church and, finally, find time for a bite to eat. It is said that Sitges has the best paella. Whether it is true or not, each tourist decides, especially since the choice of places for tasting is huge: from luxury restaurants such as Acqua, Alfresco, El Vivero, Maricel, to quiet street cafes.

Xató, another local dish, is a salad of tomatoes, peppers, chicory, anchovy, tuna, and olives in a sauce of almond nuts and breadcrumbs. This dish is best made in small outdoor cafes; it’s worth the risk to try it.

Another gastronomic attraction in the city is Malvasía de Sitges. The sweet dessert wine (15%) is made from the grape with the same name, and you can’t miss an opportunity to try it.

Hotels

Many of the hotels in Sitges are four stars.The comfort of tourists are treated very carefully

Due to the large influx of tourists, hotels in the city are almost always overcrowded. Almost all of them here have at least 4 stars, and the price for the most modest room does not fall below 50 euros, although in the hostels you can find options for 30 euros.

Very popular coastal hotels such as Platjador, El Xalet in a beautiful building of the century before last, apart-hotel Kare No By Aspasios, Sunway Playa Golf.

In general, all hotels in Sitges are worthy of attention – comfort of tourists is taken very seriously. You can also rent a private apartment, a luxurious villa or a guest house. Because of the great popularity of the resort it is worth booking rooms in advance.

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Tags: spain, catalonia, sitges, tourism in spain, spanish resorts, spanish youth resorts

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