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Fun Barcelona Day Trip to Sitges Tips!

November 29, 2023

Fun Barcelona Day Trip to Sitges Tips! soultravelers3 travel experts


Best Barcelona day trip? Let me give you the best tips like a local! We've been traveling to Barcelona area regularly since 2006, lodged near the arty beach town of Sitges, called the St.Tropez of Spain! Not only is Barcelona a spectacular destination, but day trips to Sitges, Costa Brava, Montserrat and Dali Museum will add so much to your trip! Sitges is just a 30 minute train trip away from Barcelona and a popular seaside getaway town for Barcelona locals and travelers. Perfect micro climate with 310 sunny days a year with world class food, relaxing beaches, art and nightlife. A fantastic location for a day trip, holiday, vacation or digital nomad remote work/van life destination.

Fun Barcelona Day Trip to Sitges Tips! soultravelers3  travel blog winter beach beauty microclimate


 Our wonderful friend Parisian translator Nadine Touzet was visiting Barcelona so we suggested that she take the train down to meet us in Sitges. We took a train and bus to meet her in Sitges as our van life glamping  beach resort is not far. We first met Nadine online via our blog in 2006, then in Paris in 2010 and again in Paris when I did a mother-daughter trip  with Heavenly in 2016. Now she is living in Normandy, so it is on our wish list to visit her soon. It was Thanksgiving week so we had a bit of a "friendsgiving" together on a most beautiful day. She had been having a wonderful time exploring all the art museums in Barcelona, but loved this getaway to see a bit of the coast. 




My favorite thing to do in Sitges is just walk around as it is a perfect town for that. Even if you don't know a thing, if you wander you will enjoy the ambiance, architecture, palms and beaches. The tourism information center is right next to the lovely train station if you want to grab a map or get information. It is a very walkable town of 26000 permanent residents. Top sites to see? Church of Sant Bartomeu & Santa Tecla, Palau Maricel, Museu Cat Ferrat, Raco de la Calma, La Playa de Sitges, Museu de Maricel, to name few & all easily found on a walk. Sitges's palm laden sea front esplanade is called  Passeig Maritim and it is 3km long and winds from one end of town to the other, so you can soak up the all the sights & coastal views on the way. 


Fun Barcelona Day Trip to Sitges Tips! statues peaceful bench beach views relaxing charm

We walked around, talked, got some coffee and later some lunch & sangria next to the sea and we were serenaded by a Spanish busker playing guitar while we basked in the sunshine in T-shirts in late November. Sometimes silly moments relaxing with friends are the best so this funny video makes me smile. 



Sitges crowds really vary by season and day of the week and weekends are always more crowded, but much less crowds at this time of year than high season summer weekends. Sitges ( also known as the gay riviera) is very popular for families, couples and  with the LGBTI community, so it has a really buzzing nightlife and it's popular with expats. 

Fun Barcelona Day Trip to Sitges Tips! beach holiday summer getaway st tropez  spain

This photo with the umbrella is from a summer visit this past year when the water is warmer and the beaches more crowded. Still there are 17 beaches near Sitges ( and more in close by communities) so you can always find a beach that works for you. Join the crowds or find a little nook for yourself. 

Fun Barcelona Day Trip to Sitges Tips! beach holidays all year long

This second picture is the beach in late November and frankly it is when I like it best. Lots of sailboats were out sailing and some were sunbathing and a few brave ones went in the water. You see in my first video on this post that even at early sunset there were some beach goers on the sand enjoying the beach. Seaside town is what Sitges is most known for. 



The most famous & beautiful church of Sitges, located on the beach, is a17th-century parish church called Iglesia de Sant Bartomeu I Santa Tecla with spectacular views of Sitges from the rocky cliff. This little Youtube short I took shows you why this is a popular spot and how many sailboats were out that day. 

Fun Barcelona Day Trip to Sitges Tips! Soultravelers3 with Heavenly Reyna first in Sitges in 2007
Love this photo of one of our early visits to Sitges with Gar &  Heavenly in 2006 when we started our decade long family world tour. We wintered in Andalucia, but spent every spring and summer in Barcelona beach area near Sitges. I was doing some acupuncture treatments in Sitges so we would go every week. 

Fun Barcelona Day Trip to Sitges Tips! soultravelers3 heavenly reyna in sitges 2023

Now our daughter lives in LA, but she visited us last summer, so here is another picture of her exploring Sitges with her dad and I. Lots of happy memories and we keep making them. Every time you visit a place you learn more and it becomes more a part of you and we even know some people now who live there. We even bought Heavenly a guitar at the fantastic music store here. 

Fun Barcelona Day Trip to Sitges Tips! beautiful beach

Mediterranean, peaceful and captivating, the Sitges Promenade offers a fun, sunny stroll perfumed with saline sea scents along this enchanting golden coastline. This photo shows another viewing point ( from the beach & promenade)  of my 2nd photo close up. So many great views from this area. 


Wall tiles on Calle de Jesus  Sitges perfect day trip from barcelona

As you wander aimlessly,  there is no shortage of charm and the scenic winding streets and alleyways are off-limits to motorized vehicles. Cobblestone streets, whitewashed buildings and whimsical details like colorful plaques, tiles, carved doors and windowsills/ balconies lined with flowers and Catalonia flags. 


Fun Barcelona Day Trip to Sitges Tips! lots of cute shops like Sweet & Cool with bike

Like most of Europe, there are plentiful sidewalk cafes, bars, restaurants, gelato shops, and boutiques to keep you entertained and it is a great place to indulge in a little retail therapy. Many, like our Heavenly,  enjoy browsing through all the designer clothes shops selling the latest offerings from top designer names from around the world.This Instagrammable vintage bike and Sweet & Cool store window always makes me smile.



Fun Barcelona Day Trip to Sitges Tips! winter beach walk promenade sailboats sea

 The promenade is quite different ambiance depending on the season and day of week.You can see the contrast of this photo in late November and the one below in Summer. 


Fun Barcelona Day Trip to Sitges Tips! beach walk promenade church sea palm trees beautiful

 It can be very crowded in the summer months, especially July and August ( when we skip it and Schengen shuffle out of crowded, high season, hot Europe).This photo was taken on a week day in June. The summer tourist explosion fades the rest of the months of the year, often leaving this beautiful sea path & town almost empty during parts of the day.

Fun Barcelona Day Trip to Sitges Tips! cuban architecture beautiful spanish town

Unique to this Garraf area is a strong Cuban architectural influence because during the 1800's many from Sitges and Vilanova traveled to Cuba, making their fortunes and returned to build their luxury palaces. Sitges’ most famous son, Facundo Bacardi, epitomized the pioneering spirit when he founded his rum distillery in Cuba. They were called Americanos. Pictured here is the Casa Manuel Planas (1908), one of the finest examples of americano architecture in Sitges. Amazing Caribbean and Mediterranean architectural combinations & why so many palm trees. More  than 60 "americano" houses are still standing near the fittingly named Carrer Illa de Cuba or “island of Cuba street”.


Fun Barcelona Day Trip to Sitges Tips! charming spanish sea side town beauty

 The history of Sitges makes it a very artistic, open and bohemian town where art and festivals are an inherent part of its DNA. Artist Santiago Rusiñol helped turn Sitges into a haven for artists and intellectuals. He was a Spanish painter, poet, and playwright & was one of the leaders of the Catalan modernisme movement. Picasso, Dali and Miro hung out at his house.The three museums located along the waterfront – the Cau Ferrat Museum, the Palau de Maricel and the Maricel Museum are all tied to Santiago Rusiñol.He was instrumental in transforming Catalonia into an artist’s paradise. In 1893  when he set up his seaside Sitges studio, he said it was  “a hermitage by the sea, where all the pilgrims of the arts can go to take the waters of poetry and cure themselves of the hubbub of the city”. Today Sitges has one of the best Film Festivals, Carnivals and many exciting  art galleries. 


Fun Barcelona Day Trip to Sitges Tips! best restaurants paella


Want to treat yourself to a first class meal at one of the best restaurants in Sitges? Maricel is by far one of the top restaurants in Sitges and located in the heart of the town, facing the beautiful Fragata beach. It is more expensive than it's neighbors, but lovely if you are in the mood to splurge.They serve high end Mediterranean cuisine. 


That said, perhaps we should not have ordered the paella because we are very spoiled by a local friend from Valencia who makes the best paella in the world

Fun Barcelona Day Trip to Sitges Tips! best gaspacho eveh yum foodporn strawberry

But it was good and the strawberry gazpacho was spectacularly divine and the best we've had!! Plus the ambiance with sea views, top service, good wine and high quality bread and oil also make it special. I didn't know it was one of the best restaurants in Sitges until after we ate there, as we just picked it because it looked high end. 



Fun Barcelona Day Trip to Sitges Tips! salad eating out best restaurants

Most of the restaurants along the beach and promenade seem good, we usually pick them at random by what we see as we pass by. The salads and sangria we had at Restaurante Altamar  were enjoyable with beach view in the same area and moderately priced. 



Fun Barcelona Day Trip to Sitges Tips! cute bike and walking town statues art

Most every where you look or walk around Sitges, there is something to enjoy.

Fun Barcelona Day Trip to Sitges Tips! spain st tropez riviera mosaic tile beauty

Lots of little touches add charm and the weather always seems good. 

Fun Barcelona Day Trip to Sitges Tips! architecture beauty doors

Every time I visit, I find a new door or nook or tile or some new adorable thing to enchant me. 




It is always a good combination of relaxing and invigorating. 

Fun Barcelona Day Trip to Sitges Tips! beautiful architecture and sea views charming spain coast

If you visit in October, do not miss the famous film festival and .....

Fun Barcelona Day Trip to Sitges Tips! details architecture and art  artist colony lifestyle

....if you come in February, do not miss the famous Carnival which is suppose to rival Rio de Janeiro's! I have not been here then, but will likely eventually catch them!


Fun Barcelona Day Trip to Sitges Tips! train station fast mass transit spain

Even the train station in Sitges is charming and the Barcelona-Sitges line was only the second railway line built in Spain! There are 3 main stations in Barcelona from which to get to Sitges: Estacio de França, Passeig de Gracia, and Estacio Sants train stations. If you want to get there as quickly as possible, it can take as little as 36 minutes on the fastest services. It is a beautiful ride along the coast. Our friend made it fast and very easily, but then she is European & very experienced with train travel. Tickets from Barcelona to Sitges start from $8.93 when you book in advance. You can catch the Rodalies line R2S train from either Barcelona-Passeig de Gracia or Barcelona-Sants. You can't book online you just buy a ticket on the day at the station. Talk to them at the station or go online at the Official Renfe website to get more information.You can also take a bus, taxi or drive. 


Fun Barcelona Day Trip to Sitges Tips! beach walks  sun  nightlife and shopping & gay pride LGBT

Have you been to Sitges before or are you interested in visiting? Let us know about your experiences or if you have any questions  in the comments below!


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Linda (LD Holland)

We actually stayed a few days in Sitges. And enjoyed it so much that we would definitely go back on a day trip from Barcelona. It is indeed a great town to just wander in. Great to just find a cafe and enjoy the atmosphere. Or spend some time at the beach.

Jeanne Dee

Thanks Linda! It is a fun arty town with such a unique history! Glad you enjoyed it too!

Jolayne

I love that your daughter's name is Heavenly.

jeanne dee


Aw, too sweet Jolayne, thanks!! I actually got her name in a dream a decade before she arrived and we put it in our wedding vows!! Quite the story & I wrote about it here!!

https://www.soultravelers3.com/2019/12/-mozart-dee-is-heavenly-reyna-no-more-muzicbymozart-.html

Anna

I visited Sitges in spring and I think it was the best time to enjoy the atmosphere and beauty of this Spanish coastal! As I was there on a day trip, could not visit all the museums, but was very impressed with the Palau de Maricel! Would love to visit Sitges again

jeanne dee

Thanks Anna, it is lovely in spring! It is special in every season and although it is small it is the kind of place that is great for repeat visits and always something new to explore. The museums are impressive!

Pam

Wow, it looks like a great getaway from Barcelona. While I loved the city, it can be a bit overwhelming, so a beach break sounds right up my alley!

jeanne dee

Thanks Pam! You are exactly right and why my friend really loved the Sitges beach break even though she loved Barcelona and all the museums there. It is a fun change of pace.

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