For those looking for a quick and charming seaside break from the big city, Sitges is the ideal destination. A small but lively town located 35 kilometers southwest of Barcelona, its lovely beaches, cobbled streets and cafeterias are only a 40-minute train ride away.
Sitges is pleasant in an old-fashioned way, and it is above all a Mediterranean seaside town with a very laid-back atmosphere compared to Barcelona. In this touristic yet authentic holiday destination you can forget about hurries and traffic, since a lot of it is largely pedestrian. Be warned, however – in the summer the town and its central beaches are possibly even more crowded than Barceloneta and las Ramblas!
Seaside life is still easily enjoyed on the numerous beautiful beaches, and early spring, winter or late fall are the ideal times for visiting in case you are not a fan of huge crowds. No matter what the season is, the cafeterias and restaurants of Sitges are numerous, and the town shopping center remains lively even in the winter. Shops include all the main chains as well as plenty of independent specialty and fashion stores. One thing worth mentioning is that Sitges is not a cheap place to live or visit, so you can expect prices equal to or above those in central Barcelona.
The one thing Sitges is famous for – aside from being a small but very vivid center of gay culture especially in the summer – is the yearly town carnival. Organized in February, the Sitges Carnival is a very colorful and vibrant event. You can expect to see a truly festive and liberated party parade, with people gathering along the main streets of the small town center. This event is very much worth experiencing, and it is hugely popular among residents of Barcelona as well.
In terms of size, Sitges is very small, so you can easily see all of it in one day. Wander along the narrow streets and look at the old and pleasantly bohemian small stone houses. Climb up the stairs of the beautiful seaside church and have a drink in one of the many bars of the seaside boulevard. Stay until the evening, so that you can watch the sunset on the beach and see the church turn into a glowing light in the darkness. Get lost in the holiday atmosphere for an entire day, and return by train to Barcelona feeling like you have been somewhere much further away.