New York City may have Fire Island, but Barcelona has Sitges!
Sitges is a charming gay seaside town located around 40km (25miles) south from Barcelona. It has many antique shops, bespoke coffee shops, tapas bars and lots of queer hangouts. Located in the Catalonian region, it's a delicious mix of the refreshing sea air, coastal scenery and local spirit, with modernist touches.
Did we also mention that Sitges is all about beaches, beaches and more beaches?! The town has gay beaches, nude beaches, gay AND nude beaches aplenty! For such a small town (population is less than 30,000) Sitges not only has a large LGBTQ community living here, it receives thousands of gay tourists each year. This is one of many reasons why we rate it as one of our top destinations in Europe. Whether you come here for your holiday or visit as part of a day trip from Barcelona, Sitges is one gay mecca you cannot miss!
This is our comprehensive gay travel guide of Sitges – a place we think is easily one of the most gay friendly travel destinations in the world.
So just how gay is Sitges?
Sitges is leading the pack in terms of its attitudes towards the LGBTQ community. Whilst Spain is already one of the gayest countries in the world, being one of the first places in the world to legalise gay marriage back in 2005, Sitges manages to stand out ahead of other cities for many unique reasons.
Not only does Sitges have a huge gay scene, but the locals are also extremely gay-friendly. Although…they don't really have much of a choice: every year they get a pink invasion with thousands of LGBTQ travellers descending on the city during the summer months, especially during Pride in June and the Bear Week in September.
We absolutely love Sitges and come here every summer for our quintessential gay vacation! We always have a fantastic time. We feel totally comfortable with PDAs everywhere in the city and love the nightlife scene around Parrots and down the Carrer de Joan Tarrida street.
Sitges gay neighbourhood
What we love about Sitges is that the main gay hangouts are all concentrated in a small area, so you can go from place to place easily. Parrots is an institution in Sitges. It's the main gay bar but also a restaurant and hotel. The outdoor terrace of Parrots for us signifies the heart of the gay area of Sitges. We always start the night here. It's very similar to the gay scene of Silom Soi 4 in Bangkok, where the outdoor seating areas are placed facing each other so you can people watch, eyeballing all the hot talent passing by.
As you walk around the side of Parrots along Carrer de Joan Tarrida street, you find the majority of the gay bars of Sitges like El Horno, Bukkake, XXL, La Cueva and La Villa – to name a few. Every evening, the crowds from all these bars merge together outside, forming one giant fabulous street party, which goes on till the early hours. The crowds then end up at one of the gay clubs around the corner, usually Bunker or Organic.
Gay hotels in Sitges
It's safe to say that every place you pick in Sitges, whether a hotel or guesthouse, is going to be super gay friendly! This is one place in the world where you don't need to worry about whether it's ok to share a double bed with your partner.
These are some of the best gay hotels in Sitges we rate based on our personal experience as well as recommended to us by other gay travellers:
Why we love it
- Beautiful luxury hotel
- Just 50 metres from the beach
- Swimming pool and poolside bar
- Lovely dining areas
For when you need a good bit of pampering in your life, look no further than Calipolis.
Regarded as one of the best gay-friendly luxury hotels in Sitges, this place is the height of relaxation.
It's so famous that it's the landmark people use to point out where the main gay beach of Sitges is – it's located a stone's throw away from all the rainbow flags along Bassa Rodona.
Choose between a seaside view or a room that looks out onto the mountains. Either way, you'll be enthralled by the stunning, natural landscape that surrounds you from your balcony…not to mention the view of all the handsome lads sashaying in their tight speedos on the gay beach!
There's a fantastic outdoor swimming pool with obligatory beach bar, which is a great alternative to chill if you want a change from the beach. We also love their gym, which has some pretty advanced fitness equipment. In terms of restaurants, there are two onsite, which cater to both vegans and vegetarians.
Why we love it
- Excellent location close to the beach
- Lots of pampering options in the spa
- Beautiful rooftop pool and bar
- Well equipped gym
MiM is our favourite medium budget gay friendly hotel in Sitges. It ticks all the boxes with a decent gym, rooftop bar, small pool and super friendly smiley staff. They also have a highly rated spa offering packages for couples.
Located just minutes walking distance to the gay bars of Sitges, MiM is also a short walk to the main Bassa Rodona gay beach.
We loved our room at MiM. It was large with a really comfortable King-sized bed. It even featured a bathtub – something which is becoming increasingly rare for hotel rooms.
The hotel's commitment to health and wellness leaves you feeling super pampered. We took full advantage of the spa's massage and beauty treatments. The oxygen cabin is a true highlight, with 99.5% oxygen, so your body is perfectly detoxed and re-energised.
As well as the Skybar for drinks, MiM also has ‘Restaurant Land', where you can dine on Mediterranean and regional dishes made from fresh, local ingredients.
STAY WITH A GAY LOCAL
Misterb&b is the Airbnb equivalent for the LGBTQ community. Unlike on Airbnb, you know your host is gay, voiding any nasty surprises when you check in. It is also a great way to meet gay locals and discover the underground gay scene. Click below to get 10 € (or $10) off our first booking.
Why we love it
- Sleek and modern hotel with a cool tower
- Beautiful interior garden area with bar and pool
- Huge, delicious buffet breakfast each day
- Close to gay scene and beaches
Nestled in the quaint facade of the Old Town district, Hotel Medium is a modern-looking hotel, marrying hyper-slick architectural design with a classic Mediterranean nod.
The best part? It's affordable and close to the gay scene, so you'll save on cash and still be in the midst of fabulous surroundings. The hotel is also just a ten-minute walk from the main gay beach, where hotel guests can enjoy special rates at Jimmy's Beach Club.
The rooms are spacious, fully equipped with all the mod-cons but still cosy. Plus, with an interior garden area featuring a bar and swimming pool, you'll be torn between lounging around in the hotel all day or venturing out to explore Sitges. Another highlight is the very extensive buffet breakfast served each morning, which will fortify you for the day whilst soaking up the Vitamin Sea by the beach.
We love the hotel's signature turret, that looks like it should have Rapunzel lowering her hair out one of the windows! There's only one guest bedroom in this part of the hotel, so you'll definitely be feeling like a princess if you book it.
Parrots Sitges Hotel
Why we love it
- Perfect location for the local gay scene
- Comfy, clean and affordable rooms
- Continental breakfast included in the rates
- A gym made for a queen!
Parrots Sitges Hotel is a bit of an institution in Sitges, placing you right inside the eye of the gay Sitges storm!
With rooms to suit couples and solo travellers, the hotel truly caters to all. The bright white walls and maritime art give the place an uber-polished look.
Along with the (very affordable) hotel, Parrots boasts a popular restaurant, a hopping bar and a gym to keep yourself toned for enjoying the beaches.
The staff are also super laidback and end up feeling like your best pals. Did we mention the bar? Not only is it packed full of amazing gay clientele, drinks, and plays great music, but it's right at the cusp of the thriving LGBTQ scene! Hotel guests can use the gym for free as well as enjoying discounts at the bar and restaurant.
Most of the rooms feature cute balconies from which you can enjoy views over the city. Between the months of May-September, you can enjoy a delicious breakfast in the hotel's alfresco terrace area, which is included in your room rate. The best gay bars, shopping areas and beaches are all a short walk away.
Why we love it
- Very affordable, clean and cosy
- Sun terrace on the roof
- Good location in a quiet street
If you're looking for somewhere to stay in Sitges that's budget AND gay-friendly then look no further than Hostal Termas!
Not only is Termas easy on the purse strings but it's also one of the best places to connect with other gay travellers and still get a good night's sleep without lots of noise from nearby bars. The rooms are brightly decorated with comfortable beds.
While you're in a quiet location, it's still just a short walk to the train station, main shopping area and beautiful beaches. Even though it's called a hostel you still get private double rooms with private bathroom, as well as helpful amenities like a small fridge and a kettle. The rooms are also cleaned daily and provided with fresh towels.
The hostel has a rooftop sun terrace for relaxing, and some rooms come with lovely little balconies for you to watch the world go by or have a sunset drink. This is also a pet-friendly choice of accommodation if you want to bring your four-legged family member along with you.
Gay bars in Sitges
You're truly spoiled for choice when it comes to picking a bar in Sitges. There are so many different places to enjoy a quiet (or not so quiet) drink. We always start out at Parrots then take a gander down Carrer de Joan Tarrida, where you'll find tons of bars which all sprawl outside and merge into one big gay street party as the evening progresses. It's basically the Yellow Brick Road of Sitges!
There are so many gay bars in Sitges that we've only listed a handful of our favourites. If you make it to Barcelona, be sure to check out our gay guide to the best gay bars of Gaixample.
Parrots is the place to start your night. It's like the focal point of the gay scene of Sitges. All the gay boys of Sitges pass here at some stage during the night! We love it because it's the perfect spot for people-watching and cruising the talent passing by the street outside. It's even geared for this with all the chairs/tables facing the street on the terrace outside- just get there early to bag yourself a front-row table! They have a HUGE cocktail list called The Parrots Pub Post with each cocktail named after a famous diva…are you a Kylie Minogue Mango Mojito sort of gal like our Seby? Or more of a Madonna Classico Mojito qween like our Steffy? Whichever you choose, drinks at Parrots is always a riot! It's open daily until around 2.30 am and is located at Plaça de la Indústria, 2.
El Piano has some of the best shows from all the gay bars of Sitges. Every night they host a show, which is either a notorious drag performer, a spot of live cabaret or campy sing-a-long night. It's a lot of fun and you can't help smiling, especially when the crowd all joins in; because of this, it's very easy to make new friends here. It's not a massive bar but we love this about El Piano as it makes the atmosphere more intimate and conducive towards socialising with everyone. El Piano definitely ranks as one of our favourite gay bars in Sitges. It's open daily from 10.30pm to around 3am. It is located at San Bonaventura, 37, which is a few blocks away from the main gay scene of Sitges along Carrer de Joan Tarrida street.
One of the oldest bars in Sitges, particularly popular with the over 40s crowd. The dark woods of the bar and shelves of old-fashioned whiskeys emanate an ‘old-world' effect. We won't be as corny as to say ‘you feel like you've travelled back in time', but the surroundings definitely make you appreciate where it all began for the gay scene in Sitges! El Horno is open daily from 5.30pm until around 3am and is located at Carrer Joan Tarrida, 6.
This is one of the best bear gay hangouts in Sitges. Bears' is super chilled and always a lot of fun. All body types are welcome and celebrated here. They also have themed nights like the Sunday underwear party. Bears' Bar is open every day from 10pm until around 3am and is located at Calle Bonaire, 17.
With a cabaret-style restaurant, drag queens and a mega-extra dance floor, Queenz is OTT, but in the best way possible. With deep red walls and lush pink plants, the place feels like a snapshot from a Moulin Rouge production! There is something so fun and frivolous about visiting Queenz. It's open daily from 10.30pm until around 2:30am and is located at Carrer d'Espalter, 3.
Gay beaches in Sitges
One of the things we love most about Sitges is the beaches. There are 3 main gay beaches, the first right in the heart of the town, then as you venture a bit further outside, you'll find the gay nudey ones. If looking further afield, check out our guide to the best gay beaches in Barcelona.
Platja de la Bassa Rodona
We rank it as one of the top gay beaches in the world. The main beach of Sitges is located right in the middle of the city. You can't miss it. It's located by Hotel Calipolis, with plenty of rainbow flags flying proudly in the wind. It's usually one of the busiest beaches, but this means you can also rent chairs, umbrellas, pedalos and even kayaks from here. Make sure you go early so you can get a good spot and spend the day soaking in the sun. As you can imagine, it's also a great beach for spotting all these handsome guys in speedos.
Platja dels Balmins
Located just outside of central Sitges, just before the d'Aiguadolç Port. It's officially a mixed nudist beach but attracts a large gay crowd. We love Balmins because it's far enough away from the family-friendly beaches full screaming children (which Bassa Rodona tends to attract due to its proximity to the city centre) yet still close enough to central Sitges (unlike Muerto beach which requires a bit of a trek to reach). Their clothing-optional bar is a great place to socialise and make clothing optional friends…
Playa del Muerto
The official gay nudist beach of Sitges. It's peaceful, free, remote and the ideal place to hang out to just chill – in the nude! Unlike the other two beaches, it's located a fair distance outside of Sitges – around 45 minutes walk but is well worth the journey. If that's too much of a schlep for you, then stick to Balmins. But if you make the effort, you'll be heavily rewarded.
Gay cafes in Sitges
For when you are just in need of a quick coffee, a place to meet that Grindr date, or a quiet place to read, Sitges is filled with lots of quaint gay cafes:
This is a quiet place to seek refuge from the sun during the day and a fun place to relax at night. Later in the evening, the Central Bar Cafe hosts live performances from some of the hottest talent on the Barcelona scene. You'll know you've found the right place when you spot a sea of white beach table umbrellas, standing above a crowd of yabbering LGBTQ folk! So whether you're in desperate need of a cocktail with friends, or just want a pick-me-up caffeine fix, look no further than the Central Bar Cafe. It's open every day from 10am until around 2am and is located at Plaça de la Indústria, 5.
The wide arches and pillars matched with indoor trees give Montroig serious Roman vibes! The perfect opportunity to read Stephen Fry's “Mythos” (which we totally recommend if you're into your Greek mythology!). The menu will hit those cravings right in the sweet spot, as well as chips, burgers and chicken all up for grabs. Plus, the cocktails are to die for. Montroig cafe is open daily from 8.30am (so it's perfect for an early breakfast!) until around 2am and is located at Carrer Marquès Montroig, 13.
We love this modest little cafe terrace where you can have good food and a nice coffee. The Parrots Terrace is part of the Parrots hotel, so if you're staying there, you get to enjoy the pleasures of a nice drink and not worry about journeying home! Parrots Terrace is open every day from 10am until around 2.30am and is located at Plaça de la Indústria, 2. This is the point of reference of Sitges' gay scene.
Gay clubs in Sitges
We found that Sitges has way more bars than clubs. Whilst most bars/cafes are open till around 2/3.00am and morph into a dancing area later in the evening, if you're looking for a place to party afterwards, we recommend checking out these clubs:
Organic Dance Club
Simply put, the weekends are the best nights. Pounding dance beats mixed with fierce drag artists vogueing the house down make up the Organic Dance Club. Some of the best nights are their foam parties on Wednesday and Sunday evenings, which get going from around 2am. Organic is only open Friday-Monday (and Wednesday when there's a foam party on) from around midnight until 6am. It's located at Carrer Bonaire, 12.
A cruising club, this is where you go to explore your body and more. From slings to mazes, gloryholes and cruising areas, this place feels like Alice in Wonderland with a kinky twist! Basically, if you're looking to be adventurous and enjoy a hook-up, then this is the place for you. The bar can get very crowded, but the drinks have to be some of our favourites in Sitges. It's only open Friday to Sunday (or every day during the high season of June-August) from midnight until around 6am and is located at Carrer Bonaire, 15.
Gay saunas in Sitges
There is only one gay sauna in Sitges at the moment. Otherwise, we suggest heading to Barcelona for more options – check them out in our guide to the best gay saunas in Barcelona.
While this may be the only official gay sauna in Sitges, it truly is a standout! With mazes, steam rooms and dry saunas galore, this is one of the hottest spots (literally!) for the gay boys to visit. Open daily from 1-9am then 4-9pm, the sauna is located close to the train station at Carrer d'Espalter, 11.
Gay events in Sitges
Sitges sure knows how to throw a party, and with a thriving gay population, it's always ready to host an event honouring our LGBTQ community. Here are some of the best annual gay festivals in Sitges:
Sitges Carnaval (Feb/March)
In what is usually a mix of colour, dance and music, the Carnaval is traditionally an epic gathering of people wanting to mark the final day before Lent begins. In Sitges, this is a huge, mostly gay parade, which marches through the town with full-on carnival-like extravaganza! There's an assortment of characters to behold, from circus acts to drag artists, all decked up in sequins, glitter and feather boas.
Sitges Pride (June)
One of the best gay beach parties in Europe! Whilst Sitges Pride is smaller than the massive Pride events in Madrid and Barcelona, it's just as fun. As if the town couldn't get any gayer, during Pride week, Sitges becomes the gayest place on the entire planet! The event turns into one big cool beach party and we live for it!
Sitges Bears Week (September)
Having grown from just a small community of men meeting up at the El Horno bar each year, this event has developed into a massive 10-day festival. Celebrating the men in the community who are often overlooked, the Sitges Bear Week has epic dance parties and themed events taking place across the entire city.
International Film Festival (October)
Celebrating international fantasy and horror films, the Fantasy Film Festival is a great way to get into the Halloween spirit. Movie buffs will also love all the panel discussions and talks that take place alongside the film screenings. Whilst it's not an outright LGBTQ event, remember this is Sitges: the LGBTQ aspect is implicit!
Best gay shops in Sitges
For such a small town, Sitges has its fair share of gay shops! These are some of our favourites. For more, check out the array of options of gay shops in Barcelona.
This place is unique: inside, it's like a Build A Bear factory exploded! With Bad Taste Bears dressed up in ᏰDSʍ fєtisɦ gear, stitched into compromising positions and wearing an assortment of campy costumes, these items are one of our favourite souvenirs from Sitges! One thing's for sure, this Teddy's not in Kansas anymore! Condomania also sells ҽɾօէic toys, vibrators, Chinese balls, lingerie, lubricants, rubber johnnies and much more. The shop is open from 10:30am-2pm then from 5-8.30pm each day and is located at Carrer de les Parellades, 39.
Such a cryptic name, yet such an inviting presence inside the shop. Hard to miss with the big sign reading ‘ʂєx shop' scrawled out front! The Mask is an adult shop selling naughty toys. Whether you're in need of seductive lingerie, fun-time toys or roleplay costumes, The Mask's got you covered! It's open daily from around midday to 10pm and is located at Carrer Bonaire, 22.
From swimwear to ʂєxy time wear, we are addicted to visiting this store! We particularly love their speedos – while they may be a tad snug, they're beautifully crafted to accentuate your bulge, making them prime fashion for the gay boys at Bassa Rodona beach. Addicted is open every day from 10am to 10pm and is located at Carrer de les Parellades, 64.
Another favourite of ours for hot speedos, ES is one of those brands you see advertised throughout the main gay hotels, especially Axel. With simple, yet stylish designs, these items are both comfortable yet leave you feeling super handsome. They even include a “cup” to insert in your speedos to give you a nice tidy looking bulge! They also sell a full range of sportswear and tank tops ensuring that you're always well stocked up. ES Collection is located at Carrer de les Parellades, 58 and is open every day from 10am until 9pm.
Gay restaurants in Sitges
Sitges is home to a variety of both traditional and contemporary restaurants, many located right on the waterfront. These are some of our favourite gay restaurants in Sitges that we tried out and highly recommend. If you make it to Barcelona, check out our detailed guide to the best gay restaurants in Barcelona.
Queenz Restaurant is super popular, so if you're hoping to go you'll need to reserve several days beforehand as it gets booked out days, sometimes weeks, in advance. Now imagine yourself sitting down to a gorgeous gourmet meal and then picture you're in the presence of a ferocious drag queen! This is what the experience of Queenz Restaurant is like. It's super fun and a unique way to spend an evening. The food's excellent too, with lots of vegetarian and gluten-free options available.
As if we haven't talked about Parrots enough! The place is notorious in Sitges and even has a highly rated restaurant with a delicious and diverse Mediterranean menu. It's also beloved for its drag shows which take place later in the evening. So you can enjoy a nice roast dinner, whilst simultaneously being roasted by the fierce tongues of the drag artists! The outdoor terrace is a wonderful spot to enjoy your meal while the interior is very colourful. There are a la carte options as well as an affordable set menu, with dishes inspired by Spanish, Swiss and International cuisine.
Cosy lighting, satin tablecloths and fine cuisine make up the Alfresco restaurant in the heart of Sitges. Dishes which are bursting with flavours and an atmosphere perfect for a romantic endeavour, Alfresco harbours an environment to create the fondest of memories. The magical courtyard oozes Meditteranean charm, with quirky lights and decorative touches. The menu showcases seasonal products with simplicity and freshness. We loved the seabass ceviche and grilled octopus, while the passionfruit panna cotta for dessert is divine!
In the mood for some Mediterranean seafood? Then the 13 Llunes is the place for you. Exquisite dishes matched with prompt service and a fun atmosphere, the restaurant welcomes all with warm smiles. While seafood isn't the only thing on the menu, it's what the restaurant does best. There are some excellent and affordable tasting menus worth trying out. The seafood paella is particularly delicious, especially when paired with a glass of sangria. This is a family-owned and run establishment, with very welcoming, attentive staff.
You can never go wrong with sweet cocktails, hot Latin cuisine, and beachside views! Beach House has a relaxed, summery vibe with a dynamic menu, attentive staff and a fabulous location just minutes away from the beach. This is one of our favourite spots to come for (an all-day) breakfast. There's nothing like greeting the day while looking at the palm trees and devouring a plate of banana stuffed pancakes, a breakfast burrito or healthy homemade granola! They also do fantastic cold-pressed juices and smoothies, while the lunch/dinner menu is just as good. It does get busy though, so book a table if you want to come for dinner.
If you fancy some yummy Indian food in Sitges, then check out Spice Garden. Serving modern vegetarian Indian, they also have plenty of vegan options, as well as catering to other dietary requirements such as gluten-free. The food is creative and extremely delicious. The decor is airy and classy, with gorgeous arched windows. Try the tasty onion bhajis with some amazing aubergine curry, but leave room for desserts like the mouth-watering vegan cheesecake.
Things to do in Sitges
From sprawling streets to golden beaches, Sitges satisfies both the cravings for a city getaway and a beach break. When you're not busy dining in the fabulous restaurants or dancing on the floors of Bunker or Organic, check out some of these sightseeing gems in this gorgeous Spanish town for gay travellers:
Getting lost in the streets of the Old Town
Ancient buildings, antique shops, narrow streets and cobbled footpaths beg to be explored in the oldest parts of Sitges. When you have an afternoon free, just take the time to explore the wonders of the Old Town neighbourhood. You'll feel like you're on a secluded island while wandering among the white-washed houses of the old fishermen's neighbourhood, but in other parts, you will be amazed by elaborate Modernist style architecture. Don't miss out on a visit to the impressive Santiago Rusiñol Library to see its pretty courtyard and perhaps to escape the heat while enjoying a good book.
Sunset jog along the Passeig Marítim
Pfft? Exercise? On holiday? But trust us, the sunset over the Passeig Marítim promenade, running parallel to the Sitges beachfront, is magical. The perfect fairytale ending to the day – and the jog allows you to burn off all those cocktail calories. A long and smooth promenade on the edge of the village that overlooks the coast – it will take your breath away, and not just because you're running! We also found this a useful way to motivate us to make the long trek over to Muertos Beach.
Visit the Iglesia de San Bartolomé y Santa Tecla
The parish for the city of Sitges, the Church of San Bartholomé and Santa Tecla, is an incredible structure on the Spanish coast. It's one of the most picturesque spots in the city and features on pretty much any postcard you will buy in Sitges. Built over Gothic and Romanesque remains, the current church is an impressive Baroque structure built in the 17th-century. You can explore the interior when mass is not being conducted, or you can also join a tour and climb the bell tower on the first Saturday of the month – recommended for the stunning views over Sitges.
Casa Bacardí Sitges
Rum wild – and discover the history of Bacardí rum! From how it is made to how it is transported all around the world, this is a museum that will leave you smacking your lips. Most people don't realise that Bacardí originated in Sitges since founder Facundo Bacardí Massó was born here in 1814, before heading to Cuba and setting up shop. Nowadays you can tour the Casa Bacardí visitor centre to learn how rum is made, why the logo is a bat, as well as getting to try your hand at making some classic cocktails, then drinking them afterwards of course!
The Museu Cau Ferrat
Be inspired by the very home that belonged to the artist and writer Santiago Rusiñol, Cau Ferrat Museum. With many of his personal artefacts and artworks on display, this is a fascinating way to spend an afternoon. As well as works by Rusiñol, the museum houses pieces he collected by other Catalan artists like Pablo Picasso, Ramon Casas and Ramon Pichot. The museum is an incredible experience, a kind of temple built to the Modernisme movement and definitely an attraction not to be missed by any art-lovers out there.
Garraf Natural Park
If you want to escape the city, lose yourself in the rustic wilderness of Garraf Natural Park, spotting local wildlife and attractive coastal features. The deepest of greens will stretch out for miles before you. The park is located between Sitges and Barcelona, although you can easily walk from the Sitges town centre to many of the walking trails. There's even a Sakyapa Buddhist monastery deep inside the park, which you can visit on a guided tour or sign up to take part in classes on meditation, inner peace and Buddhism in general.
Try local wines and tapas
We love learning about the local cuisine and wines when we travel, so we jumped at the chance to join a local tasting tour in Sitges. This is a fun way to not only explore the beautiful streets of Sitges but also to sample local tapas dishes and organic wines with a friendly local guide. We really felt like we were just being shown around by a friend who happened to know all the best places to stop for wine and snacks, as well as being extremely knowledgable about the history of the city. This is definitely one for the foodies!
Spend some time on the beach
You can't go to Sitges and not spend at least some time relaxing on the beach, that's what it's known for! We mentioned the best gay beaches in Sitges above, but there are actually no fewer than 17 different beaches in and around the town if you feel like trying them all out. During the summer months, many of these beaches offer fun activities to take part in, like water aerobics. Just don't forget to bring your sunscreen!
Visit the Palau de Maricel
The Palau de Maricel, also known as the Maricel Palace, is one of the most beautiful buildings in Sitges. It was built during the 20th-century by Charles Deering, a wealthy American man, to house his valuable art collection. The interior rooms are truly incredible, each one with a different, stunning theme. You can only tour the interior of the palace on Sundays. Across the road, you can visit the Maricel Museum, which was Deering's home and now houses artworks from Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque periods, as well as a modern art gallery. The museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday.
Tips to plan your trip to Sitges
We've put together some handy hints and tips to help you plan your own trip to Sitges. Read on to find out everything the gay traveller should know before they go.
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How to get there: The easiest way to get to Sitges is via train or bus from Barcelona, Tarragona or other major cities in Spain. Generally, you would fly into Barcelona and then travel onwards to Sitges. The Monbus from Barcelona to Sitges is the cheapest and quickest option, only costing €4 if you purchase your ticket online, or €7 on the bus. For the greatest ease of transport (if you don't mind a heftier cost) book a private transfer from Barcelona airport to Sitges.
Visa requirements: If you're travelling to Spain from the United States, Australia or New Zealand then you won't need a visa for tourist stays up to 90 days. Travellers from Schengen Zone countries don't need a visa to visit Spain either, but if you're not completely sure then check your personal visa requirements before you go.
Getting around: Sitges is small enough that you can easily get around most of the town by walking and there's no internal train or metro system. If you are looking to head further out of the centre and don't want to walk, you could hire a car, catch a bus, get a taxi or even hire a bicycle. This page has some more information on getting around within Sitges.
Power Plugs: In Spain, the power plugs and sockets are of type F, which is the same as in most of Europe, Russia and some countries in Africa. If you are travelling from somewhere else we recommend bringing a travel adaptor with you.
Travel insurance: No matter where you are travelling to you should always get travel insurance so that you're protected in case of accidents, cancellations or other things that can go wrong. We've been using WorldNomads Travel Insurance for years and love them. They offer comprehensive coverage and we've always found it easy to make a claim online when needed.
Vaccinations: All travellers to Spain should be up to date with routine vaccinations like measles, mumps, rubella, chickenpox etc. You may also need vaccinations for Hepatitis A, B and rabies, depending on where you are going and what you will be doing while there. Check the CDC website for more information.
Currency: Like most of the countries in the EU, Spain uses the currency of the Euro which looks like this €. 1 US dollar converts to about 90 cents and 1 pound sterling will give you about €1.30.
Tipping culture: You don't really need to leave a tip in Spain, since there is a good minimum wage system in place. If you feel that you received exceptional service then you can tip 5-10% of your bill, but it's not expected and locals don't generally tip.
Internet access: There are free WiFi spots located around Sitges, but if you want to have reliable internet access during your trip then you may find that investing in a portable WiFi device is more convenient.
Online privacy: Sitges, and Spain in general, is a gay friendly destination where you will have no issues using gay dating apps like Scruff or Grindr. If you prefer to keep your internet use private for whatever reason, then we recommend ExpressVPN for their reliable and affordable service.
Accommodation: If you want to see more accommodation options in Sitges then check out Booking.com. We always use their website to search for places to stay because they have so many choices, an easy to use online system and excellent 24/7 customer support.
Sightseeing and adventure: When looking for the best tours and ideas of what to do in Sitges, we use GetYourGuide. They offer so many cool activities all over the world, it's easy to book online and they also have 24-hour customer service.
When to visit: If you're not travelling specifically for one of the events we've mentioned, then the warmest times to visit Sitges are between July and September. If you want to time your trip so that there are fewer tourists, then go during September when European schools are back in session.
Gay map of Sitges
We've made a gay map showing all the places we've talked about in this post so that you can more easily see where everything is. Use it to help plan your own fantastic getaway to Sitges!
For more inspiration:
- Use our detailed gay travel guide to Barcelona if you're heading there
- Solo travellers should check out our guide to the best LGBTQ tours in Barcelona
- If you want to keep the party going, check out these gay cities in Spain for partying
- As well as the best gay pride events in Spain
- And everything you could ever need to know about attending Barcelona Pride
- If you're heading there for pride, have a look at these wonderful gay pride outfit ideas
- As well as these must-have accessories for pride
- If you're in search of more sun and sand, these are the best gay beaches in Europe
- Read why we think Barcelona ranks as one of the gayest cities in the world.