About Sitges

Sitges is a unique town of 28,000 inhabitants in a privileged location; its beaches, good communications with the whole world, calmness and of course, its people and way of life, stand out. The fact is that in Sitges we can discover a different lifestyle, Mediterranean, attractive to young people, adults and retirees, each one at their leisure.

Sitges is synonymous with authenticity, unique experiences, sustainability, heritage and gastronomic richness, singular commerce, and a wide range of traditional festivals and cultural activities. Sitges boasts some exceptional natural resources harmoniously combined with modern infrastructures that give it character and excellence.

Sitges has managed to preserve its cultural and artistic value. The remains of the old medieval town or the legacy of the Americans, those who returned with fortunes from their American adventure and built large mansions. Sitges still breathes the bohemian atmosphere inherited from the versatile artist Santiago Rusiñol who turned the town into a modernism mecca. The town has long attracted the interest of artists and painters, and even today there is artist colony which work can be seen in their workshops.

Sitges is:

  • 20 minutes from Barcelona international airport
  • 35 minutes from the city of Barcelona
  • 35 minutes from the Barcelona AVE train station
  • 35 minutes from the Barcelona marina
  • 45 minutes from Reus airport
  • 45 minutes rom the Tarragona AVE train station
  • 1 hour 30 minutes from Girona airport
  • 45 minutes from Port Aventura theme park

Sitges climate

Thanks to its privileged location, the town enjoys a mild and temperate climate, with mild winters and moderate summers, with an average temperature of 18.7ºC and more than 300 days of sunshine a year.

The virtue of this climate is due to the fact that the town is both close by the sea and sheltered by the Garraf massif, which prevents the flow of cold winds from the north and northwest and currents from inland.

Sitges history

The name of Sitges comes from “silo” of pre-Roman origin, meaning “deep hole, grain deposit”. The first Sitgetans inhabited, before the Neolithic period, the place known as the tip of the caves (past the Terramar golf course) and the hill of La Punta, where the church and the Town Hall are located today.

In the 18th century, Catalonia obtained permission to trade directly with the Americas. The economy was in the hands of the merchants and those who returned enriched renovated the old town houses. The town became a summer resort for Sitges “Americans”.

In 1879, bathing was already practiced as a medicinal therapy and from the old spas it soon moved to the beach. Sitges, is the summer home of many Sitges-Americans and it becomes an ideal spot for sea bathing.

With the arrival of Santiago Rusiñol in 1891, Sitges became a modernist cultural center. In 1909, led by Ramón Casas and Miquel Utrillo, Sitges was visited by Charles Deering, an American who transformed Fonollar Street, from typical seafaring houses and the old hospital, into a palace. The Palau Maricel and the Cau Ferrat (Rusiñol’s home-studio) became cultural focal points. Shortly after, Francisco Armengol designed the Terramar garden-city and the sea promenade, Paseo Marítimo. In 1928 the Tourist Attraction Society was created and in 1934 the tourist information office opened. From then on Sitges became a tourist landmark in Europe.

Sitges’ festivals and traditions

Sitges lives its traditional festivities with great intensity and popular participation, visitors and tourists mix with the local residents to experience the festivities with authenticity. With more than 50 events throughout the year, some of the most outstanding celebrations include; the Carnival, the Barcelona-Sitges international vintage car rally, Corpus Christi, Festa Major, Santa Tecla, the grape harvest festival, the wine exhibition and the Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia. Another of the recovered traditions is that of the human towers, which perform from April to October.

Corpus Christi (flower carpets):

Declared Festival of National Tourist and Artistic Interest. On Corpus Sunday Sitges’ main streets are adorned with carpets of flowers designed and prepared by the local residents during the previous night. In the afternoon the religious procession led by the children who have received their first communion, steps on the carpets.

Festa Major:

Sitges’ main fiesta. Declared Festival of National Interest. On August 24, Sant Bartomeu, patron saint of the town, is celebrated, and in his honor on the 23rd and 24th, giants, dragons, devils and the rest of the popular dances take to the streets, also, the ‘castle of fire’ firework display the night of the 23rd from Fragata beach is worth mentioning.

Saint Tecla:

Sitges’ “little main fiesta”, celebrated in honor of patron saint, Santa Tecla. Despite being a more intimate gathering than the Festa Major, it includes great moments such as the children’s pasacalle, or musical parade, held early the morning of September 23rd, when children parade alongside giants and beasts made by themselves.

Harvest festival and wine fair:

Recalling Sitges’ wine-related roots, this event is held every year, it includes a wine fair, which takes place on the Paseo de la Ribera, where the Penedès Protected Designation of Origin products are especially exhibited.

International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia: This Sitges festival is one of the most renowed film competitions in Spain, together with the San Sebastian one. It’s in its 47th edition and has specialized in the fantastic and horror genre. Throughout its history, it has brought to Sitges acclaimed directors and actors such as Quentin Tarantino, Elijah Wood, Anthony Hopkins, Jodie Foster, Daniel Brühl, Santiago Segura and Luís Tosar, among others. The celebration of a massive Zombie Walk is also noteworthy.

Carnival: Sitges’ is one of the most traditional and popular carnivals in Catalonia. From Fat Thursday to Ash Wednesday, the main highlights are the Sunday and Tuesday parades. During the day, the children’s floats parades and at night those of the adults, filling the streets with joy and debauchery. During its last edition, more than 50 floats, 2,500 people in costume and 300,000 spectators participated.

Barcelona – Sitges International Vintage Car Rally:

Declared Festival of National Tourist Interest. The Rally has been organized since 1959 and brings together classic cars and motorcycles fom before1924, most of them belonging to private collectors. They arrive in Sitges from Barcelona passing through the Costas del Garraf road, with all the participants dressed in period clothing. In the last edition, more than 60 cars and 15 old motorcycles participated. The special day is completed with an exhibition of luxury sports cars and music in the streets.

How to get to Sitges:

Sitges is located 35 kms South of Barcelona city, with which it is very well connected by road, motorway and railway links.

By road: The C-32 motorway connects Sitges with Barcelona in only 30 minutes, and with Tarragona in 45 minutes. From Vilafranca you can access the AP-7 highway that leads to La Jonquera and connects to the North with the European road network, and with the rest of Spanish motorways to the South.

By bus: A bus company offers a daily regular coach service that links Sitges and Barcelona city, directly and also via the Barcelona airport. For more information: www.busgarraf.cat

By train: In Sitges, approximately every 15 minutes there are commuter trains from/to Barcelona linking both in 35 minutes. The easiest option is to get on/off at Paseo de Gracia station, in the heart of Barcelona. From Barcelona Sants station there are daily trains to the rest of Spain and Europe. For more information: www.renfe.com

How to reach Sitges from the airport:

By plane: The Barcelona Airport – Sitges – Airport route can be done by bus or train. By bus is direct (from Terminal 1) and by train it’s necessary to make a change at El Prat de Llobregat station, the journey takes approximately 45 minutes.

It is also possible to go to/from the airport (or Barcelona) by taxi:

The distance from Barcelona airport to Sitges is approximately 32 kms. This will take about 30 minutes in a taxi, costing around €60-80.

Sitges Taxi Association: Tel. (+34) 93 894 13 29.