Sitges is a small town with a large gay scene just forty minutes by train south of Barcelona. It’s got the quintessential beach town vibe with white painted buildings and windows often framed with bright blue colors. It’s surrounded by mountains providing a micro-climate where it’s warm in the summer and mild in the winter. In the summer months, this Mediterranean hotspot fills up with visitors of all ages looking to relax on the beach during the day and enjoy the nightlife. The buildings are separated by narrow pedestrian streets that are perfect for wandering among all the shops, bakeries and restaurants. Sitges is not exactly the type of place you go to do a bunch of sightseeing but rather where you go to simply relax on the beach, window shop at the various boutiques, people watch on the restaurant and bar terraces and mingle at the bars at night.
Table of Contents
1. General Tips
2. Transportation & Airport Transfer
3. Gay Hotels in Sitges
4. Sightseeing & Activities in Sitges
5. Gay Beaches in Sitges
6. Restaurants and Cafes
7. Sitges Gay Bars
8. Sitges Gay Clubs and Parties
9. Sitges Gay Sauna & Cruising Bars
10. Gay Events in Sitges
11. Day Trips from Sitges
In the evening, take a stroll down Passeig Maritim where you’ll have a beautiful view of the town and its people on one side and the Mediterranean coast on the other. You can visit Sitges anytime of year, but the high season runs from June through September, when the weather is warm and you can hang out at the beach all day.
The vibe in Sitges is different than major cities like Madrid or Barcelona. Sitges is a small beach town, totally relaxed but comes alive at night with a surprisingly vibrant nightlife scene for such a small town. The night kicks off early in the evening at Plaça Indústria. This large square is filled with outdoor terraces with all tables pointing inward to the center of the plaza – perfect for people watching and sipping your first cocktail of the night.
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Transportation & Airport Transfer
Barcelona is the transportation gateway, so you’ll likely be heading to Sitges from either Barcelona Sants train station or Barcelona El Prat Airport. From Sants station, take the train line R2 (called Rodalies) in the direction of Vilanova G, and get off at the Sitges stop. Trains to Sitges from Barcelona run approximately every twenty minutes and the journey only takes 40 minutes. The train is about 4€ one way.
From the airport, take any train line (also called Rodalies) and get off at the first stop named El Prat de Llobregat. Then transfer to line R2 and head towards either Vilanova G or St. Vincenç de Calders until you arrive at the Sitges stop. If your flight arrives very early or late (before 7am or after midnight) then you’ll need to either take the night bus or a taxi (approx. 70€).
The bus is also a more direct option from the airport. The MonBus runs twice per hour from Monday to Friday during the day. On Saturdays the bus runs every hour. On Sundays and holidays, they run nine times per day. The night bus runs four times per hour from 00:55 until 04:50. For details of the times of the MonBus check the MonBus Website. Go to the ‘Timetable Searcher’ and key in ‘Aeroport’ to ‘Sitges’.
Gay Hotels in Sitges
It’s always best to stay in the center or walking distance to the center of Sitges. It’s a walking town, so you’ll never need transportation if you’re centrally located. They are a quite a few gay hotels in Sitges and all are gay-friendly.
ME Sitges Terramar – a cosmopolitan and sophisticated gay-friendly hotel with exclusive services and facilities in a luxurious and contemporary setting. Enjoy a holiday on the coast in a chic and elegant environment.
Hotel MiM Sitges – a gay-friendly hotel centrally located near the gay beach and bars, plus right in the heart of town where all the action takes place.
Parrots Hotel – this hetero-friendly hotel is set just 100m from the beach. Breakfast service is offered from May to September. Parrots Sitges Hotel is just a 5-minute walk from the historic old town of Sitges. Guests receive a reduced rate for Parrots Gym + Fitness.
Hotel Liberty – a gay hotel centrally located and set in a 19th-century, Cuban-style building with a charming garden. Some rooms have a balcony or terrace, and views of the garden, the mountains or the town. Guests can enjoy a drink from the hotel bar in the tranquility of the Liberty’s garden.
Elite Hotel – this men-only hotel provides a room with a view and then some, being located almost right on Fragata beach. Enjoy a shared lounge and a terrace ideal for getting to know the other guests. You could even splash out on the guest house that comes with a hot tub to get cosy in with any friends you might make.
Casa Brisa Boutique Guest House – a beautiful, modern and tranquil boutique guest house for gay men. The property is located on the border of the Parc Natural de Garraf with the famous Penedés wine region nearby. It's located about 6 kilometers from Sitges so you'll need to take transport into town via car, taxi or bus.
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Sightseeing & Activities in Sitges
Gay Shops – shopping in Sitges is a never-ending discovery of cute little shops just around the corner. Pick up the latest styles from Additional or ES Collection or shop appearal from Andrew Christian, AussieBum and other popular gay brands.
Museums – if you can give up a beach day for a museum, there’s Museu Cau Ferrat which was once painter and writer Santiago Rusiñol's homes studio and Museu Maricel with a collection of art from Dr. Perez-Rosales. Both are located along the waterfront just behind the lovely Church of Sant Bartomeu & Santa Tecla.
Food and Wine Tour – Explore the beautiful village of Sitges while tasting two organic or natural wines, plus try ham, cheese and tapas in three stops. You will be guided on this tour by a history and geography graduate, and wine culture lover. They will bring out the wine enthusiast in you as you enjoy a special day surrounded by vineyards, landscapes and unique sensations. Book tour →
Gay Beaches in Sitges
Perhaps one of its most famous assets and the main day-time attraction during the warm months, are the sun-soaked beaches that line the coast of this tiny Catalan town. You’ll find 17 beaches in total, some quite crowded in high season and others always with plenty of room. All are gay-friendly though Platja de la Bassa Rodona is the main gay beach along with Cala de l’Home Mort and Platja dels Balmains, which are the nude beaches a bit farther from the city center. There is nothing better than heading to the beach and spending the afternoon laying out, having a swim and sipping a cocktail from one of the beachside bars.
Bassa Rodona is the main gay beach in Sitges and the most central. It's a short 10 minute walk from the train station and only a few meters from the Carrer del Pecat, the main hostpot of gay life in the town. Bassa Rodona’s sand is thin and clean, the water is warm and it's not very deep, so you will need to walk for a while if you want to be covered by the water above your knees. Bassa Rodona is the paradise of muscled bodies and tight speedos.
To arrive to Balmins you’ll have to walk for about 15 minutes (if you come from the train station). It is the other main gay beach in Sitges’ town center. Balmins is a nudist and gay beach conveniently located between the romantic old town and the Aiguadolç port. This beach is probably the liveliest one in the town. Meeting new people is pretty easy, almost unavoidable.
For those who prefer a quieter beach, the best option is Cala de l’Home Mort. It is the favorite gay beach in Sitges among nudists, peaceful place seekers and gay cruisers. Cala de l’Home Mort is a bit far from the town center, around a 40 minutes walk. However, the walking route is pleasant, the views are beautiful and the peaceful vibe of the beach can’t be found in the more centrally located beaches.
Restaurants and Cafes
Parrot’s Restaurant – Parrot's is situated right in the club/bar district of Sitges. That makes the small outdoor area perfect for people spotting and gossiping and being a part of the hectic nightlife scene in Sitges. Indoors seating offers you the opposite. It’s best to make a reservation in advanced as seating is limited. The food is good but the atmosphere is even better and you can often see a drag performance on weekend evenings.
Restaurant Queenz – informal restaurant in the center of Sitges with good hospitality and a great dinner show. The show begins just after dinner with a variety of theater and comedic acts. The show lasts about an hour. It’s important to make a reservation if you want to secure a spot since seating is very limited.
Guria Taberna – a small and cosy tavern-like atmosphere serving pinchos, which are available self-serve on the counter of the bar. You pay based on the amount you eat by saving your toothpicks. Pinchos are a popular dish from the north (Basque) region of Spain. Pinchos are small tapas or portions of food typically searched with a toothpick holding the ingredients together.
Bar Tomeu – more a restaurant than a bar – despite the name – this Spanish and Argentinian fusion restaurant is the best place in Sitges to get some meat – of the food variety at least. The grilled steaks are to die for, as are the “happy ending” desserts. They have vegan and gluten-free options too. It’s found in the center of town, just up from the gay bar filled plaza, and thus it’s somewhat of a favorite with the gay community in Sitges.
La Pícara – a tapas bar and restaurant with specialties from La Rioja and Catalonia as well as a great selection of wine. The staff is friendly and the prices are reasonable.
Pic Nic – this seaside Mediterranean restaurant is a well known spot in Sitges. It offers amazing views along the beach with an energetic atmosphere and great tapas. Stop by for lunch and enjoy paella or one of their many other rice dishes.
Sky Bar – a rooftop restaurant located at Hotel MIM Sitges which offers incredible 360º views of the town surrounding it. It’s a great option for some traditional tapas, excellent seafood dishes, or simply enjoy a cocktail at sunset.
Zak Rendezvous – if you like a little glitz and glamor with your meal, then Zak Rendezvous might be the dining experience for you. As much a night out as a restaurant, mediterranean dishes and wine are served to go with flamboyant entertainment ranging from cabaret to drag to live music.
Sitges Gay Bars
Plaça Indústria, where Carrer Marquès Montroig crosses Carrer de Joan Tarrida, is the best place to start out your night. This large square is filled with bar crawlers sitting at large terraces sipping drinks and catching up while admiring the people passing by. All the Sitges gay bars and clubs are located near each other. During high season, you can’t miss it as people crowd out onto the street with their drinks since all the venues themselves are so small.
Parrots Pub – a good bar choice and you can also check out Parrots Restaurant for dining and a drag performance by Lady Diamond – a Sitges drag legend from the UK. Open until 3am.
Vertigo– this venue has three bars indoor and outdoor, plus a very small dance floor in the back. Open until 3am.
Queenz – located just next to Queenz Restaurant is the bar which is open until 3am. The bar is small and has an outdoor terrace out front as well as a small dance floor in the back.
Sitges Gay Clubs and Parties
There aren't any clubs currently open in Sitges as Organic has closed. However, some of the gay bars in Sitges have small dance floors, especially on Carrer de Joan Tarrida or nearby.
Sitges Gay Sauna & Cruising Bars
Honestly the vast majority of Sitges' gay bars come with a darkroom attached, but some are more sex-focused than others.
Sauna Sitges – just like the town itself, this sauna is small but the staff is friendly and it’s very clean with a variety of amenities including lockers, jacuzzi, private cabins and more. The sauna is usually open until 8am and gets busy after the bars and clubs close after 3am.
Bukkae – for cruisers and kinksters, go to Bukkae, open every Thursday to Sunday from 11pm to 6am starting in the spring. In the high season it opens at 8pm. There’s a cruising area, slings and showers for those looking for some fun.
Bourbons Naturist Bar -a spicy bar with a hot younger crowd. It has the perfect combo of a fun trendy bar to socialize at and a sizable darkroom to cruise in. As the name suggests a lot of their nights are best attended naked – or in your best jockstrap – but normal clothes are permitted most nights too. Their weekly events range from Scruff sponsored events to masked nights. Plus they're IGLTA accredited – which is always a great sign.
Gay Events in Sitges
Sitges Carnival – not technically a gay event, but the town is such a major gay destination that local gay residents organize a gay-specific Carnival a few days prior to the official start of Carnival. Escape the winter weather at home and enjoy a fun and party-filled LGBT event on the coast.
Sitges Gay Pride – a well-organized annual affair with a fantastic lineup of events and performances. Events run from Thursday to Monday and include T dances, drag shows, pool parties, a high heel race, various music performances and DJs, themed club parties and of course, the parade which takes place on Sunday afternoon.
Sitges Bear’s Week – Sitges Bears week in September is one of the biggest and most popular Bear festivals in Europe attracting more than 5,000 visitors, bears, admirers, chasers, muscle bears and more. They setup a small Bear’s Village on the beach with a stage and several bars. It’s one of the most popular events in Sitges and attracts a large international audience.
Sitges Film Festival – the annual international film festival takes place for 10 days every October and is one of Sitges' proudest claims to fame. The streets and promenade fill with stalls selling all sorts of cinematic paraphernalia, museums host several film-related exhibitions. and you can bounce between cinemas showing the latest grisly, or psychological, horror flicks all through the night. On the first Saturday night of the festival the living dead rise and walk the streets of Sitges. Or, at least, those in the know take part in the traditional “zombie walk”, where locals and visitors alike dress up as zombies and walk through the old town and down to the seafront bars – where the party really starts!
Day Trips from Sitges
Barcelona – it’s one of the most popular destinations in all of Europe. With year around mild temperatures, a seaside location and a welcoming atmosphere for LGBT people, it’s no wonder that gay travelers from around the world come here to indulge in the culture, nightlife and vibrant atmosphere. If the warm weather and seaside location isn’t enough, its stunning architecture and welcoming gay scene will keep you coming back for more.
Montserrat – a beautiful mountain monastery located one-hour northwest of Barcelona renowned for its unique rock formations. You can reach the mountain by a scenic train route and then take a funicular up to the top. It’s considered one of the most important and significant sites in all of Catalonia. Book tour →
Girona – located 100 kilometers northeast of Barcelona and by train. Girona is one of the more prominent cities in Catalonia and has famous sites in the well-preserved old town like the Girona Cathedral, the city wall, the Church of Sant Feliu, Plaça de la Independència, and remnants of Jewish history before their expulsion from Spain. It's also famous for being the filming location of many parts of King's Landing from Game of Thrones! Book tour →