Situated along the Costa Dorada, southwest of Barcelona, Sitges is one of the most popular gay beach resorts of southern Europe. Young Europeans flock to this gem on the Costa Dorada for its white sand beaches, sizzling nightlife, festivals, and artistic culture—the 19th-century modernismo movement began here.
Sitges is a popular day trip destination from Barcelona. While some visit independently, other travelers opt for the convenience and enhanced experience of a guided tour, with trips including add-ons such as a visit to the Roman ruins of nearby Tarragona. Most day-trippers come for the sandy beaches, but the old town is also home to numerous galleries and boutiques, as well as several excellent museums. Most notable is the Cau Ferrat Museum, which tells the story of the town’s early years as an art colony.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Sitges is a must-visit for sun-seekers and gay travelers.
- A full-day tour from Barcelona can last upwards of 10 hours.
- Remember to bring swimwear, sunscreen, a towel, hat, and sunglasses to make the most of your time on the Mediterranean.
- There are three gay-friendly nude beaches: Playa De la Bassa Rodona, Playa De Las Balmins, and Playa del Muerto.
How to Get There
Sitges an easy trip from nearby Barcelona, with commuter rail trains departing from Barcelona-Sants and Estacio de França every 15 to 30 minutes daily. The journey takes about 30 minutes. Travelers with a rental car can make the 45-minute drive along the scenic C-246 coastal road or the quicker A-7 express highway.
When to Get There
Sitges is a year-round destination. In July and August, the town becomes one giant beach party, perfect for lazing in the sun by day and reveling in the cranked-up nightlife after dark. The volume gets turned up once again come Carnaval in Catalonia, when a quarter of a million people descend on the town for a week of parades, shows, and parties. Horror, sci-fi, and fantasy fans should plan to visit in October during the Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival.
Do Your Beach Research
Sitges has 17 beaches, ranging from family-friendly to clothing-optional stretches of sand. The beaches directly in front of the town center and those on the eastern end tend to be the best for families, while the beaches to the west tend to attract nude swimmers and sunbathers. Women can and do go topless all along the coast.