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A bright spot on Spain’s Costa Dorada, Sitges lures a vibrant, outgoing crowd of often gay and young sun-worshippers all summer long. Its tolerance is one of the key elements to Sitges’ rise to power among the Mediterranean resorts of southern Europe. The city’s creative pedigree is intact thanks to residencies from artists like Salvador Dali and Santiago Rusinol, who helped spark Spain’s Modernismo movement. This is Catalan at its most relaxed. Here you can wander medieval streets by day and party in the bars after dark. The beaches are gorgeous, the sun reliable and the scene as charming as you like. Rent a car and add Barcelona to your itinerary. It’s a mere 25 miles north along the inspiring Costa Dorada.
Who to Book With
Travellers flying into Barcelona’s airport can find a full range of international car hire companies like Avis and Europcar. Self-drive is a popular way to get here and can offer savings for groups against the cost of public transport to Sitges. The resort itself has just two rental companies to choose from. Oder and Sitges Car Rental are both reliable but their vehicles tend to sell out during the peak summer season so be sure and make an online reservation well in advance of your trip.
Best Time to Go
It’s hard to find a bad time of year to visit Sitges. This seaside getaway enjoys balmy Mediterranean weather all the time, and even in winter the daytime highs hover around a comfortable 14ºC. Summer is the hottest, driest and busiest season, but the average 28ºC highs are often tempered by sea breezes. In fact, from May through October you can expect crowds of tourists and high hotel rates to go with them. Sitges Carnival is legendary, running non-stop from February through March. April and November, however, are ideal months for pleasant weather and tranquility.
Need to Know Essentials
These documents are required to pick up your rental vehicle in Sitges:
- An International Driving Permit or a UK or EU driving licence
- Valid photo identification like a passport
- The same credit card that was used for the online booking
- A printed copy of the booking confirmation
Sitges is one of those great European towns where cars are not welcome in the historic city centre. Most of the downtown streets around the Cap de la Vila are pedestrian only, and the narrow medieval lanes can be a challenge for any driver. Consider using the park and ride lots on the edge of the centre and then enjoy the walk around Sitges’ core. Street-side parking is heavily patrolled and fines are liberally handed out for parking offences, particularly those made in regards to the blue zone parking spots along the sea.
Our Guide to Spain contains more detailed driving information.
The historic core of Sitges, where most of the highlights are concentrated, is a place to be enjoyed on foot. Taxis are usually easy to flag down whenever you need a quick ride and are by far the most convenient form of public transportation in this small city. Buses run around Sitges, but are generally more useful for residents than for tourists. A car will be more of a headache than convenience in the city centre. But a car is the perfect way to enjoy daytrips along the gorgeous Costa Dorada and in nearby hot spots like Barcelona.
RENFE trains run four times an hour between Barcelona and Sitges, such is the demand for travel to this fun resort town. The trip takes just 30 minutes and costs a mere £3 each way. Sitges’ train station is conveniently situated right on the edge of downtown where taxis wait to ferry travellers on to their final destination.
Sitges’ blue public buses are more like oversized shuttle vans than city buses. They are great little vehicles, seating about 20 passengers at a time and covering most of the sights around the outskirts of Sitges. All of the buses start out at Sitges train station and go in a one-way direction along three routes, with £1 fares per trip. Buses operate from 07:00 until 21:00, Monday to Friday, and 09:00 to 21:00 at weekends. Routes are available via MonBus.
Sitges is a compact town but when you need a taxi, they are usually easy to find. Since the buses stop running at 20:45, taxis become the only form of transport late at night. There are just two taxi companies operating in Sitges, each with their own kiosk: one outside the tourist office and the other outside the train station. Additionally, you can flag one on the street or call for a pick up. Many travellers prefer Sitges Taxi. If you want a quick ride from Barcelona’s airport to Sitges, the taxi fare runs at around £40.
The Costa Dorada is one of the most visually striking regions of Spain. And that’s saying a lot. If the festive beaches of Sitges aren’t enough for you, simply hop in your rental and cruise the Mediterranean coast in either direction. Barcelona is minutes away for urban fun, or venture inland along the highways to as far as the autonomous enclave of Andorra.
Tarragona – One of the Mediterranean’s most ancient port towns is Tarragona, less than hour by car from Sitges via the free-flowing A7 motorway. The town is perched on a hill overlooking the sea and is littered with ancient sites from the Romans, the Phoenicians and other maritime powers. Its beach is sublime and family fun is on hand at the massive Port Aventura Amusement Park.
Barcelona – Catalan’s magical capital can easily consume weeks of your time. But it can also make for an exciting daytrip from Sitges since it’s just 30 minutes’ drive along the coast. Even scratching the surface with one-of-a-kind wonders like Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia or strolling along La Rambla is enough to make you feel the undeniable allure of Barcelona.
Olot – A full day adventure is waiting about two hours’ drive north of Sitges in the eerie volcanic region around the town of Olot. These old calderas are the best preserved in Europe, featuring some rare sights like a church built within one of the craters. The drive here is full of eye-popping scenery all the way and can easily be combined with a stop in the wine region around Girona for an awesome loop that may just evolve into an overnighter at an inn on the edge of a winery.