Top things to see in Sitges
Sitges is probably one of the most photographed destinations on the Mediterranean coast, so some of its attractions are already known, even before visiting this small town and staying at the Hotel Calipolis. The famous historical monuments and the picturesque corners off the beaten track create a wonderful artistic landscape, second to none. In this article you’ll find first-hand tips on what to see in Sitges, to make the most of its architectural beauty and its breath-taking beaches.
List of places to see in Sitges
Whether you are staying here for a few days, or you are back to the Villa for the second time, these are our suggestions. You will be amazed!
The iconic Church of Sant Bartomeu and Santa Tecla
The church of Sant Bartomeu and Santa Tecla is the most emblematic building in the historic centre, the reference point for any panoramic view of Sitges. Nowadays, the church’s style is a simple baroque, characteristic of the seventeenth century. The most prominent element is the bell tower, the most famous feature, pride of all the sitgetanos. However, what makes this church special is certainly its location, on the promenade, with sandy beaches on both sides. Just outside the main entrance, there is a square with a viewpoint from where you can see the whole Sitges, both the east and west side.
The Church of Vinyet, a neoclassical gem
The church of Sant Bartomeu and the Hermitage of the Trinity are not the only points of interest in Sitges. In fact, the church of the Mare de Dios del Vinyet is a real treat. First of all, the construction itself, which is a beautiful example of neoclassicism in the city, with an elegant sobriety showcased both outside and inside. Secondly, for the small sculpture inside which, according to the legend, appeared there in medieval times, when there was a vineyard instead. And finally, for its close relationship with the city: the church became throughout the years a famous place of worship for the Virgin Mary in Sitges and all Vinyet attend the feast of Our Lady of Vinyet, celebrated every year on August 5th.
Hermitage of the Trinity, another charming temple
Less known and smaller in size, the Hermitage of the Trinity is a perfect example of popular architecture, with its origins in the fourteenth century, although the current temple is from the eighteenth century. It is located on the outskirts of the urban area, at the summit of la Ferrosa mountain. It is impressive for its bright whiteness, but what will most surprise the visitor is the façade of the nearby construction, in modernist style. The views from there are spectacular.
Maricel Palace Museum, a multipurpose palace
The Museum of Maricel stands out in Sitges, not only for its content but also for the building itslef: the palace, ordered to be built in 1910 by the American billionaire Charles Deering, is one of the most beautiful in the historic centre, where the exterior whiteness contrasts with the chromatic richness of the interior ceramics. The museum is attached to the palace, hosting masterpieces by Joaquim Sunyer and Santiago Rusiñol. The rest of the palace is private and hosts events.
Cau Ferrat Museum, the house of Santiago Rusiñol
Another interesting museum in Sitges is the Cau Ferrat, which was the previous home and artistic studio of Santiago Rusiñol. The modernist artist, born in Barcelona, bought the building at the end of the 19th century with the aim of building a new house, based on his style. The interior decoration, mostly made of ceramics, is the perfect frame for the works on display, by renowned artists such as Ignacio Zuloaga, Darío de Regoyos and Pablo Picasso. The Victor Balaguer Museum and Library is also in this building.
Palau del Rei Moro, a medieval fortress
Yet another breath-taking attraction in Sitges to amaze visitors on their cultural routes is the selection of medieval fortresses that can still be seen today, testimony of the past splendour of this coastal city. An example is the Palau del Rei Moro, whose origins date back to the fourteenth century, although it was later modified. Its sturdy entrance gates and windows with twin arches are able to take us back to the Middle Ages.
The Mercat Vell in Sitges
The Mercat Vell is one of the most iconic buildings in the town of Sitges. It was designed in 1889 by Gaietà Buïgas, and had many different purposes throughout its history, Casa Bacardí being the most recent. In October 2021, Sitges Town Council decided to transform the old Casa Bacardí into a new multi-purpose hall. What can you see there? Well, all kinds of activities such as workshops, exhibitions, concerts, conferences and many others, all year round!
The Terramar racetrack, an historic circuit
The Terramar racetrack sadly fell into oblivion a while ago, and it is currently wating to be refurbished and revalued. Located in the countryside, in the municipality of Sant Pere de Ribes on the outskirts of the city, this circular track was the first in Spain to host competitions, and it was in use until the 1950s. Despite its current ghostly appearance, motor lovers will be moved by the view of its mythical asphalt, with its 60 to 90 degree curves will blow you away. Luckily, there are already projects aiming at turning the track into a venue for motor-related events, and the restoration should take place in the next few years.
Hospital de Sant Joan Baptista, modernist home of malvasia
Malvasia is a famous grape variety in Sitges, and one of its favourite homes is the Hospital de Sant Joan Baptista, thanks to the Llopis family’s legacy, one of the most important in the city. In this building we can find the historical winery where the nectar keeps resting in bottles year after year. It can be tasted any time during the year, but especially during the Harvest Festival. The building itself is a beautiful example of local modernism. In order to visit it, you should contact the Sitges tourism department or the institution.
Bodegas Güell, Gaudí’s footprint in Sitges
And finally, before moving on to the seaside, there is a place we dedicated a full post in this blog a while ago: the Bodegas Güell. Despite its name (bodega-winery), it is no longer used for the conservation of wine, but it still maintains its charm and its historical-artistic value. It is in fact one of Antoni Gaudí’s most important early works, for his friend and patron Eusebi Güell. Its Gothic-Medieval eclecticism will rarely be forgotten.
The Passeig Marítim: a charming promenade
The promenade is the merging of the Passeig de la Ribera, just opposite our hotel, and the Passeig Maritim, which extends towards southwest. On the coast you will find lovely beach bars, such as El Chiringuito, with capital C, where César González Ruano used to write his articles for ‘La Vanguardia’. Inland, instead, a line of very picturesque houses, some of them in a style called “Indian”, belonging to merchants who made their fortunes on the other side of the Atlantic.
Port d’Aiguadolç, Sitges Marina
In the opposite direction starting from the Church of Sant Bartomeu and the beach of Sant Sebastiá, you will find the Port d’Aiguadolç, the marina of the city and another interesting place to see in Sitges. From the docks you can rent a boat and sail, and you can also enjoy leisure activities such as midnight concerts. From its pristine white main building rises a picturesque tower, resembling the masts of the sailing boats moored nearby.
Beaches and coves to see in Sitges
The urban beaches and the characteristic coves of the Sitges coastline are another attraction tourists should not miss. The most popular urban seafront are just opposite the Calipolis: the Frigate, the Ribera, Bossa Rodona, Estanyol… If you feel adventurous, you can explore the small coves towards east and west, enjoying the sea alone or in company.
The Garraf beach, the most picturesque
If we had to choose a single picturesque beach among the 17 options in Sitges, it would be in the Sitgetan town of Garraf. This small beach is famous for its colourful beach huts, in full sailor style and culturally interesting. This sandy paradise and all the urban beaches are equipped with all sorts of services, from safety and rescue to hospitality and aquatic entertainment.
If after reading this you have made up your mind on what to see in Sitges during your next visit, we recommend our hotel as the perfect “base”, with the added luxury of being on the seafront, just a few meters from the beach of Bassa Rodona.