If you’ve followed our blog or social media for a while, it should come to no surprise that we love Sitges. It’s a place where the beautiful and sunny Mediterranean coast, meets a bit of Catalan culture with a whole lot of gay thrown into the mix. Just south of Barcelona, Sitges has been a popular gay destination for decades and its luster seems to hold strong. With an awesome, yet relaxed beach vibe, great restaurants, events and nightlife – we can’t find any reason why you wouldn’t love Sitges. But just in case you’re not convinced, we’ve rounded up our top 5 reasons why we think Sitges is perhaps Spain’s top gay destination.
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 Platja d’Aiguadolç and Platja dels Balmains, which are the nude beaches a bit farther south 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.
Sitges is packed full of events year around from Carnival in February to the popular gay pride in June. Sitges Carnival is 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. Gay Pride in Sitges is of course a great excuse to visit in June and the event draws more than 50,000 people with the typical parade, outdoor concerts and parties you’d find at most gay pride celebrations.
The vibe in Sitges is different than major cities like Madrid or Barcelona. Sitges is a 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 (or not first!) cocktail. Parrots Pub is a popular bar located on the square and the nearby Parrots Restaurant is great for dining and drag performances by the Sitges legend Lady Diamond. As the night roles on, you’ll want to visit Privilege where you’ll find a few different bars and a small dance floor. And starting after midnight (and usually a bit later) you can head to Organic – Sitges’ main dance club which hosts themed parties during the summer high season. The club is open every night and this is where you should go if in you’re in the mood for the Sitges Foam Party, usually hosted on Sunday nights. Yes, for such a small town, the nightlife here really heats up and goes well into the early hours of the morning.
Sitges is a small town of about 27,000 inhabitants with a lot of charm catering to gay visitors. Though the whole of the town feels like the gay district, the specific gay bars are located in the Old Town area where nightlife is most notable on Calle Montroig. The town is well known for being gay-friendly and the restaurant and bar scene reflect this. Spain is a world leader as a gay-friendly destination and the region of Catalonia leads the pack in their attitudes and acceptance towards LGBT people. Sitges is no different and during the summer it can seem like the gays take over the city. If you have a day or two to spare, Sitges is the perfect option for a relaxed beach town vibe with great nightlife that can easily be tacked onto a Barcelona itinerary or done as a longer, separate trip. If you come for more than a day trip consider staying at either Parrots Hotel (gay) or Avenida Sofia Hotel (gay-friendly). Both hotels are located in the city center next to the gay beach and nightlife. Or if you’re looking for more cozy accommodation you can rent an apartment with either AirBnB or misterbnb (the gay version!). If you’ve never used them before, you can even save $25 or more on your first booking by signing up here for AirBnB or here for misterbnb.
Shop till you Drop (HomoStyle)
Sure, you can find shopping in any major city or tourist destination. Sitges isn’t necessarily known for high fashion or major luxury chains or outlets, because after all, it is just a small town with a tiny population. But due to the massive amount of gays that live in and flock to the town each year, you’ll find a disproportionately large number of gay owned and gay themed shops in town. Pick up the latest styles from Additional or ES Collection or shop for some sexy underwear from Andrew Christian, AussieBum and other popular gay brands. So if cruising the tiny streets (not like that!) and browsing through numerous gay themed shops sounds like a fun afternoon, then there’s no better place than Sitges.
We’ve fallen in love with Sitges time and time again and we never miss an opportunity to visit. What are you waiting for?
Have you ever visited Sitges? If so, what’s your favorite part? Let us know in the comments below.
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