I promised to tell you about Sitges in Spain and if it ended up being a place I would recommend you go to with kids (a toddler of almost 2 1/2 in my case) for a holiday. Read on my dear…and you will soon find out.
We were in Sitges from the 15-23rd of October. Sitges is located on the coast about 30mins from Barcelona. I went there with my boyfriend and boy, Jordan. Our holiday was my birthday gift and two weeks before we left my boyfriend finally told me where we were off to: “We are going to Sitges!”. “That is wonderful!” I said. Deep inside I had this feeling that I had heard something about Sitges before, but what was it?
After a few minutes I remembered:”Is that not the gay-hub of Spain?” My boyfriend had no idea, so we googled Sitges and YES, this is definately a very gay-friendly place. Good for us that we both are pro gay. “Well, that means I will be able to walk in peace, but you my dear….you might be in for a lot of hot looks!” I said laughing and that was indeed true!
We flew from Berlin to Barcelona with Easy-peasy-jet and from there we took a bus to Sitges. It was only a 20min bus-drive from the airport. We landed at Terminal 1 and as there is 5km between Terminal 1 and 2, you have to take a small free shuttle bus. The bus to Sitges leaves from Terminal 2. There is also a train going to Sitges, but it takes much longer.
We had booked a flat over Airbnb. The flat was amazing and we could see the sea from our Balcony. Our host was super friendly and even gave me a birthday gift when she found out it was my birthday. We had booked 5 nights there and the last 2 nights we stayed in a Hotel in the Port of Sitges at the other end of the Promenade. The hotel was called Hotel Port Sitges (more about that later in description).
I immediately fell in love with Sitges. The vibe was tranquil, the narrow streets full of life, beautiful old buildings and lots of inviting tapas bars and restaurants. A stones throw from our flat was the beautiful Promenade in the old town. I loved the peaceful early morning vibe down by the promenade where the only others out so early were dog-owners and families with kids. We were often just a handful of people on the beach around 9.00 in the morning.
Sitges is not too big (28.000 people) and because it is less touristic than Barcelona it is also cheaper. Apparently around 30% of the population is from the UK.
If you can travel outside the high-season like us, you can have a very relaxing time and also better prices for accommodation. If you miss the buzz of a big city you can reach Barcelona by train or bus and it takes about 30min. We ended up spending the whole week in Sitges. I felt so relaxed there and missed nothing. There were several playgrounds for our son to play on, but the beach and sea was by far the best place to play and relax for all of us.
I was surprised that we could swim in the sea without turning into ice. Ok the initial feeling was: “Omg omg omg this is cold…keep smiling…soon it will get better”, and after my body had adjusted to the “fresh feeling” I loved it and could not get enough. I think it was around 19-20 degrees. The streaming could get quite strong, so one should watch out for that.
Food and eating out
It ended up becoming a small tradition to go and get our freshly backed croissants (SO TASTY) and coffee to go from the well-hidden gem of a bakery called “La Tahona” on Calle de San Sebastian and then sit on the beach and eat breakfast, while playing in the sand and waiting for the sun to warm up the air before going for a swim.
We also visited Forn 9, another great place to have breakfast. To give you an idea of the prices, we had two large, fresh squeezed Orange Juices, two bread and cheese buns, a bun for Jordan, two coffees and all of it for €10! I just love the tomato spread they put under the cheese in their buns. It is delicious! They also gave Jordan (our Son) a free long bread stick, a balloon and lots of smiles.
We did not dine out a lot as we had a kitchen in our flat and cooked most evening meals at home. However, we had the most amazing Italian food on my birthday at a restaurant called La Grotta (San Pedro 1), recommended by our local Airbnb host. It was a nice and calm place and not too big. We had a 3 course meal and one glass of wine for €35 for 2 people (A lunch deal!).
There were many places that looked amazing and when you go to trip-advisor and look at the best places to eat, I am sure you’ll find some hidden gems (not germs :o) !
Kids love this
We also took the little Tourist Train one day to the end of the beach. It was cute and a hit for our boy, who had a blast. We were only us and 2 other guys on the train, so it was quite the VIP style.
The whole trip takes about 25min and it was €4 for a return ticket. That way you also get a good overview of what there is to see on the beach front (packed with restaurants and cafés) and how close everything actually is. At the very end of the waterfront is a huge hotel with a Golf Course if you are into that kinda thing.
The port of Sitges
The last 2 nights we stayed at Hotel Port Sitges. I had the feeling this hotel had had its glory days, not that there was anything wrong with it at all, but the decor was very 90s and a little worn down here and there. However, the price we paid for a room was very worth it and then we got to experience another vibe in Sitges. The views were absolutely amazing and the staff friendly too.
We had a small 2-room flat with a kitchen, so one would think you could cook a meal there. However, the kitchen was mostly for making a sandwich and tea / coffee as there was not a lot of kitchen wear.
I was once in Saint Tropes and walked along the promenade there, where it was a gigantic “show off vibe”. This you feel around the Port area too. It is packed with fancy boats, cars, lots of restaurants and people just checking one-another out. Yes, we also saw plenty of the Botoxed-I-Wanna-Be-Forever-Young women and also rather old men with quite young girls (ok…VERY young girls).
I must admit I prefer the more chilled and down-to-earth vibe around the old town. In Sitges you can indeed find a bit of everything, which makes life so much more colorful. I love that.
So in short…I highly recommend visiting Sitges with small kids. I am definately going back!
Smiles from Berlin,
(None of the places I recommend have paid me / sponsored me to write these recommendations)