What to Do in Sitges: Another Day Trip From Barcelona

Vamonos!

When people think about what to do in Sitges (pronounce like “See-tches” or sit-jet) the first things that comes to mind are usually Sitges Carnival, the infamous Sitges annual film festival in October or the gay pride parade; however, after my last day trip from Barcelona, I can confidently say there is a lot more to do in this small town than first meets the eye. My friends and I had planned on going to witness the Sitges Carnival parades in all their glory last Sunday but after some hard-partying at Barcelona’s mega-club Razzmatazz on Saturday night, none of us were fit for the train, much less sitting in the sun all day. Alas, we were still determined to make this day trip from Barcelona a reality. So the following Saturday, we woke up around 9:00 am, faced our varying degrees of hangover, and headed for the train from Sant Cugat to Barcelona to find out for ourselves what to do in Sitges.

what to do in Sitges

Getting to Sitges

If you live in Barcelona, getting to Sitges is easy by Renfe train. It is approximately 35 kilometers southwest of the city, which means it’s close enough to be just a day trip from Barcelona but far enough away to feel like visiting a different part of Spain. You can leave from either the Sants or the Passeig de Gracia station and the train ride takes only thirty minutes.

Unfortunately, I can’t tell you how much it costs to get to and from because there is some discrepancy depending where you look. Online it will say that the trip each way costs around 4 euro but if I remember correctly my roundtrip ticket cost almost 14 euro. That being said, when you do go to buy your ticket, look carefully and make sure you’re getting the right one!

What to do in Sitges

A Brief Description

Choosing between two beach staples should help you to determine what to do in Sitges: the art scene (daytime) and the night scene (gaytime). Sitges history as a gay community can be traced back to the 18th century when the Catalan painter, Santiago Rusiñol, took up residence and made it a destination for Barcelona’s most renowned intellectuals, artists, and sculptors. Later when Joan Miro, Salvador Dali, and Pablo Picasso began to frequent Sitges it became a sort of best of the best of Spanish counterculture. And it continued to be a liberal stronghold even through Franco’s regime. Sitges is quite literally the “pride” of Catalunya, much in the same way that South Beach is the “pride” of my home state.

Many of its residents have emigrated from other parts of Europe (France, Scandinavia, Great Britain, and the Netherlands) to enjoy the Mediterranean shipping village which ironically became one of the most gay-friendly cities in the world.

what to do in Sitges

Now, enough about history and back to my day trip from Barcelona. While we weren’t able to explore all possible things to do in Sitges, I can give you a few tips and point you in the direction of a couple places I really enjoyed.

The first stop, obviously, should be Sitges’ beach. The best way to get there is to walk straight out of the train station and follow the signs to Carrer de Sant Pau. From the end of the street, you’ll have the beach in front of you and the church to your left. Take a minute to walk up the church steps and get a few pictures of the sea then hightail it back from whence you came for the next step.

What (I suggest) You Do In Sitges

I can only recommend drinking on the beach based on my personal experience. This is where it pays to be a little bit cautious – do not, I repeat do not, get TOO drunk on the beach in Sitges, or anywhere else. One of two things could happen, best case, you could end up with a sunburn and a headache, or worst case, you could potentially drown. It is dangerous so if you’re going swimming, do it before you get boozy and set a time limit for beverages under the sun if you don’t want to end up looking like a lobster. Off the soapbox now. You might want to bring your own liquor or wine because it will be more expensive the closer you get to the beach. Tourists buy it and they’re always willing to pay more. Beer is not advisable as it will quickly warm up and generates more trash than you want to deal with.

After you’ve had some cocktails or whatever I recommend checking out a place called “Restaurant Pic Nic.” The staff are super friendly, and the service in unbelievably fast. My friend and I both ordered a mini-hamburger and fries and got them before our Sangria even hit the table. They have a terrace out front, a bar and a private dining room indoors, and an outside porch area incased in glass which overlooks the water. Did I mention the Sangria? 15 euro for a liter. Restaurant Pic Nic reminded me of home – breezy, friendly, and fun, and the bill was a pleasant surprise at less than 25 euro for 2 people. Highly recommend!

what to do in Sitges

Chill Out

The last thing to remember when deciding what to do in Sitges is that you’re going to the beach so the point is to relax! Enjoy the time outside the city, just chillin’ on the warm sands and listening to the waves. Maybe I’ll see you there.

You can find out more about Barcelona’s best beaches in our free E-book.

What do you like to do at the beach? What things are essential to bring with? Do you have any other recommendations for daytime/nighttime in Sitges?

Cheers :)

Kathy
~edited by T.Vu~

 

 

Street Profile Barcelona: Carrer de Verdi

Barcelona Street Profile: Discover Carrer de Verdi

Top of Carrer de Verdi Barcelona

Barcelona is full of must-sees but, as an expert visitor, you should not miss the Spanish way of life. If you want to see more than the overly famous streets, monuments, museums, beaches, … and you want to go in some other typical places, you can try Gracia North-West neighborhood! We have chosen for you a special Street Profile: Carrer de Verdi, a really beautiful and lively place which strides Barcelona’s heights!

Unless you’re very sporty, it’s better to start by the end because the street has a sharp slope!

At the top, the street is very residencial with great houses in a quiet atmosphere. You also have an amazing view of Barcelona’s cityscape.
When you come down the street, you’ll discover some shops, food shop, variety of service as hairdressers, bars and restaurants.
You can find below some nice places to go and useful information:

Restaurants carrer de verdi barcelona

Restaurants:

 

N°213: L’ancora – traditional food
N°138: La Vineteria de Verdi – typical food
N°65: Mesopotamia – North-African – Middle East food
N°64: Kibuka – Japonese food
N°56: Los Pandas – Chinese restaurant
N°40: Pizzalabina – Pizzeria
N°39: Gasterea – Tapas
N°35: Casa de Pizzas – Pizzaria
N°29: La Verdinale – Pizzeria
N°28: Askadinya – Palestinian restaurant
N°18: La villa Amrit – Lebanese food
N°16: Al Waha – Lebanese food
N°15: Creps Barcelona – Creps restaurant
N°12: Frankfurt Verdi – Tapas
N°11: Ugarit – Mediterranean food
N°2: Gattopardo – Pizzeria

 

 

Bar:

N°79 – Café Camèlia
Charming and perfect place  to chill!

Carrer de Verdi Café Camelia Barcelona

Market

N°: 200 : Mercat de Lesseps

As all markets in Barcelona, a very good place to find fresh and various food!

mercat lesseps barcelona

 

Church

N°: 100 Catholic Church

Mercat de Lesseps barcelona

 

Design High School

At the street junction between Carrer de Verdi 91 and Carrer Biada.
A recognized school for the future artists!

ied school barcelona verdi

Cinema

N°32: Cinemas Verdi

The films on show are a mixture of new releases and art house.

cinema verdi barcelona

 

And finally at the end (beginning) of the street you’ll discover a beautiful place: Plaça de la Revolucio de Setembre de 1886, where you can enjoy a glass in a quiet atmosphere!

plaça de la revolucio de setembre de 1868

Local Markets in Barcelona

Local Markets in Barcelona

 

Local Markets in Barcelona are must-see places! Wherever you are in the city a market is nearby – just have a look to see different Spanish customs and how friendly these places are. You might be tempted to buy their local fresh products as they look very appetizing with the beautiful layout of the stalls.

local market in France

 

Food markets:

~ The Unavoidable: Sant Joseph Market – La Boqueria

la boqueria market barcelona
Where: Ciutat Vella
Las Ramblas, 91 08002 Barcelona

When: From Mondays to Saturdays
Opening hours: 8:00 am to 8:30 pm

Features: La Boqueria is the most famous market in Barcelona because of its amazing location in the center of Las Ramblas! It’s one of the largest markets in Europe and offers high quality products, fresh fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, sweets, etc. You can even eat tapas here! There is quite a lot of tourist traffic but it’s still is a convivial place to go.

 

~ The Authentic: Sant Antoni Market

sant antoni market
Where: Eixample
Carrer Comte d’Urgell

When: From Monday to Saturday

Opening hours: From Monday to Thursday from 7:00 am to 2:30 pm and from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm
Friday and Saturday from 7:00 am to 8:30 pm

Features: It’s kind of similar to La Boqueria but without Las Ramblas tourists!
On Sundays, around Market Sant Antoni there’s a book market with books, reviews, magazines, comics, postcards, etc. From 8:00 am to 3:00 pm

 

~ The Traditional: Fira Artesana

la fira artesana
Where: Ciutat Vella
Plaça del Pi, 08002 Barcelona
When: First Friday of each month
Opening hours: 11:00 am to 2:00 pm and 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm

Features: Catalan producers meet each month to send their organic catalan produce. This market is particularly famous for its honey cake and its cheeses infused with honey hence its nickname: The Honey Market.

 

~ The Designer: Santa Caterina Market

santa caterina market
Where: Ciutat Vella
Avenida Fransesc Cambo, 16  08003 Barcelona

When and Opening hours: Mon: 7:30 am to 2:00 pm
Tue, Wed & Sat: 7:30 am to 3:30 pm
Thu & Fri 7:30 am to 8:30 pm
Features: The original design of the building is very eye catching due to its undulating and brightly coloured roof. There is also a wonderful display of produce inside!

 

~ The Trendy: Princesa Market

princesa market barcelona
Where: El Born
Carrer Sabateret 1-3, 08003 Baracelona

Opening hours: Sunday to Wednesday from 9:00 am to midnight
Thursday to Saturday 9:00 am to midnight

Features: Princesa Market is an old market where you can find flavours from the whole world: Sushi, tapas, Italian food, etc.

 

~ The Classic: Market del Ninot  (currently undergoing renovation)

market del ninot

Where: Eixample left
Carrer Mallorca, 135  08036 Barcelona

Opening hours: Monday to Friday from 8:00 am to 9:00 pm
Saturdays from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm

Features: It’s close to Plaza Catalonia but hidden enough not to be crowded by tourists! Like all markets in Barcelona, produce is absolutely fresh: fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, etc. You can even eat tapas there!

 

Flower Market & Food Market

 

~ Mercat de la Concepcio

la concepcio market barcelona
Where: Eixample right
Carrer d’Arago, 311 08009 Barcelona

When: Food market: Monday: 8:00 am to 3:00 pm
Tuesday to Friday: 8:00 am to 8:00 pm
Saturday: 8:00 to 3:00 pm
Flower market: Monday to Sunday 24 hours a day.

Features: Old market in the center of Barcelona today best known as the flower market of Barcelona. It’s gardeners’ and curious people’s paradise where they can find many varieties of garden flowers and seeds. There’s also a food part with lots of different options.

Flea Market

~ Mercat dels Encants

market dels encant barcelona

Where: El Clot
Carrer del Dos de Maig, 186  08013 Barcelona

When: Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday

Opening hours: From 9:00 am to 8:00 pm
Public Auction: From 8:00 am to 9:30 pm Monday, Wednesday and Friday

Features: Mercat dels Encants is Barcelona’s largest secondhand market! From Odds and ends like cosmetics, old bikes,
etc., to vintage furniture like clothes or books, this market is full of surprises. Advice: Saturday is really crowded and if you want to find that special somthing come early!

 

~Lucie

UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITES IN BARCELONA

Discover Barcelona’s most precious monuments

As you probably know, Barcelona is one of the most distinctive and beautiful cities in Spain. Being part of Catalunya, it has its very own language, cultural background and also a great variety of monuments. But are you aware of the monuments in Barcelona that feature in the prestigious UNESCO World Heritage Sites list?

If you don’t, this article is for you as I have made an exhaustive list of the Barcelona UNESCO World Heritage Sites! Discover them below!

 

WORKS OF GAUDI

Works of Gaudi Unesco World Heritage Barcelona

As you might have guessed, the genius Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi is greatly represented in that list. Indeed, the “Works of Antoni Gaudi” is what the UNESCO uses to refer to seven properties built by the architect Antoni Gaudi in or near Barcelona. These “Works of Gaudi” were added to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites to testify to Gaudi’s exceptional and unique creative contribution to the development of architecture and building technology in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Many of those buildings influenced and anticipated the forms and techniques that were relevant to the development of modern construction in the 20th century. The 7 buildins are: Parque Guell, Palau Guell, Casa Mila, Casa Vicens,La Sagrada Familia, Casa Batllo and Crypt in Colonia Guell.

 

1. Park Guell

Park guell Barcelona

The Park Guell has been a World Heritage Site since 1984 when UNESCO added it to its list of cultural assets. This is one of the most beautiful icons of the city of Barcelona. Located in the upper part of the city, you can enjoy literally wonderful views of Barcelona while walking in a park surrounded by a modernist works.

 

2. Palau Guell

Palau guell barcelona

The Palau Guell was inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites list in 1986. At the time of its construction, it was among the most luxurious buildings in Barcelona.This town house located in the center of Barcelona was designed by Gaudi between 1886 and 1889. However, the inside decoration and furnishings were finished later on.

 

3. Casa Mila

Casa Mila Barcelona gaudi

 

La Pedrera or Casa Mila is one of the most imaginative and creative works that Gaudi has accomplished. Located in Passeig de Gracia, Barcelona’s main boulevard, this building was commissioned by the Mila Family after Gaudi had encountered great success with its previous work on Casa Batllo. It was declared a World Heritage Site in 1984.

 

4. Casa Vicens

Casa Vicens Barcelona Gaudi

Casa Vicens is a family residence in Barcelona designed by Antoni Gaudi and built for industrialist Manuel Vicens i Montaner. It was Gaudi’s first project for a private house. It is located number 24 , Carrer Carolines and was a summer residence with a garden and fountain.

 

5. La Sagrada Familia

Sagrada Familia Barcelona GaudiInside Sagrada Familia Barcelona Gaudi

The church of the Sagrada Familia is Spain’s most visited landmark and was inscribed on the World Heritage list in 2005. It has the particularity of being the world’s only major church currently under construction! It is Gaudi’s most important and ambitious work. At the beginning, Gaudi thought it would take 10 year to build it, but it has been 132 years that the first stone of the great church of the Sagrada Familia was laid and it is still under construction!

 

6. Casa Batllo

Casa Batllo Barcelona Gaudi

The Casa Batllo is the result of the renovation of a building at number 43, Passeig de Gracia. That work belongs to the world’s architectural legacy and is part of Gaudi’s massive contribution to Catalan architecture. Together with the ideas of the architect Jujol, Gaudi made the project into an exceptional example of the refurbishment of a dwelling.

 

7. Crypt of the Church at the Colonia Guell

Colonia Guell interior Barcelona Gaudi

Located near Barcelona in the village of Santa Coloma de Cervello, the crypt of the church at the Colonia Guell was classified by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 2005. Antoni Gaudi undertook this work as a testing-ground for the future construction of the Sagrada Familia. As he has said on many occasions, this was an experiment in social engineering. For the first time, Gaudi used parabolic arches incorporating Catalan vaults and a revolutionary load-bearing system.

If you want to learn more about Gaudi, check out our Gaudi guide!

 

NON-GAUDI RELATED WORLD HERITAGE SITES

 

1.Palau de La Musica Catalana

Palau de la Musica Catalana Barcelona Gaudi

This work from the modernist architect Lluis Domenech i Montaner is one of the world’s leading concert halls. It was inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 1997 for its aesthetic and architectural value as well as its status as a historic landmark. Originally, this artistic wonder was only devoted to music. Nowadays, it concerns itself with culture,social events and business.

 

2. Hospital de La Santa Creu i de Sant Pau

Hospital Sant Pau Barcelona Gaudi

 

Also designed by the architect Lluis Domenech i Montaner, this building was inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 1997.

For its 600th anniversary in 2001, it received the Catalan government’s Gold Medal.

 

That is it for the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Barcelona!

Have you ever visited one of them and what did you think of them?

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below!

Cheers,

Remi

 

Rooftop Pools in Barcelona: SuiteLife’s Top 7

SuiteLife’s Top 7 Best Rooftop Swimming Pools in Barcelona

rooftop pool barcelona

Summer is coming really fast in Barcelona, and the temperature’s rising each and every day. As awesome as that is though, the hot and stifling humidity of Barcelona’s climate will drain out your energy quicker than you realise. What you need is a refreshing swim and cocktail while enjoying the breathtaking views of one of the oldest cities on the Mediterranean (or possibly a perfect day at the beach).  That’s exactly what this blog will offer you, our top 7 rooftop swimming pools in Barcelona.

Ohla Hotel

Ohla hotel rooftop pool Barcelona

One of the most special Rooftop pools in Barcelona is on the terrace of Ohla hotel, being unique for its glass-sided tank. From there you can chill in the cool splash of water and enjoy the view ancient Gothic quarter, since the hotel is located in the heart of Gothic quarter, Born and L’Eixample neighborhoods. You can also see the famous Barcelona cathedral and the church of Santa Anna from there. One minus point is that the lounge area is quite small and there are only about 10 sunbeds, not much for a hotel of 74 rooms capacity.

Barcelona Princess Hotel

Princess hotel rooftop pool Barcelona

This 4-stars hotel has two swimming pools. The smaller triangle-shaped one on 3rd floor with the view to Forum and Museu Blau and the other with a solarium located on the top of the building, on the 23rd floor. It has a gorgeous view over the sea and along the beach. You wouldn’t want to miss the sunset landscape from here!

Hotel Duquesa de Cardona

Duquesade cardona hotel rooftop pool Barcelona

Duquesa de Cardona hotel’s pool is among the smallest in our Rooftop swimming pool Barcelona list, however  its sundeck and spectacular view to the harbor really make up for this. The deck and pool are located on 6th floor, I must say the view from here to port vell harbor during the evening is unforgettable.

Tip: from the deck, look at your right to see the Columbus Monument and Barcelona’s old customs building.

Hotel America Barcelona

Hotel America Barcelona rooftop pool Barcelona

Located on a quiet corner in the Eixample neighborhood, Hotel America Barcelona offers a wide terrace swimming pool. The deck is mainly designed by two materials: light wood and thin metal, which create an elegant yet relaxing vibe. Beside the pool is a unique octagonal Jacuzzi which can probably fit up to 6 people, a perfect place for resting up after a long day of sightseeing. But hey don’t forget to enjoy the biggest Barcelona neighborhood surrounding you: L’ Eixample.

H10 Marina Barcelona

H10 marina hotel rooftop pool Barcelona

Compared to other rooftop pools in Barcelona H10 Marina hotel has a relatively small lounge (the space between sunbeds and the pool is only enough for one person passing at a time). The view on top of the building – in compensation – gives you a fully luxurious experience, with a small bar in the corner, where you can chill with a mojito or just simply tap beer. In front of you is a broad picture of Port Olympico and the so called Barcelona twin towers: Torre Mapfre and Arts hotel building.

The Mirror Barcelona

The Mirror hotel rooftop pool Barcelona

Overall this hotel’s pool is quite compact as hotel space was utilized thoroughly. But you won’t feel uncomfortably cramped believe me. On the contrary, by placing it as close to the building’s edge as it can be, this rooftop pool will show to the new level of chic of Barcelona. From there you will be able to see the 27-floor skyscraper Banco Sabadell Atlántico.

NH Calderon

NH Calderon hotel rooftop pool Barcelona

One of the best places in our Rooftop pool Barcelona list for swimming and refreshment, I would say. The outdoor swimming pool on top of this building overlooks almost every famous landmark of the city: La Sagrada Familia, Montjuic palace, Torre Agbar. The hotel spends its whole terrace on a large swimming pool; in return they have to sacrifice the bar lounge. Still worth it, IMO.

If you enjoy the view from above, you may want to check out our list of rooftop bars in Barcelona. See it here

enjoy!

T.Vu

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