When it comes to gay travel, Spain is one of the best and most exciting destinations you can visit.
We have experienced many of Spain’s popular gay destinations such as Barcelona, Madrid, Torremolinos and Gran Canaria, but we have to say, Sitges is our favourite gay hotspot in Spain!
Sitges is well-known for its Mediterranean beaches, pretty narrow streets, stunning marina and especially for its gay scene. The gay scene is so prominent here in Sitges, it takes centre stage in the main part of town. In fact, if you Google ‘Sitges’, it specifically mentions that it is filled with gay bars. This is not just a town or city with a gay scene; in our opinion it is a gay town!
What a lot of people do not realise is that they can easily visit from Barcelona (which is very popular). Sitges is just 30 minutes southwest from Barcelona by train – see below for instructions.
Let’s take a look at all that Sitges has to offer in our ‘Sitges Gay Guide’ and find out why we can’t wait to return!
- 1 Why is Sitges Gay Friendly?
- 2 Gay Bars in Sitges
- 3 Gay Clubs in Sitges
- 4 Gay Cruising Bars in Sitges
- 5 Gay Beaches in Sitges (and how to find them!)
- 6 Gay Sitges Hotels
- 7 Gay Pride and Events in Sitges
- 8 Gay Shops in Sitges
- 9 Gay Saunas in Sitges
- 10 How to get to Sitges from Barcelona
Why is Sitges Gay Friendly?
We have travelled to many ‘gay friendly’ destinations but Sitges and many places in Spain take this to the next level. Being gay in Sitges, like Barcelona and Madrid, is just another very normal part of society and no one notices the many gay couples walking around hand in hand.
This is a result of the very positive LGBT rights and culture in Spain as a whole. Same sex intercourse has been legal since 1979 and Spain was the third country in the world to make same-sex marriage legal. In fact, Spain recently tied joint 4th out of 197 countries on Forbes 2019 list of ‘friendliest countries for LGBT travellers’.
Add to this the many gay bars, gay beaches, hotels and shops and you can start to see why Sitges is its own mini gay mecca.
Gay Bars in Sitges
If you want the best selection of gay bars, you usually need to travel to the capital city. However, when you travel to most small beach towns you feel lucky to even get one!
However, Sitges completely breaks this rule because whilst it most certainly is a small, beautiful and quaint town, it has over 20 gay bars, gay cruise bars and clubs – rivaling the likes of Barcelona and Madrid!
The gay bars and clubs are all neatly centred around Plaça Indústria and the adjoining streets. This square is full of small bars with outdoor seating and is where everything starts. We also love to people watch so this was also a good spot for an afternoon cocktail.
Here are our favourite gay bars in Sitges:
Parrots Pub & Parrots Terrace
This is probably one of the most well known bars. It can be found on the square itself and the star of the show here is Lady Diamond so expect some hilarious drag acts.
The terrace opens from 10:00am serving breakfast and food throughout the day. The bar is open from 5pm through to 3am, when its traditional to move onto a late night club that will take you through to the early hours. Bear in mind – 3am is NOT classed as early hours for Spaniards!
Central Café Bar
This is another bar/café found in Plaça Indústria where we often took a chilled afternoon coffee (or cocktail!) and again sat people watching.
Later on in the evening it becomes more lively with drag shows and cocktails being served. The waiters here were also very cute!
Runway Bar Terrace (previously Carousel)
All the bars here are very close by. Runway Bar Terrace is 30 seconds from Plaça Indústria.
We actually came here every night during Sitges Pride as we found this had some of the best drinks offers, a good sized seating area outside and a very friendly crowd.
This is one of the longest running gay bars in Sitges and attracts all types of people of all ages. Expect drag shows every night in summer and for it to always be busy.
Comodin opens from 10:30pm and is 5-10 minutes from the Plaça Indústria towards the Old Town.
Even more Gay Bars
Sitges has something to suit everyone. If you have time to do a full bar crawl take a look at:
- Bears bar
- La Villa
- Mojito and Co
- Summer Lounge
- Bar 7
Gay Clubs in Sitges
When it hits 2am onwards it is time to move on from a bar and go to one of the larger dance venues to party until the early hours – during our visit for Sitges Pride we barely slept, they do everything so much later in Spain!
Here are our top three gay clubs in Sitges:
This is considered the most popular and the place to be. It has the largest dance floor out of all the clubs, 3 bars and gets very busy in the height of summer.
Expect this bar to be packed wall to wall with attractive guys, and a typically younger crowd. If you arrive a bit earlier you can take advantage of their happy hour from 11pm-1am (however it does open earlier at 7pm).
Coming from outside of Spain, you might find it surprising that most clubs have a dark room and this is no exception at Privilege – have fun!
We went to Queenz at some point every night during our time in Sitges. This is a busy, narrow bar with good music. At its peak time expect to be pretty much sandwiched on the dance floor between hot guys – there isn’t too much room but that’s not always a bad thing!
This is where most of our nights ended. This is more akin to a large, full on club with two floors and a very large dance floor. It is open from 2:30am to 6am during summer and is host to the infamous Sitges foam parties. This is also where most of the ‘official’ Pride parties are held. Check out their Facebook page to see what is on offer when you visit.
Gay Cruising Bars in Sitges
Moving on from the standard bars and clubs, Sitges has a lot of gay cruising bars.
These all offer everything you would expect from dark rooms to stripper performances and whatever else you may want to imagine. Most also do theme nights whether it be sports, fetish, underwear etc. Take a look at each on Facebook to see what is coming up:
- Dark Bar
- Zona X
Gay Beaches in Sitges (and how to find them!)
Sometimes when you visit a destination, you have to go out of your way to find the gay beach, however in Sitges this is not the case.
The main gay beach in Sitges is in the heart of town and can be found in front of the Picnic Restaurant opposite Hotel Calipolis. The beach is called La Playa De La Bossa Rodona.
All beaches are technically mixed but during peak season this is where the majority of gay guys parading around in their speedos can be found – you can’t miss the sudden change in clientele.
There are also two other beaches close to town, Playa De Las Balmins and Playa Del Muerto. Both are nudist beaches, the first being mixed and the second being predominantly gay. Playa De Las Balmins is only a ten minute walk from the centre and Playa Del Muerto is a ten minute taxi plus a little walk.
For a detailed explanation and maps to find these beaches head over to ‘How to find the gay beaches in Sitges‘.
Gay Sitges Hotels
Here in Sitges, the concept of a gay friendly hotel is a bit lost because it is a given that every single hotel is gay friendly. However, here are some good options:
This is the only hotel that is more likely to be categorised as ‘gay’ rather than simply ‘gay friendly’, however of course the hotel welcomes everyone! Parrots Sitges Hotel is also famous for its Parrots VIP promotion which allows guests discounts, benefits & freebies at over 20 bars, restaurants and shops in Sitges.
Guests who reserve directly with the hotel also benefit from the Parrots Big Six, which include a Free Daily Bottle of Water, The Parrots VIP Promotion, Exclusive Beach Pack, Free Use of Parrots Gym + Fitness, Special Early Check-In and Late Check-out benefits.
It gets 4/5 on Tripadvisor mainly due to good staff, excellent location and a good breakfast! Take a look at the hotel here.
Price: £39-£100 per night depending on season.
The Calipolis Hotel is one of the larger beachfront hotels and is directly opposite the gay beach which means it is a winner when it comes to location.
It has a pool and gym and the rooms are modern and spacious.
Price: £100-£150 per night depending on season.
The Galeon Hotel is a very popular hotel with a pool just a ten minute walk from the centre. It gets excellent reviews on TripAdvisor, especially for the breakfast and is one to consider if you are on more of a budget.
Price: £60-£100 per night depending on season.
We found this one to be best for budget and location. Hotel Monetserrat is basic hotel in the heart of the gay nightlife which comes with a simple breakfast.
We stayed here during Pride because we left our booking until the last minute (typical us!), however this turned out well because it had all we needed for the right price and was literally minutes from all the action.
Price: £30-£60 per night depending on season.
Gay Pride and Events in Sitges
Gay Pride Sitges
Gay Pride in Sitges was one of our favourites during 2018 and for good reason. We will be writing up a separate article to tell you more about it – keep your eyes peeled!
Delice Dream has been holding their gay Sitges Spring Break Event every May for a number of years. In 2019 it looks like this is moving over to Torremolinos so keep up to date on their website or social media to find out more.
Sitges Bear Week
Held every September, Sitges Bear Week is one of the biggest and most popular Bear events in Europe. Expect over 5,000 in attendance (bearing in mind – no pun intended- the size of Sitges this is a lot).
The festival lasts for 12 days and in 2019 will be held from 1-11 September. For all you bears, admirers and chasers, check it out!
Gay Shops in Sitges
You are undoubtedly going to want to look your best on the beach. Luckily there are many shops in Sitges catering to the gay market and that stock many of our favourite brands.
Expect to find brands like Addicted (our favourite swimwear), Barcode Berlin, ES Collection and more all around the main square area. You can buy everything from swimwear and underwear through to harnesses and other fetish gear. Check out our favourites:
- Addicted: Carrer de les Parellades, Sitges, Spain
- Menswear Sitges – Barcode clothes: Carrer Primer de Maig, 22, 08870 Sitges, Barcelona, Spain
- Dantes: Carrer de Joan Tarrida, 3, 08870 Sitges, Barcelona, Spain
Gay Saunas in Sitges
If saunas are your scene then you have two options. They are smaller than those that you would find in the likes of Barcelona but still worth checking out:
- Parrots Sauna: There is a steam room, dry sauna, jacuzzi and private cabins. Open 6pm-9pm
- Sauna Sitges: This is a long running small sauna which include a dry sauna, steam room, maze and cabins. It also sometimes hosts foam parties. This is open 4pm-9pm but sometimes later during pride events.
How to get to Sitges from Barcelona
The majority of people will fly in to Barcelona. From Barcelona, here are your options:
There are three stations to depart from in Barcelona: Estació de França, Passeig de Gràcia and Estació Sants.
Look for the C2 train going to either Vilanova i la Geltru or St. Vincenç de Calders – choose either of these and along the way alight at Sitges. This will cost about €4.10 euros each way and take about 30 minutes.
This is your cheapest and quickest option.
The company to use during the day is called Monbus. They leave from Plaça España and Ronda Universitat during the day. The journey will take 45-55 minutes and go via Barcelona airport (El Prat de Llobregat) so you could also get on the bus here.
There are also nightbuses (not Monbus) numbered N30, N31 or N32. These run from Plaça de Catalunya. This bus is direct so the journey will take about 35 minutes.
For both, check their website for the most up to date timetables (they are quite regular). The price is the same as the train at €4.10 each way.
A taxi will take about 40 minutes and will cost €75.00 – €85.00.
It is quite incredible that such a quaint and picturesque town has such a vibrant and thriving gay scene. Hopefully you can see why we fell in love with Sitges and we hope that you make it your next destination of choice. We plan to be back there for Pride this year, see you there!
For more gay destinations check out these posts:
- Gay Sailing Trip Mykonos – Join Us!
- Gay Travel Europe: 10 Unmissable Destinations
- Gay Stockholm: Gay Guide to the ‘Open City’
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