Escape from the Hustle of Barcelona, take a day trip to Sitges.
One of the most rewarding parts of trips can be the cities off the beaten path where the locals gather
Barcelona is home to a vibrant culture and warm inhabitants. During my study abroad travels here myself and my fellow travel companions spent many of our days on La Rambla eating way to much gelato and doing far too much shopping in the surrounding local boutiques.
Barcelona being one of the primary tourist destinations in Spain next to Madrid makes navigating through the streets quite a hassle. Rubbing elbows on the metro and the noise in the streets began to become overwhelming by day three. We decided to escape to the beach but that wasn’t much of an escape at all. The least populated beach is located near the W Hotel, which attracts tons of tourist as well as locals from the surrounding neighborhoods. Jessica, our tour guide, suggested that we take a day trip to Sitges.
Sitges is located an hour away by train. Take the R2 train towards Sant Vicenc de Calders and after a few stops clear blue waters and dark sand will welcome you. I was surprised that a destination located so close to Barcelona could posses a completely different aura. We went around 2 pm and the city was quite, restaurants vacant, and sea calm. However, do not be mistaken, around 6pm shops open and this small beach town begins to warm up to a nightlife scene.
There is a ton to do, see, and eat in Sitges. I jotted down a few must dos!
1. Eat the fruit
Sitges has numerous markets that sell fresh fruit grown locally. When your soaking in the sun it’ll be nice to have some sweet fruit by your side. The day we went the sun was beaming the last thing you want is to be dehydrated. Grab a water! Many of these markets also carry pure fruit smoothies made off any fruit combination you could possibly imagine.
2. La Playa de Sitges
You cannot visit Sitges without venturing to the beach at least once. When searching for the perfect beach spot let me help you save time by letting you know: there is no bad spot. On side you’ll have a view of the breathtaking mountains and on the other side tall cliffs lined with local eateries and boutiques.
3. Shopping District
Located about a mile from Playa de Sitges is a road filled with local boutiques. I grabbed a few pieces from Double Agent and Women’s Secret for some of my friends back home. When traveling abroad I like to contribute to the local economy by shopping at the local stores. There are quite a few hat and jewelry shops that have some great finds as well!
4. Eat Locally
We worked up quite an appetite after or beach day. Check out one of the restaurants that surround La Playa de Sitges. There was a great Mexican restaurant located right across the street from where we were serving up the best fajitas I had ever had! The portions were on the bigger side so, I would suggest splitting.
These crepes rival the French’s and the mint chocolate chip gelato has the perfect ratio of chocolate chips to mint chocolate gelato. Before you head out stop by and grab a sweet or savory crepe. I indulged in the traditional Nutella crepe and the chocolate was oozing. About 20 napkins later I still say it was worth it.
6. Night Life
We had to hurry back for a tour. But, on our way out the nightlife was beginning and it looked like an absolute blast! Everyone was out on their terraces talking and laughing with those passing by so, if you have time begin your journey in the morning to Sitges and stay through the night. If you have the time to stay for an overnight trip to enjoy the nightlife, here’s some suggestions of where to stay.
When traveling abroad we often flock to the major cities: Paris, London, Barcelona, Madrid but, without fail the most rewarding parts of my trips are cities off the beaten path where the locals gather. Next time you travel spend a day or two in the heavily trafficked tourist areas and snap a few pictures of the attractions then, begin to ask the locals about the places they enjoy. Local recommendations will trump any advice you can find on any travel app.
What are some of your favorite places to eat, shop, and see in locations away from the major city?