How to celebrate this year´s Carnaval in Sitges
The upcoming weekend should be marked in red on your calendar if you are in Barcelona and love a good party. Trust us, it is going to be big. The Carnaval that takes place annually at this time of the year is one of the biggest and most anticipated in the whole Europe. The festival is especially delightful in Sitges, a small town located approximately 15 kilometres away from Barcelona. Starting on Thursday 8th and finishing on Wednesday 14th of February 2018, this Carnaval is definitely worth a visit. The festival is a very important event for the town´s big gay community.
“Carnestoltes”, as it is also known here in Catalonia, is a very unique experience, as the festival includes people dressing up in original costumes, popular dances, fantastic gastronomy, horseback riding and much more. The Carnaval in Sitges has been celebrated for over 100 years and each year attracts more than 300,000 people. The food is already a huge reason to come to Sitges during the festival. You can try such delicious foods as xatonadas (a salad with cod and a garlicky almond sauce romesco), coca de llardons (a flat pastry with eggs, sugar, and pork crackling), and botifarra d’ou (a lean local sausage with egg).
There are several parades happening throughout the week of the Carnaval. The biggest ones are those celebrated on Sunday 11th called “Rua de la Disbauxa” (the Debauchery Parade) and the one taking place on Tuesday 13th – “Rua de l´Extermini” (Extermination Parade), both featuring around 50 floats and 2-3000 dancing participants. If you want to know more of what happens when, here is a small schedule of events:
Thursday 8 – Jueves Lardo:
- Beginning of the Carnaval and arrival of the Carnival “King of No Shame” with many musicians and jesters, declaring the beginning of the week of unlimited fun.
- Rua de la Debauxa (Debauchery Parade). It welcomes visitors to watch the most colourful procession of people dressed in the craziest costumes and masks, acrobats, dancers and performers.
- Rua Infantil. The kid´s version of the Debauchery Parade, celebrated earlier that day.
- Rua de l´Extermini (Extermination Parade). Another extravagant procession with music, performances and fun.
- Enterrament de la Sardina (Burial of the Sardine)
- Ash Wednesday
This is the final parade of the Carnival, where people dress up in more costumes and carry a large Sardine in a funeral procession. This is a symbolic representation of leaving the past behind and welcoming a new society. You can witness this extremely unique celebration at 20:30 at Paseo de la Ribera.
How to get to Sitges:
The best and most common way to get to Sitges for Carnival is using the official busses. But since the Carnival is very popular these days, it can be really hard to find spots. So it is better to take the train, that departs from Sants Estaciò or Passeig de Gracia. The ride will take around 35 minutes and it is already a fun experience. You will meet a lot of like minded people ready to have the best time in the party town.
Whatever your plan for the Carnival week is, we hope you have a lot of fun. If you still plan on coming to the city and looking for a place to stay, take a look at the apartments we offer on our website.