Sitges Carnival: Spain's Take on Mardi Gras

Live music, spectacular floats, and outrageous costumes only skim the surface of Sitges' Carnival festivities.

May 28, 2024
carnival lights and ridescarnival lights and rides

Carnival feels coined and claimed by the Brazilians, but what many don’t know is that the festivities are just as boisterous in Sitges, a beach town right outside of Barcelona. Sitges has been described as the Saint-Tropez of Spain, so most would expect that the charm only centers around its pristine beaches. However, Sitges offers an array of options such as its famed Carnival activities.

Sitges Carnival Schedule

For the foreign eye, Sitges is a quiet town on the coast, but once Thursday rolls around, the city comes to life. The Thursday before Ash Wednesday is the official start of Carnival as that’s when the King of Carnival arrives. On Fat Thursday, or Dijous Gras, the Carnival King will make his grand entrance to the city’s square.

The next big event is on Sunday. The Debauchery Parade, or Rua de la Disbauxa, takes place during the evening and is rich with costumes, dancing, and fun. As the name suggests, the parade normally results in rowdy fun with beads, candy, and decorations.

Finally, when it’s time for the Carnival King to make his exit, the extermination parade, or Rua de l’Extermini, commences. On Shrove Tuesday, you can see more live performances and spectacular floats while bidding adieu to the beloved Carnival King.

Carnival Dress Code

As one might imagine, carnival boasts over-the-top attire. Cue the glitter, rhinestones, neons, and tutus, Carnival is for going all out. Bright colors are a must for this day and the more sparkle the better. Keep in mind that most of the events are held on the street, so comfort is king (apologies to the Carnival King).

Sitges Carnival Gay Pride Parade

What some might not know is that Sitges is the self-acclaimed Gay Capital of Europe. Many gay-friendly beach resorts boast activities and fun in the summer, but during Carnival, the gay neighborhood is where the party is. Many bars and clubs will host Pink Night, Tourist Night, or Widows Night for the festivities.

If you ever needed a good excuse to explore the local scene or paint your face in glitter, this is your time! Sitges knows fun, especially during Carnival. Make like a local, get your costume ready, and head down the Catalan coast. When it’s time to retreat, consider a restorative stay in Ukio’s many Barcelona options.