Vilanova i la Geltrú, in the Garraf region, is a coastal town located between Sitges and Cubelles. During good weather, we visit often because it is relatively close to Barcelona (about 45 minutes by car or train), and we love its beaches and the atmosphere. However, Vilanova offers much more than just beaches. Here, we explain what to do in Vilanova i la Geltrú with family. By the way, Vilanova is certified as a Family Tourism Destination.


Discover Vilanova i la Geltrú with family. Here are our recommended plans… take note, you will love them!


If you are passionate about trains, you cannot miss this museum. In fact, I’ll tell you that even though I’m not a big fan of the railway world, the first time I entered this museum, I was amazed. So much so that since that first time, we have returned several more times, and the fact that the visit is free with the Super3 card encourages us to go regularly.

This museum has the best collection of steam locomotives in Europe, as well as electric and diesel locomotives, among others.

I couldn’t say what we like more, the collection of 24 steam locomotives or seeing the Mataró locomotive from 1948, a replica of the first train that ran between Barcelona and Mataró, in operation. But be aware, you can only see the Mataró in operation (and ride it) on the first Sunday of the month. For more information, you can read our article here.

Next to the Railway Museum of Vilanova, you will find the Víctor Balaguer Library Museum, which is also worth a visit.


If you go to the Catalonia Railway Museum on a Sunday and still want more trains, you can go to the Ribes Roges Park (next to the beach) and ride the little train. The train is quite small and the circuit not very large, but what makes it particularly attractive, in my opinion, is its proximity to the sea. This makes it a perfect plan for children, who can play in the sand or in one of the nearby parks after their train ride. The train runs on Sundays from 10:00 to 14:00. In any case, I recommend visiting the AFEVI (Friends of the Railway of Vilanova i la Geltrú) website.


In summer, one of the main attractions of Vilanova is its fine sandy beaches. Among them, the ones we frequent the most are Far de Sant Cristòfol Beach and Ribes Roges Beach.

Far de Sant Cristòfol Beach is in a residential area, next to the Sant Cristòfol Lighthouse (Espai Far). It is located at the eastern end of the town. To the north, it borders a cliff, and to the south, it borders the port of Vilanova. It is not excessively long (700 meters). You might be interested to know that it has a beach bar (Nativa) and offers sun loungers and parasols.

Another beach we really like is Ribes Roges, which is between the marina and the breakwater where the Pasífae sculpture is located (this separates Ribes Roges Beach from Adarró Beach).

This beach is in a very cool area. Earlier, I mentioned the miniature train of Ribes Roges, but there are other attractions such as basketball and football courts and playgrounds. RocRoi, which I will talk about later, is also located here.


Let’s return to Far de Sant Cristòfol Beach because Espai Far is located nearby.

Espai Far consists of three areas (within the same complex): the Vilanova i la Geltrú Sea Museum, which is in the old lighthouse keeper’s house and displays objects related to fishing and the marine world; the Víctor Rojas Space, where you can see a 1916 rescue boat; and, finally, the Roig Toqués Museum of Marine Curiosities. For information on schedules and rates, you can check here.


In Vilanova, there are various companies dedicated to water sports. Among them is RocRoi, which has centers in different locations, including Vilanova. This center, located at Ribes Roges Beach, offers many activities (including summer camps) as well as boat rentals. You can check their website here.


The Can Papiol Museum is located in the historic center of Vilanova. Originally, it was the home of a wealthy family, the Papiols, and it has been operating as a museum since 1961.

A tour of this museum allows you to see how high society lived in the 19th century. The most impressive part is the main floor. Highlights include the music room, the billiard room, and the grand ballroom where the family received guests. You can also visit the private rooms of the head of the household or the chapel

Although less spectacular, the tour also covers the areas occupied by servants and the spaces dedicated to domestic chores. The visit is highly recommended. We enjoyed it a lot, and although the tour is not specifically aimed at families with children, it is very cool to see these luxurious rooms and understand how people lived many years ago.

If you like this type of visit, you shouldn’t miss the Masia de Cabanyes either, where the romantic poet Manuel de Cabanyes was born, and which currently functions as a Romanticism Interpretation Center. Besides visiting the house, the museum offers very interesting family activities.


If your day has been very intense, I suggest ending it with a drink at any of its squares or on the Rambla Principal, where much of the city’s social life is concentrated. It’s full of restaurants, cafes, and shops, making for a very pleasant walk at any time of the year. Of course, there are also plenty of dining options by the sea, or if you prefer less hustle and bustle, you can stroll through the streets near the Sant Antoni Abat church.

Apart from the great leisure and dining options, in Vilanova you will also find many interesting places to stay. The Vilanova Park Camping is particularly popular among families.

More Information:

Vilanova i la Geltrú Tourism Website.

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