Best Things To Do In Beautiful Murcia!

Murcia

Updated On: June 13, 2024 by   Esraa MahmoudEsraa Mahmoud

If you hear Spain, you probably think of Madrid, Barcelona, Seville, or Valencia. But there is a hidden gem in the southeast of the country of Cervantes, bulls, and flamenco that you should know of: the region of Murcia, which offers you beaches, great wines, culture, and authenticity.

Nestling 40 km from the Mediterranean Sea, Murcia is a sun-drenched region in eastern Spain. Here, you can enjoy delicious food, learn about the area’s rich history and admire the majestic Baroque architecture. No one seems to be in a hurry to get anywhere in this city – even the Cathedral was built here for 300 years.

Murcia has something for every taste; water sports enthusiasts can enjoy all disciplines. Stunned by the relics of all religions and eras, history buffs will not know where to turn. On the other hand, Aficionados of Hispanic culture will be in the right place. Plus, if you’re looking for warmth, we promise you’ll surely get your vitamin D up here!

The capital of this region is also named Murcia! As confidential as it is rich, it is a city full of charm and curiosities. Enclosed in the neighbouring region of Andalusia and the Community of Valencia, erected in 821, it is also located in the centre of the valley of the River Segura. The city has preserved the legacy of its glory days, as evidenced by the remains of the great wall surrounding it and, once, fiercely protecting it.

Bringing you the best of what the region offers, here are the best things to do in Murcia and the best places to visit.

Murcia Cathedral

Murcia

The city’s cathedral has a great mix of architectural styles, but the 17th and 18th-century Baroque additions stand out. The main Baroque-style facade in Plaza del Cardenal Belluga is breathtakingly grand, with its bold columns and beautiful sculpture of the Virgin Mary with the Archangel above the leading portal. Inside, you’ll pass numerous lavish chapels, but look for the tomb of King Alfonso X of Castile.

Also, don’t forget the bell tower; at 93 meters, it’s the second tallest in Spain (behind Seville’s Giralda). It took more than 250 years for the building to be completed. When completed in 1793, it fused Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo, and Neoclassical styles. In the 1700s and 1800s, this city in eastern Spain experienced an economic boom that endowed it with some magnificent pieces of Baroque art and architecture.

To see the best of Murcia’s culture, visit monuments like the cathedral and Francisco Salzillo’s sculptures first.

Salzillo Museum

Museo Salzillo is the most popular of all Murcia museums. It is dedicated to the work of the famous sculptor and Murcia native Francisco Salzillo. In this museum, you’ll see many of the stunning pieces he designed for Semana Santa and learn more about the Baroque movement in Murcia, which was expanding and becoming wealthy from the silk trade.

The sculpture here reflects that confidence with opulent, gilded Passion scenes of drama commissioned by Christian brotherhoods and churches. Also, check out Salzillo’s stunning nativity scene with many miniature figures.

Real Casino de Murcia

Murcia

Another landmark with a very eclectic design is the Gentleman’s Club. Construction began in the mid-19th century but was not completed for another 60 years. This is still a private club, but you can book a tour and won’t regret it. The exterior is grand enough, but the interiors are wonderfully classy.

The billiards room, for example, has Moorish inclinations and a geometric coffered ceiling, as does the courtyard, which has a two-story gallery modelled after the grand palaces of Andalusia. The ballroom has an opulent rococo design and a ceiling fresco depicting Murcia’s most famous cultural figures, such as Francisco Salzillo. The Real Casino is definitely one of the most beautiful places to visit in Murcia.

Plaza de las Flores

The Plaza de las Flores is located a short distance west of the cathedral. It is probably the most beautiful square in the city. The square got its name from the florists who still do business today.

The surrounding townhouses date from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, like the Edificio de Tejidos Abad, a beautiful Art Nouveau building with white square window bays. While there, stop by one of the cafés and read the paper in the morning or head to one of the bars for a beer and tapa in the evening.

Plaza Cardenal Belluga

In Plaza del Cardenal Belluga, you can see some of Murcia’s best monuments. From this square, you can see the beautiful facade of the Cathedral and the City Hall of Murcia, a neoclassical structure built in the middle of the 19th century.

In 1998, a modern building designed by Rafael Moneo was added to the town hall, which contrasts markedly with the surrounding lush architecture. On the square is the Bishop’s Palace, an eighteenth-century Rococo building that complements the Baroque additions of the Cathedral.

Museum of the Monastery of Santa Clara la Real

This historic convent is still in the middle of the city on Gran Via Alfonso X el Sabio. When you visit, you can only see about a quarter of the complex, but that’s enough to show you what a fascinating and beautiful place this is.

It was built in the 13th century over the former Moorish Alcazar (fortified palace) of Murcia. Thus, many decorative Arabic elements, such as horseshoe arches, were incorporated into the monastery’s design and displayed in the museum, which also displays expertly crafted wood and plaster decorations. The museum is one of the best places to visit in Murcia.

Episcopal Palace

Murcia

Palacio Episcopal, next to the Cathedral, is one of the most striking sights in the centre of Murcia. Here, you can admire the palace’s opulent facade, wander around the courtyard, and consider the grand staircase. One of the doors leads to the Baroque chapel, where you can see the wafers blessed during mass. The palace is one of a kind, and it is not to be missed.

Floridablanca Garden

In Murcia, summer can get vicious. So, when it gets boiling, you can take the Puente Viejo to the other side of the Segura River and seek refuge in this little oasis, AKA Jardín Floridablanca, or Floridablanca Garden. It is the oldest public park in the city and was opened in the mid-19th century. Before that, this was a rural promenade on the right bank of the river.

Murcia grew soon after, and the city decided to build this park with flower beds, refined paths, and arbours so that people could escape the sun. It was one of the first projects of this kind in Spain. The giant trees here are old focuses with supporting roots that take over everything around them.

Jardín Floridablanca is a small but very picturesque urban garden. Here, you can see several luxurious banyan trees with long and thick aerial roots and numerous cypresses, palm trees, violet trees, and lush rose bushes. There are benches in the shade of the trees where you can rest and admire the beauty of the surroundings.

Monteagudo Castle

Murcia

Outside the northeastern suburbs rises a rocky limestone mountain 149 meters high. On the castle wall is a large statue of Christ, dating from the 20th century, erected in the 1950s after an earlier statue from the 1920s was destroyed in the Civil War.

The castle was a strategic defence for the Moorish taifa of Murcia for around 250 years. The granaries here were designed to withstand long sieges. After the defeat of the Moors, the Castilian king Alfonso X used the castle as a Murcian residence.

Archaeological Museum of Murcia

Not many tourists make it here, but this museum will delight all history buffs. There are more than 2,000 archaeological sites throughout the Murcia region. Besides the Roman and Moorish heritage, the best discoveries are from the Bronze and Iron Ages of Iberian culture.

These people were influenced by trade with the Phoenicians and Etruscans, as you will see from this period’s bold designs on pottery. The León de Coy is a wonderful, almost abstract lion sculpture found in a necropolis from the 4th century BC.

Almudí Palace

This magnificent building, completed in 1629, stood on the site of a burned predecessor. It is another manifestation of the wealth that flooded the local economy during this period, thanks to the silk industry.

Before entering, look at the immense relief of the Habsburg coat of arms, flanked by two more miniature emblems for Murcia. Inside is a beautiful Tuscan-style hall with rows of columns supporting wide arches. This elegant space is used for temporary art exhibitions.

Terra Natura Murcia

This zoo has several branches throughout Spain and has been highly praised for its humane approach. At Terra Natura, there are no cramped pens or bars. Instead, enclosures are created as close to the animal’s natural habitat as possible. To that end, 500 trees and shrubs have been planted throughout the park.

The zoo’s inhabitants include more than 300 animals from 50 species. Among them are endangered animals such as the European lynx, the brown bear, and the Iberian wolf, which only exist in small numbers in the wild. Other exotic animals include hippos, lions, giraffes, white rhinos, and various birds and reptiles.

Semana Santa and Bando de la Huerta

The Easter season offers you the ultimate crash course in Murcian culture. First, there are the world-famous marches of the Christian brotherhoods with sculptures designed by Salzillo. This event has gained international tourist interest in Spain.

Just a few days after this celebration comes the fun and silliness of Bando de la Huerta, Murcia’s one-day spring festival. The whole town turns out, and most are dressed in Murcian costumes. In the main parade, horses, donkeys, ox carts, giants, and cabezudos (prominent paper-mâché figures) leave the Don Juan Manuel neighbourhood and go downtown. Rolling snack stands also handed out free sandwiches and Murcian blood sausage.

Torre de la Horadada

The Mediterranean Sea is only 50 kilometres away, so you can relax on a beach within an hour of leaving Murcia. If you take the RM-1 directly east of the city, you’ll reach the quiet beach communities on the southern end of the Costa Blanca.

One of the best beaches there is the Torre de la Horadada, which has two Blue Flag sandy beaches with tempting chiringuitos (beach bars) where you’ll get hungry for sea air. Also, the Mar Menor inland lagoon, a few kilometres south, is one of Spain’s most significant water sports destinations. It is worth mentioning that the mud in Las Charcas on the north coast is said to have medicinal properties.

Carrascoy and El Valle Regional Park

Murcians don’t have to go far if they want fresh air and scenery. A large natural park is just six kilometres from the city’s southern outskirts. One of the most accessible excursions is to the Santuario de la Fuensanta, on a hill at the foot of the mountains with an “Instagrammable” city panorama.

You’ll recognize it by its two whitewashed Baroque towers. Behind them is a mountainous landscape, and the park’s paths are lined with wild herbs like thyme and rosemary and wind through forests of Aleppo pines and Kermes oaks.

Science and Water Museum

The Museo de la Ciencia y del Agua is a city museum on the river’s banks. Visiting the museum is one of the best things to do in Murcia with children – they will love the interactive exhibits where you can press buttons and turn knobs. There are also aquariums and a small planetarium in the museum.

The Verónicas Market

Mercado de Verónicas is the central market of Murcia, a few steps away from the Almudi Palace. To enjoy the authentic taste of Spanish products, buy those labelled Denominación de Origen. The Murcia countryside is home to paprika, one of the main ingredients in many Spanish dishes, and the local cheese is made from goat’s milk. Many Spanish fruits and vegetables are also grown in the Murcia region, so you can be sure you are buying fresh farm products from one of the 116 market stalls.

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