Murcia (Spain) – the most detailed information about the city with photos. Murcia main attractions with descriptions, travel guides and maps.
Murcia – a large city in the southeastern part of Spain and the administrative center of the region of the same name. It is located on the banks of the Segura River, 25 km from the Mediterranean Sea. Murcia is a kind of compromise between the bustling metropolis and the province, a university city with a rich history, which is characterized by tranquility and regularity.
Murcia and the entire region is famous all over Spain for great food and kindness of the locals, excellent sandy beaches and natural scenery. It is one of the largest agricultural provinces of the country, fruits and vegetables are exported to other European countries.
Things to do (Murcia):
€150 per excursion
A day in beautiful Murcia!
Journey from Alicante to an original city of orchards and baroque masterpieces.
Geography and climate
Murcia is located in Southeastern Spain on the banks of the Segura River. The average height above sea level is 43 meters. The climate is Mediterranean. Summers are hot and dry, winters are mild and wet.
- Population – 442.6 thousand people (seventh largest city in Spain).
- Area – 881.9 square kilometers.
- Language: Spanish.
- Currency – euros.
- Visa – Schengen.
- Time – Central European UTC +1, in summer +2.
- In most restaurants and cafes lunch is served from 13.00 to 15.30, and dinner from 20.30 to 23.00.
- Stores are open Monday through Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and from 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Supermarkets are open nonstop from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Best times to visit.
The most comfortable time to visit Murcia is the off-season (spring and fall). In summer it is very hot, but also there are few tourists. Locals and students usually leave the city in July and August. Winter in Murcia is quite warm, but rainy.
Murcia was founded in the first half of the 9th century by the emir of Cordoba. In the 12th century it was a prosperous and large city that was famous for its pottery and silk.
By the middle of the 13th century the city fell under the protectorate of the Kingdom of Castile. After some time an independent kingdom of Murcia emerged, which at the end of the 13th century was captured by King Jaime II of Aragon. In 1304 the city finally became part of Castile.
Murcia lost its importance, but in the 18th century it flourished again thanks to the production of silk. In 1810, the city was sacked by Napoleon’s troops. In 1829 Murcia was damaged by a huge earthquake.
The Streets of Murcia
How to get there
Murcia has San Javier airport with numerous domestic and international flights: Madrid, Barcelona, Brussels, Dublin, London, Oslo, Edinburgh, etc. The airport of Alicante is about an hour away. Murcia is also easily accessible by bus or train.
The main shopping streets are Traperia and Plateria, located in the cathedral area. In addition, several large shopping centers can be found here: Nueva Condomina, Thader, El Tiro, El Corte Inglés.
Cathedral Square in Murcia
Murcia is famous for its cuisine, tapas, wine, fresh fruits and vegetables. Traditional food:
- Berenjenas a la crema – eggplants with cream and ham (seafood)
- Caballitos – shrimps
- Ensalada cantonal – salad with fish and olive oil
- Ensalada murciana – salad with tomatoes, onions, eggs and tuna
- Habas crudas con bonito – bean salad
- Marinera – dish with anchovies
- Michirones – spicy beans with bacon
- Patatas con ajo – roast potatoes with garlic
- Pipirrana – salad with tomato, pepper, cucumber and sardines
- Pisto murciano – roast pepper with eggplants and tomatoes.
- Pulpo – octopus
- Tomate “partío” – olives, capers, anchovies
- Tortillas – tortilla (beans, garlic)
- Zarangollo – fried zucchini with onion and egg.
There’s a high concentration of food establishments around the cathedral and the university.
Murcia’s most interesting sights and places.
Plaza Cardinal de Beluga
Cardinal Beluga Square is one of the central plazas of Murcia, which is home to two of the city’s most famous landmarks.
The architectural dominant feature is the cathedral with its tall 91-meter bell tower. The Murcia Cathedral is one of the best examples of the Spanish Baroque. It is the main symbol of the city and one of the most impressive buildings of the entire region. Construction of the cathedral began in the 14th century. In the 16th century, Murcia’s main cathedral received a Baroque facade. The tower was rebuilt in the Renaissance architectural style around the same time.
The Bishop’s Palace is an 18th-century building built on the site of the older palacio Alcázar.
The Casino is a monumental building built in the style of the palaces of Andalusia. It stands out for its luxurious interior with frescoes.
Plaza de las Flores
The Plaza de las Flores is a charming square in the center of Murcia. It got its name because of its many florist stores. A great stop to have a coffee and look at the Art Nouveau houses.
Floridablanca is a park on the opposite side of the Segura River. It is the city’s oldest public park, open since the mid-19th century.
Santa Clara la Real
Santa Clara la Real is a museum built on the site of a Moorish fortress.
Monteagudo is one of the symbols of the entire region, a castle near Murcia. This 9th century fortress rises on a limestone cliff and is topped by a huge white statue of Christ. The castle was designed to withstand long sieges and was used by the Moors for defense for 250 years. After the conquest of Murcia by King Alfonso X it was his residence. The statue of Christ was added in the 1950s.
Not far from Murcia are the beaches of Costa Calida and Costa Blanca. It is a great place for beach lovers.
There are pretty little seaside towns in the southern part of the Costa Blanca. In Torre de la Horadada you can find stunning beaches and the clearest sea.
€150 per excursion
Málaga Roman, Moorish, Catholic
See the symbols of the city and get to know the local cuisine on a historical and gastronomic walk
Eco-tour in the Catalan Mountains
Hike up the Montceni mountain range to the waterfalls and the 11th century church of Aiguafred de Dalt
17 sights in Murcia that you can’t miss
Murcia is a sun-drenched city in eastern Spain. Here you can enjoy delicious food, learn about the region’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 has been under construction for 300 years.
There are indeed many sights in Murcia, but do not rush to see them all at once. Choose no more than two sites from the list below each day, so that you have time to sit in cozy cafes or take a leisurely stroll through the squares and parks. Here’s an overview of what to see in Murcia.
Casino. | Photo: wikimedia.
Casino de Murcia is a luxury casino that first opened in Murcia in 1847 as a gentlemen’s club. Painstakingly restored, the building is a wonderful combination of historical architecture and luxury – it is a reminder of the former grandeur of the aristocracy.
Behind its ornate facade you will find: a beautiful patio – a Moorish patio; a charming English library housing about 20,000 books; a fabulous ballroom with glittering chandeliers; and an irresistible boudoir with ceiling frescos depicting cherubs, angels and a woman with wings wrapped in flames.
Address: Real Casino de Murcia, Calle Trapería, 18, 30001 Murcia, Spain.
Cathedral in Murcia.
Cathedral in Murcia | Photo: Colin Haycock / Flickr.
Several architectural styles are intertwined in the architecture of this urban cathedral, but the Baroque elements added in the 17th and 18th centuries draw particular attention. The main Baroque façade overlooking the Plaza Cardenal Bellegue is stunning in its grandeur, thanks to the relief columns and the beautiful sculpture of the Virgin Mary with the Archangel above the main portal.
Inside there are numerous chapels with tombstones of famous people of the time, but especially notable is the tomb of King Alfonso X of Castile. It is impossible not to notice the 93-meter bell tower of the cathedral – it is considered to be the second highest in Spain (after the Tower of the Gerald in Seville).
It is noteworthy that its construction lasted for more than 250 years. By the time the building was finished in 1793, its architecture had combined elements of several styles – Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo and Neoclassical.
Address: Murcia Cathedral, Plaza del Cardenal Belluga, 1, 30001 Murcia, Spain.
Plaça de Flores
Plaza de las Flores.
Plaza de las Flores is located just west of the Cathedral. It is one of the most beautiful squares in the city. It got its name because of the many flower stalls that are still operating here today.
The city’s mansions surrounding the square date from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. For example, the Edificio de Tejidos Abad is a beautiful three-story Art Nouveau building with rectangular white bay windows. It is a pleasant place to sit at a café in the morning and in the evening visit one of the bars for a beer and a delicious tapas.
Address: Plaza de las Flores, 30820 Alcantarilla, Murcia, Spain.
Museum of the Monastery of Santa Clara
Museum of the Monastery of Santa Clara.
This ancient monastery is located right in the center of the city, on Gran Vía Alfonso X el Sabio, and it is still active. When you visit the museum, you will only be able to see a quarter of the entire monastery complex, but it is enough to understand how beautiful and interesting it is.
The monastery was built in 1300 on the site of a palace-fortress of the Almohad dynasty, the Muslim rulers of Murcia. This explains the large number of decorative architectural elements in the Arab style, such as horseshoe arches.
They are not only included in the construction of the monastery, but are also on display in the museum as exhibits. In addition, there are decorative elements elaborately made of wood and plaster.
Address: Museo de Santa Clara, Avenida Alfonso X el Sabio, 1, 30008 Murcia, Spain.
Museum of Fine Arts
Museum of Fine Arts. | Photo: wikimedia.
Attractive light galleries of this museum are devoted to the works of Spanish artists. Many of the works are little known, but the Siglo de Oro Gallery on the second floor has two beautiful paintings by Murillo, Crucifixion on the Cross and Ecce Homo, as well as the famous painting by Ribera, Saint Jerome. Seasonal exhibitions are regularly held on the third floor of the museum.
Address: Museo de Bellas Artes, Calle Obispo Frutos, 12, 30071 Murcia, Spain.
Piazza Cardenal Belluga
Plaza Cardenal Belluga. | Photo: santiago lopez-pastor / Flickr.
In Plaza del Cardenal Belluga you can see some of the best monuments of Murcia. From this square you can see the beautiful facade of the Cathedral as well as the City Hall of Murcia, a neoclassical structure built in the middle of the 19th century.
In 1998, according to the project by Rafael Moneo, a modern building was added to the town hall which is in marked contrast to the surrounding lush architecture. On the square there is also the Bishop’s Palace, an 18th century Rococo building. The building complements the Baroque additions of the Cathedral.
Address: Plaza del Cardenal Belluga, 5-6, 30001 Murcia, Spain.
Archeological Museum of Murcia
Archeological Museum of Murcia. | Photo: wikimedia.
This museum is not visited by so many tourists, but it will certainly be of interest to those who are interested in history. There are more than 2,000 archaeological sites throughout the Murcia region. In addition to Roman and Moorish heritage, the museum exhibits the best pieces of Iberian culture from the Bronze and Iron Ages.
It is clear from the drawings on the ceramics how much the trade with the Phoenicians and Etruscans meant to the Iberians. In the museum you can see an amazing historical exhibit León de Coy, an almost abstract sculpture of a lion found in a necropolis dating from the 4th century B.C.
Address: Murcia Archaeological Museum, Av. Alfonso X el Sabio, 7, 30008 Murcia, Spain.
Bishop’s Palace. | Photo: amaianos / Flickr.
Palacio Episcopal next to the Cathedral is one of the most striking sights in the center of Murcia. Here you can admire the palace’s opulent facade, wander around the courtyard, and consider the grand grand grand staircase. One of the doors leads to the Baroque chapel where you can see the wafers blessed during mass.
Address: Palacio Episcopal, Plaza del Cardenal Belluga, 1, 30001 Murcia, Spain.
Monteagudo Castle | Photo: wikimedia.
On the territory of the northeastern suburban area rises a rocky limestone hill with a height of 149 m. On its slopes stands the ancient Monteagudo Castle. The first thing that catches your eye is the huge statue of Christ on top of the castle. This is a copy of the original monument that stood on the hill in 1926.
The copy was erected in the early 1950s after the original statue was destroyed during the Civil War. The fortress, dating back 800 years, served as a reliable defense and observation post for Moorish settlers for 250 years.
It was also used to store large quantities of water and grain to withstand long sieges by the enemy. After the defeat of the Moors, King Alfonso X of Castile began to use the castle as his residence in Murcia.
Address: Explanada del Castillo de Monteagudo, Calle Abderrahaman II, 30160 Monteagudo, Murcia, Spain.
Museo Salzillo. | Photo: wikimedia.
Museo Salzillo is housed in the baroque building of the Church of Jesus. It is dedicated to the work of the Murcia-born famous sculptor Francisco Salzillo (1707-1783). His exquisite figurines for religious processions and Christmas statuettes are of particular interest.
Address: Museo Salzillo, Calle Dr. Jesús Quesada Sanz, 1, 30005 Murcia, Spain.
Floridablanca Garden. | Photo: wikimedia.
Jardín Floridablanca is a small but very picturesque urban garden. Here you can see several luxurious banyan trees with long and thick aerial roots, as well as 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.
Address: Jardín De Floridablanca, Calle Proclamación, 6, 30002 Murcia, Spain.
Science and Water Museum
Science and Water Museum.
The Museo de la Ciencia y del Agua is a city museum located on the banks of the river. It should definitely be visited 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.
Address: Museo de la Ciencia y el Agua, Plaza de la Ciencia, 1, 30002 Murcia, Spain.
Almudi Palace. | Photo: wikimedia.
This magnificent building once served as a grain warehouse, which was destroyed in a severe thunderstorm. Its reconstruction was completed in 1629. El Palacio Almudí embodies the booming local economy of the era as a result of the development of the silk industry.
The three bas-reliefs in front of the entrance catch your eye: a large coat of arms of the Habsburgs framed by two coats of arms of the city of Murcia. Inside the palace you will see a beautiful Tuscan-style hallway with rows of columns supporting wide arches. Currently this beautiful building is used for seasonal art exhibitions.
Address: Almudí Palace, Calle Plano de San Francisco, 8, 30004 Murcia, Spain.
Zoo of Murcia
Photo: Mike Young / Flickr.
The Terra Natura Murcia is a zoo with several branches throughout Spain. It enjoys a well-deserved reputation for its humane approach to keeping animals in captivity. Here you will not see cramped pens or cages. Instead, the zoo staff tries to create conditions for the animals that are close to their natural habitat.
For this purpose, about 500 trees and bushes were planted throughout the territory. The zoo contains 300 animals of 50 species. Among them, there are representatives of endangered species, such as the European lynx, brown bear, Iberian wolf. From the exotic inhabitants you will see the hippos, lions, giraffes, white rhinos, birds and reptiles of various species.
Address: Terra Natura Murcia, Calle Regidor Cayetano Gago, s/n, 30100 Espinardo, Murcia, Spain.
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 labeled Denominación de Origen.
Paprika, one of the main ingredients in many Spanish dishes, is grown in the Murcia countryside and local cheese is made from goat’s milk. Many Spanish fruits and vegetables are also grown in Murcia, so you can be sure that you are buying really fresh farm products from one of the 116 market stalls.
The address is Mercado de Verónicas, Calle Plano de San Francisco, 10, 30004 Murcia, Spain.
Suburban Park. | Photo: wikimedia.
To relax in nature and breathe fresh air, residents of Murcia do not need to go far away. Just 6 kilometers from the southern edge of the city there is a large nature park – Carrascoy and El Valle Regional Park. An easy climb up the foothills of the ridge will take you to the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fuensanta, one of the main religious sites in Murcia.
The temple is easily recognized by its whitewashed baroque towers. Behind the temple stretches amazing mountain scenery. The park’s trails, framed by thickets of wild herbs such as thyme and rosemary, pass through forest thickets of Aleppo pines and kermes oaks.
Address: Centro de Visitantes El Valle, Ctra El Valle, 61, 30120 Murcia, Spain.
Costa Calida and Costa Blanca
Costa Calida and Costa Blanca resort areas. | Photo: RachelH_ / Flickr.
The Mediterranean Sea is only 50 km from Murcia, so you can get from the city to the beach within an hour. If you go directly east, you will find yourself in the quiet beach area of the southern Costa Blanca. The coastal resort of Torre de la Horadada has two sandy beaches awarded the Blue Flag for high water quality.
Beach bars are visible everywhere – they look especially tempting when the sea air is working up an appetite. Fans of outdoor activities will love the Mar Menor Lagoon, separated from the sea. It is considered one of the largest centers for water sports. In addition, the Las Charcas area in the northern part of the lagoon is famous for its healing muds.