Murcia is the capital city of the region of Murcia that lies in southeastern Spain. Despite the small size of the region, the capital places 7th in Spain’s biggest cities. Although sharing the same tourist magnet climate with its neighboring regions, Murcia stays relatively unspoilt. Mainly serving as a university town and services city, it is often discounted how beautiful the city can be. The city is just as rich in history, architecture, and art as other places in Spain and boasts its agriculture, even being dubbed as Europe’s Orchard.
If what you’re looking for is a place away from the eyes of the hordes of tourists then, Murcia is the place for you. Here’s our list of the best things to do in Murcia:
1. Visit Terra Natura Murcia
One of the best animal parks in all of Europe, Terra Natura Murcia keeps its promise of providing educational value to their engaging activities. It is a must-see in Murcia. They have a wide variety of animal species from birds to sea lions and the ones in between. The park is favored by families as they provide many child-friendly activities and exhibitions.
Terra Natura Murcia
Address: C/Regidor Cayetano Gago s/n, Espinardo Murcia, 30100 Murcia, Spain
Contact Number: +34 968368200
Operating Hours: Weekdays-10:00 am to 6:00 pm; Weekends-10:00 am to 7:00 pm
Entrance Fee: 14-25 EUR (16-28 USD)
Website: Terra Natura Murcia
2. See Real Casino de Murcia
This building is an old social club and as its name denotes a casino. Although some parts of the building are off-limits to tourists, many of its most important and impressive parts are open to the public. The casino boasts a beautiful mix of Arabic and Spanish patios, a library with a collection of 2,000 books, a French-inspired ballroom, a billiard room graced by countless competition in its heyday, an eclectic facade, and a lot more.
Real Casino de Murcia
Address: Calle Traperia 22, 30001 Murcia, Spain
Contact Number: +34 968215399
Operating Hours: Sunday to Thursday-10:30 am to 7:00 pm; Saturday to Friday-10:30 am to 2:00 am
Entrance Fee: 3-5 EUR (3.5-5.5 USD)
Website: Real Casino de Murcia
3. Pay homage to Spain's greatest artists in Museo Salzillo
A true piece of art both from the outside and the inside, this museum houses several works made by the sculptor Salzillo inspired by scenes in the Bible. Salzillo is one of the most renowned Spanish sculptors/image makers in the Baroque period and he was also born and raised in Murcia. The intricacy and the detail of his works are thought provoking to the common man - a definite must see for visitors of the city.
Address: Plaza de San Agustín, 3 entrada por Doctor Quesada, Murcia, Spain
Contact Number: +34 968291893
Operating Hours: Monday to Saturday-10:am to 5:00 pm; Sunday-9:00 am to 2:00 pm
Entrance Fee: 5 EUR (5.5 USD) for adults; children free of charge
Website: Museo Salzillo
4. Climb up Monteagudo Castle
It’s hard not to see the stunning statue of Jesus Christ on top of this mountain; the castle is stationed in the northeastern suburbs of Murcia. Besides being an impressive structure in itself it is also one of Murcia’s best-preserved fortresses. Although one can’t exactly go all the way to where the castle is, there is a museum at the foot of the area with the history of the castle and it is free of charge.
Address: Diseminado Constitucion, 26, 30160 Monteagudo, Murcia, Spain
Contact Number: +34 968851910
Website: Monteagudo Castle
5. Watch a performance in Teatro Circo Murcia
From mime shows to operas the performances in the theater are to be praised, the architecture of the building is also beautiful and the atmosphere is lovely too - a perfect place to end a night out.
Teatro Circo Murcia
Address: Calle Enrique Villar 11, 30008 Murcia, Spain
Contact Number: +34 968273460
Website: Teatro Circo Murcia
6. Breathe in the fresh air in Carrasacoy and El Valle Regional Park
On the outskirts of the city lies this natural park dubbed as the green lung of Murcia and it’s not hard to see why it was named as such. The park is one of the greatest symbols of the region’s rich agriculture. From lush greens and an explosion of colors emanating from the different types of flora found in the area, the park is a not to be missed attraction whenever you’re in the city.
Not only is it great for hiking and cycling, the park has monuments and information centers which give you a little background on the place.
Carrasacoy and El Valle Regional Park
Address: el Centro del Termino Municipal de Murcia, Murcia, Spain
Operating Hours: Everyday from 8:00 am to 12:00 am
7. Stroll through Plaza Cardenal Belluga
In the heart of the city lies this plaza dedicated to Cardinal Belluga - Viceroy and Captain General of Valencia and Murcia. The plaza is home to many of the most important establishments in Murcia like the Cathedral which sits at the far end of the square, the Bishop’s Palace, and the tourist office. Also lining its square are shops, bars, and restaurants, the plaza is not only perfect for people watching but also for appreciating art as the architecture and monuments run abundant here.
8. Catedral de Santa Maria
After King James 1 conquered Murcia, he decided to establish a church dedicated to the Virgin Mary at the site of the Great Mosque. Construction started in the 13th-century but the completion did not materialize until the 18th-century which is why the cathedral is of mixed architectural design - predominantly Gothic and part Baroque.
Not only does this cathedral symbolize the city’s past, it also holds an important piece of its history - the remains of King Alfonso X.
Cathedral de Santa Maria
Address: Plaza Cardenal Belluga, Murcia, Spain
Contact Number: +34 968221371
Operating Hours: September to June-7:00 am to 1:00 pm; July and August-7:00 am to 1:00 pm and 6:30 am to 8:00 pm
Entrance Fee: Free of charge
Website: Catedral de Santa Maria
A hot air balloon ride probably doesn’t seem like the most thrilling in comparison to other activities in this list of extreme activities, but it is still one for the bucket list. The hour-long ride over Cartagena gives you an aerial view of the ancient Roman ruins and extensive dockyards, set among narrow streets, steep hills and meandering coastlines. On the horizon, gawk over the panoramic view of Cartagena and watch the rising sun illuminate the clouds which looked like the distant mountain range, in hues of red, orange and gold. Each basket carries about 8 to 15 people and the hot-air balloons are sent aloft at 7 am.
Hot air balloon flight over Murcia
From: 113.73 USD per person
Starting time: 7 am
Duration: 4 hours
Take time to stop and smell the flowers
Sometimes in our pursuit of beauty, we hastily try to see the most attractive flowers and don’t mind waiting for the buds to bloom. What we don’t realize is that rather than lining up to take a chance to see what the majority has seen, exploring uncharted, unspoilt, and unexplored sights is much more rewarding. Stop waiting and strike while the crowds are turned the other way. The city is guaranteed to give you the most refreshing escape yet!
Get Trip101 in your inbox