Things to do in Murcia

If you have heard about some of the delicious food to be found in Spain, Murcia will most definitely not disappoint. From full-service restaurants to tapas bars, the possibilities for a tasty meal are seemingly endless.

Murcia is a popular student city, and while they opt to live in many different neighborhoods, the areas around the universities’ campuses are where most of the rooms and apartments in Murcia for students can be found.

Popular student streets and areas in Murcia

Plaza del Cardenal Belluga

Everything in Murcia seems to move at a slow pace, which might explain why it took nearly 300 years to complete the city’s cathedral. Construction began in 1388 on the Murcia Cathedral, nearly 100 years after the end of Islamic rule and on the remains of a mosque. Many enjoy the mix of architecture, including Baroque, Renaissance and Gothic. Be sure to see the choir stalls and exit through the 15th-century "Door of the Apostles."

The bell tower is another marvel at 93 meters tall, making it the second tallest in all of Spain. It is also built with several different architectural styles, including Baroque, Renaissance, Rococo and Neoclassical.

You’ll also see more Baroque architecture throughout the Plaza del Cardenal Belluga. There are plenty of intricate columns, as well as a sculpture of the archangel and the Virgin Mary.

Calle de la Trapería

Full of shops and trendy cafes, this area was once home to Murcia’s cloth merchants. You can go for a leisurely stroll and enjoy the sights of the Santa Maria Cathedral Square or the Santo Domingo Square. You’ll also find the Real Casino de Murcia, a lavish social club.

Because of this young, bustling lifestyle that is ever present in the city of Murcia, here are some more ideas for things to do in your spare time:

  • Check out the lanes at Ozone Bowling with some of your new classmates.

  • Try the city’s "escape room" at the Mystery Motel Murcia, where you have to solve clues and puzzles to, as the name suggests, escape from the room. This is excellent for team building and getting to know each other’s strengths and weaknesses.

  • Get a group together and go to one of the most popular festivals in Murcia, the "Semana Santa."

Top 5 things to do in Murcia

Costa Cálida

If you want to soak up some of Spain’s warm sun or relax in its waters, then head to the Costa Cálida. The Menor and the Mediterranean Sea are part of the 250-kilometer-long coastline, with many beaches that offer water sports like sailing, kayaking, scuba diving and more. Águilas and Mazarrón are both known for their underwater plants and creatures, along with remains of sunken ships.

National Submarine Archaeology Museum

Cartagena is packed full of attractions and sights that will be of interests to tourists. The National Submarine Archaeology Museum is a favorite, boasting a variety of interactive exhibits.

La Manga del Mar Menor

Close to Cartagena and along the Costa Cálida coast, this area also offers water sports at the Marine Resort, where you can sign up for diving classes and even spend the night. The area is also known for its therapeutic marine mud.

Caravaca de la Cru and Lorca

If you’d like to witness a bit more of the historical side of Murcia, take in the stunning Baroque buildings in these areas. You can also see national monuments like the San Patricio Collegiate Church and Lorca Castle.

Regional Parks

The area of Murcia offers its residents and visitors a plethora of green spaces and sandy beaches, so if you like to be outdoors, this is a great place for you! The regional parks of Sierra de Carche, Sierra de Espuña, Sierra de la Pila and Carrascoy y El Valle are excellent spots to explore the natural side of Murcia.

Top 5 events in Murcia

While Murcia’s calendar is packed with events all year long, spring in definitely the time for festivals. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular.

Fiesta de Las Cuadrillas

On the last weekend of January, the La Fiesta de las Cuadrillas kicks off the festival season. Set in the city center, this Spanish of celebration is designed to showcase the culture of Murcia with folk music, regional foods and parties.

This is also the time when the two-month-long modern art exhibition begins, with installations in churches, cathedrals and open-air squares, along with traditional galleries. Guided tours are even offered to make sure you don’t miss a thing!

Carnival Season

February brings in the carnival season, complete with parades, dances, parties and costume contests all throughout the areas of Mar Menor, Cartagena and Cabezo de Torres. Aguilas is known for having the wildest parties of the carnival season, especially the week before Lent.

Las Fallas De San Jose

Las Fallas de San José in Valencia, held between 12-19 March, is not only one of the largest, but also the most expensive festivals, at just about €1.2 million to set up. You can expect music, fireworks, bull fights and the grand finale, which is called Nit de Foc. This bizarre carnival ends with setting fire to papier-mâché and wood effigies.

Holy Week

April welcomes Holy Week with festivals and vibrant processions in both Lorca and Murcia. You should also check out Las Incursiones Berberiscas, a three-day festival in Los Alcazares that has a fun medieval theme.

Soon after, the Fiestas de Primavera celebrates nature and the city’s cultural clothing. This festival offers flamenco dancing, tasty foods and parades with bright floats. At the end, toys are given out to children.

Three Culture International Festival

May hosts the Three Culture International Festival in Murcia, which is an event to fight racism and xenophobia. It focuses on the literature and art of Christianity, Judaism and Islam. You can see everything from Arabic dancing to cooking demonstrations and Jewish song nights.

The beginning of this month also sees the Festival of the Holy Cross in Caravaca de la Cruz.

Top 3 things to see in Murcia

Salzillo Museum

Also known as the Museo Salzillo, this unique space celebrates the parade floats from Easter Week in Murcia that were created by the talented artist, Francisco Salzillo. You can also learn about how the silk trade brought wealth to the city. Be sure to see the beautiful nativity scene, with its intricate miniature characters.

Santa Clara La Real Convent Museum

Still in use today, this historic convent is located right in the center of the city. You can visit and take a tour of about a quarter of the huge complex, getting an interesting glimpse into its spiritual history.

Monteagudo Castle

This ninth-century castle definitely demands a visit, situated in the northeastern suburbs of Murcia atop a 149-meter limestone mountain. It is adorned with a large statue of Jesus Christ, which was erected in the 1950s. The castle served as everything from the primary source of defense for the Moorish Taifa to the residence of Castilian King Alfons X.

Top 3 bars in Murcia

Parlamento Bar

This decadent night spot is reminiscent of a swanky gentleman's club, with its leather furnishings and wood-paneled walls. However, students love this place most for their generous drink pours.

La Porcha

If you’re looking for a bar in the heart of the city center, with global beers and tasty snacks, then look no further! La Porcha also offers a nice wine list, along with a varied selection of teas. It’s a great place to go to socialize with your new classmates!

Bro

This cozy, trendy cocktail bar is one of the best places for an expertly blended libation in all of Murcia. Students also enjoy the attentive staff and the laid-back, yet sophisticated ambiance.

Top 3 places to eat in Murcia

El Pasa De Zabalburu

Just outside of one of the lovely squares in Murcia’s city center, this delicious restaurant with fresh seafood specialties is an excellent pick for dinner. There’s also a nice bar, offering a great view of the entire establishment. Be sure to try the squid croquettes, tuna tartare and fresh fish.

Restaurant El Churra

This fun restaurant offers two atmospheres to choose from: the bustling bar or within the restaurant itself, the salon. The bar offers tapas with wine or beer, and everything is authentic and traditional to Murcia. Inside the salon, the setting is a bit more sophisticated, offering more specialty Murcian dishes. You’ll also find that the prices are moderate, which is ideal for a student’s budget.

Restaurant Salzillo

If you are interested in experiencing some tasty local Murcian food, this is one of the best traditional restaurants in the entire city. The meats are flavorful, and they even offer specials.


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