Founded in 831AD by the Arab ruler Abd Al Rahman II, Murcia is a city steeped in history. Sections of the Moorish wall that once surrounded the city still remain and evidence of the Christian past is everywhere, with dozens of churches dotted around. With year-round sunshine and mild winters, you can visit in any season to enjoy the renaissance architecture, world-class museums and lively bars. Take part in the colourful fiestas or enjoy a trip to the nearby Costa Calida for watersports or a round of golf. Murcia is a dynamic city with plenty of entertainment options, a plethora of local produce and wines, and a huge range of restaurants to suit every taste and budget.


Begin your tour of the city in Plaza Cardenal Belluga, home to Murcia's beautiful Catedral de Santa María. Begun in 1394, the cathedral boasts a Gothic interior and a fine Baroque façade, and merits a few hours' exploration. Nearby is the recently renovated Bishop's Palace and the Town Hall. Take a stroll along Calle de la Trapería to enjoy the 19th century architecture of the Casino building. On a rainy day (though there aren't many in Murcia!) head for the museums, some of which don't even charge an entry free. The Museo Salzillo in the Plaza San Agustín focuses on sculpture and the Museo de Ramón Gaya is the place to head for contemporary art. The wonderful Museo Arqueológico chronicles the city through the ages, but was closed for renovation at the time of writing (Autumn 2006).

Murcia's festivals are a great reason to visit. In addition to the well known religious ceremonies of Carnival and Holy Week, Murcia has its own special celebration in the form of the annual Spring Festival. The fiesta culminates in “The Burial of the Sardine”, with attendant parades, floats, music and dancing. It's a crazy and colourful affair, and a chance to experience wackiness akin to Rio de Janeiro's carnival without having to go as far as Brazil!

For some fresh air, head for the Parque Natural de Monte el Valle, 6 km from the city. This is a conservation area of Mediterranean scrub and woodland, home to six protected flower species and a host of raptors including booted eagles and buzzards.

30km south west of the city lies the Mar Menor, a lagoon separated from the sea by a 22 km long spit of land. Here you can learn to sail, windsurf and canoe at the Mar Menor Nautical Centre. The clear waters are perfect for snorkelling and scuba diving. There are also a number of golf courses close by.


You'll find a huge branch of El Corte Inglés, Spain's famous department store, on Avenida de la Libertad. The narrow Calle Jabonerias allows you to mix sightseeing and shopping, with plenty of boutiques to browse. Murcia was famed for its silk production in the Middle Ages, and the delicate pieces on sale nowadays make wonderful gifts or souvenirs. Look out also for leather goods, decorated glass and baskets made from esparto grass.

Nightlife and Eating Out

Head for the Hotel Hispano to sample delicious regional food at honest prices – around €30 per person. A two minute walk from the cathedral, this lovely old restaurant has a huge range of wines and you can sample delicious tapas at the bar. Another good choice is El Chaleco, which has been serving up some of the best cuisine in the region for twenty years. Specialities include a tasty liver dish called ajoprinque, and a cinnamon-flavoured dessert known as paparajotes.

For a big night out head for The Hippodrome or KM Disco Garden; both clubs host world class DJs and the latter can hold 5000 guests. There's also the huge Casino Mediterránea if you fancy a night at the tables, and the Murcia Palace for amazing shows all year round. For a more chilled-out evening, try Bar Warhol on Calle Victorio. It's a trendy but friendly indie hangout, with pop art adorning the walls.

Tourist Information

Edificio AyuntamientoEsquina plaza del Cardenal Belluga30004 MurciaTel. +34 968358749Fax +34 968358748email


Flights to Murcia depart from numerous UK airports, with half a dozen budget airlines operating services. Expect a flight time of 2.5 hours. Alternatively, fly to Alicante, 85 km north-east of the city.

The Aeropuerto de Murcia-San Javier lies on the coast around 50 km south-east of the city, about 45 minutes by car. A bus service links the airport with Murcia city centre - a ticket costs €7. Taxis are available outside the terminal building - expect to pay around €40 to the city. Facilities at the airport are limited to a couple of gift shops and cafés.

All car hire locations in Spain