We recently visited the city of Murcia for the first time, despite only living around 45 minutes away! It’s a lovely city, with beautiful architecture, pretty plazas, and a wonderful pedestrianised centre with plenty of attractions, museums, shops and bars.
We really enjoyed our day out in Murcia and will definitely be visiting again soon. If you’re staying in the Murcia region or the Alicante Province, we highly recommend a day trip to the city of Murcia.
Here’s a little bit of information about Murcia, how to get there, tourist attractions in Murcia, things to do, and accommodation options…
Murcia is a bustling city in the south-east of Spain, and is the capital city of the Autonomous Community of the Region of Murcia on the River Segura. It was founded by the Moors in the 9th century is also the seventh largest city in the country.
How to get to Murcia city centre
If you’re travelling to Murcia from Alicante you can get the direct train from Alicante-Termino to Murcia Del Carmen which takes around 53 minutes and departs every 4 hours.
To drive you get on the A7 and it’s a pretty straight drive for approximately an hour from the centre of Alicante to the centre of Murcia.
If you are driving to Murcia, our top travel tip is to park at the Nueva Condomina shopping mall. Parking is free and from here you can jump on the tram which takes around 20 minutes to get into the city. The tram stop is located in the road between the shopping mall and the football stadium (which you can’t miss!). For families you want to get the Bono ticket which costs €6 and includes 17 trips – you simply swipe it for every person in the family on each tram journey. For 3 of us this worked out cheaper than 3x return tickets, plus we now have another reason to head back and use the remaining trips!
The nearest tram stop for Murcia city centre is Plaza Circular, from here it’s approximately a 10 minute walk to the Plaza del Cardenal Belluga.
Things to do in Murcia city centre
Here’s a map showing the locations of the places mentioned below (starting with the Plaza Circular tram stop at number 1) so that you can plan your visit to Murcia city centre:
Visit the Cathedral
The top tourist spot in Murcia has to be the cathedral. The Catedral de Murcia is a Roman Catholic church built in 1394 with elements of Renaissance and Baroque design on the outside and a mainly Gothic-style interior.
It’s a lovely walk to stroll around the hole of the outside to take in the building, before you go inside. At the moment there is a lot of scaffolding on one part, but you can still get some great views on the other sides.
The cathedral is an amazing building from the outside alone, but you can also look around the inside for €5 per person. There are also guided tours in various languages.
The Catedral de Murcia is open Monday to Sunday from 7am to 1pm, and again from 5pm to 8:30pm.
Visit the Real Casino de Murcia
A Casino is normally somewhere we would just pass by but I had seen some beautiful photos on Instagram so we made sure to head inside, and I have to say I think this is one of the best places to visit in Murcia centre.
The Real Casino de Murcia is a short walk from the cathedral and was built in the 19th century as a private social club and culture center. The casino was declared as a National Historical Building in the 1980s and now is considered to be of significant cultural interest.
The entryway alone is very impressive, with stained glass tiles in the door and Moorish influences in the tiles and arches. You can see this part for free simply on the walk up to the ticket counter, so even if you don’t want to pay to go inside I’d recommend just stepping into the entrance for a quick look.
For those buying tickets you will get to see the English library, Ballroom, Ladies Room, Arms Hall, Salon, and more. We were amazed by the painted ceilings, chandeliers, and furniture in these rooms – in contrast to the Moorish entrance this was more like something out of a French chateau!
A family ticket to the Casino Real de Murcia works out at €3 per person (over 3 people), otherwise it was €5 each.
Grab lunch and watch the world go by
You definitely won’t be short of places to eat in Murcia city centre when it comes to food and dining. There are plenty of traditional Spanish restaurants and bars serving tapas, as well as Japanese, Italian and fast food restaurants.
We’d recommend grabbing a table in one of the busy Plazas and watching the hustle and bustle.
You can choose from the Plaza de Flores, Plaza del Cardenal Belluga, Plaza Santo Domingo, or Plaza Mayor.
Visit the Santa Clara Convent and Museum
One Murcia attraction that we didn’t have time to visit but is definitely on our list for next time is the Santa Clara Convent located next to the cathedral, which is still home to many nuns.
This is a beautiful building with a courtyard with one of the oldest Arabic pools in Spain that looks like it’s come straight from the Alhambra Palace. Here you’ll also find a museum with both Moorish and Christian art, as well as many religious artefacts showing the history and heritage of the convent.
Entry to the convent is free, and it is open from Tuesday to Saturday, from 10am to 1pm and 4pm to 6:30pm, and on Sundays from 10am to 1pm.
Visit the Museo de Bellas Artes de Murcia
A must visit for art lovers is the Museo de Bellas Artes also found in the city centre. The museum exhibits art works from the 19th and 20th century, as well as temporary exhibitions, workshops and activities.
Entry to the museum is free and opening hours are Tuesday to Friday, from 10am to 2pm, and again from 5pm to 8pm. On Saturdays the museum is open from 11am to 2pm, and again from 5pm to 8pm. On Sunday and holidays opening hours are 11am to 2pm.
Walk across the Bridge of Dangers
The Bridge of Dangers, also known as the Bridge of Hazards, is the oldest bridge in Murcia built in the 18th century, and joins the Carmen neighborhood with the historic center.
From the bridge you can enjoy some great views of the city including the cathedral tower, and take in the views down the River Segura.
Stroll down the Paseo del Malecón
Built to protect the city from floods, the Paseo del Malecón dates back to the 15th century although it was rebuilt later in the 18th century.
The paseo is a beautiful walk set about three meters high above ground level and going more than 1,500 meters into the Orchard surrounding the city on its west side and into the gardens of the former Convent of San Francisco and the Botanical Garden. There’s plenty of stone seats along to walk to rest and take in the views.
Take a stroll through the old town
The best way to see many of the amazing sights of Murcia city centre is to simply take a stroll through the old town.
Walking from plaza to plaza you will pass many beautiful buildings including the Episcopal Palace of Murcia, shops such as Sephora and Ale Hop as well as designer boutiques, the theatre and the indoor market.
Everything we have mentioned in this list is within walking distance of the tram stop at Plaza Circular. Please make sure to check opening days and times on the websites first as these may change during festivals and events in Murcia.
Where to stay in Murcia City Centre
If you want to spend more than one day in Murcia, you will need somewhere to stay. Luckily there are plenty of great hotels and apartments to choose from. Below are a few accommodation options we have found that are currently offering some great deals:
If you are visiting Murcia soon we hope you have an amazing time!
For those of you on holiday in the area with a bit more time to explore, you will also enjoy a visit to Cartagena which is approximately 40 minutes by car from the city centre.