What to see and do in Murcia? Discover the Costa Cálida and its wonders

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Have you ever wondered what to do in Murcia? Maybe you’re thinking of visiting this province and want to discover its special spots, or perhaps you’re contemplating the idea of a more permanent change by moving your life to this sunny corner of Spain. Here, the Costa Cálida shows off its golden beaches, offering a warm greeting from the heart of the Mediterranean. 

In fact, the province of Murcia is like a Pandora’s Box. Beyond its well-known sunny clime and idyllic beaches, Murcia is home to a tapestry of history, gastronomy and traditions that live in harmony with the modernity of its cities. Here, life moves to the rhythm of the gentle breeze of two seas, among lemon groves and the intense aromas of spicy fish, thyme and rosemary. So, this coastal area is not only an ideal place to visit, but also a wonderful destination to live in.

At Quadratia, we invite you to immerse yourself in this article as we guide you through the streets, landscapes and best-kept secrets of Murcia. Keep reading and let yourself be seduced by this special spot in southeast Spain. Whatever the reason may be, Murcia is waiting for you.

Murcia, home of vegetable gardens and an enclave on the Costa Cálida in Spain

Night-time aerial view of the city of Murcia from a viewpoint. One of the things to do in Murcia.

Murcia, located in a rich and fertile area in southeast Spain, reigns as the capital of the region of the same name. Born of the Arab heritage with the name of Mursiya, it has flourished amidst the abundance of its gardens and the wealth of its traditions. Historically, it has been a meeting point for diverse cultures and a vital centre for exchange and historical wealth.

Located on the bright Costa Cálida, Murcia boasts a mild climate and rich fertile lands, which have served as the livelihood of its people and shaped its welcoming character. Murcia is also proud of a valuable historical heritage that can be seen in architectural gems such as the Saint Mary Cathedral, with its impressive Baroque façade and slender bell tower that stands as a beacon of history and art.

In addition, Murcia dresses up for festivities and its rich folklore. From the colourful parades of the Bando de la Huerta to the exciting Spring Festivals, which invite locals and visitors to immerse themselves in a vibrant social and cultural life. Although tourism enriches its economy, Murcia lives mainly from its agribusiness sector. Through its fruit and vegetable exports, this city transmits the flavour of its fruit and vegetable growing tradition to every corner of Europe.

How many inhabitants has Murcia got?

According to the most recent figures from the National Institute of Statistics (INE), in April 2023, the Region of Murcia was home to a population of 1,556,568 residents. Extending over an area of approximately 11,313 km², the region has a density of 137.59 inhabitants per km². This density reflects not only the distribution of its population, but also the breadth of its spaces, combining densely populated urban areas with quieter and more expansive rural areas.

What is the climate in Murcia like?

Thanks to its geographical location, Murcia enjoys a characteristic Mediterranean climate, with hot summers and mild winters. Average temperatures in winter usually range from 10°C to 17°C, while in summer they vary from 27°C to 35°C, although it is not uncommon for higher temperatures to be reached. Rainfall in Murcia is scarce, with most of the rains occurring in the autumn months, with the summer season being the driest of the year.

10 things to see in Murcia in a single day

If you’ve got just one day to explore Murcia, we suggest an efficient itinerary to make the most of it in the city at all times. Of course, if you prefer something quieter, you can freely choose between the tourism options in Murcia and adapt the tour to your own pace.

Itinerary of what to do and see in Murcia in a single day

  1. Santa Maria Cathedral: Start your day in the heart of Murcia by visiting its imposing cathedral. Don’t miss its tower, which is one of the symbols of the city.
  2. Plaza Cardenal Belluga square: After visiting the cathedral, relax in Plaza Cardenal Belluga, where you can enjoy the view of the Palacio Episcopal and enjoy some coffee on one of the outdoor patios.
  3. Museo Salzillo museum: Then, head over to the Museo Salzillo to admire the famous sculptures by Francisco Salzillo, one of the most renowned Spanish Baroque image makers.
  4. Real Casino de Murcia: Before you eat, make a quick stop at Murcia’s Real Casino, a 19th-century building with impressive décor and a variety of artistic styles.
  5. Mercado de Verónicas market: For lunch, visit the Mercado de Verónicas, where you can taste local products and traditional dishes in an authentic atmosphere.

What to do in Murcia one afternoon?

  1. Stroll along the River Segura: After lunch, take a relaxing stroll along the banks of the River Segura, enjoying the gardens and the cityscape.
  2. Jardín del Malecón garden: Continue your stroll to the Jardín del Malecón, a green space perfect for a rest among nature.
  3. Museo de the Ciudad museum: In the afternoon, learn about local history and culture at Murcia’s Museo de la Ciudad.
  4. Plaza de las Flores square: For dinner, head to Plaza de las Flores, known for its tapas bars and vibrant nightlife. 
  5. Stroll along the Gran Vía: Finish your day off with a stroll along the Gran Vía, the city’s commercial and social hub, perfect for a drink and finishing up your visit.

This walk is designed to take you through the most iconic places in Murcia and offer you an authentic experience of the best of the city in just one day.

Tourism in Murcia: Discover the charm of the Costa Cálida’s capital

Murcia, nicknamed the “vegetable garden of Europe” because of its fertile landscape, is a destination that exudes southern Spanish history and charm. If you’re thinking of moving to Murcia to live or simply want to explore it, we recommend you start your adventure at the Murcia Tourism Office. Located on the emblematic Gran Vía, just a stone’s throw from the majestic Cathedral of Murcia and the winding River Segura, the office is a perfect starting point that will allow you to immerse yourself in Murcia’s atmosphere.

The office staff are multi-lingual experts, and ready to provide you with all the essential information about Murcia. They’ll guide you with tips, curiosities and recommendations on the monuments and places of interest that the city offers to its visitors.

However, at Quadratia, we’re aware of the usefulness of having online digital resources, and we’ve invested effort in creating a comprehensive guide to Murcia’s cultural and tourism-related heritage. Discover the most emblematic spots and the most authentic areas of this charming city in Murcia.

Find out what to see and do in Murcia with Quadratia!

10 things to see and do in the city of Murcia

1. The Santa Maria Cathedral: the perfect combination of centuries and styles in a single monument

Image of the front of the Santa Iglesia Catedral de Santa María de Murcia, one of the things to see and do in Murcia.

The Santa Maria Cathedral – better known as the Murcia Cathedral – is a living testimony of historical evolution and art in the city of Murcia. Its construction began in the late 14th century and lasted for several centuries. This explains the mixture of architectural styles, which range from Gothic to Renaissance and Baroque, which is especially visible in its impressive main façade.

The cathedral’s interior is home to numerous artistic elements of great value. One of the most outstanding is the Capilla de los Vélez chapel, which features a stunning star-shaped vault. Also worth mentioning is the Renaissance-style Capilla de Junterones chapel. Visitors can also admire the magnificent organ and the choir stalls, both examples of Baroque art.

To visit it, the Cathedral of Murcia is open to the general public. It offers free or guided tours that allow visitors to learn about its history and art in depth. These tours are usually available in different languages and can be organised by contacting the Murcia Tourism Office or via the official website of the Catedral de Murcia. What’s more, the cathedral itself offers a videoguide for anyone who prefers to explore it on their own.

This is one visit that absolutely must make in Murcia. From its façade to its interior, we guarantee that you won’t be disappointed! Currently, however – as of the date this blog was written – the façade is undergoing restoration. Don’t hesitate to check with the tourism office if you’re planning a visit.

2. Real Casino de Murcia: A building full of art and architecture of exquisite taste

Façade of the Real Casino de Murcia.

The Real Casino de Murcia is one of the city’s most emblematic and representative buildings. Founded in 1847 as a private club for high society, it has been a witness to Murcia’s social and cultural evolution over the years. It was declared a national historical-artistic monument in 1983, proof of its cultural and artistic value.

Architecturally speaking, it’s a compendium of luxury and beauty, with styles that range from Classicism to Modernism. Of particular note are the Salón de Baile. This ballroom features a stunning chandelier and mirrors that multiply light and space; the Patio Árabe courtyard, which evokes Granada’s Alhambra with its exquisite mosaics and ornaments; and the Biblioteca Inglesa library, which will transport you to an era of intellectual refinement.

Inside the Real Casino de Murcia, one of the things to see and do in Murcia province.

To visit the Casino de Murcia, visitors may purchase tickets. Details and prices are available on its official website or directly at the box office.

In addition, the building hosts temporary exhibitions and cultural events, allowing visitors to enjoy an enriching experience in a historical setting. Without a doubt, if you have the time, this is one of the things to do in Murcia.

3. Museo Salzillo: Explore the Murcia-born sculptor’s famous works

One of the carved images displayed in the Salzillo Museum, one of the things to see and do in Murcia.

The Museo Salzillo in Murcia dedicates itself to preserving and disseminating the work of Francisco Salzillo, the preeminent 18th-century Spanish Baroque sculptor. It opened its doors in 1960, mainly to showcase Salzillo’s works created for Murcia’s Holy Week, a festival embodying the region’s deep artistic heritage.

Included in the museum‘s most outstanding artistic elements are the processional steps, which are sculptural ensembles representing different scenes from the Passion of Christ. These masterpieces are a testament to Salzillo’s ability to capture human movement and emotion in polychrome wood. The museum also exhibits Nativity scenes and other religious figures by the artist, as well as his work tool, which offers a unique window into his creative process.

To visit the Museo Salzillo, purchase tickets through its official website or at the museum’s entrance, where information on schedules and fees is also provided. The museum is open to all audiences. It often organises guided tours that enrich the visitor’s experience with anecdotes and historical context on the works and life of Francisco Salzillo. Just like the aforementioned case, if you have the opportunity, it’s a must to see and do in Murcia.

4. Plaza de las Flores in Murcia: It’s the locals’ place to meet, have fun and enjoy gastronomy

Plaza de las Flores in Murcia.

That’s right! Murcia‘s Plaza de las Flores is one of the city’s most emblematic and bustling spots, known for its lively atmosphere and floral tradition. Its name comes from the numerous florists that used to be located in the square. Over time, they became a symbol of the place.

The current layout of Plaza de las Flores is the result of 19th-century urban remodelling, although its relevance dates back to much earlier. It has been a vital space in Murcia’s daily life for centuries. In addition, the square is surrounded by bars and restaurants that offer a wide variety of tapas and local dishes. Some of the most outstanding are the famous paparajotes, a traditional Murcian dessert made with battered lemon leaves and sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon.

Indisputably, for anyone looking to feel Murcia’s emotional heartbeat, Plaza de las Flores is a meeting point where the essence of the city is expressed at its finest. This visit is one of the “must-do” activities in Murcia. We strongly suggest you go in the late afternoon or early evening to soak up its soul.

5. Palacio Episcopal in Murcia: Treasures of the ecclesiastical legacy to see in Murcia

The Episcopal Palace of Murcia, a must-see in Murcia.

Murcia’s Palacio Episcopal is a 18th-century building located in Plaza Cardenal Belluga, right next to the Cathedral of Murcia. This palace is the residence of the bishop of the Cartagena diocese and a notable example of the region’s religious civil architecture. Contemplating the façade of the Palacio Episcopal is one of the things to do in Murcia. It’s a Baroque masterpiece notable for its complex ornamentation and symmetry.

Inside, the palace is home to important works of religious art, including paintings, sculptures and furnishings that date back several centuries. Each room in the palace decorates itself in its own style, thereby providing a comprehensive overview of the ecclesiastical artistic evolution in the region.

You should consult the Murcia Tourism Office before visiting the Palacio Episcopal in the diocese of Cartagena,, as its ecclesiastical function might restrict access. The Murcia Tourism Office can organize guided tours during special occasions or cultural events.These tours allow visitors to learn about the palace’s historical and artistic wealth.

6. Verónicas market in Murcia: Traditional regional flavours and aromas

Mercado de Verónicas in Murcia, a place to visit and something you must do in Murcia.

The Mercado de Veronicas is one of Murcia’s most traditional and picturesque markets. It’s located in the heart of the city, next to the River Segura. The market takes its name from the old Convent of Veronica, and has been a hub for Murcia’s daily life for centuries. Here, people gathered to buy fresh and local products.

The history of the Mercado de Veronicas is intrinsically linked to Murcia’s social and economic life. It was built in the 20th century and is an example of the era’s civil architecture. Its structure allows natural light to enter and creates a pleasant atmosphere for shopping.

To visit the Mercado de Veronicas, you can simply head to its location in Plaza de Veronicas during opening hours, which are usually in the morning until noon. Tickets are not required. It’s a working market where locals go to shop every day, along with tourists looking for authentic experiences and local products such as fruits, vegetables, meat, fish and other regional delicacies. 

Visiting this market offers a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in local life and enjoy the region’s rich gastronomic offer. This is an essential activity during your visit to Murcia.

7. Malecón promenade and gardens: Delve into Murcia’s vegetable garden

Promenade and gardens of the Malecón in Murcia.

Located on the banks of the River Segura, the Paseo y Jardines del Malecón are a green space and recreational area of great importance for Murcia’s people. This area began to take shape in the 18th century as a containment barrier aimed at protecting the city from the river’s floods. Over time, it became a place for the population to enjoy recreation.

Although it’s not known for its artistic elements in the traditional sense, the Jardine’s del Malecón offers natural and landscape art. Its design shows influences from 19th-century romantic gardens. It features winding paths, trees and fountains that provide a calm and relaxing atmosphere that invites you to contemplate and enjoy.

Access to the Jardines del Malecón is unrestricted and free of charge. It is easily accessible at any time of the day. They’re located near the city centre and are perfect to visit after exploring other nearby monuments.

8. The Peligro’s bridge and the Barrio del Carmen district: One of the things to see and do in Murcia

The bridge of Los Peligros and the Barrio del Carmen, something to see and do in Murcia.

As one of the oldest and most emblematic bridges in the city of Murcia, the Peligro’s bridge – with its venerable history and distinguished presence – spans the currents of the River Segura. Its official name is the Bridge of Our Lady of Danger, and dates back to the 18th century. It has been rebuilt several times throughout its history. The name “of the Danger” comes from the image of the Virgin of Danger located in a chapel at one end of the bridge.

This bridge is not only an important route between two areas of the city, but also a point of artistic interest because of its architecture and the sculpture of the Virgin it houses. Moreover, it offers one of the best panoramic views of the river and the city. It’s also a favourite spot for photographers and visitors.

The Barrio del Carmen is located south of the River Segura, just after crossing the Peligros bridge. This district is famous for its bohemian atmosphere, urban art murals and leisure venues, which range from traditional bars to contemporary cultural centres.

They can be easily reached on foot from the centre of Murcia. This allows visitors to enjoy a pleasant stroll along the banks of the River Segura and then immerse themselves in the district’s vibrant atmosphere. Visiting these places offers a complete experience of Murcia’s urban culture.

9. Monteagudo castle: A testimony of mediaeval Murcia on the city’s outskirts

Monteagudo Castle, something to do in Murcia.

The Monteagudo Castle is a fortification that towers imposingly on a hill of the same name on the outskirts of the city of Murcia. Its history dates back to the Muslim era in the 11th century. It reached its greatest importance after the Christian Reconquest in the 13th century. The castle was a key piece in the defence and control of the surrounding territory. It has witnessed numerous historical episodes over the centuries.

Although it is currently in a state of consolidated ruin, the Castillo de Monteagudo remains a significant artistic and architectural element. The statue of Jesus Christ, added in the 20th century and crowning the hill, especially contributes to this, as it is visible from various parts of the city.

Top of Monteagudo Castle in Murcia.

You can access Monteagudo Castle by driving or taking public transport from the center of Murcia to the hill’s base. There, you can hike for free to visit the ruins and enjoy the spectacular views of Murcia’s vegetable gardens. Wearing comfortable shoes and carrying water is advisable, especially during the sunny and demanding climbs in the summer months.

10. The festivals of the Bando de la Huerta: Tradition, folklore and tourism in Murcia’s capital

Image of one of the floats of the Bando de la Huerta festivities, something to see and do in Murcia capital and province.

The Bando de la Huerta festivals are a traditional celebration that take place in Murcia. It’s one of the most deeply rooted and popular festivities in the region. This festival is celebrated on the first Tuesday after Easter. It’s a tribute to the customs, life and fertility of Murcia’s vegetable gardens, located in the farming area surrounding the city.

The origin of these festivals dates back to 1851, when they started out as a pilgrimage. Over time, they have evolved into a festival of international tourist interest. The Bando de la Huerta is a fundamental part of Murcia‘s Spring Festival. It represents the spirit and pride of the vegetable-growing identity.

During the Bando de la Huerta, Murcia’s people dress up in regional costumes, with men and women dressing as traditional vegetable farmers. Parades, and folklore performances are organised and “barracks” are set up. Here, you can sample traditional dishes from the region, such as michirones, zarangollo and the famous paparajotes.

In addition, Murcia’s streets are filled with colour, music and traditions. It’s an exceptional opportunity to live, feel and enjoy Murcia’s hospitality. We invite you to write down this activity as one of the things to do in Murcia.

Bonus track: Santuario de la Fuensanta sanctuary in Murcia

Visit the Sanctuary of La Fuensanta in Murcia, one of the things to do in Murcia province.

Lastly, the Santuario de la Fuensanta is a place of devotion and an emblematic monument located on the outskirts of Murcia. This sanctuary is home to the Virgen de la Fuensanta, the patron saint of Murcia. It’s a spiritual reference point for the region’s inhabitants.

The history of the Santuario de la Fuensanta begins in the 17th century, although the image of the Virgin has been venerated since much earlier. The current building dates mainly from the 18th century and is a prominent example of the area’s Baroque religious architecture. It is notable for its impressive façade and its dome, which is visible from various points in the city.

Inside the sanctuary, you can admire several artistic elements of great value, including the image of the Virgen de la Fuensanta, works of religious sculpture and painting, and its high altar. Exuberant nature surrounds the sanctuary, creating an ideal environment for contemplation and spiritual retreat.

Close-up of the Sanctuary of La Fuensanta in Murcia.

To visit the Santuario de la Fuensanta, go by car or by buses that leave regularly from the centre of Murcia. There are also hiking routes that lead to the sanctuary, allowing visitors to enjoy the area’s natural landscape. During religious festivities, especially during the spring and autumn pilgrimages, the sanctuary becomes the destination for thousands of pilgrims and visitors who come to pay tribute to the Virgin.

Do you find it interesting? We encourage you to explore it personally. This Bonus Track completes our guide to things to see and do in Murcia as it offers you a glimpse of the region’s most charming spots. So, if you’re considering moving or visiting the city, don’t wait any longer!

What to see in the province of Murcia?

Indeed, the province of Murcia is home to outstanding municipalities beyond its capital. We encourage you to discover some of the cities and essential places to see in the province of Murcia:

  • Águilas: Nestled on Murcia’s coast, Águilas is famous for its magnificent beaches and its carnival, one of the most spectacular in Spain. Nature is the star here, with Isla del Fraile being notable as a paradise for fans of diving and snorkelling.
  • Cartagena: This historical port city is full of archaeological treasures that date back to the Roman era, such as the impressive Teatro Romano. Its cultural heritage merges with its vibrant urban life and gastronomic offerings that honour the Mediterranean tradition.
  • Caravaca de la Cruz: Known for its religious heritage and being one of the world’s five holy cities, Caravaca de la Cruz invites visitors to immerse themselves in its rich history. Don’t miss the Fiesta de la Cruz, a celebration that combines religion, tradition and equestrian shows.
  • Lorca: Nicknamed the “city of 100 Coats of Arms” because of its impressive Baroque architecture, Lorca offers a voyage to the past with its impressive mediaeval castle and Jewish excavations. Its Holy Week is a cultural event of international interest.

Homes for sale in Murcia and the Costa Cálida

Have we piqued your desire to live in Murcia? It’s to be expected, especially after discovering the countless charms that Murcia and its surroundings are reserving for you. The Costa Cálida, with its serene beaches and temperate waters, invites you to enjoy an enviable climate all year round. A highly attractive destination for anyone looking to invest in properties abroad, especially those with a high net worth.

If you’re looking to explore newly built properties on the Costa Cálida, Quadratia offers you a variety of housing models, from exclusive apartments to designer penthouses and ground floors in its picturesque municipalities. Also, if you’d like to learn more about the best cities to live in Spain as a foreigner, we invite you to take a look at our previous article.

Murcia is waiting for you with open arms, and the Costa Cálida is waiting to amaze you.

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