Discover Murcia City in 72 hours: Uncover what to see, eat and do

Murcia City may not be your first choice when it comes to a weekend away in Spain but it has all the trimmings to be an ideal getaway. Discover it for yourself

Murcia city: Panoramic views of the city of Murcia

While it may be hard to believe, there is in fact more to southern Spain than Andalusia. Nestled away on the southeastern coastline, between Alicante and Almería, Murcia is a region that is often overshadowed but well worth a visit. The region is home to ancient Roman ruins and picture postcard beaches, yet it is its vibrant capital that is on our hotlist of places for a Spanish weekend away. Ready to be whisked away? Start planning the ultimate escape with our tips on everything there is to see, eat and do in Murcia City during a 72-hour getaway. 

The history of Murcia City in a nutshell

The story of Murcia City dates back to ancient times. It was during this time that the Romans settled in the region, leaving behind a rich, cultural legacy that can be witnessed in the area’s archaeological ruins. Fast forward a few hundred years and the city fell to Muslim rule. In 825 AD, the city was conquered by the Emirate of Cordoba, and its strategic location made it a significant stronghold. However, in the 13th century, during the Reconquista, Murcia was reconquered by the Christian forces under the Kingdom of Castile. King Alfonso X of Castile officially incorporated the city into his kingdom in 1266. The area was an important agricultural hub and the city’s wealth can be seen in the extravagant buildings such as the Murcia Cathedral. Today the city is a bustling hotspot offering a dose of Mediterranean coolness mixed with traditional Spanish friendliness. 

Murcia Cathedral: A view of the Cathedral of Santa Maria, Murcia

The Murcia Cathedral is a must-see when in the city

Day 1: Uncover the best places in Murcia’s capital

On your first day in the (not-so-big) city, you will most likely be anxious to see all the Murcia tourist attractions. Yet, all the good things in life are best savoured. Spend your first moments in the city immersing yourself in its unmissable cultural highlights and use these landmarks to get your bearings during your stay.

As the sun reaches its zenith and illuminates the world with its golden rays, we cannot help but feel the craving to escape to sun-baked shores and enjoy a much-needed vacation. June 20th is known across the world as Yellow Day, or, the happiest day of the year. Just before the Summer solstice, this day celebrates the time when the days become longer and happiness becomes contagious. To make the most of this joyous occasion, we have curated a list of five enchanting destinations that perfectly embody the essence of Yellow Day. From the stunning Riviera Maya to the idyllic Balearic Islands, these happy escapes promise unforgettable experiences that will leave you beaming with happiness.

Morning: The cathedral is a Murcia must-see

The city’s cathedral, known by its official name as the Cathedral of Santa María is a textbook example of stunning Gothic architecture. Marvel at the ornate architecture which stands testament to the city’s religious heritage.

Marvel at the ornate architecture which stands testament to the city’s religious heritage

When inside, admire the way that the light streams through the stained glass windows, transporting you to a bygone era in Murcia City’s history. 

The interiors of the Murcia Casino

The Murcia Casino is a glamorous place to visit when in the city

Afternoon: Continue your Murcia sightseeing

After a morning exploring the cathedral, Murcia cannot help but tempt you further with its enticing offering of gastronomy and culture. Head to the neighbouring plaza, the Plaza Cardenal Belluga, a vibrant square that plays host to architectural gems like the Real Casino de Murcia, offering a glimpse into the opulent lifestyle of the past. Here you can easily find a local bar where you can refuel on tasty tapas dishes, typical of Murcian cuisine, such as zarangollo and michirones

Evening: Enjoy the Murcia sights by night

Squeeze the most out of the day as you can before bedding down in one of Murcia’s top hotels. As the sun begins to set, enjoy a relaxing stroll through the Floridablanca Gardens, a verdant oasis that melts away any stresses and worries. After the gardens, head over to Murcia Old Town for an atmospheric dinner at one of the area’s charming restaurants, where Murcian cuisine and regional wines blend harmoniously.

A plate of typical Murcian food

Don’t forget to try Murcian cuisine when on holiday

Day 2: Explore the best places to visit in Murcia’s capital for culture vultures

Now that you have an idea of what Murcia City has to offer, it is time to immerse ourselves in its vibrant cultural scene. Explore these top recommendations and enjoy our culturally-infused Murcia city guide.

Morning: Taste the flavours of Murcia at the Mercado de Abastos de Verónicas

There is no better way to acquaint yourself with a new place than by trying its gastronomy. So, what better place to visit than the local fresh food market? Dating back to the 15th century, the Abastos de Verónicas Market has been a staple of everyday life in Murcia City.

Dating back to the 15th century, the Abastos de Verónicas Market has been a staple of everyday life in Murcia City

The market was originally held in the open air in the plaza but during the 1800s it moved inside, where it remains today. Discover the wide array of fresh produce on offer and taste morsels of local cuisine as you familiarise yourself with the smells, tastes and sounds of Murcia city centre.

The exterior of the Abastos de Verónicas Market, Murcia

Visiting the market is an ideal way to immerse yourself in local culture

Afternoon: Explore local art during your city break in Murcia

When it comes to art, there is one Murcia City resident that stands out. If you are an art lover, immerse yourself in the world of Francisco Salzillo, a revered sculptor, at the Museo Salzillo. During the Baroque era of the 1700s, his religious sculptures became hugely popular. His talent and devotion to his art allowed his work to reach national fame. Once you have admired his incredible works, continue your cultural exploration at the Murcia Museum, one of the top Murcia places to visit. Here you can find a captivating collection of artefacts and exhibits that narrates the city's history and artistic heritage.

Evening: End the day at the Jardín del Salitre gardens

The Jardín del Salitre garden is one of the most beautiful places in Murcia’s capital and it is located on the site of an old gunpowder factory. Conclude your day with a gentle stroll through its grounds which will guide you through the luscious botanical gardens home to over 50 varieties of plants. Stop at the duck pond and take in the peace and tranquillity of the setting before you. Then, as your stomach starts to rumble, settle down at a table on the tapas terrace for a light bite before bedtime. 

Day 3: Head to Cartagena, one of the best day trips from Murcia

Explore beyond the confines of Murcia city and head to the town of Cartagena to discover the best Murcia beaches. 

Morning: Explore Cartagena, one of the places to visit near Murcia

Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and embark on a day trip to Cartagena, a coastal town that oozes history and charm. Lose yourself as you stroll through its ancient streets, where Roman ruins, including the Roman Theatre, provide a glimpse into the town's storied past. The Castle of Concepción offers breathtaking views of the harbour, a picturesque spot for contemplation.

Afternoon: Hit the beach and catch some rays

Cartagena is one of the best places near Murcia to visit thanks to its picture postcard beaches. So, it is only right that you indulge in a few hours of sunbathing on the pristine shores of Mar Menor, a breathtaking coastal lagoon, located just a stone’s throw from some of the best hotels in Cartagena.  Yet, if a proper beach is what you are after, Cala Cortina is a top-class, golden sand beach that offers everything you need for a sandy day in the sun. Calblanque is another daydream-worthy beach located on the coast of Cartagena, offering a picturesque place to lounge in the sun all day or enjoy the thrill of watersports.

Murcia city: The turquoise ocean of Cala Cortina, Cartagena

Dive into the refreshing waters of Cala Cortina

Evening: Head back to the hotels in Murcia city centre

As your trip draws to a close, head back to Murcia City to enjoy the last remaining hours of your trip. It is common in the evenings to enjoy a traditional Murcian “tardeo so, live as the locals do and toast to the memories made during your Murcia City break. Head to one of the eclectic tapas bars in the area for your chance to savour the local cuisine and enjoy a vermouth one last chance before returning home.