Catedral de Murcia
Catedral de Murcia y Palacio Episcopal
Auditorio Victor Villegas
Ayuntamiento de Murcia
Welcome to Murcia, one of the most comfortable capital cities you can imagine. We will let you know about what you shouldn't miss in this multicultural city, where life is in the streets, and where tradition and modernity harmoniously coexist.
TO ONE'S HEART'S CONTENT
Going from one terrace to another, from one square to another, walking about the streets and enjoying life in the open air is one of the best ways of blending in with the Murcian atmosphere. The good climate, together with cultural blending, have made Murcian people learn how to enjoy the hubbub to the full. Having some 'cañicas' -small draft beers- while chitchatting is here a real pleasure. If you add a couple of typical tapas from the region, we're talking about luxury. You won't be able to say 'no' to marineras, caballitos, matrimonios or pasteles de carne. Other typical dishes are michirones, Murcian salad, pisto and even some raw broad beans from the huerta with dried and salted bonito or some tomato slices. If you have a sweet tooth, try the paparajotes: lemon tree leaves coated in a dough made of flour, eggs, milk and grated lemon peel, which are fried and then dusted with cinnamon and sugar. Having them with a little glass of sweet wine is an authentic Murcian pleasure. But don't let anybody kid you: you DON'T have to eat the leaves.
In May, two giant festivals take place in Murcia: WAM and Murcia Tres Culturas, which are two very different but just as appealing musical adventures, with music and arts for tolerance, social harmony, solidarity and sustainability. In July, Murcia proves to be a capital blend of refined sensibilities from all over the world with the Mediterranean International Folklore Festival, which is Spain's oldest festival. Cinema enthusiasts are in their element at Ibn Arabi International Film Festival, a little jewel in the Olympus of young, promising film festivals which takes place in March, offering a week of independent films and additional activities; it resuscitates some film treasures that are usually swallowed up by commercial film producers. In November, Murcia celebrates the Region of Murcia International Puppet Theatre Festival, Títeremurcia, a stunning display of creativity offering sentimental, romantic people and children the opportunity to enjoy stories and puppet shows, and filling the city with the best audience in the world.
GO FOR A STROLL
Murcia is perfect to walk around: wandering through Trapería and Platería -two charming streets in the old part of the city- and following the scent of fresh coffee, enjoying its nice squares, and watching the sunset from Paseo del Malecón, surrounded by gardens and orchards, really are priceless. Another good idea is to rent a bike and roll; you'll definitely come across something interesting which doesn't appear in any guidebooks. Whatever the reason for your stay, we suggest you make space in your diary and spend some time in the city centre's commercial districts, boutiques, marketplaces, street markets... And of course, at the Centro de Artesanía -Craftwork Centre-, where you will find your very own 'little piece of Murcia' to take home.
A GREAT SQUARE
Cardenal Belluga square, commonly known as the Cathedral's square, brings together some of the city's main symbols, such as Santa María Cathedral, the Bishop's Palace and the Moneo Building. You'll find it inevitable to visit the Cathedral's Museum, go up the Cathedral's tower, go through the arcades, and sit down at any of this emblematic square's terraces to watch the hustle and bustle while you enjoy the view and the typical cuisine.
MUSEUMS FOR ALL
Coming to Murcia and not visiting its museums is a crime. They are so different from one another that you can spend a whole day visiting them without getting exhausted. The city's most outstanding museum is probably the Salzillo Museum, which houses the most important and complete collection by this brilliant Murcian sculptor: it includes the Holy Week floats, the 556 pieces nativity scene, and a set of original sketches. Also outstanding are the Santa Clara Museum, housing the region's best Islamic art collection and the valuable historical and artistic heritage owned by the nuns of the Order of St Clare, and the Ramón Gaya Museum, an intimate gallery with the main works by the 20th century's most distinguished Murcian painter. Other relevant museums are the Cathedral's Museum, the Archaeological Museum, the Fine Arts Museum, the San Juan de Dios Museum... In case you want to spend the day with children, we recommend the Science and Water Museum and the University Aquarium too.
If you want to enjoy a top-notch visit in Murcia, don't forget to go up to the Quitapesares terrace. Its viewpoint, next to La Fuensanta Sanctuary in El Valle y Carrascoy Regional Park, is even more perfect in the moonlight. You should complete the experience by trying some tapas or a glass of wine. If you go there during the day, you will be jealous of Murcian people for living next to this magnificent mountain range, which is fabulous for sports such as hiking, climbing, cycling and orienteering. On a small vantage point to the north, with opposite but quite as interesting views, is Terra Natura: a theme park with recreated natural habitats from throughout the world as well as a water park with toboggans, swimming-pools and an artificial river. One of its highlights is swimming with sea lions. Ideal for home-loving adventurers.
FROM DUSK TILL DAWN
If you enjoy staying out late during your holidays, we are pleased to tell you that Murcia's nightlife is one of the best among Spanish destinations. You'll find all kinds of nightclubs and bars, as well as restaurants opening till late, chiringuitos and affordable hotels. Most Murcian people enjoy being at a terrace in the city centre when dusk is falling: you can try it anytime throughout the year because of the city's mild weather and open character.
When was the last time you went to the theatre? Coming to Murcia and enjoying a great show at the legendary Romea Theatre is a winning bet: just sit down while the lights are switched off and start dreaming. Other relevant stages to get away from routine are the Víctor Villegas Auditorium and Conference Centre, the Teatro Circo, and the Puppa Clown Performing Arts Centre.
I spy with my little eye something beginning with...'C' for 'Cathedral' and 'Casino' -meaning social club-. The Cathedral is the region's most important temple and one of its main symbols too; it has more than 600 years of history and was built on the city's old Great Mosque. It is the perfect example of a monument with superposition of styles, from Gothic to Renaissance and impressive Baroque architecture. You will find it inevitable to go up its tower, admire its facade, and visit its museum and the Vélez and Junterón chapels. As a curiosity, Alphonse X the Wise's heart lies within an urn next to the High Altar. The Casino, as a social club, has been Murcia's social crossroads since the 19thC. Visiting this emblematic building, at the capital city's heart, is a real delight for elegance enthusiasts. It has become quite an institution in Trapería street, and is nowadays a culture and social harmony revitalising centre. You won't forget its Louis XV-style ballroom.
VISIT US IN SPRING
Visiting Murcia during its Fiestas de Primavera -Spring Festivities- is highly beneficial for your health; since the weather is simply perfect at this time of the year, and squares and parks are filled with colours, scents, barracas huertanas where you can taste the typical cuisine, and traditional events such as the Murcia en Primavera Parade, the Tunas -student music groups- Contest, and the Testamento Sardinero -Testament of the Sardine-. The two most important days within this week of festivities are Tuesday, with the Bando de la Huerta parade, and Saturday, with the Entierro de la Sardina -Burial of the Sardine- parade, both declared to be of International Tourist Interest. The day the Bando de la Huerta takes place, Murcian people as well as visitors go out in their traditional huertano costumes and enjoy a celebration which culminates in a great costumbrist parade. The Entierro de la Sardina is a spectacular parade, an unseasonable mixture of myth and carnival including floats from which thousands of toys are thrown to the little ones. The funniest funeral you can ever imagine.