Murcia City (A day out)
If you are wondering what to do on your next visit for a day out, consider a day in Murcia.
The city was founded by the Arabs during the 1st century. Since then, it has been a crossroads for different civilizations and core of the Mediterranean as it occupies an important location on the Rio Segura. The impressive Basilica (Cathedral), which sits opposite the modern Tourist Office, makes a great starting point right in the heart of the city.
From here, explore the colourful, lively, little plazas that nestle in between the narrow streets. Murcia has an overwhelming array of museums, art galleries and centres and beautiful historic buildings. It has the largest out of town shopping complex in the area as it consists of two malls and Ikea, not to mention the football stadium of Real Murcia. The Nueva Condomina mall is set over two floors. It has shops throughout including the hugely popular Primark as well as some small boutique-like outlets.
Outside there are many large stores such as the electrical giant Media Markt and the DIY store Leroy Merlin. The Thader Mall also has two stories of much the same stores. Ikea is just the same as all the other Ikeas!
Places of Interest in Murcia
• Tourist Office: more information about the museums, cathedral and buildings, as well as the walking routes. Remember that most museums are closed on a Monday and for siesta which is generally 14.00-16.00 in the winter and 14.00-17.00 in the summer.
• Shops: many boutique style shops as well as the usual collection of well known high street names in the centre plus the out of town shopping malls called the Nueva Condomina, Thader and a massive Ikea.
• Rio Segura: path either side of the river and botanical garden a short walk from the city centre.
• Murcia Football Stadium: watch Murcia’s football team play their home matches.
Ideas of things to do in Murcia
To get to know the city in one day we suggest starting from the underground car park (charged for by length of stay) with a visit to the tourist office. Relax with a coffee in the square to admire the impressive Cathedral before spending some time wandering around inside it.
Then follow the Tourist office walking route (or find your own) for a great introduction to the city and its narrow streets and quirky plazas, stopping where you please.
- • Visit some of Murcia´s many museums, art galleries and churches whilst they are open in the morning, enjoy lunch and sample some typical Murcian food, during the afternoon take a stroll beside the river Segura and relax in the botanical garden.
• Then head to the two massive out of town shopping malls; the Nueva Condomina, Thader (with a multi lane bowling alley) and the huge Ikea for some retail therapy.
• Take a look at the website for Murcia’s Football Club www.realmurcia.es and watch one of their home games.
Museums and other places of interest
- Salzillo Museum: holds the most important processional religious images by the world-famous wood carver, Francisco Salzillo, 550 Christmas Crib figures and the platforms bearing groups of life-size Biblical figures, which are carried down the streets in the Easter Processions.
- Fine Arts Museum: displays paintings by Spanish artists from the 16th to the 20th century.
- Archaeological Museum: houses a collection of Iberian, Roman, Greek and Moorish artifacts.
- Cathedral Museum: has a great collection of religious art, including sculptures and altarpieces.
- Museo de la Archicofradía de la Sangre: housed in El Carmen Church is an exhibition of the religious sculpture works known as the ‘most precious blood of Christ’.
- City Museum: in Junterones Palace there are interactive displays about the city’s 2000 year history.
- San Juande Dios Church Museum: houses a permanent exhibition of religious imagery from the 16th to the 19th centuries including various woodcarvings.
- Museum of the University of Murcia: exhibitions on different subjects like science and art.
- Aquarium of The University Of Murcia: A research facility that has been opened to visitors it has tanks of reefs with corals and fish from the Indian Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, the Red Sea, the Caribbean Sea and of course the Mediterranean and the Mar Menor.
- Ramón Gaya Museum: set in a beautiful mansion, the Palarea house, it holds the works of Ramon Gaya one of the best contemporary Murcian artists.
- Science and Water Museum: with water as its main theme, it also has a children’s planetarium, science square and perception modules.
- Bullfighting Museum of Murcia: Founded in 1919, it contains posters, bullfighter’s costumes and utensils, it also has a specialist library and video collection.
- Regional Craft Centre: displays work of artisans from all over Murcia, also has items for sale.
- Casino of Murcia Building: built in 1847 it boasts of a beautiful library, an enigmatic powder room, a magnificent Arabic Patio and a splendid neo-Baroque dance hall.
- Episcopal Palace: made up of two parts, the ‘bishops view point’ which gives views over the river and the ‘main body’ which looks out onto the cathedral square.
- Rio Segura: a path runs either side of this river through the city centre.