Spain | How to Spend One Day in Beautiful Murcia

When we visit Spain, we like to hire a car. It gives us the freedom to get out and about and explore different parts of the country we wouldn't see otherwise. In October we flew to Alicante and hired a car from Goldcar, as we always do, planning a couple of trips from our base on the Costa Blanca. First up, was a day in the beautiful city of Murcia.

Looking towards the Catheral of Murcia in the rain

Just a 45 minute car journey later, we had parked in an underground car park in the city centre. Of course it rained the day we decided to go but, although I imagine it's much nicer to wander the streets in the sunshine, we didn't let this dampen our spirits. Luckily the main attraction in Murcia is pretty much indoors!

standing outside the santa maria cathedral in Murcia
inside Murcia's cathedral
Bell tower of the cathedral of Murcia

The Cathedral of Murcia

The Catedral de Santa Maria en Murcia is a stunning piece of architecture. Built in 1394,on the site of a former mosque, the church combines both Baroque and Renaissance design with a Gothic interior. The bell tower was constructed much later, completed in 1791, and you can now take a guided tour to the top. The view of the city from the bell tower is worth it, and if you time your visit right, you'll get to hear the bells ring the hour. It's loud up there! 

Bell tower of the cathedral of Murcia
View from the Bell tower of the cathedral of Murcia
Bell tower of the cathedral of Murcia

From the cathedral, take a stroll around the old town. Wander down narrow streets, reminiscent of Seville, and discover the many picturesque plazas. My personal favourite was Santa Domingo Square with it's imposing ficus tree.

Murcia cathedral side entrance
Large ficas tree in Santa Domingo Square Murcia

Murcia is not touristy like the nearby coastal cities, so we found it nice and quiet, and easy to explore. Of course this means the city has a very local vibe. Many businesses close for siesta and you'll definitely get a chance to practice your Spanish!

Croquettes at La Tapa in Murcia
Caballitos in La Tapa Murcia
Patatas Bravas in La Tapa Murcia

Eat at La Tapa

There are many tapas bars and cafes dotted around Murcia, but we picked one that does what it says on the tin! La Tapa is located on Plaza de las Flores, which is very pretty with it's fountain and flower markets. We shared chunky patatas bravas, caballitos (battered prawns, named after their sea horse like shape) and a variety of croquettas. Delicious!

Pastel de carne - Murcian meat pies

Try Pastel de Carne

The Murcian pastel de carne is a spiced meat pie in flaky puff pastry. It's one of the city's most traditional delicacies, with bakers sticking strictly to the exact recipe from 1695. Pop across the Plaza de las Flores to Pasteleria Bonache, which has been making these tasty little treats since 1828, and take one home for later - they're only a couple of euros each! 

Just don't do what we did and wait too late in the afternoon...

We wandered around the city in the rain looking for a bakery open during siesta, for so long that we both started to get pretty grumpy. Eventually we found one - then drove all the way home and discovered they sell them at the supermarket right around the corner from us! Authentic is best though, so look out for Bonache.

The doors to the cathedral in Murcia

If you have more time than we did, you should definitely check out the eclectic décor at the Real Casino de Murcia or the Santa Clara Monastery and Museum. For a more in depth foodie guide, check out this article from Emily Luxton.

Have you ever been to Murcia?

One day in Beautiful Murcia Spain

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