The Spanish region of Murcia is located between Valencia and Andalusia in the southeastern part of Spain. This part of the country is in fact one of Spain's least traveled regions, however with the increasing availability of cheap flights offered by low cost budget airlines to the area, Murcia is growing in popularity as a Spanish tourist destination.
Murcia Mini Guide
The city of Murcia is quite small, with around 300,000 inhabitants. It's closest airport is actually located 17miles south of the city in the San Javier, however this is widely referred to as Murcia Airport, and is served by a number of budget airlines offering low cost travel options for thrifty tourists.
The city has a university, which gives it a young, trendy vibe, however overall the city is more quaint than cutting edge. It is an ideal and cheap city to use as a base for further exploration of the surrounding Murcia region. With cheap Murcia car hire, discovering the area at a low cost to suit your budget has never been easier. There is not a particularly extensive list of attractions and sights in Murcia, but it is a truly pleasant city with a laid back and relaxed ambience, an old quarter of narrow labyrinthine streets, beautiful gardens on the banks of the River Segura, and some wonderful food and wine.
Things to see/do in Murcia
Museo de Salzillo, Plaza San Agustin, is a museum dedicated to Murcia's famous sculptor and artist Francisco Salzillo and is cheap to enter. The Archaeological Museum in Murcia is a very low cost attraction and offers an interesting journey back into ancient Murcia. The Cathedral de Santa Maria is a beautiful building with a baroque-style façade and a contrasting gothic interior. A tower here (302ft high) allows for some spectacular views over Murcia, and there is also a museum in the Cathedral. Budget travelers will have no problems visiting the Cathedral - in fact, a cultural tour of Murcia will prove to be a thrifty day out, ideal for those looking for low cost holiday attractions.
Murcia's Casino is a must-see attraction in the city - an opulently decorated, beautifully regal building with each room adorned in a different style. There are some great low cost shopping opportunities in Murcia, with cheap markets being particularly good for bargains and discount produce. The fresh fruit and vegetables in Murcia are particularly good. For big spenders without budget worries, a walk down Calle Jaboneria should tantalize your shopping-sensors. Designer stores and exclusive fashions here are not cheap, so if your spending is to remain more thrifty than hefty, steer clear to avoid teasing yourself!
Eating out/Nightlife in Murcia
Cheap eats in Murcia are easy to find, particularly as there is a student population in the city that are catered for with plenty of casual and low cost restaurants and cafés. Budget dining options are not only easy to find in Murcia, but are generally of a good standard, particularly due to the abundance of fresh produce grown locally (the area is well irrigated and as a result has fertile and productive farmland). Homemade, hearty and comforting stews, fresh crispy salads, rustic roasted dishes and Spanish rice dishes all feature widely on Murcian menus and are generally quite cheap.
Murcia nightlife is not as crazily hedonistic as you would find in the other major tourist hot spots of Spain, however a fun and low cost night out is not difficult to find. Dinner is eaten late here (as is customary throughout Spain), and nightlife is correspondingly late with nothing happening before 11 o'clock in the evening. Try the KM Disco Garden, Rockerfellas Fun Club and Lennons for a good party, and for a romantic evening, El Perro Azul is a popular and ambient candlelit bar.
Events/festivals in Murcia
Spanish towns, regardless of size and population, are known for enjoying a good party and Murcia is no exception. Every year in May, Murcia hosts the Murcia Tres Culturas (Three Cultures) Festival which is a wonderful, inclusive series of performances centering on Judaism, Islam and Christianity with a focus on cultural tolerance and acceptance. San Javier hosts a Jazz Festival annually in June/July. Lorca is a short drive from Murcia and hosts and annual rock festival. The Roots Music Festival is held in September of every year in the Plaza de Romeo, featuring performances by groups and musicians from all over the region.
Every Saturday there is a traditional market on this square that sells arts and crafts as well as cheap, delicious local produce.