Murcia is a beautiful city, easy to get around but large enough to offer all types of activities and experiences to its residents and tourists. Steeped in history it is the capital of the Murcia region and boasts many fine architectural buildings from Gothic to Renaissance to baroque to modern designs. The highlight is the amazing Cathedral in the centre of Murcia – Plaza Cardinal Belluga – This took so many years to complete, started in 1394 and finished in 1792, that it was started using one style of architecture and completed when another style was in fashion, or when there was a different ruler in charge! But the styles merged and look great and you could spend hours in this cathedral marvelling at the craftsmanship and wonder how they built this church in days gone by without the scaffolding and mechanical equipment that we take for granted today. The 18th century Bishops Palace also stands in the same plaza and is also very interesting.
From the old to the new and seeing the Town Hall (Ayuntamiento) which was designed in the modern era by the great Spanish architect Rafael Moneo, set in the same plaza can seem strange and local opinion is divided but I think they blend together well. There are many other historical buildings and also many museums including a Bull Fighting Museum and an Architectural Museum. Murcia is a fertile region of Spain and agricultural is one of its mainstay industries. The Segura River crosses the city and irrigates the countryside around. It became wealthy some centuries ago through the production of handmade silk which was sold throughout Spain and also exported. Unfortunately when machines were invented to do the same job, the silk industry ground to a halt.
The Easter processions are a highlight of Murcia City and they are taken in great seriousness with much pomp and ceremony. Colourfully clad bishops and priests lead the procession through the streets and the people gather to join in or just watch the spectacle. The energy of Murcia is young and vibrant, particularly due to the two universities and the vast numbers of young students calling Murcia home. There is a fabulous shopping street with all the usual high street shops and a large number of unique boutiques also.
Bars and restaurants are plentiful and there one to suite every taste and every pocket. If you have a few extra euros in your pocket you must try El Pasaje de Zabalburu, famous for its seafood and Mediterranean menu with well presented, extraordinary quality and great on the taste buds. If you are vegan there is also a speciality restaurant for you – El Jardin de Los Dragones. This restaurant produces creative delicious foods for vegetarians and vegans, the staff are very friendly and the busy restaurant always has a lovely ambiance. There are several large shopping centres around Murcia including Thader and a very popular shopping destination – IKEA! There is also a centre for Artisan Crafts located in Calle Francisco Rabal which showcases pottery, leather goods, crafts and jewellery made by local artists. This is a lovely place to find that special souvenir of a trip to Murcia. A day is never enough in Murcia, if you can plan to spend at least two nights to try to see all the wonderful things it has to offer.
The bull ring in the city centre has hosted concerts by acts such as R.E.M, Queen and Paul Rdgers and is a great landmark.
Property sales in Murcia are mostly centre on New Builds as resale property is not so plentiful.