Even if you have visited Spain many times, chances are you haven’t been to Murcia. This autonomous region of Spain is one of the more underrated destinations in the country, but it definitely shouldn’t be. Not only does Murcia have some of the best food in all of Spain, it grows most of the country’s fruit, after all, but it also boasts beautiful architecture and a laidback, unhurried vibe that you can’t help but fall in love with.
During a recent trip to Barcelona, I ended up with a few extra days to explore surrounding Spanish cities. I decided on visiting the city of Murcia, which is the capital of the Murcia region and is also known as a vibrant university town. This town had everything I wanted– great food, interesting history and rich culture, so I packed up my bags and headed to Murcia. On my way, I pulled up the HotelTonight app on my phone and found a great last-minute hotel in Murcia. Within a few minutes, I had a hotel room booked in the center of the city, so I was all set and ready to explore this lesser-known Spanish town.
Like many Spanish towns, Murcia’s soul can be found in the beautiful plazas scattered throughout the city. These plazas are where locals come to socialize, eat, drink, and simply relax and enjoy life. So I started my Murcia adventure at the Plaza de las Flores, a charming square that is arguably the prettiest plaza in the entire town. This square features plenty of shade (which is definitely necessary in this hot, arid climate), beautiful water features and a number of great cafes and tapas bars. Whether you’re looking for a place to grab an afternoon drink or for a pretty square to help you get your bearings, Plaza de las Flores is an ideal spot to visit.
Under the warm Spanish sun, I felt the need to enjoy a nice stroll along the river. Fortunately, the Segura River features beautiful riverfront walks, where you’ll find locals taking leisurely strolls throughout the day. Since I visited Murcia when its weather was particularly hot and dry, the water level in the Segura was a bit low. Despite the fact that the river wasn’t brimming with water, it was still lovely to walk next to the river running through the heart of the city. Plus, taking a walk along the river will help you get a good feel for the layout of Murcia.
Since Murcia is known for having some of the best, freshest food in all of Spain, I spent a good portion of my time in Murcia eating and it was heaven. Everything in Murcia is delicious, from the fresh cheeses to the ripe fruits, and you can find any local food you could want at the Mercado de Verónicas. This covered market is a traditional Spanish food market, so if you want to buy fresh foods for a picnic or for dinner later that evening, you’ll certainly find luck here. There are more than 100 stalls at the Mercado, and it’s impossible to find fresher food anywhere else in Spain. If you want to taste some of the freshest food in Spain, don’t miss the Mercado de Verónicas when you’re in Murcia.
Since I visited Murcia in the middle of a scorching hot summer, I was so glad to discover that one of Spain’s most beautiful stretches of beach was an easy drive out of the city. After spending a day exploring the city of Murcia, I slept soundly in my air-conditioned hotel room. The next morning, I decided to escape the heat for a bit by driving out to the Costa Blanca, a long stretch of beaches along the Mediterranean coastline. I can definitely say that this was one of my favorite parts of the trip, because the beaches along the Costa Blanca are stunning, with strikingly clear blue waters and golden, sandy beaches. From the historic, beautiful town of Murcia to the golden shores of Costa Blanca, this region of Spain has become one of my new favorite destinations in Europe.
Even though my trip to Murcia was rather spur-of-the-moment, I felt that I was able to see the city’s highlights while also experiencing the beating heart of the city thanks to the fact that I didn’t rush my sightseeing. Instead, I did as the locals do and absorbed the beauty and the culture of Murcia by eating at lively taperias, sitting in pretty plazas, and strolling down picturesque streets. I wouldn’t have been able to have these unique experiences if it weren’t for HotelTonight, which makes it so easy to book great last-minute hotels in cities around the world. Because I know I always have the convenience of HotelTonight at my fingertips, I can take spur-of-the-moment trips without stressing about where I’m going to stay.