Once again I travelled to the city of Murcia, in the south-east of Spain to visit a close friend who is studying there for a year. I flew from Glasgow to Alicante and caught the local bus from the airport to Murcia which takes around 50 minutes and costs less than 5 euros for a single trip.
As a region Murcia is one of the sunniest places in Spain yet, despite this the city of Murcia itself is relatively free from tourists, who instead tend to flock to the coastal towns such as La Manga on the beautiful Mar Menor. Although it was the middle of December during my visit the temperatures were relatively high, around 20degrees in the middle of the day, and the sun shone throughout.
|Santa Maria Cathedral|
|The belltower on the Santa Maria Cathedral|
One of the main attractions in Murcia for me is the tapas. The city of Murcia is littered with tapas bars, ranging from small, cafe style bars to more upmarket and therefore expensive restaurants. There are places to suit every budget and because the city is not a major tourist destination in general the prices are very reasonable for the quality of food which you receive.
One place which we visited that we really enjoyed was Bar Togo II. Here the tapas was presented together on one dish, instead of on separate dishes, as is generally typical of tapas. The food was presented beautifully and looked almost too good to eat! Despite the sumptuous food and wonderful presentation the price was very reasonable, costing just 15 euros for lunch for 3 people.
|Tapas at Bar Togo II|
If you are thinking of visiting Murcia and wish to research possible restaurants online before your trip, you should be aware that many of the online reviews which I have found myself have been very out of date and the places written about have either changed hands or disappeared completely.
I discovered one of Murcia's hidden gems Pequeña Miss Cupcake- an adorable cake shop which specialises in handmade cupcakes, cookies and biscuits. The shop itself is located in the bustling area around the University and is beautifully decorated in pastel colours with perfect finishing touches, such as fabric bound menus. It is definitely the perfect spot to relax and have an afternoon nibble!
|Gorgeous finishing touches|
|Pequeña Miss Cupcake|
There are lots of great bars in Murcia to relax and spend an evening. One of my favourites is Cafe del Arco which is just steps from Plaza de Santa Domingo. It's a very modern bar with seats outside which are great for a spot of people watching! Another of my favourites is Kano which is a restaurant and bar in Plaza de Santa Domingo. It too is great for people watching and serves great tapas and paella. If you're looking for a club to head to after a few drinks then I can recommend Boutique. It plays a great mix of R'n'B, Spanish music, Reggaeton and Indie so there's something to suit everyone. It can get super busy in here and drinks are quite expensive but it has a great atmosphere and is the perfect place to get your dancing shoes on and party till 7am!
|Enjoying a cocktail at Cafe del Arco|
Murcia really is a great city if you want to experience the 'real' Spain rather than the large tourist towns and especially if you want to improve your Spanish as almost none of the locals speak English. There are hotels, restaurants and activities to suit every budget and its proximity to the coastal areas of La Manga (can be reached by local bus in under an hour) make it the ideal destination for people who want to enjoy the city but also visit the beaches of the surrounding area.
If you want to read my post from my last visit to Murcia you can find it here.