Although the city of Murcia isn’t located on the coast, it still ranks as one of the top destinations in southeastern Spain. Its history spans back a millennia and Murcia has some fascinating attractions plus a very comfortable climate for the majority of the year.
Murcia has more attractions than you can see in a single day. Therefore, it is best to stay there for at least a couple of days, and potentially longer if you want the full experience.
That leads to the question where to stay in Murcia and in this article, you will find some suggestions. We will take you through the best areas and neighborhoods of Murcia, with a hotel recommendation in each section.
It is worth noticing that we are focusing on the best places to stay in the city of Murcia. Remember that the entire region (comunidad autónoma in Spanish) is also named Murcia. By staying in the city, you can easily explore other destinations in the region on day trips, which is covered in another article.
But for now, let’s look at the best places to stay in Murcia, Spain!
Centro Histórico – Best choice
The historical centre of Murcia is known as Centro Histórico. It contains the neighborhoods of La Catedral, San Bartolomé, San Lorenzo and San Pedro. All of these Murcia neighborhoods are situated extremely close to each other, and they are all considered to be the very centre of the city. Therefore, it is the ideal location for most tourists – especially for first time visitors.
Staying in the historic centre will give you easy access to the top attractions. These are the Murcia Cathedral, Real Casino de Murcia, Plaza de las Flores, the Roman Theatre, and the countless shops and bars. It will also give you easy access to other points of the city since you can take a taxi or a bus to reach other areas. The other central neighborhoods are close enough to reach them within minutes on foot.
Who should stay in Centro Histórico?
Overall, staying in the most central area of Murcia makes sense for culturally interested travelers who want to be right in the middle of it all. If you love sightseeing, this is certainly the place to be.
Best hotel in Murcia city centre: Hotel Murcia Rincón by Meliá – Book here
Situated only 100 meters east of the Murcia Cathedral, this place is one of the most popular hotels in the city.
Hotel Murcia Rincón is run by Meliá, a high-quality chain of hotels that are present in most major Spanish destinations. This hotel is one of the best – it is a 4-star stylish establishment with large rooms, fast Wi-Fi, plenty of facilities (including a gym) and very tasty food. There are two restaurants on-site. A fancy one, Rincón de Pepe, where you can get quality dishes and an informal one, La Barra, where the focus is on tapas. Hotel Murcia Rincón also has a unique cocktail bar on the lowest floor. This area has old Arabic walls, traditional for the local architecture.
The best rooms have great views where you can see the Cathedral tower from your window. Prices are reasonable for all rooms, although in the higher end when comparing to other hotels in Murcia. There are family rooms and luxury suites available if you need more space. We advice booking in advance – it is one of the most popular establishments in the city, so there aren’t always rooms at the last minute. You can make your reservation here!
El Carmen – Local vibe
El Carmen is in many ways the modern Murcia. It is a large area located south of the historic centre, on the other side of the Segura River. El Carmen is basically the area that the city expanded to back in the 18th and 19th centuries when the traditional bounds of the city were getting too crowded. Since then, El Carmen has continued to grow rapidly. It is actually the most populated neighborhood in Murcia.
There are some great attractions in El Carmen. The most noteworthy of them are the 18th century Floridablanca Garden, the Scientific Museum, the University Aquarium, and the old bridges that connect the neighborhood to the old centre on the other side of the river.
You should know that vast parts of El Carmen are very residential. But there’s no better place to get a feel for the local Murcian culture. Furthermore, it is one of the best organized areas of the city. El Carmen has many avenues, squares and parks. It is also home to the city’s main train station, Murcia-El Carmen. This station connects Murcia with other Spanish cities such as Madrid, Albacete and Alicante. Therefore, this southern neighborhood can be a great choice for practical reasons. There are also some solid hotels in El Carmen. If you want to eat out every night, there are many affordable locally-run restaurants in this neighborhood.
Who should stay in El Carmen?
If you want to experience the regular, every-day Murcia and be in a less touristy area, El Carmen is a great choice. Additionally, the train station is situated in El Carmen, so if you are planning a quick trip to the city, or if you expect to do frequent day trips while staying in Murcia, it is a highly practical area to be staying in.
Where to stay in Murcia El Carmen: Catalonia Floridablanca – Book here
The full name of this hotel is Catalonia Conde de Floridablanca. It is part of the Catalonia chain of hotels that is known for its high quality and solid service.
Catalonia Floridablanca is located at the northern end of El Carmen. This is ideal because it gives you quick access to the historic centre as well as the rest of El Carmen.
This is perhaps the most stylish hotel in the city. The Catalonia Floridablanca perfectly manages to combine the traditional style of Murcia with modern interior style and comfortable furniture. The breakfast is off the charts when comparing to other hotels. They serve local ham and cheese, plus scrambled and fried eggs, so if you stay at this hotel in Murcia, you can certainly get a nutrient-rich breakfast, preparing you for a day of sightseeing around El Carmen and the rest of Murcia.
We consider the Catalonia Floridablanca to be one of the best hotels in the city. Make your reservation here!
San Miguel – Perfect for shoppers
San Miguel is the neighborhood immediately north of Murcia’s old city centre – north of La Catedral and San Bartolomé neighborhoods to be more specific.
It is an extremely popular area of the city, more modern than the historic centre, and with plenty of activities going on at all hours of the day.
The area is most famous for shopping since Murcia’s main department store El Corte Inglés is located there. Along Avenida de la Liberdad, there are countless other shops. Most of them are related to fashion. In other sections of the San Miguel neighborhood, we will find bookshops, game stores, and various other places to purchase cool items.
Aside from shopping, San Miguel is also a nice area when it comes to attractions. The highly impressive Murcia Archeological Museum is located in this neighborhood, and so is the Santa Clara Museum. In the northeastern section of San Miguel, we find the main transportation hub of the city centre, Plaza Circular. From here, you can take the tram or the bus to both central and outer areas of the city.
Who should stay in San Miguel?
It is a great area for all visitors. But you will particularly enjoy it if you love shopping and museums. It is a relatively small area, so there aren’t as many hotels as in other Murcia neighborhoods.
Best hotel in San Miguel: NH Amistad de Murcia – Go to booking here
A modern, comfortable, streamlined hotel. NH Amistad de Murcia gives you the typical 21st century hotel experience with large rooms, great service, a high number of facilities in the common areas, and a huge restaurant where you can eat morning, afternoon and evening.
The NH Amistad de Murcia is the best choice in Murcia for business travelers. This is mainly due to the quick and efficient service, plus the fast WiFi and the access to meeting rooms. However, regular tourists can also stay there, especially if you wish to be near the best modern shopping area of Murcia. We would also like to add that the historic centre is just a quick journey south and easily within walking distance!
San Antón – Relaxed quarter
Another interesting area is San Antón – the neighborhood immediately west of San Miguel. It is a less touristic but highly comfortable area. San Antón is famous for its parks. The two main ones are Jardín del Salitre and Jardín de la Seda.
Finding a hotel can be difficult in San Antón since there aren’t many options to choose from. However, local holiday apartments are available, and if you decide to stay in an apartment in San Antón, you will be in nice surroundings.
Who should stay in San Antón?
Those who want to be in a central part of the city, but without the hustle and bustle. San Antón is a nice base in Murcia, especially if you prefer staying in an apartment rather than at a hotel.
Where to stay in San Antón: Apartments San Agustín – Book here
Unfortunately, San Antón doesn’t have a lot of hotels. It is mostly a residential area with local buildings and attractions. However, there are plenty of holiday apartments available. One of them is the nice San Agustín apartment that is relatively affordable. Check to see if it is available on your travel dates.
Otherwise, we recommend booking with the NH Amistad de Murcia. This was the hotel we recommended in the section about San Miguel. It is the neighboring quarter to San Antón, so if you are staying at this hotel, you basically get quick access to both of these areas.
San Juan & La Merced – History & dining
San Juan is the neighborhood located to the east of the historic centre. It is a very nice part of the city due to its attractions – the Murcia bullfighting arena is located there, and so is the old football stadium. There are many solid restaurants, and in the southern end of the neighborhood you can take walks along the Segura River.
La Merced is just north of San Juan. This is a university area – La Merced is the oldest faculty of the Murcia University. The biggest campus is now a bit outside of the city centre, but this faculty remains. It is still active and it is one of the most noteworthy buildings in Murcia. Nearby, we also find Museo de Bellas Artes de Murcia – the fine arts museum that is highly popular among locals as well as tourists.
San Juan has multiple hotels, while La Merced and the area further to the north (La Fama) don’t really have that many accommodations. So the choice is simply to stay in San Juan and explore things from there.
Who should stay in San Juan?
It is a great area for almost all visitors. There are some attractions, good restaurants, and overall it is also an authentic area. A solid second or third choice if you want something different than the old centre and San Miguel.
Best hotel in Murcia San Juan: Occidental Siete Coronas – Book here
The highest-ranked and most prestigious hotel in Murcia is Occidental Siete Coronas. It is located by the southeastern end of the San Juan neighborhood, just at the edge of the historic centre and the river that flows through Murcia.
This is the hotel to pick if you want the best of the best. The rooms are highly modern with comfortable beds, large windows and plenty of space. The breakfast buffet is great – although there is a focus on pastries, cakes and white bread. However, that is not a problem – you can make up for it in the gym later. The Occidental Siete Coronas has a gym with some machines and dumbbells. There’s pretty good space in there.
The Occidental also has a nice outdoor terrace, a cool bar, and a reception that is open 24/7. The staff is usually quite friendly and they can give some tips on sights and attractions around the city. That includes attractions that most tourists aren’t even aware of.
Depending on which room you get, you can expect a view of either the riverside OR the central area with the Cathedral.
With 4-stars and an average guest rating of 8.9 out of 10, this is a highly ranked hotel, so prices aren’t cheap for Murcia. Still, the hotel is more affordable than establishments in the larger Spanish cities, so you can still get a solid deal. Book your room in advance here!
Vista Alegre – Authentic & practical
Located north of Plaza Circular, Vista Alegre is one of the most practical areas to stay in Murcia since it has such good connections in regard to public transport. It is also close enough to the city centre so you can typically reach the attractions within a handful of minutes.
Furthermore, Vista Alegre also has several hotels, despite not being the most touristy area of the city. You can often find some great deals in Vista Alegre. The neighborhood also has many cafés and restaurants. It is a somewhat business oriented neighborhood, especially the western section. Central Murcia’s main hospital is located there, so you can expect some traffic.
Who should stay in Vista Alegre?
You can typically find very good hotel deals in the Vista Alegre neighborhood. The area doesn’t offer anything special but it is not far from the city centre and it gives you easy access to public transportation.
Best hotel in Vista Alegre: Hotel El Churra – Go to booking
This hotel has a local style and it is extraordinarily charming. The rooms are quite small (unless you purposely splurge on the deluxe suite) but they are bright, they have comfortable beds, they are air-conditioned, and they are decorated with flowers.
Service is great and despite being in the Vista Alegre district, it is not too far from the main attractions in the city centre. You can easily walk back and forth in roughly 10-20 minutes, depending on your tempo.
Aside from the style and authenticity, this hotel also impresses when it comes to food. There is a nice local restaurant on-site. The main emphasis is on fish and seafood. The restaurant also serves great wine, some of it being locally sourced from the Murcia region. The prices are very reasonable all year round, so if there is availability on your travel dates, Hotel El Churra is a very solid choice.
Near Nueva Condomina in Churra – Shopping
Although the city centre of Murcia is generally the most interesting for tourists, the northern suburbs of the city should not be underestimated. Many locals spend their time here, and for good reason. The university is located a few kilometers northwest of the centre. The university area doesn’t really have any hotels, but if you continue just a bit further north, you get to the area of Condomina.
Condomina has two major attractions: The Murcia football stadium and the Nueva Condomina shopping centre. The stadium is obviously a great place to visit if you are into sports. The shopping centre has several stores, restaurants and entertainment facilities. Near Condomina, basically on the other side of the freeway, there is another mall called Centro Comercial Thader. It is about equal in size but features some different shops. If you stay near Condomina or Thader, you can enjoy shopping and sports, plus quick access to the university if you are visiting somebody in Murcia. The tram can also take you from Condomina to the city centre.
Who should stay near Nueva Condomina?
Those who are coming to Murcia to watch football – and perhaps also those who are primarily coming for shopping or for visiting friends at the university.
Where to stay in Murcia Condomina: B&B Hotel Murcia – Book here
There is one hotel in this area – the B&B Hotel Murcia. It is a modern and comfortable hotel. It has a solid size, and due to the location on the outskirts of the city, there are almost always rooms available. The rooms are simple but have everything you need. There are family rooms available if you are traveling with kids. B&B Hotel Murcia is located by the Thader shopping centre.
Where to stay in Murcia is an open-ended question. The city offers multiple options, depending on your preferences and what type of experience you would like to get.
Obviously, the historic centre of Murcia is the best area to stay in. When people refer to the historic area of the city, they typically mean the neighborhoods of La Catedral, San Bartolomé, San Lorenzo and San Pedro.
Another great option is the San Miguel neighborhood if you are into shopping and museums. El Carmen is a great pick if you want to experience every-day Murcia rather than going on sightseeing. The other areas of the city can be considered if you are coming in for a special reason, or if you find a particularly good hotel deal.
We hope this guide has been useful to you. Not many travel magazines have covered the topic of where to stay in Murcia so we are excited to publish this one. The easiest way to book your accommodation is by checking the recommended hotels we have mentioned throughout the article. If you want the full overview, go to the Murcia page on Booking.com to see the entire selection. Have a great trip!