Have you ever wondered what it was like living in Murcia, Spain? Spend your days basking in the sun, soaking in the rich culture and history of the cities, and eating scrumptious Mediterranean food.
For expats who prefer to live outside of the hustle and bustle of Madrid, living in Murcia, Spain is an option you would not want to miss out on.
Where Exactly is the Region of Murcia?
The region of Murcia can be found in the south-east corner of the Iberian Peninsula. The surface area of the region occupies 2.2%, or 11,317 km2, of the whole country. This makes it the 9th largest autonomous community in Spain.
It is also located right at the center of the Spanish Mediterranean coastal arch, which means you’ll get a view of the vast sea as you travel around the region. It would be such a relaxing experience after a hard day’s work.
What is the Climate Like in the Region?
Expats who prefer warmer climates would be pleased to know that living in Murcia, Spain means dealing with summers that are hot and winters that are mild. It has a Mediterranean semi-arid subtropical climate with a mean annual temperature of 18 °C.
During the summer season, temperatures can go as high as 40 °C. On the other hand, as the winter season arrives, the region welcomes a cooler climate. Winter does not last long in the region, often only occurring for two months from December to January. This offers a short break from the warmth that is experienced more frequently. Temperatures during these months usually go as low as 11°C.
However, the temperatures in cities near the coastal area and those located more towards the interior of the region may vary greatly during the winter months. Inland cities can experience temperatures as low as 6 °C, but it rarely gets any colder than that.
It also does not rain much in the region of Murcia. Only around 300-350 mm/year or 600 mm/year of rainfall occurs in the months of April and October, depending on the specific city.
In general, individuals living in Murcia, Spain can enjoy more than 300 days of sunshine a year.
Is it Affordable to Live in the Region?
Expats shouldn’t worry about the cost of living in Murcia. It is one of the regions in Spain that is considered affordable.
The cost of living in Murcia city is the most pocket-friendly. The opposite is true for Costa Calida, which has the highest cost of living.
In a month, a four-member household will spend around 2,482 euros on living expenses, while a single-member household will spend 1,143 euros. This includes expenses for food, housing, transportation, personal care, and entertainment.
Is Living in Murcia, Spain Safe?
Expats planning to move to Murcia shouldn’t be too concerned about their safety in the region. According to the Spanish Department of Homeland Security, Murcia is one of the most tolerant and safest regions in the country. General crime rates are low, with citizens having no worries about walking by themselves on the streets, even at night.
Residents are also tolerant of a diverse group of individuals, such as those with different genders, races, and religions, to name a few. Because of this, expats would have no trouble integrating themselves into the community.
Three Well-Known Cities in the Region
Don’t be confused: Murcia is the name given to the city, the province, and the autonomous community.
Murcia City is the capital of the Autonomous Community of the Region of Murcia. It is also the most populous out of all the cities in the region. It has 460,349 citizens and residents in the area. Despite this, it still gives off the atmosphere of a small town. The lifestyle is slow-paced, but nevertheless, it is not boring. It abounds with many sites to see and streets to take afternoon strolls on.
Individuals interested in architecture will always have somewhere to go. The La Merced Church, San Juan de Dios Church, San Miguel Church, Palacio Episcopal, and Palacio Fontes have all been designed using the Murcian Baroque style.
Apart from that, theaters, museums, art galleries, and craft centers can be found all over the city.
It is also considered a “university city,” which means that many colleges and universities are located in the area. The city comes alive with students during the school year.
Because of this, there are more rooms available for rent instead of entire apartments. Most often than not, students just need a room to live in. As such, the lessors have adjusted to this demand.
With its suitable climate, many fruits, vegetables, and flowers thrive in the city, making it Europe’s orchard. So, individuals can enjoy Mediterranean dishes made with the freshest ingredients that are produced locally. The city even has its own caviar, Huevas de Mujol, which is a staple appetizer eaten together with fried Marcona almonds.
Cartagena City is the second most populous city in the region, with 216,285 individuals residing in the area. The city’s accessible location along the coast of Murcia, has resulted in the rich culture which it has now.
The cost of monthly rent in Cartagena ranges from 435 euros to 659 euros, depending on the specific location of the apartment within the city and its size. Monthly utilities for a two-person household cost 106 euros.
There are many places to visit in Cartagena, such as the “Enrique Escudero de Castro” Municipal Archaeology Museum, the National Museum of Underwater Archaeology, the Cartagena Roman Theatre Museum, and Torre Ciega.
Going to those museums will give individuals the opportunity to learn more about the city and truly appreciate how it developed into what it is today.
Lorca City has a population of 96,238 individuals, making it the third most populous city in the region of Murcia.
The urban center of Lorca City was designated as a “Town of Historical and Artistic Interest.” It is described as “the baroque city” because of its baroque heritage. Not only that, it is also called the City of the Sun, the City of One Hundred Shields, and many more. No matter what you call it, the city stands out for the richness of its culture and history.
There are different monuments, museums, shopping centers, and natural areas. Two of the places of interest promoted by the region are the Playa de Coy and Las Alamedas.
A medieval Thursday market is also held, where local artisans showcase their skills in embroidery, iron forging, and pottery. The creation of these crafts is rooted in traditions that go back centuries.
The city’s Biblical Passion Parades are also something to look forward to during the holy week of every year. It was even declared as an international tourist interest.
The Pros of Living in Murcia, Spain
1. A relaxed and slow-paced lifestyle
Expats don’t have to worry about angry locals shouting at them at the smallest inconvenience or getting caught up in a flock of hurried individuals. The locals in Murcia are easy-going, and you will probably hear the phrase “no pasa nada” more often than not. It means “don’t worry about it,” which perfectly captures what life is like in Murcia.
2. The freshest and tastiest food
Given that the city of Murcia is Europe’s orchard, residents in the region enjoy the best of Mediterranean cuisine. Local produce such as vegetables, pulses, meat, and fish abound.
Some of the Spanish tapas unique to Murcia are marinera, zarangollo, ensalada murciana, and chipirones con habas. They also have traditional dishes such as entierro, pastel de carne, and arroz caldero.
You can even find 17 different restaurants throughout the region that have earned the most prestigious Michelin star.
The Cons of Living in Murcia, Spain
1. Language barrier
It might be difficult to live in Murcia if you can’t speak Spanish fluently. Although there are institutions with English-speaking staff, Spanish is still the most widely used language by many of the residents. At the same time, you may have trouble understanding the locals because of the unique accent that Murcia is known for.
Most expats have found it especially difficult to maneuver through the healthcare system. They have challenges in voicing their concerns accurately. Similarly, understanding what the doctors are trying to say is challenging.
Cartagena and San Javier have the highest proportion of English-speaking residents. But this doesn’t mean you wouldn’t need to learn Spanish at all. Some level of fluency is still needed.
It would be better to get around Murcia by walking, biking, or riding a scooter. The traffic in Murcia is not something you would have the patience for.
With this, expats who enjoy basking in the warmth of the sun and being surrounded by a relaxed atmosphere should consider living in Murcia, Spain. Despite its slow-paced lifestyle, you will never run out of things to do in the region. You can enjoy all of the sites, food, and much of what it has to offer without it costing you an arm and a leg.