This busy square marks the center of Valencia’s Old Town. Come here to admire grand architecture, visit a centuries-old café and shop at handicraft markets.
Plaza de la Reina sits in the heart of Valencia’s Old Town. This pretty square is home to historic city architecture, seasonal handicraft markets and a range of cafés and restaurants, most with outdoor seating areas. The square is the unofficial starting point of the city of Valencia.
Upon arriving at the square you can’t help but notice the Valencia Cathedral, which dominates the square’s north side. Founded in the 13th century on the site of a Moorish mosque, the cathedral displays a wonderful mixture of Baroque, Gothic and Romanesque architectural styles. Rent an audio guide and take the self-guided tour to discover art by Francisco Goya and a chalice that many believe to be the Holy Grail. Climb the spiral staircase to the top of the Miguelete bell tower for panoramic views of Valencia’s city center.
On the streets surrounding Plaza de la Reina you’ll find various cafés, bars and restaurants. Take a seat at one of the outdoor terraces and admire the square’s architecture, such as the cathedral and the bell tower of Santa Catalina Church.
Be sure to try a horchata, a traditional local drink made from water, sugar and tigernut. Perhaps the best place to try this drink is at Horchatería de Santa Catalina, on the south side of the square. This café opened in the 1800s and is reputedly the oldest place in Valencia’s city center that serves the drink.
Shoppers will enjoy artisanal markets held at certain times of the year. One example is the Mercado de L’Escuraeta, which takes place in May, with traders selling clay pots, cooking utensils and ceramic items. Visit the square’s tourist information office to find out more about the markets and other events.
Plaza de la Reina is a short walk from major Valencia attractions, such as the Central Market and Plaza de la Virgen. Public buses also stop at the square. If you are driving, there is parking available for a fee in the square’s underground lot.