Plaza de la Reina isn’t particularly old: it dates back to only 1878, when a triangular block of buildings was destroyed to make room for a large main square. Now the plaza – considered the city’s Kilometer 0 -- fills with cars, flower beds and pedestrians, and is lined by a host of cafes and outdoor terrazas (seating areas). In fact, this is where you’ll find one of the city’s oldest restaurants, Horchatería Santa Catalina, the ideal place to try Valencia’s signature beverage, the nutty-flavored and refreshing horchata.
Perhaps more intriguing than the actual plaza itself are the sites that surround it, most notable of which is surely the Valencia Cathedral. Built on the site of a former mosque, the 13th-century church is a mixture of architectural styles, but predominantly Gothic. What makes the basilica particularly special, though, is that many believe it to be the most plausible home of the Holy Grail.
A few other sites also skirt Plaza de la Reina, including the neighboring Plaza de Santa Catalina and its small church of the same name. Then, just a few steps farther away, you’ll find the Plaza Redonda, a circular-shaped plaza that usually fills with kiosks, and even a Sunday market.
Plaza de la Reina sits just east of the Old Quarter’s center, making it accessible from pretty much anywhere in this historic part of the city. A stop for many bus lines, the square is also home to a Valencia tourism office, making it an ideal starting point before tackling the rest of town.