Gran Via is the most famous and the busiest avenue of Madrid: it is full of shops, bars, cafés and entertainment options. However, Gran Via is much more than that: Its construction was a whole project that was planned for decades. Its construction started already in the 20th century, in 1910, and it lasted almost 20 years. The construction of Gran Via as we know it today implied the demolition of more than 300 houses.
Gran Via used to be famous for its many cinemas, but in the last years some of them have closed and is now more famous for the many theatres located there and the offer in musicals and theatre plays, which is why is popularly known as Madrid’s Broadway.
The Spanish Capital is divided in districts, and it’s reasonable to think that an avenue as long as Gran Via may cross several of them. Well, in fact, Gran Via occupies only one of the districts of Madrid, Centro (Centre), but it crosses almost all its neighbourhoods. Of the 6 neighbourhoods that form the district Centro, Embajadores, Palacio, Cortés, Universidad, Sol and Justicia, Embajadores is the only one where you won’t be able to find a piece of Gran Via.
All in all, if you book one of the apartments near Gran Via, you will be in the district Centro, so you will be able to enjoy the most cosmopolitan atmosphere of Madrid. Of the almost 150.000 inhabitants of this district, almost 30% of them are foreigners.
If you stay in the apartments near Gran Via, you won’t need to go far to put your credit card to good use, because this avenue is itself the main shopping area of Madrid. What do you want today? New clothes? New shoes? Did you finish your book and you need a new one to enjoy during your chilling time after walking across Madrid? Or perhaps you need comfortable shoes? Well, in Gran Via you can find all those things, because there you will find shops of any well-known fashion brand: Zara, Nike, Lefties, H&M and many more await you in Gran Via… and in all the streets surrounding it! Off Gran Via you will find other streets full of shops, like calle Fuencarral or the streets behind the Plaza del Callao, that you will find in Gran Via as well, like calle Preciados o calle del Carmen, where you will find an Imaginarium shop that will delight your children. At the end of calle Preciados there is an El Corte Inglés department store, where you will also find clothes, shoes, jewellery, home décor items and many other things. Our particular recommendation? The book shop La Central located in Calle del Postigo San Martín off Plaza del Callao, where you will be able to choose from a great selection of books in many different languages. Besides, there is also a café there, so you can start enjoying your purchases right there!
Gran Via is a big avenue that crosses the centre of Madrid, from Plaza de España to calle de Alcalá, the street that will lead you to the famous Puerta de Alcalá (Alcalá door). Since it is a big and wide avenue, there are plenty of buses that go along it – although we do recommend to walk along it by foot so you can enjoy its beauty (it’s full of elegant and beautiful buildings!) and the many shops and cafés located there.
Gran Via is a great location to travel to other parts of the city, though, either by foot (it’s close to tourist attractions such as Plaza de España, Puerta del Sol or Plaza de Cibeles) or by metro, since there are different lines that you can get: Lines 3 and 10 at the beginning of it, in station Plaza de España, line 2 in station Santo Domingo, lines 3 and 5 in station Callao, and lines 1 and 5 in station Gran Via. So, as you can see, you can go almost anywhere by metro from the apartments near Gran Via!
There are tons of things to do near Gran Via. It is one of the main entertainment areas in the city, so going shopping or going to see a musical is a must! Make sure to check the agenda of the theatres so you can choose the option that best fits your family’s tastes.
But what can you do during the day if you don’t want to go shopping? Don’t worry, because Gran Via is in a privileged location to do a tour around the centre of Madrid. You will be able to see beautiful places like Plaza de España, Plaza del Callao, Puerta del Sol, Plaza de Cibeles or the Puerta de Alcalá – in fact, it’s in some of those beautiful plazas where you will find the meeting point for a free tour where you will be able to learn lots about the rich history of Madrid. You will find meeting points in Puerta del Sol and Plaza Mayor.
One of the things you may be looking forward to in your trip to Madrid is the food. Spain is famous for its delicious cuisine and for its tapas (although there is much more to their gastronomy than tapas), and there is a great option in Gran Via, the Mercado de la Reina, where you will be able to try modern and original tapas and dishes. Other great options in the area are the Eneri Taberna, El Asador de Aranda or La Gloria de Montera. If you have a sweet tooth, you can try chocolate con churros in the Chocolateria Valor Madrid.
Near Gran Via you will also find some fast food options such as Foster’s Hollywood, Wok to Walk, Burger King or Cervecería 100 Montaditos, a Spanish chain of fast food that has a wide offer of mini-sandwiches with several menu combinations.
There are two big party areas near Gran Via where you will be able to enjoy the best atmosphere during the night. In Madrid, the locals like to party until late in friendly bars and pubs, and you will be able to mingle with them and enjoy the kind of nightlife they experience if you go there. One of them is Chueca, the famous gay neighbourhood of the city, where you will find plenty of gay-friendly bars and pubs. The other one is Malasaña, the part of the city where the cultural movement of la movida madrileña was popular during the 80s, and where many nostalgic go party during the night. You can walk there from Gran Via by walking up calle Fuencarral until metro stop Tribunal, which can be considered the starting point. Around there, you will find many alternative clubs and music bars such as Madrid Me Mata, Ochoymedio, Penta or La Vía Lactea. There are also some nice pubs with live or rock music or both, such as the Free Way or the Triskel Tavern.
If you prefer to stay in Gran Via, you can go dancing to Discoteca Velvet, a club decorated with psychedelic colourful lights, or you can go see a musical: Gran Via is also famous for the many theatres located there!