Lined with high-end shops, restaurants, and bars of all types, Gran Via cuts through the heart of Madrid. The bustling street comes alive at night when locals eat, drink, and mingle into the wee hours. Gran Via is also known for its 20th-century architecture, including the Edificio Metropolis, which stands at the head of the thoroughfare and boasts a magnificent rooftop statue of Winged Victory.
Meaning "Great Road,” Gran Via is a main thoroughfare in Madrid, built to connect Calle de Alcalá to Plaza de España. There are several hotels in the area, as it is well located amongst the cafes, clubs, and popular attractions such as the Prado Museum and Retiro Park. Just about every Madrid city tour will stop along the street, with visits to other popular points of interest such as the Royal Palace of Madrid, Plaza Mayor, Puerta del Sol, and the bullring of Las Ventas. Both group and private tours are available.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The street is a must-see for architecture lovers, shoppers, night owls, and first-time visitors.
- Gran Via is included in most sightseeing tours of Madrid.
- There’s a lot to do on Gran Via, so don’t forget your comfortable walking shoes.
How to Get There
Gran Via is easily accessible by public transportation; metro lines 1, 2, 3, and 5 stop along the street at Santo Domingo, Callao, and Gran Via stations.
When to Get There
Strolling Gran Via is a very different experience by day and night. While daytime hours are popular for shopping at the high-end boutiques along the street, it’s after the sun goes down that the thoroughfare really comes alive.
Things to Do on Gran Via
While primarily known as a shopping and bar-hopping street, there’s plenty more to do on Gran Via. Sample cocido madrileño (chickpea-based stew), Madrid’s most famous culinary specialty, at one of the area restaurants, catch a film in an art deco movie house, tour the art collection at Convento de las Descalzas, or spend some time people-watching in the always bustling Plaza España.