La Gran Via with the illuminated lights that seem to whiz by in the night it is one of the symbolic images of Madrid. Main urban artery of the city, it is a busy street that sees a continuous bustle of cars on the roadway and of people on its wide sidewalks.
A walk along the Gran Via it will put you in direct contact with the metropolitan soul of Madrid, but unsuspected and fascinating traces of history are hidden among the crowd of passers-by and the lights of the shops.
The very way in which the street was built in the early twentieth century is an interesting story: as many as 300 houses were demolished and 50 streets modified to make room for an avenue that, with its monumental project, betrayed the ambitions of the Spanish ruling class to modernize the city. aspect of the city to keep up with other European capitals.
It can certainly be said that they succeeded in their intent: what was the ancient center of the city became a modern artery, which was soon joined by other signs of modernity: skyscrapers, the headquarters of a radio, the first department stores.
The Gran Via is the perfect place for a couple of hours without worries, surrounded by historic buildings, shops, theaters and cinemas.
The stretches of the Gran Via
The Gran Via is one of the main streets in the center of Madrid. 1.3 km long in total, it is divided into three sections:
- da Alcalá Street up to San Luis Network
- from Red de San Luis to Callao Square
- from Plaza de Callao to Plaza of Spain
You can reach it quickly by metro, lines L1, L3 and L5.
What to visit on the Gran Via
Gran Via is essentially a shopping street so don't expect to find museums or monuments to visit - there are plenty of them nearby. The Gran Via is an open-air attraction!