Gran Via literally translates to “Great Way”, and it is one of the most exciting places to visit in Madrid. It is a culturally and geographically significant shopping street in the heart of the city of Madrid, sometimes also known as the “Spanish Broadway”.
Gran Via: The Street that Never Sleeps
The Gran Via is rightly called the “Street that Never Sleeps,” as it is always bustling with visitors from near and far. People can enjoy all that the street has to offer throughout the day and the night. One of the busiest nightlife locations of Madrid, the “Spanish Broadway” houses a number of popular cinemas, restaurants, shops, and most importantly, theater and musical shows.
History of the Spanish Broadway
This great street was first built in the middle of the 19th century in order to connect the Calle de Alcalá and the Plaza de España – two of the most prominent architectural wonders of that time. The street underwent many name changes throughout history, but it wasn’t until 1981 that the name Gran Via was established. At that time, a number of impressive buildings had been constructed throughout the street, most of which are still standing today.
A Visitor’s Paradise
Anyone visiting the city of Madrid should never miss the opportunity to spend some time on this vibrant street. It is definitely one of the hottest places to be in the whole city, whether it is day or night. A heaven for foodies and shoppers alike, the Spanish Broadway houses some of the most impressive brands in the world.
Popular brands such as Chanel, Carolina Herrera, and Dior have opened their showrooms on this street for you to browse. Even if you have a modest budget in mind, there’s no need to worry! Some of the more affordable brands like Zara, H&M, Cortefiel, Mango, Bershka, and Pull and Bear are also available here, making it the perfect place to shop regardless of budget. Many of these shops are situated inside the old buildings that were built in the late 19th century, which have been modernized to fit today’s needs. Besides these world-famous brands, Casa del Libro, which is a Spanish bookstore chain and Telefonica Foundation Space, a shop renowned for gadgets, have their branches here to help you complete your shopping trip.
As a football fan, you will love the Spanish Broadway as well. Both Atletico de Madrid and Real Madrid have their club shops on this street!
If you are thirsty or famished from your shopping spree, you won’t have to go far to nourish yourself. The Gran Via is also full of trendy restaurants, cafés, coffee shops, and bars that will cater to your every need. A number of popular Spanish restaurants have their branches here, where you can try some of the conventional dishes of Madrid if you are in the mood for some more traditional eats. If it is drinks you need, the numerous bars around the Spanish Broadway offer you the chance to have a great time. Why spend the whole night in one bar when you have so many choices all around you!
Another favorite activity for visitors at the Gran Via is to catch a performance. There are always many events going at in the numerous venues on this street. Whether you are in the mood for a musical, stand-up comedy, the Cirque du Soleil, flamenco dancing, or a drama, there will always be some show to catch during your time at the Spanish Broadway.
The Plaza de Callao is a small square in the middle of the Gran Via, which has six individual movie theaters that are always showing a number of local and foreign movies. If you are more of a fan of movies than live performances, this street definitely has something for you as well.
The Gran Via is where the whole of Madrid come to enjoy themselves – both locals who have been here countless times and visitors who want to get a real feel for the city. The Spanish Broadway in the heart of Madrid is undoubtedly one of the most vibrant places in the whole of Spain to spend some exciting time in!
Would you like to study near Gran Via?
TANDEM Madrid is just 5 minutes walking from Gran Via and the most important attractions in the city.