Are you visiting Madrid this summer? Are you wondering which places to visit in this city? If so, we have a great guide for you. We want to focus on Gran Via Street in Madrid, as it is one of the most prominent locations in the city. Always busy during the day, and frequently during the night, Gran Via Street is a recognizable symbol of the city of Madrid, being often identified as a shopping area and as a place for going out. Yet, the street is an important symbol of culture as well, as the architecture creates the most amazing outline with impressive facades, products of the best architects which designed them during the 20th century.
The construction of the street began in the early 20th century and the goal was to build an urban zone of the city. From the year 1910, new buildings were being constructed over the years, which are now one of the most popular landmarks of Madrid. The street starts from Calle de Alcalá, near Plaza de Cibeles and it goes to Plaza España.
The street that never sleeps
Gran Via Street in Madrid is known as the street that never sleeps, so you will have something to do there any time of day and night you choose to visit it. You do not have to be worried about stores and cafes closing too early on a weekday, as most of them are opened until 10 pm and some cafes are open even past midnight. The activities at Gran Via Street never stops, and there is always some sort of entertainment you can find in this area, even if you are out in the middle of the night. Late evening performance in the theatre, or a drink in the early morning hours, is something pretty common for the visitors of Gran Via Street.
The street is perfect for walking and enjoying sightseeing, as you explore different sides of Madrid. You might enjoy architecture, you might want to have lunch or to go out, but in any case, you can do that whenever you want, as the street is known to be busy during the entire day and late into the night.
Eat and have a drink
Regardless of the time of the day you visit Gran Via Street, you can find a place to eat or have a drink. Here are some restaurants and cafes you could visit:
VIPS – This is a nice friendly restaurant. It is a franchise, with restaurants in several cities around Spain, and two of the restaurants are located along Gran Via Street. The restaurants offer breakfast and brunch menu, salads, main course, sandwiches, as well as desserts. Coffees and other drinks are also available. Each restaurant offers free Wi-Fi, as well as takeaway. The restaurants are located in Gran Vía, 43 and Gran Vía, 65.
Le Pain Quotidien (http://www.lepainquotidien.es/) – Internationally famous bakery has its shop in Gran Via Street, which is opened from 8 am until 10 pm, except on Fridays and Saturdays when the bakery is opened until midnight. The bakery brags with its traditional bread recipe, with organic and fresh ingredients, which makes the final products so tasteful and internationally popular.
Nebrasksa (http://gruponebraska.com/) – Here is a very popular restaurant, offering an extensive menu with lots of meals to choose from, including the traditional Spanish dishes. Located in Gran Via 55, the restaurant is opened from 8 am until 12:30 am, except on Fridays and Saturdays, when the restaurant is opened until 2 am.
Since the development of the street began in the early 20th century, most of the notable buildings along the street were built during the first half of the 20th century. Inspired by different styles, such as Plateresque and Neo-Mudéjar, and most commonly by Art Deco, the architects of that period have created buildings that were master pieces of that time, but still manage to grasp the attention of the visitors with the uniqueness and outstanding taste that is reflected into the astonishing facades of the buildings.
The Metropolis Building – One of the most famous representations of the street’s architecture, this building is an outstanding structure designed under the influence of classicism and Neo-Mudéjar.
Antiguo Circulo de la Union Mercantil e Industrial – This eight-floor building has a central tower designed as a part of the building.
The Telefónica building – When it was first constructed, this building became the first skyscraper in Madrid. It is 81-meters tall and it was designed by an American architect under the style of modern design style with elements of Baroque style.
The Carrión Building – Here is another building that has been constructed under the influence of American architecture and contemporary design. The goal was to create an amphitheatre that would be a cultural center with operas and concerts organized in the halls on the lower floors, and apartments and offices being housed on the top floors.
The information about 100-years-long history of Gran Via Street and its architecture:
When you ask someone about where to shop in Madrid, Gran Via Street is most likely to be the reply. Over the years, the street has become a synonym for shopping, which is why lots of shops are located in this street. In fact, some of the old theatres that used to be popular are now being renovated and turned into small shopping malls, that house several stores on the lower floors of the buildings.
Sfera – Popular Spanish clothing brand, which is mainly aimed at young adults, including both male and female. The kids’ collection is the newest addition for this brand.
Stradivarious – Next to Sfera, there is another Spanish brand, with similar style and collections that offer a wide range of clothing, shoes and accessories.
H&M – Internationally famous retailer provides trendy clothes, with variety of styles, such as casual, urban, business, etc.
Punt Roma – This store features women’s clothing only.
Oysho – Although primarily famous as lingerie store, the collection also includes sleepwear, beachwear, gym wear, accessories and footwear.
Zara – Here is another Spanish brand offering well-designed clothing for both male and female.
The Body Shop – This store is specialized in bath and body products, available in large variety of scents. Makeup products and fragrances are also included in the range of products offered by the Body Shop.
Bodybell – A perfume store.
Vicente Inés Martín – A comic book store.
Camper – A shoe store which also includes accessories.
Salvador Bachiller – A handbag store.
Casa del Libro – A book store.
Besides lots of daily activities and things to do in Gran Via Street, this Madrid’s avenue is also famous location for the city’s nightlife. Whether you like cocktails, beer or dancing, Madrid is known for having some of the best clubs and it is simply incredible for nightlife. In fact, the nightlife in Madrid never stops, especially in the area around Gran Via Street, which is why the street is often called “the one that never sleeps”. From Monday to Sunday, choose any day you want and you will have an opportunity to party and have fun until the early hours in the morning. It will be no trouble to find clubs and bars in this part of the city, as Gran Via and surrounding streets make the hearth of the Madrid’s nightlife.
Although this might come as a surprise for some tourists, but Spanish people in general are more likely to go out later than it is common in some other European cities. Dinner is known to start somewhat late, starting from 8 or 9 pm, and most people are not even considering going out before 11 pm.