Madrid's heart beats stronger and faster on Gran Vía Shops, cafés, theatres and cinemas that never sleep.
The ultimate landmark
Singer Antonio Flores sang about this street: "llevas aquí casi toda la vida, Gran Vía, la gente te quiere todavía." (You've been here for almost a lifetime, Gran Vía, but still people love you.) And that's how it is. This street, which runs from Alcalá to Plaza de España, is Madrid's most emblematic street. It was built at the end of the nineteenth century in response to the widespread development taking place in the capital and it managed to relieve the busy city centre. It is now the city's main artery (followed by the Paseo de la Castellana). Along the street, particularly from the point where it meets calle Fuencarral and leaks onto Plaza de España, you will find one of the main shopping areas. On both sides, you'll see the main clothes chains. Don't forget to visit the perpendicular streets (for example, there are many shops along calle Montera). Setting off halfway down at plaza de Callao, here you can check out calle Preciados to Puerta del Sol, another of Madrid's more characterful shopping streets, or you can continue going down the recently dubbed Broadway of Madrid, the last stretch of Gran Vía.
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