Shopping: Gran Vía

  • Compras: Gran Vía
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  • Compras: Gran Vía
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  • Compras: Gran Vía
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  • Primark
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Gran Vía is the busiest, most popular street in Madrid. It’s 1300m long and more than 100 years old, and it’s lined with some of the most sought-after retail shops in town – a true open-air shopping mall, drawing over 10 million people every year.

Gran Vía branches out of Calle Alcalá to the east and runs all the way to Plaza de España, featuring three main sections as follows.

From Calle Alcalá to Red de San Luis

This is perhaps the most interesting section in the architectural sense. It also features a series of traditional shops, resisting the onslaught of retail chains and international brands: Loewe (Gran Vía, 8; bags and leather goods), Grassy (Gran Vía, 1; high-end watches and jewellery) and Sanz (Gran Vía, 7; jewellery), whose emeralds were worn by Queen Victoria Eugenia.

These elegant boutiques will take you back in time to the days when Gran Vía was synonymous with refinement. The street, however, strives to keep up with the times and so makes room for popular brands like New Balance (Gran Vía, 15; sportswear) or Adidas (Gran Vía, 21; sportswear), just at Calle Montera, marking the end of the first section.

From Red de San Luis to Callao

Red de San Luis is the unofficial name given to the network of streets in the final stretch of Calle Montera, also spanning Calle Fuencarral and Calle Hortaleza as they cross Gran Vía. It marks the beginning of Gran Vía’s busiest section, where you’ll find big stores housed in movie theatres and old-style shopping arcades as elegant as their counterparts in Paris.

The Telefónica building (Gran Vïa, 28) – the old headquarters of the telecommunications giant – now houses a tech shop and a cultural centre. The most popular fashion retailers have their shops here too: Bershka, Stradivarius, Cortefiel, H&M (Gran Vía, 37; a historic building that used to house a movie theatre, Cine Avenida, and a legendary party hall, Pasapoga, where everyone from Nazi spies to film stars like Ava Gardner or Gary Cooper spent an evening or two), ZARA (Gran Vía, 34), Real Madrid Official Store (Gran Vía, 31), PRIMARK (Gran Vía, 32; with an amazing interior design)…

No. 29 houses a huge branch of Casa del Libro, the chain of bookshops founded almost a century ago where you can find any book you’re looking for, from best-sellers to academic textbooks. Just next to it, at No. 27, you’ll find Julián López, an amazing traditional textile shop.

From Callao to Plaza de España

The Capitol building and its Schweppes neon sign mark the beginning of the third section of Gran Vía. It offers lots of gift shops where visitors can find the right souvenirs to take back home, along with more fashion retailers: United Colors of Benetton (Gran Vía, 41), Lacoste (Gran Vía, 51), Carmina Shoemaker (Gran Vía, 58), Atlético de Madrid Official Store (Gran Vía, 47). When you reach Plaza de España, your shopping spree along Gran Vía will be over. If you’ve forgotten to buy something, you’d better retrace your steps!

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