Gran Via and Sol Walking Tour, Madrid

Madrid is a vibrant metropolis full of taste, vigor, and wealth. This walk takes to two of the city's most prominent areas - Gran Vía and Sol – with the latter being Madrid's epicenter and a meeting place for locals and tourists alike. Gran Via ("Great Way") is a high-end thoroughfare in the heart of the capital, nicknamed Spanish Broadway for its numerous world-class shops and nightlife entertainment. To discover Madrid that never sleeps, take this walk and enjoy yourself.
You can follow this self-guided walking tour to explore the attractions listed below. How it works: download the app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" on iTunes App Store or Google Play to your mobile phone or tablet. The app turns your mobile device into a personal tour guide and its built-in GPS navigation functions guide you from one tour stop to next. The app works offline so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Gran Via and Sol Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: Gran Via and Sol Walking Tour
Guide Location: Spain » Madrid (See other walking tours in Madrid)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 17
Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.3 km
Author: emma
Carrión Edifice

1) Carrión Edifice

The Edificio Carrión, located in Plaza Callao, is the building that hosts the Capitol Cinema. It is a famous landmark of Gran Via and was built between 1931 and 1933 using marble and granite. The building has an art-deco style with several decorations and incorporated technological advances, which was totally new at the...   view more
Sight description based on wikipedia
Plaza de Callao

2) Plaza de Callao (must see)

Although it is neither very large nor very important, you won’t miss the Plaza Callao, which is crossed by the Gran Via, especially if you would like to see a film in Spanish, as there are six cinemas in the square. It also boasts buildings that were once the tallest in Spain.

The Palacio de la Pensa was built in 1929 and with its 14 storeys it was the tallest building in Madrid until the Telefonica Building surpassed it. The building houses a café, a concert hall and a cinema, as well as...   view more
Sight description based on wikipedia
Edificio Telefónica

3) Edificio Telefónica

While you are in Madrid, don’t miss a trip to the Edificio Telefonica on the Gran Via, which was once the tallest building in Europe.

The building was designed by Ignacio de Cardenas who based his plans on those of the American architect Lewis Weeks. The 90 meter high, 14 storey American-style skyscraper has nevertheless a Spanish Baroque facade of elaborately sculptured ornaments.

Since its construction in 1929 it has been a symbol of Madrid and was used during the civil war by the...   view more
Sight description based on wikipedia
Gran Via

4) Gran Via (must see)

There is nothing like an afternoon’s shopping and for that, there is nothing like the Gran Via, the most popular and up-market street in Madrid. It also has a variety of interesting buildings.

The Via runs from Calle de Alcala to the Plaza de Espana and is lined with theaters, hotels and, of course, shops. You will find everything you could wish for here, from leather handbags and shoes to souvenirs with prices to match.

The Via also crosses squares, such as the Plaza Callao which has a...   view more
Sight description based on wikipedia
Del Diego

5) Del Diego

Always crowded late at night, this site is known for serving the best cocktails in Madrid. Owner Fernando del Diego, a former barman at Taberna Chicote, and his two sons make the delicious original drinks that locals know they can find only here. It is a small bar, with a light and breezy atmosphere. It is the perfect place to relax and enjoy drinks with...   view more
Museo Chicote

6) Museo Chicote

When you are looking at your list of museums to visit in Madrid, don’t be misled by the Museo Chicote on the Gran Via – it is not a museum, it is the most famous cocktail bar in Madrid. During the Spanish Civil War the bar was a favorite meeting place for the Foreign Press and Hemingway was one of its most regular patrons. It has kept its nineteen thirties Retro style, but has added modern lighting, modern acoustics, a dance floor and some of the top Spanish DJ’s to entertain you into the...   view more
Grassy Edifice

7) Grassy Edifice

Just next to the Metropolis Building is the Grassy Edifice (Edificio Grassy), a massive structure named after the jewelery shop it used to host on the first floor. It was built in a modernists art déco style with an original column-like cupola at the top. It is one of the most striking buildings of Gran via and it also contains a museum that exhibits rare watches that have belonged to royalties all over Europe. The Edificio Grassy was built between 1916 and 1917. It was constructed on a...   view more
Sight description based on wikipedia
Edificio Gran Peña

8) Edificio Gran Peña

This was one of the first structures to be built on Gran Via and stands just at the start of the street, in front of the Metropolis Building. It was built on a corner plot, highlighting the facade on the outside, in a classical baroque...   view more
Sight description based on wikipedia
Edificio Metrópolis

9) Edificio Metrópolis (must see)

On the corner of Calle de Alcala and the Gran Via, you will find another of Madrid’s famous landmarks: the Metropolis, one of the most photographed buildings in the city.

This graceful building was built in 1911 by the French architects Jules and Raymond Février after they won an architectural competition launched by the Union y el Fenix insurance company who owned the land.

The brothers gave the facade its lovely Beaux Arts style: the first floor balconies are separated by four pairs...   view more
Sight description based on wikipedia
Círculo de Bellas Artes

10) Círculo de Bellas Artes

Not far from the Plaza de las Cibeles you will find the Circulo de Bellas Artes, a private, non-profit making cultural institution which first opened its doors in 1881. In 1921 it was declared the Center for the Protection of Fine Arts and in 1981 it was listed as a National Historical Building.

The institution offers one of the most active cultural programmes in Madrid and is certainly worth an afternoon’s visit. You will find here something for everyone’s taste in the arts; in the...   view more
Sight description based on wikipedia
Museo de la Real Academia de Bellas Artes (Fine Arts Museum)

11) Museo de la Real Academia de Bellas Artes (Fine Arts Museum) (must see)

The Museo de la Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando (Fine Arts Museum) was founded in 1752 and while it might not be as grand as other museums in Madrid, it is one of the most important and is certainly a must for lovers of Spanish art.

Housed in the 18th century Goyeneche Palace not far from Puerto del Sol, the museum proudly displays over 1500 paintings and 600 sculptures dating from the 15th century to the present day. It is also the headquarters of the Academy of Art and Picasso...   view more
Sight description based on wikipedia
Puerta del Sol

12) Puerta del Sol (must see)

Puerta del Sol ("The Gate of the Sun") square is one of the best known and busiest places in Madrid. This is the centre (Km 0) of the radial network of Spanish roads, located in the very heart of the city, not far from Plaza Mayor. The square is dominated by the monument to King Carlos III and the famous bronze sculpture of "the bear and the strawberry tree". Another key attraction here is the clock whose bells mark the traditional eating of the Twelve Grapes at a new year...   view more
Sight description based on wikipedia
Calle Mayor

13) Calle Mayor

Calle Mayor street runs from La Cuesta de la Vega to Puerto del Sol. Back in the Middle Ages this was the main street of Madrid housing shops of silversmiths, coopers and fletchers who used to sell their wares to the rich merchants passing by to the city center. Today, Calle Mayor is renowned for its boutiques, cafes and restaurants, much as for excellent street musicians and a number of peculiar buildings associated with historic personalities and events. At N° 48 you will find the Cervantes...   view more
Sight description based on wikipedia
Arco de Cuchilleros

14) Arco de Cuchilleros

The largest and liveliest plaza in Madrid is the Plaza Mayor and you can gain access to it through nine archways, the most famous of which is the Arco de los Cuchilleros.

The archway is more a street than a simple arch between one place and another. Reached by a flight of stone steps, the Cutler’s Arch was once where the city’s cutlers and sword makers plied their trade.

Nowadays it has taverns and handicraft shops where you can buy handmade souvenirs, including pottery, leather goods,...   view more
Sight description based on wikipedia
Plaza Mayor

15) Plaza Mayor (must see)

Plaza Mayor, originally known as "Plaza del Arrabal", was built during the Habsburg rule period and is a central square of Madrid, located only a few blocks away from Puerta del Sol. Rectangular in shape, the square measures 129 by 94 meters and is surrounded by three-story residential buildings with a total of 237 balconies facing the Plaza, nine entryways and a ring of old and traditional shops and cafes under their porticoes. Casa de la Panadería, a municipal building, dominates...   view more
Sight description based on wikipedia
Restaurante Sobrino de Botín

16) Restaurante Sobrino de Botín (must see)

The Botín restaurant, a famous eatery in Madrid, claims to be the "oldest restaurant in the world." It was founded by Frenchman Jean Botin and his spouse and was originally called Casa Botín. The restaurant was inherited by their nephew Candido Remis, thus explaining the change of name to Sobrino de Botín, which survives to this day. The famous painter Francisco Goya is said to have worked here as a dishwasher in his younger years and the place was also a firm favorite of Ernest...   view more
Sight description based on wikipedia
Plaza de Cascorro

17) Plaza de Cascorro

This square is located close to the La Latina station. Plaza de Cascorro is famous for hosting every Sunday El Rastro, that is the most popular open air flea market in Madrid, where locals love to go shopping for leather, furniture, antiques, souvenirs or second-hand items. The square is surrounded by residential buildings and contains the bronze statue of Eloy Gonzalo, a famous Spanish soldier. The statue is commonly known as the Cascorro Statue, hence the name of the...   view more
Sight description based on wikipedia

Walking Tours in Madrid, Spain

Create Your Own Walk in Madrid

Create Your Own Walk in Madrid

Creating your own self-guided walk in Madrid is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Buen Retiro Park Walking Tour

Buen Retiro Park Walking Tour

El Parque del Buen Retiro is one of the main attractions of the city of Madrid. Known to the locals simply as "El Retiro," the park is a favorite place to spend weekends and summer days and was considered a Royal Park up until two centuries ago. Highlights of the park include several fountains, palaces, monuments and arranged gardens. Discover this historical site step by step in the next self-guided tour.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.0 km
Cortes Entertainment Walk

Cortes Entertainment Walk

Madrid is the economical, political and cultural center of Spain. Founded in the 9th century, this city is one of the most relevant destinations that Spain has to offer to its visitors concerning culture and history. Madrid is a hot destination filled with interesting spots including museums, historical sites, Flamenco bars and much more. Discover Cortes barrio step by step, as proposed in the list below.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.3 km
Museums Walking Tour

Museums Walking Tour

Madrid is not only a big cultural center in Spain, but in the entire Europe as well. Having a great and interesting history behind, Madrid developed a vast culture over time. The city became world-famed for its museums and galleries. The following tour will guide you through the most famous museums in Madrid.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.4 km
Sol Souvenir Shopping

Sol Souvenir Shopping

It would be a pity to leave Madrid without having explored its specialty shops and bringing home something truly original. We've compiled a list of gifts and souvenirs, which are unique to Madrid, that a visitor might like to purchase to reflect their visit.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.3 km
Retiro Walking Tour

Retiro Walking Tour

Located in the southeastern part of central Madrid, Retiro district is a major area renowned primarily for the presence of the El Retiro Park, nicknamed “the lungs of Madrid”, as well as for its closeness to the Puerta de Alcalá and the world-famous Prado Museum. Together with Paseo del Prado, Retiro Park has added character to the area of Los Jerónimos, while the rest of the District is shaped by the Atocha Railway Station. No trip to Madrid is complete without a walk through the Retiro district.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 km
City Center Walking Tour

City Center Walking Tour

The oldest part of Madrid, Centro district is one of the most happening areas of the Spanish capital. A place of regular celebrations and festivals, it is also home to some of Madrid's major attractions, such as Plaza Mayor, Plaza de Espana, Plaza de la Villa, Puerta del Sol, as well as many cultural venues – theaters, museums and galleries. On this walk you will visit a good number of them.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.5 km

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