Discover Madrid's Sol and Gran Via

Get acquainted with central Madrid's two most famous areas

When you visit Madrid, Sol and Gran Via are totally impossible to avoid—not that you'd want to. Two of Madrid's biggest tourist magnets, their central location means that their attractions are as convenient as they are essential to a well-rounded holiday in the city. Don't be discouraged by the throngs of tourists, braving the crowds to check out Sol and Gran Via is well worth the hassle.

If this is your first time in Madrid, make sure to check out 100 Things to Do in Madrid or book a tour on the Madrid Sightseeing Bus. If you're planning on visiting more than one city on your vacation, our post What's the No.1 Must-See Sight in Each of Spain's Biggest Cities? will help you with planning your sight-seeing adventures!

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Gran Via

 JJFarquitectos / Twenty20

Madrid's premier street has some of the most grandiose buildings in the city. Indeed, the Gran Via is a must-see for architecture buffs and people who are interesting in the city's deep history. Also, Madrid's best clothing shops can also be found on the boulevard, so it's a great place to score some new threads. Read more about Gran Via here, and you can find a whole array of local activities and tours here.

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Shopping on Carmen and Preciados

 Tiia Monto / Twenty20

Gran Via has more than its share of all different kinds of shops, but if you'd like to vary your shopping experience a little, make your way towards the twin shopping streets Carmen and Preciados. You're sure to find that perfect vintage top you're looking for!

03 of 10

Puerta del Sol

 Tomás Fano (CC BY-SA 2.0) / Flickr

Address
Puerta del Sol, Madrid, Spain

The point in Spain from which all distances are measured, Sol (as it is normally called) is truly the country's proverbial heart. For a quick primer on one of Madrid's most famous landmarks, check out this article. You can easily book a walking tour of the city centre to take an even more in-depth look at Sol when you're there in person!

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Cocido Madrileño

 Salvatore G2 (CC BY-ND 2.0) / Flickr

Address
Calle del Postigo de San Martín, 5, 28013 Madrid, Spain

Cocido Madrileño is Madrid's most famous local dish, a stew that is so big it is served in two portions (soup first, followed by the meat and vegetables). It's served daily at eateries like Restaurante Doña Juana. However, if you'd like to try your own at home, here's a tasty recipe until you make it to Gran Via to experience the real thing!

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05 of 10

Convento de las Descalzas

 Luis García / Wikimedia Commons

Address
Plaza de las Descalzas, s/n, 28013 Madrid, Spain
Phone
+34 914 54 88 00

Covento de las Descalzas is a famous convent with a renowned art collection. You can find tips on visiting the convent and guided tours at TripAdvisor

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Casa Labra

 Tamorlan / Wikimedia Commons

Address
Calle de Tetuán, 12, 28013 Madrid, Spain
Phone
+34 915 31 00 81

Don't be discouraged by Casa Labra's super central location on Gran Via—this legendary spot is popular with tourists for a reason. The 100-year-old tapas bar specialises in cod fish, and you're sure to find a delicious plate with traditional Spanish flair. Read more about Casa Labra here.

If you're interested in exploring Madrid's incredible tapas culture, you can take a walking craft beer and tapas tour of the city to really get your fill. ¡Buen provecho!

07 of 10

Templo de Debod

 wanderingaround / Twenty20

Address
Calle de Ferraz, 1, 28008 Madrid, Spain
Phone
+34 913 66 74 15

Templo de Debod is an authentic Egyptian temple that has been dismantled and reconstructed in Madrid! The sunsets there are particularly breathtaking. There are many guided tours of the city that swing past Templo de Debod, feel free to book one here

08 of 10

Madrid Post Office

 Marc Ryckaert / Wikimedia Commons

Address
Puerta del Sol, 7, 28013 Madrid, Spain
Phone
+34 915 29 82 10

Possibly the most ornate post office in the world, Madrid's Plaza de Cibeles is possibly the city's most recognizable landmark. It's beautiful when lit up and night—and yes, you can even buy a stamp there.  Read more about Madrid's Historic Post Office here.

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09 of 10

Plaza España

 heatherdeffense / Twenty20

Address
Plaza de España, 28008 Madrid, Spain

The always-busy Plaza España is surrounded by buildings that were once the tallest in Madrid. Currently, it's home to two of the city's skyscrapers: Torre de Madrid and Edifico España. You can find more about visiting the area via Viator.

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Museo de las Telecomunicaciones

Address
28031 Madrid, Spain
Phone
+34 913 36 77 79

If you're a bit of a techie, Madrid's Museo de las Telecomunicaciones houses the history of telecommunications right in the Telefonica building.

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What to Do Around Sol & Gran Via in Central Madrid