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Literally translating as ‘the great way’, Calle de Gran Via is one of Madrid’s most regal streets. This energetic, busy avenue is covered with freshly painted towering façades, giant superstores and theaters. Enjoy the grandeur of some of Madrid’s most famous buildings like the Telefónica Building and the Metropolis Building or veer off to one of the beautiful squares, like Plaza de España or Plaza de Callao.
Art, architecture and nature enthusiasts will love the Paseo del Prado, one of the most beautiful tree-lined boulevards in Madrid. Many famous spots can be found along here, such as the Museo del Prado, Museo Thyssen Bornemisza the Jardines Botánicos, the Banco de España and a few of Madrid’s most famous hotels, including the Ritz-Carlton Madrid and Westin Palace Madrid. Huge monumental fountains grace the Plaza Neptuno and the Plaza Cibeles, both along the Paseo del Prado. When walking, make sure to stay in the green area in the middle, where you’ll spot plenty of monuments, statues, fountains and people walking their dogs or enjoying an afternoon stroll. The entire street is closed to cars on Sundays from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm to encourage pedestrians and cyclists to enjoy the street without traffic.
Ritz-Carlton, Madrid, Plaza de la Lealtad, 5, 28014 Madrid, Spain ,+34 917 01 67 67
Westin Palace Madrid, Plaza de las Cortes, 7, 28014 Madrid, Spain, +34 913 60 80 00
Often called La Milla de Oro (the mile of gold), Calle de Serrano is one of the most exclusive streets in Madrid, thanks to the high-end boutiques and shops that line it. Here you’ll find the typical fancy stores like Prada and Gucci as well as many expensive Spanish shops too. It’s also home to the newly renovated Museo Arqueológico Nacional, featuring many permanent exhibits related to Prehistory, Medieval Times, ancient Greece and more.
If you’re hoping for a quaint, authentic Spanish street, this is it. The small, curved pathway (part cobblestone too) of Cava Baja is lined with some of Madrid’s most typical Spanish restaurants and bars. The street was once a jumping off point for postmen to take the mail from Madrid to the smaller villages outside the city back in the 17th century. Today, it does retain a certain old-city charm, you won’t see postmen on horseback heading out into the villages with the mail, instead you’ll find plenty of tapas bars, some with caves down below where you can eat and drink.
Lined with some of Madrid’s most beautiful monuments, Calle Mayor is home to Plaza Mayor, starting at the Puerta del Sol and ending up next to Madrid’s Catedral de la Almudena. You’ll also stroll by several plazas, such as the lovely Plaza de la Villa, a few churches, souvenir shops and even the Italian Institute of Madrid. Plus, you’re right near the famous Mercado de San Miguel, where you can stop by for some tapas and a glass of wine mid-walk.