Before listing What to see in Gran Vía and Sol let us make a little introduction. The Gran Vía was created in 1910 by crossing the Old Town so that traffic could easily reach Cibeles from Arguëlles. With the intention of being a large and modern boulevard, it became even bigger when World War I changed to neutral Madrid in an international money exchange center. With the economy boom, developers and architects set out to embrace modernity as strongly as they could to show that if they wanted something impressive, they could provide it. In the following decades, each generation has added its own label, and the result is eclectic.
In the heart of this area is the Puerta del Sol, spiritually and geographically in the center of Madrid, and a place where locals gather to celebrate victories and mourn losses.
Currently, this area is located within Madrid Central, as established in the A Plan for air quality and climate change in Madrid, which is essentially a local tool aimed at reducing air pollution, contributing to the prevention of climate change. The main objective is to guarantee the quality of the air that Madrid breathes and strengthen the city against future climatic impacts. Hence the sidewalks have widened, created bike lanes and restricted access to combustion vehicles.
As curiosities of the area in the Puerta del Sol is where the New Year’s bells are broadcast throughout Spain, the square with the greatest step in Spain, the place where you find the statue of the Bear and the Tree and of course where you will find the famous sign of Tio Pepe.
If you are lucky you will meet the Heavys of Gran Vía, two brothers Emilio and José Alcaraz who go every day to the number 25 of the aforementioned Madrid artery where the Madrid Rock record store used to be, believe us, you will recognize them for their leather jackets full of badges and its long mane.
Also the Gran Vía is becoming a place of height view with the arrival of bars and restaurants on rooftops of hotels and shopping centers such as: El Corte Inglés of Callao, the Hyatt Centric and the Dear Hotel, among others, each with some different views that you cannot miss.