Time Out says
The city's main tourist and shopping artery is 1.3 kilometres long, and starts in Calle Alcalá and ends at Plaza de España. Along its more than 100 years of history, it's had different names depending on the government at the time, including Avenida de la Unión Soviética during the Second Spanish Republic and Avenida de José Antonio, in honour of Primo de Rivera, founder of the Falange Española.
During the Spanish Civil War it was popularly known as Avenida de los Obuses ('Avenue of the Shells'), because of the shells that ended up on the pavements and inside buildings. In 1981, during the Spanish Transition, the name Gran Vía stuck. The street became home to the first department store in the city, the Madrid-París, and for decades has been the most popular place to meet up and enjoy the city's entertainment offerings thanks to the large number of cinemas, theatres, hotels and shops that line the pavements.
|Transport:||Gran Vía (M: L1, L5), Callao (M: L3, L5), Santo Domingo (M: L2)|