Calle del Desengaño – Definitely not in the guides

Gran Via, Weird : Quirky : Fun

by Ben Curtis

Calle DesengañoNever has a street been better named. Calle del Desengaño – “Eye-Opening Street”, or “Disappointment Street” (map). Just ten steps back from Gran Via, the city’s biggest shopping strip, some might say it has has come a long way in the last few years – at least the junkies have gone. In their place are a string of young, immigrant prostitutes who have rooms in the tight backstreets that lead off into the barrio of Malasaña. It’s pretty depressing stuff, and an interesting reminder of the fact that there is still a lot of cleaning up to be done in the centre of Madrid.