"Must sees" in Madrid.  Probably can be seen in two days.  If you want more complete information about each sight, go to the questions about "Top/best Sights in Madrid.  This is a companion piece.  "Must sees" have ***. These lists are organizing by geographic area.

“Must” museums in the historic center   (nearby museums or places are in parenthesis…but only “must” sees are starred.


 ***Prado museum    (Retiro Park***) (Casón del Buen Retiro) (Royal Botanical Gardens)  


***Reina Sofia.   At the very least, make a quick trip during “free” time to see Picasso’s masterpiece, “ Guernica ”. The MOMA in NYC is still in mourning for having to turn this work over to Spain per Picasso’s instructions. (Atocha RR station)


***Palacio Real – Although a palace in which the Spanish Royal family lived in until 1931, it does appear more like a museum   which is probably why the current royalty live elsewhere. (Catedral de la Almudena)   (Royal Convent of La Encarnación)


 Another museum in historic center .       If you are from NYC, Paris , Washington or Chicago, you probably have seen most of what the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza has to offer, but their special exhibits often are phenomenal. (Las Cortes – Spanish parliament)   “Must” places and plazas in the historic center 


***1.   Plaza de Cibeles


***2.       Puerta del Sol (Kilometro “0”, statue of standing bear eating berries, on shield of Madrid and all taxis in Madrid )


***3.       Plaza Mayor 


***4.       Retiro Park


***5.      Gran Vía


***6.       Plaza de España.   Also nice statue of the fictional Don Quijote and sidekick Sancho Panza.


***7.       Atocha RR station with its oasis environment in the old train shed plus modern high-speed AVE trains.