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As visitors have been discovering for decades now, there's much more to Madrid than just the Prado Museum. In fact, you're spoiled for choice. Cultural amenities run the gamut from grandiose palaces and churches to information-crammed museums and art galleries.

Green belts continue to expand, with kilometers of new grassy and tree-filled areas annually added to the city's outskirts, river banks, and historic central parks and gardens. Leisure and sports facilities also abound, whether you want to participate or simply sit on the side as a spectator.

Traffic, as in all European cities whose centers were originally designed for the horse and carriage, is a problem, especially at rush-hour times. Best therefore to avoid driving downtown yourself unless you absolutely need to. But don't let the traffic stop you from getting out and exploring. It's easy to get around with the inexpensive and well-run combination of bus, metro (subway), and cercanías (suburban line train) transport. Taxis too are still a good value. So dive in and enjoy the fun.

Tip: A cheap way to see many of the Spanish capital's cultural attractions is the Madrid Card, which combines a transportation pass (including Madrid Vision bus tours) with free entry to various museums and art centers. The cost is 47€ for a day, 60€ for 2 days, and 74€ for 3 days. Buy it at the main Plaza Mayor tourist office, on Madrid Vision buses, at newspaper kiosks, or online at www.madridcard.com.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.