Travel and culture passesIf you’re visiting Madrid and taking public transportation, be sure to look into the Tourist Travel Pass.

Options include Zone A (just the city area) and Zone T (includes outlying areas). Both can be purchased for one, two, three, five or seven days.

The Zone A for one day, for example, costs 3.80 euros. For seven days, the cost is 19.80. Children under 11 get a 50 percent discount when the card is bought in Madrid.

If you’ll be doing a lot of sightseeing, you might want to get the Madrid Card, which allows free entry to more than 40 museums plus other discounts. The 24- hour card costs 39 euros, the 48-hour card is 49 euros and the 72 hour card is 59 euros. There also is a 72-hour Madrid Card for children for 29 euros.

For details on the travel cards and where to buy them, go to the Web at

Useful Paris Web sitesYou can never have too much information when it comes to visiting Paris, always a popular destination for Americans in Europe.

Before you head to the City of Light, check out these Web sites, many of which have sections in English, for tips on how to get around and what to see:

• — All Paris Tours for city and other trips.

• — open-deck hop-on-hop-off bus tours.

• — Paris by bicycle.

• — walking tours of Paris.

• — city tours by boat on the Seine.

• — information on Metro rates and routes.

• — Notre Dame Cathedral.

• — the Louvre museum.

• — Centre Pompidou.

• — Père-Lachaise cemetery, where several famous people are buried.

• — Sacre Coeur basilica.

• — Château de Versailles.

• — Listing of city museums.

• — the Moulin Rouge nightclub.

• — Le Lido nightclub.

• — “Time Out: Paris Magazine” for events.

• — “Pariscope” for what’s happening (in French).

• — flea markets.

• — Paris Tourist Board.

• — France Tourist Board.

Highlands 2007This year, Scotland is celebrating Highlands culture under a program called Highland 2007. It has a wide variety of events grouped under the headings of arts, environment, heritage, language, science and sports. If you’re heading to Scotland, check out

Best BetsBELGIUM: Brussels’ three big squares — La Grand-Place, Place du Grand Sablon and the Place Sainte-Catherine — will be filled with the sounds of jazz Friday through the weekend during the city’s annual Jazz Marathon. In addition to the squares, outdoor concerts will be performed on streets and in bars and theaters throughout the city. For a program listing, go to

GERMANY: Europe’s biggest festival for African music and culture takes place Friday through Monday on Würzburg’s Talavera Mainwiesen on the Main River. This year’s focus is on Brazil, a country that participated in the African slave trade until 1888. More than 250 musicians and dancers will perform to music broken into four themes: Africa meets Brazil; Brazil meets Africa; A Night in Southern Africa; and Reggae Night. Other highlights include a photo exhibition, crafts, workshops, children’s program, bazaar, African food and drink, open stage and late-night program. The festival is open daily 10 a.m. to midnight. The Havana Club is open until 3 a.m. (to midnight on Monday). Tickets for the grounds only cost 5 euros per day or 17.50 euros for four days; tickets for grounds and concerts cost 23.65 euros per day or 82.50 euros for four days. Find details at

If you’re into all things Goth, Leipzig is the place to be Sunday and Monday for the annual Wave-Gotik-Treffen. In addition to the bands, you’ll find a historical market, Gothic scene performances, exhibitions, readings, theater and cinema and lots of parties. The advance four-day ticket for all events costs 58 euros. Camping sites are available at additional cost. For details, go to

— Jayne Traendly

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