Besides apt-get there's also apt-cache.
apt-cache is a command to manipulate and obtain information from the packages at apt's cache.
This command is not to be used by common users. You'll like it if you're developing something to be used with apt.
Adds a package file to the source cache.
Builds both the package and source cache
Show some general information for a single package
Show some basic statistics
Show the entire file in a terse form
Print an available file to stdout
Show unmet dependencies
Check the cache a bit
Search the package list for a regex pattern
Show a readable record for the package
Show raw dependency information for a package
List the names of all packages
Generate package graphs for GraphVis