Exploring Andorra la Vella

The highest-altitude capital city in Europe may be small, but it offers a might array of things to keep you busy for a weekend trip. From hiking trails to the largest spa complex on the continent, visit for the ski slopes or a relaxing mini break

A popular skiing destination, Andorra is a little gem nestled in between France and Spain. The independent principality houses the majestic Pyrenees mountains but its capital city, Andorra la Vella, offers cosy cafes, a pretty old town and hiking trails.

Getting there:

Andorra has no airport due to its location high up in the mountains.

Bus: The easiest way to get to the country is by bus either from Toulouse, France or Barcelona, Spain. These are within a 125-mile radius.

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From Toulouse station: The Toulouse to Andorra coach starts at the Gare Matabiau train station on platform no15: Boulevard Pierre Sémard, 64. You can also pick it up from Toulouse Aiport at arrivals, Hall B.

The earliest departure from Toulouse is at 11am. The journey time takes around 3.5 hours (depending on which ticket you buy). An adult single ticket costs around €36.

Click here for bus schedules and times.

From Barcelona airport: You can catch the Directbus line, which connects the airport to Andorra’s capital and skiing resorts. There are nine buses each day from Barcelona Airport to Andorra, and 10 buses each day from Andorra to Barcelona Airport. The journey takes approximately 3.5 hours.

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The bus stops at both terminals in Barcelona Airport. At Terminal 1, the arrival and departure point is the arrivals area on the ground floor.

At Terminal 2, the arrival and departure point is next to the Bloc Tècnic building (between terminals 2B and 2C).

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In Andorra, the arrival and departure point is the National Bus Station on Carrer de la Cúria s/n in Andorra la Vella, which close to the city centre.

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Click here for bus schedules. An adult single ticket costs between €20-40.

Plane: If travelling by plane, the nearest airport is in the Alt Urgell region, called Andorra-La Seu d’Urgell Airport (LEU). However, this airport currently only serves private flights and because it’s in the mountains, the routes are limited to the summer period. However, the airport is in the process of adapting to commercial flights.

Train: The nearest train station is in L’Hospitalet-près-l’Andorre, France, located just seven miles by road from the border. This station is served by trains from other major French cities, such as Toulouse.

If coming from Spain, Lleida Pirineus station offers high-speed trains (AVE) from Madrid-Puerta de Atocha and Barcelona Sants.

Car: If driving from France, you can reach the east of the Principality by the N22 road. If driving from Spain, you can access the southern area of Andorra via the N-145 road.

TIP: Don’t forget to get a passport stamp when entering the country. The tourist office no longer does this, but the border guards will happily stamp your passport if asked. Simply alert the bus driver that you would like a stamp when you get to the border and they will wait for you. Once you disembark the bus, you will see three border guard stations. Go to the station on the far right and they’ll give you a tourist stamp.

TIP: If you’ve purchased a return bus ticket to the airport, note that the journey time does not take into account traffic or time at the border crossing. We suggest adding 1-2 hours to your journey time to ensure plenty of time to catch your flight.

What to see:

The nobility of time – Salvador Dali

Sitting in the heart of the city, the monument was cast in 1984 and was gifted to the government of Andorra by Enric Sabater, who was Salvador Dali’s agent between 1968 and 1982.

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The sculpture stands at 5m tall and displays a melting clock representing the passage of time.

Location: Plaça de la Rotonda, AD500 Andorra la Vella.

Entry cost: Free.

Puente de Paris

Situated right next to The nobility of time sculpture, the bridge hovers over the La Valira river, which runs through the capital.

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Location: Av Consell d’Europa, AD500 Andorra la Vella.

Entry cost: Free.

TIP: If you see the bridge at night, the letters Andorra la Vella light up.

Solá irrigation canal trail

This hiking trail is a great way to get an amazing view of the city. Built in 1893, you can see a large number of orchards and small farm holdings.

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To reach the starting point, head towards the intersection by the access to Sant Ermengol school. There you take the Llobatera path on the left.

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The trail takes just over one hour to complete and starts off steep.

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Location: Rec Del Solà

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Entry cost: Free

TIP: Just a few meters above the irrigation canal, you’ll find a picnic area with tables and grills, which also offers a beautiful viewpoint that looks out over the valley.

Església de Sant Esteve

Built in the 11th-12th century and then restored in the 20th century, the church sits on the city’s Old Town.

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Inside there is a multi-coloured wooden beam and two baroque altarpieces, along with an 18th century Painting of the Souls.

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The semi-circular apse is preserved in its original Lombardian decoration.

Location: Plaça del Príncep Benlloch in Andorra la Vella

Entry cost: Free

Església de Sant Pere Màrtir, Escaldes-Engordany

Dating back to 1956, this Catholic church is made of granite carving stone, with the outer façade decorated with ceramics by sculptor by Josep Viladomat.

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Neo-Romanesque in style, the church has three bell towers, which Bishop Martí baptised as Maria, Anna and Jacoba in 1981.

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The church sits at the top of the main avenue in Escaldes-Engordany.

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Location: AD700 Les Escaldes in Andorra la Vella.

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Entry cost: Free

Casa de la Vall

This historical house is the headquarters of the General Council of Andorra and lies just to the southwest of the Andorra National Library.

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In 1702, it became the seat of one of the oldest and most continuous parliaments in Europe, the “Consell General”, first created in 1419.

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The shield on the door reads “Virtus, Unita, Fortior”, which is the motto of Andorra and means ‘virtue united is stronger’.

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The house is open to the public with guided tours.

Location: Carrer de la Vall, s/n, Andorra la Vella.

Entry cost: €5 per adult.

TIP: On the façade, at the sides and behind the building, are dates and sculptures commemorating significant moments of Andorra.

Getting around Andorra la Vella:

Bus: Andorra has an extensive network of bus routes that run through most towns. All the bus lines will take you to the main towns in each parish, and some go to valleys further away. Depending on where you want to go, you should take into account that the greater the distance, the less frequent the service. Frequency can vary from every 20 minutes to one every hour.

E-bike: The shared Cicland electric bicycle service is available 24/7 and offers a pay-as-you-go service. Download the app to pay for 25 rides.

Taxi: The Association of Interurban Taxi Drivers offers urban, interurban and international services. There is a daily shared taxi service between Andorra and Barcelona available on a regular basis.

TIP: Andorra la Vella is a small city, so it’s easy to get to each attraction by walking.

Checking out C & J.

Find out more about Andorra.

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