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- THINGS TO DO
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Info Andorra la Vella
Andorra la Vella is the capital of the Principality of Andorra, and is located high in the east Pyrenees between France and Spain. It is also the name of the parish that surrounds the capital.
The principal industry is tourism, although the country also earns foreign income from being a tax haven.
Being at an elevation of 1,023 metres (3,356 ft), it is the highest capital city in Europe and a popular ski resort.
|TIME ZONE :||GMT/UTC + 01:00 hour|
|LANGUAGE :||Catalan (official), French, Castilian, Portuguese|
|RELIGION :||Roman Catholic|
|AREA :||12 km2 (5 sq mi)|
|ELEVATION :||1,023 m (3,356 ft)|
|COORDINATES :||42°30′N 01°30′E|
|SEX RATIO :||• Male: |
|ETHNIC :||Spanish 43%, Andorran 33%, Portuguese 11%, French 7%, other 6%|
|AREA CODE :|
|POSTAL CODE :|
|DIALING CODE :||+376|
Tourism has brought considerable prosperity to Andorra and now constitutes the principal source of income.
Visitors, mostly from France and Spain, come to Andorra each summer to attend the fairs and festivals, to buy consumer items at lower prices than are obtainable in the neighboring countries, and to enjoy the pleasant weather and beautiful scenery.
There is skiing at Pas de la Casa and Soldeu in winter.
The site of Andorra la Vella has been settled since prior to the Christian era—notably by the Andosin tribe from the late Neolithic.
The settlement of Andorra la Vella has been the principal city of Andorra since 1278 when the French and the Episcopal co-princes agreed to joint suzerainty. Andorra la Vella's old town includes streets and buildings dating from this time. Its most notable building is the Casa de la Vall—constructed in the early sixteenth century—which has been the state's parliamentary house since 1702.
In 1993, the country's first constitution formalised this parliamentary democracy with executive, legislative, and judicial branches located in Andorra la Vella.
During this period, Andorra also developed as a tax haven, resulting in the construction of modern banking offices in Andorra La Vella.
Andorra la Vella has an oceanic climate, with mild summers and chilly to cold, snowy winters.
The northern valleys are completely snowed up for several months. Most rain falls in April and October. Humidity is very low.
Summers are warm or mild, depending on the altitude.
There are considerable variations between maximum day and night temperatures.
Climate data for Andorra La Vella
|Average high °C (°F)||6.9|
|Daily mean °C (°F)||2.2|
|Average low °C (°F)||−2.5|
Andorra la Vella is located in the south west of Andorra, at the confluence of two mountain streams, the Valira del Nord (Northern Valira) and the Valira de l'Orient (Eastern Valira), which join to form the Gran Valira.
The city is at 1,023 metres (3,356 ft) above sea level.
Andorra la Vella is the country's commercial centre.
In the country as a whole, 80% of the GDP is derived from the 10 million tourists who visit annually.
The city is also the centre for the many banks and businesses that thrive from its tax haven status.
The parish of Andorra la Vella is divided into the villages of Andorra la Vella itself, La Margineda and Santa Coloma.
Andorra is a well-connected country and has accepted the Internet with open arms. Almost as many people subscribe to the Internet as landline phones. Free public wifi is available in parts of major towns, and many restaurants have wifi as well.
Andorra relies on the Spanish and French postal systems. The main office for both are located in Andorra La Vella.
The French post office (Correus francesos) is located at Carrer de Bonaventura Armengol is usually open M-F 08:30-14:30, Sa 09:00-11:59 Tel: +376 820 408
The Spanish post office (Correus espanyols) is open M-F 08:30-14:30, Sa 09:00-12:59 Tel: +376 820 257.
Prices in Andorra la Vella
MARKET / SUPERMARKET
|Beer (domestic)||0.5 l||€0.40|
|Bottle of Wine||1 bottle||€4.20|
|Dinner (Low-range)||for 2||€40.00|
|Dinner (Mid-range)||for 2||€70.00|
|Dinner (High-range)||for 2||€|
|Mac Meal or similar||1 meal||€7.00|
|Beer (Imported)||0.33 l||€4.20|
|Beer (domestic)||0.5 l||€|
|Coctail drink||1 drink||€|
|Men’s Haircut||1 haircut||€|
|Mobile (prepaid)||1 min.||€|
|Pack of Marlboro||1 pack||€3.00|
|Toilet paper||4 rolls||€2.00|
CLOTHES / SHOES
|Jeans (Levis 501 or similar)||1||€58.00|
|Dress summer (Zara, H&M)||1||€18.00|
|Sport shoes (Nike, Adidas)||1||€47.00|
|Local Transport||1 ticket||€|
48 $ per day
Estimated cost per 1 day including:
- meals in cheap restaurant
- public transport
- cheap hotel
151 $ per day
Estimated cost per 1 day including:
- mid-range meals and drinks
Transportation - Get In
There is no train station or airport in Andorra la Vella.
Bus companies operating international lines via Andorra la Vella:
Transportation - Get Around
You should be able to walk around most of Andorra la Vella. The town is really in two parts. There is the newer section at the North end of the town that is very commercial with lots of shops. The other half is the older half, down across the river and to the South and West. This also has quite a number of shops and places to eat and also the historic part.
If you stay in either of these areas, you can easily cover on foot, but walking from the end of one half to the other will take a good half hour or more, so it is worth taking the local bus which is cheap. Be sure to read the timetable and routes carefully on the bus stop.
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The best bargains can be obtained in electronic goods and jewelry. High cost items tend to be cheaper than anywhere else because of the low tax.
The great thing about the electronic goods like digital cameras is that there are a huge range of shops and a huge stock range, so you really get to see all the different makes and models.
Some of the larger shops seem to stock a lot of brand label clothing. Don't miss out on the Via Moda Group.... especially during sales.
There are loads of ski gear shops. The best advice is to shop around.
- Pyrenees, Avinguda Meritxell 11. Department store with several floors. There are various family friendly restaurants, a large electronic goods floor, designer label floors, and a supermarket notable for interesting Andorran and Spanish specialty foods and red wines.
- Andorra 2000, Avinguda Tarragona 26. Supermarket sells electronic, clothes and food.
There are a number of reasonably priced restaurants, although many of them tend to be Italian food of pizza and pasta. Gourmets will naturally find good addresses with the prices to go with them. Beware!!!! You find almost nothing open after 10:30p.m. so plan ahead! El Vesuvio in nearby La Massana serves Italian and Moroccan food until 12am.
Coffe & Drink
Drink and spirits especially are very good value in the supermarkets. Especially at the Hiper Andorra.
Sights & Landmarks
- Church of Sant Esteve. July to August: daily, 10.00-13.00 & 15.00-19.00. Dated from the 12th century. It is in the old part of the Andorra la Vella. Free-guided tour. The rest of the year only at mass hours.
- Church of Sant Andreu, Sant Andreu St., . Mon to Sat.. Romanesque church dated from the 12th century. It is obligatory to reserve by phone.
- Casa de la Vall. Mon to Sat 09.30-13.00 & 15.00-19.00 Sundays (from May to October) from 10 to 14h. The seat of the Consell General (Andorran Parliament). Dating from the 16th century. Free-guided tour.
- Bridge of la Margineda, Santa Coloma. This bridge dates from medieval times but is still in perfect condition. Nearby there is a metallic sculpture made by the Valencian sculptor Andreu Alfaro.
- Rec del Solà and Rec de l’Obac. Paved ways with handrails illuminated in the night. They are 2,5 km long. Starting point: Col·legi Sant Ermengol road and Tarragona avenue, respectively.
- The town square. This is a surprisingly peaceful place with a panoramic view of the Valley of Andorra.
- Parliament building and old town. The parliament building is a relatively modern building and you can walk around up the hill behind it and go onto the roof where there is a type of mini park. On a nice day, there is a great view out over the valley across and looking South towards Santa Coloma. From here you can head back up the hill slightly to the right and visit the old church of St Esteve. Behind it, is an interesting little area filled with narrow streets which is clearly the original location of the settlement.
- Park Central. Open clock 6-24. Park with small pond.
Things to do
The cultural landscape of Madriu-Perafita-Claror Valley, which was inscribed in the World heritage list in 2006, can only be accessed on foot. It offers great hiking and climbing possibilities in summer and in winter ski mountaineering or walking with snowshoes is an option.
Spa & Wellness
Safety in Andorra la Vella
There is not much threat from other people in Andorra, but keep safe on mountains. Don't go too high without knowing what you are doing.
Drivers are warned to avoid crossing back into France if the Spanish side of the Pyrenees has enjoyed beautiful warm sunshine all day and the road temperatures drop considerably towards the evening - there is danger of black ice from ice melt. The weather in the French Pyrenees is frequently vastly different than that of Andorra and the Spanish Pyrenees. Stay overnight if necessary, as cold morning temperatures are more apparent and less treacherous than sudden evening icing.