Andorra is a small country situated between France and Spain. And if you’re in the area or simply trying to travel off the beaten path, you may be wondering, “Is Andorra Worth Visiting?”
In this post, I’ll share my honest opinion and insights from my most recent trip to the tiny country in November 2022! This way, you’ll have everything you need to know to determine if Andorra is actually worth the time and effort for you!
Table of Contents
- Is Andorra Worth Visiting?
- Map of Andorra
- 9 Reasons Why to Visit Andorra
- Places to Visit in Andorra
- Best Time to Visit Andorra
- How Many Days in Andorra Is Enough?
- Where to Stay in Andorra
- Visit Andorra: FAQ
- Wrap-Up: Is Andorra Worth Visiting?
Is Andorra Worth Visiting?
My honest but very biased opinion is that Andorra is 100% worth visiting! I absolutely loved visiting this independent principality, and it quickly became one of my favorite parts of my 7-week solo trip across Europe.
But, I know that practically every travel blogger out there will tell you that “x,y,z” is worth visiting — and that’s not super helpful.
Thus, in the spirit of transparency and actually helping you make an informed decision, here are a few cases in which Andorra may or may not be worth it for you!
Andorra Is Worth Visiting If…
You’re keen on learning about smaller, lesser-known areas. Compared to what you normally see in the two neighboring countries of France and Spain, the views, atmosphere, and experience are completely different in Andorra.
Gone are the hundreds of thousands of tourists that are often met in Barcelona, Lyon, Montreal, Milan, or any other major global city.
Instead, you’ll maybe run into a few hundred people a day, and that’s if you’re walking in the really popular areas of town. And, As soon as you leave the main streets downtown, it clears out pretty quickly!
Another case in which Andorra may be worth visiting is if want to spend your time surrounded by the great outdoors. With over 300 days of sunshine each year, there are plenty of opportunities to take in the stunning scenery that can be found all throughout Andorra.
Finally, you don’t mind a little extra effort in finding things to do. Despite its small size, the tiny country is full of surprises.
There’s a lot to discover, but it isn’t all super well-marked and easily located like it is in other cities. For example, I always found myself laughing because, in Zagreb, you see a post with 20 different museum signs attached every couple of streets lol.
If you identify with any of these descriptions, then Andorra is a destination I’d highly recommend experiencing at least once in your lifetime.
And even if none of the above applies to you, it doesn’t mean that Andorra can’t still offer something special for your vacation – there are countless reasons why people come here! But more on that later! 😉
Andorra Is Not Worth Visiting If…
Alright, so aside from the previous scenarios not really aligning with your interests, here are a few other cases where Andorra might not be worth visiting.
If you have mobility issues, such as difficulty walking long distances or up hills, it might be worth avoiding Andorra. I consider myself a pretty fit person since I like to run at least every other morning. But, my hotel in Andorra was located up a massive hill that had me heaving!
Also, it’s worth mentioning that public transportation in Andorra is not that great.
Another case where you may want to rethink visiting is if you want to be in a big city and crave a lot of activity. Again, with its small size and low population, Andorra is not exactly the most popular destination in Europe.
Sometimes, I’d found myself completely alone while walking around, and it was almost like a bit of culture shock after being in hyper-crowded cities.
Lastly, if you want to see the most stunning architecture, Andorra might not be worth visiting. I know this is a weird statement, and beauty is in the eye of the beholder… but you’ll want to temper your expectations.
You won’t see these mesmerizing cathedrals on the same scale as those in Rome or Prague. The infrastructure resembles that of Tahiti, where they’re smaller and more intimate. But, there is still an understated beauty about them.
Ultimately, these are just my opinions from my experiences and the people I interacted with while there.
And of course, nothing is ever black and white. So, I’d encourage you to keep reading or researching until you can confidently decide 🙂
Map of Andorra
In case geography isn’t your strong suit or you’re just now discovering Andorra’s existence like my mom did when I face-timed her from my hotel in Andorra… Here is Andorra on Google Maps.
You’ll notice several dotted lines within the country’s borders.
These are the different communities or parishes. There are a total of seven of them, and Andorra la Vella is the capital of the country!
In terms of size, Andorra is a tiny country, measuring only 180.7 mi² (468 km²), which is just less than half the size of San Diego!
This also makes Andorra the sixth smallest state in Europe. It’s currently being beaten out by Vatican City, Monaco, San Marino, Lichtenstein, and Malta (in that order).
9 Reasons Why to Visit Andorra
Though small in size, Andorra packs a decent punch and still has a lot of offer visitors.
So, if you’re interested in learning more or simply looking for more reasons to travel to a new city (because, same 🙋🏽♀️)…Here are 9 additional reasons why to visit Andorra!
1. It’s an Alpine Mountain Paradise
First and foremost, Andorra is worth visiting because the picturesque views of the Pyrenees mountains will take your breath away.
With lush green mountains and picturesque villages that have stood the test of time, it’s an Alpine mountain paradise.
And for anyone who enjoys hiking, you can find lots of great trails ranging from super easy to pretty challenging.
Plus, you can even find about 16 via ferratas spread throughout the country.
For those who have no clue what a via ferrata is, it’s a fairly niche activity. Essentially, there are rungs bolted into the sides of cliffs. Think of it like someone took a giant staple and stuck it into the side of a mountain.
You can climb up them and are usually harnessed into a nearby cable rope for safety. And then once you complete the via ferrata, you’re hopefully rewarded with the most spectacular views!
Needless to say, they aren’t for everyone…but, for anyone who doesn’t have an overwhelming fear of heights and doesn’t mind a bit of cliff exposure — I think they’re awesome!
Just remember to bring the appropriate clothes and gear (harness, helmet, etc.) or go with an experienced guide. And I recommend Via Ferrata Roc del Quer.
2. You Want to Travel at a Slower Pace
Another reason to visit Andorra is to travel at a much slower pace. As I mentioned earlier, Andorra provides a stark contrast to the hustle and bustle of big cities.
The atmosphere is just calmer. You don’t feel pressure to cram and rush to see everything in one day unless you want to. It genuinely feels like you can really take your time and let each moment sink in.
On one of the days I was there, I just wandered around the city for approximately 8 hours. In that time, I covered probably 70-80% of the sights to see in the parish.
And it was amazing because I wasn’t exhausted at the end of the day.
You know when you feel pressed for time and you try to fit in as much as possible in your itinerary to make sure you don’t miss out. Yeah — that feeling was gone and Andorra was like a lovely mental reset.
3. Andorra Is Extremely Clean and Beautiful
Unlike other major cities that have tens of millions of tourists passing through annually, Andorra does not.
As such, it’s easier to maintain and why everywhere is incredibly clean and beautiful — or at least I think that’s partially the reason why.
The streets are clean and the parks are well-maintained. Everything just feels tidy and aesthetically pleasing, which is something I wasn’t expecting but really appreciated.
Plus, it doesn’t feel like it’s been curated for tourists, kind of like Paris or London. You feel as if you’re getting a true look at the local culture, and it was delightful.
The one thing I will mention though is that I saw a very high number of stray cats.
One morning I was walking around eating a croissant, and literally, 6 cats came out of nowhere and were suddenly at my feet. So if you are scared of cats or allergic to them — good luck lol.
4. You Can Easily Visit Andorra From Barcelona
Although there’s no major airport you can fly directly into, Andorra is actually not that difficult to get to.
For example, if you’re already visiting Barcelona, you can easily make your way to Andorra by bus or car. The journey from Barcelona to Andorra is a little over 3 hours and the bus prices are very reasonable.
Or if you want significantly more comfort, you could opt to visit with a private tour group. Here’s a breakdown of the top 3 tours to Andorra from Barcelona.
⭐️RATING: 5/5 | ⏳LENGTH OF TOUR:12 hours
Why Choose This Tour?This is one of the best tours from Barcelona that allows you to experience Andorra in a single day. You’ll get to intimately explore the small country with a knowledgeable guide and have the best of both worlds by seeing popular tourist attractions as well as the lesser-known hidden gems!
So, if you’re in Barcelona and want to have a wonderful time exploring Andorra in a stress-free way, I recommend this fantastic tour!
TheSpend 1 Day in Andorra Tourincludes:
- Round-trip private transportation in an air-conditioned car
- Learning about Andorra’s culture and history
- Visiting Pont de Margineda near the Spanish border
- Touring Casa de la Vall in Andorra la Vella
- See panoramic point at Mirador del Rock del Quer
- Visit the small village of Ordino
- Santuario del Meritxell (main sanctuary of Andorra)
- Personalized tours with up to 6 guests (minimum 2)
5. You Can Easily Visit From the South of France
Similarly, you can also easily visit Andorra from the South of France. Personally, I made the journey from Toulouse, and it was quite nice!
Very windy roads, which is to be expected since you’re literally crossing through the Pyrenees mountains, but otherwise gorgeous views.
The reason I’m citing accessibility as a reason to visit Andorra is that most people I met in Toulouse were heading either to Nice, France, or to Barcelona after passing through Toulouse.
And I think it’s pretty common that most people skip over or disregard Andorra because they think it’s not worth visiting or hard to get to.
Either way, it’s a shame because Andorra is pretty underrated — but of course, to each their own. Just don’t let the fact it’s small and not in the most central location stop you from visiting!
If you want to travel to Andorra from Toulouse or another destination in the south of France, I recommend using Omio. It’s what I personally used to visit Andorra and have been using for the last 4 years.
Just input your travel dates, and where your journey starts, and then you’ll be able to see all the different bus routes and their prices!
6. You Can Comfortably Do an Andorra Day Trip
Even if you don’t want to spend too long in Andorra, it’s more than possible to do a day trip. In fact, there are even tours that let you visit Spain, Andorra, and France all in a single day’s time!
This is a great way to catch a glimpse of what Andorra has to offer. Afterward, you can better decide if you want to return for a longer stay.
7. Locals Are Welcoming
Another reason why Andorra is worth visiting is that the locals are welcoming. Everyone I met and interacted with was kind and friendly.
For example, I asked a local where the trailhead was and he was more than willing to help me out.
The country is inclusive language-wise too — one of the restaurants I went to had four massive menus printed in four separate languages. And I know it’s a small thing, but honestly, not having to google translate a menu is so nice.
8. Mixed Culture With Delicious Food
Speaking of restaurants, Andorra is also a country that has been influenced by many other countries and cultures throughout its history.
I’ll spare you the details though because it really is a lot. All you need to know is that because Andorra has been entangled with other countries, it now has a vibrant culture and a fantastic food scene!
You’ll see influences from French, Spanish, and Catalan cultures within Andorra.
And if you’re wondering what type of foods to expect, one traditional dish that is popular is trinxat. It’s made from potatoes, cabbage, onion, bacon, and garlic.
This dish is commonly served during the wintertime since that’s when its ingredients are plentiful and I am happy to report that it’s quite flavorsome and delicious!
I would also recommend trying the national dish of Andorra — Escudella. It’s a Catalan stew made with vegetables, different types of meat, and pasta.
Fair warning though, it can be kinda pricey at sit-down restaurants in Andorra — it is a tax haven country after all.
PRO TIP: Plan where you want to eat for dinner in the morning. This way, you can make reservations if they’re needed because I found that the best restaurants are always booked up!
9. Ski Resorts Heaven During the Winter
Last but definitely not least, Andorra is heaven for any ski and snowboard enthusiasts during the winter! There are tons of different ski resort options, and it’s because of this that Andorra sees its greatest number of visitors during the wintertime.
The most popular ski resort in Andorra is Grandvalira, which is the biggest one with over 200 km of slopes catering to those of all skill levels.
No matter if you’re a beginner or an expert skier/snowboarder, there are many spots to check out for some skiing or snowboarding fun!
So if you’re looking for a winter destination that has it all — stunning views, great food, and ski resorts galore, then Andorra is definitely worth visiting.
Places to Visit in Andorra
If you’re feeling convinced to plan a visit, here are a few specific places to visit in Andorra.
- Andorra la Vella: Again, this is the capital city and where tourists tend to spend the most time. In the main downtown area, you’ll all kinds of shops, cafés, restaurants, and souvenir shops. There’s even a bridge, the Pont de Paris (ironically), which spells out Andorra la Vella on its side and can be fun to grab a picture at.
But, the best part of this parish is Barri Antic (Andorra’s Old Town). There, you’ll be able to see buildings and churches dating back to the 16th century. Also, you can catch some sweet views, especially if your hotel is located in an area like mine.
- Escaldes Engordany: Here, you’ll find Caldea, which is the largest spa complex in Europe. This incredible spa resort gives my experience at the Termy Chochołowskie, one of the thermal baths in the mountains of Poland, a run for its money!
The building has 18 floors filled with mineral water pools, saunas, jacuzzis, and lagoons. And to add a bit of luxury, Caldea features a stunning glass pyramid that’s 80 meters in height, making it the tallest building in Andorra.
- Encamp: This is the area most people visit for skiing and snowboarding during the wintertime. The previously mentioned Grandvalira is located here, right along the border of Andorra and France. But, it’s no secret that Vallnord in the La Massana parish is also a crowd-favorite for winter sports.
Best Time to Visit Andorra
The best time to visit Andorra really depends on what type of activities you want to do while there.
For instance, if you’re mostly interested in hiking and sightseeing around the city, the best time to visit Andorra is between late May – October when the weather is mild and pleasant.
You can expect temperatures that range from a comfortable 50 °F to a nice 75°F. And if you don’t want to be stuck in touristy crowds then go during shoulder season for the best experience.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for winter sports, like skiing and snowboarding, then head over to Andorra between December – February when the ski resorts are bustling with activity.
How Many Days in Andorra Is Enough?
Personally, I spent three days in Andorra and found it to be the perfect amount of time to visit most of the main highlights and still have room for some leisurely activities.
That said, if you’re short on time — or just want to experience a taste of the country before deciding whether to come back for more, then it is possible to visit all the main hotspots in a day trip from Barcelona or France.
You may not be able to take part in some of the more immersive activities — like the spa resort or some of the longer hikes, but you will still be able to get a taste of this beautiful country.
At the end of the day, how many days in Andorra is enough really depends on what type of experience you’re looking for.
But, my recommendation would be at least two days — three if you have the time and interest to participate in outdoor activities!
Where to Stay in Andorra
If you’re looking for places to stay in Andorra, here are a few of my recommendations based on my experiences and outside research. These are just for Andorra la Vella since that’s where I stayed and spent most of my time!
- Barri Antic Hostel & Pub — hostel & hotel | ⭐️ 9.2 / 10
- Hotel Yomo Cèntric — 4-star hotel | ⭐️ 8.6 / 10
- Hotel Starc by Pierre & Vacances Premium — 4-star hotel | ⭐️ 9.1 / 10
- Hotel Metropolis — 4-star hotel | ⭐️ 9.2 / 10
- Grand Plaza Hotel & Wellness — 5-star hotel | ⭐️ 8.6 / 10
- Andorra Park Hotel — 5-star hotel | ⭐️ 9.2 / 10
That said, if you want to check out other places in Andorra, you can check rates and availability with the buttons below.
Alternatively, you can move around on the interactive map to view up-to-date prices! Just input your dates and it’ll show you all the different housing options!
Visit Andorra: FAQ
Is Andorra Safe?
According to crime statistics, Andorra is one of the safest countries in Europe and has very low crime rates.
And just speaking from my time in the country, I never felt concerned for my safety or uneasy at any point during my stay. I would categorize myself as a small, easily kidnappable female, and even I felt perfectly comfortable walking around alone at night.
So with all that in mind, I’d say Andorra is a great place to travel for solo adventurers looking for a peaceful and safe environment!
Is Andorra a Beautiful Country?
In my opinion, Andorra absolutely is a beautiful country! It has so many stunning natural landscapes, that I hope most people can appreciate and admire.
What Is the Currency of Andorra?
Despite not being part of the European Union, the currency of Andorra is the Euro! Also, if you have any questions about entry requirements, you can find answers on the official website of Andorra.
What Language Is Spoken in Andorra?
The official language of Andorra is Catalan. That said, you’ll find many locals who also speak French and Spanish since both countries have heavily influenced Andorra.
Additionally, I found that a lot of the locals can speak English to a limited extent — enough that they know the basic phrases and you can likely communicate with a bit of patience 🙂
Wrap-Up: Is Andorra Worth Visiting?
Ultimately, I think that if you love nature, lush mountains, and traveling off the beaten path, then Andorra is well worth visiting.
From its stunning mountain scenery to the unique mix of cultures that this tiny principality offers, there’s something that most people can enjoy.
But of course, it truly does depend on your interests. So, regardless if Andorra is meant for you or not, I hope you learned a bit about what this country has to offer!
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First and foremost, Andorra is worth visiting because the picturesque views of the Pyrenees mountains will take your breath away. With lush green mountains and picturesque villages that have stood the test of time, it's an Alpine mountain paradise.Why should you visit Andorra? ›
Architecture of Andorra was swayed by the other foreign countries. Although it is a small country, there is a lot of authentic stuff, and you can see the evidence of pre-roman and Romanesque time. The oldest churches of Andorra are known for their simple architecture and small size.How many days are enough for Andorra? ›
For tourists interested in visiting Andorra it can easily be seen in two days. I had looked into taking tours of Andorra. I wanted to take a tour that would go up into the Pyrenees. There is only one tour group that offers tours and then has a different one every day.What is so special about Andorra? ›
Andorra is known for its vast natural parks, mind-blowing ski slopes, and high-end, duty-free shopping. Andorra is also famous for having the highest capital in Europe, being the only co-principality in the world, and the only country with Catalan as its official language.What are the best months to visit Andorra? ›
The best time to go to Andorra is between May and September – with the quieter months either side of school vacations ideal for those with more flexibility, and July-Aug great for family fun.Can I speak English in Andorra? ›
Is English widely spoken in Andorra? Although just 2% put English as their mother tongue, English is also a common language in Andorra, given that the principality is a hub for tourism. The tourism industry is estimated to make up 80% of the economy, so it's important for people to understand and speak English.What you need to know before going to Andorra? ›
- Andorra is Considered a Microstate. Maybe you aren't sure where Andorra is, and if that's the case, no one could blame you. ...
- It's Not in the European Union (EU) ...
- It's a Tax Haven. ...
- The Official Language is Catalan. ...
- If You Drive, You Might Need Snow Chains.
Andorra is the world's 16th-smallest country by land and 11th-smallest by population. Its capital, Andorra la Vella, is the highest capital city in Europe, at an elevation of 1,023 metres (3,356 feet) above sea level. The official language is Catalan, but Spanish, Portuguese, and French are also commonly spoken.How long can Americans stay in Andorra? ›
You may enter Andorra through Spain or France under the Schengen Visa Waiver Agreement for a stay of up to 90 days; however, long term visitors should follow the relevant residency regulations and obtain the required Andorra residence card (Note: Andorra does not issue visas).Is Andorra a cheap place to visit? ›
To summarize, Andorra is not expensive to visit compared to most other places in Western Europe.
GET TO ANDORRA BY TRAIN
The train is a good option for people coming from distant cities. The nearest train station is in France, in L'Hospitalet-près-l'Andorre located just 7 miles by road from the border.
Escudella is often referred to as Andorra's national dish. It is typically eaten in winter and on holy days, including at Christmas. It is a big hearty stew, and a particular favourite with meat-lovers. It contains ingredients such as chicken, veal, meatballs, pig snout and trotters, and butifarra sausage.How expensive is Andorra? ›
A family of four estimated monthly costs are 2,830.3$ (2,620.0€) without rent. A single person estimated monthly costs are 795.9$ (736.8€) without rent. Cost of living in Andorra is, on average, 23.9% lower than in United States. Rent in Andorra is, on average, 41.0% lower than in United States.What is the 90 180 rule in Andorra? ›
The rule means that non -EEA nationals, including British citizens (post-Brexit) cannot spend more than 90 days within a 180-day period within the Schengen zone.What is the best currency to use in Andorra? ›
Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and Vatican City use the euro as their national currency, in agreement with the EU. A number of countries and territories use the euro as their de facto currency such as Kosovo and Montenegro.Do you need a passport to go to Andorra? ›
For entry to Andorra, your passport should be valid for the proposed duration of your stay. No additional period of validity beyond this is required under Andorran entry requirements. All travel into Andorra requires transit via neighbouring France or Spain.Can an American move to Andorra? ›
Those wishing to move to Andorra have to apply for a residency permit for either passive or active residency. A passive residency is a way to go for those who wish to obtain a resident status and receive the tax benefits but do not want to live in Andorra for the majority of the year.Is it safe to drink water in Andorra? ›
The tap water in Andorra is perfectly safe to drink.Is Andorra a rich or Poor country? ›
Andorra Economy Data.
|Currency Name and Code||Euro (EUR)|
|Budget Surplus or Deficit - percent of GDP||-0.3%|
|Public Debt (% of GDP)||41.1%|
Andorran cuisine is mostly Catalan and Provençal, with influences from French and Spanish cuisines. The country's unique location, in the Pyrenees, plays a huge role in the development of its cuisine.
Today, approximately 99.1 percent of the de facto population belong to the Catholic faith. There is a small minority of Protestants (0.35 percent), some Jews, and followers of other religions. The increased immigration of recent years has led to a slight rise in thenumber of Muslims and other religions.What is the main culture in Andorra? ›
|Ethnic Groups||Spanish 43%, Andorran 33%, Portuguese 11%, French 7%, other 6%|
|Population Growth Rate||0.22%|
|Population in Major Urban Areas||ANDORRA LA VELLA (capital) 23,000|
|Predominant Language||Catalan (official), French, Castilian, Portuguese|
Andorran Visa Services
For US citizens, Andorra is a party to the Schengen Agreement. This means that U.S. citizens may enter Andorra for up to 90 days for tourist or business purposes without a visa. Your passport should be valid for at least three months beyond the period of stay.
You can pay by card at all kinds of shops, accommodation and leisure establishments. If you have any doubts about how the bank system works in Andorra, consult the official website of the Andorran Banking Association. The euro (€) has been the official currency of Andorra since it was introduced in 2002.Can you drink alcohol in Andorra? ›
Andorra has strict rules on public drunkenness. It's forbidden to drink alcohol on the street. Andorra applies a zero tolerance policy to the possession and use of illegal drugs.What language is spoken in Andorra? ›
The official and historic language is Catalan.What is the real name of Andorra? ›
Andorra, officially the Principality of Andorra (Catalan: Principat d'Andorra), also called the Principality of the Valleys of Andorra (Catalan: Principat de les Valls d'Andorra), is a sovereign landlocked microstate in Southwestern Europe, located in the eastern Pyrenees mountains and bordered by Spain and France.What airport do you fly into for Andorra? ›
The closest airport, with the official name Andorra-La Seu Airport (LEU), is located in La Seu d'Urgell, a town bordering our country, and the capital of the Alt Urgell region (in the province of Lleida). This high mountain airfield has the navigation technology necessary to offer flights all year round.Can you fly to Andorra? ›
Andorra is a principality in the east Pyrenees that shares a border with both France and Spain. Although there are no direct flights to Andorra, it can be reached by flying to Barcelona, Girona, Toulouse, Lleida or Perpignan.
The 90-day rule applies a presumption that a nonimmigrant visa holder made a misrepresentation at the time of admission or application for a nonimmigrant visa when that nonimmigrant enters the United States and within 90 days engages in conduct inconsistent with his or her nonimmigrant status.What is the prettiest town in Andorra? ›
Ordino is known among Andorran residents as the prettiest town in the principality with a population of 3,000. It is situated at a high altitude of 1,301 meters above sea level and is located in the north of the principality near France.What is the most beautiful town in Andorra? ›
El Pas de la Casa, most beautiful town in Andorra
El Pas de la Casa is a small town in the parish of Encamp that is located in the Pyrenees mountains near the border of France.
It's absolutely both a good choice and a special and unique experience. Scroll down for photos. For small groups who wish to experience Andorra on a day tour, we recommend a 1 day private Barcelona to Andorra tour offered by a small and reliable local family tour company who often get 5 star reviews on Tripadvisor.Is Andorra very expensive? ›
Past travelers have spent, on average, €45 ($49) on meals for one day and €39 ($43) on local transportation. Also, the average hotel price in Andorra for a couple is €138 ($152). So, a trip to Andorra for two people for one week costs on average €2,301 ($2,541).