Andorra la Vella, capital city of Andorra
Andorra la Vella is the nerve center of Andorra, a mini country wedged between Spain and France. The capital is a major commercial center, home to most of the country’s 2,000 shops, restaurants with six-language menus and nightclubs offering everything from 1940’s vintage glam to international DJs spinning the latest techno jams. This bustling urban environment is in constant contact with nature thanks to the city’s location on a narrow river plain. Green spaces abound, offering plenty of places to relax and take in the Romanesque architecture that defines Andorra la Vella.
One of the capital’s oldest and most beautiful sights is the 9th-century Santa Coloma church. A circular belfry was added to the structure in the 12th century, and it is one of the only remaining Lombard belfries in the Pyrenees. At the same time, Romanesque mural paintings were added to the church’s interior by a local master. The paintings were seized by the Germans in 1930 and taken to Berlin until they were recovered in 2007 by the Andorran government. Other notable pieces within the church include a colorful wooden statue of the church’s patron saint and an Agnus Dei surrounded by angels and geometric framing.
Santa Coloma’s next-door neighbor is another Romanesque gem, the St. Vicenç d’Enclar Church. Built during the 9th century, the church is Andorra’s oldest and is only accessible by foot. It is worth the hike to explore the two-story building that has been restored to its original appearance.
Just a short walk from St. Vicenç is the Casa de la Vall, a 16th-century building that now houses Andorra’s parliament. The square structure was designed in the style of the farmhouses of noble Catalan families, and it features three galleries, a display of the country’s coats of arms and lush gardens filled with contemporary sculptures.
Casa de la Vall is located in the capital’s Old Town neighborhood, the heart of Andorra la Vella. Wander down the narrow cobblestone streets exploring its charming squares, eclectic boutiques, world-class restaurants, and posh art galleries.
The city is surrounded by what locals call the Green Ring, a pristine natural reserve with walkways that take visitors through natural, cultural and historic points of interest. The Rec de líObac walkways cuts through the city’s densest forest area, tobacco farms and orchards, and the Sola walkway provide some of the best views of the city. Other routes highlight Andorra la Vella’s farming history, Romanesque architecture and the relationship between the city and its geological environment.
Skiing is the national pastime of Andorrans, and the capital boasts Southern Europe’s largest skiable area with 110 slopes spanning over 200 km. For even more fun in the snow, head out on one of the snowmobile excursions that leave from central Andorra la Vella almost daily throughout the winter season. Adventurous travelers can also get in touch with nature by mushing and snowshoeing.
There are many options for nighttime fun in the city, from multi-screen cinemas and bowling alleys to bingo halls and theaters. There is even more variety in the bar and club scene, which offers karaoke, open-air terraces, live music, and regular DJ sessions.
Andorra la Vella Geographical Location
Andorra la Vella is located in the Pyrenees Mountains in the southwest of Andorra.
The population of Andorra la Vella is approximately 25,000.
Andorra la Vella Language
Catalan is the official language of Andorra. Castilian and Portuguese are also common and French is common towards the border.
Andorra la Vella Predominant Religion
- Roman Catholic is the predominant religion in Andorra and although the constitution does provide freedom of religion the Roman Catholic Church is given some privileges over other religions.
Andorra la Vella Currency
The official currency of Andorra is the Euro.
Andorra la Vella Climate
Andorra la Vella experiences cool summers with cold and snowy winters.
Andorra la Vella Main Attractions
- Parish Church of St Stephen
- Placa del Poble
- Casa de la Calle
Other Attraction in Andorra la Vella
- Coll Arenys
- Iglesia Parroquial de Sant Esteve
- Santa Coloma
- Tax free Shopping