Andorra la Vella Travel Guide
Andorra la Vella is a world of its own, albeit a tiny one. It is the capital of the postage-size independent principality of Andorra – think one-fifth the size of Rhode Island, all of 290 square miles (751 square kilometers) in area – perched on some of the highest peaks in the Pyrenees. It has amazing architecture, memorable panoramic views of the surrounding mountains, and an authentic European flair. Its principal lures are its duty-free shops and its proximity to some of Europe's finest and most popular ski resorts. And while Catalan is the official language here, French and Spanish are just as widely spoken. Ultimately, Andorra la Vella can fairly be described as an urban oasis, high up in the mountains, which offers in itself the ideal destination for lovers of both the city and the fabulous outdoors.
Andorra la Vella is the capital of the independent principality of Andorra, squeezed between France and Spain, situated at an elevation of a approximately 3,300 feet in the Pyrenees mountains.
The best way to get to Andorra la Vella is to fly into Barcelona, Toulouse or Pepignan, then drive up the mountainous routes to the city. It's only a few hours' drive from any of those cities.
For things to see and do in Andorra la Vella, apart from bargain hunting in its duty-free shops, there’s the 16th-century Casa de la Vall on Carrer de la Vall, which houses the Andorran government and offers in itself a superb example of Andorran architecture. There are also a handful of museums worth visting in nearby communities, notably the Casa Cristo Museum in Encamp, which has exhibits centered around Andorrans’ rural lifestyle; the Siadristyi Museum in Ordino, which houses a vast collection of microminiatures by world-renowned miniaturist Nikolai Siadristyi, most of them only viewable under a microscope; and Museu del Tabac in Sant Julià de Lòria, filled with tobacco memorabilia, machinery and gadgets. And then there’s the Sanctuary of in Canillo, a lovely, 17th-century church with sweeping arches on its portico.
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