Visit Andorra la Vella for Retail Therapy and More

February 26, 2013 by

Andorra la Vella

Scenic Andorra la Vella.

Andorra la Vella, or Andorra the Old, is the capital city of a small country called Andorra which is located on the border between France and Spain.

It’s a great destination for shoppers because they have low taxes on luxury goods. Travelers often compare it to a high end, duty-free shopping mall, nestled within the mountain landscape. 

Esglèsia romànica Sant Esteve

Esglèsia romànica Sant Esteve

Historical Old Town Andorra

While shopping is one of the main pastimes for Andorra la Vella visitors, it is also a destination rich with history. The settlement of Andorra la Vella actually dates all the way back to 1278.

History buffs enjoy the picturesque cobblestones and Romanesque architecture of the Old Town where tours of ancient churches, the parliament building, and Government Exhibition Hall can be enjoyed. Two churches you don’t want to miss include: 

  • Esglesia de Sant Esteve (St. Stephen): This old church is located at the center of the old capital of Andorra. The Romanesque building has been expanded several times, but the remains of the earliest construction can be found in the Romanesque semicircular apse (13th century) as well as the earliest portion of the walls of the nave. The outer part of the apse is decorated with a frieze constructed of serrated teeth, arches, and Lombard bands. The unusual square, three-story bell tower was built in 1940. 
  • Church of Sant Cugat (St. James): This old church features a Romanesque nave barrel vault. Arches divide the three sections of the nave with each supported on cylindrical columns with capitals adorned with Byzantine designs. This church also has a square bell tower and attached chapel.

Andorra Retail Therapy

Andorra retail therapy.

Mountain Getaway

Andorra la Vella receives millions of tourists each year even though it is three hours from the nearest airport. This mountain city makes a great skiing destination with several winter sports resorts nearby, as well as a perfect getaway for some retail therapy. 

Photo credits: Keith Laverack, lrargerich, MARIA ROSA FERRE

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