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Day trip to Andorra la Vella?

Hello Travelers!

Has anyone here done a day trip from, say, Toulouse or other near-by towns to Andorra la Vella? Did you take the train? Was it easy to arrive there? Any recommendations while in Andorra?

Posted by
6405 posts

Based on my (admittedly very short visit), I found it a pretty disappointing, unimpressive city, lacking in any charm. Maybe it has changed (it has been years since I went there), but my impressions were of a crass magnet for cheap goods, and not much else. The drive over the Pyrenees was beautiful, but once I got down into the city, it was traffic jams, parking challenges, and streets lined with sidewalk vendors hawking cheap junk and tax-free things that didn't interest me.

The mountains around the city are beautiful, and are popular for skiing in the winter, maybe good for hiking in the summers. Perhaps I missed out on its true charms?

(I was driving from southern France to Barcelona, and routed our drive through Andorra to get a look. We got a look and that was enough, we moved on quickly.)

Posted by
25587 posts

I haven't been to Andorra for many decades, but by all accounts the capital is basically a tax-free shopping destination now. There are many more-attractive options in the Pyrenees. Andorra la Vella has no train service. There are buses from Latour-de-Carol.

Posted by
6402 posts

I agree with the others, the short answer is "don't bother". Unless you are after liquor, cigarettes, or jewelery/watches.

I agree with the other posters. Don't go to Andorra for Andorra la Vella. But do go for the views and great roads to drive on if you like mountain drives. Looking around in 2008 I found even the duty free prices of most goods was more than I'd pay back in Canada. But cigarettes and gasoline were much cheaper than in France.

Posted by
624 posts

I can confirm that the hiking was beautiful, with many trails to choose from. (And skiing in the winter). Sightseeing wise, I'd focus on the villages in the French side, as there are some great places west of Carcassonne.