If you’re looking for a break from the hustle and bustle of Barcelona, then this tiny country will provide you with a much more relaxed atmosphere with plenty of quiet time to simply enjoy the beautiful environment. In this travel guide, we will share a detailed Barcelona to Andorra day trip itinerary along with all the transportation, sightseeing, accommodation, and planning tips!
With its stunning scenery, exciting outdoor activities, and unique atmosphere, Andorra is sure to provide an unforgettable experience. And it is super easy to get to Andorra from Barcelona.
Barcelona to Andorra Day Trip Itinerary: Planning Tips and Travel Guide
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Andorra is a small, landlocked country located in the Pyrenees mountains of western Europe. It is bordered by Spain to the south and France to the north.
Though it may be small compared to its neighbors, Andorra has plenty to offer visitors looking for a unique holiday experience.
The history of Andorra dates back more than 1000 years when Charlemagne declared it an independent buffer state in the Middle Ages. It was done to defend France from the Moors.
Later, a fuel charter (Paréage of Andorra) was signed in 1278 which allowed for joint rulership of Spain and France. This arrangement lasted until 1993.
Today, Andorra is an independent nation and it is one of the few surviving small nations or microstates in Europe.
Andorra has been an important strategic location throughout its history and is currently known for being one of the most tax-friendly countries in Europe.
This makes the principality an attractive destination for both businesses and individuals looking to take advantage of its favorable tax policies.
Andorra is not a European Union member nor do they follow the Schengen agreement. And there are no airports or train systems in Andorra!
All travel into Andorra requires transit via neighboring France or Spain.
Barcelona to Andorra Distance and the BEST way to get there
Our very first trip to Andorra was in the fall, and we visited the Principality from Barcelona Spain. The nearest big city to Andorra is Barcelona, and from the French side, it is Toulouse.
The shortest travel distance between Barcelona and Andorra la Vella is 199 km (123.6 miles).
Traveling from Barcelona to Andorra is a popular and convenient journey for those looking to explore the beautiful Pyrenees.
There are multiple ways to get to Andorra which we will list below, but for a day trip, we recommend either driving there or taking guided tours.
Barcelona to Andorra by Car – Fastest
Traveling by car from Barcelona to Andorra is probably the most convenient way to get there. The journey takes about two and a half hours, depending on traffic.
There are a few routes that you can take (AP-7 with a toll fee and A2 without a toll from the airport), and you can also extend it as a day long road trip.
When driving to Andorra, make sure you have all necessary documentation such as a valid driver’s license, proof of insurance, and your passport or identity card.
If you require a rental car, you can check prices on Discover Cars and you can use the same vehicle from Spain to Andorra!
Before you pick up a rental car in Barcelona, you have to meet these requirements,
- You have to be at least 21 years of age
- Carry a valid driver’s license for at least one year,
- Valid ID (such as a passport or any photo ID),
- International Driving Permit,
- and proof of residency.
Yes, you can pick up a rental car in Barcelona and drive to Andorra and back.
Yes! You need an International Driver’s Permit (IDP) before driving a vehicle and entering the Andorran borders via car.
Private day tours from Barcelona to Andorra
We did a Three Countries In A Day tour – covering Baga in Spain, Ax-Les-Thermes in France, and finally in Andorra! This is a full day tour, and when you book a private tour you will be able to check off all three and also adjust your sightseeing in Andorra which is the highlight of the trip.
Here is what the Private Day Tour covers:
☑ Pick up and drop off from the hotel
☑ Visit 3 Countries in one day
☑ Sightseeing guide with transportation – English
☑ Have breakfast in the town of Baga
☑ Stop for lunch at the French spa town
☑ Explore Andorra la Vella
Enjoy a full day tour from Barcelona and check off France, and Andorra whilst taking in the views of the Pyrenees. The tour starts with a pickup and drop off from your Barcelona accommodation, and then drives through Montserrat.
You will explore the medieval town of Bagà, which is the first stop. Baga dates back to the 8th century and you can visit churches, and local cafes and learn about local traditions, and architecture.
From Spain cross over to France to visit the ancient spa town of Ax-Les-Thermes. Soak your feet in the hot springs of the town and later enjoy lunch at a local favorite and sample traditional Andorran Pyrenees dishes.
Thereafter you will cross the border into Andorra. This is the highlight of the day tour where you will explore many attractions and viewpoints including time in the capital, Andorra La Vella.
You will get free time for shopping and exploring at your own pace as well.
Barcelona to Andorra Bus – Cheapest
Traveling by bus is another popular way to reach Andorra, and it is also one of the cheapest options. However keep in mind the journey takes around three to four hours, depending on traffic, with stops along the route.
There are 2 bus companies that run on a regular basis throughout the year. One of them is AndBus and they are based in Andorra la Vella. You can book tickets online here on Busbud.com
We use Busbud when we book bus tickets from Canada. We have found tickets for 12 USD (or 17 CAD) on some days for the Barcelona to Andorra bus route.
So if your travel date is flexible you can save money here
Another option is to book on ALSA, which offers several trips daily. Tickets start at $30 USD and they cover Barcelona to Andorra la Vella.
If buses are the only option for you, then we recommend departing early morning, so that you can explore the capital city and nearby areas and then return by 07:00 pm.
You can catch a ride from the Barcelona El Prat airport or Estació Nord bus station. In three hours you will arrive in Andorra la Vella. Here you can either walk to major attractions or use public buses to get to places.
ALSA is a Spanish company and you can book and manage tickets on their website. Their coaches are comfortable with a variety of amenities such as Wi-Fi, and air conditioning, making the journey more enjoyable.
You can travel by bus from Barcelona to Andorra la Vella and it will take about 3 hours (the fastest).
Barcelona to Andorra Train
Unfortunately, there are no trains operating from Barcelona to Andorra. If you wish to use the train from Spain, here are a few options for you
Barcelona to Andorra Train Time is 5 to 6 hours, one way. You can take the train from Barcelona to Girona (arrive in 35 minutes), and then take a bus from Girona to Andorra la Vella via Manresa (arrive in around 5 hours 32 minutes).
There are trains available from Barcelona to get you closest to Andorra. Zaragoza is the nearest Spanish city to which you can ride the high-speed Renfe trains. They operate every day except Sundays and take about 2 hours to get there.
Then from Zaragoza, you have to drive or take the ALSA bus to Andorra. The bus takes anywhere from 4 to 5 hours, one way.
There are no trains going into the country. But a short drive away (11 km or 7 miles), you will find the nearest train station to the Andorran border – L’Hospitalet-près-l’Andorre.
As a major hub for southern French cities such as Toulouse, this station is serviced frequently by trains from all over France.
Barcelona to Andorra by Taxi or Uber
Although taking a cab or taxi from Barcelona to Andorra la Vella will be expensive it is still an option for you. Travel time is about 3 hours.
For a taxi ride from Barcelona to Andorra expect to pay 300 to 350 euros.
Yes, Uber operates in Andorra, and you can use one for getting around in the country.
Things to do in Andorra on a day trip
Once you arrive in Andorra la Vella, start by exploring some of the cultural attractions, followed by a stroll at the city centre or park. And before leaving the principality you can enjoy duty-free shopping.
A lot of the sightseeing stops below are super quick and you can easily skip the shopping, and museum visits if you are strapped for time.
We recommend checking off the churches, the shopping district, and the statues 100%!
1. The Santa Coloma Church
A renowned Cultural Heritage of Andorra, the Church of Santa Coloma d’Andorra is the oldest church in the country.
The church is dedicated to Columba of Sens who serves as its patron saint.
Santa Coloma Church stands as a testament to centuries of history and culture. It was originally constructed in the 8th century as a Romanesque fortress but has since been turned into a captivating Gothic masterpiece.
There is a small museum located at the church which is worth exploring.
2. Saint Esteve Cathedral
The awe-inspiring Església de Sant Esteve or Church of Saint Stephen is a renowned landmark in Andorra.
Believed to have been established between the 11th and 12th centuries, this Romanesque church stands as one of the oldest constructions in all of Andorra.
During the 20th century, drastic changes were made to the church. As part of these renovations, many mural paintings from the building were sent off to Catalonia National Art Museum in Barcelona and two private collections.
You can visit the church for free.
3. Casa de la Vall
Casa de la Vall is a 16th-century estate that was traditionally the location of Andorra’s Parliament – Consell General. It provided the seat for all governmental affairs in this small country.
Today, it is open to the public and offers a fascinating look into Andorran history. You can marvel at the impressive architecture of this grand estate and learn about past events that helped shape Andorra into what it is today.
The entry fee is about 5 euros.
4. Poets’ Statues
In front of Andorra’s Commune administration building stands a magnificent set of sculptures, known as ‘7 Poets’. These statues symbolize the seven parishes that makeup Andorra.
After taking a few pictures, you can head over to one of the museums.
5. Museums (optional)
Spend some time exploring the local museums and galleries in Andorra. We only recommend adding this to your list for the day if you are renting a car as some of the museums are located outside the city centre.
The Postal Museum aka Museo postal de Andorra, located in Ordino is a specialty museum that focuses on the evolution of mail services in Andorra.
Museu Casa d’Areny-Plandolit (in Ordino) is another one. The casa or the house showcases furniture and household items from the 17th century to the present times. You can go on a guided tour and later enjoy a stroll in the gardens.
6. City centre stroll
Take a stroll through the historic old town of Andorra La Vella. Here you can find plenty of interesting shops, restaurants, and cafes to enjoy.
7. La Noblesse du Temps or The Nobility of Time
La Noblesse du Temps or The Nobility of Time is a bronze sculpture created by Salvador Dali. It stands in the center of Andorra La Vella at Plaça de la Rotonda and is a popular local landmark.
The sculpture consists of three figures symbolizing the passing of time. A stroll around this beautiful piece of art is an absolute must.
8. Check off Pont de París
A short walk from the sculpture is a small bridge called the Pont de Paris. This captivating bridge crosses over the Valira River in Andorra la Vella.
Stop by the bridge and snap a few photos before heading to the next attraction.
9. Sign off for the day at Parc Central
Make your way to Parc Central next. This is a green park located in the capital city. Enjoy a nice walk/stroll before making your way back.
In the late evening, there are structures that are illuminated inside the park making it all beautiful!
10. Finish your day with shopping in duty free stores (and dinner)
Andorra is a shopping paradise with many luxury boutiques located in its capital city of Andorra La Vella.
The Principality is home to duty-free malls in Europe and is a great place to find luxury items at discounted prices.
You also have the option of visiting traditional markets where you can purchase locally-made handicrafts, food, and clothing.
After shopping, bid adieu to Andorra la Vella with a lovely dinner at one of the many restaurants (if time permits).
From traditional Catalan cuisine to international dishes, there is something to please everyone’s palate here. Make sure you try the famous cured meats, which are some of the best you’ll find anywhere in Europe.
With so much to explore in Andorra La Vella, a day trip here will certainly be an unforgettable experience!
Sightseeing Map for Andorra day trip itinerary
Where to stay in Andorra la Vella
For those looking to stay in Andorra, there are plenty of accommodation options.
The mountain resorts offer luxurious spa hotels and ski lodges with breathtaking views of the Pyrenees.
For a more affordable option, you can stay in one of the many bed & breakfasts or self-catering apartments found throughout the principality.
For those wanting to experience city life in Andorra, there are several stylish hotels located in the capital of Andorra la Vella. These provide easy access to all the shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues as well as access to the public transport system.
Whichever accommodation option you choose, you are sure to find a place to stay that suits your needs and budget during your visit to Andorra.
Here are our top picks,
For those looking for a luxurious vacation experience in Andorra, the Plaza Hotel is the perfect place to stay. Located in the downtown area, this modern hotel features stylishly decorated guest rooms, an indoor pool and spa, and a restaurant.
The hotel is conveniently located near the shopping district with its many boutiques and restaurants.
Hotel Spa Termes Carlemany:
If you’re looking for a romantic escape in Andorra, then consider staying at the luxurious Hotel Spa Termes Carlemany.
Located in picturesque Escaldes-Engordany, this hotel offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains. Enjoy modern amenities including a spa, fitness center, and an outdoor pool.
The hotel also has a restaurant serving delicious local cuisine.
The Hotel Pyrénées:
The Hotel Pyrénées is located just a few minutes from the ski resorts of Grandvalira and Vallnord. This is a three-star hotel that offers comfortable rooms and modern amenities including an outdoor pool and restaurant on site.
Day trips from Andorra
If you decide to stay overnight in Andorra you can keep it as a base to explore more of the Pyrenees.
With its stunning mountain scenery and rich cultural heritage, it’s no surprise that Andorra attracts visitors from around the world who are looking for an exciting day trip away.
La Seu d’Urgell (Spain):
One of the most popular day trips from Andorra is a visit to the old city of La Seu d’Urgell, located about 20 minutes’ drive away. This quaint village was once the center of power for both Spain and France during the Middle Ages and still contains several historical landmarks such as the Cathedral, which dates back to the 12th century.
The village is also known for its lively shops, restaurants, and art galleries which make it a great place to explore by day. Plus the views of the Sierra de Cadí mountains make this trip worth it.
For those looking for outdoor activities on their day trip from Andorra, the nearby ski resort of Grandvalira provides some of the best skiing in the Pyrenees.
You can stay in Andorra la Vella and then visit Grandvalira. There are also a number of trails and activities available on the mountain including snowshoeing, sledding, and dog sledding here.
And of course Barcelona. If you are keeping Andorra as a base and didn’t explore the Spanish city, then you must!
This vibrant city is home to some of the world’s most famous art galleries, museums, and landmarks such as La Sagrada Familia and Park Güell.
Barcelona also offers plenty of shopping, restaurants, bars, and nightlife which make it an ideal destination for those looking for a day of exploration.
Other Day trips from Barcelona Spain
Other than Andorra, there is a multitude of day trips that you can embark on from Barcelona.
Whether you want to explore the mountains of Montserrat or experience the culture of Girona, there are plenty of great destinations just a short drive or train ride away!
Just an hour and a half drive away from Barcelona lies the ancient Roman city of Tarragona. This seaside town is filled with well-preserved ruins, historical landmarks, and stunning beaches.
This beautiful mountain range north of Barcelona is a great spot for a day trip if you want to get out of the city. Here, you can take scenic hikes through the mountains and explore the Benedictine Monastery of Montserrat.
You could also get a bird’s eye view of the entire area by taking a cable car to the top!
Here is a detailed Barcelona to Montserrat day trip guide
Just two and a half hours away by train (or 3 hours by car), you can explore the walled city of Carcassonne in a day. This UNESCO World Heritage Site has preserved its medieval architecture and provides a glimpse into the past.
You can tour La Cite, the main attraction, as well as enjoy some delicious French food and wine in one of the many restaurants!
Girona is located about an hour and a half away from Barcelona and makes for a great day trip. Visit the old town to explore the cobblestone streets and admire the ancient architecture before stopping by one of the many cafes or restaurants for a drink or bite to eat!
Girona is also well-known for its Jewish Quarter, which you can explore to get a better idea of the city’s history and culture.
Costa Brava, Spain:
If you’re looking for a beach day, Costa Brava is the perfect spot. With its stunning blue waters and white sand beaches, it’s the ideal place to relax and take in the beauty of Spain’s coastline.
Whether you want to go swimming or just sit back and enjoy the view, this is a must-see on a day trip from Barcelona.
Best Time to visit Andorra
As one of the smallest countries in Europe, Andorra has become a popular destination for tourists from around the world.
But when is the best time to visit this beautiful country?
Winter (December-February) is the most popular time to visit Andorra, especially for those looking for a winter wonderland experience. The ski resorts in the Pyrenees are world-class and offer some of the best skiing and snowboarding opportunities in Europe.
Temperatures can reach as low as -10°C during these months, so bundle up warmly before heading out. The festive season is also an excellent time to visit Andorra, with a number of traditional markets appearing throughout the country.
The summer months (July-August) are also a popular time to visit Andorra due to the mild temperatures and plenty of sunshine. During this period, you can expect average daily highs of around 25°C and night-time lows of 14°C.
The sunshine makes it ideal for spending time outdoors, enjoying activities such as hiking, biking, or swimming in one of the many lakes and rivers.
Autumn (September-November) brings in pleasant weather to enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking and biking. The scenery during this time is particularly stunning, with the trees turning to shades of red and orange while the mountains become dusted with snow (by late November).
The days are shorter and cooler during autumn, but Andorra remains a beautiful destination for those seeking some late-season sun.
During spring (March-May) the temperatures start to rise again and outdoor activities such as hiking and biking become more accessible.
Many of the ski resorts are still open during this time, offering a chance to take in some of the stunning mountain scenery while enjoying a spot of skiing or snowboarding.
Travel Tips & FAQ: How to get from Barcelona to Andorra Guide
Andorra makes for a perfect day trip from Barcelona to visit a different country altogether. Set aside 2-3 hours for transportation time (one way), and then 6+ hours for sightseeing and shopping time in Andorra.
Technically yes. You can enter Andorra without a Schengen visa as they are not a European Union or a Schengen Area member. However, you will need a valid passport to enter the sovereign state.
Depending on your nationality you may need a Schengen Visa to enter either France or Spain as Andorra is landlocked and access to the country is through these EU countries.
Andorra has no visa requirement to enter the country. But due to its location, and being bordered by Spain and France you will need a visa to enter those countries and then make your way to Andorra.
The border control at Andorra–Spain border is located between La Seu d’Urgell and the parish of Sant Julia de Loria (in the Valira Valley).
For entry to Andorra, you do need a valid passport for the proposed duration of your stay.
Barcelona Airport to Andorra will take approximately 3 to 4 hours.
There are local buses available in the capital city of Andorra la Vella. Buses are cheap, and you can buy a daily or a weekly pass.
You can also pay by ride when visiting Andorra on a day trip.
Bus service is operated by Andorran Bus Lines, and there are six distinct routes that link all major towns in the Principality with one another.
Is it worth going to Andorra from Barcelona?
Yes, it is absolutely worth visiting Andorra from Barcelona. Located between France and Spain, Andorra is an independent microstate featuring incredible landscapes and awe-inspiring mountain peaks that are perfect for exciting outdoor activities such as skiing, hiking, mountain biking, and more.
The capital city of Andorra la Vella has a unique charm and the surrounding mountain villages offer great scenery and outdoor activities. There are also a variety of attractions, including traditional churches, museums, and natural sites.
Furthermore, Andorra is home to some of the finest ski resorts in Europe, making it an ideal destination for winter sports enthusiasts.
All in all, Andorra provides a unique experience that cannot be found anywhere else and it is definitely worth the trip from Barcelona.
So, if you are looking for an unforgettable adventure, Andorra is the perfect destination to explore!
Read more posts from our Spain blog:
- One day in Barcelona itinerary
- One week in Spain itinerary
- Most beautiful places in Spain
- Spain bucket list