Andorra la Vella is not just the capital of Andorra, it’s also the highest capital city above sea level in Europe and its superb location in the heart of the Pyrenees mountains makes it one of the greenest, healthiest places on Earth. Apart from the natural beauty of its landscapes, the cultural and leisure options are reason enough to come and explore this amazing city. Here are just a few of the most important monuments in the old quarter of Andorra la Vella, as well as other ideas to explore this beautiful city centre.
Historical monuments in the old quarter of Andorra la Vella
Probably the most emblematic building in Andorra la Vella and the Principality is Casa de la Vall. Built towards the end of the 16th century, from 1702 until 2011 it was the headquarters of the Consell General, the Andorran Parliament, one of the oldest in Europe. Guided tours of Casa de la Vall are available.
As for religious buildings, Andorra la Vella is home to splendid pre-Romanesque and Romanesque buildings that date back to the Middle Ages. In the old quarter you’ll find the church of Sant Esteve. To this day it preserves its Romanesque semicircular apse and bell tower, one of the city’s most important landmarks.
In the centre of Andorra la Vella you’ll also come across other historical buildings, such as Casa Guillemó, a house in Plaça Príncep Benlloch, very close to the church of Sant Esteve. You’ll also see several samples of granite architecture from the first half of the 20th century, such as Casa Felipó, next to the Pyrénées department store, and the old Vilanova clinic in Plaça Rebés.
Other attractions in Andorra la Vella
Given the political importance and economic development of Andorra la Vella, the city is home to some very important institutions, often housed in modern buildings with a more contemporary style. One such example is the new Consell General, which has served as home to the Principality’s parliament since 2011, located in the old quarter next to Casa de la Vall. There’s also the Congress and Exhibition Centre, the City Council and the administrative building of the Government of Andorra.
Andorra city centre: A whole lot of plans to enjoy your way
Apart from the art and culture in the centre of Andorra la Vella, you'll find many other completely different plans to suit you tastes, such as the culinary offerings. In the historic centre of the city you’ll find around 30 restaurants to suit all tastes and budgets. Of course, you can sample the local cuisine and traditional dishes using on fresh seasonal vegetables and discover traditional cooked meats such as donja, bringuera, bull, llonganissa and botifarra. You can also taste Andorran beef (DO) and game dishes, such as wild boar or hare (stewed with wine and chocolate). During mushroom season, you’ll find lots of wonderful mushroom-based recipes. There are also plenty of more contemporary and international options.
The city has some major shopping centres and high streets where shopping is a real tourist attraction. The old quarter also functions as an open-air shopping centre, with small shops that stress the close personal touch. Avinguda Meritxell is one of the main commercial arteries of the city and the Principality as a whole. Jewellery, watches, perfumes, electronics, fashion and accessories are just some of the many options that bring tourists with an eye for unbeatable value for money to Andorra.
Visit the old quarter of Andorra la Vella and savour a fascinating combination of history, modernity and leisure.