Bargaining is not usually appropriate, or necessary, in Andorra.
Dangers & Annoyances
Andorra has a low crime rate, but it's always best to follow common sense.
- Icy winter roads and traffic congestion can make driving tricky; come suitably prepared (winter may mean chains) and monitor road conditions (www.mobilitat.ad).
- Keep an eye on snow/condition reports, available through the Ski Andorra (www.skiandorra.ad), Vall Nord (www.vallnord.com) and Grand Valira (www.grandvalira.com) websites.
- Passport control is rare at the borders, but you may be stopped by customs on the way into Spain and/or France, so make sure you stick to the duty-free limit.
- There have been several alcohol-related foreigner fatalities on Andorra's ski slopes; take care.
Government Travel Advice
- Australian Department of Foreign Affairs (www.smarttraveller.gov.au)
- British Foreign Office (www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/andorra)
- Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs (https://travel.gc.ca/destinations/andorra)
- Germany (www.auswaertiges-amt.de)
- Japan (www.mofa.go.jp)
- Netherlands (www.government.nl)
- New Zealand (www.safetravel.govt.nz)
- US State Department (http://travel.state.gov)
Emergency & Important Numbers
|Andorra's country code||376|
|International access code||00|
Entry & Exit Formalities
Be sure not to go over your duty-free allowance when crossing back into Spain or France, as customs checks may occur.
- Alcohol 1.5L of liquors of more than 22%, plus 5L of wine
- Cosmetics 75g of perfume, plus 375ml of cologne
- Electronics Up to €900 per person (€450 for under 15s)
- Tobacco 300 cigarettes or 150 cigars under 3g
Visas are not generally required, but to reach Andorra you must pass through Spain or France. Details are readily available on the Andorra Turisme website.
Andorra is a fairly relaxed place, though there are a few loose etiquette points.
- Greetings Shake hands when first introduced to people. Women usually exchange two kisses, with both each other and close male friends.
- Language Many people speak Spanish, French, Portuguese and/or English, but do remember that the official language is Catalan.
- Visiting churches Andorra is mainly a Catholic country; respect the timings of worship services.
Andorra is such a small nation that there isn't really much of an LGBTQ-specific scene. That said, it's also a modern country, sandwiched between particularly gay-friendly Spain and France, and LGBTQ travellers should feel perfectly at home here. The age of consent is 16 and, since 2005, same-sex couples have been able legalise their relationships under a 'Stable Union of a Couple', though it wasn't until 2014 that civil unions were introduced (effectively allowing same-sex couples to adopt).
Wi-fi is widely available in most hotels, restaurants and cafes, plus a few public streets in the capital.
- The Cos de Policia d'Andorra is the national police force, contactable by dialling 110.
- Andorra has strict laws against the possession and use of illegal drugs, which include cannabis.
Andorra's currency is the euro (€). ATMs are widely available and credit cards are accepted in most hotels and restaurants.
For current exchange rates, see www.xe.com.
Tipping is optional, but very welcome.
- Hotels Loose change; not expected.
- Pubs Loose change; not expected.
- Restaurants For decent service, 10%.
- Taxis For decent service, 10%.
Opening hours are often reduced outside peak times.
Banks 9am–5pm Monday to Friday
Bars and Clubs 10pm–4am or 5am
Restaurants 1–4pm and 8–11pm
Shops 9am–2pm and 4pm–8pm Monday to Saturday
Public holidays in Andorra are similar to those in neighbouring Spain, with holiday periods over Easter and July/August. Major national holidays include the following:
New Year's Day 1 January
Reyes (Day of the Three Kings) 6 January
Dia de la Constitució (Constitution Day) 14 March
Divendres Sant (Good Friday) March/April
Festa del Treball (Labour Day) 1 May
L'Assumpció (Feast of the Assumption) 15 August
Nostra Senyora de Meritxell (Our Lady of Meritxell) 8 September
Immaculada Concepció (Feast of the Immaculate Conception) 8 December
Nadal (Christmas) 25 December
Smoking Banned in all indoor spaces since 2014.
Taxes & Refunds
Andorra's IGI (Impost General Indirecte) is a 4.5% sales tax levied on most goods and services. It's often not included in hotel room prices or restaurant menus, so do check.
You can use local SIM cards in unlocked GSM phones, though Andorran prices are high. Note that Andorra is not part of the EU, so it doesn't abide by EU roaming laws.
Time zone Andorra is one hour ahead of GMT/UTC in winter, and two hours ahead during daylight-saving months.
Daylight saving From the last Sunday in March to the last Sunday in October.
Time difference Andorra is on the same time as Madrid and Paris; one hour ahead of Dublin, Lisbon and London; six hours ahead of Washington DC; and nine hours behind Canberra during European summer (11 during European winter/Australian summer).
Public toilets are a rare find in Andorra. Pop into a department store, or stop in at a cafe for a quick coffee in order to use its services.
As well as the national tourist board based in Andorra la Vella, there are municipal tourist offices across the principality.
Travel with Children
With efficient transport, quality accommodation choices, a low crime rate and bucketloads of activities (for all seasons) crammed into a compact nation, Andorra makes a wonderful family-friendly destination, particularly for anyone with kids keen on adventure sports. Ski resorts tend to offer both winter and summer activities, so it's a great spot for year-round family fun.
Baby-changing facilities Available in some, but certainly not all, restaurants and public spaces. Department stores are usually a good bet for clean facilities.
Hotels Andorran hotels often have good-value triple, quadruple or even bigger rooms aimed at families, and at the very least can usually provide an extra bed or cot; you'll need to request these when booking, and there may be an extra charge.
Lifts & Pavements Generally plentiful and in good condition for pram-users in the capital.
Dinner time Many restaurants have dedicated, sensibly priced, kids' set menus, with a drink, dessert and straightforward main (like grilled chicken and chips). Shopping centres are good for hunting down snacks between traditional local mealtimes (which might take some adjusting to for hungry little ones unaccustomed to Andorran eating hours).
Transport If hiring a car, request car seats for children well in advance, and note that kids under 10 are not allowed to sit in the front. Children often get discounts on tickets for buses (and also museums).
What to bring You should be able to find everything you need in Andorra, though it's worth packing supplies of particular brands/items you use regularly at home.
Despite its mountainous terrain, Andorra's facilities for travellers with disabilities are steadily improving, with wheelchair access and adapted bathrooms now available at many shops, restaurants and hotels (in the capital, main towns and, to a lesser extent, the ski resorts), as well as dedicated parking spots. Andorra Turisme (http://visitandorra.com) publishes lists of wheelchair-accessible restaurants and hotels, and the tourist office in Andorra la Vella can also provide advice. The eastern ski resort of Grand Valira is particularly accessible, with dedicated skiing classes and discounted prices for those with disabilities; see www.grandvalira.com/en/skiing-disabled.
Andorra-based travel agency Travel Xperience (www.travel-xperience.com) specialises in accessible travel and offers several multi-day trips within the principality, including wellness and winter-activity itineraries.
Download Lonely Planet's free Accessible Travel guides from http://lptravel.to/AccessibleTravel.
Weights & Measures
- Weights & Measures The metric system is used.
All foreign workers, including temporary ski-season workers, require work permits from the Andorran immigration services (www.immigracio.ad). Several of the ski-station websites have handy dedicated information pages for foreigners planning to work with them for the season.