Andorra was one of the most beautiful countries that I have visited so far. Although often forgotten due to its size, it’s not as difficult to get to as you may think.
By car, there are only two road entrances into the country, one to the north from France, and one to the south from Spain. Depending on time of day or year these two entrances can get very busy because Andorra is NOT a member of the EU nor the Schengen Zone. Traveling by bus into the country helps save time by being able to pass by the car traffic at boarder control.
Luckily it is very easy to get to Andorra by bus, especially from Barcelona, which is only a few hours southeast. Andorra Direct Bus offers a bus route that begins at the Barcelona Airport (BCN), goes through the main bus station in Barcelona (Sants Station) and onto the capital city of Andorra, Andorra la Vella. With buses leaving every 2 – 3 hours and the trip only about 3.5 hours, Andorra was the perfect day trip for me on my weekend in Barcelona.
One of the benefits of teaching English abroad is being able to utilize weekends for exploring other countries. Searching flights on Ryanair that could take me out of Budapest on Friday evening and bring me back on Sunday evening (that were also affordable) is a priority for me when looking for a weekend trip. When I found airfare for approximately $90 USD from Budapest to Barcelona, I immediately booked my tickets and began planning my first trip to Spain!
I arrived in Barcelona airport at about 10:30pm and easily took the Barcelona Aerobús to my AirBnB, which right in between the airport and downtown Barcelona at Plaça Espana. After a good night’s sleep I woke up the next morning and enjoyed a quick 20 minute walk to Barcelona’s Sants Station (transportation hub for buses and trains).
I took the 8:15am train from Barcelona Sants and found myself in beautiful Andorra at 11:15am. While I was hoping to have an afternoon in the mountains for a half day of skiing at Grandvalira, I found the resort was a bit further from the capital than I had thought. With only one afternoon to spare, I spent my afternoon relaxing in Andorra la Vella, and it has been one of my most favorite travel experiences yet.
I took the 6:15pm (18:15) bus from Andorra la Vella and arrived back in Barcelona between 9:30pm and 10:00pm. I enjowalked back to Plaça Espanya with a fascinating young Andorra woman I had met on the bus who was studying in Barcelona and living close to my AirBnb. I was in bed by 11:00pm in preparation for exploring Barcelona the next day!
If you find yourself with some extra time in southern France or Barcelona, Spain, I highly recommend a trip to Andorra. More to come soon about my afternoon explore Andorra’s capital, Andorra la Vella!
Article by Megan K. Lethbridge
March 6th, 2017