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Andorra, one of the smallest European countries (its area is three times smaller than the area of London!) is best known as a ski or shopping destination. The country's tax-free policy attracts many visitors from neighboring states - they can buy many goods (especially tobacco and alcohol) at much cheaper prices than at home - under strict EU rules. Although few come to Andorra for sightseeing and tourism, this small country has something more to offer - original architecture of the capital - Andorra la Vella, cozy villages, beautiful mountains and several hiking trails. Our visit to Andorra was a completely spontaneous decision.

The route leading from Barcelona to Andorra is particularly picturesque - lots of sleepy villages scattered here and there among the Pyrenees - the higher up you get to Andorra. We visited Andorra in March and the snow-capped hills and mountains looked quite impressive. As you cross the border into Andorra from Spain is the village made up almost entirely of shopping malls and shops - this is where most Spaniards come to shop.

The capital of Andorra - Andorra la Vella is the size of a small, quiet town. It has a vibrant feel to it, though. Andorra la Vella looks perfect. All buildings are in an ideal condition - the river is regulated and the architecture is a wise mix of ancient and modern.

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Walking further down towards the city center (along the river), you will notice that Andorra la Vella is filled with many types of strange and interesting statues and monuments. Right on the white modern bridge, you will see a clock - a statue that resembles Dali's famous painting - "Persistence of memory". The information center is located next door.

Following the river, you will end up in the old town in a few minutes. Here, you can admire the 12th century Church of Esteve , 16th century old town square and Casa de la Vall - the seat of the Parliament of Andorra. What's more - you'll see even stranger statues - work of modern art - like for example street lamps in the shape of a seated man!

Try the walking routes around the old town ( called Rec del Sola and Rec de'l Obac ). Perfect for a picnic, or just admiring the peaceful surroundings on a nice, sunny day. We love the cuisine of this small country, and we find it more affordable than Western European countries.

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