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Andorra is well known for its duty free shopping opportunities and undoubtedly the best place to take advantage of the bargains on offer is in the capital city of Andorra la Vella. However, if you prefer not to venture out of the resort there are a few places you can indulge in a spot of retail therapy in and around Soldeu itself.
Soldeu is home to a small selection of quality ski and snowboard shops where you can pick up everything you will need for a ski or snowboard trip. Esports Calbo (located within the main gondola building) is one of the larger sports shops in Soldeu with a good selection of clothing, equipment and gift ideas. It is also worth mentioning Slidewayz (great for snowboarders), Pic Negre and Esports Bonell which are all located on the main road running through the village and have an excellent and varied selection of ski and snowboard related goods.
There are a few small supermarkets in Soldeu, where you can pick up everyday groceries, postcards and gifts; these include Supermarket Post and Pirineu Supermarket both located on the main road “Carretera General”.
Shopping in El Tarter is a little limited; however you do not have far to travel to Soldeu, Andorra la Vella or Pas de la Casa. On the main road just at the edge of El Tarter you will find Caves Manacor, a never ending store specialising in delicatessen products, cheeses and typical foods from the region which you can sample as you wander around the store, they also stock a large selection of liquors, cigarettes, household items and gifts. Just next door in the car park you will also find a perfumery.
For more extensive shopping opportunities you might want to pay a visit to the capital city of Andorra la Vella. If you want to go, there are a couple of options:
Firstly is public transport, buses depart regularly from the main road through the villages of Soldeu & El Tarter and pick you up at various locations in Andorra la Vella for the return. See timetable below for further details.
Second option is a taxi, they work pretty much the same as anywhere else, hotel receptions will usually call one for you, or you can flag one down if you see one. The official price set by the government is €1.12 per km during the daytime (07:00 - 21:00) and additional supplements apply at night, during public holidays, for journeys outside of Andorra and for large items of luggage. Taxis cannot generally be pre-booked in Andorra, therefore you just have to wait for it to come.
If you are driving you will find various (chargeable) car parks in the centre, the main ones being located inside the Illa shopping centre and at Parc Central.
Once you have arrived in Andorra la Vella, you will find a fantastic array of shops selling predominantly electrical goods, jewellery, perfume, alcohol, cigarettes and tobacco, all at duty free prices. There is also a large indoor shopping centre called Illa Carlemany which is home to a number of shops, restaurants and a cinema complex, all spread over four floors. Contrary to popular belief Andorra is not completely tax free, in 2007 a sales tax was introduced and this currently stands at 4.5%, however this is still very low and prices generally remain a fair bit cheaper than most other parts of Western Europe.
The bus service to Andorra la Vella is operated by two companies - Hispano Andorrana and Cooperativa Interurbana Andorrana. It costs €3.45 one way from Soldeu and El Tarter to Andorra la Vella and the main line number is L3 (although you can also catch the L4 which runs less frequently). Tickets are bought in cash on the bus. The bus stops in Soldeu and El Tarter are on the main road.
|Bus Times To/From Soldeu & Andorra la Vella (Line L3)|
|Monday to Saturday||08:40 - 21:40
(Every 20 mins)
|07:40 - 20:40
(Every 20 mins)
|Sunday||08:40 - 21:40
(Every 30 mins)
|08:40 - 20:30
(Every 30 mins)
|You can also catch the bus on line L4 to & from Pas de la Casa.|
An alternative would be to take the 15 minute bus journey over to the neighbouring resort of Pas de la Casa, the bus number is L4 or L4B and there is a bus approximately every half an hour. Due to its location on the French border Pas is well known for its large selection of shops specialising in duty free goods such as cigarettes, alcohol, perfumes and clothing. Find out more about Pas de la Casa by clicking here.
The currency of Andorra is the Euro. There are cash machines in the village where you can easily withdraw money, alternatively you can still exchange money at most hotel receptions, just watch out for the exchange rate in hotels though as they can be quite low. The closest banks can be found a 10-15 minute bus ride away in either Pas de la Casa or in Canillo, both towns are also reachable on your skis as the ski areas are linked.
Andorra has customs on both the French and Spanish borders with regular vehicle searches carried out. The main duty free allowances, as per the Andorran government in October 2015 are:
For more information please visit the official customs website of Andorra.