What Capital City of Europe Sits at the Highest Elevation?

I have seen some claiming that Madrid is the highest capital city in Europe, but this is not so, in fact this is about one of its neighbor capitals.

The capital of Andorra, a landlocked state in the eastern Pyrenees, named Andorra la Vella, is the highest capital city in Europe. Its elevation is 1023 meters (3356 feet) above sea level.

The mentioned Madrid is indeed on the second place with its 635 meters (2083 ft) of elevation.

Andorra or Principality of Andorra location

This is a small country so if you are not sure where it is, I think it is best to see the map below. It is zoomable so you can zoom in and zoom out:

This is the sixth-smallest nation in Europe with an area of 468 square kilometers (181 square miles), and it is the 17th-smallest country in the world.

Andorra has been a member of the United Nations since 1993. But I have seen an information that this is the 14th oldest country in the world, not really sure if this is true. But it dates back to 803 AD.

Is Andorra la Vella worth visiting?

Well, Andorra attracts more than 10 million of tourists every year, and this is partly because of its tax haven status. But this is also a great area of outdoor activities like mountaineering and skiing.

Note that it is relatively close to Barcelona, zoom out the interactive map above to see this.

Andorra la Vella.
Andorra la Vella.

What currency do they use in Andorra?

It is interesting that Andorra is not a member of the European Union, and it is not a Schengen state. However, euro is its official currency. They signed a Monetary Agreement in 2011.

I have read somewhere that they never had their own currency. It has always been either French or Spanish currency.

What is Andorra la Vella known for?

You have seen the title, this is it. But just like Andorra as a country, this is about tourism, skiing, mountaineering, and duty-free shopping.

What language is used in Andorra la Vella?

Here you have yet another interesting fact. Andorra is the only existing country where Catalan is the official language. As you probably know, this is a language of Barcelona and Catalunya.

Do you need a car in Andorra?

Most definitely so. There are no railroads and taxis are scarce. It is best to come with a car.

Are things cheaper in Andorra?

The answer is yes. Andorra has a low taxation policy and products are significantly less expensive than in its neighbors countries.

But from what I know, there are limits for what you can take home, Andorra is not a member of EU, and the surrounding countries are EU countries, you have no other way out.

How do I get from Barcelona to Andorra by train?

Actually there is no train line all the way to Andorra. You can go from Barcelona to L’Hospitalet-près-l’Andorre (France) by train, and there take the bus for the rest.

How long does it take to drive from one side of Andorra to the other?

This is a small area, it measures roughly 30 km (18.7 mi) E–W, and 25 km (16 mi) N–S. You will need less than one hours to cross the country.

You can see more about the area in this useful video:


So this was a short presentation of Andorra la Vella, the European capital city with the highest elevation. You might want to compare it with the highest American state capital Santa Fe.

Check also my texts about the capital of Poland and capital of Slovakia. Do you know which capital is the northernmost in the world? If not, read about this in my separate text.

Let me know if you feel I have missed to add something important, there is a comment box below.

This site is all about capitals, and I add texts here on a regular basis, so bookmark it and keep as a reference. Thank you for reading and have a nice day.

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