Arinsal is one of the best destinations for beginner to intermediate skiers in the Pyrenees and the Arinsal nightlife is just as exciting. The après ski entertainment ranges from casual pubs with live music to Argentinian-style steakhouses. In the Arinsal bars, you can do everything from participating in a quiz night competition to dancing to a live band’s set. Some of the highlights for enjoying the Arinsal nightlife feature a lively, party-like atmosphere, while others are quieter and more family-friendly.

Andorra’s skiing nightlife isn’t one of the country’s major selling points, but here in Arinsal things are a little different.

Below you’ll find our guide to enjoying the food, drink and entertainment – all just steps from our front doors at Sant Moritz. Take your pick based on what you want to eat, drink and do!

What to Expect from the Nightlife in Arinsal

With a population of 1,700 and the capacity to accommodate nearly that many guests, at any one time, Arinsal is a town that knows how to have fun. Even though we’re just a 15-minute drive from Andorra la Vella the balance here definitely tilts towards tourism.

You’d think that Andorra’s nightlife mostly takes part in la Vella, but it’s not really the case. The real party is in Arinsal as this is where many ski tourists choose to stay.

By the end of a day on the beautiful slopes near Arinsal, finding an apres ski spot is a high priority.
By the end of a day on the beautiful slopes near Arinsal, finding an après ski spot is a high priority. Image: Wikimedia.

Because Arinsal, and generally all of La Massana parish, is known primarily for mountains and skiing the Arinsal nightlife caters to all of those who are attracted by the promise of alpine adventures. That means a broad diversity of bars and restaurants.

The area around Arinsal offers many tempting summer activities from hiking to mountain biking. Despite the pleasantness of the weather and the opportunity for various warm-weather pursuits, Arinsal is quieter in the summer months and some of the restaurants and bars discussed here will close for the season.

Among Europe’s ski-resort destinations, Arinsal is definitely one of the most affordable. For instance, the price for a small beer ranges from €1.50 to €3.

Best Arinsal Bars for Après-ski Drinks

Skiing in the Andorran sunshine is a pleasant way to spend a day. It’s fair to say that you’ve earned a drink or two after all of that exercise. These are the best places in Arinsal to unwind après ski.

The riverside patio at El Cabin is a relaxing spot after a day of skiing.
The riverside patio at El Cabin is a relaxing spot after a day of skiing.

The outdoor balcony at El Cabin Bar Restaurant combines the tranquility of a river view with a friendly, bustling atmosphere sponsored by Corona. Après ski is so important here that the words are right on the sign. The relaxed atmosphere attracts visitors of all ages, from all over the world.

Arinsal’s favourite Irish bar, El Derby, is across the street from Sant Moritz. The authenticity is helped by having Ireland’s best-known beer on tap and a menu of British pub classics, plus a lively atmosphere.

Polar Bear, at the top of the gondola, has an outdoor patio for when the weather cooperates and we’re able enjoy a warm, sunny afternoon. And opposite the bottom of the gondola, El Moli has a raucous downstairs bar and an upstairs restaurant with a globally influenced menu.

Arinsal Bars for Entertainment

On Wednesdays, El Cabin Bar Restaurant hosts a weekly quiz night that tends to be popular, so arrive early. The entertainment programme on other nights also features live music that slants to bluegrass and classic American rock. The intimate space makes it feel like you’re on-stage dancing with the band.

The atmosphere in Arinsal's best bars is friendly and fun-loving.
The atmosphere in Arinsal’s best bars is friendly and fun-loving. Image: Drew Farwell.

Meanwhile, a four-minute walk down the street, Wednesday is karaoke night at El Derby – pick your favourites and drag your friends on stage to belt out the familiar lyrics.

El Moli, Surf, and Cisco’s all have live DJs on some weekend nights and tend to cater to a younger crowd.

Restaurants for dinner in Arinsal

A day spent outdoors can definitely work up an appetite. Luckily, there is a restaurant in Arinsal to suit just about every appetite.

Those looking for a carefully prepared, casual meal near Sant Moritz should head to our neighbours at El Cabin. The menu covers plenty of ground from patatas brava to bar-food staples like burgers and nachos.

Arinsal’s restaurant selection is strongly influenced by ideas brought here from Peru and Argentina. In other words, the South American steakhouse culture is alive and well here. Pampa Arinsal, Surf Arinsal, Ruta 40, and Hunters Sports Bar & Grill are all thriving examples of the category.

Meat eaters aren’t the only ones who will enjoy dining in Arinsal. Factory Arinsal, El Moli, Restaurant 360 Arinsal, and Hunters all offer vegetarian options. Some also have vegan and gluten-free menu selections.

Restaurant Emo, at the south end of the Arinsal strip, offers a refined, white-tablecloth experience and gets strong reviews from those looking for an elevated dining experience.

Gustus Restaurant in nearby La Massana is also a good option for a special-occasion meal.

Getting Around Arinsal in the Evening

Arinsal is a relatively small village with tourist accommodations and attractions clustered close to the slopes. That means that getting from ski to après ski isn’t as difficult as in other destinations.

Arinsal is a very walkable village and if you want to fully enjoy the nightlife, it's best to not drive yourself.
Arinsal is a very walkable village and if you want to fully enjoy the nightlife, it’s best to not drive yourself. Image: Wikimedia.

Walking Arinsal

It’s possible to walk from Apartaments Sant Moritz, in the centre of Arinsal, to either end of the village in about 15 minutes. Like Andorra generally, there is almost no crime in Arinsal so you can feel safe travelling by foot here, even after dinner.

Arinsal by Bus

The L5 line of Andorra’s intercity coaches connects Arinsal to Andorra la Vella. It has an affordable fare and operates between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m., roughly. After that, there is a night bus route that runs from Ordino to Arinsal and then to Andorra la Vella. More information about bus services in Andorra can be found on the government’s website.

Taxis in Arinsal

Taxis are mostly unnecessary for getting around Arinsal since it’s small enough to be walkable. But for airport transfers and travelling to other parts of Andorra, there are several company options. Booked taxis will charge a fee for the time it takes them to get to Arinsal from Andorra la Vella. There is a taxi stand in Plaça d’Arinsal in front of Hostal Pobladó.

It’s never advisable to drive yourself after a night out. Note that Andorra has a legal limit of blood-alcohol concentration for drivers of 0.05 which is less than the 0.08 common in many jurisdictions.

Arinsal Nightlife During the Off-season

Arinsal is a ski town first. Despite the possibility of great summer activities like exploring the lakes of Andorra or cycling in Andorra, things tend to slow down a bit in Arinsal after the ski hills close.

A few of the bars and restaurants also close for the warmer months. At the ones that are open, the pace is slower and you’re less likely to find a live band on stage or a packed dance floor, though to be honest much of Andorra’s nightlife quietens down during Summer, outside of the Festa Majors that take place around the country.

That said, El Cabin, Restaurant 360, Hunters and some of the larger pubs will be open during the summer season.

Staying at Sant Moritz

We are located in the heart of Arinsal. Our home in the middle of the village offers convenient access to all of the après ski, dining and entertainment options the Arinsal nightlife has to offer.

Book your stay with Sant Moritz and we’ll be happy to help make sure you have an excellent stay – from the morning’s first run down the mountain to the evening’s last nightcap.

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