Neuchatel

View from the castle hill

Neuchâtel (German: Neuenburg) is a small town in western Switzerland. Neuchâtel is part Suisse Romande — the French speaking Switzerland.

Understand

Celebrating its 1000th anniversary in 2011, Neuchâtel has a wonderful location between the eponymous lake and the Jura mountain chain. You can travel from the mountains to the beach in just a couple of minutes. There's a magnificent view to the Alps as well across the lake. Lac Neuchâtel itself is 38km long and 8km and thus the largest lake entirely in Switzerland.

Tourist Office

Get in

By train

Neuchâtel railway station

Neuchâtel is served by the major train line which crosses Switzerland on the southern Jura. Trains arrive in Neuchâtel hourly, if not more often, from major Swiss cities such as Bern, Lausanne, Geneve, and Zürich. The railway station is a 15 minute walk from downtown, alternatively you can take the bus 7 or 9 towards Place-Pury or take the funicular down to the lakefront.

By plane

The nearest major airports are in Geneva and Basel, the one in Berne is chiefly for charter flights.

By car

The A5 motorway between Basel and Geneva passes next to the city. Neuchâtel has nine car parks, six underground and three outdoors.

By boat

Thanks to the many boat lines on the lake, you can easily get into town from places like Estavayer-le-lac, Yverdon-les-Bains, Morat or Bienne. At the web site of Navigation you can find schedules and prices.

Get around

By public transport

Public transportation in Neuchâtel is fairly good. Neuchâtel has a reliable bus, tram, and train network operated by Transports Neuchâtelois (TN) and running throughout the city itself as well as the many outlying communities, as well as other towns in the area. In addition to that public transport network also comprises three funiculars. All bus lines converge at the main square of the city, Place Pury.

You can buy a ticket from vending machines found at bus stops and there is a 24 hour pass for CHF7.00 which allows you to use any transport in the Neuchâtel area for 24 hours from the time of issue.

By bike

Getting around by bike is possible even if you didn't bring one. The local organization Neuchâtel roule rents bikes and biking equipment like helmets and child seats.

By foot

The old town is pedestrianized and pleasant to walk in. The way up to the railway station from downtown is fairly steep, though.

See

On the castle's courtyard
The water mill at Gor de Vauseyon

Museums

The Jaquet-Droz automata

Do

The town as seen from a boat on the lake

Visit the old downtown with a historic center. Neuchâtel is home to several museums, including a museum of natural history and a museum of ethnography.

Buy

A Swiss watch made in the Val-de-Travers.

Neuchâtel features a variety of small fashion boutiques in the downtown area; however, cheaper items of clothing can easily be purchased at the city's only shopping center, the Maladiere, which is combined with the soccer stadium near the waterfront.

Eat

Palace Peyrou

Fondue Neuchâteloise, which is a speciality of Switzerland, that consists of molten cheese in which you dip bread.

Neuchâtel features an abundance of restaurants and eateries, including several Crêperies. As well, there are several chocolate shops and bakeries throughout town which sell small sugary treats at varying prices.

Budget

Mid-range

Splurge

Drink

A number of regional wines, including the ones from Auvernier, Cortaillod, Hauterive and La Coudre. They may seem bitter.

Neuchâtel has many bars and clubs throughout the city center, with varying degrees of classiness. Depending on the bar, different crowds are often present.

Sleep

Rue du Château in the old town

Mid-range

Splurge

Stay safe

Neuchâtel is a fairly safe city, but compared to the rest of Switzerland, it may have a relatively high "crime-rate". Although violent crime is unheard of, petty crime and pickpocketing is a problem. Avoid going to suspicious places like Jolimont and Serrieres after dark.

Go next

Train travel from Neuchâtel can easily take you to many of the major destinations in the area; the TGV from Bern to Paris passes through Neuchâtel, taking four hours to reach the City of Lights. Train travel to major Swiss cities is also very simple: 40 minutes to Bern, 1 hour 30 to Zürich, 40 minutes to Lausanne, around 1 hour to Geneve, and between 2 and three hours to reach destinations in the Swiss Alps such as Grindelwald, Brig, and Kandersteg.


This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Monday, September 07, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.