Visit Neuchâtel, a city rich in history and culture
Just 3 hours 51 minutes from Paris, discover exceptional scenery!
Although Neuchâtel is a little off the beaten tourist tracks, at the far end of the lake, this city has a lot to offer. Neuchâtel, a medium-sized city in an exceptional setting. Bordered by its magnificent lake and the Jura mountain range, it faces the Alps.
Visitors will appreciate :
- the outdoor activities
- the haute cuisine
- the historical monuments
- the many festivals
Things to do in Neuchâtel
- Explore the castle and collegiate church They seem to form one single building; they are two of the city's iconic monuments. The castle overlooking the city dates back to the 5th century, and the collegiate church built alongside it is a gothic-style construction.
- Visit the Laténium, Switzerland's largest archaeological museum. It also boasts an outdoor complex on the banks of the lake. A fun, interactive approach to history which visitors of all ages will enjoy.
- Wander around the narrow little streets of the Old Town (don't miss out on the passage des Corbets, which recalls the traboules of Lyon) and take the time to eat in the Maison des Halles, a covered market dating back to the middle ages, situated on the square with the same name.
- Go for a walk in the Jeunes-Rives park, which is fully equipped, just a stone's throw from the city centre. You'll find pebble beaches, extremely popular in the summer, as well as play areas. Take some bread with you and have fun feeding the many swans.
- Stray a little from Neuchâtel and travel along the wine trail. It's your chance to taste the region's crus (Chasselas, Pinot and Chardonney to name but a few) in the vineyards bordering the lake. You'll be surprised by the charms and beauty of the viticultural landscapes
The best time to visit Neuchâtel
- June - Festi’Neuch. Festival of modern music on the lake banks.
- July - NIFF. Fantastic film festival, one of the biggest Swiss film festivals.
- August - Buskers Festival. Acoustic music festival in the streets of the city lasting 5 days.
- September - Grape harvest festival. A three-day festival celebrating the start of the grape harvest.
The climate in Neuchâtel
The climate in Neuchâtel is pleasant and changes with the seasons. Its winter weather is not among the most harsh in Switzerland but it remains cold. The summer is hot and conducive to swimming in the lake. You will appreciate the Autumn for the palette of colours which develops in the vines and is reflected in the lake.
Did you know...?
- The city is home to numerous historical fountains that are definitely worth visiting. They often date back to the Renaissance and at the time were used as drinking troughs for livestock.
- It is called the "green fairy", it's a regional speciality, with a forbidden taste: absinthe. Forbidden for more than a century, many illegal producers continued to make it in the Val-de-Travers.
- If you enjoy hiking, opt for an excursion in the Creux-du-Van, an impressive rocky cirque in the Jura mountain range. With a little luck, you'll come across some ibexes.
Neuchâtel in figures
stars awarded to the Hotel Palafitte, one of the most spectacular in Switzerland, built on stilts in the lake.
types of chocolate can be found in the Philippe Suchard confectionery, the oldest in Switzerland.