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Neuchatel

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Neuchatel (Neuchâtel) [1] is a small town in western Switzerland. Neuchatel is part of French speaking Switzerland. This part is also called "Suisse Romande".

Get in[edit]

Neuchatel is connected to Berne by suburban rail (Bern S-Bahn) with 1 train/hour on line S5 (2 trains/hour during peak, one of which requires change at Ins), taking 50 min to Neuchatel. There are also frequent direct trains from cities such as Lausanne, Geneve, and Zürich.

Get around[edit]

Public transportation in Neuchatel is fairly good. Neuchatel has a reliable bus, tram, and train schedule running throughout the city itself as well as the many outlying communities, as well as other towns in the area. All bus lines converge at the main square of the city, Place Pury.

You can buy a ticket from any of the bus stations and there is a 24 hour pass for CHF7.00 which allows you to use any transport in the Neuchatel area for 24 hours from the time of issue.

See[edit][add listing]

The old castle of Neuchatel, the historic downtown, the so-called "Eglise Rouge", the Red Church.

The old Chateau which sits atop a small hill in the center of town houses the parlaiment of the Canton of Neuchatel, as well as an old medieval cathedral. The Chateau is also situated in the midst of the city's Old Town, which features many centuries old yellow sandstone buildings and narrow cobblestone streets. As well, a large red Catholic church dominates the skyline of Northeastern Neuchatel.

Do[edit][add listing]

Visit the old downtown with a historic center. Neuchatel is home to several museums, including a museum of natural history and a museum of ethnography. As well, one can take a stroll along the shoreline paths of Lac Neuchatel, the largest lake located fully within Swiss borders. The lake is also suitable for swimming, although can be quite chilly. Many hiking and biking trails leads out of Neuchatel into the surrounding Jura hills to the North and West, including the Creux-Du-Van, one of the symbols of the Canton. Sailing on Lac Neuchatel is also a very popular pursuit during the spring, summer, and fall months, when winds can blow quite strong down the long lake.

Buy[edit][add listing]

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

Neuchatel features a variety of small fashion boutiques in the dowtown 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[edit][add listing]

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

Neuchatel features an abundance of restaurants and eateries, including several Creperies. As well, there are several chocolate shops and bakeries throughout town which sell small sugary treats at varying prices. However, one of the local landmarks of the town is the Kebab, or Shawarma, stand, Munzur Kebab, located at the center of Place Pury, and which remains open well into the wee hours of the morning.

Drink[edit][add listing]

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

Neuchatel has many bars and clubs throughout the city center, with varying degrees of classiness. Depending on the bar, different crowds are often present; examples include Bar 21, located in the area of the university, and likewise frequented mainly by the university crowd; Bar Las Vegas, with pool and arcade games upstairs, often frequented by the local teenagers; Les Brasseurs, a combination eatery/brewery, popular amongst the more trendy locals; and Le Café Du Cerf, a pub in the old town specializing in dozens of varieties of beers, oft frequented by Neuchatel's English speaking populace.

Sleep[edit][add listing]

There are four main hotels in Neuchatel: Hotel Beau Rivage, a very expensive and high-class affair, located on the waterfront by Place Pury; Hotel Beau Lac, located on the waterfront as well, but further to the East of the city hub; Hotel L'Ecluse, located a short ways back from the waterfront, still somewhat in the downtown area; Hotel Alps Et Lac, located by the Gare, or train station, up the side of the hill which rises to the North of town.

The five star hotel "Palafitte" located at the lake.

Stay Safe[edit]

Neuchatel 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 the suspicious places like Jolimont and Serrieres after day time.

Get out[edit]

Train travel from Neuchatel can easily take you to many of the major destinations in the area; the TGV from Bern to Paris passes through Neuchatel, 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.


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