Because of its fascinating past, Neuchatel is often regarded as one of Switzerland’s most fascinating cities. Recent traveller surveys consistently rank the city as one of the world’s most popular destinations. It’s astonishing that it has managed to keep its natural beauty and variety intact since mediaeval times. It is also the location of a top Swiss university that you should check out while in the country. Thus, if you are going to visit Switzerland, find out the best places to visit in Neuchatel through this article.
1. See the Neuchâtel Castle.
The hill overlooking Neuchâtel Lake is where the city’s castle stands. This building was completed in the early 10th century and has had minor renovations since then. The castle’s design was influenced by both French and Habsburg monarchs. The Prussian monarch acquired the castle in 1707, and since then countless other individuals have lived there, worked there, and otherwise influenced the castle’s evolution into the stunning work of art that it is today. Once a lord’s residence, the castle is now the seat of the cantonal administration and judicial system. Between April and September, you may tour the castle for free.
2. Discover the Collégial Church
The collegial church, which is closer to the castle, was begun in the 12th century and completed at the beginning of the 13th century; it is a protestant church. It’s important to remember, though, that architect Leo Chatelain made several changes to the church in the nineteenth century. He gave the formerly Romanesque design a neogothic twist. The ceiling and walls of the church are painted to seem like the night sky, with stars. Additionally, there are fifteen sculptures sculpted into it.
3. Try some wine from Caves de Neuchâtel.
Wine tasting at the fantastic caves de Neuchâtel is an alternative activity for those visiting Neuchâtel. To avoid disappointment, though, please plan ahead and book your trip in advance. With approximately 11 acres of vineyards in the area, Neuchatel produces a lot of wine. Wine cellars were constructed in Alexander’s Palace in the 1940s. The hotel was constructed in the nineteenth century and is now considered a culinary mecca. You should not miss out on the wine tasting activities it regularly hosts.
4. The Griffon’s Spout
Berne is home to a plethora of beautiful fountains, each with its own special meaning. They are all visually amazing, and they all have interesting backstories. Spend some time learning about the history of the area’s fountains if you’re going to spend time there. This gorgeous gold and blue Griffon fountain was created in the 16th century and depicts a legendary creature that looks like a falcon but has paws and a lion’s body. The lion represents the earthly ruler, and the falcon the heavenly monarch.
5. Visit the Maison des Halles
A great place to visit when in Neuchâtel is the Place des Halles. This historic site dates back to the 16th century and was originally constructed as a marketplace. Originally a fabric and grain market, Maison des Halles is now a fine dining establishment with an emphasis on attention to detail and presentation. If you need a drink or a bite to eat while on an exploring break, they have you covered.
6. Feel the wind at the botanical garden.
If you want to travel somewhere beautiful to unwind and take in some oxygen, this is one of the best options. We highly recommend the botanical garden. Ermitage Valley is nestled inside the Neuchâtel Hills. Vegetation in the region is diverse, spanning from desert to tropical to alpine to Mediterranean. Keep in mind that this area is home to approximately 3,600 unique plant species from a wide variety of environments. The herb garden will let you connect with nature and understand the dynamics of the local environment.
7. Visit the Neuchâtel Museum of Ethnology.
It was in 1904 that General Charles Daniel de Meuron, an avid collector of cultural artefacts, laid the groundwork for what would become the museum of ethnography. Soon after, the museum was built, and its hundreds of artefacts have been on display to tourists ever since. Over 50,000 artefacts from Oceania, Europe, Asia, the Americas, and Africa are said to be housed at the museum. It wasn’t until 2017 that the museum’s restorations were completed, but visitors may now enjoy the expanded exhibits and improved infrastructure. It would be a mistake to miss this place.
8. Spend some time in a museum showcasing both art and history
Located on Esplanade Léopold-Robert 1 and close to the harbour, the museum features both permanent and rotating exhibitions. In the long-term section, don’t miss Neuchâtel une histoire millénaire. The evolution of Neuchâtel from the Middle Ages to the present day is chronicled in this exhibition space. Included are works by Abraham Louis-Breguet and Ferdinand Berthough. They act out the parts of the artists, writers, and fashion designers that these people have played in real life. Visit the spot on occasion, or every first Sunday of the month, and they will show you the process of making them.
9. Travel across the lake by boat.
Taking a sail along a lake is one of the most interesting ways to see a new area. These cruises are best taken between the months of May and October. Since everything here is always in excellent shape and you never have to worry about running out of cold water, summers here are much more relaxing. The tour will take around four hours, and during that time you’ll be able to see all three of the area’s lakes.
10. Travel to the countryside via rail.
Exploring the local communities is a popular activity for tourists at this location. In Neuchâtel, one of the most interesting destinations is Les Brenets, which is easily accessible by train. If you’re open to new experiences, natural beauty, and cultural variety, the countryside is a great place to do so. The setting is serene and ideal for a midday trek.
11. Explore the Le Saut du Doubs Trail
This is one of the most impressive activities available in Neuchâtel. The trek will take you roughly an hour and a half and you may easily hike alone or with the company as the path is properly defined. However, if you are a hiking addict there is a longer path that will last over five hours. In the heart of the forest, you’ll find a gorgeous waterfall, and all along the trail, you’ll be treated to amazing vistas. It is a fantastic place if you have time and you want to explore the region hiking.
How to move in Neuchatel?
You may reach Neuchâtel in a variety of ways. It is possible to reach the city via train. Trains travel through the city on a key route that cuts across the southern part of Switzerland. Trains from Zürich and Geneva and other important Swiss cities come almost hourly. Downtown is a leisurely 15-minute stroll from the train station. You may also get here via aircraft; Basel and Geneva are the closest major airports.
Public transportation or private vehicles may bring you to Neuchâtel from these hub airports. You may also go to Neuchâtel by car. The city is accessible through the A5, which links Basel and Geneva. Knowing the transit timetable and any alterations that may influence your trip is essential.
Important things to remember while visiting Neuchatel
- Health Insurance is mandatory in Switzerland and you can obtain it online through Switzerland’s top websites that include Tiptop – Health Insurance Comparison and PrimApp – Health Insurance Comparison in Switzerland. However, To get the right price and know which health insurance will be suitable in Neuchatel for your needs, you can use a health insurance comparison tool.
- Swimming, lake activities, and beach-based sports all have an ideal location on the south bank of Lake Neuchâtel, which is characterised by excellent sandy beaches.
- Neuchâtel has French as its official language.
- One can easily obtain loans in Neuchatel. However, before you get a Credit loan in Switzerland, make sure to understand all the documentation.
In conclusion, Fun things to do in Neuchatel exist regardless of the time of year. Careful preparation will make organising and executing your vacation a breeze. You can see more of the city in a shorter amount of time, preserving its rich history and modern growth.