Neuchatel is one of the most amazing cities in Switzerland because of its rich history. According to recent tourist reports the city is most visited and it is exceptional. It is incredible how it has preserved nature and diversity from the medieval period until now. It is also home to one of the leading Swiss university and you should visit during your time in Switzerland.
The city of Neuchâtel is a French-speaking region and it serves as the capital of the Swiss canton of Neuchâtel. The city is located in the northern region of Lake Neuchâtel. It is one of the most medieval towns which spreads below the chateau de Neuchâtel a castle that was built in the 12th century. The Jura mountains are on the west while Creux du Van provides some of the exceptional hiking trails as well as panoramic views of the city.
How to get to Neuchâtel
There are numerous ways that you can get into Neuchâtel. You can get to the city by train. The city is served by a major train line that crosses Switzerland in the southern region. The trains usually arrive on an hourly basis from major Swiss cities such as Zürich and Geneva. The railway station is 15 minutes’ walk from downtown. On the other hand, you can arrive by plane and the nearest major airports are Basel and Geneva. From these major airports, you can use buses or cars to get to Neuchâtel. Another available option is by driving to Neuchâtel. You will pass through the A5 which connects Basel and Geneva to the city. You must take your time to know the transport schedule as well as any changes that may affect your movement.
For all the train schedules and ticket prices, please visit the official Swiss trains website: Swiss trains.
What to do in Neuchâtel
1. Visit chateau de Neuchâtel
The castle of Neuchâtel was built upon the hill which overlooks Neuchâtel lake. The completion of this structure was around the 10th century and it has undergone a few modifications over the years. French and Habsburg kings influenced the building of this castle. In the year 1707, the castle was in the hands of Prussia king, and all these people who have occupied the castle have changed it in one way or another making it the masterpiece that it is currently. The castle was once accommodation to lords, however, now it houses the cantonal government and law courts. You can visit the castle between April and September when they do not charge anything.
2. Explore the Eglise Collégiale
The collegial church is located closer to the chateau and it is a protestant church that was constructed in the 12th century and completed at the beginning of the 13th century. However, it is imperative to note that the church was modified by architect Leo Chatelain in the 19th century. He added a neo-gothic touch to what was a Romanesque style. The interior of the church was painted in a way that resembles stars in the sky at night. In addition, it has 15 statues carved into it.
3. Taste some wine at Caves de Neuchâtel
If you would like to do something different in Neuchâtel then you can go for wine tasting at the fabulous caves de Neuchâtel. However, it is imperative to note that you should book your visit earlier. Neuchatel is surrounded by over 11 acres of vines and there is an enormous production of wine. In the 40s wine, cellars were built at alexanders palace. The hotel was built in the 19th century and it is gastronomic heaven. It usually holds wine tasting events and you should not be left behind.
4. Griffon fountain
Fountains are very symbolic and in Berne, you will find a myriad of fountains in the vicinity. There are stunning and each one has a unique history. When visiting the area, you should take your time to explore the fountains in the area and get to know the history behind them. Griffon fountain dates back to the 16th century and the magnificent gold and blue color feature a mythical creature that resembles a falcon but it has paws and a lion body. The lion resembles the king on the ground while the falcon depicts the king of the air.
5. Explore the Maison des Halles
Located on the Place des Halles this is a perfect location that you can visit during your stay in Neuchâtel. The monument was built in the 16th century and it is a market where all negotiations have taken place. Fabrics were sold on the upper floor while the ground floor was for grains, however, in the modern era, Maison des Halles is a sophisticated restaurant that focuses on details and customer presentation. They have a bar or café if you want to take a break from your exploration activities.
6. Enjoy some breeze at the botanical garden
This is one of the most exquisite locations if you are looking for a place to go and relax as you breathe fresh air. The botanical garden is the best. It is located in the Ermitage valley on the Neuchâtel hills. There is a wide array of vegetation in the area including desert, tropical, alpine, and Mediterranean species. It is imperative to note that over 3600 types of plants that grow in different habitats are preserved in this location. You should visit the herb garden as well to allow you to appreciate nature and the dynamics of the region.
7. Explore the Ethnography Museum Neuchâtel
The ethnography museum was first launched in the year 1904 and it started with general Charles Daniel de Meuron who began keeping prestigious items for the museum. The museum was then constructed and ever since it houses thousands of historical objects that you can see whenever you visit the region. According to reports the museum has over fifty thousand historical objects spanning the globe from Oceania, Europe, Asia, America, and Africa. The museum underwent renovations in 2017 and it is now fully functional with more features added into it. It is worth visiting the area.
8. Visit the art and history museum
The museum is located near the port on Esplanade Léopold-Robert 1 and it has a wide array of exhibitions both permanent and temporary. In the permanent category, you should take time to explore the Neuchâtel une histoire millénaire. This exhibition area allows you to learn the history of Neuchâtel and all the processes it has undergone from the middle ages to the current times. There are pieces from Abraham Louis-Breguet and Ferdinand Berthough. They portray the musician, writer, and designer characteristics of these individuals. You can visit the location from time to time or every Sunday of the month where they will demonstrate how they were created.
9. Take a boat across the lake
There is nothing more fascinating than exploring a location by taking a cruise along the lake. The perfect time that you can take these cruises is from May to October. Here you will have more time in the summer because everything will be in top condition and you will not have to worry about cold water. The cruise will last around four hours and you can visit the three lakes in the area.
10. Take a train to the countryside
One of the common things that people do when they visit this destination is to explore the villages around. You can take a train to Les Brenets and this is one of the most unique places that you can visit in Neuchâtel. The countryside is pretty unique and you will get to explore the things that the locals do as you embrace nature and diversity. The place is tranquil and perfect for an afternoon hike.
11. Hike on Le Saut du Doubs
This is one of the most incredible things that you can do whenever you are visiting Neuchâtel. The hike will take you around an hour and a half and you can easily hike alone or with the company since the route is well marked. However, if you are a hiking fanatic there is a longer route that will last over five hours. there is a breathtaking waterfall in the middle of the forest and along the route, there are magnificent views that you will enjoy looking at. It is a perfect location if you have time and you want to explore the area hiking.
Top things to do in Neuchatel conclusion
Neuchatel offers numerous fun activities that you can do no matter the prevailing season. You must take your time to plan your trip effectively to make the process easy and simple. This way you will have more time to visit many places without missing some historical monuments and the development of the city.
If you have any questions about Neuchatel, please let me know, I will do my best to help you.
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