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Travel – Neuchâtel – a small town with a rich architecture




Neuchatel is in Western Switzerland and is a small town with rich architecture and culture. It is a part of French speaking area of Switzerland which is also called “Suisse Romande”. The famous landmarks are The Castle and Collegiate Church. These date back to the twelfth century. Neuchatle, means “Castle” in German. It has approximately 32,600 inhabitants. It is also called as Neuenburg. Neuchâtel is a pilot city of the Council of Europe and the European Commission Intercultural cities programme. Neuchâtel’s Old Town is extremely attractive and walking into its steep alleys rich in beauty and the architecture. The 140-odd street fountains are a reminder of the past as they date from the sixteenth century.
One can view black fir tree forests, bluish rivers, deep lakes and green pastures, covered in snow when winter comes. One can consider the Neuchâtel Mountains, a paradise in winter. There are villages, vineyards, a university and the city has medieval touch. Following are lakeshores, lakes reflecting country landscape. The Neuchatel lakeshore is one of the valley gems. The place provide entertainment with all kinds of festivals in film and street music, to wine harvest, antique fairs and exciting other events. This place is also famous for its wines, white, and red and rosé wines, all very different in taste, go very well with local cheese, sausage and lake or river fish.

Top Events

• Swiss cheese Awards 2010, Neuchâtel
• The festival of the Fête des Vendanges, representing the wine harvest, is held traditionally in early fall.

Places to see:

• The university town of Neuenburg: It lies on the northern shore of the eponymous lake.
• The Museum of Art and History in the “Palais des Beaux-Arts” (Palace of the Fine Arts): This museum comprises of four thematically separate collections: fine arts, applied arts, numismatics and history. It includes collection of Jacquet-Droz.
• The Laténium: This musuem is the largest archaeological museum in Switzerland and has exhibits over 50,000 years of regional history.
• Old town – The Castle and Collegiate Church date back to the 12th century, Hôtel du Peyrou dating from the 18th century and Place des Halles are worth seeing in the Old town.
• Neuchâtel farmhouses comprises of a whole lot of dry stones walls, houses designed by Le Corbusier, native of La Chaux-de-Fonds, an Art nouveau touch.
• Chaumont – Neuchâtel’s ‘house mountain’: This mountain is at an altitude of 1100 metres above sea level. One can enjoy spectacular all-round view of the Bernese Alps, Montblanc Massif and three Jura lakes.
• Jacquet-Droz automata collection – It comprises of collection of the world-famous watch and automata production of the 18th century at the Musée d’art et d’histoire (Art and History Museum) Neuchâtel.
• Cruising on Lake Neuchâtel – It is the biggest lake located in Switzerland that offers a chance to go on a three-lake-cruise.
• Papilliorama-Nocturama in Kerzers – It is worth visiting and beautiful with its exotic butterflies and a lot of nocturnal animals.
• Watchmaking: The Neuchatel mountains offers a collection of wonders of precision set in the magnificent International Watchmaking Museum in La Chaux-de-Fonds and the Château des Monts Watch Museum in Le Locle.
• Sports and leisure: The Neuchâtel Mountains offers hiking, cycling, mountain biking, swimming, canoeing, hockey playing, skating, rock climbing.
• The Lake of Neuchâtel: It has all water activities and has about 15 km of accessible shores, beaches, picnic areas and exclusively pedestrian, cycling paths and beautiful boat trips.

How to get there:

• By train: The major train line for Neuchatel is Jura. From all major Swiss cities like Bern, Lausanne, Geneva and Zurich, trains connect to Jura almost hourly. The city is linked to the TGV (High Speed Train) with direct train link from Neuchâtel to Paris in four hours.
• By air: The centre of the city is connected to Neuchatel’s airport that is about 6km or four miles away. It does not have commercial flights. Neuchâtel is also linked to four international airports: Bern, Geneva, Basel and Zurich which are respectively 58 km (36 mi), 122 km (76 mi), 131 km (81 mi) and 153 km (95 mi) away by car. Geneva and Zurich airports both have direct trains to Neuchatel, connecting the cities respectively.
• To go around the region, many modes of transport such as the Bus, trams and trains are available for public. All buses are available at the main square of the city, Place Pury. On foot and bicycle also, one can move around as they are available for rent from two stations in the city centre. Walking trails help to move around. The public transport is provided by Les Transports Publics du Littoral Neuchatelois which has Trolleybus network, a Funicular and an Interurban light rail line to Boudry.

Best time to visit / climate:

The best time to visit is June to August, the summer season as the temperature is around 21 to 23 degree C. The entire place is almost accessible and enjoyable in this weather. One can go for hiking, cycling, mountain biking, swimming, canoeing, hockey playing, skating, rock climbing and walking.

Location on Google Maps:


View Larger Map

Driving directions from Geneva to Neuchatel on Google Maps:


View Larger Map

Places to stay (hotels / restaurants along with website / contact numbers)

• Tripadvisor (hotel, restaurant)
Travelpod.com
Booking.com
Eurobookings.com
• http://www.neuchatelhotels.com/
• http://www.laterooms.com/en/r10959_hotels-in-neuchatel.aspx

Blogs / Sites about Neuchatel:

Tripadvisor
• http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neuch%C3%A2tel
Britannica.com
Travelpod.com
realtravel.com
Travelpost.com

Images and photos of Neuchatel:

Google Search
• http://www.infohub.com/pictures/images_neuchatel_4253.html
• http://www.travel-images.com/switzerland14.html
Tripadvisor
• http://www.flickr.com/photos/tambako/3000484040/

Videos of Neuchatel:

Google Video Search

From Zurich to Neuchatel by Train

A Walking tour of Neuchatel, Switzerland (link)




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