VISIT NEUCHATEL: COLOURFUL CITY OFFERING FAMILY FUN ON OUR DOORSTEP
by Laura from Let’s Explore
Neuchatel is so close to Geneva – only about an hour and a half by car – and is also accessible by train. For some reason, though, it is not on everyone’s radar for a visit from Geneva. We recently spent a weekend in Neuchatel and absolutely loved it! Neuchatel has a beautiful old town centre with streets with many frescoes, and one particular street with laundry hanging outside, which instantly makes you feel as if you’re in southern Europe. The town also has colourful fisherman’s cabins by the lake, the biggest archeology museum of Switzerland, and a fun scavenger hunt which will take you to all the beautiful spots in the old town!
BELLE EPOQUE SCAVENGER HUNT IN NEUCHATEL
This well-thought and fun scavenger hunt can be picked up at the tourism office in Neuchatel and is a fun way to explore the city! The scavenger hunt is suitable for the whole family and starts with a movie in an old tram in the old town. From there, puzzles and frescoes will guide you for a walk around town for about 2 hours. Highly recommended activity! We did the scavenger hunt in French, but it is also available in English and German!
Prices: CHF 15 for a family, CHF 5 for an adult. A deposit of CHF 20 is asked for the material which you return when you are finished.
THE OLD TOWN OF NEUCHATEL
Whether you decide to do the scavenger hunt or not, the old town of Neuchatel should definitely be explored! It has colourful streets (the most known is probably Rue des Chavannes with a fresco on the ground and laundry hanging from the windows), and a lot of side streets and alleys filled with frescoes. If you are looking for a place to go for lunch we would like to recommend Brasserie le Cardinal, which is decorated in Art Nouveau style.
Make sure you check out the historical chocolate shop of Suchard, a Swiss Chocolate brand which originates from Neuchatel!
To see all our tips on a visit to Neuchatel, check out our full article on: letsexplore.ch
LATÉNIUM, SWITZERLAND’S LARGEST ARCHEOLOGY MUSEUM
Just outside of Neuchatel, you will find the Laténium archeology museum, which is located in a beautiful building. The building is in harmony with the treasures exposed in the museum because it has large windows on the Lake of Neuchatel, which is exactly where most of the treasures were found. The museum will show you the history of the area from the time of the Neanderthaler man, until today.
More information on the Laténium Museum: latenium.ch
BEAUTIFUL HIKES AND ABSINTHE TASTING IN THE VAL-DE-TRAVERS REGION CLOSE TO NEUCHATEL
The area around Neuchatel has a lot to offer to visitors who like nature, hiking and culture! The famous Creux-du-Van Cliff mountain is close to Neuchatel, as is the Gorges de l’Areuse hike. We decided to do this hike, and it is really beautiful. Apparently, even more beautiful now with the autumn colours being even brighter, so in case you would like to go leaf peeping, the Gorges de l’Areuse hike would be a great place for that!
More on the hike in the Gorges de l’Areuse: letsexplore.ch
The Val-de-Travers region, where these hikes are located, is also the birthplace of the famous, and once forbidden, Absinthe drink. We went to the ‘Maison de l’Absinthe’ and actually found it very interesting. The Maison de l’Absinthe is not only a museum, but also the local post office, place to come and taste Absinthe, or have a cooking class with recipes based on Absinthe! In case you come with kids, or you do not drink alcohol, they also serve Absinthe syrup which is really good!
More information on the Maison de l’Absinthe: www.maison-absinthe.ch
WHO IS LAURA?
Laura is our Travel Content Writer who also writes her own blog – Let’s Explore, where she shares her tips and ideas for travelling with children, and hiking and skiing around Geneva. Originally from the Netherlands, she now lives in Switzerland with her French-Swiss husband and two boys. Passionate about cultures – whether they be far away or closer to home, she sees moving around as a ‘school of life’. When she is not moving around, she still discovers cultures by cooking recipes with locals from multiple countries! If you would like to find out more about Let’s Explore’s travel tips or recipes, you can visit her blog, or follow her Facebook or Instagram Pages.