Ask a Local: What Should I Do/See/Eat in Neuchâtel, Switzerland?

Mar 14, 2019    /    ask a local

Photo credit.


Welcome back to Ask a Local, a series of posts in which I interview locals all over the world about what to see, where to go, what to eat, and how to fit in in their city or town.

Going to Neuchâtel? Wondering what you should do? Where you should stay? What you should eat? Florence Vehier, a speech therapist, hiker, and photographer who lives in Neuchâtel is here to give you the inside scoop. 

About Florence

I’m French, 42 years old, and have lived in Switzerland since 1997. I taught in Vaud for four years, then moved to Neuchâtel to study and then work as a speech and language therapist. In my free time, I like to meet up with friends for dinner, go to the cinema, hike, snowshoe, swim, skate, and dabble in photography. I’m also an avid traveler and diver.

What to Do In Neuchâtel (The Basics)

Go to the Vue des Alpes (a nearby high mountain pass) for a perfect view over the Alps, weather permitting. I like snow-shoeing up there, too, and eating a fondue.

After that, take a tour through town to admire the interesting and area-specific architecture.

And finally, if you’re fond of theater, we have three or four of them in town. Check out the programs. There’s always something interesting going on.

Hidden Gems for Seasoned Travelers

You can take a cruise on Lake Neuchâtel over lunch. You can cruise from Lake Neuchâtel to Lac de Morat (Murten Lake) or Lac de Bienne (Biel Lake) on the connecting rivers. Or you can rent a bike for free at the port, bring it on the boat, cruise the lake, get off in Cudredin or Portalban, have a cycling tour, then come back with the next boat.

Neuchatel
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Day Trips

I always take visiting friends to Gruyère to visit the medieval village and the chocolate factory (Cailler) in Broc (choco-emotions.ch), to Montreux with its nice view of Lac Léman, and to Bern, which is the capital and is bursting with typical Swiss architecture.

What to Eat & Drink

There’s a wide variety of traditional fondue served at the La Pinte de Pierre-à-Bot (at Route de Pierre-à-Bot 106). You can also try jambon à l’asphalte (yes, ham cooked—quite literally— in asphalt) from the Mine d’Asphalte in the Val de Travers. As for drinks, the region is famous for absinthe.


Switzerland - 100 locals tell you where to go, what to eat, and how to fit in Did I mention that I wrote a book full of these interviews?
Get 100 interviews from top chefs, mountain guides, and locals all over Switzerland.

Where to Eat & Drink (Favorite Restaurants & Bars)

Café l’Aubier (at the bottom of Rue du Chateau in Neuchâtel or at Les Murailles 5 in Montézillon), Café du Concert (at Rue de l’Hôtel-de-Ville 4), and the Wodey Suchard choclaterie (at Rue du Seyon 5) are three favorites.

Budget Tips

Restaurant Max et Meuron and many other local restaurants have a special lunch menu under 20 francs. Some restaurants have student pricing if you’re a younger traveler (including Le Bleu Café at Faubourg du Lac 27). And there are lots of kebab take-aways and crêperies, which are a bit cheaper.

Neuchatel
Photo credit.

How to Fit In

The Swiss always wait for the walk signal before crossing the road. Always. They never cross outside the crossing. And they definitely don’t litter on the streets.

How to Meet Locals & Make Friends

You can make friends with other travelers and expats in Café du Cerf, but to make friends with locals, you have to live here and do theater or belong to a music or sport association.

Best Places to Take a Photo

By the lake, for sure, and on the Vue des Alpes.


Switzerland - 100 locals tell you where to go, what to eat, and how to fit in Did I mention that I wrote a book full of these interviews?
Get 100 interviews from top chefs, mountain guides, and locals all over Switzerland.

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