14 Best Things To Do In Neuchâtel

things to do in neuchatel switzerland
Petra
Petra
Updated

So French in so many ways (it is said to have the purest French language in the world!) yet remaining endearingly Swiss by peat bogging, watches, and all things wintery, Neuchâtel has many sides to it. Care to discover them? Here are 14 things to do to get you through any time of the year.

1. Mountain coaster Féeline

Imst - Alpine Coaster - 03
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Haeferl used under CC BY-SA 3.0

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What is a mountain coaster? It is a gravity-driven amusement ride with bobsled-like cars on tracks installed on a mountain. The most famous in the region of Neuchâtel and one of the most famous in the world is the one at Robella summer/winter bobsled ride. With the village of Buttes below and a plethora of thrill-giving elements down the rail, everything is taken in. And once at the finish line, there is a devilish desire to start all over again.

Mountain coaster Féeline

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2. Via Ferrata Noiraigue

Via Ferrata La Clusaz bridge
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Christophe Delaere used under CC BY 2.0

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

With a length of 550 meters (1,804 feet) and usually open only half the year (July 1st to December 31st), this circuit is adequate, especially for those who have not yet experienced anything similar, but would still like to enjoy the goose-pimple-giving views. Allow 3.5 hours to complete, starting from Noiraigue.

Via Ferrata Noiraigue

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3. Watchmaking

Watchmaking
Source: Photo by Flickr user davidgsteadman used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

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What is Switzerland most famous for, apart from winter sports, chocolate, and cheese? Indeed, watches. In this area of the country, the history of watchmaking is illustrated and explained. There is the International Museum of Horology in La Chaux-de-Fonds dealing with the study of time, timekeeping, and timekeeping devices. And then there is Château des Monts in Le Locle, showcasing a collection initiated back in 1849.

Website: International Museum of Horology

Website: Château des Monts in Le Locle

4. Underground mills of Le Col-des-Roches

Col-des-Roches07
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Paebi used under CC BY-SA 3.0

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400 years ago, a cave factory unique in Europe was set up to harness the underground streams. The underground mills were used extensively until the 19th-century, then they were transformed into abattoirs and subsequently closed. Nowadays, they have been restored by volunteers and visits are possible.

Le Col-des-Roches

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5. Horseback riding

Horse Riding Horses Animal
Source: Pixabay

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Horse country welcomes you! The multitude of trails comes with a variety of offers: accompanied rides, horse-drawn carriage rides, or simply multi-day activities just exploring the scenery on the back of a horse.

Horseback Riding

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6. Creux du Van

Creux Du Van Rock Red Lights
Source: Pixabay

Although very crowded, it is still great to walk to this natural rocky cirque. Are you in for even nicer surprises? In 1965, they introduced ibexes in the area. As of 2009, there were 17. Fingers crossed you can spot at least 1 or 2!

Creux du Van

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When the sun pierces the clouds...

As soon as it gets warmer, new activities and experiences can be enjoyed! Scroll down to find your favorite!

7. Hiking

Gorges Areuse pont
Source: Photo by user Michel Mathia used under CC BY-SA 3.0

One of the best routes to follow is through the Areuse Gorges. Remember that it can be treacherous and slippery. The hike from Noiraigue to Boudry takes about three hours; and then, one can take a tram/bus to Neuchâtel.

Areuse Gorges

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8. Mountain biking

Mountain Biking In Chur, Switzerland
Source: Photo by user TRAILSOURCE.COM used under CC BY 2.0

Several routes, for all levels, and allegedly providing the most beautiful mountain bike circuit of the entire canton: 5 stages starting and ending in Neuchâtel, via Chézard, St.-Martin, La Chaux-de-Fonds, and La Brévine. You will cycle along castles, with the Swiss Midlands and the Alps constantly watching over.

Mountain Biking

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9. Peat bogging

Peat Bogs on route to Roundstone, Ireland - panoramio
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Gary Miotla used under CC BY 3.0

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Bogs are special wetlands formed by the accumulation of peat (a deposit of dead plants). I’ve made my way through boggy terrain usually to the North (in Scotland, there is also a bog factor listed whenever you go hiking), so having to deal with it in Switzerland was an interesting surprise. Bogging can be a challenge for you to avoid getting wet, so come prepared.

10. Roller skating

Roller Skates Sister Rays
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Inline skating and roller skating are great traditions in this part of Switzerland! There are clubs, competitions, meetings, and disco nights on roller skates organized regularly. You wouldn’t have guessed it, would’ve you?

When ice is queen...

The cold and the snow are typical conditions for Swiss mountains. Can the temperatures be overturned by the fun hidden in the following 4 pastimes?

11. Snowboarding & skiing

Snowboarding Winter Snow
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Bugnenets-Savagnières is the norm. A snowbus connects the resort to Neuchâtel via Val-de-Ruz. There are two ski schools on site and an equipment hiring office. 30 km (18 mi) of runs: 4 black, 5 red, and 5 blue.

Bugnenets-Savagnières

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Swiss Winter Sports School, Neuchâtel-Bugnenets

12. Cross-country skiing

Cross Country Skiing Cross-Country
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The winter wonderland of the Neuchâtel Jura hosts cross-country skiing trails at their best. Many runs are flat, thus addressed to beginners, and include frozen lake circuits. Another advantage? They are not crowded at all; you will thus get a feeling of accomplishment when you’re done.

The Jura

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13. Ice skating

Ice Skating (12)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user nasir khan saikat used under CC BY-SA 2.0

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At wintertime, idyllic Lake Les Taillères turns into a natural skating rink and the perfect ice skating conditions are well-known. Make sure, however, that the ice is thick enough to allow activities on it. Patinoire du Littoral is the official venue in Neuchâtel for organizing competitions or simply enjoying a day/night out with friends. Be careful – it turns into a roller/inline skating rink once the winter’s gone.

Lake Les Taillères

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Patinoire du Littoral

14. Snow-shoeing

Hiking Snowshoeing Tour
Source: Pixabay

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Apparently, the Juras are a snow-shoeing paradise. With a heavenly landscape in store and several marked trails, snow-shoeing tours are a glitzy business: sparkling wine at their start, fondue and mulled wine at their completion. Light on equipment and flexible in terms of times of day, snow-shoeing is an activity extremely easy to learn.

Neuchatel By Snowshoe

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Another type of ending

Château de Neuchâtel en hiver
Source: Photo by user Martouf used under CC0

After reading my extensive list, happy travels to Neuchâtel! May luck and the views be on your side! I may have failed to mention many of the peculiar aspects of the region, like its famous wines from grapes grown on the banks of Lake Neuchâtel, or the knack for preparing absinthe – which was actually born here, back in the day. I rest assured though that the avid travelers will fight to discover the missing pieces of the puzzle, just like in a real and interactive game.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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I write from Braşov, Romania – my base camp when I am not away, on the slopes, on water, or staring at a historical site I’ve dreamed about. What has travelling taught me so far? To be humbler. I...Read more

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