The one thing I love the most in this world is to travel around and explore different parts of a country. This is why I am in love with Switzerland, because not only it is an extremely international country but also because each canton has a different feel to it. For example the Canton de Vaud and the Canton de Neuchâtel have a completely different vibe; It feels like the Canton de Neuchâtel is 20 years behind us, it has a very vintage and antique feel to it.
Anyway so I decided to come and explore Neuchâtel with my cousin who came to visit me in Geneva and it is such an easy day trip to organize. We took a blabla car that drove us right to the centre of Neuchâtel. We were dropped off in rue de l’hôpital. Close to this road is ‘Rue des Moulins’, a little street filled with little bars and cafés. We ended up having lunch in a bakery called “mäder boulangerie et patisserie”. It was a good place for a quick salted pretzel but they also had quiches, pies and ready-made sandwiches.
This city is easy to visit on foot, even though it is full of steep hills here and there, but that is the beauty of it. We walked through the little alleys to get a feel of the place and then headed up to the Châteaux. I was completely mesmerized by Neuchatel. It really takes you back to the medieval times. This picturesque city is filled with beautifully presented architecture painted mostly in a dark yellow colour. The city is very empty, which is not necessarily a negative: It was very peaceful and quiet, no cars drove through the city centre meaning that the air is very clean and it was nice to stroll around without being swarmed with other tourists.
Anyway we stopped in “Crêperie du Château” for a quick coffee stop before continuing our walk to the Castle. This little café is located in “Rue du Château” and you can basically create your own crêpe with the listed ingredients.
For more information on the Café : http://www.creperieduchateau.ch
We continued our walk up to the castle. I must admit I was more mesmerized by the incredible view from the top rather than the castle itself, but that is because from where we saw it we were practically on top of the castle meaning we didn’t have a very good view of it. However you can catch a good view of the castle from the lower part of the city closer to the lake. The second landmark after the château is the Eglise Collégiale, which is situated near the castle. This is a spectacular medieval building that dates back to the 12th century.
From here we took a walk towards the train station as we fancied going further north into the mountains and literally immerse us in the Swiss nature, so unfortunately we did not see much more but I will sure be back to explore in depth. Anyway so we reached Neuchâtel Gare and took a train towards “Les Brenets”. This included two changes (La Chaux-de-Fonds and Le Locle), but in the end it was only a one-hour trip. I read up that this place was worth the visit and it really was mesmerizing. You really felt out of this world, from Le Locle to Les Brenets you go in this little old-school train with only two carriages and it takes you through the woods, passing by reindeers.
When we arrived in Les Brenets, there was literally us and another couple, who quickly took off with their walking sticks and disappeared into the distance. We were completely lost and had no idea where to go or what to do, so we started walking. There are two main attractions to visit from here but unfortunately we were short of time therefore we could not do them, but if you do want to go on an adventure then I highly recommend you visit “Le Saut du Doubs” and “Le Creux du Van”as they both look breath-taking to see. My cousin and I carried on walking around this tiny little village (which was completely shut down) passing little cottages and fields. We did not encounter any human being whilst there, it really felt like we were in some horror movie, but then again it was so tranquil it felt nice being “away from the world”. We reached a little river (which is what you walk down to reach the Saut du Doubs”, and decided to slowly head back to the station as we had another blabla car waiting for us at Neuchâtel station to take us back to Geneva.
How to get to Neuchatel:
By Aeroplane you can reach Bern airport directly from Munich, Ibiza, Amsterdam, Berlin and Hamburg and from there take a train to Neuchatel. You can also reach Zurich airport which is better connected internationally and take a train from the airport (Zurich Flughafen) directly to Neuchatel in just under two hours. Take a look at the train website here for more details: https://www.sbb.ch/de/kaufen/pages/fahrplan/fahrplan.xhtml