Neuchâtel : arrival, orientation and information
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Door of the castle of Neuchâtel : Click to enlarge picture
Castle of Neuchâtel
© Vincent Bourrut

Neuchâtel’s train station is perched above the town; it’s a walk of about ten minutes, or a short hop on bus #6, down to the compact lakefront town centre focused around Place Pury, at the foot of the Old Town on a slender stretch of flat ground. A funicular from the station down to Avenue du Premier-Mars is planned for opening in 2001. Pury is 100m west of Place du Port, which backs onto the harbour and the débarcadère: boats arrive at Neuchâtel from all points around the three lakes, including Yverdon, Estavayer, Murten (Morat) and Biel/Bienne.

The tourist office, which has information on the city and the canton, is in the Hôtel des Postes building (main post office) on Place du Port (June–Aug Mon–Sat 9am–7pm, Sun 4–7pm; Sept–May Mon–Fri 9am–noon & 1.30–5.30pm, Sat 9am–noon; 032/889 68 90, www.ne.ch). They offer two walking tours – of the city (July & Aug Tues & Sat 9.30am) and of the nearby countryside (July & Aug Thurs 9.15am). Both cost Fr.8 and start from the tourist office. For Fr.30, a Neuchâtel Museum Pass gets you into eleven museums throughout the canton. There’s also a host of good-value regional packages, with three nights half board plus one “activity” on each of four days (such as free museum entry, river-boat cruise, funicular ride, wine-tasting session, and so on) costing from Fr.199, or six nights from Fr.337. Whether you book a package or are travelling independently, dozens of attractions around the canton are free for under-16s – ask for the special “Families Welcome!” flyer, which you must get stamped by your hotel.

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