Hotels in Neuchatel
French-speaking Neuchâtel, a delightful Swiss community next to the scenic shores of Lake Neuchâtel, is the perfect palette of deep blue freshwater views, lush green mountain backdrops, and ambient Swiss architecture.
The old town is revered for its copious street fountains, which beautify the city and complement the medieval and post-medieval landmarks surrounding them, from the attractive 12th-century Collégiale church to the fine 18th-century Town Hall (Hôtel de Ville).
What to see:
The Museum of Art and History (Musée d'Art et d'Histoire)
For a fascinating insight into the history of European art, visit the Musée d'Art et d'Histoire, which is noted for its decorative facade and features an impressive ancient Swiss clock. Here, you can admire paintings from some of the foremost figures in art, from the Impressionist painter Renoir to the Impressionism founder Monet.
The Centre Dürrenmatt Neuchâtel
Another interesting art museum, the Centre Dürrenmatt Neuchâtel celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2010 and exhibits the work of another eminent art figure, Friedrich Dürrenmatt. Born in the Swiss commune of Konolfingen in 1921, Dürrenmatt was also an esteemed playwright, and considered painting to be his passion rather than his profession.
Neuchâtel Castle was originally built in the 10th century and was the home of numerous powerful lords over the years. The castle, which gave birth to the settlement of Neuchâtel itself, commands wonderful views of the city, and is regularly open to the public during the warmer months.
Places of interest nearby:
Visit the pictorial city of Biel/Bienne, a bilingual community that is overlooked by the striking Jura Mountains and is famed for its Neolithic ruins, which are protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A little further afield is Switzerland's de facto capital, Bern, which is renowned for its well-preserved old town, another coveted UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is well within reach of all Neuchâtel hotels.
Where to stay
For a truly divine hotel experience, stay at the exquisite Hotel Palafitte and admire those mesmerising lakeside views. The charismatic Hotel Alpes et Lac, meanwhile, also provides stunning views and offers very good value for money, while the elegantly presented Beau-Rivage Hotel is another reputed accommodation establishment. Other suggestions include the affordable, contemporary Hotel des Arts and the picturesque Hotel La Maison du Prussien.
Dining in Neuchâtel – suggestions
You can enjoy some stupendous French cuisine at the Restaurant La Bonne Franquette.ch, or enjoy other mouthwatering international dishes at La Maison du Prussien. For some fabulous Japanese food, consider visiting the Sushi-Indigo restaurant, head to Restaurant Du Peyrou if you're a fan of mouthwatering fusion dishes, or go to Restaurant Le Bureau for other terrific French- and Mediterranean-themed recipes.
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