At the foot of the Jura mountains, the city of Neuchâtel enjoys panoramic views of Neuchâtel Lake and the Alps. Lake Neuchâtel is the largest lake located entirely within Switzerland (the much larger lakes of Geneva and Constance are shared with France and Germany, respectively). The Neuchâtel region is referred to by locals as “Watch Valley, the Land of Precision”. The city itself lies on the Watchmaking Route, a 200 km journey with 27 stops running from Geneva to Basel. Click here for more information.
Broad avenues bordering the lake are lined with yellow sandstone buildings. The cathedral and the 12th-century castle, which today houses the cantonal government, sit gracefully above the city’s bustling old marketplace. You can stroll (or cycle or rollerblade) along the lakeside promenade as far as Hauterive, the next village to the north. Neuchâtel’s biggest annual festival is the winemakers’ three-day celebration of the grape harvest, the fête des vendanges. It’s celebrated the last weekend of September with parades and fanfare throughout the city.