Not only is Neuchatel ideally situated on a beautiful lake and set against a backdrop of continental hills, but this town, the lake and the surrounding area are steeped in history, and are a walker’s paradise. The downtown area is full of cobbled streets and old buildings, and being a small town, it is possible to walk from one end to the other.
Overlooking the town is an old château, sitting on a small hill in the middle of the town. This château is where the parliament of the Canton of Neuchatel is housed, and there is also a medieval cathedral in the center of the Old Town. Located not far from the edge of the lake is the unique Red Church, its terracotta hues changing with the different lights of day. Also in the town are other places of worship, shops and parks.
Transportation into Neuchatel is excellent, and trains run to the lake from Bern very regularly, as well as to other cities in Switzerland and France, such as Zurich, Geneva and Paris. Transportation in the town of Neuchatel itself is very good, and also efficient. The public transport networks are very reliable with train, tram and bus networks running through the town, and also out to surrounding areas.
During the spring and summer months, the nicest way to get around the town is on foot, taking in the beautiful scenery and fresh lakeside air, but if you are looking to go to any of the other towns surrounding Neuchatel Lake, the bus networks run regularly, and this is the easiest way to get around the area. Pleasure cruises are available on the lake itself, and while these are mainly used by tourists, it is possible to cross the lake on these boats or use them as transportation, which is a beautiful experience in itself.
The education systems in Neuchatel are very good, and students are taught in French in this part of the country. Education is mandatory up to the age of 16, beginning with five years of primary education and four years of secondary education. The earlier two years of kindergarten are not compulsory. Upper secondary education follows, with about a third of young people in Neuchatel completing this, and there is also one university in the town, the University of Neuchatel. While this is a French-speaking university, there are courses that are available in English – particularly in the Arts and Human Sciences Faculty which is the largest school in the university. Neuchatel is also home to several libraries. For expatriates moving to Neuchatel there is only one international school, which runs up to the age of 11.