Close to the French border in Switzerland lies the charming Neuchatel Lake. Of the lakes that lay entirely in the country, Neuchatel is the largest and, though it is 38 kilometers long, it is only eight kilometers wide. In the French speaking part of Switzerland and situated in the region of Romandy, the city of Neuchatel is located to the north of the lake, and rests on its banks. Neuchatel is not a large town, with only 33,000 inhabitants.
It therefore has the delightful charm unique to these small Swiss-French towns, though over a third of the inhabitants are foreign nationals. While French is the main language, German and Italian are also spoken. Neuchatel Lake is overlooked by a beautiful old château and medieval cathedral.
The area surrounding Neuchatel Lake has a continental climate with mild to warm summers and cold winters. The summers run from May through to September where the highest temperatures reach around 24°C. The winters can be very icy, and between December and March the temperatures can get below freezing, and at night are very low.
The area also receives rainfall all year round, though this is at its highest in the early summer. During the summer months, the breeze off Neuchatel Lake is very welcome to cool the heat from the sun, but in the winter, this wind can become an icy, and staying in sheltered areas will protect you from the cold. Snowfall is not uncommon during the coldest months, whilst the edges of the lake may freeze.
Accommodation in Neuchatel and the surrounding area can be very expensive, as the scenery makes this a very desirable place to live. As with any town, getting away from the center will result in a drop in prices, but the whole area is very exclusive, so be prepared for the fact that the place you are living in may be smaller than what you are used to.
Usually your employer will help you to find accommodation, and the transport links into the city are good enough that you can commute from a smaller town further away from the lake, as the area directly surrounding the lake is the most expensive. If at all possible, wait until you arrive in the country before securing a place to live, because you will be able to gain a much better understanding of what you are getting for your money.