Discovering Neuchatel and the Belle Epoque

Hi Everyone,

Have you ever visited a place so magical that you keep on dreaming about it days later? Neuchatel has done this to me. I was lucky enough to visit early this week and even luckier to have the most adorable tour guide, Christine, show me around. Christine was like a walking book of information full of the most interesting stories. Each story taking me right into another world. All around Neuchatel and the lovely times of the Belle Epoque.

Let me try to take you too into this magical world!


Discovering Neuchatel and the Belle Epoque

The beginning

It all began in 1011 when the King of Burgundy gave the Castle of Neuchatel to his wife as a gift of “Novum Castellum”. Hence the name Neuchatel.

These stairs were especially built as a platform for entering the horse and carriage.

Amazing view from the castle – we struck a hazy day otherwise we would have seen the whole mountain chain ahead of us!

See the man – he is just one of a series of pictures dotted around the city, waiting to be discovered by you. Pick up the “Jeu de Piste” booklet from the Neuchatel Tourist Office for some discovery fun. Perfect for children of all ages (including 92 haha).


A 5 minute drive from the castle took us to the most adorable secluded restaurant La Maison Du Prussien. Which is also a hotel.

Fabulously romantic setting right along the river.

Amazing lunchtime value with a 3 course meal for just under CHF 20! The pork was the nicest I have EVER tasted and that’s saying something!


Belle Epoche and Discovery

The Belle Epoque was a very short period between 1896 and 1914. During which Europe experienced an amazingly joyful time of innovation and discovery.

Before you start your tour around the city it is recommendable to visit the Neuchatel Tourist Office and either book a tour guide or get the booklet especially made up for your individual tour.


We started at La Place Pury. If you’ve been to the Tourist Office first they will give you a chip to enter the Tramoscope which is nestled inside this building.

Have a seat and watch Neuchatel in the Belle Epoque times go by…

You may be thirsty after this so make your way up Rue du Sayon until you reach the Brasserie Cardinal.

Neuchatel and the Belle Epoque

Before you go in however, look to the right and find the hidden bottle of Absenthe ( a drink that was for a long time prohibited), by the fountain. Another chip from the local Tourist Office will let you open the draw. Pour a little into one of the glasses provided and fill the rest with fresh fountain water…enjoy!

Strait up from the fountain you will see the Rue des Chavannes – famous for being repainted approximately every 5 years… (click on link to see fabulous other paintings of the past)



No city tour is complete without a spot of shopping and Neuchatel certainly has a few wonderful treats…

The wonderful Jacot Chocolatier. Produced in Noiraigue (Val-de-Travers), the chocolatier is famous for pairing wine with chocolates and provides the chocolates for Swiss Embassies around the world!

I’m going to have to take my hubby here to visit the Baumeister fine wine shop along rue des Moulins. The owner is actually a composer, hence the piano in the store.

With loads of wonderful clothing boutiques my three favourites were:

  • GOA (rue des Chavannes)
  • Topox  (RUE DES MOULINS)
  • Lattitude 47 (rue des Chavannes)

Finish your shopping with a walk along the waterfront…

Treat yourself to a glass of champagne at the Moet and Chandon bar…


Dinner Suggestions:
Hotel Palafitte

Hotel Palafitte is the only 5 star hotel in Europe built on water. A must see for everyone’s bucket list! This is where I experienced the most wonderful meal.  Make sure to leave room for the desert trolly.


Hotel DuPeyrou

Neuchatel and the Belle Epoque

The chef is Australian Craig Penlington – so of course very close to my Antipidean heart! Next visit I am going to try out the kitchen here I promise!!!



Where I stayed

I stayed at the lovely Beaulac Hotel which is situated very centrally to the city itself yet also right on the lake.

… this is what I call a room with a view!


Thank you so much for having me Neuchatel!

Neuchatel and the Belle Epoque

Neuchatel really is the most wonderful place to visit with something for everyone at any age. Also perfect for families.

For more information: (link)



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Open your heart with travel discovery!


nb: all photos taken by and property of (with exception of pictures of me)

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Hi! I’m Yvonne, a 40 something (wink) Kiwi, living in Zurich. I love fashion, travel, shopping and food – believing chocolate will cure almost anything!

  1. I lived in Neuchatel for a couple of years and you surely captured very nice photos to show. But the truth is the town is a dump. There are drug dealers that hang out everywhere and it is very run down.
    Neuchatel is considered the Crystal Meth capital of Switzerland. There is quite a bit of crime there are well. Sorry, but this is the truth. The one nice thing is Baumeister. I use to hang out with him and enjoy chatting about music and having a glass a wine. He is a very kind man. I do miss that about Neuchatel.

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