Top choice in Neuchâtel

This impressive modern museum and adjacent archaeological park, 3km northeast of Neuchâtel on the waterfront in Hauterive, is the largest of its kind in Switzerland. It's an atmospheric trip back in time, from local prehistory to the Renaissance. Its permanent collection is an exploration of human evolution in Europe from Neanderthal to modern times and spans eight rooms or zones filled with artefacts, human skeletons, models and hands-on educational stations. Check the website for details of complementary visiting exhibitions.

It's free to wander the grounds of the park surrounding the museum. To get here take bus 1 from Pl Pury to the Musée d’Archéologie stop, or ride the free ferry (limited departures) from Neuchâtel: check the website for links to up-to-date timetables.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Neuchâtel attractions

1. Mt Chaumont

1.48 MILES

Soak up views across the three lakes to the Alps from Mt Chaumont (1160m), a ride on bus 7 from Neuchâtel to La Coudre then a 12-minute funicular ride up…

2. Musée d’Art et d’Histoire


The museum is notable for three clockwork androids made between 1764 and 1774 by watchmaker Jaquet Droz. The Writer can be programmed to dip his pen in an…

3. Fontaine de la Justice

2.25 MILES

One of two fanciful fountains featuring gold-leaf galore that can be found in Neuchâtel's Old Town (the other is the Fontaine du Banneret). It features a…

4. Old Town

2.29 MILES

The Old Town streets are peppered with 18th-century mansions and decorative fountains. Heading uphill along Rue du Château, walk through the medieval city…

5. Fontaine du Banneret


This elaborate, ornate fountain features a banner-wielding knight standing atop a pillar with lots of gold-leaf detail. The Fontaine de la Justice is of…

6. Église Collégiale

2.33 MILES

The interior of the largely Gothic Église Collégiale is a mix of Romanesque elements (notably the triple apse). Facing the main entrance is a statue of…

7. Prison Tower

2.42 MILES

Heading uphill along Rue du Château, walk through the medieval city gate to view the Tour des Prisons, Neuchâtel's oldest structure, with foundations that…

8. Vue-des-Alpes

6.42 MILES

About 8km south of La Chaux-de-Fonds, just off Rte N20, Vue-des-Alpes (1283m) is a mountain pass popular for its two 7.3km and 11km mountain-bike loop…