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Neuchatel Area Guide

Buying property in Neuchatel

Neuchâtel is a graceful university town with a strikingly Gallic atmosphere. Notable for its pale yellow, limestone buildings – Alexander Dumas described the town as looking as if it were carved out of butter. It owes its wealth to watch-making and precision engineering - industries that date back to the 18th century. The region is also famed for its internationally recognised fine wines, which are celebrated each year at the Fete des Vendanges festival.

Buying, owning or selling property in Neuchatel

Certain villages alongside Lake Neuchâtel are designated as a ‘holiday zone’, this means that a non-resident may buy one property with a limit of 200 sq m of living space in this area. The rest of the canton however, does not allow a purchase without a residents permit.

Please refer to our buying guide for more detailed information.

Living in Neuchatel

Neuchâtel is one of the main centres of Swiss watch-making and it is famous for its wines produced on the shore of the lake. Also important are dairy farming, horse and cattle breeding and the notorious beverage Absinthe – concocted in the Val de Travers. Neuchâtel is charmingly positioned between its lake and Chaumont Hill with its panoramic views of the Bernese Alps and the Mont Blanc Massif and surrounded by vineyards. Classical architecture, tree-lined streets and 16th and 17th century fountains make a pleasant scene.


There are numerous excellent public and international schools within Neuchâtel and in the surrounding communities, for example, the International School of Neuchâtel.


Switzerland is a small country and as such most activities are accessible from wherever you stand. Neuchâtel is no exception – ski stations are close by in the winter and in the summer numerous lakes offer everything from sailing, diving or water skiing to simpler pleasures like swimming. Hiking is a particularly pleasurable activity and Neuchâtel is home to numerous beauty spots and dramatic gorges.


Neuchâtel is home to numerous museums and galleries. Also a particularly unusual and fascinating Museum of Art and History (Musee d’Art et d’Histoire) famous in part for its three 18th century mechanical figurines, built to exacting technical standards, to demonstrate the exceptional skills of the legendary Swiss watch makers and they are still in perfect working order.


Overland: Switzerland is well connected by high-speed trains, famous for their cleanliness and efficiency, from across Europe.

By air: Zurich (151km) is a major intercontinental hub as well as Geneva (150km), Bern is just 55km away. (All distances approximate).

Start your property search here or read more about the Swiss property market in our Swiss Lakes Insight.