The city and canton of Neuchâtel is a secret gem hidden among the other French-speaking regions of Switzerland. Elegant sandstone buildings, a peaceful lake atmosphere, and a stunning view of alpine panorama.
The city may be small, but it sure comes to life during the summer months with a variety of fun festivals, concerts, and activities for all ages! Here’s the summer line up of our top events and activities in Neuchâtel!
The Belle Epoque Tour (through the end of October)
Begin your discovery of this rich city with a tour taking you through how people lived during the Belle Époque era. This experience highlights life during the period between the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century when business in the region was booming. There are interactive secret compartments (including an absinthe tasting!), historic tram rides and curious details that allow you to discover the lifestyle of an era that highlights Neuchâtel’s treasures.
Absinthe Festival (16 June)
Inspired by the “open cellars”, this event allows visitors to enter various distilleries in Val-de-Travers, as well as the Absinthe house. Local growers and craftsmen will also be in attendance to share information about this mythical drink! The historic origin of Absinthe, despite being banned for nearly a century, has always survived in Val-de-Travers. It’s clandestine days are now over and it can be enjoyed legally.
Zuri Girl Tip: Check out the Absinthe hike and set foot to learn all about this mysterious beverage! Schedule a tasting and let your taste buds soar! (website)
Festi’Neuch (14-17 June)
Festi’Neuch is Neuchâtel’s open air music festival featuring bands from all over the world. This year’s festival takes place 14-17 June along the lake in Neuchâtel! The line up includes bands such as SuperTramp, Calypso Rose, and Concrete Knives. Locals love this festival and tickets sell out fast! Check out their website for further information and don’t miss out on family day during the festival, Sunday 17 June!
Ticket information can be found on the Festi’Neuch website
The Neuchâtel International Fantastic Film Festival (NIFFF) is an unmissable event for all fantasy film lovers. This diverse, innovative and prestigious programme has ensured it a national and international presence. The event is mainly dedicated to fantasy films and include a variety of Asian cinema and digital creations. The NIFFF has been growing continuously, showing steady increases in ticket sales and even reached 42,000 attendees last year!
Check out the NIFFF Festival Pass Offer here.
Construct a Bronze Age Village (10-15 July, 14h to 16.30)
The Laténium is Switzerland’s largest archaeology museum and this summer, children and adults are getting together to construct a lake house as they did back in the day when only clay, straw, reed and wood was available. Number of participants limited, on registration: +41 32 889 69 17.
Fun at the Lake
During the summer months, the lake in Neuchâtel is where the locals can be found. Swimming in the crystal clear water, jumping off of the floating platforms, water paddling, and picnics. Grab your friends and family and head to lake Neuchâtel for a day in the sun. Don’t like to swim? No problem. Check out the port and hop on one of the many boat rides available! Boat timetable
Zuri Girl Tip: Take the boat from Neuchâtel to Morat/Murten to play a round of mini-golf and enjoy a traditional slice of Nidelkuchen cream cake for the perfect day!
Buskers Festival (14-18 August)
Take a stroll through the beautiful streets of the pedestrian area in Neuchâtel and enjoy the performances of the street musicians and artists! Go and enjoy the performances and munch on snacks from the various street food vendors throughout the city streets.
Zuri Girl Tip: If driving, you will totally miss the city of Neuchâtel as the autobahn is underground. Take the exit “Maladière” and explore this beautiful medieval city with stunning architecture!