Knowledge & culture

Lake, sun and museums in Neuchâtel

The thousand-year-old city of yellow stone is a cultural jewel

From ethnology to the urban development of the city of Neuchâtel since the 14th century, from Jaquet Droz automata to original natural science exhibitions, the museums of the city of Neuchâtel will seduce you with their diversity.

Neuchâtel then impresses with its castle and collegiate church, which sit proudly atop a hill. Then there are the winding streets with their elegant buildings made of Hautrive stone, the yellow limestone that lights up the whole city. The city invites you to take a stroll, as it has the largest pedestrian zone in Switzerland.

By the way, admission is free at most museums on Wednesdays.

You can travel comfortably to Neuchâtel by train. From the station, you can reach the desired museum on foot or by bus.

Museum of Natural History

By linking science, society and art, unusual and sometimes surprising exhibitions are created that are always rich in knowledge and emotion. In the completely renovated, historic building, everything revolves around native animals, exotic creatures and geological finds.

Temporary exhibition: Platéosaure, this is a dinosaur

Until 11 August 2024

For the first time, fossil platosaurs from the largest Swiss and European deposits are brought together! Exceptional loans have been granted by the Sauriermuseum in Frick (Aargau), including "XL", a gigantic specimen over 8 meters long and over 200 million years old. Divided into 7 sections, this exhibition reveals the geological period of the Triassic, between 252 and 201 million years ago.

Museum of Art & History

The Neuchâtel Museum of Art and History is located on the elegant lakeside promenade right next to the Neuchâtel harbour. It is a place of pleasure, beauty and reflection, combining visual stimuli with a mission to better understand the world around us.

Temporary exhibition: Automates Jaquet-Droz

The three Automates Jaquet-Droz are among the Museum's masterpieces. You can admire them at work during public demonstrations, accessible without reservation, which take place on the first Sunday of each month at 14.00, 15.00 and 16.00 pm, or by reservation.

Laténium – Park & Museum of Archaeology

Located in the middle of an idyllic park on the shores of Lake Neuchâtel, the Laténium is the largest archaeological museum in Switzerland. Let yourself be guided through 50,000 years of history – from the Ice Age to the Middle Ages – in a fun and interactive way.

Temporary exhibition: In the camps. Archaeology of confinement.

Until 12 January 2025

The camps of the Second World War are archaeological sites like any others. While some killing centers have become emblematic of Nazi terror, many other places of confinement – concentration camps, forced-labor camps, prisoner-of-war camps – have gradually faded from our collective memory. For over thirty years, archaeologists have been documenting the discreet imprints that these precarious settlements have left on the landscape.

Centre Dürrenmatt

Did you know that Friedrich Dürrenmatt was not only a renowned writer but also a talented painter? Or that the German-speaking Swiss lived in Neuchâtel for almost 40 years and also died there? You can find out all this and much more at the Centre Dürrenmatt Neuchâtel.

Musée d’ethnographie Neuchâtel

An offbeat look at our world

The sometimes curious exhibitions of the Ethnographic Museum Neuchâtel take you on a journey between the "Here" and the "Elsewhere". As a place of experience, seeing and experiencing, the museum enables its visitors to reflect on and reinterpret the familiar.

Temporary exhibition: Cargo Cults Unlimited

Until 31 December 2024

This new exhibition takes up the theme of the globalized economy. A port setting made of containers evokes the different facets of the production and circulation of material goods, while a world of cardboard offices questions the models, standards and discourses that govern this flow of goods.

Espace Rousseau

In the footsteps of the celebrated writer and philosopher

The Espace Rousseau Neuchâtel takes visitors on a journey through the life and work of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, one of the greatest thinkers and writers of the 18th century. Bringing together new technologies and original archive material, the exhibition provides a better understanding of the writer’s life and his influence up to the present day. The Espace Rousseau includes original manuscripts, portraits and even a herbarium.
Visitors can also discover pieces of music composed by the writer.
Acknowledged as being of worldwide importance, the Jean-Jacques Rousseau archives have been listed since 2011 in UNESCO’s Memory of the World Register and are now being conserved for the benefit of mankind.

Free entry.

Both the main exhibition texts and the film are available in French, German and English. The accompanying brochure, also produced in those three languages, can be taken away by visitors as a souvenir of their time in Neuchâtel.

Botanical Garden

A green oasis right by the city centre

Neuchâtel Botanical Garden, which offers visitors relaxation and exciting discoveries. Numerous permanent and temporary exhibitions, botanical collections and various biotopes allow you to discover the fascinating life of plants. A green treasure trove that will inspire you.

The Botanical Garden is open to visitors free of charge all year round. Its colourful, diverse collection of flora and fauna has something new to wow young and old on every visit.

The park contains five themed gardens and two greenhouses. The villa at its heart houses special exhibitions and a help desk providing valuable information about the site.

While you’re there, don’t miss the opportunity to visit the Centre Dürrenmatt Neuchâtel, situated right next door to the Botanical Garden. The museum is finally reopening its doors after a year of renovation work.

Opening hours Today (Saturday) open

Find out in advance about the exact opening hours of the individual museums.   

How to get there

You can travel comfortably to Neuchâtel by train. From the station, you can reach the desired museum on foot or by bus.

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