Public transport in Neuchâtel
As with much of Switzerland, Neuchâtel is easy to navigate by foot, bicycle, public transport, or car (although it is perfectly possible to live and work in Neuchâtel without one). The city is well located for reaching Geneva, Zurich, Bern and neighbouring France with ease.
TPN (FR) operates trains, trolleybuses and buses in the area, including trams to Boudry. It also connects Neuchâtel with the surrounding region. Seven transport companies in the Canton of Neuchâtel and parts of the Canton of Jura and the Bernese Jura are combined under the Onde Verte fare network (FR). The same fare system applies for all travelcards across the entire Onde Verte network. Tickets can be purchased at any SBB/CFF ticket counter in the network area or at ticket machines in the main stations of Place de la Gare and Place Pury.
Note: Buying one ticket good for 12 zones will allow you to easily travel through Neuchâtel.
Boats on Lake Neuchâtel are used for both tourism and commuting. Navigation Ltd offer cruises and excursions on the three regional lakes, Neuchâtel, Murten/Morat and Biel/Bienne.
Night buses (FR) operate in the Neuchâtel region after hours on Friday and Saturday evenings.
Travel passes and basic tips
Monthly and yearly travel passes are available that allow unlimited use of all public transport in 12 zones in Neuchâtel. Several other available travel passes, including the Half-Fare pass, Junior pass, GA pass, day passes and many more are useful for both families and individuals. Check out this article on the Swiss public transport system to learn about standard regulations and ticket options. Also, keep an eye out for frequent seasonal and holiday offers from SBB/CFF.
Here are a few helpful tips to get you started on Swiss public transport:
- You must purchase your ticket before boarding (exceptions made for rural routes with no machine at the stop).
- Children under six years of age travel for free.
- Travelling with a dog: Dogs over 30 cm tall (about 12 inches) need to pay second-class half fare (there are also day cards and GA passes for dogs). Small dogs can travel for free in a carrier or basket.
- Travelling with a bicycle: You are required to buy a supplementary bike ticket. You can bring your bicycle or unloaded bike trailers onto most SBB/CFF trains, private railways, and PostBuses. Folded bikes can be stored as hand luggage for free. Note: Capacities for bicycle transport may be restricted during peak traffic periods.
- Utilise the excellent SBB/CFF apps for iPhone and Android.
Cycling in Neuchâtel
Cobbled streets and a few steep hills aside, Neuchâtel is a haven for cyclists. Visit Veloland, Bikemap, and Routeyou to find national, regional, and local cycling routes in English, as well as maps and other useful information. Bicycles can be hired at the port through Neuchâtel Roule (FR) for CHF 6. They will have suggestions for routes and excursions. You can also rent bikes from the local transport network (FR) at the train station (these should be reserved 48 hours in advance).
Neuchâtel on foot
Maps and information are available from the tourist office in the main train station. Or check online for ideas about walks and hikes in the area. Take the daily tour that begins at the Chateau to get your initial bearings and learn about the town's history at the same time.
Find more activity suggestions for Neuchâtel in Enjoying Neuchâtel.
Parking in Neuchâtel
While parking can be difficult to find in most of Switzerland, it is not too much of a problem in Neuchâtel. Many people drive into work and park in the city.
For most street parking you need to buy a ticket from a meter to place in your window. Blue zones allow free parking for between 30 and 120 minutes with a parking disc marking your arrival time in the window (pick up a free disc at the police station or buy one at the post office). You can also find parking at most main SBB/CFF stations. Mobility car sharing is a convenient and eco-friendly alternative to owning a car.
You may also be interested in the article Driving and owning a car.