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Old 20.06.2011, 21:15
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Neuchatel or not?

Just wondering what life is like in Neuchatel and whether it would be a nice place to live for a young family.

Faced with moving to a small town in the German speaking part of Switzerland, I am searching for a commutable alternative in the French speaking part. I cannot cope with learning German, I am just about coping with French. Looked in the map and spotted Neuchatel. But what is it like for expats???

I am really liking living just outside Lausanne. I have lived in London and Paris and cosmo parts of the beautiful English countryside, and loved them all for what they are. Any views on Neuchatel much appreciated!
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Old 20.06.2011, 21:20
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Re: Neuchatel or not?

It is my favourite town in Switzerland.
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Old 20.06.2011, 21:22
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Re: Neuchatel or not?

Really, wow. That is nice to hear. Please tell me why you love it so much...
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Old 20.06.2011, 21:30
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Re: Neuchatel or not?

Hi - I am biased as it is my home town. For a family with kids, it is a great place. By the lake, near the mountains, big enough to have everythig you want, and yet small enough to feel 'homely'. And of course not far from Lausanne if you want to meet your old friends. Why not come to visit?
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Old 20.06.2011, 21:34
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Re: Neuchatel or not?

Just dont go to Bern - Neuchatel will be much better, enjoy it!
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Old 20.06.2011, 21:36
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Re: Neuchatel or not?

I was a Neuchender for 2 years & loved every minute of it. Odile summed it up quite nicely in her post, it is small but has everything you need.
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Old 20.06.2011, 21:43
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Re: Neuchatel or not?

Wow, thanks so much everyone for sharing your thoughts. Think I will sleep a little better tonight...
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Old 20.06.2011, 22:16
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Re: Neuchatel or not?

Neuchatel is such a beautiful town and we spend a lot of time there. As has been already said, you have the lake, mountain views etc but it is really a laid back place.
As a University town there are lots of youngsters and Neuchatel is very well served by railway, so you can pick the ICN to Biel/Basle, St Gallen, Zurich, the local train to Bern and of course direct to Geneva.
I have a friend who commutes from Neuchatel to Zurich daily!! She loves it so much there she will not move nearer her work
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Old 21.06.2011, 13:09
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Re: Neuchatel or not?

I too love Neuchatel. The forest is beautiful and full of trails for hiking/biking/picnics. The lake is gorgeous. I always feel safe, even late at night. The transit system is excellent, I never miss having a car. The old town is pretty and has a great market. The soccer stadium is something a little special if you want to feel like you are in a bigger place. We have quite a few festivals...

Yeah. The only negative I can think of is, is that it is a little further to go when travelling internationally.
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Old 21.06.2011, 13:14
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Re: Neuchatel or not?

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Just wondering what life is like in Neuchatel and whether it would be a nice place to live for a young family.

Faced with moving to a small town in the German speaking part of Switzerland, I am searching for a commutable alternative in the French speaking part. I cannot cope with learning German, I am just about coping with French. Looked in the map and spotted Neuchatel. But what is it like for expats???

I am really liking living just outside Lausanne. I have lived in London and Paris and cosmo parts of the beautiful English countryside, and loved them all for what they are. Any views on Neuchatel much appreciated!
I really like it. Beautiful old town and lake side. One of the prettiest places in Switzerland I think
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Old 21.06.2011, 13:26
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Re: Neuchatel or not?

Have to agree with everybody else, it's a great place to live.
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Old 21.06.2011, 13:41
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Re: Neuchatel or not?

Direct trains to Geneva airport take just over an hour!
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Old 21.06.2011, 13:58
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Re: Neuchatel or not?

Quote:
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Just wondering what life is like in Neuchatel and whether it would be a nice place to live for a young family.
Neuchatel is what i imagined living in the '70's was like.
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Old 21.06.2011, 18:54
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Re: Neuchatel or not?

I second what smackerjack and Kristanez said about Neuchâtel: it a very beautiful town and definitely well-connected to German-speaking Switzerland by train. Plus, the cost of living is relatively cheap (at least compared to other parts of Switzerland).

However, I personally prefer Canton Vaud, in particular the area of Lausanne, Vevey and Montreux - possibly because my parents lived there and I know that area better, while my visits to Neuchâtel have only been brief ones, when I was deciding whether to move there for a master's degree or not.

In the end, I didn't move there - mostly because moving there was a plan B in case plan A didn't go through, which did in fact - but I remember personally I wasn't exactly excited at the idea of moving to Neuchâtel. Despite the university, I found Neuchâtel a bit uninteresting/with little to offer compared to other cities in which I have lived. But that's highly subjective and maybe I just didn't have enough time to familiarise myself with the town, and people who've actually lived there can hopefully contradict me.

If you can read French, here is some info about life in Neuchâtel from the university website.
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Old 22.06.2011, 15:32
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Re: Neuchatel or not?

Hi,

We lived in Lausanne 10 years ago and ( while living in Belgium) when my husband was offered a job north from Bern ( Emmental region) we set up our specification in 2 lines:
Has to offer the possibility to speak ( school) French and be close to a lake.
We considered Murten (morat) and Bienne, Neuchatel would have been a little bit too far away for my husand to commute, and we found a very nice house ( half the price of what you find in Lausanne) in Bienne ( almost on the lake) and we are now there for more than 4 years...
This is to say that the region here is great for famillies, Neuchatel is a bigger and more internationnal city and Bienne offers the possibility for the kids to learn also German. I like both places and am sure you will love your life in the region too!
Cheers
Sandrine
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Old 22.06.2011, 16:24
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Re: Neuchatel or not?

Hello,

Great to see that everyone enjoys life in neuchatel so much.
Have to agree that the quality of life is quite good.
However for a long term stay I think you should know taxation is quite high (for families) childcare is difficult (if spouse wants to work) and house prices in nuechatel are very high (better in val du ruz or val de travers).


Regards

John
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Old 22.06.2011, 16:59
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Re: Neuchatel or not?

I have a cousin, with 4 kids, and they live in Payerne. It is almost directly across the lake (but not on the lake) and in the Canton of Vaud. It is very much a country town and they love it. I can't imagine that Neuchatel would be too much different.

I have visited several times and prefer it to Ticino, where they used to live.
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Old 23.06.2011, 13:59
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Re: Neuchatel or not?

It's a beautiful place... and the lake is great for water sports ( kiting and windsurfing)...

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Old 24.06.2011, 21:59
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Re: Neuchatel or not?

Most of the points have already been mentioned. It's a nice city, excellent view over the lake and very good connections to the main cities (Zürich, Bern, Lausanne, Geneva etc...).

They also speak French with a nice accent

One negative point might be taxes, which I'm told are quite high.
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Old 24.06.2011, 22:38
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Re: Neuchatel or not?

but not as high as Vaud/lausanne, with much cheaper rents.
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