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Neuchatel, Switzerland

By Betsy Burlingame

Last updated on Jul 10, 2023

Summary: Expats, digital nomads and retirees talk about what it is really like living in Neuchatel, Switzerland. They offer advice about meeting people, cost of living, finding a home and more.

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What do I need to know before moving to Neuchatel?

When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Neuchatel, they said:

"Neuchatel is a French-speaking city in Switzerland, so learning French or having a basic understanding of the language will be beneficial. The cost of living in Neuchatel is high, as it is in most parts of Switzerland, so it's important to budget accordingly. The city is known for its cleanliness, safety, and high quality of life. Public transportation in Neuchatel is efficient and reliable, with a network of trams, buses, and boats. However, owning a car can be expensive due to high fuel costs and mandatory insurance. Cycling is also a popular mode of transport and there are many bike paths throughout the city. Neuchatel has a temperate climate, with warm summers and cold, snowy winters. It's advisable to invest in good quality winter clothing and footwear. The city is located on the shores of Lake Neuchatel, offering a range of water sports and outdoor activities. The Swiss are known for their punctuality, so it's important to be on time for appointments and social engagements. They also value privacy and discretion, so it's advisable to avoid asking personal questions unless you know someone well. Healthcare in Switzerland is of a high standard but it's mandatory to have health insurance. It's advisable to arrange this as soon as possible after arriving in the country. The Swiss education system is highly regarded and there are a number of international schools in Neuchatel. However, these can be expensive so it's worth exploring all options. Switzerland has a high rate of recycling and composting, and there are strict rules about waste disposal. It's important to familiarize yourself with these to avoid fines. Swiss cuisine is varied and influenced by neighboring countries. The region is known for its cheese and chocolate, and dining out can be expensive. Neuchatel has a rich history and culture, with many museums, galleries, and festivals. The city is also close to the Jura Mountains, offering opportunities for hiking and skiing. Finally, it's important to note that Switzerland is not part of the European Union, so different rules may apply regarding visas, work permits, and residency. It's advisable to check the latest regulations before planning your move," said one expat who made the move to Neuchatel.

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About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

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