La Chaux-de-Fonds Tourist Information
La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland
ABOVE: The International Watchmaking Museum. INSET
BELOW: An apartment-dwelling dog, the viewing gallery of the Espacité Tower, and the Museum of Fine Arts.
Tourist information, what to see
La Chaux-de-Fonds is represented by Neuchâtel Tourism, which has
a Web site at
The cantonal tourist office markets the entire region as "Watch Valley: Le
pays de précision."
you arrive in La Chaux-de-Fonds by train, walk straight ahead one block from the
railroad station to the Avenue Léopold-Robert. Turn right, and you'll see the
Espacité Tower, a skyscraper on the city's main
drag. The tourist office is in the base of the tower. Ask for a copy of La
Chaux-de-Fonds on Foot, a free illustrated walking guide to the city center.
(As long as you're at the tower, ride the free elevator to the top floor
to enjoy a panoramic view of the city.)
If you're seriously interested in
architecture and have a fat wallet, we'd suggest hiring a tour guide for a
few hours, since a guide may be able to get you into buildings that normally
aren't open to visitors. You can book ahead by phone or e-mail; call +41
68 95 or e-mail [email protected]
Finally, if you read French, be sure to visit the city's
official Web site at
Museums and attractions
La Chaux-de-Fonds has several
The International Watchmaking Museum,
Musée International d'horlogerie,
which covers the technical, artistic, social, and economic history of
watchmaking. The MIH's collection includes 2,700 watches and 700 clocks.
The Farming and Craft Museum, or
paysan et artisanal, which is located in an early 17th Century farmhouse.
The museum shows how farmer-watchmakers and their families lived and worked in
the early days of Switzerland's watch industry. You can reach the museum on your
own or as part of a
horse-drawn carriage tour.
The History Museum, or
d'histoire, which occupies a 19th Century house on the Rue des Musées.
Museum of Fine Arts, or
Musée des beaux-arts, which has Swiss and
international art of the 19th and 20th centuries (including works by Le
The Natural History Museum,
a.k.a. Musée d'histoire naturelle,
which has free admission and will give you a glimpse of the local fauna. (The
MHNC also operates a small
zoo and vivarium in a park that you can easily
reach on foot from the center of town.)
If you have time, you might also
want to request a tour of the Bell Foundry Blondeau (the
Fonderie de cloches Bloundeau),
which casts bells one or two mornings per week. Ask the Tourist Office for
L'heure Bleu, the
theatre and adjacent symphony hall of La Chaux-de-Fonds, has occasional
performances during the season. Check the French-language
Arc en Scènes Web site for program
and ticket information.
Hotels in La Chaux-de-Fonds
Top photo copyright © Switzerland