La Chaux-de-fonds : Arrival, information and city transport
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The 'grande Fontaine' : Click to enlarge picture
Grande Fontaine
© Vincent Bourrut

If you have your own transport and are approaching from Neuchâtel (whether on the winding minor road or through the climbing motorway tunnels), make sure you stop for a while at the Vue des Alpes (1283m), a magnificent viewpoint just short of La Chaux-de-Fonds, giving a broad panorama of the Swiss plateau backed by the snowy Bernese Alps.

The train station (withchange counter daily 5.45am–8.30pm, and bike rental) is reasonably central, set back 100m from the main Avenue Robert, which cuts a perfectly straight northeast–southwest groove through the centre of town. In the tall Espacité cylindrical glass tower on the north side of Avenue Robert some 500m east of the station you’ll find the tourist office (May–Oct Mon–Fri 8am–5.30pm, Sat 10am–2pm; Nov–April Mon–Fri 8am–noon & 1.30–5.30pm, Sat 9am–noon; 032/919 68 95). In front of the tower is a monumental nineteenth-century fountain, central landmark of the town.

The town’s buses run on circular routes, and all pass in front of the train station. A day ticket is Fr.5. After 7pm daily, and before 11am on Sundays, some route numbers don’t operate and others combine in a very un-Swiss way to make completely new route numbers.

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