The ‘whispering gallery’ effect has been known since ancient times for sound waves in air, later in water and more recently for a broad range of electromagnetic waves: radio, optics, Roentgen and so on. It is intensively used and explored due to its numerous crucial applications. It consists of wave localization near a curved reflecting surface and is expected for waves of various natures, for instance, for neutrons and (anti)atoms. For (anti)matter waves, it includes a new feature: a massive particle is settled in quantum states, with parameters depending on its mass. In this talk, we present the first observation of the quantum whispering-gallery effect for matter particles (cold neutrons) 1-2. This phenomenon provides an example of an exactly solvable problem analogous to the ‘quantum bouncer’; it is complementary to recently discovered gravitational quantum states of neutrons3. These two phenomena provide a direct demonstration of the weak equivalence principle for a massive particle in a quantum state. Deeply bound long-living states are weakly sensitive to surface potential; highly excited short-living states are very sensitive to the wall nuclear potential shape. Therefore, they are a promising tool for studying fundamental neutron–matter interactions, quantum neutron optics and surface physics effects. Analogous phenomena could be measured with atoms and anti-atoms 4-5.