20 years ago Zurich had the reputation of being a lame place. The saying went: “only the Niederdorf has some life until midnight”. Things have changed. Maybe Zurich is not yet “the city that never sleeps” but it certainly goes to bed late. The Niederdorf, the old-town stretch running parallel to the Limmatquai, has lost its nightlife monopoly but has certainly followed the trend: “there is a lot happening there”, especially during the weekend.
Splendid Bar, located at an alley near the river. It is housed at the lobby of the small Hotel Splendid. The bar pianist (not always the same one) is at the center of attention. Often he is only English speaking and sings, guess what, in the English language. Over the years I have heard the piano versions of “Hotel California”, “The House of the Rising Sun” and “Smoke on the Water”. You get the idea. Several guests cluster around the piano, follow the tune with body movements and occasionally sing along.
The public spans a wide range of ages and nationalities. There are regulars and passers-by, coming for a drink before going to a club or moving on with bar hopping.
If you don’t like standing: there are some tables at the perimeter and seats at the bar. Notice the decoration with photos of several jazz artists.
The limited space favors starting a conversation with other guests.