Coolest Bars in Zurich

From the glitz and glamour of chic lounges to the speakeasy-style hangouts, Zurich’s bar scene is legendary in Switzerland. Zurich West’s Hotel Rivington & Sons, with its 80-year old New York made bar, is perfect for savoring a whiskey or ginger wine. But to climb the scales of exclusivity, head to Nietturm, a stunning bar located in a glass cube atop the Zurich skyline.

Schiffbaustrasse 4, 8005 Zürich, Switzerland
The Schiffbau, a renovated shipbuilding factory, is home to the glamorous restaurant LaSalle, the popular jazz club Moods, and this stunningly chic bar, which sits atop the 1892 brick structure in a striking glass cube. The modern-day clubhouse has sleek brown leather sofas, a circular wood-burning fireplace, and yes, phenomenal panoramic views of the city.
Badweg 10, 8001 Zürich, Switzerland
A midsummer night’s fantasy—Zurich-style. Tucked away near the stock exchange, the city’s oldest badi, the men-only Männerbad Schanzengraben, transforms into the popular Rimini Bar come evening. The scene is surreal: a mixed crowd mingling along the edges of the pool, a shooting fountain, technicolor lights—all surrounded by the ivy-covered old city wall. On Monday evenings, local fashion designers add to the mix by showcasing their creations.
Seestrasse 395, 8038 Zürich, Switzerland
This silk mill turned cultural center on Lake Zurich’s left bank hosts over a hundred concerts, parties and festivals a year and is home to 60 art studios. It’s also a popular bar, especially come summer, when locals flock to the communal outdoor tables steps from the water’s edge (a favorite place to sit is in one of the handful of old-school ski lifts for prime views of the Alps). The setting is colorful and edgy—graffiti everywhere, plants shooting out from clawfoot bathtubs—a rarity so far from Kreis 4 and 5. Photo © Christian Beutler/Zürich Tourismus.
Widdergasse 6, 8001 Zürich, Switzerland
The hippest hotel in the city not only has a Rauschenberg (it was commissioned for the penthouse suite) and Corbusier armchairs strewn every which way, it also has an excellent jazz program in its Widder Bar. Among the greats who’ve already played here: Brad Mehldau, Diana Krall and Hank Jones.
Spiegelgasse 1, 8001 Zürich, Switzerland
Hugo Ball read the Dada Manifesto at this Altstadt cabaret in 1916, and an art movement was born. After extensive repairs, Dada’s birthplace reopened in 2004 with a bar along with exhibitions, readings, and a small lending library that pays homage to its historic past.
Hotels
Prime Tower, Hardstrasse 201, 8005 Zürich, Switzerland
The owners of this bi-level bar in the Prime Tower took great pains to create its visually stunning speakeasy-style décor: the impressive 80-year-old wooden bar and six tons of subway tiles were shipped from New York City. On a recent evening, patrons sipped whiskeys from Japan and ginger wines from Scotland to a soundtrack that ranged from Bob Dylan’s “Mississippi” to Fink’s “Blueberry Pancakes.”
Maagpl. 5, 8005 Zürich, Switzerland
Atop the Prime Tower, Switzerland’s tallest building, Clouds offers two dining experiences: an ambitious restaurant that serves Mediterranean-inspired dishes such as a Jerusalem artichoke velouté with smoked mackerel as well as a bistro with more casual dishes and a terrific weekend breakfast. Both offer phenomenal views from floor-to-ceiling windows. Photo © Clouds.
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