Best Apres Ski in Chamonix
Chamonix has a wealth of places to go for a bit of Après Ski. Read our guide here.
Chambre 9: One of the places to après ski in Chamonix is Chambre 9. They know exactly what the après crowd is looking for and have a reputation for booking the best apres-bands each winter. The live music gets every one dancing (on tables, chairs and all available surfaces) between 5:00-7:00pm, every night (except Saturday). Get in early as it’s standing room only (and barely that at times!).
Micro Brasserie de Chamonix (MBC): If real ale is more your thing, then head along to the MBC to sample their highly regarded and naturally produced real ales and lagers made from the finest malts, hops, and yeasts available without preservatives or additives. Being slightly out of town the MBC relies on its great reputation for good beer and live entertainment; there are often great live bands playing during apres-ski and in the evenings.
The Vagabond: Depending on the weather, you can have drink in front of a roaring open log fire at the Vagabond, or on a south west facing terrace with a great view of the Mont Blanc massif, Le Brévent et Les Aiguilles Rouges. The Vagabond caters for a lively, upbeat & friendly crowd and has a happy hour from 4:30pm until 6:30pm. Well priced and tasty bar food is served from 5:30pm (winter only).
La Terrasse: La Terrasse is probably Chamonix's most central bar that hosts several popular live music evenings a week during winter, and there is an upstairs bar which serves as a lounge and cocktail bar. As it is in a sunny and convenient location La Terrasse is often busy during apres-ski. They offer happy hour prices from 4:00-6:00pm everyday.
Monkey Bar: Monkey Bar, in Chamonix Sud, is a popular spot with both locals and tourists alike. Live music from 5:00pm every day is guaranteed to turn heavy ski boots into dancing shoes, aided by the generous happy hour prices from 5:30-7:00pm!
South Bar: Pretty much next door to Monkey, is South Bar, favoured by the Scandinavian crowd and fans of these statuesque beauties. This is where the hardcore gather to swap stories and compare fatness of skis – the Swedes don’t mess around when it comes to time on the mountain. Every day the place is pretty much rammed from 4:00pm through to 2:00am, with live music at après and DJ’s later on in the night. As the days get longer, the après band often plays outside on the terrace so you can enjoy the tunes and the beer in the last rays of sunshine. One of the best eye candy venues in town!
You can keep up to date with all the goings-on in Chamonix by following the exploits of our intrepid Apres Ski Reporter; weekly reports telling you all about the best parties, live music and après fun!
Best Bars in Chamonix
CENTRE OF TOWN
Chambre 9: Situated up at the top end of town near the train station Chambre 9 is one of the favourite meeting places for locals and visitors alike, you'll find tourists, alpinists, “extreme skiers” and plenty of Scandinavians meeting to talk about their days at altitude. The infamous happy hour is from 8:00-10:00 pm where you can buy a two cocktails or shots for the price of one!
MOO Bar: Right over the road from Chambre 9, and just next door to Elevation, MOO Bar opened its doors in December 2012 for the first time. Morten, Orjan and Oscar (whose names provide the initials for the bar's name) have been in Chamonix for years, and are familiar faces to many of us who've apres-ed our way round town over the last few winters. Offering a fanatasic bar menu; tables with pour-your-own beer pumps; and all of the cocktails and smiles you'd expect from these guys - MOO Bar is sure to be a go-to venue this winter and beyond.
Le Privilege: This is one of Chamonix's chicest bars; the interior is a mixture of local wood and African furnishings with an ultra-modern looking glass bar and brightly lit drinks shelves. Behind the same bar are usually a few of Chamonix's model-esque barmaids, and a decent champagne fridge. Le Privilege tends to attract a slightly more mature crowd, especially those who are a happy to spend a bit more cash on a night out. However, your investment does go quite a long way here, as there are regular live sets playing, either acoustic duos or house DJs who manage to get one of the best atmospheres going in town. During the summer Le Privilege has a terrace out at the front, and its glass door/windows open out on to the street for al fresco drinking - until around 10pm.
La Terrasse: La Terrasse is probably Chamonix's most central bar, sitting on the edge of the river, with (as the name might suggest) a south-west face terrace overlooking the central square and the Mont Blanc. The main bar typically hosts several popular live music evenings a week – The Juggernaut of Rock, The Soul Rates, and Gaz-Live all play regular sessions during the winter season. The more refined art-nouveau upstairs bar serves as a lounge and cocktail bar as well as arrange of tasty bar snacks.
Le Lapin Agile: Le Lapin Agile is a great little wine bar that offers a huge selection of wines from around the world, and also serves Italian-styled food and an assortment of salads. It is a great alternative to the boisterous bars, for those looking to have a quieter evening enjoying really excellent wine with friends. During the evening, between 6:00-9:00 pm, a buffet bar of tasty appetisers is available free of charge with your drinks.
Bar’d Up: Bar'd Up is a small and relaxed hang-out on the Rue de Moulins. This is a chilled out bar that features regular live music and DJ’s. They regularly screen English football matches, and when there’s no sport on the TV, you can while away the hours with a game of pool or table football.
The Pub: The Pub has a friendly British feel to it and a nicely heated terrace, making it a great people watching venue all year round. The bars big screen ensures that it has one of the best atmospheres in town during big sporting events, but get there early if you want a seat or it's standing room only!
MIX Bar: Mix is a new bar in the Rue de Moulins, run by a couple of brothers better known as The Hoax - a DJ act who also play here on a regular basis. Not surprisingly, this DJ bar has a cool vibe, with a modern and funky interior, and groovy tunes to sway to.
Bistro Gourmand: If you're looking for a chilled and cosy wine bar, rather than pitcher-sloshing mayhem then Biostro Gourmand is definitely worth a try. Owner Gerard prides himself on making sure everyone who walks through the door gets the glass of wine that suits their palate best.
Elevation: Right opposite Chambre 9, and soaked in sun when the clouds are off playing somewhere else, Elevation is a year-round hangout for locals and holidaymakers alike. Well worth trying a lunch in the sun there in the summer, or grabbing a beer as you finish the Vallee Blanche.
Munster Bar: If you’re after something a little quieter, then head to Munster Bar in Chamonix Sud - an Irish themed pub that is all dark wood and Guinness. A perfect choice if you’re after a quiet drink, or simply a bit of a breather from the frantic goings on elsewhere. It’s not all sleepy Irish hospitality in here though and sports fans should get themselves down here early if they want a good seat for any big televised sporting events. A dedicated sports bar, Munster has three widescreen televisions.
The Jekyll: Another good place to watch sporting events is The Jekyll, just past the Chamonix Sud bus station. However, the highlight of the Jekyll’s entertainment is their regular comedy nights on a Thursday, boasting some of the big names on today’s comedy circuit (Ed Byrne, Barry Castagnola etc). Places are limited for these evenings so you’re advised to buy your tickets in advance from the bar staff (plus they’re cheaper!) - €10 in advance or €15 on the door. They also offer a great "Dinner and Show" combo for €35 p/p, which includes a 3 course set meal (veggie option available) and entrance to the comedy show.
Monkey Bar: As well as being a great place to apres, the Monkey Bar attracts a fun crowd in the evening with its drink promos and live bands and DJ sets from 10pm throughout the week. One of the other big draws to Monkey Bar (especially for locals) is that they do a full roast dinner every Sunday for €10 and then Curry Night on Tuesdays when you can get curry and a pint for €10! Can’t say fairer than that!
South Bar: If you like Chambre 9, then the chances are that you'll like South Bar too. With live music early in the evening and DJ sounds pumping until 2pm, it's a great place to hang out with a load of Scandinavian lovelies. The upstairs bar is usually pretty rammed so if you find yourself 3 people deep, head to the back and down the stairs where you'll find a more chilled (and less busy) bar and lounge area. Offering those oh so hard to resist 2:1 cocktails from 8-10pm every night, South Bar is certain to make catching first lift a bit of a challenge!
WORTH THE WALK
Cha Cha Cha: Cha Cha Cha is a stylish wine and spirit merchant on Ave Ravanel Le Rouge (just past Zero G), that offers a varied schedule of wine, beer and spirit tastings every night of the week. With tasting sessions that includes wine of the Loire Valley, Burgundy, Bordeaux, local Savoie wine, champagnes and whiskies (amongst others), locals and visitors alike come to taste and learn about wine in a friendly and relaxed environment. You can also buy a glass or bottle of wine to enjoy at the bar throughout the day and evening.
The Vagabond: The Vagabond is a perennial favorite for locals, seasonnaires and the guests who stay in the adjoining hostel. The bar caters for a lively, upbeat & friendly crowd in a vibrant yet relaxed, cosy and atmospheric watering place. Chilled and funky tunes play from behind the bar, unless there is an international sports event being televised, in which case, the commentary is turned up full to complement the big screen action. If you’re looking for Scotch whisky, then the Vaga boasts ‘one of the most extensive and continually expanding ranges of superlative Scotch single malt whisky this side of Scotland. Probably Maybe!’
Le Vert: Le Vert, although on the outskirts of town (Les Gaillands) is well worth making the effort to visit. They have some edgy and big name DJ’s offering a mix of music styles and often have original concept nights bringing a bit of fun and alot of cheap drinks to Chamonix. During the day, you’ll find the latest mountain sports videos and live sporting events playing on a projector and huge plasma screen. You can also choose from a range of tasty bar snacks and meals such as ribs, burgers and a good old Sunday roast.
The Clubhouse: The Clubhouse is a candle-lit art deco bar and dining area with a roaring fire place, serving classic cocktails, cold beer, good quality wines, great Scotch and rare Armagnac. Although it is a members only bar, it is usually possible for non-members to make one-off visits, particularly if you call ahead. This classy bar is a world away from the usual après-ski offerings of a pitcher of frothy Amstel, a glass of below-par plonk or a shot of no-name, hang-over vodka – just remember to bring your credit card!
Micro Brasserie de Chamonix (MBC): Run by four Canadians with a passion for beer who wanted to do something completely different, MBC produces highly regarded and naturally produced real ales and lagers. Those on offer range from the Blonde de Chamonix light pilsner (light, smooth, refreshing), through to the hardcore Stout des Drus (rich, strong coffee/chocolate taste). The lively buzz inside is no doubt merrily fuelled by the contents of those barrels or the range of other 'normal' drinks. Live bands often play during apres-ski and in the evenings.
Best Nightclubs in Chamonix
L'Amnesia: L'Amnesia is Chamonix's largest nightclub and melting pot for all the late night (sometimes all-night) party-goers. Situated on the outskirts of Chamonix Sud, the club is very popular with the French, Scandinavians and British from all over town. Throughout the week L'Amnesia plays host to a number of theme nights with internationally recognised DJ's, and some scantily-clad and highly-talented 'dancers', usually on Thursday nights.
Alpes Angels: This Chamonix striptease club is apparently the only one in the French Alps! Billed as a "Cabaret & Nightclub" Alpes Angels is more of a chic nightspot than a lairy lad's night out establishment. Although stag and hen parties are welcomed, the bar retains its cool contemporary styling and cosmopolitan vibe that made it such a hit in its earlier incarnation as No Escape. With celebrities such as Kylie Minogue choosing to party here, it has seen some of the Alps' most glamorous visitors pass through its doors. Every night up to 30 dancers will perform glamourous and sexy routines, with the option to request a table dance or private dance.
White Hub: Chamonix's latest late-night hotspot opened in the summer of 2012 - tucked underneath the arches at the far end of Rue des Moulins, just past Bar'd Up, White Hub is open Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 11pm to 7am (we'd advise getting some sleep - and coffee - before heading straight for first lift afterwards...). Bear in mind they normally operate a French-style entrance policy: 8€ to get in, but that includes a 'free' drink.
Le Choucas: This old favourite has, unfortunately, decided that all good things come to an end, and won't be operating any more. Sad times - although rumour has it the premises will be re-opening as a clothes shop, so there might be opportunity to go back in, inhale deeply, and catch a whiff of yesterbeer....
Le Podium: Rather than being a pemanently-open nightclub, Le Podium tends to be more of a one-off venue, used by the likes of World Sessions who bring a season of guests DJs, massive tunes and late night partying to Chamonix. Located in the unlikely venue of the ice rink complex, Le Podium is on the outskirts of the town centre and is an easy walk from the majority of local bars.