About Bars & Nightlife in Chamonix
There’s no better way to celebrate a great day on the slopes than with a few well earned après-ski drinks amongst friends.
Whether you prefer to soak up the last of the afternoon sun with a quiet beer or dance on the tables in your ski boots, Chamonix has no shortage of great spots where you can amuse yourself when the lifts shut for the day. Here are a few suggestions:
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 everyone 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!).
Munster Bar: Offers a great atmosphere with live music throughout the season, with sports on the big screens, great happy hour deals twice a day (4-7pm and 9-10pm) and always a popular spot to meet up after a day on the mountain.
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.
Le 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 and Les Aiguilles Rouges. The Vagabond caters for a lively, upbeat & friendly crowd and has a happy hour from 4:30pm until 6:30pm.
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.
Le Tof: Just around the corner from Amnesia is Chamonix's other late night option and only gay club, Le Tof. Underground, crowded, sweaty and with possibly the worst toilets in town, nonetheless it has a friendly vibe and attracts quite a few eccentrics to have a swing around the dancing pole. The staff are always up for a laugh and they host regular parties, often with quite cheesy dress-up themes. It might be a gay club but everyone is welcome here.
Both clubs open around midnight and close at 4am during the peak winter and summer seasons; opening hours vary during off-peak seasons.
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.
Buonissimo: A fairly recent addition to Chamonix high street, Buonissimo is a cosy little Italian delicatessen and wine shop that offers all sorts of tempting goodies to eat in or take home. They have a small terrace out front and a few tables inside, with a little wine cellar downstairs. They do an excellent deal on wine and sharing platters, groaning with mouthwatering meats, cheeses, olives, bread and salad. A great way to sample the goods before you decide what to take home!
Le 214: If you're staying up in Argentiere or have been skiing at Les Grands Montets, pop into Le 214 on the main road for tapas and wine. They have a good selection of wines and an interesting menu that changes often; the interior is modern but cosy and there is a small terrace for when the sun is shining. They're open daily from 4pm, so it's ideal for a chilled out apres-ski session.
Quartz Bar: Part of the prestigious Hameau Albert Premier hotel and fine dining restaurant, the Quartz bars offers a more refined place to drink, offering over 16 different wines available to buy by the glass. The have regular live music in the bar and you can also pop in for afternoon tea and admire some of the artwork on display.
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 facing terrace overlooking the centre of town and Mont Blanc. The bar typically hosts several live music and/or DJ sessions a week, often alongside drinks promos and happy hours. The more refined art-nouveau upstairs bar serves as a lounge and cocktail bar, which sometimes hosts private parties and special events. Happy hour is different each day, so call in or check their Facebook page for details.
Monkey Bar: As well as being a great place to apres, Monkey Bar in Chamonix Sud attracts a fun crowd in the evening with its drink promos, live bands, DJ and party nights. One of the other big draws to Monkey Bar (especially for locals) is the food - as well as the normal menu they offer weekly deals on burgers, tacos, curry, etc; all well-priced and very tasty! Pop in and see what their deal of the day is.
La Maison des Artistes: For something a bit more funky than your usual covers band, La Maison des Artistes is a very hip jazz club that has a regular schedule of live music. Inviting established musicians and talented newcomers to jam and record in this music venue / recording studio, means that there are always interesting concerts to check out. Regular events such as salsa night and DJ sessions are interspersed with guest concerts by musicians from around the world. Definitely worth popping by to see what's on.
Kitsch Inn: This retro ski chalet at the foot of the Les Houches ski area loves a good old sing-song. Regular apres-ski concerts include everything from indie, to folk, to old school rock. The decor is a mish-mash of eras with lots of random items that you'll recognise from years gone by and the food is pretty decent as well. You'll find them at the bottom of the Bellevue cable car.
Gay bars & clubs
Le Tof: Chamonix's only gay bar is more of a "everyone's welcome" kind of place than an "official" gay bar. Le Tof is the place that we all stumble into on the way home, looking for one last drink (that inevitably escalates) and a few laughs. The staff are all crackers, the clientele are mostly a bit eccentric and if you leave without having a whirl round the pole then you've got more self-control than we have. Not a classy night out, but always a good giggle.
Best of the rest
La Yaute Cafe: This bar and restaurant can be found not far from the lift station of Grands Montets, on the right hand side of the road on the way to Argentiere. It hosts live music most night of the week in winter and has a separate games room with a pool table and lots of cosy corners to enjoy a drink in.
Chez Max: This little bar is located down the valley in Servoz and is open seven days a week, winter and summer. They serve snacks at the bar including local charcuterie platters and have live bands playing throughout the winter months.
MOO Bar: Right over the road from Chambre 9, and just next door to Elevation, MOO Bar is run by Morten, Orjan and Oscar (whose names provide the initials for the bar's name), familiar faces to many of us who've apres-ed our way round town over the last few winters. Offering a fantastic 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 always a great night out either for a few beers or for dinner and drinks.
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.
Bar’d Up: Bar'd Up is a small and relaxed hang-out on the Rue de Moulins. This chilled out bar features regular live music and DJ’s, as well as open mic sessions, singstar contests and party nights. 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 nice 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!
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.
Bighorn Bistro: This is a family friendly place with American beers on tap and good home-cooked food. In the evening they have regular live music and open mic nights.
The Jekyll: Another good place to watch sporting events is The Jekyll, just past the Chamonix Sud bus station. Now serving tapas, it's a nice place to go for a quieter apres ski pint.
South Bar: The sunny south-facing terrace is a great place to chill out with a few beers and a burger in the afternoon. Once the sun sets, head downstairs to dance the night away in the dark, loud, sweaty confines of the underground cellar bar. They host some epic nights down here and their DJs know just how to get the crowd going. Don't plan on getting first lift tomorrow morning...
Le Vert: Le Vert is a hotel/bar/restaurant which, although on the outskirts of town (Les Gaillands), is well worth making the effort to visit. During the day it has a friendly chilled out ambience and their kitchen turns out food to put some of the bigger restaurants to shame. As evening falls a mix of locals, hotel guests and passers-by gather in the bar to chat, play pool and watch sports on the big screen. Le Vert hosts some legendary parties, often with quite big-name DJs playing, and is always a lot of fun.
Le Chamonix Social Club: If you're looking for somewhere a bit glam, where you can get dressed up and not look out of place, then you'll feel right at home here. The interior is chic but relaxed, the bar staff are gorgeous but friendly, the vibe is hip but welcoming. Regular DJ nights and delicious cocktails make this a cool place to meet before dinner or to dance the night away afterwards.