Chamonix has a livelier apres scene than almost any other French resort we know – with the exception of Val d’Isere. Like Val it also has a strong British flavour: too strong, some might say. But actually, you’ll find a lot of variety here, if you’re prepared to look for it.
You can party as hard as you ski
Top of the list for a posh drink is Mix, on rue des Moulins. It’s a lounge serving a wide selection of cocktails, and if there’s something that you want that isn’t on the menu then it can be made for you. Different DJs play every evening. On the same street is Le Cap-Horn, a three-storey restaurant and jazz bar complex. There’s a different experience on each floor, with Les Caves bar on the ground floor. At Les Caves regular DJs and live bands play on various nights, with low-key jazz/blues early in the evenings and more upbeat tunes later on. Le Vert bar is another popular venue, with a pool table, and a projector to watch your day’s skiing. At weekends the bar hosts some top international talent.
L’Amnesia is Chamonix’s biggest club, open from 1am to dawn, and featuring international DJs and themed party nights. Le Privilege has live music and No Escape puts on cabaret acts. Late-nighters also end up at the BPM Night Club (+33 670 63 64 88) which hosts acts such as the Chippendales. Some hard-core off-posters hate these – much preferring the Chambre Neuf, in the Gustavia hotel, which is big with visiting Swedes, and therefore blessed with a high-cheekbones-high-drinking clientele. The Micro Brasserie de Chamonix – or MBC – is also popular with the same crowd. Le Garage (+33 450 53 45 26) is another popular bar. Bistrot des Sports (+33 450 53 00 46) was created for the 1924 Winter Olympic Games and retains an authentic local ambience. Gamblers can pay a visit to the casino, which is open until midnight and also has a restaurant.
The streets are paved with bars
If none of those suit you, then just take a walk through the centre of town. The streets (especially the rues du Docteur Paccard and des Moulins) are paved with bars.
In Argentiere, The Office (+33 450 54 15 46) is a resort institution where you can drink, eat, listen to live music, or even stay. FuBar (+33 450 965 361) is the only real nightspot in Argentiere.