14 Countries You Should Visit If Chocolate Is The Love Of Your Life

travel destinations for chocolate lovers

One of the best things about going on vacation is the excuse to eat whatever you want, whenever you want. There are no rules when you’re taking a break from real life. Want ice cream for dinner? Go for it, you’re on vacation! Pastries instead of breakfast? Of course that’s allowed! So, really, planning a vacation that is all about a dessert is never a bad option — especially when that dessert is chocolate. There are so many places in the world that are totally focused on chocolate that, honestly, not checking them out is a true shame. There are a few countries you absolutely need to visit if you love chocolate.

Some of these countries offer entire cities dedicated to chocolate, full of all different shops, options, and factories, as well as lots of tours. There is so much more to explore than you would ever imagine. From chocolate hotels to spas to museums and just cafes, there is literally something for everyone. And of course, make sure to bring your appetite — aside from learning everything you could want to learn about chocolate, you’ll be eating a whole lot of it. Here are a few places that need to be made into your next trip:

1. Belgium

If you really love chocolate, then you absolutely have to visit Brussels in Belgium, the capital city that has also been dubbed the “Chocolate Capital of the World.” It doesn’t get much more legit than that! Brussels has more chocolate shops per square foot than any other city in the world, and is home to companies like Godiva and Leonidas. You can go to all of the chocolatiers to sample different kinds, and also get in some history at the Museum of Cocoa and Chocolate. At Chocolaterie Duval or Chocolaterie Jamart, you can get a view of the chocolate-making process. Mary, one of the finest chocolate shops there, has been around since 1919 and is a must-try. There’s also Pierre Marcolini, which is a “haute chocolaterie.”

2. France

If you’re looking to travel somewhere with good dessert, especially chocolate, look no further than France. Literally anything you eat will be incredible. Paris, of course, is a great place to start. Dark chocolate is their speciality, but there are hundreds of chocolate shops throughout the city to choose from. Outside of Paris, you can go to the village Tain L’Hermitage, which is home of the Valrhona Ecole Chocolat, which is one of the most prestigious chocolate schools in the world — you can take a class or just visit the factory and museum.

3. Costa Rica

Costa Rica actually offers up a lot of cocoa trees, which is where the chocolate bean is harvested from. Many of them are in the Caribbean lowlands, and a lot of the plantations offer tours. In Limon, there’s something called Cacao Trails, where you can take an interactive chocolate tour. Other tours include  Coffee, Chocolate, and Sugar Tour in Monteverde and the Sibu Chocolate Tour in Heredia.

4. Australia

Australia has a lot to offer when it comes to chocolate. In Melbourne, Pannys Amazing World of Chocolate, which is basically like a chocolate Disney World. If you go there, you can make your own chocolate bars and see a huge chocolate waterfall, among many other chocolatey activities. The Savour School is just outside Melbourne and offers chocolate making classes. There’s also the Denmark Chocolate Company and Haigh’s Chocolate. Haigh’s is Australia’s oldest family-run chocolate factory right outside Adelaide where you can watch them make gourmet chocolates and then get a taste.


5. South Africa

South Africa actually has a huge chocolate production market and is great at creating milk chocolate. Lindt has an official Chocolate Studio in Johannesburg and Cape Town. In Cape Town, you’ll also find Nestle and Cadbury factories as well. Johannesburg also offers Ooh La La Confectionery and Chocolaza. In Betty’s Bay, go to GaBoLi’s Chocolates for homemade treats.

6. Switzerland

It’s probably no surprise that Switzerland is on this list — after all, milk chocolate was created in Zurich, the capital of the nation, where there is more chocolate consumed than anywhere else in the world. The Lindt & Sprungli factory has a museum, tour, and free tastings. Go to Teuscher, which is an old-fashioned chocolate shop where you can try hundreds of different recipes. There’s the Swiss Chocolate Train from Montreaux, which stops in Gruyere and then arrives in Broc for a tour of the Cailler Chocolate (this is a personal bucket list item!. Cailler’s offers so much, from tours that give you a look at ancient Aztec cocoa ceremonies to an all-you-can-eat tasting experience.

7. Argentina

Bariloche is a city in the province of Rio Negro in Argentina that is known for their chocolate. There is so much to eat there! You can go to Calle Mitre to see many different chocolate shops and factories. Bariloche is often called Little Switzerland because of all of the chocolate. This is really the best place to go in Argentina for a chocolatey experience, but Buenos Aires also offers many chocolate shops as well.

8. Spain

There are a few spots in Spain to go to if you love chocolate, and Barcelona is at the top of the list. Cacao Sampaka is one notable shop, where you can get very unique chocolates, like bars flavored with Parma ham and anchovies. The Museu De La Xocolata in Barcelona is also worth visiting, where you can get an edible ticket for chocolate sculpture viewing. If you’re in Madrid, you absolutely have to try churros and chocolate, a Spain specialty that is out of this world. There are many chocolaterias (churrerías) with churros dipped into thick hot chocolate. Try Chocolatería San Ginés for an old-fashioned experience. Also head to Villajoyosa, called the Chocolate City, where you’ll get a historic experience. Valor Chocolate calls this their home, which is one of the most prestigious chocolate factories in Spain.

9. Germany

In Germany, be sure to head to the capital, Cologne. There, you’ll find the Stollwerck Chocolate Company, a huge supplier of chocolate to America, as well as the Schokoladenmuseum, where you’ll learn so much about chocolate and see chocolate sculptures and fountains. In Heidelberg, you can do a wine and chocolate tasting, which sounds like heaven. In Waldenbuch, go to Ritter Sport Schokolade, where there’s a chocolate exhibition and workshop, along with a cafe. In Garmisch-Partenkirchen, go to Chocolate Amelie to experience the world of Bavarian chocolate.

10. Mexico

Head to Oaxaca, Mexico for all of your chocolate needs. On Mina Street, also known as Chocolate Street, you’ll find some of the huge Mexican chocolate shops, as well as smaller family-owned spots. Go to Mayordomo to watch roasted cocoa beans being ground with spices or La Soledad for Chocomiel, which is a chocolate drink with honey and vanilla. Also be sure to check out Guelaguetza Festival in Oaxaca in July if possible. Maya Chocolate in Tabasco, Mexico just might be the birthplace of chocolate. Go there for hot chocolate Maya style, flavored with chili peppers. Camalcalco in Tabasco offers a museum and cacao haciendas.

11. England

The United Kingdom might not be the first place you think of when you think of chocolate, but there is so much chocolatey goodness going on here. London offers Chocolate Week in October, full of vendors and samples. You can also check out The Melange in Peckham, Melt and Artisan du Chocolat in Notting Hill, or River Cafe for the Nemesis Cake, all of which are always open. London has a Chocolate Ecstasy Tour, which sounds like somewhere I need to be right now. In Bournemouth, England, go to the Chocolate Hotel where you can taste chocolate and go to classes. London is also home to the Rococo Flagship Store, where you can take a truffle-rolling class.

12. St. Lucia

Speaking of chocolate hotels, St. Lucia has one as well. It’s called Hotel Chocolat, and is on St. Lucia’s oldest chocolate plantation. There are 14 suites where you can harvest your own cacao pod, take truffle classes, or get a coco-oil massage. It’s chocolate luxury! Rabot Estate is another chocolate plantation worth visiting, with a Tree to Bar experience that allows you to walk around, then make your own chocolate bar from beans you’ve roasted yourself.

13. Italy

Is there any dessert Italy can get wrong? Not really. Turin is Italy’s chocolate capital, where you can get perfect hot chocolate or bicerin, a hot chocolate and espresso drink in glass cups only available in Turin. In February, there’s the chocolate festival Cioccola-Tò. In Umbria, Italy, go to the Perugina Tour and Chocolate School, the factory that makes Baci. You can tour a small museum then check out the chocolate production. Then, in Tuscany, go to The Chocolate Valley, which is filled with gourmet chocolate shops and factories. In Florence, there’s Vestri, some of the best chocolate ever.


14. United States

Okay, where to start? If you live in the U.S., you probably don’t need to travel far to check out some chocolate fun. New York City offers so much, from frozen hot chocolates at Serendipity to the Jacques Torres cafe, to Mast Brothers Chocolate in Brooklyn to Max Brenner. San Francisco in California is where Ghirardelli and Scharffen Berger were founded and you can tour both companies, as well as check out endless chocolate shops. In Pennsylvania, go to Hershey’s, where there is an amusement park and hotel in Chocolatetown, U.S.A. You can even go to a chocolate spa for chocolate treatments. And in Boston, the Taza Factory is one of the only factories in the US to make 100 percent stone-ground chocolate. You can take tours and get lots of free samples.

Okay, I don’t know about you, but I have a lot of vacation planning to do. Also, I’m starving!

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