Some destinations do chocolate better than others. If you’re a chocolate fan, then you should consider traveling to some of the world’s most iconic chocolate meccas. By adding places like Brussels and Zurich to your bucket list, you’ll get to visit exciting chocolate factories, stroll through museums dedicated to chocolate, and learn everything you want to know about cocoa.
There are certain cities and regions that are renowned for the chocolate they produce. Others are hidden gems where you can experience the best chocolate in the world without having to contend with large crowds. Check out these 10 destinations for chocolate lovers.
11 Paris, France
Home to some of the world’s most exquisite cheeses, wines, and bread, France is the ultimate destination for any foodie. And chocolate-lovers should also be heading to France, and the City of Lights, in particular, to satisfy their cravings.
There are more than 300 chocolate shops waiting to be discovered on the streets of Paris. The specialty is dark chocolate, according to Trips to Discover. Paris also hosts the world’s largest consumer chocolate show every second year, in addition to walking tours highlighting the many boutiques and chains to taste the finest chocolate.
10 Brussels, Belgium
Not too far from Paris, Brussels in Belgium is another chocolate capital that anybody with a sweet tooth should add to their bucket list. Sometimes referred to as the Chocolate Capital of the World, Brussels contains more chocolatiers per square foot than any other city on the planet.
Two of the biggest chocolate companies, Godiva and Leonidas, are based in Brussels, which is also home to several independent chocolate makers. Brussels also boasts the Museum of Cocoa and Chocolate, where you’ll learn everything there is to know about the sweet art of chocolate making.
9 Hershey, Pennsylvania
This one’s a no-brainer. Hersey, Pennsylvania was originally named Derry Church but was renamed due to the popularity of the world-famous Hershey Chocolate in 1906. You’ll find both the Hershey Company and the H.B. Reese Candy Company in this chocolate paradise.
Visit Hershey’s Chocolate World, where you’ll get a chance to taste so much chocolate that you’ll feel like Charlie himself. You can also stay at Hotel Hershey, where there’s a real chocolate spa. Relax here with a whipped cocoa bath, a chocolate fondue wrap, and a chocolate bean polish.
8 St. Lucia
When people think of St. Lucia, images of golden beaches and tropical waters come to mind. But the Caribbean island is also a major destination for chocolate lovers, too. It’s home to several resorts that are specially designed to cater to chocolate enthusiasts and boasts a variety of cocoa plantations that you can visit.
At Hotel Chocolat Boucan, for example, you can sample a full line of dishes that revolve around cocoa. You’ll also get a chance to try the Cocoa Juvenate spa treatments, and try the chocolate made from beans that are grown on the estate.
7 Melbourne, Australia
If you’re a chocolate fan heading Down Under, then you have to visit the Victorian city of Melbourne in the country’s east. Known for being a coffee mecca, Melbourne is also home to Panny’s Amazing World of Chocolate.
Resembling Willy Wonka’s factory, Panny’s Amazing World of Chocolate allows guests to create their own chocolate bars and ride a miniature train through a real chocolate village. You’ll also get to see chocolate stalagmites and a mosaic created using chocolate. This is also home to what many believe is the world’s largest chocolate waterfall.
5 Tuscany, Italy
The Italian region of Tuscany is well-known for contributing several famous dishes and ingredients to the world. But the culinary capital is also home to some of the planet’s most delectable chocolate. The area between the cities of Florence, Pisa, and Montecatini is known as the Chocolate Valley and is filled with endless chocolate shops and factories to explore.
In early February, there’s a chocolate fair held in Florence where you’ll be overwhelmed by the lingering taste and smell of sweet cocoa. While in Florence, be sure to check out Vestri, which boasts some of the most highly rated chocolate ever.
4 Cologne, Germany
There are plenty of fantastic reasons to visit Cologne, Germany. One of the best, if you’re a chocolate enthusiast, is to check out the Stollwerck Chocolate Company, which was once the second-largest supplier of chocolate to the United States.
At the Imhoff Stollwerck Museum, you’ll get to learn about the famous chocolatier Hans Imhoff. You’ll also get to witness the impressive chocolate fountain and taste samples from various exhibits that highlight delicious chocolate from around the world. If you want to know everything there is to know about chocolate, you won’t want to miss this one!
3 Costa Rica
Chocolate lovers looking for a tropical destination should add Costa Rica to their itinerary. Cocoa beans are rooted in the history of the place since they have been used by indigenous tribes since pre-Columbian times. Cocoa crops, which come from the Caribbean lowlands, have also prevented deforestation in the area as they require shade to grow properly.
You won’t regret touring through the wonderful cocoa plantations in Costa Rica and learning about the history of cocoa in the area. While exploring the Cocoa Trails in Limon, you can even take an interactive and delicious chocolate tour.
2 Zurich, Switzerland
The Swiss city of Zurich is another major chocolate destination that any sweet tooth should visit at least once. This is the place to go if you’re into milk chocolate since there is more chocolate consumed in Switzerland than any other country in the world.
In Zurich, you’ll find iconic chocolate factories such as Lindt, Sprungli, and Treushcer, which also offer museums where you can learn about the history of chocolate-making in Switzerland. Most importantly, the factories offer lots of chances for free samples of some of the world’s most famous (and delicious) chocolate.
1 Bariloche, Argentina
Located in the Argentinian province of Rio Negro in the Andes, the city of Bariloche is attracting increasing numbers of tourists thanks to its chocolate traditions. The city boasts all kinds of chocolate, from traditional bars to chocolate stuffed with fruit. There’s something for every kind of sweet tooth here.
This is one of the best places to go if you’d like to take your time strolling through chocolate shops and finding something truly unique. The shopkeepers in Calle Mitre are super friendly and will answer any questions about the chocolate on offer.