Discover Switzerland’s chocolates
Chocolate is one of those Swiss delicacies you shouldn’t miss. There’s a wide range of activities to choose from, ranging from multi-media museum tours to simple shopping trips in a nearby supermarket. Whether or not you’re a chocolate fan yourself, it’s interesting to learn about this typically Swiss product. Moreover, museum visits or shopping trips make for nice activities on bad weather days.
Visit chocolate museums and factories
Many of the larger Swiss chocolate brands allow visitors to learn about their manufacturing process and products with museums, exhibitions, (outlet) stores, workshops and other chocolate activities. The main ones are:
- Maison Cailler in Broc. There’s an interesting multi-media museum tour. On top of that, you can see part of the factory, enjoy free sample tasting and try even more products from the confectionery and the shop. Several chocolate-making workshops are available too;
- the Lindt Experience in the Museum of Transport in Lucerne. This is an educational and fun attraction with some tasting of the famous round Lindor truffles. You can visit the Lindt shop as well;
- the Lindt Home of Chocolate in Kilchberg near Zurich, which is expected to open in 2020. This brand new building will host the world’s largest Lindt shop, a huge chocolate fountain, a chocolateria for workshops and a large interactive exhibition;
- Aeschbach Chocowelt in Root near Lucerne, which is a fun activity for the entire family. You’ll learn about the chocolate making process, watch chocolatiers from up close, and you can create your personalized chocolate bar choosing from many ingredients;
- the Frey visitor centre in Buchs in the canton of Aargau, allowing visitors to mould their own customized chocolate bar, taste products in the cafe and shop in the boutique;
- Maestrani’s Chocolarium in Flawil, where products of the Munz and Minor chocolate brands are manufactured. It offers a discovery tour and range of courses for visitors of all ages;
- Läderach, with chocolate showrooms in Vevey and Zurich for workshops and tasting sessions, a chocolate experience in Bilten with guided tours and an exhibition, and a tour in the factory in Ennenda near Glarus;
- the Felchlin factory shop in Ibach/Schwyz;
- the Kambly Experience: a visitor centre and a huge shop, offering regular and outlet products, connected to the Kambly factory. Kambly produces all sorts of cookies, sweets and savory snacks and isn’t an actual chocolate brand. We still think it deserves being listed here, as chocolate lovers may appreciate cookies too.
Shop in specialized chocolate stores
You’ll encounter lots of specialized chocolate shops and boutiques in larger Swiss towns, so chocolate lovers can plan their own shopping tour. The list presented here is definitely not exhaustive, but includes some of the more prominent shops. The ones below are available on several locations throughout Switzerland:
- Läderach, which is pricey and exquisite, but absolutely worth it. Tip: buy a package with a sample selection of small chocolate plate parts in Läderach's several delicious flavors. You’ll find shops in larger towns throughout the country;
- Lindt, to be found on several tourist hotspots such as the Museum of Transport in Lucerne and up at Jungfraujoch, as well as in the towns of Kilchberg, Altdorf, Olten and Basel. Their shiny round Lindor truffles in many flavors are highly recommended;
- Sprüngli, with beautiful shops to be found on many locations in Zurich and in a few other larger cities lake Basel, Bern and Geneva.
Here are some tips per town:
Find chocolate products in supermarkets
You’ll find many chocolate products in any Swiss supermarket, from high-end truffles to affordable private-label bars. On top of that, there may be locally and regionally produced chocolates. For genuine lovers, a shopping trip in supermarkets is a delight in itself. The flat bars make for excellent souvenirs as well, as most of them can be kept for months. Mind that Swiss chocolate can be found in other products too, such as cookies, cakes and ice creams.
Apart from the major brands like Lindt, Cailler and Frey, these are some of the other brands you may encounter:
- Toblerone, which is famous for its mountain-shaped bars with the iconic Matterhorn painted on the package. The yellow bars are best-known, and consist of milk chocolate with honey and almonds. Tip: break the individual chocolate triangle tops by pushing them towards the inside (in the direction of the adjacent triangle) rather than to the outside!
- Milkboy, available in Switzerland and the US. They offer bars in several flavors, both traditional as well as some exclusive ones;
- Munz, creating crunchy bars with a cookie, caramel or fruit core and a chocolate layer;
- Minor, offering regular and soft chocolate bars, mostly with hazelnuts;
- Gottlieber, mostly known for its “Hüppen”: thin, crepe-like cookie rolls filled with chocolate or gourmet cream;
- Ragusa, presenting soft chocolate bars with hazelnuts and almonds;
- Villars, from the canton of Fribourg. Their range includes biological chocolate and liqueur bars;
- Torino, one of the brands offering blond chocolate, which consists of caramelized white chocolate.
Explore vegan chocolate options
Many Swiss chocolate products include Swiss dairy, and are therefore not vegan. There are certainly options though:
- many dark chocolate bars are vegan. Check the ingredients to make sure;
- look for biological supermarkets (in German: ‘Reformhaüser’ or ‘Bioläden’). Examples are ‘Alnatura’ and ‘Portanatura’. A larger selection of lactose free and vegan chocolates can be found there. You can locate such stores at www.biopartner.ch;
- most larger supermarkets offer at least some vegan brands and products. Look for ‘Veganz’ when shopping in Coop supermarkets for example, and for ‘Bio’ and ‘Alnatura’ in Migros stores;
- order from this Swiss Schoccolatta webshop, offering raw and vegan Swiss chocolates.
Order Swiss chocolate online
Can’t wait to have some Swiss chocolate at home? A few webshops allow for international shipping of chocolate products. Shipping options and costs differ per shop, so check the terms and conditions first. Some examples are:
Enjoy the Chocolate Train
Maison Cailler can also be visited by Chocolate Train. This is a fully arranged train and bus trip from Montreux to the chocolate factory in Broc and the cheese factory near Gruyères.
Participate in guided chocolate tours
A guide can teach you a whole lot about Swiss chocolate. You can book several guided chocolate tasting tours. Please find options below.