Swiss chocolate is famous all over the world. In Switzerland there are several chocolate factories that you can visit. These include well-known names such as Lindt, Camille Bloch, Maestrani and Cailler. In all factories with a visitor center you have the opportunity to taste chocolate and buy it at the end in the store at sometimes attractive prices.
Certain things go hand in hand
Laurel and Hardy. Timon and Pumbaa. Bad luck and sulfur
The inseparable pair we are looking at in this case, however, has nothing to do with overweight warthogs or clumsy comedians, but with the world-famous symbiosis "Switzerland and chocolate"
It is no secret that we love sweet temptation. After all, chocolate consumption by the Swiss ranks first in Europe. In 2019, Mr. and Mrs. Swiss consumed a remarkable 10.4 kg of chocolate per person, while our northern neighbors in Germany came in second with 8.8 kg.
Whether this is a podium position to be proud of remains to be seen. The fact is, however, that Switzerland is famous for its chocolate, not least because the chocolatiers at Lindt invented milk chocolate through a mishap in 1879
As you can imagine, tons of chocolate is made in Switzerland every day and to the delight of all sweet tooths, there are several chocolate factories that open their doors to visitors. So if you want to catch a glimpse behind the scenes of one of Switzerland's most important flagships, you've come to the right place.
The person behind this famous chocolate brand is called Aquilino Maestrani. In 1852, this ambitious entrepreneur and tinkerer founded the company and thus left his mark on Swiss chocolate history. The Maestrani company also owns the Munz and Minor brands, which are indispensable in any supermarket in this country.
Today, about 3,500 tons of Maestrani products are produced annually, which corresponds to the weight of about 600 adult African elephants. Of these, 35% leave Switzerland as export goods, while the remaining 65% are sold in Switzerland
So, chocolate. Not elephants. 🙂
Maestrani's assortment includes such classics as the delicious "Munz-Brügeli", the chemical and sticky Munz Banana - which evokes either positive or negative childhood memories in every Swiss - the Minor chocolate sticks often served with coffee, or the cute lucky bugs
Maestrani doesn't just produce chocolate, though. Caramel bars, fruit jelly creations and marzipan mice are also in their territory.
At Maestrani's Chocolarium, everything revolves around the question of how happiness gets into chocolate. After all, that's the burning question, isn't it?
An interactive adventure trail takes you for about an hour through the history of Swiss chocolate and the House of Maestrani, past tasting opportunities in the form of chocolate fountains or cocoa nibs bowls, purely into the production world to a 100-meter-long chocolate machine and finally into the store, where you will find an abundance of Maestrani creations.
In the show confectionery, you'll have the chance to decorate your own chocolate bar and take it home as a souvenir. If your stomach still allows it after this culinary excursion, the Schoggi Café awaits you at the end with further offers.
|People||Admission Chocolarium||Decorate your own chocolate|
|children (6-16 years)||8||10|
|retirees, students, apprentices||10||10|
|families (2 adults, 3 children)||34||10 per chocolate|
If, in addition to the chocolate factory, you are considering a visit to the show dairy in Stein, the Walter Zoo in Gossau or the tree-top walk in Neckertal, the combination ticket with a price reduction in the Chocolarium is the perfect solution for you
If, in addition to the chocolate factory, you are considering a visit to the Show Dairy in Stein, the Walter Zoo in Gossau or the Tree Top Trail in the Neckertal Valley, the Combi-Ticket with a price reduction in the Chocolarium is ideal for you
The Chocolarium is located in Flawil in the canton of St. Gallen. By car, you can reach the chocolate factory via the A1 freeway and the Oberbühren exit. To get there by public transport, take the train to Flawil or Uzwil and change to the post bus to the "Maestrani" stop.
Of all the Swiss chocolate brands, Lindt is the one most likely to be found in the farthest reaches of the globe. There are few major supermarkets that don't offer a Lindt product in some form. Not to mention the airports
The name behind the world-famous Lindor balls and golden chocolate bunnies originated in the late 19th century. Initially known as Lindt & Sprüngli, production started in 1899 in Kilchberg on Lake Zurich
Originally, chocolate was a rather bitter and inedible affair. But by the happy coincidence that the conching machine was not switched off one Friday afternoon at the Lindt company in 1875 and the bitter mass continued to be stirred without interruption until Monday, the sweet and creamy milk chocolate that continues to seduce us today was born.
Hurray for forgetfulness!
The Home of Chocolate is brand new and opened in the midst of the Corona pandemic in September 2020. It is fair to say, without exaggeration, that it is a superlative project. In one of the world's largest chocolate fountains, a full 1,500 kg of chocolate circulates at a height of over nine meters, and at 500 m², the Lindt store in the Home of Chocolate is the largest of its kind.
A museum explains everything about the history of chocolate as well as the origin of its ingredients before moving on to the infamous tasting hall. There, three chocolate fountains are available for free service. If there's one room you won't want to leave in a hurry, it's this one.
Or maybe it's the buffet that follows, where you can eat your fill of various types of Lindor balls as the mood takes you?
Afterwards, you'll get a glimpse of Lindt's testing facility, where they're constantly working on new creations and treats. This is the second last step before you can redeem your entrance ticket for a surprise and the tour is over.
|People||Admission to Chocolate World||Course creative with all senses||Course forming and refining|
|children (8-15 years)||10||28||36|
|pensioners (AHV,IV), students, apprentices||13||28||36|
Like the chocolate factory that opened in 1899, the Home of Chocolate is located in Kilchberg on the southern shore of Lake Zurich
We recommend that you use public transportation to get there, as the location is perfectly integrated into the transportation network of the Zurich region. There are regular buses and trains to and from Zurich main station
In Switzerland, the names Ragusa and Torino are not primarily associated with southern cities, but with creamy chocolate
Because of the melodious name, chocolatier Camille Bloch named his hazelnut chocolate creation in 1942 after the city of Ragusa, now Dubrovnik in Croatia. With Torino chocolate, a second delicacy was added in 1950, which still turns heads all over Switzerland today.
Chocolats Camille Bloch is a Swiss family business founded in Bern in 1929. Today, the company is run by the third generation and new creations are constantly coming onto the market
With an annual production volume of 3,700 tons, Camille Bloch weighs about 15 adult elephants more than Maestrani. Comparatively little of this is exported. Only 20% ends up abroad
We prefer to eat the rest ourselves
The factory where the Ragusa and Torino treats are made cannot be visited directly. Instead, Camille Bloch has built a visitor center right next to the chocolate factory, where you can see the production process up close.
After a short excursion through the history of Camille Bloch and Swiss chocolate after the First World War, the tour takes you past two chocolate fountains and two snack columns with nuts and cocoa beans. However, we recommend you keep a low profile in this area, as you'll regret it by the time you get to the demonstration areas at the latest
In the next section of the visitor center, two chocolatiers will show you step by step how the Ragusa and Torino chocolate sticks are made. Of course, you can help yourself to whatever you like afterwards, and no one will tell you that your sugar level has been reached for the day
Simply paradisiacal circumstances.
Finally, in the café and store, you have the opportunity to treat yourself to more sugar bombs or even create your own personalized Ragusa gift box. If you'd like to try your hand at chocolatiering yourself, there's an opportunity to do so in one of the ateliers
|People||Admission World of Experience|
|children (6-16 years)||9|
|pensioners (AHV,IV), students||13|
Chez Camille Bloch is located in Courtelary, a village in the Bernese Jura. By car you can reach Courtelary in 20 min from Biel and La Chaux-de-Fonds or in 60 min from Bern and Fribourg. By train you can easily reach Courtelary via Biel or La Chaux-de-Fonds, followed by a five-minute walk
Cailler is the oldest chocolate brand in Switzerland and has its origins in Vevey on Lake Geneva. Cailler has been shaping the Swiss chocolate landscape since 1819 and it's hard to imagine any supermarket without the name
At the end of the 19th century, the new site in Gruyère - which you've probably heard of in connection with a certain type of Swiss cheese - was put into operation. For over 100 years, the production of the endlessly diverse Cailler range has taken place in this factory.
What you may not have known is that Cailler merged with Nestlé in 1929. Also part of this empire are common names like Frigor and Fémina.
La Maison Cailler is Cailler's visitor center, which was ceremoniously opened in 2010. In its lovingly decorated museum, you'll be guided through the history of Swiss chocolate - starting with the cocoa beans in the jungle and ending with the Swiss cows
As a little heads up, it must be said here that the first few minutes of the tour are somewhat reminiscent of a ghost train and it is not uncommon for children to start crying in the gloomy surroundings. In the early days of chocolate, the Aztecs were not always peaceful..
After this first part, however, things become cheerful again and, at the latest at the creatively designed nibbling stations, the initial mischief is water under the bridge. Before you reach the actual tasting hall with a generous selection of Cailler chocolates, you are guided past a machine that lets you follow the entire production line of a Cailler chocolate stick.
You can round off your visit with culinary delights and pick up a souvenir or two along the way in the café and store.
Admission to la Maison Cailler costs CHF 15 for adults. In various workshops you can try yourself as a chocolatier and take your own creation home
|People||Admission Maison Cailler|
|children (6-15 years)||5|
|pensioners (AHV,IV), students||12|
La Maison Cailler is located in Broc, a village in the canton of Fribourg near Lake Gruyère. By train you can reach the station Broc Fabrique via Fribourg and Bulle. If you arrive by car, the A12 freeway between Bern and Lausanne is the right way via the Bulle exit.
Who does not know them..
The delicious broken chocolate with nuts, cornflakes, caramel pieces, smarties, raisins, coconut chips and many other creative ingredients. Hardly any shop window is as attractive as that of a Läderach store. Be it at the airport, on Bahnhofstrasse in Zurich, or on the market square in St. Gallen
But pralines, chocolate-covered popcorn or the legendary "MiniMousses" are also part of this Swiss chocolatier's specialties.
The Glarus-based family business was founded in 1962 and has had an impressive career. Läderach is now represented all over the world with over 80 branches in 15 countries. And the trend is upwards. A highlight in Läderach's history was certainly the year 2018, when Elias Läderach won the title of "World Chocolate Master" at the Chocolate World Championship.
By the way, the masterpiece of the Chocolate Master can be seen in the House of Läderach. And yes, it is indeed made of chocolate, even if it looks more like a glass sculpture.
Like the Lindt Home of Chocolate, the House of Läderach opened its doors in the fall of 2020. Pandemic or not.
Upon entering the visitor center, you're immediately greeted by the sweet smell of chocolate and handed a piece of chocolate and a porcelain spoon as a ticket so you're ready for the guided tour.
In the first part of the tour, the history of the Läderach family is explained and then the supply chain of the necessary ingredients is shown. There is also always the possibility to ask questions right away, which is definitely a big plus compared to the self-guided tours in the other chocolate factories.
A favorite of many visitors, apart from the three-part chocolate fountain of course, is the direct insight into production. The last part of the tour leads into the production hall where the chocolate is made. However, it is not processed here. At Läderach, all creations are made by hand, which is why you can "only" observe the manufacturing process of the liquid chocolate here.
Speaking of liquid chocolate
The House of Läderach has a chocolate fountain from which white, light brown and dark chocolate flows simultaneously. This is where your porcelain spoon from the entrance comes in handy and you get to test your way through the sweet streams to your heart's content.
At the House of Läderach, you have several options. A simple, self-guided tour of the chocolate museum costs CHF 5. The ticket is also a CHF 5 voucher for the chocolate store. Please note that this short tour does not give you an insight into the production. You can allow about 30 minutes for the visit.
The guided tour costs 40 CHF and includes the following:
The House of Läderach is located in Bilten in the canton of Glarus. By train you travel from Zurich, Chur or St. Gallen to Ziegelbrücke and change there to the bus to Bilten. By car you reach your destination via the A3 between Zurich and Chur via the Bilten exit
In addition to all the big names with strong production in the Swiss chocolate landscape, there are also smaller, less familiar players that are, however, no less noteworthy. One of these is undoubtedly the Aeschbach manufactory, a family business that was founded in Zug in 1972.
One product from the house of Aeschbach that is likely to be familiar to every Swiss is the Schokoladentaler. Also known as "Schoggitaler". It is often sold by primary school students to raise money for a good cause.
Apart from the Schoggitaler, Aeschbach produces a variety of chocolates, chocolate bars, seasonal creations and other house specialties. You can find an insight into the assortment of Aeschbach Chocolatier here.
In Aeschbach's ChocoWelt, as the name suggests, you can immerse yourself in the world of chocolate. During the interactive tour, you will learn all about the history of chocolate and the production of Aeschbacher's house specialties
Of course, the journey of the cocoa bean with all its tasting possibilities is not to be missed. And the contact with the chocolatiers, who are happy to answer questions and hand out samples, is not neglected on the tour.
After the tour, you can stock up on the specialties of the Aeschbach Chocolatiers in the store and café.
Admission to Aeschbach's ChocoWelt costs CHF 15 for adults. As with Läderach, this price includes a voucher of 5.- CHF which can be redeemed in the café or in the store. For an additional CHF 10, you can decorate your own 200 g chocolate bar as part of ChocoWelt Plus and take it home as a souvenir.
|People||Admission to ChocoWelt||ChocoWeltPlus (200g bar you create yourself)|
|children (6-16 years)||8||10|
Aeschbach's ChocoWelt is located in Root near Lucerne. By train from Lucerne, you can reach the "Root D4" stop in just ten minutes. By car, take the A14 freeway between Lucerne and Zurich and exit at Gisikon-Root
Chocolat Stella, based in Kreuzlingen on Lake Constance, has been producing high-quality chocolate for over 90 years. The extensive assortment leaves nothing to be desired, even for special requirements. At Chocolate Stella, you will find vegan, lactose-free, organic, fair trade and even sugar-free chocolate, among others. Stella also produces kosher and halal chocolate.
At Chocolat Stella, companies and private labels can create their own chocolate and have it produced. Thus, promotional gifts, bars, semi-finished products, truffles or pre-packaged chocolates are produced here. The company exports to over 50 countries worldwide.
In three different factory stores in Giubiasco, Bellinzona and Kreuzlingen you can try their specialties directly from production. In the production plant in Giubiasco it is even possible to take part in a guided tour. This includes a tour of the production facility and a tasting session.
You can visit the factory stores and the Chocolat Café in Kreuzlingen for free. If you are interested in a guided tour in Giubiasco, you will have the opportunity to do so Monday through Friday in the morning and afternoon for about one hour.
The guided tour must be booked at least three weeks in advance and costs 5 CHF for adults, while children pay 3 CHF
The headquarters of Chocolat Stella is in Kreuzlingen on Lake Constance. Here you will find a factory store and Café Stella
In Ticino there are two other factory stores - one in Bellinzona and one in Giubiasco.
Watching the production of chocolate is one thing. But to become active yourself and create your own chocolate bar is something completely different. At the Funky Chocolate Club in Interlaken, you have the opportunity to do just that.
The Funky Chocolate Club has been around since November 2014, and since then chocolate lovers from all over the world have been meeting here to make their own chocolate under professional guidance. In a workshop, you'll be equipped with an apron, chef's hat, and all sorts of ingredients you'll need to decorate your chocolate bars.
During the workshop, a professional chocolatier will explain to you how to temper chocolate properly and what it takes to make a perfect chocolate bar. Afterwards, you'll get to work and decorate your chocolate bars as you please. Of course, you can eat as much as you like. At the end of the workshop, you take your creation home with you and can show off everywhere what you've learned. However, the chocolate must first cool for at least an hour before you can take it home.
The workshop at the Funky Chocolate Club costs CHF 69 for adults. Children between the ages of 4 and 14 pay CHF 59. Workshops are held four times a day in English and last approximately one hour
The Funky Chocolate Club is located in the heart of Interlaken at Postgasse 10. You can reach it on foot from the Interlaken West train station in about 5 minutes.
At the Swiss Museum of Transport in Lucerne, you can not only admire vehicles of all kinds or planets, but also dive into the world of chocolate
The state-of-the-art themed world of chocolate at the Swiss Chocolate Adventure combines fun with learning. The multimedia tour through the world of chocolate begins in a trolley that takes you through ten different rooms. Here you will learn in an entertaining way where chocolate comes from, how cocoa is grown, how the beans get to Europe and how they are processed into the final product there.
At the end of the tour, a tasting of various fine chocolates awaits you. In the Lindt Boutique, you can not only watch a professional at work three times a day and enjoy his creations right away, but also decorate your own chocolate with an individual inscription.
|People||Admission Swiss Chocolate Adventure|
|children (6-15 years)||8|
The Swiss Chocolate Adventure is located in the Swiss Museum of Transport in Lucerne. You can reach it by public transport (bus, train or boat) or by car
Besides all the chocolate factories with visitor centers and guided tours, there are numerous smaller chocolate manufactories. Below we list some candites you can visit.
In Lausanne and Yverdon-les-Bains you will find l'Espace Chocolat Confiserie Moret with up to 20 delicious and unique chocolate bars. But also chocolates, confections and other delicacies await you here. The products are completely made and decorated on site. And of course, there's plenty to snack on while you choose your favorite temptation
As the name suggests, Schoggi.ch has a rich online store. However, you can also visit their factory store directly on site in Kempttal. Here you can expect specialties made of chocolate for upscale specialty stores at home and abroad. The family business has been producing fresh products for more than 70 years and has a high quality due to its great experience
During an exciting chocolate safari through the Garçoa chocolate factory in Zurich, you can discover the production process from cocoa bean to finished bar. You will learn exciting facts about cocoa and have the opportunity to snack in between. A safari takes about 60 to 90 minutes and costs CHF 20 for adults. Afterwards, you can stock up on your favorite chocolates in the store.
In the heart of Lucerne, Max Chocolatier awaits its guests with various tastings. Here you will find chocolates, chocolate bars, dragées, tasting boxes and many other products in the store
For a guided tasting or a chocolate workshop, pre-registration is necessary. During 45 to 90 minutes you will experience the craft up close and enjoy the view of the Lucerne lake basin. A visit to Max Chocolatier is also perfect as a team event
Seasonal promotions and special offers await you at Schoggihüsli in Hinwil. The factory store is located right next to the HALBA production facility. You can take a look inside the factory in the video below. Otherwise, we recommend that you visit the store directly and benefit from the large selection of chocolate.
Villars is another big name that you'll encounter more often in Swiss supermarkets. Their assortment is gigantic and also includes more special creations such as sugar-free chocolate. The Villars store is located in Fribourg. Here you will find the chocolate boutique with a large selection of products and a cozy café
You might be wondering why one of the biggest names in the chocolate landscape - which can easily hold a candle to Lindor balls in terms of fame - is missing from this list.
That's a fair question. In fact, it's not possible to get to know Toblerone better and visit a production facility. So you'll have to make do with the assortment in supermarkets and at almost every airport in the world
However, this should not be a big deal, as you will be well prepared for the next rainy day or your next bout of chocolate cravings with the chocolate factories and manufactories described here. With your visit, you will also help Switzerland defend its place on the podium of the "Chocolate Monsters of Europe". 🙂