With International Chocolate Day coming up on 13th September, you chocoholics out there might like to know about these cities with a rich cultural heritage and connection to chocolate. Whether it’s a hot drink, a crunchy slab to munch on or even a boutique hotel or museum you can enjoy, this addictive food has everyone crushing hard on it and Skyscanner has put together this list of cities to satisfy your hunger for it.
1. Madrid, Spain
If you’re looking for cafes that serve hot chocolate, look no further than Madrid’s chocolaterias which first appeared in the nineteenth century and serve Spanish chocolate as dark as midnight and as thick as pudding. Wander down a narrow passage not far from the city’s Plaza Mayor and you’ll find San Gines, which has been around since 1894. The marble tables and mirrored walls just add more texture to your heaven sent experience of munching doughy-fried churros dipped in chocolate.
Read more: Top 10 things to do in Madrid
2. San Francisco, USA
Ghirardelli Square in the Fisherman’s Wharf area of San Francisco was once the site of the headquarters of the Ghirardelli Chocolate factory. This square is now as iconic to the city as the Golden Gate bridge and the cable car, even though the headquarters have been moved to another location in the city. Look out for exotic, limited edition flavours from their shops like peppermint bark and eggnog chocolate.
Read more: 13 best bucket-list things to do in USA
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3. Bournemouth, England
Chocolate cocktails from the Chocolate bar, chocolate weekends with walks on Bournemouth beach and chocolate making workshops are all part of the experiences you can have at the boutique hotel in Bournemouth called The Chocolate hotel. Prices start at INR 26,000 per person per night.
Read more: 7 of the world’s oldest standing hotels
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4. Brussels, Belgium
Possibly known as the chocolate capital of the world, Brussels has more chocolate shops per square foot than in any other city across the globe. It is also home to two of the most famous and biggest chocolate companies – Leonidas and Godiva. To experience some more innovative creations with a twist by independent master chocolate-makers, visit Pierre Marcolini or Wittamer.
Read more: Europe with the Schengen visa
5. Barcelona, Spain
Only a short distance away from Barcelona’s Picasso museum is the city’s very own Chocolate Museum (Museu de la Xocolata) where you will be so amazed at the sculptures of everything from religious artifacts to cartoon characters, that you’ll barely notice they’re made of chocolate. You can also take part in chocolate tasting workshops, chocolate making workshops or just take a guided tour where you can learn about the rich history of chocolate. There are also a range of activities for kids of all ages! Tickets cost around INR 370 per person.
Read more: Holidays in Spain – Explore Barcelona
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6. Zurich, Switzerland
Milk chocolate lovers have to head to Zurich where one of the most known, exported brands, Lindt, is produced. The Lindt & Sprungli chocolate factory offer free chocolate tasting and have an outlet shop with discounts available. True chocolate fans should depart on the Chocolate train from Montreux, passing through the scenic views of stunning local vineyards before getting to Broc where the famous Swiss Cailler-Nestle factory is located. A visit includes a factory tour, film presentation about the factory’s history and a chocolate sampling.
Read more: 9 high-altitude destinations you must visit
Photo credit: www.myswitzerland.com
7. Oaxaca, Mexico
There is a rich vein of chocolate history weaved into this city’s cultural heritage. The ancient Mesoamericans cultivated cocoa in Mexico as far back as 1100 BC. Residents of this city grind cocoa beans and mix them with sugar, almonds, cinnamon and other spices to form bars that are then melted down into a thick dessert drink. This city truly bring you chocolate in the form of a unique culinary experience with Oaxacan mole, which is a thick, dark sauce often made with a little chocolate and served over turkey, chicken or pork.
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8. Turin, Italy
As if you needed anymore reasons to visit Italy, now there’s the annual ten day chocolate fair that runs from 20th to 29th November in 2015. This city is Italy’s capital of chocolate and where gianduja – the hazelnut and chocolate paste – was invented. They also serve Bicerin here, made of hot espresso, chocolate and whipped cream. This was popular among the European aristocracy.
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9. London, England
Already one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations in the world, London also hosts The Chocolate Festival every year. This festival brings together the world’s best chocolatiers, innovative choco-creations and master chocolate-makers combined with tastings, workshops and other activities for people of all ages to enjoy. The next festival is from 4th to 6th December 2015 and tickets cost INR 1500.
Read more: Best places for afternoon tea in London
_Photo credit: www.mirror.co.uk_