Swiss chocolate factories: 7 places you need to know about

The Swiss like to think they make the best chocolate in the world.

Bold statement, I know.

But I don't think it's too far fetched. After all, who doesn't love a good handful of Lindor chocolates or a couple of Toblerone triangles?

Right. Nobody.

And while certain other chocolate nations, like for instance the Belgians, might strongly disagree here, there's no denying that Swiss chocolate is incredibly delicious.

As a result, it comes as no surprise that our annual chocolate intake is quite remarkable. In 2017, the Swiss consumed an impressive 10.5 kg of chocolate per capita. As opposed to 7.2 kg in Belgium and 2.8 kg in Greece.

So if you consider yourself a chocolate lover, Switzerland is perfect for you.

Swiss chocolate is creamy, delicious, versatile and famous all over the world. This post introduces you to some amazing places that you can visit for a sweet chocolate experience while you're in Switzerland.

Not just to spend ages in front of those seemingly endless chocolate shelves at the supermarket. That's only half the fun. The other half consists of visiting the masterminds that are responsible for putting those delicacies together in the first place. 

By the way, visiting a chocolate factory is a popular pastime for the Swiss on a rainy day. Prepare to have lots of company when it's cold and wet outside.

1. Maison Cailler in Broc

Cailler is Switzerland's oldest existing chocolate brand and has its origin in Vevey, a little town by Lake Geneva. It dates all the way back to 1819, which means they celebrate their 200-year anniversary this year. 

After a few ups and downs (personal and financial), they moved their production from Vevey to their current location in Broc. To learn everything about the history of this family business, visit Maison Cailler, their beautifully designed visitors' centre.

Maison Cailler in Broc

Maison Cailler in Broc is well worth a visit if you find yourself in the Gruyère region.

An interactive tour walks you through the complete history of Chocolat Cailler. It also introduces you to some fundamental chocolate-making facts, lets you watch their chocolate production firsthand and offers plenty of tasting opportunities.

As always, they're saving the best for last. The final section, right before the factory store, is everything you've hoped for.

And more.

This mouth-watering all-you-can-eat selection of Cailler chocolates will make it impossible for you to stop. You'll probably come out of there with a few regrets. But it's so worth it. You can literally go on until you drop. Nobody's going to stop you.

tasting station Maison Cailler

You probably won't be able to stop here...

Cailler chocolate tasting section

After all, why would you...?

Keep that in mind as you arrive at the first tasting station and wonder why you should hold back on those roasted almonds. I know, they're delicious. But you'll want to leave enough room for what's to come.

In case you're interested in joining a chocolate-making class, reserve your spot for a workshop at their atelier du chocolat.

Cailler production line

Watch the Cailler chocolate production line.

workshop Maison Cailler

Make your own chocolate at one of their workshops.

How do you get there?

Maison Cailler is situated in Broc, a village in the Canton of Fribourg. To get there by public transport, make your way to Bulle and transfer to the direct train to Broc-Fabrique.

How much does it cost?

Admission is 12 CHF. However, if you either have a Swiss Travel Pass or a Swiss Museum Pass, you get in for free.

Also, SBB RailAway offers special deals to people arriving by public transport. Booking a combination of your train and entrance ticket through them will give you a discount on both tickets.

2. Camille Bloch in Courtelary

Camille Bloch is the company behind my two absolute favourites. Ragusa and Torino.

Please promise me you won't leave Switzerland without grabbing at least few Torino and Ragusa bars while you're here. Missing out on these delicious bundles of creaminess would be a tragedy.

Their visitors' centre in Courtelary is a fantastic place to buy all different kinds of their chocolate bars. And apart from running an extensive factory store, they also have a museum that takes you through the history of this family business dating back to 1926.

As can be expected, free samples and interesting experiments along the way are included. 🙂

If you're looking for a special gift, you can engrave your own Ragusa bar at the Camille Bloch factory store. They also offer several workshops where you get to create your own chocolate bar. Just head to their workshop site to reserve your spot.

Ragusa is one of my favourite Swiss chocolate brands.

Can you spot the Ragusa bar in this picture?

How do you get there?

Camille Bloch have their visitors' centre in Courtelary, a village in the Canton of Bern. To get there by public transport, head to Biel and catch the train heading to La Chaux-de-Fonds.

Since this train gets divided in Sonceboz-Sombeval, make sure you board one of the rear coaches in Biel.

How much does it cost?

Admission is 15 CHF. However, if you either have a Swiss Travel Pass or a Swiss Museum Pass, you get in for free.

Also, SBB RailAway offers special deals to people arriving by public transport. Booking a combination of your train and entrance ticket through them will give you a discount on both tickets.

3. Maestrani's Chocolarium in Flawil

Like Cailler, Maestrani has its origin back in the 19th century. Since its foundation in 1852, they've had plenty of time to bring their recipes to perfection and today, it's impossible to imagine a supermarket without their Munz, Minor and Maestrani creations. 

Apart from making chocolate in all shapes and sizes, Maestrani also produces a wide array of other sweet treats. Like for instance their fruit jelly that's especially popular around Easter. Or those ridiculously sticky Bouchée Caramel bars that'll hopelessly glue your jaw together if you don't break them into pieces beforehand.

Learn how happiness finds its way into chocolate at Maestrani's Chocolarium in Flawil.

Learn how happiness finds its way into chocolate at Maestrani's Chocolarium in Flawil.

And let's not forget about their legendary Munz chocolate bananas that we all so loved as children. And frown upon now because we realised they taste every bit as synthetic as our parents used to tell us.

In 2004, after decades of running their production in St. Gallen, Maestrani moved their production to Flawil. Only recently, they opened Chocolarium, their brand-new visitors' centre.

This interactive museum mainly focuses on explaining how happiness finds its way into chocolate. After all, that's the burning question here, isn't it?

Additionally, a one-hundred-metre long chocolate machine lets you take a glimpse into their production first-hand. And of course, tasting also plays a big part in their visitors' centre.

Furthermore, Chocolarium offers a variety of workshops to help you perfect your chocolate-making skills. You can find and reserve your spot on their website.

Milk a cow at Chocolarium in Flawil

Milk a cow...

chocolate fountain

...or spend some quality time with their chocolate fountains.

How do you get there?

Getting to Flawil by train takes around 50 minutes from Zurich and 20 minutes from St. Gallen. At Flawil station, catch bus No. 741 or 767 and get off at "Flawil, Maestrani".

How much does it cost?

Admission is 14 CHF. However, if you either have a Swiss Travel Pass or a Swiss Museum Pass, you get in for free.

Also, SBB RailAway offers special deals to people arriving by public transport. Booking a combination of your train and entrance ticket through them will give you a discount on both tickets.

4. Chocolat Frey in Buchs AG

You might not have heard of Chocolat Frey before. Internationally speaking, they're not quite as big as Cailler, Lindt or Toblerone. However, they're a huge player in the Swiss chocolate scene

This family business has a very long history of making chocolate. It dates back to 1887 and was taken over by Migros in 1950. Therefore, the best place to find Chocolat Frey products is at any Migros supermarket.

Chocolat Frey is also the only company in Switzerland making chewing gum. Kinda clever, isn't it? Making the stuff that destroys your teeth along with (part of) the solution to the problem. 🙂 I love it...

Chocolat Frey opened their new visitors' centre in 2014 near Aarau. Their interactive museum takes you on an entertaining journey through the process of turning cocoa beans into chocolate. And if you've never tried a roasted cocoa bean before, this is your chance.

Chocolat Frey visitors' centre

The interactive museum at Chocolat Frey teaches you all about Swiss chocolate. (Photo credit: Chocolat Frey)

Throughout the tour, you can challenge your sense of smell at the "perfume lab" and watch "Röbi the robot" wrap their freshly produced Swiss chocolate. Of course, you'll also come by plenty of tasting opportunities. The highlights probably being the two chocolate fountains or the open assembly line where they let you pick fresh chocolate right off the press.

To create your own chocolate bar, join one of their workshops. Unicorn or Easter Bunny, anyone?

Chocolate fountain at Chocolat Frey

Chocolate fountains are the best! (Photo credit: Chocolat Frey)

Tasting section Chocolat Frey

Enjoy their tasting section... (Photo credit: Chocolat Frey)

How do you get there?

To get to Chocolat Frey visitors' centre in Buchs AG, catch the train to Aarau. From there, bus No. 1 will take you straight to the factory at "Buchs AG, Industrie".

How much does it cost?

Admission is 12 CHF. However, if you either have a Swiss Travel Pass or a Swiss Museum Pass, you get in for free.

Also, SBB RailAway offers special deals to people arriving by public transport. Booking a combination of your train and entrance ticket through them will give you a discount on both tickets.

5. Läderach Chocolate Experience in Bilten

Dating back to 1962, Läderach is still a fairly new fish in town. But don't be fooled. Just because they haven't been around for over a century doesn't mean their chocolate is any less delicious.

Actually, the opposite is true.

In many ways, their creations are a lot more exquisite than your typical chocolate bar. They're also more expensive, but if you're looking to treat yourself to something special, make sure to stop by a Läderach store.

This family business is most famous for their artisanal broken chocolate, which they spice up with all kinds of interesting ingredients like candied oranges, caramelised almonds, roasted hazelnuts, cashews, pistachios and many more. You're really spoiled for choice here.

Läderach chocolate

Läderach chocolate is delicious and exquisite...

Läderach chocolate plates

They're famous for their broken and stacked chocolate pieces.

Unfortunately, Läderach doesn't have a visitors' centre like Maestrani or Camille Bloch. They do, however, have a museum with a self-guided tour in Bilten. This tour takes you on a journey through the process of chocolate making. It starts in the tropical rain forest and ends with a live demonstration of how Läderach chocolates are being made.

Samples included.

Sadly, their workshops are more for corporate or group events. So unless you can get a group of at least four people together, I suggest you visit one of the other chocolate factories for a hands-on experience.

How do you get there?

To take the Läderach tour, you need to head to Bilten in the Canton of Glarus. From Zurich, catch the train to Ziegelbrücke or Siebnen-Wangen and transfer to the S27 train to Bilten.

How much does it cost?

Admission is 10 CHF. Your ticket includes a 5 CHF voucher to cash in at the Läderach shop after the tour.

6. Aeschbach's ChocoWorld in Root

Aeschbach Chocolatier is another family business that hasn't been around for too long. They date back to 1972 and like Läderach, their creations are different from your typical supermarket chocolate.

They pride themselves on their handmade products and are famous for their delicious Bsetzistei (cobblestones). Or have you ever seen one of those golden or silver chocolate coins? Those are another Swiss childhood memory that has its origin at Aeschbach.

At ChocoWorld near Lucerne, they take you on a tour through the history of chocolate. Follow a cocoa bean's journey all the way from bean to chocolate and smell, taste and learn about the manufacturing of Aeschbach's delicacies. You also get to watch the chocolatiers doing what they do best and ask them all your burning questions.

For a hands-on experience, book their ChocoWorld Plus offer and create your own Aeschbach chocolate bar.

ChocoWorld near Lucerne takes you on a journey through the history of chocolate.

ChocoWorld near Lucerne takes you on a journey through the history of chocolate. (Photo credit: Aeschbach)

How do you get there?

ChocoWorld is very close to Lucerne. Catch the train from Lucerne to Baar and get off at Root D4. Weird name for a train station, I know. 🙂 But you'll find ChocoWorld right next to it.

How much does it cost?

Admission for the normal ChocoWorld exhibit is 15 CHF. To create your own 200g chocolate bar, you'll pay an extra 10 CHF per bar.

7. Funky Chocolate Club in Interlaken

Have you ever wanted to join an all-you-can-eat chocolate workshop? Then Funky Chocolate Club is for you.

Even though this place isn't a factory with a visitors' centre like the ones we just talked about, they deserve to be mentioned in this post. Especially because they're situated in Interlaken, one of Switzerland's main tourist destinations.

Funky Chocolate Club in Interlaken

Don't miss out on paying Funky Chocolate Club a visit when you're in Interlaken. (Photo credit: Funky Chocolate Club, Interlaken)

If you're in the area, don't leave without paying their beautiful store a visit or joining one of their legendary chocolate-making classes.

Funky Chocolate Club offers several daily workshops where you get to create your own masterpieces and learn how to taste chocolate like a pro. At the end of this one-hour class, you get to walk away with 4oog of your own handmade chocolate in your pockets. How good is that?

To reserve and pay for your spot at Funky Chocolate Club, head to their workshop site.

chocolate workshop at Funky Chocolate Club

(Photo credit: Funky Chocolate Club, Interlaken)

Funky Chocolate Club

Photo credit: Funky Chocolate Club, Interlaken

How do you get there?

Funky Chocolate Club is conveniently located in the centre of Interlaken.

How much does it cost?

Joining a workshop costs 69 CHF. This includes an action-packed one-hour class and 400g of your own chocolate to take with you.

What about Toblerone and Lindt?

You're probably wondering why I mentioned Toblerone and Lindt at the beginning of this post but haven't told you about their factories yet. After all, they're huge players in the Swiss chocolate scene and, internationally speaking, probably our biggest names.

I'm sorry to disappoint you, but looking into the Lindt and Toblerone production is not possible.

While Toblerone is completely closed off to the public (they don't even have a factory store with cheaper products), Lindt is a little more accessible.

Unlike many other chocolate producers, Toblerone is completely closed off to the public.

Unlike many other chocolate producers, Toblerone is completely closed off to the public.

Lindt offer tastings and workshops at their Chocolateria in Kilchberg for roughly 70-80 CHF.

Additionally, you can visit their Swiss Chocolate Adventure at the Swiss Museum of Transport in Lucerne. On a 20-minute ride, you'll be taken through an experience that is "a feast for the eyes, ears and taste buds". It costs 16 CHF to attend.

Lindt also runs several factory outlets, shops and cafés across Switzerland. To locate the one nearest to you, use their interactive map.

Swiss chocolate is creamy, delicious, versatile and famous all over the world. This post introduces you to some amazing places that you can visit for a sweet chocolate experience while you're in Switzerland.

I hope this post has given you an idea about which Swiss chocolate factories you can visit while you're here. And which brands to try when you find yourself in front of a chocolate shelf at the supermarket, overwhelmed by the many choices. 🙂

Next time you wake up to a cold and rainy day, you have the perfect excuse to skip breakfast and hit the factory for some delicious Swiss chocolate.

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Have you been to one of the factories above? Which type of Swiss chocolate is your favourite? Share your favourites and experiences in the comments below.

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