When planning my trip to Cologne I found the Lindt chocolate museum, located on a funky island on the Rhine. A whole museum dedicated to chocolate? How could I ever miss an opportunity to spend time surrounded by all things chocolate?! It just so happens that the museum was opposite the hotel I was staying in, and had an impressive Christmas market outside the front of it. It couldn’t have been any easier for us to visit!
The Christmas market in front of the museum was heaving, and as we stepped into the foyer there were plenty of people milling about. My first thought was that the museum itself would be rammed, but it turned out that people were just making use of the toilet, visiting the Lindt shop or relaxing in the café. We didn’t have to queue, which is always a great start, and we were given a free chocolate with our ticket. They know how to get on my good side!
As we made our way in, I was completely surprised. Although the clue is totally in the title, I didn’t expect it to be so informative. I may have just been expecting a German version of Cadbury World, but it was definitely different. Although the museum is educational, a great deal of it is interactive, and the information is presented in a variety of ways that means you don’t bore easily.
We started off with the beginning of the chocolate story – the bean: where and how it grows, the processing and transport, and different types of bean. There’s also a ‘plant room’, which is literally a room full of plants. Humid, different and actually really interesting. Because of the difference in humidity and temperature, you step into a kind of vacuum to get in. We didn’t realise this to start with, and as one set of doors closed behind us and the doors in front didn’t open, I started to panic. It is literally only a few seconds, before you are greeted with a wave of warmth from the room.
Once we’d passed the educational section, we got to the bit I was really looking forward to – the making of the chocolate. The huge room has the different machines which process the different stages of bean and chocolate, and you also get to see how the chocolate is moulded, wrapped and shipped off.After seeing how the chocolate is made, there are some impressive chocolate sculptures on display, before you get a free sample of delicious, melted chocolate. There’s also the opportunity to have a personalised bar of chocolate made. It’s about €5,00, but you get to pick the fillings and watch them make it. We didn’t stop to make our own chocolate bars, but there were a fair number who did so we watched their bars being made.
The rest of the museum follows with the history of chocolate and how it has been used throughout history. By this point we were getting tired as it had been a long day, so rushed through the remainder of the museum before finding ourselves in the shop. Although the chocolate museum is in partnership with Lindt, the shop had a variety of chocolate available as well as Lindt.
While it was interesting to find out about chocolate from bean to box and everything in between, I definitely went with the expectation that it’d be like Cadbury World. As such, I don’t think I really enjoyed it as much as if I had gone with no expectations. It is really interesting, as from it’s location on the island there are some great views as you walk around!
- A gentle 15-minute walk from Köln Dom
- €9,00 entry, though group discounts are available
- There’s a café if you want a sit down and cake after
- Self-guided tour, but fairly interactive
- Set aside a couple of hours for this, though you could cover it in as little as half an hour if you don’t stop and read everything.