Rich and sophisticated, or simple and sweet – great chocolate is a delight that just about everyone can enjoy. Not surprisingly, Europe holds a long history for having a well developed sweet tooth for this confectionery treat, and we have a list of some of the best places to appease your chocolate cravings. With the holiday season just around the corner (who doesn’t know a sweet-toothed someone craving a confectionery gift?), be sure to check out these delicious and luxurious top chocolate shops around Europe.
Oban Chocolate Company
This delightful chocolate shop can be found nestled on the waterfront of the west coast town of Oban in Scotland. Originally founded by travelling couple Helen and Stewart, family and friends are at the heart of their business, and this delectable shop produces some of the most unique and delightful handmade chocolates. Located on the Esplanade, it is the perfect place to stop after a day along the waterfront, and here you will find delicious and unique creations such as an Irn Bru truffle (in true Scottish style), Cranachan Truffles and Horlicks Ganache as well as classics like Coffee Creams and Strawberry Creams. Each month the shop also features a special chocolate inspired coffee and waffle with November’s being a Mocha Shot and cherry and chocolate cream waffle. You can also watch the staff hard at work during the day as they handcraft every single one of their chocolate delights.
- Price Range: Oban Chocolate Co. have a principal that chocolates should not be outrageously expensive, and everything in their shop is moderately priced.
- How to Find It: They are located near the North Pier on the Esplanade in Oban. Oban, a harbour town on the west coast, can be reached by car, bus and train from points further in Scotland.
- Online Shop: Yes – chocolates, custom cakes and more are available online.
Founded in 2004 by Alexander Kühn, this chocolate shop and manufacturer is a true piece of chocolate heaven. The shop is an old fashioned style chocolate shop selling their delights on the Krämerbrücke in Erfurt. Here you will find chocolates in 80 different flavours – with at least half of them changing regularly to include the likes of mango lassi, rosemary-peach, balsamico, and of course their famous pink pepper chocolate. Choose from pralines, chocolate bars, truffles, ice creams, hot chocolates and wines and liqueurs, before taking a tour to see how all the chocolates are manufactured and crafted. To take in a beautiful view of the famous Krämerbrücke, you can stop for a delicious hot chocolate at the cosy Goldhelm factory café.
- Price Range: A praline costs €1, for other chocolate goods you have to spend €5.50 – 7 per 100 grams.
- How to Find It: Kreuzgasse 5 on the beautiful Krämerbrücke in Erfurt, the only bridge in Germany that is covered with buildings, houses, shops etc. found in the city centre.
- Online Shop: You can browse and purchase their delights online.
The Chocolat Line
Bursting with delicious creativity, Dominique Persoone and his wife opened this famous chocolate shop in 1992. An infamous innovator in the chocolate world, this Belgian chocolatier is famous for not only crafting gorgeous traditional chocolates but mainly for his creative chocolates that push flavours to a different level. You can indulge in delicious hazelnut chocolates as well as go wild with chocolate lipstick, paint, and tequila shots! His chocolate shooters are famous, and were originally created for a Rolling Stones birthday party. This is one of only three chocolate stores to have a Michelin Star, and Persoone’s cookbook Cacao previously won the prestigious ’Best chocolate book of the World’ award. Discover all the surprising and one of a kind flavours here for chocolates that are simply incomparable.
- Price Range: Chocolates here can cost up to €50/kilo.
- How to Find It: The shop is located at Simon Stevinplein 19 in Bruges. There is also a second shop in Antwerp at Paleis op de meir 50.
- Online Shop: No online shop, so you will need to be delighted by the chocolates in person.
These two sisters love chocolate and turned their passion into a profession, and their chocolate store located on a cozy shopping street in Amersfoort is the perfect place to savour all sorts of exciting chocolates. The aim of their shop is to focus on all aspects of making chocolate, from using fair trade sources to making sure each piece looks as good as it tastes. The Sweet Sisters utilise a small chocolate community to invent new tastes, and two times a year they organize a special evening where they launch a new product and give the chance to taste everything. They make their chocolate with beans from Nicaragua for a taste that is very soft. After mixing this, they add luxurious flavors such as sea salt, ginger, chili and lavender. With seasonal flavours to warm you, be sure to indulge and taste some truly dynamic chocolate creations.
- Price: Between €2.50 and €5 for a bar of chocolate.
- How to Find It: Find them at Krommestraat 3 in Amersfoort.
- Online Shop: Yes, click and buy delicious chocolate from Sweet Sisters online.
Producing chocolates since 1881, Chocolates Valor has become the most famous chocolate shop in Spain, with franchises all over the country and 45 countries worldwide. They have a wide range of products, from normal chocolate bars, bonbons, delicious hot chocolate, bakery and gourmet products in their beautifully decorated shops and cafes. They even have a Chocolate Museum with guided tours in English and Spanish, at Villajoyosa. In 2011, Chocolates Valor received the “2011 European Candy Kettle Award”, one of the most prestigious awards in this sector. Their signature element is ‘Chocolate Puro’ or pure chocolate, an ingedient as indulgent as it is delicious. High quality and a legacy of craftsmanship means the produce is a rich treat that is internationally sought after.
- Price: Select decadent pieces anywhere from €2 to €80 approximately.
- How To Find It: With shops all over Spain, you can locate your nearest with the online store map. Be sure to visit the site in Villajoyosa if you want a tour of the Chocolate Museum.
- Online Shop: There is currently only an online store for the US, to get a taste of chocolate pleasure be sure to visit one of the many shops throughout Spain.
The chocolate you’ll find at this delicious shop specialises on a specific type of Turinese chocolate called Gianduiotto, only reinterpreted. Guido Gobino joined the company in 1985, eventually taking over from his father, and is famous for promoting the “Artisan Giandujotto Laboratory” project, creating traditional chocolate-based Piedmont specialities that are always dedicated to the search for the finest quality raw materials. They have flavoured chocolates like rosemary, cardamom, licorice, and pepper. He has since invented a new kind of Gianduiotto called Tourinot (coffee flavoured), one called Maximo 39 manufactured with more than 39% of Piedmont native hazelnuts, as well as one of the most famous chocolate spreadable creams. At his Chocolate Boutique it is possible to learn everything about chocolate through interactive videos, aroma tests, and of course chocolate. The purist shouldn’t miss his cocoa beans unshelled by hand, enrobed with dark Chocolate and decorated with icing sugar.
- Price: This luxurious chocolate comes at a price from €6 to €42 for a single product, and over €100 for 3kg chocolote boxes.
- How To Find It: There are three shops in Turin including one at the Pertini’s Airport designed by the famous designer Pininfarina. Maps are available on their website.
- Online Shop: There is no online shopping, but you can browse the selection online.
In a country where chocolate is a serious matter, François Pralus gains more and more international prizes and recognition for his chocolate. As one of the most famous chocolatiers in France, he is also the son of the inventor of the Praluline. This shop is one of the few chocolate makers to personally roast their cocoa beans making chocolate that is truly sensational. They own a cocoa field in Madagascar and recently proposed a delicious 100% Bio Madagascar Chocolate Bar. The shop is also renowned for the Praluline, a tasty bread bun now is a symbol of the Roanne made exclusively in-house with Valencia almonds and Piedmont hazelnuts coated in rose sugar and then cracked. Each year almost 100 tons of Pralus chocolate are manufactured and sold. With such a delicious legacy and even more decadent chocolate, this shop is sure to indulge any sweet tooth.
- Price: You can expect prices to range from about €4.40 to €20.
- How To Find It: You will find 7 different shops in France and can check online for all their locations.
- Online Shop: They have an online shop where you can order some of their best chocolates.
Zotter is the most famous chocolate manufacturer in Austria, and stands for quality, diversity, fair trade, humour and art. Zotter offers 365 different flavours including some really unusual ones like caipirinha, altar wine & frankincense or mountain cheese. They offer a production tour around the factory, and of course you can taste chocolate to your heart’s content – especially at the snack stations where you may find a chocolate fountain or two! The Zotter chocolate manufacture was founded in 1999 by Josef Zotter, and since 2004 has been a fair trade partner. From 2007 they have run their own cacao roasting facility, so all of the chocolate making process is done themselves. At the factory, the adventure tour is almost as delightful as the chocolates and it isn’t just a normal tasting – there is a chocolate shop theatre, as well as a cable car that serves you drinking chocolate and a barkeeper, and the huge edible zoo. For chocolate as magical as a storybook, Zotter is a great place to indulge.
- Price: The chocolate is definitely a treat with a range of prices from €3 – €47; The tour costs €12.
- How To Find It: The chocolate shop can be found in the middle of the manufacture in Bergl (situated in the Austrian community Kornberg bei Riegersburg in Styria).
- Online Shop: If you can’t make it to the factory, you can still browse and buy online.
This lovely little chocolate shop in Viseu has a wide range of products and offers the chance to see how these beautiful pieces are crafted with the large crystal windows in the production kitchen. They offer assorted handmade chocolates including bonbons, truffles, umbrellas or bars, all with plenty of fillings and toppings! The owners opened a first store, Pirulito, in 1998 and it was essentially a store of gums and candies before the passion for chocolate took over. Their goal eventually became the preservation of let traditional Portuguese chocolate factories. Their store and chocolates reflect this celebration of tradition with antique furniture used in a modern sense, making the shop cool, clean and welcoming.
- Price: Various prices depending on the amount of items you want to purchase.
- How To Find It: Avenida Alberto Sampaio, 10, right in the centre of Viseu, a little town in the Dão-Lafões Subregion of Centro Region, Portugal.
- Online Shop: You can find some of their chocolates online on their website.
E.Wedel Chocolate Lounge
E.Wedel are the oldest brand of chocolates in Poland, and the name can be found on each these heavenly delights in the form of a signature stamp. Their famous ‘chocolate lounges’ offer a selection of everything from drinking chocolates to hand-made decadent pralines.The lounges are known for their decadent and sophisticated atmosphere, with the blendings of a cafe and a chocolate shop. Stop in for a savoury and sweet drinking chocolate or fresh pastry, or pick out some individual pieces for the perfect chocolatey gift. The different chocolates on offer are delectably diverse and crafted to match any mood and anytime of the day or year. Karol Ernest Wedel opened the original shop in 1851, and in 1894 the shop and factory moved to Szpitalna Str., where they were able to expand their legacy and develop some of the finest chocolates and delights around.
- Price: Usual treats in one of the chocolate lounges will be from €4-10; specialities may cost more.
- How To Find It: The flagship/oldest shop “Staroświecki Sklep” at 8 Szpitalna Street in Warsaw is in the heart of the city and is accessible by public transport – the nearest metro stop is Centrum. Other locations across Poland can be found online as well.
- Online Shop: No online shop, but the collection can be browsed online to inspire a trip to a chocolate lounge.
Feature image courtesy of Austin Kirk.
Latest posts by Caitlin Gulliford (see all)
- Devon in a Week (or More!) - 24/07/2015
- Our Picks: Sun, Sand, Scenery and Sensational Summer Cities - 12/06/2015
- Our Picks: 10 Lovely Spring Cities to Explore This Season - 24/03/2015