Famous Museums of Chocolate, Part III
We love visiting our museums of chocolate abroad!
Although their cousins the Germans can enjoy several chocolate museums dating back to as early as 1993, Austrians have only one: the Heindl Das Schokoladenmuseum in Vienna. Tours are offered Monday-Thursday at 2 PM, or by appointment for groups of over 25.
At this museum of chocolate, you can taste free samples (reason enough to go!), learn the history of cocoa and how chocolate is made, view historic production machines, and even learn how chocolate is packaged. Admission is 3 Euros, and parking is copious and free.
Behind the old Iron Curtain
In the former Soviet state of Estonia, you'll find the Kalev Confectionery Museum, located (oddly enough) in the city of Kalev. It's not devoted entirely to chocolate, though that's an important part of the local candy history. That history is presented primarily through packaging displays and interactive tours.
In Russia itself, you'll find the Red October Museum of Chocolate, an adjunct to the chocolate factory of the same name that produces delicate chocolate Christmastime cottages (say that five times real fast), along with "Confectionary Calves" (chocolate cows) and specialized kids' lunchboxes full of goodies.
Their 600 square-foot museum opened its doors in 1994. It offers information on the history and manufacturing of chocolate in 8,000 exhibits, including quite a few covering the evolution of their candy wrappers over the years. It's well worth visiting if you're in Moscow.
Budapest's Csokoladé Museum is Hungary's proud entry in the roster of European museums of chocolate. Founded in 2004, it's located in a renovated palace on Bekecs Street. Little information is available about this one online other than the fact that it exists, so check with your tour guide to learn more.
The Low Countries
Next comes the Netherlands, where chocolate workshops and other choco-tourism facilities abound, but where actual chocolate museums are unfortunately rare. There's rumor of a chocolate museum in Amsterdam, but good luck finding it; we couldn't pin those rumors down despite an extensive Internet search.
But fear not! A real, live museum is on its way for Amsterdam -- but it won't arrive for a while. De Chocoladefabriek Museum, which is due in 2009, is slated to offer an 1880s-style factory filled with period processing machinery where you can enjoy all kinds of tastings. Keep an eye peeled for this one to add to our museums of chocolate!