The best aroma floating through the air in the German city of Cologne is… chocolate.
Each year, more than 600,000 people visit The Schokoladenmuseum, affectionately known to locals as the Mmmmmuseum. It’s a museum devoted to all-things-chocolate, and takes gourmands on a journey through 3,000 years of chocolate-making history.
Chocolate lovers will learn about the secrets of chocolate, the worship of cocoa by natives of Central America, cocoa plantations in West Africa and modern-day chocolate production.
Located alongside the Rhine River in a three-level complex that formerly was a factory, the museum offers a stroll through a replicated tropical jungle, up-close views of roasting and milling machines, a replica of an old-time grocery store with antique vending machines, and examples of vintage china that was developed specifically for hot chocolate.
Standard guided tours are available throughout the day, and special group tours can be arranged, covering topics ranging from the medicinal uses of chocolate to the erotic role of chocolate in society.
After the museum tour, visitors can choose from a large variety of sweet treats, such as dipping a cookie into the museum’s chocolate fountain, or savoring chocolate cakes in the cafe. There’s also a continuously-playing film about chocolate production and promotion, and a gift shop packed with – well, you know what it’s packed with.
Admission is $7.65, a small price to pay for a few hours of chocolate bliss.
To learn more about Cologne’s chocolate museum, visit the facility’s website at: