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5 Reasons You MUST Visit The Lindt Home of Chocolate Museum

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Back in 2020, Lindt & Sprüngli opened a brand new chocolate museum, in a swanky new building on the grounds of the Lindt chocolate factory in Kilchberg, a small town on the western bank of the picturesque Lake Zürich, just to the south of the Swiss city that bears the same name.

While I wouldn't class myself as a Lindt chocolate addict, I still wanted to visit the museum to see how it compared to the likes of the dated Cadbury World attraction in Bournville, Birmingham. So, for my first overseas jolly since the pandemic, I booked a plane ticket to Zürich, with Swiss chocolate on my mind.

The World of Chocolate attraction is a doddle to get to, although unreliable Swiss public transport thwarted my timely arrival. I'd pre-booked my self-guided chocolate tour tickets for 10am and left my airport hotel room at 8.30am. The train I needed from Zürich Hauptbahnhof was first delayed, then cancelled. A sprint to another platform on the other side of the station ensued, which I caught with seconds to spare. I'd missed the connecting bus so had a 10 minute walk from the station to the museum. I arrived half an hour after my scheduled arrival time but thankfully they let me in after that ordeal.

Lindt Home of Chocolate
The front of the building

So, what is it about Switzerland's chocolate attraction that I think chocolate fans and Lindt chocolate lovers young and old will enjoy?

1 A Massive Chocolate Fountain

Every Instagram pic of the museum includes the giant chocolate fountain - it's the law! Soaring nine metres into the sky, it contains 1.5 TONNES of Lindt chocolate and depicts liquid chocolate flowing from a golden whisk into what I assume is the world's largest chocolate Lindor ball. Fun fact, the fountain weighs three tonnes, has 94 metres of piping inside, and the chocolate flows at a rate of one kilogram per second.

Lindt Chocolate Fountain
The two-storey chocolate fountain

Sadly (or perhaps thankfully) you can't stick your head underneath it. That's because the chocolate flows down that central column and then disappears into the sphere. The 'pool' around the base is just plastic to avoid visitors being able to touch the chocolate, which is probably a good thing.

Having not thoroughly researched my trip, I didn't realise this fountain was located in the atrium, meaning you don't need a ticket to get a selfie with the Swiss chocolate fountain. Your chocolate tour ticket covers the experience upstairs. The fountain, cafe and shop (all on the ground floor) are free to view without a ticket, so you can still get your essential Insta selfie on a tight budget.

While impressive, it's a faff getting a photo without anyone else in the way. So if you're after the perfect Instagram shot, go first thing in the morning or last thing at night before they close.

2 An Interesting Look At Chocolate Production

I don't enjoy museums. I find they tend to be too information heavy and lack interactivity. They often bore me and aren't my cup of tea in general. That said, tempt me with the history of chocolate and I'll give it a go. It worked for Cadbury World and here I am now, at the Lindt & Sprüngli headquarters in Kilchberg, to see how chocolate is made here.

Lindt's tour begins with a look at how cocoa is grown, taking visitors on a journey through a cacao plantation and the journey of a cacao bean. Through boards and exhibits, visitors are taught the life cycle of a chocolate bar, from cultivation through to the production of the end product. The expert guidance of the Lindt narrator on the multilingual personal audio guide explains more about what visitors are looking at, although for a seasoned chocolate addict, there was nothing new here. For novices, the exhibits and information is a very nicely curated, albeit through rose tinted lenses. The focus is on the process more than the people, and completely sidesteps the issues prevalent in the chocolate industry today, including sustainability and modern slavery.

Lindt Chocolate Exhibit
Models of trees tower over visitors

Chocolate history is then covered in a spherical room that looks at how the Aztecs used the beans to make a beverage, and how the Spanish exported this to the world. Again, it's a potted history designed for all visitors young and old, so it skims over several hundred years in a whirlwind. There's one interactive element where visitors (kids, mainly) can experience a simulation of stone grinding cocoa beans.

While it has its shortcomings, this aspect of the tour is nicely done. It didn't feel too heavy, although could benefit from some tasting opportunities and more interactive elements.

3 'Free' Lindt Chocolate Samples

What kind of a chocolate experience skips the tastings? Not this one, although frustratingly, the tastings are grouped together so it's easy to get fatigued quite quickly. 

Given I paid for my self-guided tour of the Lindt Home of Chocolate, these aren't really free chocolates, however I view them as a way to get my money's worth! And here you've got four opportunities. 

  1. Liquid chocolate on tap. Grab a disposable plastic spoon (and a napkin) and load up your spoon with white, milk and dark Lindt chocolate. If you love Lindt chocolate, this is heavenly. If you find it too sweet (like me), this can get sickly quite quickly. 
  2. Lindt sample dispenser. Wave your hand underneath the dispenser and these robotic devices will dispense a square of chocolate in a variety of flavours. The tech is novel but laggy, so queues build up fast and the time to dispense is painfully slow. They also seem to jam easily. 
  3. Lindor pick and mix. Right at the very end of the tour is a series of drums brimming with Lindor balls. Help yourself to one of each flavour (eight in total, I think). 
  4. Lindt Squares dispenser. Walk past a scaled down chocolate production line and you'll get to a large marble run. At the end of this, a screen shows a Master Chocolatier picking up the sphere, opening it, and dropping a packaged Lindt Square (chocolate produced exclusively for the museum) into the hands of the visitor eagerly awaiting their final sample. That's the theory but both the production line and dispenser wasn't working on my visit, replaced with a less-than-enthused man doling out Squares with the same explanation about the failed tech over and over. 

Keep an eye out for the two interactive multimedia screens by the robotic dispensers, where you can pretend to be either a quality control employee on the factory floor, rejecting damaged chocolate bars, or you can be responsible for placing almonds precisely on chocolates. These screens felt hidden out of the way, and while they could have been more hands-on, they were at least something to do.

While there's a good amount of chocolate on offer, it all felt crammed into one section near the end. It's easy to become fatigued with all this sugar-laden chocolate in one hit. 

4 A Nod To Other Swiss Chocolate Brands

In a carefully curated attraction it is rare to go off-brand. Cadbury World, for example, solely discusses the Cadbury brand in isolation (and stops before the Kraft takeover and the change to Mondelez International, which shows its age).

It was therefore surprising to find a decent section dedicated to Swiss chocolate pioneers. Yes, here Lindt openly recognises the developments by François-Louis Cailler, Philippe Suchard, Charles-Amédée Kohler, Jean Tobler, Henri Nestlé, and, of course Rudolf Sprüngli and Rodolphe Lindt as pivotal to the development of the Swiss chocolate industry as a whole. 

This refreshingly candid exhibit looks at the key moments each brand played in developing and marketing the finest chocolate made with Alpine milk. It spans from Philippe Suchard's melanger invention in 1826, Daniel Peter's successful creation of milk chocolate in 1875 and right through to Rodolphe Lindt's conching breakthrough in 1879. 

There's a lovely exhibit of old chocolate packaging and chocolate moulds from these brands that follows, again recognising Lindt's competitors with Toblerone moulds, old Cailler packaging, etc. It succulently shows the appeal of Swiss chocolate around the world.

5 The World's Largest Lindt Chocolate Shop

If you are a Lindt lover, this is pure chocolate heaven. Spanning 500m2, this shop stocks pretty much every Lindt product available, from pick and mix Lindor truffles through to massive sacks of your favourite Lindt chocolates.

There are also Lindt Master Chocolatiers on hand to personalise your own bar of chocolate, for a fee of course. Unleash your inner Willy Wonka!

Lindt Chocolate Shop
Lots of products available in the chocolate shop

Prices were fairly typical for Lindt products. Switzerland is an expensive country as it is, so I think the pricing felt on a par with prices back home. The pick and mix came in at CHF5.50 (about £4.80) per 100g which is pretty similar to what I paid the last time I bought a gift from my local Lindt outlet shop.

Speaking of outlets, there's a 'hidden' factory shop on-site. Head out of the museum and turn right. You'll walk past the chocolate production facility (this is a working chocolate factory after all). Turn right at the car park and head up the hill. It's on your left hand side. It stocks pretty much the same range as the biggest Lindt chocolate shop in the world (albeit with no chocolatier on hand), but has a small discount/clearance room at the back with slightly cheaper prices (think 5-10% discount). Otherwise, it's a much quieter, more relaxed and therefore more pleasant shopping experience compared to the main shop, should you wish not to battle with the crowds. The prices were identical too.

While on site, you'll probably also want to stop in the first Lindt café in Switzerland. The Lindt Chocolateria has an expansive menu, with hot chocolate, waffles and ice cream on offer. The pricing in the Lindt cafe felt reasonable, but after the samples in the museum itself, I was in a chocolate coma so gave it a miss.

The Negatives

Let's not sugar coat things. No chocolate attraction can be 100% perfect, especially when critiqued by a chocolate aficionado. While the Lindt Home of Chocolate Museum gets a lot of things right, some things fell a little short.

  • Plastic wastage. Sickly, molten white, milk and dark Lindt chocolate is available on tap in one section, with disposable plastic spoons used to sample them. It strikes me that there must be an insane amount of plastic wastage just in this one exhibit. I was there for just a few minutes but witnessed dozens of white plastic spoons end up in a bin. I'm not sure how you could successfully run this aspect of the attraction without so much waste, but there surely has to be a viable alternative. At the end, Lindor truffles are dished out and it's a similar story with these plastic wrapped balls. Given the global appeal of Lindt Lindor, the amount of disposable packaging generated annually by these things must be astronomical.
  • Bottlenecks. There were a couple of sources of pinch points along the self-guided tour. Ironically, it was the guided tours that got in the way, with groups blocking the route and exhibits. It was annoying, but not a deal-breaker. The other pinch point was the chocolate tasting section. Very slow automated dispensing machines and too many people for the eight working machines meant the crowd was deep and quite uncomfortable as it became a chocolate free-for-all scrum. It was a similar story with the liquid white, milk and dark Lindt chocolate available on tap just moments before. Lindt's decision to group all these tastings into one small room is baffling, although may well be a canny commercial decision to limit how many samples are dished out on average. As their chocolate is very sweet, there's a natural limit to how much you can consume in one go before fatiguing.
  • No mention of traceability. I get it. Modern slavery and deforestation aren't commercially sexy topics, especially for an attraction that is designed to reinforce brand values. But it felt like a missed opportunity not to discuss the work Lindt & Sprüngli is doing to eliminate these aspects from their supply chain. If Tony's Chocolonely's plans for a chocolate theme park ever get resurrected, I suspect they'll at least shine a spotlight on this aspect. I'm not naive. Merely discussing the issues and presenting a narrative on them isn't going to fix the chocolate industry, but it will at least educate the same people who have just learned how chocolate is made that there are imbalances in the industry, perhaps prompting more investigation and wiser shopping decisions when they get back home?
  • It's pricey, especially the hands-on experiences. My ticket was CHF17 (about £15) and my son's was CHF10 (around £9). Fairly reasonable, although, as it's free to get a selfie with the chocolate fountain, visit the cafe and shops, this covers just the museum aspect. The guided tour is a CHF13 premium (around £11) and I'm not sure is necessary, as there's multilingual self-guided audio devices included in the main ticket. Fancy playing with chocolate alongside a Lindt Master Chocolatier? These "chocolate courses" will set you back an extra CHF30 to CHF72 (£27-£63 ish) a head for an hour-long experience, on top of the tickets above. Your local chocolate shop may well run comparable sessions with better value for money. That said, if you want to make your own Lindt hollow figure (the Lindt Bunny perhaps?), lollipops, truffles or bars out of Swiss chocolate then this is the place to do it.
  • There's a lack of interactive elements. This experience, on the whole, is very passive. Walk along, see some information, briefly try some chocolate and then exit. It lacked tasting opportunities throughout (these were saved to the end, see Bottlenecks above) as well as interactive, tactile elements. Let me get hands on, simulating the feeling of the texture of a cacao pod, or the goo inside the pods. Let me take part in simulated aspects of the chocolate production line (not on a screen). Let me write my name in molten chocolate. Let me and my son dress up as Lindt Master Chocolatiers for a selfie. All these missed interactive chocolate opportunities would elevate the experience from 'good' to 'very impressive'.

Visiting the Lindt Home of Chocolate

Would I visit again? Yes, I think I would visit the factory itself, but maybe not the museum aspect, now I've done it once. I'm glad I visited. While there's no secrets of chocolate locked here and was nothing especially new to me, it was nicely presented and allowed me to delve into this unique world of chocolate in the guise of Swiss cultural heritage. 

If you are visiting Zurich, pop in. It's worth an outing from the city. The venue allows you to immerse yourself in the irresistible topic of chocolate, one of Switzerland's most important exports, aside from Nemo, of course (cue a topical Eurovision reference)!

If you're still on the fence, take a look at YouTuber Dave Kay's video where he delves into this experience in a more visual way than I can here.

Lindt Home of Chocolate Museum recommends you book your tickets ahead of time as they sell out fast. You can risk just turning up, but when I did, it was at least a one hour wait until the next available timeslot. You can book your tickets online direct here or through many ticket sellers online (they all seemed to offer similar prices when I booked).

The site is in the municipality of Kilchberg on Lake Zurich. It's about half an hour from the city by train and bus if public transportation is on your side. It's also a short walk from the pier should you wish to arrive in style on a Lake Zurich cruise.

If you've purchased the Zürich Card for getting around the city (I bought the 72 hour Zurich card for CHF56 (£49) and found it good value), it currently includes a 10% discount for the Lindt Home of Chocolate Museum, but you'll need to book by phone (or turn up and risk being turned away). It also includes a 10% discount on purchases in the Lindt shop which I annoyingly forgot about when getting my souvenirs.

Found on eBay

Have you visited The Lindt Home of Chocolate Museum in Kilchberg, Zürich? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments below.

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