When we told friends we were visiting Barcelona, quite a few asked us if we were visiting the Chocolate Museum. In retrospect, this kind of question could be rephrased “are you hitting tourist traps, or looking for more “authentic” things to do?” I’m not judging a traveler’s preference either way, because some tourist traps are still must-see destinations. But every traveler is familiar with the feeling they get, either right away, or in creeping recognition that they have stumbled into a “tourist trap.” This “museum” absolutely falls into the category a.
When you walk in to the Chocolate museum, the “gift area” is actually the front lobby, where you get your ticket (it’s actually a chocolate bar). Visitors exit just on the other side of the square display case that sells all kinds of chocolate. As it turns out, this museum was put together by the chocolate industry, and it does have that “PR feel.” That said, there was no other museum we went to where visitors were that visibly excited. In short, if you’re a chocolate lover, you won’t care that it’s a tourist trap, and this museum will delight you to no end.
Maybe it’s the equivalent of a PR puff pastry, but it is fun, and there are some interesting elements. Chocolate is deeply intertwined with the history of Catalonia, and Barcelona was a major entry point of chocolate into Europe. Catalonians are very proud of this part of their heritage, so it makes sense that this museum is in Barcelona. I wish they’d spent more time on that part of the history.
Having spent some time working on behalf of a major chocolate company, i am pretty well versed in the history of cacao and its benefits. They could do a lot more with the museum, because chocolate and its history is truly fascinating. I’m not a subject expert, but since i knew the majority of what they were talking about this museum couldn’t keep my attention. The most interesting thing for me were the chocolate sculptures that adorn this self-guided museum.
Mr Os was not quite as skeptical about the museum but wholeheartedly agreed it’s on the touristy side. If you are visiting the Picasso museum, this could be a quick before or after stop. It’s roughly a 10 minute walk down the street and there are a lot of interesting shops and tapas restaurants along the way. But rest assured, as with almost everything in Barcelona, Catalonians will charge an entry fee. After a while, it’s almost charming. Which is probably how I’d sum up this museum…unless you’re a chocolate lover.