1. Bruges, Belgium
Bruges is a postcard perfect town which should be on everyone’s bucket list. It’s a city of art, monuments, museums, canals and an impressive bell tower that featured prominently in the black comedy In Bruges. There are 52 individual chocolate shops despite a population of only 20,000, and each of them has their specialty.
“We are the chocolate capital in Belgium with the most concentration of chocolate shops in Europe,” says Bruges chocolate maker Dominique Persoone. “Now we focus on our diversity. Some shops specialize in marzipan, others in pralines or in cream fillings, for example. When people think about Belgium and Bruges we want them to think chocolate.”
Best of all, Bruges is not just about chocolate shops. Chocolate walking tours are offered year-round, and tourists can buy a booklet with vouchers and do their own sweet tour. There’s even Choco-Story, The Chocolate Museum, which holds chocolate making demonstrations and offers free samples.