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Like chocolate? You’ll love this interactive attraction in the Old Town. The Chocolatarium is Edinburgh’s only micro chocolate factory and during your visit you get the opportunity to smell, touch, taste, make and drink chocolate.
During the 90 minute tour, you’ll learn about the history of chocolate, try variations from around the world and make your own Scottish-themed artisan batch to take home.
This isn’t just a tour for kids, I went with friends and couples say they enjoy it too.
So before you reach into your bag to buy a bar of generic chocolate, why not consider becoming a Chocolatier for the day instead?
Note: Don’t worry if you have dietary requests or restrictions, The Chocolatarium caters for that.
Location and Setting
Located on Cranston Street, just off the Canongate in the Old Town, The Chocolatarium is accessible for locals and visitors.
Just take the left turn after Jeffery Street. If you can see Mimi’s Bakehouse on the right, you’ve gone too far.
When you first arrive, book into your tour at the gift shop.
Save spending money on chocolate souvenirs until the end of your visit as you get to taste all the flavours from around Scotland and beyond during the chocolate tour.
Naturally, you must reserve a ticket in advance. You can book one here.
First up is the educational part of the experience where the guide takes the small group through the history and the process chocolate goes through from the cacao bean in South America to the popular product on Scotland’s shelves.
Groups sit spread out on the benches of the ‘classroom’ which is decorated like a rainforest. Even the benches are in keeping with the theme.
The informative guide stands at the front and uses props to help narrate the journey taught during the lesson.
Visitors are encouraged to answer questions throughout the enthusiastic talk.
You’re not even in the industrial kitchen yet and chocolate is being offered!
Taste the difference between dark and milk chocolate and coat your mouth in delicious melted chocolate too.
The Chocolate Kitchen
Now it’s time to play with your food!
Your guide will take you to the sparkly clean kitchen where you’ll get a pang of nostalgia for Home Economics.
The expert Chocolatier will show you how the bitter seed becomes the sweet packaged product we gorge on and give as gifts.
Next up, it’s your turn to put the gloves on and try your (steady) hand at chocolateering. Is that even a word?
You don’t have to make a plain chocolate bar.
There are over 25 toppings to choose from including fruit, spices, chilli and more sweet stuff.
You get to select your mold which will have a Scottish twist!
Naturally, I went for our Everything Edinburgh mascot, Greyfriars Bobby.
Once set, the bespoke chocolate pieces are wrapped up for you to take home to eat or gift.
This is why The Chocolatarium features in our cool things to do in Edinburgh post.
The Chocolate Tasting Room
The tour isn’t over quite yet!
The final stage of the chocolate experience is where you get to drink and sample variations of artisan chocolate from all over the world, including haggis flavoured chocolate, which is freshly caught that day.
Vegan chocolate, lactose-free and gluten free chocolate is also available.
The tour ends at the front desk where you can stock up on many of the craft chocolate bars you tried in the tasting room.
- Address: The Chocolatarium, 3-5 Cranston Street Edinburgh EH8 8BE
- Tours are for age 6 years and above
- Tell reception about allergies when you arrive
- Lots of vegan/dairy-free options
- Pre-booking required
With GetYourGuide, tours have a 24 hour cancellation guarantee so if you can’t make it, you don’t lose your money.
Other Things To Do Near The Chocolatarium
The Chocolatarium keeps good company on the Canongate!
Surrounded by Old Town attractions such as Arthur’s Seat and the National Museum of Scotland, you could make a day of it mixing these free activities and the experience.
Other popular attractions include Camera Obscura and St Giles’ Cathedral.
The Royal Mile is where the majority of walking tours meet such as the popular Underground Edinburgh Vaults tour.
If you fancy pairing your chocolate experience with some wine, whisky, beer or gin, the infamous World’s End pub is just over the road or the fave Ev Ed bar, Monteiths, is close by on the High Street, down an Old Town alley.
If, by some miracle, you are still hungry after The Chocolatarium, there are plenty of casual or Scottish restaurants to choose from in the area including Cold Town House for pizza, Brewhemia for pub grub or Angels With Bagpipes for local and seasonal menu.
Disclaimer: This guide was written in partnership with GetYourGuide. I, Gemma, have been working alongside GetYourGuide since 2017. Opinions are my own.