Europe's infatuation with chocolate began in Barcelona. Indeed, it can be said that the world's love of cocoa began when Christopher Columbus returned to the port of Barcelona from the Americas, cocoa beans in tow. In this 3-hour Barcelona Chocolate Tour, we dive into the history, culture, and process of chocolate making in one of the world's best chocolate cities. Along the way, we'll visit some of the city's most esteemed chocolate makers (with plenty of tastings), uncovering the treat's history and learning what it takes to make some of the world's best chocolate.
"The history of chocolate is particularly fitting for Barcelona, and the diversity of the products was delightful. I never thought I would say this, but even I couldn't eat all that chocolate."
Chocolate Barcelona Tour
Beginning at the port of Barcelona, where Christopher Columbus allegedly landed with a fist full of dried cacao beans, we will trace the sweet legacy of chocolate and confections throughout Barcelona’s history. (Visitors interested in learning more about early Columbus and the age of discovery might want to try our Barcelona Beach Tour
.) In 1493, Columbus returned to Spain a conquering hero. Along with tales of the rich, plentiful land in the New World, he brought back the dried cacao beans, which had made a dramatic impression upon him in the Americas. While cacao made the Trans-Atlantic crossing, it was Spanish influence that transformed this simple bean into the global sensation that is known as chocolate today. Whereas the Aztecs drank the beverage as a cool, bitter drink flavored with chili peppers, Europeans quickly turned towards warming the chocolate and adding copious amounts of sugar. Chocolate, as it became known, quickly conquered the hearts of the Spanish royal court and their citizens alike. As a result, Barcelona instituted the merinda
, similar to English tea. Together, we will head to one of Barcelona's top chocolate cafes to experience merinda
and sample some Catalan sweet treats for ourselves.
Hunt for the Best Chocolate in Barcelona
From its quiet beginnings to its global dominance as an affordable luxury item, chocolate has shaped Barcelona’s culinary landscape. Connecting chocolate's past to its present, we will explore the world of modern confections and pastries. We may sample liquor-filled bonbons, watch freshly fried churros emerge from their oily baths, or duck into a traditional grocer stocked with fine local goods. As we sit down for merinda, we will compare and contrast the differences between Barcelona's ornate Modernista cafes and the humbler granjas. For decades, both types of cafes provided meeting points for artists, dancers, poets, politicians, and everyday people, serving a rich array of delicate pastries and an assortment of sweet and caffeinated drinks. As we taste our treats, we will discuss how chocolate became a beloved ingredient in Catalan cuisine across the city's social classes. Whether you prefer a traditional ensaimada, baked with lard, or favor the bold, new trends of flavors of chocolate mixed with wasabi, Barcelona’s chocolate café culture is still felt everyday.
Over the course of our 3-hour walk, we will sample some traditional delicacies while weaving a narrative of chocolate in Barcelona. Together, we will discover the ways in which chocolate elevates Catalan daily life and highlights its unique cultural identity. As our walk comes to a close, we will come away with an understanding of the history of chocolate in this Spanish seaside city and the various traditional Catalan desserts to enjoy in Barcelona.
Please note any food allergies or intolerances in the Notes box when booking.
I have a food allergy. Can I take this tour? We can accommodate participants who have food allergies, including those with an allergy to nuts. Please let us know in the Notes box when booking.
Is this tour wheelchair accessible? Some of the shops we visit are small and many will have a step up to access them. The general route may include small streets with narrow sidewalks; please contact us if you have any questions regarding accessibility. We are also happy to design a private, customized tour for visitors with mobility concerns.