We watch hundreds and thousands of movies and TV series a year. It’s exciting to enter a new adventure for a while and see how the heroes deal with their problems. However, the real treat lies in the locations our favorite characters are in. Ever wondered where your favorite scenes were shot? Here we have all the answers. Just observe some of the most popular travel destinations from films and TV and see which ones you’ll recognize.
Travel Destinations From Films And TV Shows
With so many production companies, movies and TV series travel to all sides of the world. You see the characters living at one place and then when all hell breaks loose they go to another. Not only that their movement makes the story more interesting, but it enriches the experience of the viewer. While watching, you’re transferred to a plethora of amazing places, each with something unique to present.
From America and Europe to Asia and Africa, the destinations are countless. Following the setting and plot of the films, directors take the movie stars on high mountain tops for adrenaline-rising scenes, cold places where their struggle with nature can be visible as well as the complete opposite – deserts. Although the whole crew and stunts are near the actors and actresses, their struggle is real when you see their harsh surroundings. For instance, some of the most iconic Star Wars films are shot on planet Earth, Tunisia’s deserts to be more precise, and not in space as the story suggests.
Then there are the castles. Hits like Harry Potter, Poldark, Monty Payton or Downtown Abbey are all filmed inside the huge castles across the United Kingdom. These destinations from films and TV usually follow historic events and stories happening in the past as well as a background for the fantasy genre. But if you’re more interested in the present, then you can visit cities like New York, Los Angeles and Paris where TV shows such as Friends, Sex and the City and Scandal take place. Obviously, they tell a modern story, so the skyscrapers, trendy shops, and cars in the background are totally understandable.
All of these destinations will swirl your mind, so let me help you decide where to go first.
Top Travel Destinations From Films And TV
Prepare your suitcase and pick the destination from your favorite movie or show. They’re all too good to be true, so choose wisely.
Dubrovnik, Croatia – Welcome to King’s Landing, the capital of Game of Thrones‘s mythical land of Westeros. Or should I say Dubrovnik? This marvelous city boasts with its unique architecture which reminds of the past. Especially the Old Town. The fortresses, high stone walls, and narrow streets are more than enough to get you in the spirit of the famous TV show. In fact, you can take several tours around the Mediterranean city and experience all locations. It’s no wonder that it is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Matamata, New Zealand – Every movie fan knows New Zealand as Middle Earth. That’s because the island served as a backdrop for the popular film franchises Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. So, among the destinations from films and TV, we must include Matamata. You may know it as the Shire, the place where the so-called hobbits live in neat, small hobbit holes. Located in the Waikato Region, this rural town is surrounded by idyllic countryside. Thanks to the green meadows blanketed with flowers, the cottages, streams and sheep, you’ll feel like a hobbit yourself. What’s more, you’ll be peaceful and away from the city crowds.
Vatican City – People often associate this city with Christianity. And that association inspired the famous scenes from Dan Brown’s controversial thriller Angels and Demons. The protagonist Robert Langdon, played by Tom Hanks, explores different parts of the city, keeping viewers at the edge of their seats. Fan of the movie or not, Vatican is a real treat for tourists. Just pick some tours and embark on an unforgettable adventure across the numerous cathedrals and museums.
Glenfinnan Viaduct, UK – Most might think that when speaking of Harry Potter, Hogwarts would be among the destinations from films and TV. But another location from the iconic films is as important – Glenfinnan Viaduct. It represents the trail, which the Hogwarts Express follows to the school. You can go and see the wonderful railroad viaduct and envision the magical journey from the movies. It goes along the main road at the head of Loch Shiel, so you’ll enjoy the amazing scenery, too. To complete the journey, you can take a train yourself.
Skiathos, Greece – You can almost hear Meryl Streep’s voice singing ‘Money, Money, Money’ in the white walls of this terrific Greek island. The idyllic scenery on the Aegean Sea is wonderfully captured in the hit musical Mamma Mia!. That would be more than enough for you to wish to go there. The blue-green sea, the most precious sandy beaches, the music from the extraordinary tavernas and the hot sun are there to welcome you and make you enjoy this Mediterranean heaven on Earth to the fullest.
Cambodia – We move to the land of mystical rocks and temples. Cambodia is a part of the destinations from films and TV because of Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. Angelina Jolie, who portrays the heroine Lara Croft, has an epic adventure in Cambodia. To be more precise, she explores Angkor Thom, the complex of temples, as well as the 54 towers with carvings of smiling faces. You can follow her steps, too, with these tours.
Los Angeles, California, USA – It’s time for the hustle and bustle of the city. Los Angeles, as the home of Hollywood, is the most obvious place between the destinations from films and TV. However, not everything is shot inside the studios. The popular TV show Scandal, for one, borrows the Palace Theatre as the office building of the successful Olivia Pope. In fact, all scenes of the office show the top floors of the theater. Then, there’s Pretty Woman. Richard Gere and Julia Roberts stay in the glamorous hotel Beverly Wilshire, where they celebrate their love. Even reality television uses Los Angeles as their background. Keeping Up with the Kardashians is one of those shows. So, pack your bags and don’t miss out on those awesome spots.
Salzburg, Austria – Who can resist the untouched natural beauty of Salzburg? Apparently no one. Not even the makers of the timeless musical The Sound of Music. The classic tunes such as “Do-re-mi” and “Edelweiss” still echo in the flowery meadows and hills, following the story of the Von Trapp Family singers. And you can be a part of this special atmosphere in the Austrian city overlooking the Eastern Alps and rediscover the cheerful spirit of the governess Maria played by Julie Andrews.
Ko Phi Phi Leh, Thailand – A paradise like this is a rarity that must be experienced. Circled by beautiful mountains, lie white-sand beaches as soft as cotton and clear translucent water. Now it’s understandable why Ko Phi Phi Leh has served as a perfect setting for the movie The Beach. Starring Leonardo Di Caprio, the story follows his character’s relationship with a beach community of marijuana lovers. Though, we have to admit that Thailand’s nature is the main star. That’s why, since the film aired, flocks of visitors arrived to see the place.
Petra, Jordan – The destinations from films and TV aren’t complete without Petra in Jordan. Why? It’s because the third installment of the ultra famous films about Indiana Jones was filmed here. According to The Last Crusade’s plot, the Holy Grail is supposedly in this ancient town, hidden in the Canyon of the crescent moon, which is actually the temple Al Khazneh. This excites everyone, fans of the movies and regular travelers. Upon arrival they’re stunned by the Greek-inspired architecture, all the carvings, and marvelous rocks, so it’s definitely worth a visit.
Hawaii – Aloha! We’re in Hawaii where the wonderful nature attracted a lot of movie cameras and crews. As a member of the destinations from films and TV family, it seems to make a hit after hit. First, the public was wowed by ABC’s LOST. J.J. Abrams’ thriller borrowed the island of Oahu with locations such as Ka’a’awa Valley. Aside from those, you can see the infamous beach of the ‘airplane crash’. But LOST isn’t the only one filmed in Hawaii. Blockbusters like Spielberg’s Jurassic Park and Cameron’s Avatar used the islands’ beauty for their scenes. That’s totally understandable considering the amazing rainforests and beaches. It’s almost hard to differentiate the reality from the CGI effects.
Doune Castle, Scotland – It looks like every historical story has Doune Castle included in the plot. Actually, it’s one of the most famous destinations from films and TV. Located near Sterling, this castle dates from the thirteenth century. It represented Camelot, King Arthur’s castle, Swamp Castle, Castle Anthrax, the fictional Castle Leoch from Outlander, and even the set for Winterfell from Game of Thrones. However, it became the absolute star in 1975 with the movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail. You know you can visit it and get a breath-taking tour of the surrounding lakes as well.
Kasbah Ait Ben Haddou, Morocco – The place where Maximus, the hero from the Academy Award winning movie Gladiator, was sold into slavery has to earn a spot among the popular destinations from films and TV. This Moroccan city has a special historical vibe around it with its rocky houses and forts. They’re crowded together inside the defensive walls, making the atmosphere of the film that more real. In fact, it has the iconic architecture of South Morocco, which proves why it’s considered as the most famous ksar in the Ounila Valley.
Cornwall, UK – Experience the sight of the waves crashing against the rocks on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. Cornwall offers that and so much more. It has some of the most amazing cliffs covered in pure nature in the form of colorful flowers, bushes, and tall grass. What makes it even more interesting and attractive is The Wheal Leisure or better known as the mine from the TV show Poldark. The main character Ross Poldark suffered a lot of issues because of it in the first season. And that’s pretty accurate considering the mine’s real history. In real life called Wheal Owles Mine, it was shut down due to a tragedy in 1893. So, if you want to mix history and TV, then this mine, as well as the other parts of Cornwall’s countryside, are well worth a visit.
Istanbul, Turkey – The busy and colorful bazaars in Istanbul were a perfect background to the directors of Argo. This Oscar-winning movie, with Ben Affleck in the main role, covers the story of six Americans that escape the embassy in Teheran, Iran. Clearly, the filming couldn’t happen in Iran, so they used Istanbul as a substitute. Its crowded streets and huge bazaars such as the Grand Bazaar, are a real success in the movie. And they’re a reason more to go to this wonderful city.
New York City, USA – Like there aren’t enough proofs that you should visit the Big Apple, it is one of the destinations from films and TV, too. A lot of films and shows, in truth, borrow this spectacular city as their backdrop. To begin with, the popular TV series Sex and the City was shot there. Fans still follow the footsteps of their favorite characters Samantha, Charlotte, Miranda and Carrie across New York City. The fire station in Tribecca, too, has served for the scenes in the movie Ghostbusters. There Ray, Peter and Egon start their business of freeing the city from the wicked ghoulies. Since the station is in use today, you can take your camera and go ghost hunting, yourself. Finally, you can’t possibly forget the scene from King Kong, when the enormous monkey climbed up on top of the Empire State Building. It’s basically movie history.
Savannah, Georgia, USA – Even the toughest personalities are shaken by Forrest Gump, the film with a heart-breaking narative, beautiful sountrack and extremely talented actors. It begins with Forrest, a man deeply involved in his thoughts. He sits on a bench in Chippewah Square in Savannah and describes his life to all passing people willing to listen. It’s also the place where he says the timeless quote “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know which one you’re gonna get.” Follow his story there and unravel the scenes hiding in this amazing city.
Tunisia – Ever wondered where Lukas Skywalker’s home planet is actually filmed? The answer is Tunisia. Far from the Western World, this country attracts truly devoted fans and tourists. The planet Tatooine from the movie Star Wars is really the untouched Mos Espa set. Accompanied by other desert-like sites, it gives the visitors a chance to dive into the movie’s stunning atmosphere. Not to mention that you can actually sleep in Luke’s house, as it’s made into a hotel in Matmata. Aside from this science-fiction blockbuster, Tunisia housed films like The English Patient and Raiders of the Lost Ark. You can tour it and explore the unique beauty it holds by yourself.
Savoca, Italy – Thanks to the immortal film The Godfather, Savoca is one of the coolest destinations from films and TV. The gangster plot follows the Corleone Family, led by Vito, who is played by Marlon Brando. They live in the town of Corleone in Sicily, but it was too developed for the movie. That’s why the makers used the more beautiful and scenic villages in Savoca for the background. And they turned out appropriate for the story filled with murder, drugs, violence and family loyalty.
Kyoto, Japan – We move to Asia with the mind-blowing science fiction thriller Inception. From dream to dream, the film moves across a bunch of cities. However, one of the most memorable is Kyoto in Japan. It’s where the story begins. Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) is washed up on the shore below Nijo Temple. Dating from the seventeenth century, it has a unique painted design that suits the movie. You can access the temple after a short walk from Nijojo-mae Station and see why it’s so special.