Travelling with a purpose brings a whole new dimension to your travels and allows you to see destinations in a whole new light, and movie tourism, travelling to see the locations of your favourite movies and TV shows is a perfect way to do just that.
Did you ever watch a movie or TV show and fall in love with the location or marvel at the amazing scenery the film was simply using as a dramatic backdrop? Did you ever want to retrace the footsteps of the great movie legends and see these places for yourself? Well you can, and it is pretty easy too. Here are just ten of the top movie location destinations where you can see where your favourite movies were shot.
The Da Vinci Code, The Louvre, Paris.
The Louvre in Paris is the setting for the seminal murder of Jacques Saunier at the start of the film, and although many of the paintings seen and talked about in the movie aren’t actually held at the Louvre (a bit of artistic license was taken), many of the scenes were shot in or outside the famous museum, including scenes with the iconic Glass Pyramid, ‘a scar on the face of Paris’ according to Detective Fache in the film. A scar it may be but not many film locations can boast being a part of the story as well as being a mere backdrop.
Harry Potter, Christ Church, Oxford.
Although many of the scenes were actually shot on set in the Leavesden studios in Hertsfordshire near London, the famous spires of Oxford doubled up as an seminal filming location for the imposing Hogwarts School For Witchcraft And Wizardry in all 8 of the Harry Potter Films, from the iconic Great Hall to the moving staircases, even many of the smaller quadrangles and courtyards were used.
Highlander, Eilean Donan Castle, Scotland.
Let’s face it, Highlander is pure scenery porn and half of the film is dedicated to showcasing Scotland in a beautiful light, but there was a little poetic licence when it comes to actual place names. According to the movie legend, the Macleod village is supposed to be Glenfinnan, on the shores of Loch Sheil, which is a real place in Lochaber, but the actual scenes, especially the large battle where Connor MacLeod became immortal were filmed at the nearby but infinitely picturesque Eilean Donan Castle on the shores of Loch Duich.
The Dark Knight Rises, Mehrangarh fort, Jodphur, India.
Mehrangarh fort in India is the setting for Bruce Wayne’s incarceration on his journey to become Batman, and this imposing fort certainly gives an imposing impression as it overlooks the blue city of Jodphur.
Star Wars The Last Jedi, Skellig Michael, Island.
This relatively unknown corner of Kerry in Ireland has become an absolute must see destination for any Sci Fi fan since it was revealed as the location of Luke Skywalkers self imposed exile in the latest Star Wars film. The island itself is a small, barren rock accessible only by boat, but is easily reached as part of the Star Wars trip from Sleah Head, already a stop on the ever popular ‘Wild Atlantic Way’ route.
The Beach, Koh Phi Phi, Thailand.
What movie location list would be complete without the film that launched a million gap years? The famous scene where Leonardo DiCaprio arrives at the beach, the entrance to a secret island in the gulf of Thailand, encapsulates the awe and mystique that every backpacker feels as they set off on their own round the world adventure. Unfortunately the film has caused a mass influx of tourists to the Maya Bay where the scene was actually filmed, with package tours even getting in on the action, leading to mass overcrowding and environmental concerns.
Lawrence Of Arabia, Seville, Spain.
Fans of Lawrence of Arabia don’t have to trek into the Jordanian desert to follow Peter O’Toole’s immortal footsteps, with much of the civilization scenes set in the Spanish city of Seville, with the Mujedar architecture, a blend of Moorish, Arabian and Gothic styles that Seville is famous for being perfect for the film. The Plaza de Espana doubled as Cairo where Lawrence first arrived at the British Army Headquarters and the Officers Club is actually the courtyard of the Hotel Alfonso XIII.
The Last Emperor, The Forbidden City, China.
As if it isn’t enough to walk in the hallowed halls of one of China’s greatest and best preserved heritage sites and revel in the history of a building that served as the residence for 24 God Like Emperors across China’s dynastic history, this magnificent building was also used a the ultimate backdrop for 1987’s The Last Emperor.
Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade, Petra, Jordan.
The ultimate location for any Indiana Jones fan is Jordan’s iconic tourists attraction, the ‘hidden’ city of Petra, now easily accessible for thousands of tourists on horseback or with organised camel rides. This world heritage site and modern wonder of the world is worth far more than the usual day or two package tour, and you should take your time exploring the colonnaded streets, the royal tombs and monasteries and the iconic treasury to get the full experience of this legendary world wonder, so grab your fedora, hop on a horse and ride through the canyon humming the Indiana Jones theme tune!
Harry Potter, Kings Cross Station, London.
Yes this is another Harry Potter Location, but one that is definitely worth visiting! Contrary to its moniker Platform 9 and 3/4 isn’t actually a platform anymore. The actual film location is here but they couldn’t have thousands of tourists crowding on a still working train platform, so the official site is located near the entrance of the Western departures concourse and is basically just a sign and a luggage trolley seemingly going through the wall where tourists can pose for pictures. There are staff members taking ‘official’ photos that are for sale in the very expensive Harry Potter shop just around the corner, but they allow you to take as many photos of your own as you like beforehand and there is no pressure or hard sell to buy their official ones. You simply queue up, choose your house scarf and pose for the camera!
So as film tourism starts to take off, find the locations of your own favourite movies and head to their actual filming locations.
Did you enjoy this article? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below or on my Facebook or Twitter pages and please feel free to share it with any or all of the social media buttons. If you want to get more great backpacking tips, advice and inspiration, please subscribe to updates via email in the box to your right.
This article was written in partnership with Travel Republic. The views and opinions expressed are entirely the authors own based on personal experiences when travelling and are honest and factual without any bias.