15 Best Movie and TV Locations to Visit

Wanderlist

Everyone has a favorite TV show or movie that they have seen about 50 times, know every line, every location, every actor/actress, the costume designers, and the dude who played ‘Bad guy #2’. Or is that just me?

Around the world, small and often unknown rural areas have transformed into huge tourist attractions due to them being featured in blockbuster movies, while others were famous long before they set foot on the silver screen. Sometimes you’ll get lucky and find out that your favorite locations are more than that, they have history, great scenery or something else to offer.

We’ve compiled a list of our favorites from around the world. Is yours here?

1. The Hobbit & Lord of the Rings

MATAMATA, NEW ZEALAND

Matamata is a small town located in the Waikato region of New Zealand’s north island. It is known for its movie set for the Lord of The Rings and Hobbit movies. The government decided to keep the production set in Matamata once production had finished so it could be used as a tourist attraction.

2. Harry Potter

GLENFINNAN, SCOTLAND & CHRIST CHURCH, OXFORD

Glenfinnan Viaduct in western Scotland is an iconic bridge that the Jacobite steam train (Hogwarts Express) crosses. It is prominent in the Chamber of Secrets where Harry and Ron try to catch the train in their flying car. Visitors can ride the train across the viaduct on the Jacobite. The 84-mile round trip passes through some of Scotland’s most beautiful scenery and is referred to by some as the greatest railway journey in the world.

Another well-known Harry Potter location is Christ Church in Oxford, this was the setting for Hogwarts’ Great Hall. It is not the one used in the movie, however, it is where the producers got their inspiration from. When in Oxford, why not take a stroll around the oldest university in the UK and learn about its history.

3. Davinci Code

PARIS, FRANCE

Based on Dan Brown’s best-selling novel, the Davinci Code has professor Robert Langdon (played by Tom Hanks), finds a dead body in the Grand Gallery of the Louvre, naked and posed similarly to Leonardo da Vinci’s famous drawing, the Vitruvian Man. Brave the long lines and scour the Louvre Museum in search of hidden clues for yourself.

4. The Hangover

CAESARS PALACE, LAS VEGAS

One of the main filming locations for the first Hangover movie was the iconic Caesars Palace on the Las Vegas strip. You can explore Caesars along with all other hotels on the strip to save yourself from the desert heat. Unfortunately, access to the roof (as in Hangover I & III) is restricted but I’m sure there are other things to do in this city.

5. Mission Impossible 4: Ghost Protocol

BURJ KHALIFA, DUBAI

Famous in its own right as the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai became a jungle gym for Tom Cruise in MI4 as he climbed the Burj, ran down the windows on the outside and swung around it in his craziest stunt that he performed without a stunt double. The Burj Khalifa features an observation deck, a hotel, residences, a park, and a fountain show similar to that of the Bellagio in Las Vegas.

6. Forrest Gump

MONUMENT VALLEY, UTAH

Monument Valley is a US Indian reservation owned by the Navajo tribe and has been used for many films over the years, particularly western movies. In Forrest Gump, Monument Valley is where Forrest finishes his run of 3 years, 2 months, 14 days, and 16 hours. The reservation is open to the public with accommodation available.

7. The Beach

KOH PHI PHI LEH, THAILAND

Maya Bay on Koh Phi Phi Leh is the tropical paradise on Leonardo Dicaprio’s map in ‘The Beach’. Nowadays, it's more than just a movie location but a full-blown tourist trap. Over 5000 tourists cram onto the 250m beach every day to get a glimpse of paradise, but can you blame them?

8. Skyfall

GLENCOE, SCOTLAND

Skyfall is the name of the home Bond (Daniel Craig) grew up in and the name of the movie. The home is fictionally located in Glencoe, Scotland. This spectacular glen is one of the greatest sights in Scotland and a great place for a scenic drive and photography.

9. Lara Croft: Tomb Raider

SIEM REAP, CAMBODIA

Angkor Wat near Siem Reap, Cambodia is the largest religious complex in the world covering 402 acres. Before its meteoric rise in popularity, Ta Prohm in Angkor Wat was used for filming as one of the temples in the Tomb Raider movie. Now, much like the rest of South East Asia, tourism is on the rise and backpackers are flocking to these historic complexes and Ta Prohm is now simply known as the ‘Tomb Raider temple’.

10. Narcos

MEDELLIN, COLOMBIA

Medellin has seen an increase in tourism over the past year or two due to the release of Netflix's original Narcos. Within the city, you can visit some real locations from the life of Pablo Escobar including his main home which was bombed by Los Pepes, his grave, the neighborhood he built for the poor, and the roof where he was killed by the DEA and the Colombian Search Bloc. It is Colombian theory that he killed himself as Pablo’s famous quote reads ‘I would rather have a grave in Colombia than a jail cell in the United States’.

11. Mamma Mia

SKIATHOS, GREECE

I’m sure I’m not the only one who has taken part or listened to someone blasting out an ABBA hit during karaoke. The band was and still is huge, which is why they got their own movie which was filmed in Skopelos, Skiathos, Greece. The first noticeable thing about Skiathos when arriving by plane is that the runway is REALLY close to the water, so don’t take the brace position when landing.

One of the best parts about this island if you are a fan of the movie or ABBA, is that it doubles as a seaside resort where you can chill in the sun and work on your tan.

12. The Rock

ALCATRAZ, SAN FRANCISCO

Alcatraz is well known around the world for its history mainly as an old American civil war fort and a prison. Numerous movies have been filmed here but the most famous are Escape from Alcatraz and The Rock. Escape from Alcatraz is obviously about an escape from Alcatraz starring Clint Eastwood.

In The Rock, Sean Connery and Nicolas Cage infiltrate the island to stop a group of rogue US Marines led by Ed Harris from launching a chemical weapons attack upon the San Francisco Bay area. You can understand why the inmates tried to escape when you see the view of San Francisco from Alcatraz.

13. Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope – Yavin IV

TIKAL, GUATEMALA

Yavin IV was a jungle-covered moon orbiting Yavin which acted as a hidden military base for the rebel alliance in Star Wars Episode IV. The shot in the movie is from the top of a Mayan temple in the ancient city of Tikal in northern Guatemala. Tikal is rich in history and was one of the main sites of Mayan civilization from the 6th century B.C. Much of Tikal still remains unearthed.

14. Hunger Games: Catching Fire

MARRIOTT MARQUIS, ATLANTA

The Marriott Marquis in Atlanta is the location for the Capitol’s tribute center in Catching Fire and Mockingjay. The hotel is known for its atrium which used to be the largest in the world. I guess if you’re a Hunger Games fan and you’re ever in Atlanta you know where to stay!

15. Wolf Creek

WOLFE CREEK, AUSTRALIA

Unless you’re Australian, you may not have heard about this movie. It’s a horror movie that has elements of real murders of backpackers that have taken place in the Australian outback. Beware!

It’s set around Wolfe Creek crater in northwestern Australia. Although you may not visit the location of the movie for fear of being murdered, the crater itself is worth seeing as the well-preserved location is one of the most ‘obvious’ meteor craters in the world.

What’s your favorite TV or movie location you would like to visit, and why? If you think we’re missing a big one, let us know in the comments below!

MAKE A SUGGESTION

Think we've missed an item from this list? If you think so, please fill in the details below and we'll consider adding it.

Share this:

More Wanderlists you might enjoy

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

backpacker travel logo
COPYRIGHT © BACKPACKER TRAVEL 2022. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.