15 Best Movie and TV Locations to Visit

Everyone has a favourite 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 favourite locations are more than that, they have history, great scenery or something else to offer.

We’ve compiled a list of our favourites 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

Two rather famous filming locations for Harry Potter include the Glenfinnan Viaduct in western Scotland and Christ Church in Oxford. You’ll remember the iconic bridge that the Jacobite steam train (Hogwarts Express) crosses and the inside of Hogwarts’ Great Hall.

3. Davinci Code

Paris, France

Based on Dan Brown’s best-selling novel, the Davinci Code has professor Robert Langdon (played by Tom Hanks), finding 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 s 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 which 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, its 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

Melin has seen an increase in tourism over the past year or two due to the release of Netflix 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 neighbourhood he built for the poor and 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 karae. The band were and still are huge, which is why they got their own movie which was filmed in Skopelos, Skiathos, Greece.

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 is Escape from Alcatraz and The Rock. Escape from Alcatraz is obviously about an escape from Alcatraz starring Clint Eastwood.

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 with history and was one of the main sites of Mayan civilization from 6th century B.C. Much of Tikal still remains unearthed.

14. Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Marriot 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!

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!

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