The best travel movies and where you should go

The best travel movies and where you should go

Last Updated on June 22, 2020 by Laura Cooper

There are few things that allow us to escape more than the movies. With the 2016 Oscars right around the corner, we dove into the list of nominated films for “Best Picture,” and some of the top Academy Award winning movies over the last 88 years. Read our list of where these movies were set, filmed, and where they have us dreaming of with wanderlust, and how we can follow in the footsteps of the actors and actresses and see the great places of the world through some of the best travel movies and best places to visit in the world.

Oscar-nominated “Best Picture” films 2016:

  • The Big Short:

    Set: Wall Street, New York City.
    Filmed: New Orleans, and Las Vegas
  • Bridges of Spies:

    Set:East Berlin.
    Filmed:Germany, Poland, and on the Beale Air Force Base in California
  • Brooklyn:

    Set: Brooklyn, New York, and Ireland.
    Filmed: Coney Island, Montreal, and in Enniscorthy, Ireland.
  • Mad Max: Fury Road:

    Set: Post-apocalyptic Australia (we don’t exactly recommend a vacation here!).
    Filmed: The Namibian desert, Australia.
  • The Martian:

    Set: Mars (but hey, the Kennedy Space Center in Florida is close!).
    Filmed: Hungary and at the Johnson Space Center in Texas.
  • The Revenant:

    Set: The American wilderness.
    Filmed: Alberta, BC, and Manitoba.
  • Room:

    Filmed: Toronto, including Nathan Phillips Square
  • Spotlight:

    Set: Boston.
    Filmed: Boston, Hamilton, and Toronto (including the Globe and Mail office).

As the red carpet rolls out we also wanted to look at 10 of the top films that have won Oscars for “Best Picture” over the last 88 years. Movie lovers, rejoice!

We tell you where you should travel to to visit the famous scenes of some of the most famous movies:

  • The Sound of Music (1965):
    Mirabell Gardens in the Sound of Music best travel movies

    Mirabell Gardens in Salzburg, Austria. Featured in the Sound of Music

    It’s the birthplace of Mozart and made famous for the stunning mountain scenes in The Sound of Music: a European vacation to Salzburg, Austria is magical. You’ll want to climb every mountain here. READ MORE about what Sound of Music tours in Salzburg to visit if you’re a fan of this musical, or consider Trafalgar’s 10-day Sound of Music 2016 tour to hit them all.

  • Gone with the Wind (1939): Any Gone with the Wind fan will love visiting the Margaret Mitchell House in Atlanta, Georgia, where the story of Margaret and her famous novel come to life. Other popular Atlanta spots you’ll want to visit include the Georgian Terrace Hotel, where film stars stayed during the premiere, the Oakland Cemetery where Mitchell is laid to rest, the Atlanta Cyclorama, where film star Clark Gable visited during the premiere, and the Gone with the Wind Museum – just north of Atlanta in Marietta.
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003):
    best travel movies the lord of the rings

    Hobbiton, New Zealand from The Lord of the Rings series

    Though fictional, step into the hillsides of New Zealand and you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into a movie set. Possibly because you have, with most of the series being filmed here on the Hobbiton set, where you can still see hobbit holes and homes. Also consider visiting Oxford, England and find Tolkien’s home at 20 Northmoor Road, or visit Merton College at the University of Oxford and walk the halls where Tolkien was a professor.

  • Amadeus (1984):
    Astronomical Clock in Prague, featured in the Amadeus movie best travel movies

    Astronomical Clock in Prague, featured in the Amadeus movie

    Prague is the place to visit if you love Amadeus. Step back in time in Prague’s Old Town Square and St. Giles’ Church and the Estate Theatre, where Mozart is still played. Tucked away in the back corner of Old Town, almost hidden in the shadows of the astronomical clock and the Church of Our Lady before Tyn is the Estate Theatre, where Don Giovanni is still played regularly. You’ll recognize buildings, theatres, and churches throughout the movie from around Prague where chamber music echoes.

  • Casablanca (1943): Travel to Morocco to see the sights and sounds of Casablanca, Morocco’s largest city. You’ll find the majority of sites in the outside cities of Marrakesh and Fez, but don’t let the tourist quarters fool you: Casablanca has something to offer with its vibrant culture, busy bazaars, and delicious food. Enjoy half-day tours of the city to get your bearings and then dive into the bazaars that catch your eye for the best in culture.
  • Titanic (1997): Travelling to visit Titanic exhibits, monuments and museums are for both movie lovers and history lovers alike. Consider visiting Halifax and find the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, home to a Titanic exhibit, and the Fairview Lawn Cemetery where over 100 bodies of those who perished in 1912 onboard are buried. In Belfast, consider the Titanic Museum, the largest Titanic monument and museum in the world, in the old Titanic Quarter of the city where the “unsinkable ship” was built.
  • Forrest Gump (1994): Run, Forrest, Run. Follow Forrest’s quest in the movie from Chippewa Square, Savannah to the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC. Find the beach Forrest sat at during the movie just beyond Chippewa Square, or enjoy southern cooking at Debi’s the Restaurant where Jenny works as a diner waitress in the film. For movie lovers who want to follow along Gump’s run, take a drive up to Grandfather Mountain on US 221 in North Carolina.
  • Schindler’s List (1993):
    Plashov Schindler's list best travel movies

    Soviet Memorial at Plashov Concentration Camp, where Schindler’s List was set.

    A harrowing story of a hero during the Second World War’s Holocaust, fans of Schindler’s List will embark on a life changing journey when travelling to the sites in this film. The concentration camp re-created for this film was Plashov, just on the outskirts of Krakow, where Amon Goethe had his home, and where dogs were often used to “hunt” those within the camp. The camp is now a large park, with a single monument in the midst. In Krakow proper, visit the area used as a ghetto, and spot Schindler’s factory not far away: the former enamel factory now hosts the Museum of Contemporary Art and a branch of the Historical Museum of the City of Krakow. Travel from Krakow for a tour of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the most famous of the camps from the Holocaust and another important location from the film.

  • Gladiator (2000):
    Colosseum Rome best travel movies Gladiator

    The Colosseum in Rome, where gladiator battles once took place

    When in Rome, do as the Romans do. Or in this case, as Russell Crowe does. Follow the story of Roman generals and gladiators, and visit the famous Colosseum in the heart of ancient Rome. Rome is full of history, ancient ruins, historical sites, and beyond: relive the days of gladiators with a range of tours or explore the Colosseum on your own for approximately €16.

  • An American in Paris (1951): Re-live this romantic movie in Paris with a visit to the artistic hotspots. Revel in the famous works of the Louvre, the Musee d’Orsay, and other popular attractions, before frolicking on the front lawns of the Eiffel Tour and all that the city of love has to offer. Visiting the site of this film will take you throughout the whole city and have you fall in love, yourself, with Paris.

What famous movie scene or set have you visited? Tell us in the comments below about the best travel movie in your opinion!

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