Are you a shameless movie nerd? Does the sensation that you’re the film geek of your friendship circle (slash, entire postcode) fill you with a glowing sense of pride? Then you’ll be well aware that cinema is the number one way to explore our pretty planet, through action movies, screwball comedies and heart-wrenching dramas set everywhere from Argentina to Shanghai.
But a true cinephile is not content crunching popcorn on the back row. The die-hard movie lover is willing to venture a little further to get their kicks by visiting the filming locations of their favorite movies. Here are seven of the best filming locations that every film geek has to visit:
London, the bustling capital of the UK, is where Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman solved unfathomable murders as Sherlock and Watson, and you’ll have little trouble getting into character what will all the black cabs, red phone boxes and puddles to set the scene. British and Irish landscapes have seen countless other film crews come and go, with the perhaps the biggest draw being Star Wars: The Force awakens. Who would’ve thought this intergalactical spectacle was filmed in the humble British Isles? For inspo on how to retrace the steps of the jedis, check out this World on Screen guide by Orbitz.
There’s a reason the city that never sleeps has become such an iconic travel destination. The unmistakable skyline, proud Lady Liberty clutching her torch and buildings towering tall enough to scrape the sky make this one of the world’s most beloved movie backdrops. From DeNiro’s spell in the legendary Taxi Driver, to a feminist retelling of Ghostbusters, NYC has made countless appearances on the silver screen. A cultural melting-pot unlikely any other, New York is guaranteed to make you feel like a movie star.
Surely one of the most exciting cities on Earth, Tokyo has been the setting for some of the 21st century’s most epic movies. Scarlett Johansson and Bill Murray gave us minimal dialogue and maximum cool in 2003’s Oscar-winning Lost in Translation. Kill Bill saw Uma Thurman kicking ass in yellow leather in some of the city’s most photogenic corners. Though you’ll be dazzled by the city’s neon glow, its flickering screens, and eccentric street-style, don’t forget to escape the rush and breathe a sigh of relief at one of the shrines or temples, a pretty oasis of calm not far from the heaving center.
Now, we don’t like to deal in stereotypes but when it comes to Italy, your Lambretta-riding, fresh olive fantasies are all true. We promise. Choose scenic Lombardia, setting for the coming-of-age flick Call Me By Your Name, and lie back with a glass of the region’s famous sparkling wine. If you’re more of an action movie fan, try Italia’s sunkissed south, where many of Wonder Woman’s high energy sequences were filmed on the glorious coast of Campania.
Next stop on our whirlwind movie tour is Morocco. It’s at the fictional Hotel L’Americain in the country’s glorious Tangier where James Bond casually blows up a wall in the name of heroism/Her Majesty. Gaze up at the pretty white hillside medina, visit a sultan’s palace or disappear into the crowd at a market selling everything from fresh meat to precious gems. Tangier caters to all five of your senses, so it’s no wonder that the city has been a hugely popular setting for Hollywood Golden Age classics.
Where would the movie industry be without good old La La Land? (The city that is… but the movie was pretty great too, now we come to think of it.) In this land of convertibles, palms trees, miniature dogs and lip-fillers, you’ll also recognise some of the coolest film settings in cinematic history. Back to the Future was set here and though we can’t offer you time-travel, where better to head to in the Delorean than awesome L.A. ?
It’s not exactly a well-kept secret that New Zealand was the primary filming location for the extraordinary Lord of the Rings trilogy. On its rolling hills of lushest green, beneath its dramatic mountains and among the varied flora of its verdant parks, let your inner hobbit run free. First on your must-see list should be Matamata, the setting for the Shire.