65 Movie and TV Filming Locations You Can Actually Visit
Shakespeare once wrote that all the world’s a stage, but these days it’s more like a movie set. Here are 65 film locations you should check out on your travels.
The Sound of Music
Austria’s hills are certainly alive with the sound of music… and tourists. Mozart may have been born in Salzburg, but The Sound of Music really put it on the map and now an estimated 70 percent of people visit because of the movie. Cross Residenzplatz Square with confidence as Maria did and run through the hedge tunnel in the Mirabell Gardens while singing “Do-Re-Mi.” The Palace of Leopoldskron is one of the mansions used as the Von Trapp Home and the place where the children famously fell into the lake. The other is Frohnburg Castle, whose facade was used for other outside scenes of the family house, such as Maria’s arrival. See how The Sound of Music compares to these other iconic musicals.
Game of Thrones
Fans are gonna need a lot of airline miles to visit all the locations used for the epic HBO series as production has rolled in seven countries—Northern Ireland (where the Titanic Studios closed sets are), Croatia, Iceland, Spain, Malta, Morocco, and Canada (where Quigley the 11-year-old Arctic wolf better known as Ghost, lives with his trainer north of Calgary). There are far too many visit-worthy destinations to list in one slide but here are the greatest hits for Jon Snow junkies and Daenerys diehards. Northern Ireland is home to the Dark Hedges (the Kingsroad), Castle Ward (Winterfell), Cushendun Caves (birth of Melisandre’s shadow baby), and Ballintoy Harbour (the Iron Islands). North of the Wall White Walker drama goes down in Iceland under the snowy arches of Vatnajökull and on the SnæfellsjökullandMýrdalsjökull glaciers. (The latter is the program’s Fist of the First Men.) Wilding camp moments were set in Dimmuborgir and Thingvellir National Park while Jon broke his oath of abstinence with Ygritte in the thermal spring in Grjótagjácave. (It’s fine. They’re married in real life now.) Locations in Dubrovnik, Croatia, and Malta have both been transformed into the home of the iron throne, King’s Landing. Must-hit selfie spots in Dubrovnik include the Jesuit Stairs (Cersei’s walk of shame), Gradac Park (Purple Wedding), St. Lawrence Fortress (the second version of the Red Keep). Lokrum Island, the city of Qarth in the show, now houses a GOT visitor center with an Iron Throne replica. Fun fact: The port of Pentos was filmed in Ouarzazate, a village in Morocco with an ancient kasbah, which years earlier hosted 1962’s Lawrence of Arabia and Russell Crowe and the Gladiator crew.
Get into the “spirit” of NYC with a tour of the original movie’s filming hot spots. The movie begins at the famous main branch of the New York Public Library where an apparition freaks out paranormal investigators Peter Venkman, Ray Stantz and Egon Spengler. After admiring the restored Rose Main Reading Room, you can run down the marble front steps like the Ghostbusters. Other landmarks include Columbia University, the Tribeca firehouse used as their headquarters, Times Square, City Hall, and Dana’s apartment at 55 Central Park West.
Bridget Jones’s Diary
Renée Zellweger brings Bridget Jones to life as we watch the lovable singleton navigate work and romance in London. Her distinctive corner flat is above The Globe Tavern by Borough Market, one of the city’s oldest and biggest food markets. According to The Telegraph, it would be highly unlikely that she could afford to buy a place like that today since it’s risen in value by more than 240 percent. The rom-com also features the Royal Courts of Justice on the Strand and BK News over the road where she buys a packet of cigarettes. Don’t miss our guide to the top 10 most romantic movies.
The majority of the story takes place in Mumbai where Jamal’s tough life unfolds and the slums he grows up in contrast with the modern corporate backdrop of offices. There is a side trip to Agra and the iconic Taj Mahal. Jamal and Latika also go to Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus train station where the Hindi dance sequence for the song “Jai Ho” was filmed for the end credits. Just don’t expect too much dancing when you go since over seven million people travel through the station every day!
Although the Palace of Troy was filmed on sets built at Shepperton Studios in the United Kingdom, most of the 2004 movie was shot in Malta and Baja California, Mexico. Malta is packed with historic sites and beautiful blue waters as a backdrop so it was a good choice as an alternative to Greece. Troy was shot at a host of locations, including Golden Bay, Hal Far, and Fort Ricasoli, where the city of Troy was constructed. The Trojan horse from the film is now situated on the waterfront in Canakkale, Turkey. Find out the most historically inaccurate movies ever.
Ant-Man and The Wasp
Although much of the recently released superhero sequel and the 2015 original were shot at a movie studio in Atlanta like most Marvel films, Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, and company did leave part of their hearts in San Francisco, where the stories are set. After Scott gets out of prison in the first film, he lives with his friend at the Milgrom Hotel, which in reality is the Riviera Hotel, a low-income housing complex in the Tenderloin district. Milgrom was a nod to Al Milgrom, a comic book writer. Before breaking into Dr. Pym’s house at 601 Buena Vista Avenue West, he contemplates his money problems outside the Ellis Food Center. Many city-by-the-Bay landmarks make appearances in the second installment including the triangular Transamerica Building, Coit Tower, the Golden Gate Bridge, Muir Woods, and Alcatraz. Ant-Man follows a bad guy down to Fisherman’s Wharf and onto the Harbor Emperor, one of the ferries in the Blue & Gold Fleet. The heroes are also chased down Lombard Street, the famously crooked road. Expect to go much slower in real life as it’s visited by two million people a year and the hairpin tours have a five mile an hour speed limit. Fun fact: The Real World San Francisco house and Scottie’s apartment in Vertigo also have Lombard Street addresses. If you love all things Marvel and D.C., check out these 15 surprising facts about superheroes.
While You Were Sleeping
The 1995 Christmas time romantic comedy was a huge hit and a great vehicle (other than the bus in Speed!) for Sandra Bullock’s career. Her character, Lucy, was a Chicago Transit Authority employee who collected tokens at the Randolph/Wabash “L” train station in the Loop. The hospital scenes were set at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, but very little filming actually took place there since the sets were rebuilt for convenience. Lucy’s second-floor apartment is located at #201, 3017 W. Logan Blvd and Peter’s luxurious high-rise apartment is located in Lake Point Tower at 505 North Lake Shore Drive. According to ForRent.com, the latter was also used as a set for Meet the Parents and The Lake House.
Skyfall begins in Istanbul with James Bond on a spectacular motorbike chase scene through the Spice Market in the Eminonu district of Istanbul, Turkey. The chase moves to the rooftops of the Grand Bazaar and the magnificent Hagia Sophia mosque forms part of the backdrop. Bond also crashes through a window of the centuries-old covered market and continues his high-octane chase in its maze of passages before ending on a train leaving Sirkeci train station. The scene finishes on a bridge, the Varda Viaduct, which in reality is far from Istanbul in Adana, Southern Turkey. Find out the 13 things you never knew about 007.
The “Rocky Steps,” better known as the Art Museum Steps are two of the most famous tourist attractions in Philadelphia. The movie’s famous training montage features Sylvester Stallone running up all 72 stone steps is one of the most iconic movie scenes of all time. You’ll find the Rocky statue there on a nearby grassy knoll. Did you know that Rocky won the Best Picture at the 1977 Oscars? Check out these other surprising Oscar-winners that you forgot about.