Famous Film Tourist Destinations

Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Amazed by the scenes on the big screen we often desire to visit places where some of our movie heroes have been. A great reason for travel is that some of the most memorable scenes were taken in the real world, sometimes without the assistance of the scenes and production design. Here we will present some of the famous tourist destinations, which were used as a set for famous movies, or those that became famous locations after the making of the films.

Casablanca“, the headline of the classic made back in 1942 is the strongest association between cities and cinema hits. Although the film wasn’t really shot in the same city, it is impossible to hear of Casablanca, and not remember the black and white faces of Ingrid Bergman and Humphrey Bogart. It is interesting that at the time of the filming, this exotic North African city wasn’t known as a tourist destination, but as a strategic location in the World War II. The film became famous and Casablanca turned into a tourist mecca. It was the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Several years later the film strip did a similar favor to Vienna. In the midst of the Cold War division into three zones of occupation, spy thriller “The Third Man” drew the attention of world public on the beauty of the war wounded metropolis. Even in the gloomy atmosphere Viennese cultural monuments looked great and magnificent. And while the sound of harp music from the film became a symbol of Vienna, “The Third Man” won numerous awards. According to some, it is the most important achievement in the history of film, so it is still the target of many film buffs.

Canals in Bruges, Belgium
Canals in Bruges, Belgium – Photo by: Lies Thru a Lens

In Bruges” takes place in the beautiful medieval Belgian city of Bruges where it was filmed. There has been a lot of movies shot in Moscow ; to mention just some of them: Rocky IV (1985), Rocky V (1990), X-Men: First Class, Hitman (2007) and many, many more.

Tokyo is one of the most attractive tourist destinations, additional advertising got in 2003 with a movie hit “Lost in Translation“, directed by Sofia Coppola. Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson helped director show Tokyo as an alien space for a westerner trying to find his way in it. Since the city is indeed full of sights and sounds that you can’t experience anywhere else, it is possible you will feel very much like characters in Tokyo.

Angkor Wat, Camobdia
Angkor Wat, Camobdia – Photo by Stokpic

Famous adventure movie “Lara Croft: Thomb Raider” with Angelina Jolie was filmed in Cambodia locations such are Siem Reap, Bayon temple in Angkor Thom (known for 54 towers, each bearing four smiling faces), Ta Prohm temple. The most famous temple from this movie is well known Angkor Wat temple, now popular among many tourists worldwide. Wadi Rum also known, as “The Valley of the Moon” in Jordan, hosted the filming crew of “Lawrence of Arabia” witch starred Peter O’Toole in 1962. While we are still on the Jordan subject another important mention has to be made. Petra is a unique stone town in Jordan that served as an excellent backdrop for a place in which an archaeologist and adventurer Indiana Jones came looking for the Holy Grail. Who can forget the moment in “The Last Crusade” when Indiana and his company enter the canyon and find a city in a rock? A visitor can have almost the same experience in person, especially if reaching one of the famous archeological locations riding on a donkey.

Petra, Jordan
Petra, Jordan – Photo by: LoggaWiggler

Rome – “Sweet Life” (La Dolce Vita) – those who visited the Trevi Fountain, under the impression of the Fellini film “Sweet Life” certainly wished they felt the same way as the characters did in the movie. Thanks to the film classic, this place probably became the most famous symbol of the Eternal city. Fargo, an unknown place in North Dakota, became known around the world in the eponymous black comedy by the Coen brothers, regardless the fact that the city’s name is associated with an unsuccessful kidnapping, which ends up being the most brutal horror.

Trevi Fountain In Rome
Trevi Fountain In Rome – Photo by: Gabor Szakacs

Four of the Star Wars movies were shot in southern Tunisia in a salt lake in the Tunisian Sahara. The place is called Mos Espa and it is open for tourists.

Two James Bond movies have been shot in Thailand: The Man with the Golden Gun in 1974 and Tomorrow Never Dies in 1997. The first one was shot nearby Bangkok city and Phang Nga Bay near Phuket. The latter movie was filmed in Bangkok as Ho Chi Minh City, as Vietnam authorities denied shooting permissions. In this film Phang Nga Bay of Thailand substitutes for Halong Bay of Vietnam.

Phuket Is The Pearl of Thailand
Phuket in Thailand – Photo by: Joan Campderrós-i-Canas

Many movies were shot in Greece but the most popular one is ABBA inspired singing drama starring Meryl Streep “Mamma Mia!“. Shoting locations were the two Sporades islands of Skopelos and Skiathos, and the Pelion peninsula coast where “Dancing Queen” scene was made. 

The Lord of the Rings” – the most award-winning film trilogy is responsible for the fact that the New Zealand is mentioned around the world as a destination that must be visited for its natural beauties. The mountains and national parks of the green island, where the Fellowship of the Ring went on their way to Mordor, showed that the world still has virgin places that look the same as 10.000 years ago.

Shooting films in historical locations is very expensive but we would like to see many more movies out of this locations.

Featured image by: Kolibri5

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3 Comments on Famous Film Tourist Destinations

  1. Indeed, Jordanian Petra is magnificent even without a donkey 🙂 A magnificent city carved in the rock, the stone colors are unforgettable. Great article, gave me an idea of my next travel 🙂

  2. Real places always make the best film settings. I plan to add the rest of here mentioned to the ones I’ve already visited (Rome and Vienna). Great article BTW.

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