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30 Movies That Will Inspire You to Travel the World

9 minute read

Sometimes the best way to experience a destination you haven’t been to is to watch a movie that takes place there.

From the Lord of the Rings, which was filmed in New Zealand, to Into the Wild, which was filmed in Alaska, here are 30 movies that will make you want to travel all over the world.

Under the Tuscan Sun

Based on the book by Frances Mayes, Under the Tuscan Sun tells the story of a recently divorced writer who ends up impulsively buying a villa in the Italian countryside while on vacation in Tuscany.

The movie was filmed in multiple locations throughout Italy, many in Tuscany — Florence, Arezzo, and Siena — as well as Rome and Positano. Think quaint villages, Tuscan countryside, and spectacular coastal views.

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Slumdog Millionaire

Featuring a teen who grew up in India’s slums and then makes it on the show “Who Wants to be a Millionaire,” Slumdog Millionaire shows India in its true form: overcrowded, dirty, and poverty-stricken.

But it shows the country nonetheless, and is sure to spark some curiosity in avid travelers who have never been. The movie was filmed mostly in the cities of Agra and Mumbai.

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The Motorcycle Diaries

The Motorcycle Diaries chronicles the journey of two friends as they ride a motorcycle through South America and encounter problems along the way.

The movie captures the beauty of South America — it was filmed in Argentina, Peru, Chile, Colombia, Venezuela, and Cuba.

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Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid is a classic Western about two bank robbers who travel to Bolivia to escape the law.

Though the movie was actually filmed mainly in the Western U.S. and not in Bolivia, the movie’s scenery is still beautiful. Filming locations include California, New Mexico, Utah, Colorado, and Mexico.

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Roman Holiday

A classic black-and-white film featuring a young and elegant Audrey Hepburn, Roman Holiday features 1950s Rome through the eyes of a sheltered princess and the American man she falls in love with.

The movie was filmed in a variety of iconic landmarks throughout the city.

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Thelma & Louise

Thelma & Louise is the feel-good story of two girlfriends who decide to abandon their boring lives for an adventure-packed road trip in a classic ’66 Thunderbird.

Filming locations include Utah, California, and Colorado.

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Into the Wild

Into the Wild is the true story of a top student and athlete who gives up everything after his college graduation in favor of hitchhiking to Alaska and surviving in the wilderness.

The movie was filmed throughout the United States, in Alaska, California, Oregon, Washington, Georgia, Arizona, Nevada, and South Dakota.

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Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

Based on the novel by J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring takes place in a fantasy world filled with hobbits and dark lords.

This movie, along with the others in the series, inspired much travel to New Zealand, where the movies were filmed.

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Casino Royale

James Bond’s first mission to kill as a 007 requires him to win a high-stakes poker game against a weapons dealer in Casino Royale.

Although the casino where Bond plays is located in Montenegro in the movie, the actual filming locations include Italy, the Czech Republic, England, and the Bahamas — inspiration for every kind of traveler.

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Taking place in 1930s Indochina, just as the area’s French colonial rule was ending, the plot of Indochine centers on a French woman, the Vietnamese princess she ends up raising, and the drama that ensues when they both fall in love with a French navy officer.

The movie was filmed in Malaysia and Vietnam, including Halong Bay.

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Catch Me If You Can

Catch me If You Can tells the crazy but true story about a 19-year-old man who posed as a lawyer, doctor, and pilot, all while conning millions of dollars in checks.

The movie’s main character is always jetting off to somewhere new, and the movie was filmed in three different locations: California, New York City, and Quebec.

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Seven Years in Tibet

In Seven Years in Tibet, Brad Pitt plays an Austrian explorer who befriended the Dalai Lama as China was taking over Tibet.

It’s a true story, and some of the scenes in the movie were actually filmed in Tibet. Other shooting locations include Argentina, Canada, Austria, Chile, and England.

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The Talented Mr. Ripley

Starting off in 1950s Manhattan and then moving to Italy, The Talented Mr. Ripley follows Mr. Ripley, who is sent to Italy to bring back a spoiled millionaire playboy.

The movie — filmed in Naples, Positano, Venice, Rome, and Sicily — shows Italy at its best.

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The Beach

The Beach tells the story of three 20-somethings who discover a secluded island in Thailand and then run into trouble while there.

The movie is filmed all over Thailand, including Phuket, Krabi, Bangkok, and Phi Phi Leh Island.

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The Sound of Music

The Sound of Music is a classic that was made in the ’60s but is set in 1930s Austria. It’s the story of a woman who instead of becoming a nun leaves her convent and becomes a nanny for the children of a naval officer who is also a widower.

It was filmed mostly in Salzburg, Austria, where tourists can still take a tour inspired by the movie.

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Wild focuses on one woman’s journey as she hikes the Pacific Crest Trail alone after the failure of her marriage and the death of her mother.

The movie’s scenery would make any hiker drool; it was filmed mostly in Oregon (Crater Lake National Park, Ashland, and Bend) as well as in Vancouver, Washington.

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The Endless Summer

Director Bruce Brown followed two young surfers on their quest for the perfect wave, which took them to numerous exotic locations around the world.

Filmed in Australia, Hawaii, South Africa, Ghana, New Zealand, California, Tahiti, Nigeria, and Senegal, The Endless Summer is nothing but scenes from paradise.

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Vicky Cristina Barcelona

Vicky Cristina Barcelona is all about a heated love triangle that occurs between a painter, his ex-wife, and two friends spending the summer in Spain.

You’ll not only be intrigued by the plot, but also by the idyllic Spanish countryside; the movie was filmed in Barcelona, Oviedo, and Aviles.

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Easy Rider

Easy Rider features a classic road trip across America, from Los Angeles to New Orleans, done by two bikers.

The movie was filmed where it takes place: among the desert and red rocks of the Western U.S., with some scenes in the south. Filming locations include New Mexico, California, Utah, Arizona, as well as Louisiana.

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The Descendants

Yes, the premise of The Descendants is sad — a father trying to raise his two daughters as his wife dies — but the movie is filmed in a gorgeous place: Hawaii (specifically in Hanalei, Honolulu, and Kaua’i).

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Out of Africa

Out of Africa is a love story set in Kenya between a baroness/plantation owner and a hunter. Besides Kenya, parts of the movie were also filmed in England.

The wide-open plains and big-game animals will make you want to book your next safari.

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Midnight in Paris

A writer’s trip to Paris with his fiancée and in-laws turns into a time-traveling experience in Midnight in Paris. The movie showcases Paris in all its glory by day — think Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, and outdoor street cafes — and then re-creates what the city was like during the 20s at night.

Filmed mostly all over Paris, the movie also features scenes filmed in Versailles and Giverny.

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Salmon Fishing in Yemen

In hopes of bringing fly-fishing to the desert, a Sheikh hires a consultant who then contacts a fisheries expert to help with the unusual project that Salmon Fishing in Yemen chronicles.

The movie is filmed in two very different locales: Morocco and England.

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Woody Allen plays a divorced writer in Manhattan who is dating a girl 25 years his senior and who falls in love with the mistress of one of his closest friends.

The movie was filmed all over Manhattan.

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Pirates of the Caribbean Series

Any of the five Pirates of the Caribbean movies are ideal for adventurous travelers in search of tropical paradise.

The eccentric pirates who star in the movie were filmed in the Dominican Republic, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and California.

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Y Tu Mamá También

More than just the tale of two young boys embarking on a weed-fueled road trip through Mexico, Y Tu Mamá También also tells the tale of what the boys learn along the way, after they both fall for the same older woman.

The movie was filmed in both Mexico City and Oaxaca.

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The Darjeeling Limited

Three brothers decide to take a train trip through India in hopes of reconnecting with one another a year after their father’s funeral in The Darjeeling Limited.

Plenty of entertaining things happen during their travels through Osian, Udaipur, and Jodhpur, the Indian cities where the movie was filmed.

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Amélie chronicles a young naive girl’s life in Paris as she helps others around her and falls in love.

The movie is somewhat bizarre but offers stunning views of Paris, where it was mainly filmed, along with Cologne, Germany.

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Doctor Zhivago

Doctor Zhivago is both an epic and a classic that follows the life of a Russian physician and poet during the tumultuous time of the First World War and the October Revolution as he falls in love with another woman despite being married.

The movie, lasting over three hours, wasn’t actually filmed in Russia but in Finland, Spain, and Alberta, Canada.

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L’Auberge Espagnole

The life of a young French student turns upside down when he moves from France to Barcelona, Spain, for a year and ends up living in an apartment with five other roommates who are from Germany, England, Spain, Italy, and Denmark.

The movie was filmed in both Paris and Barcelona.

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This article originally appeared on Business Insider


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