Need some inspiration for your next travel adventures? Head to these film locations and pretend you’re in a movie for a day!
If you haven’t already noticed, we’re big fans of movies and are constantly on the lookout for new shows to binge. Cosying up at home on a rainy day with some popcorn and a new film is an absolute dream. Something else we love? Travel. Put that all together and you get this list of movie and film locations that you can actually visit! If you want to put a sprinkle of fantasy into your next travel itinerary, look no further.
Film locations and movie destinations around the world
Did you fall in love with the gothic-style exterior of the Nevermore Academy? Well, the real-life castle that plays home to the school of outcasts is open for the public to visit. The Cantacuzino Castle in Busteni, Romania was built at the wish of Prince Gheorghe Grigore Cantacuzino. The building is made of brick and stone in a neo-Romanian style. Decorated with stained glass, marble and mosaics, the aristocratic charm makes it perfect for weddings and photoshoots. While some of the castle’s facade had been tweaked with CGI to suit the mood of the show, it doesn’t take away from how breathtaking it is. Dine at the on-site restaurant and plan archery or hiking activities at its adventure park.
2. Black Panther
This movie surely needs no introduction. We can’t be the only ones that teared up at the final scene of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever as we mourned the late Chadwick Boseman. But in his legacy is this iconic series of movies. There are a plethora of filming locations to discover. In South Korea, visit the local Jagalchi Market in Busan and feast on fresh seafood. Or admire the Gwangan Diamond Bridge where the epic car chase took place. We highly recommend viewing it at night when the thousands of LED lights present a breathtaking lighting display on the bridge.
While very little of the movie was actually filmed in Africa, there are key landmarks to explore. The Rwenzori Mountains, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, and Lake Bunyonyi are must-sees. And we can’t forget Warrior Falls, where the battle for the Wakandan throne takes place. Its real-life counterpart is Iguazu Falls on the border of Argentina and Brazil. As for the second movie, reenact those picturesque beach scenes in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
3. Avatar 2: The Way of the Water
We hope the next movie doesn’t take another 10 years to complete. But if it does, just visit these real-life sites that paint a vibrant picture of the world of Pandora. We’re starting off with the floating Hallelujah mountains where the Omatikaya clan migrated to. It’s inspired by the stunning Zhangjiajie National Park in the Hunan Province in China. Also known as the forest park, the pillar-like mountains are quite the sight. You can also visit the more accessible Huangshan Mountains. It has more offers for tours, activities, and accommodations. Plus it’s just as gorgeous!
And if the unique bioluminescence of the Na’vi fascinates you, there are several real-life spots to see this phenomenon in action. Take a tour boat out into the Bioluminescent Lagoon in Falmouth, Jamaica. The phosphorous-rich waters mean bursts of illumination to swim in!
4. Howl’s Moving Castle
We’re not limiting ourselves to live-action stuff, oh no. There are some animated films and movies that we love and absolutely deserve a shoutout. Studio Ghibli fans have probably watched (or at least heard of) Howl’s Moving Castle. If you dream about roaming the colourful neighbourhood of Ingary, you can! Sophie’s hometown of Market Chipping is inspired by France’s very own fairytale town of Colmar. It’s filled with folklore and has a rich history. It has numerous architectural landmarks, including the Unterlinden Museum which houses the Isenheim Altarpiece. Colmar is also known as the Alsatian wine capital, so head there for wine tastings and tours. We can’t promise that Howl Pendragon will be there to greet you. But it’s always fun to pretend, right?
5. Money Heist
Who can forget the very thrilling saga of bandits pulling a Robin Hood-styled heist? Not just once, but twice! The excitement that went on behind the fictional closed doors of the Spanish Royal Mint was talked about for months after the show wrapped up its first season. While the actual mint itself is not open to the public, you can visit the museum. Casa de la Moneda Museum is considered one of the most important in the world. It showcases the history of money from its origins to the present day. There’s also a major collection of coins, medals, models, dyes, and mint machinery.
The soundtrack from this movie still gets replayed from time to time in our playlist. Coupled with the incredibly spirited depictions of the Day of the Dead celebration, it’s a must-watch. There’s a little town in Mexico that resembles the village! Santa Fe de la Laguna is one of the oldest towns in Michoacan, and is the key inspiration for the movie’s setting. They say travelling to this town is like travelling back in time. It’s a preservation of the culture and customs of the Purepecha people who inhabit the neighbourhood. It was also home to Mama Salud, who is believed to be the inspiration for the beloved abuela Coco. She’s since passed on but you might see memorabilia of her around the town.
7. Ready or Not
Yes, we found the spooky mansion featured in the comedy-horror movie Ready or Not. Watching Grace navigate countless winding hallways and secret doors left our hearts palpitating. But it definitely didn’t stop us from wanting to visit. For anyone that’s keen to explore the building, it’s available for tours. Casa Loma is a treasured castle located in Canada. And makes for a perfect backdrop to this hide-and-seek game with a twist. Get a unique perspective into what life was like in Toronto in the early 20th century. With three floors and over 90 rooms, we can’t imagine what it’s like being chased around this mansion.
8. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery
This was arguably one of our favourite movies in 2022. Benoit Blanc makes a comeback to solve yet another strange mystery. This time, it involves a group of socialites gathered on a private island with mysterious deaths and so much backstabbing. We fell in love with the dreamy location, which seemed like an oasis (if you ignore all the deaths).
So imagine our excitement when we found out that the film location aka Miles Bron’s holiday home is available for stays! This is definitely one for luxury seekers. Reenact the tech billionaire’s private party at this opulent retreat, sans the glass onion. Villa 20 is an elegant representation of indoor-outdoor living. There’s an indoor spa, six pools, multiple dining rooms, and a Greek taverna sitting under olive trees. And with a little bit of effort, you can carry out your very own whodunit.
What do you get when you combine stunning visuals, relatable characters, an empowering message, and a catchy soundtrack? Moana, of course. Fun fact: this movie was the first ever Disney film to be dubbed into Maori! There are a number of islands that inspired this animated beauty, so just take your pick. The Tetiaroa in French Polynesia was a key reference point for the fictional land of Motunui. Take respite in The Brando resort, be surrounded by a thriving ecosystem, and discover Polynesian culture. Or head to the spot that inspired it all – Samoa. The white sand beaches and deep blue oceans make the perfect backdrop for an island getaway.
You may not be transported to a fantasy world, but pay these film locations a visit and it’ll be like starring in your very own movie!