Amazing Movie Locations
The ultimate movies are full of amazing, stunning, and out-of-this-world visuals that you never expect to feast your eyes on. Some of the most awe-inspiring sets in cinema history might sit comfortably at Disneyland or Universal Studios, but when directors are looking for jaw-dropping vistas, there is never a substitute for the real thing. Even in a world where CGI is used more often than not, there’s still a treasure trove of fantastic movie locations found all over the world. From the magic of Hogwarts to the wild, lawlessness of the Wasteland with a few stops along the way, here are our 10 amazing movie locations to visit in the world to help you plan your next cinephile vacation.
1. Middle Earth
For many, New Zealand is Middle Earth, and it’s no surprise that anyone who loves both movies and travel recommends taking the next flight over and recreating Frodo and Sam’s epic journey, although hopefully with fewer encounters with giant spiders.
Visit Matamata for Hobbiton, Mount Ruapehu for Mordor, and the Southern Alps to find where Gollum spend 500 years hiding The Ring from pesky prying eyes.
What Movie? The Lord of the Rings / The Hobbit
Where? New Zealand
Another classic tale of magic, Hogwarts has inspired a generation of kids to get in touch with their imagination, and even if you’re not a Potter fan yourself, your kids and partner may do nothing but eat, sleep, and breathe Harry Potter.
Seeing the world of Harry Potter gives you a chance to experience England, too, and while you’ll find the Great Hall at Gloucester Cathedral, there’s also plenty more magic to discover along the way.
What Movie? Harry Potter Series
Where? Oxford, Gloucester, Northumberland, London
3. The Beach
From a story of a paradise that quickly devolves into a nightmare, Koh Phi Phi Leh in Thailand has attracted tourists from all over the world for years and the sheer beauty of the island feels like an oasis.
Currently, the beach is closed to allow the wildlife to come back and to give the area some much-needed time to regenerate, but once it reopens, you have to see it, the whole place is breathtaking in ways only Asia knows how to deliver.
What Movie? The Beach (duh)
Where? Koh Phi Phi Leh, Thailand
4. Tomb Raider
Angkor Wat in Cambodia was, once upon a time, a mighty civilization that fell into memory and was eventually forgotten until just recently. It was also the set of the opening scenes of the first Tomb Raider movie, which has helped spread its legend.
Tours around the huge site are available, and if you can make it there for sunrise, you will see something you’ll never forget. Just pray it’s clear skies as you wait by the lake.
What Movie? Tomb Raider (double duh)
Where? Angkor Wat, Cambodia
5. Jurassic Park
Life finds a way and taking plane, boat, or helicopter to Hawaii, specifically Kualoa Ranch, will throw you into the heart of the famous franchise without worrying about getting chased down by ravenous dinos.
Here, you’re surrounded by thick jungles, waterfalls, some of the most beautiful mountains in the USA, and rushing rivers so there’s something for all types of tourists. We’d also recommend the National Tropical Botanical Garden, too.
What Movie? Jurassic Park (triple duh)
6. The Wasteland
At 80 million years old, the Namib Desert is the oldest desert on the planet which even if you’ve never seen Mad Max is reason enough to visit. Don’t be fooled by the chaotic violence of the franchise, though, as there’s plenty of wonders to find here.
Besides the red sands, you’ll find a unique phenomenon of ocean meeting desert, and considering the lack of knowledge surrounding Namibia as a whole, it’s likely you won’t be stuck waiting around with groups of other tourists, too.
What Movie? Mad Max
Where? Namib Desert, Namibia
You might remember Avatar as having some of the most stunning, mind-blowing special effects ever, but while you can’t visit the real Pandora, you can visit the place that inspired it.
In the Hunan Province, you’ll find Zhangjiajie National Park which includes hiking trails and huge sandstone quartz pillars which you can navigate around if you’ve got the bottle for it.
What Movie? Avatar
8. A South American Road Trip
Recreate Che Guevara’s revolutionary journey seen in The Motorcycle Diaries by visiting Argentina, Chile, Peru, and Venezuela (well, maybe not the last one right now).
You can go by bus or make it really authentic by purchasing a motorcycle of your own, but don’t be fooled by the assumption South America is hot, and remember to take a windbreaker jacket, especially if you want to take the trek through the jungle to the top of Machu Picchu ruins.
What Movie? The Motorcycle Diaries
Where? Argentina, Chile, Machu Picchu, and Venezuela
9. Yavin IV
Celebrate the fall of the Empire at ancient Mayan temples found in the Return of the Jedi. legend has it that George Lucas decided this was the place he wanted to set the rebel base for the final (at the time) installment of the epic space opera, and if you see everything you can before going home, Guatemala has plenty of ruins for you to check out besides this.
What Movie? Star Wars: Return of the Jedi
Where? Tikal National Park, Guatemala
10. The Vietnam War
The Horror, the horror is the final lines of the Francis Ford Coppola’s epic and wholly depressing masterpiece but there is nothing horrific about where it was filmed.
Filmed in Luzon, in the northern part of over 7000 islands, you can explore the jungles of Southeast Asia, but more recently, this area has emerged as a go-to spot for surfing, so bring your surfing wetsuit. If you’re a history buff but also love to get the blood pumping and catch some sun, this could very well be the place you’ve been looking for.
What Movie? Apocalypse Now
From The Silver Screen To Right In Front Of Your Eyes
True cinephiles have a plethora of spectacular locations to seek out and explore all over the world, and while our choices don’t even begin to cover the vast possibilities of the thousands of movie locations around the world, it wets your whistle and gives you a taste from everything from cozy, homey places to take a break to ancient civilizations that will still stand long after you’ve left it behind.
- 10 Greatest Movie Locations of All Time – Tripbase
- 15 Real Movie Locations You Can Actually Visit – Mental Floss
- 20 Famous Movie Scene Locations That You Can Actually Visit – The Travel