For movie buffs, travel can be an exciting chance to see some of the real-life settings of favorite films. From Italy to Egypt and Austria to India and beyond, recognizable locations from iconic movie scenes can be found all over the world. Here are some of our favorite movies and settings that you can spot while on tour with Odysseys Unlimited.
1. New Zealand – The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit Trilogies
New Zealand is home to towering mountains, dense woodlands, and unspoiled coastal views; within the South Island’s rolling hills lies Fiordland National Park, where director Peter Jackson filmed The Lord of the Rings’ Fangorn Forest. On New Zealand’s North Island, the fantasy town of Hobbiton has been recreated for tourists, allowing full immersion into the world of Middle-Earth. On our New Zealand Adventure and Exploring Australia & New Zealand tours, we visit many of the areas used for filming The Lord of the Rings, including Fiordland National Park and areas around Wellington, Queenstown, and Lake Wakatipu.
Austria was invaded by Germany in 1938 and then occupied by the Allies and Soviets from 1945-1955, a story made familiar by the 1965 musical The Sound of Music, starring Julia Andrews. The sweeping mountain views, fields of flowers, and luxurious palaces and gardens of this film all live in Salzburg, a riverside jewel on the border of Austria and Germany, where we spend three nights on our Alpine Splendor: Switzerland and Austriatour.
George R. R. Martin fans may find the medieval walls and looming towers of Dubrovnik familiar, and for good reason – the city was the main filming location for King’s Landing, the capital of the fictional land in Game of Thrones, the author’s immensely popular TV show. The narrow streets, stone buildings, and fantasy-esque views of the Adriatic Sea made this Croatian city the perfect setting for the capital of the Seven Kingdoms and the home of the Iron Throne. We enjoy this kingdom by the sea for three nights in our Pearls of Dalmatiatour.
An iconic romantic comedy from the 1950s, Roman Holiday was one of Audrey Hepburn’s breakout roles; in fact, she won an Academy Award for Best Actress for the role in 1953. The film highlights many locations in Rome, including Via Margutta 51, the street where newspaperman Joe Bradley’s (Gregory Peck) apartment is located; Sala Grande Galleria, where Ann (spoilers!) chooses duty over love; and one of the most unforgettable locations, the Mouth of Truth, the carved stone face that bites the hands off of liars. The mysterious face – in reality, just an ancient drain cover – can be found in the church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin, Piazza Bocca della Verita. Click here to view all of our tours that visit Rome and get a chance to visit some of these sites in-person.
As one of the biggest internationally successful French films to date, Amélie perfectly captures the romantic magic of Paris, utilizing recognizable locations to emphasize the movie’s setting, such as Café des Deux Moulins, the café where Amélie herself was a waitress; Canal Saint-Martin, with its iconic green bridge; Gare de l’Est, one of six large railway stations in Paris; Sacré-Cœur, the famous Basilica reminiscent of Byzantine architecture; and Rue Lepic, an ancient and lively street in Montmartre. We visit Paris in several of our tours; click here to see them all.
Described as a “love song to the city of Delhi and a portrait of modern, cosmopolitan India” by director Mira Nair, Monsoon Wedding showcases the best of Old and New Delhi in its principal photography, while two-thirds of the film was shot at an affluent farmhouse on the city’s outskirts. The exteriors of old Mughal Delhi and the charming wedding sari-shops around Karol Bagh may be familiar for fans of this film, since many shots were taken around these areas. We spend four nights total in Delhi during our Mystical Indiatour.
The 1978 film adaption of Agatha Christie’s novel Death on the Nile features locations familiar to anyone who has visited Egypt or has even a passing interest in the country. The pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx make obvious appearances, while the hotel where the characters stay, the Sofitel Legend Old Cataract Aswan, is just a short distance from where we explore the ancient city of Aswan during our Egypt & the Eternal Nile tour.