There’s nothing quite like the magic of the silver screen to inspire the quickened pulse and suitcase-based yearning we call wanderlust. Fumbling for popcorn in the darkness of the back row, we are transported to dizzying mountain tops and secluded coves. And though cinema does make a magnificent escape from the daily grumble, sometimes you have no choice but to put your money where your daydreams are and book that flight.
Let’s discover some of the most exceptional places where you can bring your cinephile fantasies into real life, with our list of the top travel destinations for film lovers.
Let’s get straight to the good stuff. When it comes to movie-inspired travel, Paris is the business. With countless winding alleyways leading to secret poetry readings and ramshackle bookstores towering several storeys high, it’s no surprise that love stories from Amelie to Midnight in Paris have chosen the city of love as their setting. Retrace Owen Wilson’s steps to self-discovery with the help of this World on Screen guide by Orbitz, and maybe you’ll find yourself on the way too! This city is truly a film lover’s dream come true.
So much more than jogging and juice bars, Vancouver has also been the setting for some top-class cinema with Deadpool and its untitled sequel topping the list. One of Canada’s most ethnically diverse cities, Vancouver has an exciting arts scene to complement its stunning cityscapes, sprawling parks and the unfathomably zen bodies of water above and below it.
Not many countries offer miles of undisturbed desert sweeping a stunning length of coast. Add to that Namibia’s glorious wildlife - including rhinos, giraffes and a sizeable population of long-limbed cheetahs - and you’ve got yourself a recipe for movie-level holiday magic. Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron headed here to film Mad Max: Fury Road, with several other big movies shot in the desert. And how could we forget Brangelina pulling Namibia into the spotlight when their first biological child, Shiloh, was born in the country.
For unrivalled fairytale wonder, try Edinburgh. Cobbled streets, a grand castle and Arthur’s (windswept) Seat make this city the ideal place to get lost like the movie extra you deserve to be. Outlander was filmed here, with its time-travel, tartan and colossal sleeves, so this whisky-tinged backdrop is just dreamy for cosplayers and fantasy fans alike.
The U.S. state of Georgia was the setting for Marvel Comics’ superhero thrillride Avengers Infinity War. With landscapes including blustery beaches, mountains and farmland, Georgia offers film fans the brightness and bustle of its capital Atlanta or the leaf-scattered parks and 18th century architecture of coastal Savannah. A little off the beaten track, Georgia has plenty to see and explore, not least the history of its important role in North America’s civil rights movement.
The setting for Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight, Colorado is a stunning place to take a trip and feel like a movie star. Picture rocky mountains bringing the drama, arid deserts and turquoise rivers that swirl through orange-striped rock. The ‘Mile High City’ of Denver is one of the state’s to-do-list toppers. Well worth exploring for some silver screen scenery.
The Princess Diaries was filmed here guys, need we say more? Alright, we will, but only ‘cause San Francisco’s CV is too impressive to ignore, with a long list of cool movies set on its sloping streets. From Basic Instinct to Blue Jasmine, via The Parent Trap, Mrs Doubtfire and The Sweetest Thing, San Fran is the kind of place where you’ll reminisce about your favourite flicks on every corner.
Though it’s not quite a Hollywood blockbuster, Dr Who still packs a punch when it comes to explosive special effects and plot twists that creep up on you like a stealthy Dalek. Filmed in beautiful Cardiff, The Doctor’s adventures go down with the green, green grass of Wales as a backdrop and the city even has a centre dedicated to the show known as the Dr Who Experience. Not a Who fan? Not a problem. Cardiff’s glamorous waterfront and gothic castles will suit any explorer seeking something cinematic.