Movies That Inspire Travel

Has a movie ever inspired your next vacation? Check out our list of films that have moved us to places all over the world in search of our own picture-perfect paradise.

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Lars Homestead, Tatooine (aka: Chott el Djerid, Tunisia)

Lars Homestead, Tatooine (aka: Chott el Djerid, Tunisia)

The iconic exterior of Luke Skywalker’s home (aka: the Lars Homestead) from Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope was filmed in the desert of Chott el Djerid, Tunisia. George Lucas returned to this location to film new scenes for Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, 28 years later. 960 1280

By Stefan Krasowski (Flickr: Algeria Tunisia Libya 042)  

Lars Homestead, Tatooine (aka: Mamata, Tunisia)

Lars Homestead, Tatooine (aka: Mamata, Tunisia)

Matmata in southern Tunisia is home to a distinctive style of underground dwellings called troglodytes.  One of these structures, The Hotel Sidi Driss, which was used as the interior for the home of Luke Skywalker on the planet Tatooine in Episode IV.   960 1280

Bernard Gagnon [GFDL or CC BY-SA 3.0]  

Various Locations on Tatooine (aka: Death Valley National Park, CA)

Various Locations on Tatooine (aka: Death Valley National Park, CA)

To add some depth to Tatooine, George Lucas shot several different scenes in Death Valley National Park, including R2D2’s run-in with the Jawas in Episode IV and exteriors of Jabba’s Palace in Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi. The majority of locations can be found off of Route 190 through the California section of the park. 960 1280

Twenty Mule Team Canyon by RoadTripWarrior - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikipedia.  

Hoth (aka: Hardangerjokulen, Norway)

Hoth (aka: Hardangerjokulen, Norway)

Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back used this spectacular glacier to portray the ice planet Hoth. The 6th largest glacier in Norway, its highest point can sometimes only be accessed by skiers due to heavy snowfall. 960 1280

Steven8 [GFDL or CC BY-SA 3.0]  

Endor (aka: Redwood National and State Parsk, CA)

Endor (aka: Redwood National and State Parsk, CA)

Used to portray the evergreen planet of Endor (home of the Ewoks) in Episode VI, the Redwood National and State Parks have become synonymous with epic speeder-bike chases for Star Wars fans everywhere. With over 133,000 acres to explore, its easy to get lost on your own interstellar-inspired journey. 960 1280

Visit California/Carol Highsmith  

Naboo Royal Palace (aka: Royal Palace of Caserta in Caserta, Italy)

Naboo Royal Palace (aka: Royal Palace of Caserta in Caserta, Italy)

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Royal Palace of Caserta served as the filming location for Queen Amidala’s royal palace on Naboo in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, as well as Queen Jamilia’s palace in Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones. Built in the 18th century in the beautiful style of the Baroque, it has affectionately become known as the Versailles of Italy. 960 1280

Livioandronico2013 [CC BY-SA 4.0]  

Theed, Naboo (aka: Plaza de Espana in Seville, Spain)

Theed, Naboo (aka: Plaza de Espana in Seville, Spain)

The Plaza de Espana in Seville, Spain was used as the backdrop for Theed, the capital of Naboo (and home of Luke and Leia’s mother, Padmé Amidala). Featured prominently in both Episode I and Episode II, the plaza was built in 1928 and heavily influenced by the Renaissance Revival style of Spanish Architecture, bringing an ancient and elegant feel to Theed. 960 1280

Gregory Zeier [GFDL or CC BY 3.0]  

Unspecified Location in Naboo (aka: Villa del Balbianello at Lake Como, Italy)

Unspecified Location in Naboo (aka: Villa del Balbianello at Lake Como, Italy)

The site of Padmé Amidala and Anakin Skywalker’s clandestine wedding in Episode II, Villa del Balbianello is located on Lake Como in the comune of Lenno, Italy. Lake Como has always been an admired retreat for the wealthy and elite, with ornate villas dating back since Roman times.  960 1280

Deror_avi [GFDL or CC BY-SA 3.0]  

Mountains of Alderaan (aka: Grindelwald, Switzerland)

Mountains of Alderaan (aka: Grindelwald, Switzerland)

While no physical filming with actors was done in the snowy alps of Grindelwald, Switzerland, footage of mountain scenery was later composited into the backdrop of the planet Alderaan, home-world of Princess Leia, in Episode III. 960 1280

Zacharie Grossen [CC BY-SA 4.0]  

Mountains of Kashyyyk (aka: Phang Nha Bay near Phuket, Thailand)

Mountains of Kashyyyk (aka: Phang Nha Bay near Phuket, Thailand)

Aerial footage of the limestone karst mountains at Phang Nga Bay in Thailand were used in Episode III as a backdrop for the approach over the Battle of Kashyyyk, one of the last few battles fought in the Clone Wars before the fall of the Republic and the rise of the Empire. 960 1280

Diego Delso [CC BY-SA 3.0]  

Unknown Star Wars Location

Unknown Star Wars Location

The plot of Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens has been kept tightly under wraps but there have been confirmed reports of new locations used for filming, including Skelling Michael in Ireland (pictured), the desert of the UAE emirate of Abu Dhabi, Scotland and Iceland. Add these new locations to your Star Wars travel itinerary as they will surely be as memorable as the last! 960 1280

Niki.L [GFDL or CC BY 3.0]  

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

This latest installment of filmmaker Peter Jackson’s epic fantasy created a huge surge of tourism in New Zealand, where about 150 locations were used for Lord of the Rings’ scenes. The mecca of all Hobbit tourism is Hobbiton, private-farmland-turned-movie-set. You can tour the 44 hobbit holes set in the picturesque rolling hills of Matamata’s countryside to see how the furry-footed creatures live. 960 1280

Jeff Hitchcock, flickr  

Anna Karenina

Anna Karenina

While this film version shows very little of Russia or its famous landmarks (much of the action takes place on a theatre stage), it still inspires opulent travel of the old world sort. The scenes of Anna Karenina traveling in a lavish train car through the snow-covered open landscapes of Russia leave us dreaming of a similar trip: a luxury train ride on the Trans-Siberian Railroad, touring historic St. Petersburg and dynamic Moscow. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Life of Pi

Life of Pi

Praised as the next Avatar due its stunning cinematography and special effects, this film adaptation of Yann Martel’s fantasy-adventure novel has sparked renewed interest in Taiwan. With mesmerizing scenes filmed at Kenting White Banyan Garden, Kenting National Park and Taipei Zoo, Taiwan is likely to be on many lists for top destinations in 2013. 960 1280

Harry Huang, flickr  

Jiro Dreams of Sushi

Jiro Dreams of Sushi

Ever booked a trip just for a meal? You might after seeing this film. This documentary follows Jiro Ono, an 85-year-old sushi master, considered to be the world’s best sushi chef. But good luck trying to get a reservation at his restaurant, Sukiyabashi Jiro, in Tokyo; reservations must be made at least a month in advance and meals start at $300 a person. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Hunger Games

Hunger Games

Super fans are insatiable when it comes to experiencing anything to do with Suzanne Collins’ novel about 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen, even flocking to the backwoods of North Carolina to see the film locations. Hunger Games Fans Tours is even offering immersive adventure weekend trips where participants learn basic survival skills like archery, shelter-building and special-effects camouflage. 960 1280

VisitNC.com  

On the Road

On the Road

We’d be remiss if we didn’t include this long-awaited film adaptation of Jack Kerouac's 1957 novel, which inspired a generation to get “on the road to nowhere.” Retrace Jack Kerouac's steps, visiting Beat landmarks across America, from New York's West Village to San Francisco's Jack Kerouac Alley. Keep the spontaneity theme going -- but skip the hitchhiking. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Skyfall

Skyfall

We’ve been envious of James Bond’s spy life ever since his exotic travels to Thailand in The Man with the Golden Gun and Sardinia in The Spy Who Loved Me. The 23rd Bond flick, Skyfall, is no less wanderlust-stirring, with dangerously alluring scenes shot in London, Scotland and Shanghai. 960 1280

Giancarlo Liguori  

Lincoln

Lincoln

History buffs and the Academy Awards alike can’t get enough of this film about our 16th president. Capturing the renewed interest in Lincoln destinations, tours are popping up this year in key cities such as Washington, DC, and Richmond, VA, retracing Lincoln’s steps and revealing history-rich locations. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

Salmon fishing in Yemen? Not so fast, warns Yemen’s tourism board after it saw a surge of interest in the activity following the release of this British romantic dramedy. While it's not exactly advisable for the average tourist to visit this Middle East country in the midst of recent civil unrest, if salmon fishing is what you’re after, try the much safer Seattle or Alaska. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

To Rome With Love

To Rome With Love

In recent years, Woody Allen’s films have inspired some serious wanderlust. In 2012 Allen followed up Vicky Cristina Barcelona and Midnight in Paris with his latest tale of love abroad, To Rome With Love. The film showcases several stories of seduction in one of the most irresistible cities in the world -- Roma! 960 1280

Thinkstock  

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

A group of British seniors check in to the newly restored Marigold Hotel in Jaipur, India, with visions of an exotic retirement, but arrive only to find the hotel on its heels. Proving that travel adventures aren't only for the young, this film shows India's dynamic and transformative appeal for all. Judi Dench's character echoes this sentiment: "India hits you like a wave. If you resist, you will be knocked down. But if you dive into it, you will be alright." 960 1280

Getty Images  

Twilight: Breaking Dawn II

Twilight: Breaking Dawn II

Cinematic merits aside, Twilight left us smitten -- and not with hunky werewolves or bloodsucking vampires but with its stunning filming locations in what is the last installment of Stephenie Meyer’s popular vampire saga. From the unspoiled La Push Beach, WA, to Alaska’s rugged Denali National Park, you don’t have to be a Twihard to feel the pull of these natural wonders. 960 1280

La Push Beach, Dave Morrow, flickr  

Photos

Anthony Bourdain visits Sardinia, his wife's homeland, and enjoys a meal after a long day of shooting. 960 1280

  

The Ghost Adventures team braved daylight to shoot each other on a water taxi in Venice. 960 1280

"Eat, Pray, Love" is a registered trademark of Columbia Pictures, and is not associated with Travel Channel.  

After a day of cycling up the Monte Grappa in Italy's Veneto region, Dhani Jones learns how to cut homemade pasta. 960 1280

"Eat, Pray, Love" is a registered trademark of Columbia Pictures, and is not associated with Travel Channel.  

Sam Brown finds herself on a quiet street in Tuscany. 960 1280

"Eat, Pray, Love" is a registered trademark of Columbia Pictures, and is not associated with Travel Channel.  

Maybe yoga aids in digesting bizarre foods. Andrew Zimmern gives it a try at the Calengute Ayurveda Center in Goa, India. 960 1280

"Eat, Pray, Love" is a registered trademark of Columbia Pictures, and is not associated with Travel Channel.  

After feasting on vegetarian cuisine, Anthony Bourdain rests on a houseboat in Kerala, India. 960 1280

"Eat, Pray, Love" is a registered trademark of Columbia Pictures, and is not associated with Travel Channel.  

An Indian woman walks in the stunning Red Fort in Delhi. 960 1280

"Eat, Pray, Love" is a registered trademark of Columbia Pictures, and is not associated with Travel Channel.  

Andrew wears traditional dress at the cremation of a high priestess in Ubud, Bali. 960 1280

"Eat, Pray, Love" is a registered trademark of Columbia Pictures, and is not associated with Travel Channel.  

Sam Brown falls in love with Bali's lush landscapes and gracious people. 960 1280

"Eat, Pray, Love" is a registered trademark of Columbia Pictures, and is not associated with Travel Channel.  

The most popular tourist destination in Indonesia, Bali is often referred to as "The Island of the Gods." 960 1280

"Eat, Pray, Love" is a registered trademark of Columbia Pictures, and is not associated with Travel Channel.  

13 Photos
The French Riviera

The French Riviera

The French Riviera is the setting for the annual Cannes Film Festival that brings Hollywood heavies to the picturesque waterfront town each year in May. 960 1280
Cannes Film Festival

Cannes Film Festival

A broad view of Cannes prior to the annual film festival in France. 960 1280

Francois Durand / Getty Images  

66th Annual Cannes Film Fest

66th Annual Cannes Film Fest

A poster of legendary actors (and real-life duo) Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward is unveiled in advance of the 66th Cannes Film Festival in May 2013. 960 1280

Ming Yeung/Getty Images  

Cannes' Picture-Perfect Beaches

Cannes' Picture-Perfect Beaches

Located in France's Côte D'Azur (French Riviera), the annual Cannes International Film Festival draws Hollywood's elite and in the summer months the same beautiful crowd comes to enjoy the town's picture-perfect beaches and chic resorts. 960 1280

Reuters  

Venice Film Festival

Venice Film Festival

When not taking in the stars and films, visitors to the Venice Film Festival can navigate the canals courtesy of a gondola ride and take a stroll over the Rialto Bridge. 960 1280

Eric Delmar  

Sundance Film Festival

Sundance Film Festival

The Sundance Film Festival is a 10-day event held every January in Park City, UT, showcasing independent movies from all over the world. Named for Robert Redford's character in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, the festival has seen Redford play an integral part in building the festival's status over the years. 960 1280

Sundance Film Festival  

Park City's Main Street

Park City's Main Street

Snowy Main Street is a hub of activity during the annual Sundance Film Festival in Park City, UT. 960 1280

Reuters  

Berlin International Film Festival

Berlin International Film Festival

The crowd buzzes at the Berlinale-Palast for the opening night of the Berlin International Film Festival. 960 1280

Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin   

Hong Kong International Film Festival

Hong Kong International Film Festival

Workers erect the largest outdoor airscreen, which is 39 feet high and 79 feet wide in Asia at the Tamar site during the Hong Kong International Film Festival. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Tribeca Film Festival

Tribeca Film Festival

Tribeca, one of downtown Manhattan's hippest neighborhoods, hosts the annual Tribeca Film Festival each year in the spring. 960 1280

Jason Rodman, flickr  

Tribeca Talks: Directors Series

Tribeca Talks: Directors Series

Film lovers line up to hear actor-director Clint Eastwood and Black Swan director Darren Aronofsky at the Tribeca Talks: Directors Series at the April 2013 festival in NYC. 960 1280

Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images  

Toronto International Film Festival

Toronto International Film Festival

Actors, filmmakers and other industry insiders head to Toronto each fall for the Toronto International Film Festival. 960 1280

Getty  

Toronto's Roy Thomson Hall

Toronto's Roy Thomson Hall

Workers prepare the red carpet area at Roy Thomson Hall for the Toronto International Film Festival in Toronto. 960 1280

Reuters  

Rooftop Movies -- Perth, Australia

Rooftop Movies -- Perth, Australia

Australia’s balmy nights just got cooler atop this rooftop oasis in Perth. You’ll have the Perth city skyline in the background while watching popular releases and cult classics. The scene at Rooftop Movies has a retro-Miami Beach feel complete with palm trees, astro turf, a series of vintage caravans from which food and drinks are served, beach chairs to lounge in and hundreds of pink flamingoes. 960 1280

Jarrad Seng  

Millennium Park -- Chicago

Millennium Park -- Chicago

Chicago?s Millennium Park is already an impressive sight, even without its new state-of-the-art 40-by-23-foot LED movie screen. The park?s latest high-tech attraction draws both Chicagoans and tourists alike to spread a blanket out on the Great Lawn for its Summer Film Series. 960 1280

  

Mirage City Cinema -- UAE

Mirage City Cinema -- UAE

Past meets future at Mirage City Cinema, with ancient Sharjah architecture in the backdrop of a modern open-air movie projection. Floor carpets, which were traditionally used in Arab cultures for relaxing, are scattered throughout the courtyard, adding to the laid-back atmosphere of the outdoor cinema space. 960 1280

Buro Ole Scheeren   

Cine Thisio -- Athens

Cine Thisio -- Athens

It has to be a surreal experience to have ancient Greek ruins in the background as you watch a summer blockbuster. Built in 1935, Cine Thisio is the oldest outdoor movie theater in Athens, with impressive views of the Acropolis and the Parthenon just beyond. 960 1280

Basil Koutroumani  

Little Italy Film Festival -- Baltimore

Little Italy Film Festival -- Baltimore

After a meal in Baltimore's Little Italy, stay for " Cinema al Fresco ," one of Little Italy's most popular events, now in its 16th year. Movies are projected on the outside wall of Ciao Bella Restaurant, and you’ll see all the Italian-themed classics from Moonstruck to Cinema Paradiso. 960 1280

VisitBaltimore.com  

Movies at the Mural -- Seattle

Movies at the Mural -- Seattle

Watch movies by moonlight with the Space Needle and the starry skies as the backdrop to Seattle’s summer Movies at the Mural. Picnic on the Mural Amphitheatre lawn, in front of a giant, state-of-the-art, 45-foot screen. 960 1280

shelmac, Flickr  

Open Air Cinema -- Bondi Beach, Australia

Open Air Cinema -- Bondi Beach, Australia

It’s no surprise that beach-loving Australians watch movies on the beach, too. Watch a film at Open Air Cinema amid views of Australia's most famous beach, Bondi Beach. Before the show begins, grab some gourmet food and drinks from a festival bar and listen to local musicians, then settle in for a full night of beachside entertainment. 960 1280

Phil Whitehouse, Flickr  

Kamari Cinema -- Santorini, Greece

Kamari Cinema -- Santorini, Greece

As in ancient times, the open-air theaters of Greece are still a part of the country’s cultural life -- and a popular way to spend a summer night. Enjoy a big fat Greek movie (at least one with Greek subtitles, anyway) at the outdoor Kamari Cinema on the Greek island of Santorini. 960 1280

Courtesy of Kamari Cinema  

Boulder Outdoor Cinema -- Boulder, CO

Boulder Outdoor Cinema -- Boulder, CO

Boulder's Outdoor Cinema is a popular summer night tradition for many outdoors lovers. While waiting for the sun to set and the movie to begin, enjoy local musicians and a trivia contest.  960 1280

Michael Totays  

St. George OpenAir Cinema -- Sydney

St. George OpenAir Cinema -- Sydney

Located at Mrs. Macquarie’s Point, St. George OpenAir Cinema offers stunning views of Sydney Harbour.  The movie screen literally rises out of Sydney Harbour. No need to pack a blanket and a picnic basket; this cinema has stadium seating and its own bars and restaurants. 960 1280

Sarah Rhodes  

Outdoor Cinema at Parc de la Villette -- Paris

Outdoor Cinema at Parc de la Villette -- Paris

How can a summer night in Paris get any more romantic? Perhaps by watching a French film on a blanket at the Parc de la Villette with a Parisian picnic of cheese, baguette and wine. 960 1280

A. Legrai  

Montjuic Castle/ SalaMontjuïc -- Barcelona

Montjuic Castle/ SalaMontjuïc -- Barcelona

Every summer Barcelona’s locals gather at the moat area at Montjuic Castle to watch classic and current movies. It wouldn’t be a Spanish night without a little music, so enjoy live music like bossa nova and flamenco before the movie starts.  960 1280

SalaMontjuïc  

Film on the Rocks -- Denver

Film on the Rocks -- Denver

Watching a film at the Red Rocks Amphitheatre is sure to be unforgettable -- this is the only naturally occurring, acoustically perfect amphitheatre in the world. Thanks to Mother Nature, the design of the amphitheatre consists of two 300-foot monoliths -- a dramatic backdrop for movie night. 960 1280

Paul Maynard  

Film Night in the Park -- San Francisco

Film Night in the Park -- San Francisco

Film buffs gather in beautiful Bay Area parks like Dolores Park for Film Night in the Park. This year's 23st season offers crowd favorites from Up to Silver Linings Playbook. 960 1280

  

Screen on the Green -- Washington, DC

Screen on the Green -- Washington, DC

The tourists might take over the National Mall in the summer, but Washingtonians take it back for the summer movie series Screen on the Green. Each event in the series attracts approximately 15,000 Washingtonians (tourist are allowed, too). Arrive early with blankets to picnic on the Mall and enjoy one of DC’s most popular summer nights out. 960 1280

Erin M, Flickr  

Film4 Summer Screen -- London

Film4 Summer Screen -- London

London's Somerset House, a spectacular neoclassical building in the heart of London near the River Thames, offers a dramatic backdrop to watch a movie under the summer night stars. Tourists and locals alike rank Film4 Summer Screen as one of the city's best things to do in the summer.   960 1280

James Bryant  

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