Movies have the power to take us places we’ve never seen before. And sometimes, they inspire us to actually get up and see those places for ourselves. Many of the movies on this list use the country they filmed in so well that the movie wouldn’t even be the same without it.
With all the travel movies out there, it’s inevitable to miss a few. So if you know any that I missed, let me know. In the meantime grab a bag of popcorn and prepare to travel the world from your couch. These are the movies that inspire you to travel.
The story of Frodo, his friends and their quest through middle earth. Filmed in about 150 locations all over New Zealand, this traveling movie showcases its beauty.
From the rolling hills of Matamata to the volcanic region of Mt Ruapehu, this is the best movie to see New Zealand. Also, this travel movie might have the only distinction of being inspired by travel too. Peter Jackson first read the novels on a train going from Wellington to Auckland when he was just seventeen.
2. The Third Man: The Criterion Collection (Austria)
It’s post WWII in this 1948 film noir. An out of work novelist visits Austria to see a friend. Soon his friend is dead and he gets entangled in a murder mystery that takes his through the streets of Vienna. One of the most famous shots of this travel movie includes Wiener Riesenrad, the large ferris wheel and one of Vienna’s most popular attractions.
Indiana Jones and travel are inseparable. Everyone remembers the red line on the world map that shows up on screen when he flies. The Egypt scenes in Raiders of the Lost Ark were filmed in Tunisia. In fact, the place where Indiana threatens to blow up the ark was filmed in the same location as scenes from Star Wars.
Temple of Doom was filmed mostly in Sri Lanka and Macau. The Last Crusade was filmed in Italy, Spain and Jordan including an excellent view of Petra. Unlike the others, Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was filmed almost entirely in the United States with Hawaii masquerading as the Peruvian jungle. However, their shots of Iguazu Falls are amazing.
4. Romancing the Stone / Jewel of the Nile (Columbia/fictional kingdom of Kadir)
This movie series focuses on a romance writer Joan and her adventures with a soldier of fortune named Jack. In Romancing the Stone Joan goes to Colombia to save her sister who was kidnapped.
In the sequel Joan goes to the fictional kingdom of Kadir set somewhere in the Middle East. Romancing the Stone‘s scenes were shot mostly in Mexico. For Jewel of the Nile, the scenes were mostly shot in France and Morocco.
5. The Talented Mr. Ripley (New York & Italy)
Tom Ripley is a working class young man. Through a case of mistaken identity, he is asked to go to Italy to convince a wealthy businessman’s son to come home. This travel movie starts in New York and heads to the fictitious resort of Mongibello (actually a few islands off the coast of Naples).
The last section of the movie is filmed mostly in Rome and Naples. The locations are beautiful and idyllic. They also did a good job of showing Italy as it looked in the 1960s.
6. Amelie (France)
Amelie is the title character in this romantic comedy set in Paris. The movie depicts her life and adventures as a Parisian waitress through a whimsical and surreal story. This traveling movie is filmed throughout Paris and particularly the area around Montmartre.
However, almost all the interior scenes were filmed in Germany. Amelie received criticism for depicting a largely unrealistic vision of contemporary French society, but the movie is a good source for Paris scenery.
7. Lost in Translation (Japan)
Bill Murray plays an aging actor who starts a relationship with a recent college graduate played by Scarlett Johansson. It deals with issues such as alienation, loneliness and culture shock with Japan as its backdrop.
Various locations in Tokyo and Kyoto were used including Heian Shrine and the Nanzen-ji temple. Unusually for a movie about travel, all the places mentioned in the film are the names of actual places that existed at the time of filming.
A series of seven movies about travel were filmed between 1940 and 1962. The movies starred Bob Hope, Bing Crosby and Dorothy Lamour. In order, this trio went to Singapore, Zanzibar, Morocco, Utopia, Rio, Bali and Hong Kong.
Even though none of the locations used in the movies were filmed outside of California, you’ll easily forget that as you get engrossed in the movie’s plot. Plus, their spirit of travel and adventure are inspiring to any travel fanatic.
9. National Lampoon’s European Vacation (England, France, West Germany and Italy)
This is a true move about traveling. This travel movie follows the slapstick adventures of the Griswolds as they see Europe. The number of famous landmarks included in this movie are impressive.
Shots of Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, Heathrow Airport, Eiffel Tower and the Coliseum among others are included in the film. No other movie covers Europe as well as this movie. However, all the shots of West Germany were actually filmed in Italy.
10. When Harry Met Sally (New York)
A romantic comedy starring two unlikely lovers named…well, Harry and Sally. The back and forth of their relationship is the forefront to New York’s backdrop. There are scenes taking place in Coney Island, Giant’s Stadium and Washington Square Park. The deli scene where Sally fakes an orgasm was shot in Katz’s Delicatessen in the East Village in Manhattan.