Isn’t it amazing how that sparsely-populated, rocky outcrop in the middle of nowhere suddenly becomes interesting when it’s the setting for the latest blockbuster big-screen smash? Don’t worry – we won’t judge you.
Here are 10 of the holiday destinations inspired by the silver screen that you just can’t miss.
The Land of La La Land | Los Angeles, United States
The musical comedy-drama La La Land was described as a “love letter” to Los Angeles. You will certainly find no shortage of locations here from the film, including Cathy’s Corner on Mount Hollywood Drive – the site for the six-minute song-and-dance number “A Lovely Night” – and Warner Bros Studios, Burbank, where Mia (Emma Stone) works at the coffee shop.
Meddle in Middle Earth | Wellington, New Zealand
New Zealand’s compact capital may have long had no shortage of admirers, but a whole new industry for Lord of the Rings tours has sprung up in recent years, inspired by the franchise’s use of this part of the world’s incredible scenery to depict Middle Earth.
Get Vocal with Mamma Mia | Crete, Greece
In truth, the 2008 adaptation of the long-running West End and Broadway musical Mamma Mia!, starring Meryl Streep and Pierce Brosnan, was filmed on various Greek islands. However, many visitors centre their break themed around the film on the largest and most populous of them all – Crete. With all of that romantic scenery and clear blue sea, it’s sort of hard to blame them.
Try a Date or 50 | Oahu, Hawaii
There have surely been few finer tributes in recent years to the laidback Hawaiian culture and way of life than the 2004 Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore romantic comedy 50 First Dates. It was largely shot on the third largest of the Hawaiian Islands, Oahu or “The Gathering Place”, on the Windward Side and the North Shore. But there are plenty more iconic TV programs and movies associated with Oahu, ranging from Godzilla and Lost to Pearl Harbor and Jurassic Park.
"You're a Wizard, Harry" | London, United Kingdom
The English capital has, of course, featured in a seemingly endless list of legendary films, so let’s focus on just one franchise that has drawn an especially large number of movie-goers to this heaving metropolis in recent years: the Harry Potter series. Head to King’s Cross train station to see Platform 9¾, where you can take a snap of yourself with a trolley apparently disappearing into the wall - like Harry’s did.
Ahh, 1920's | Paris, France
Staying with the big European cities, the City of Love is a natural place to take a cinematic-themed break for all kinds of reasons. However, one of the most memorable depictions of the French capital in film in recent years has to be in Midnight in Paris, the romantic comedy written and directed by Woody Allen. The film is largely set in the gorgeous Palace of Versailles outside the city, although the Rodin and Orangerie museums were among the other filming locations.
Cya, Society | Alaska, United States
If you badly need an antidote to your usual city break, it’s hard to think of a better choice than the Alaskan wilderness, where late traveler Chris McCandless embarked on an ill-fated hike in April 1992. His story was immortalized in 2007’s Into the Wild, with the likes of the Stampede Trail and ‘Magic Bus’ where he spent his last days having long drawn many admirers of his love for adventure.
Divorce Less Dull | Bali, Indonesia
One of the key themes of the 2010 romantic comedy Eat Pray Love – starring Julia Roberts – is the sheer beauty of Bali, which assists the central character Elizabeth Gilbert in rediscovering her zest for life. A tour around the Balinese island of Ubud could provide you with the perfect spiritual experience and an insight into Balinese culture, not merely a chance to visit filming locations.
So Much for 'Twilight Years' | Rajasthan, India
British comedy-drama The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel was largely shot in this Indian state, including the cities of Jaipur and Udaipur. It is the former where you will find the Marigold flower market, while located an hour from the latter city is the ‘Marigold’ itself, which is actually the charming rural palace of Ravla Khempur.
Translation? Who Needs it, Anyway| Tokyo, Japan
How about we end this list with another big city? The Japanese capital provides quite the alluring backdrop for Sofia Coppola’s acclaimed 2003 film Lost in Translation. Key locations include the Park Hyatt hotel with its stunning views of the city skyline, and the Shabu Zen restaurant where the central characters Bob (Bill Murray) and Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson) first come into conflict.
What are some of your own favorites that we might have missed off the list? Let us know!