Movies are more than just entertainment, they can also introduce us to new cultures and inspire us to travel. Many of us have a list of places we want to visit, inspired by what we've seen on the big screen. From stunning scenery to famous landmarks, movies have made many destinations popular and well-known tourist hotspots. In this article, we'll take you on a journey to some of the most iconic movie locations around the world, showcasing places that became famous after featuring in some of the most popular movies of all time.
The list of tourist destinations that became popular because of movies shows us the immense power of cinema to capture our imaginations and encourage us to explore new and exciting places. It's important to note that many of these movies were made before the internet and social media became widely accessible. This meant that people had limited information about other countries and cultures, and movies played a crucial role in introducing them to new destinations, showing off their beauty and cultural significance, and inspiring viewers to set out on their own adventures. These films helped to shape the world's view of these places, turning them into iconic locations that continue to attract visitors from all over the world.
Mount Everest, Nepal - The Conquest of Everest(1953)
Mount Everest, the highest mountain in the world, has been a popular tourist destination for trekkers and mountaineers for decades. However, it gained worldwide recognition after the documentary film "The Conquest of Everest" was released in 1953. The film documented the first successful ascent of Mount Everest by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay, making it a popular tourist destination for adventurous souls.
Fatehpur Sikri, Uttar Pradesh - Mughal-e-Azam (1960)
Fatehpur Sikri is a stunning palace complex located in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. It was built in the 16th century by Emperor Akbar and was the capital of the Mughal Empire for a brief period. The palace is known for its intricate architecture, stunning courtyards, and beautiful gardens.
Fatehpur Sikri gained worldwide fame thanks to its appearance in the classic Bollywood film "Mughal-e-Azam." The film features several scenes shot within the palace complex, which helped introduce its stunning architecture and rich history to a global audience.
Today, Fatehpur Sikri is a popular tourist attraction, drawing visitors from around the world who come to marvel at its intricate architecture and learn about its fascinating history as a center of Mughal power and culture.
Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany - Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968)
Neuschwanstein Castle, located in Bavaria, Germany, is a beautiful 19th-century castle that was built for King Ludwig II of Bavaria. The castle is known for its stunning architecture and picturesque location, making it a popular tourist destination. However, it gained worldwide recognition after featuring in the popular musical movie "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" in 1968. The castle was shown as the home of the evil Baron Bomburst, making it a must-visit destination for movie buffs.
The Trevi Fountain, Rome - La Dolce Vita (1960)
The Trevi Fountain, located in the heart of Rome, is one of the most iconic landmarks in Italy. The fountain is known for its stunning Baroque architecture and is a popular tourist destination. However, it gained worldwide recognition after featuring in the iconic movie "La Dolce Vita" in 1960. The movie showcased the fountain in all its glory, making it a must-visit destination for movie buffs and tourists alike.
Salzburg, Austria - The Sound of Music (1965)
Salzburg, a picturesque city in Austria, is known for its stunning architecture and rich cultural heritage. The city is a popular tourist destination and is known for its beautiful palaces, churches, and museums. However, it gained worldwide recognition after featuring in the iconic movie "The Sound of Music" in 1965. The movie showcased the beauty of the city and its surroundings, making it a must-visit destination for movie buffs and music lovers.
The Empire State Building, New York, USA - King Kong (1933)
The Empire State Building, located in the heart of New York City, is one of the most iconic landmarks in the world. The building is known for its stunning Art Deco architecture and is a popular tourist destination. However, it gained worldwide recognition after featuring in the classic movie "King Kong" in 1933. The movie showcased the building in all its glory, making it a must-visit destination for movie buffs and tourists alike.
Casablanca, Morocco - Casablanca (1942)
Casablanca, a vibrant city in Morocco, is known for its stunning architecture, bustling markets, and rich cultural heritage. The city is a popular tourist destination and is known for its beautiful mosques, palaces, and museums. However, it gained worldwide recognition after featuring in the classic movie "Casablanca" in 1942. The movie showcased the beauty of the city and its surroundings, making it a must-visit destination for movie buffs and fans of the movie.
The Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, USA - Vertigo (1958)
The Golden Gate Bridge, located in San Francisco, California, is one of the most iconic landmarks in the world. The bridge is known for its stunning Art Deco architecture and is a popular tourist destination. However, it gained worldwide recognition after featuring in the classic movie "Vertigo" in 1958. The movie showcased the bridge in all its glory.
The Eiffel Tower, Paris - An American in Paris (1951)
The Eiffel Tower is one of the most recognizable landmarks in the world, and it owes much of its fame to the classic film "An American in Paris." The movie features a famous dance sequence set against the backdrop of the tower, which helped cement it as a symbol of romance and sophistication.
Today, the Eiffel Tower is one of the most visited tourist attractions in the world, drawing millions of visitors each year who come to marvel at its intricate lattice structure and breathtaking views of the city.
The Colosseum, Rome - Ben-Hur (1959)
The Colosseum is one of the most iconic structures in Rome, and its fame is due in large part to the classic movie "Ben-Hur." The film features a thrilling chariot race that takes place in the Colosseum, which helped cement its status as a symbol of ancient Rome and its legacy of gladiatorial combat.
Today, the Colosseum is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Italy, drawing millions of visitors each year who come to marvel at its massive size and learn about its storied history.
Lake Palace, Udaipur - Octopussy(1983)
Lake Palace in Udaipur, India, became famous after it was featured in the 1983 James Bond movie "Octopussy." The Lake Palace is a luxury hotel located in the middle of Lake Pichola in Udaipur, Rajasthan. Maharana Jagat Singh II of Udaipur originally built it as a summer palace in the 18th century, but it was later converted into a hotel in the 1960s. Despite its association with the film, the Lake Palace continued to attract visitors throughout the 1990s due to its picturesque location and luxurious accommodations.
Matheran, Maharashtra - Bombay (1995)
Matheran is a hill station located in Maharashtra and is a popular weekend getaway for people in Mumbai. It is known for its toy train, lush greenery, and panoramic views of the Western Ghats. The film Bombay, directed by Mani Ratnam, features Matheran in one of its songs, "Hamma Hamma". The song was a chartbuster and helped put Matheran on the map as a tourist destination.
Gangotri Glacier in Uttarakhand- Ram Teri Ganga Maili (1985)
The Gangotri Glacier, located in the Indian state of Uttarakhand, is one of the most iconic natural wonders in the country. The glacier is the source of the Ganges River, which is considered sacred by Hindus. The Gangotri Glacier gained widespread recognition and popularity after it was featured in the classic Bollywood film "Ram Teri Ganga Maili" in 1985. The film, directed by Raj Kapoor, tells the story of a young woman who travels to Gangotri with her mother's ashes to immerse them in the holy river. The stunning landscape and picturesque surroundings of the Gangotri Glacier captured in the movie left an indelible mark on audiences and inspired many to visit the site. Today, the Gangotri Glacier is a popular destination for tourists, adventure enthusiasts, and devotees who come to witness its pristine beauty and spiritual significance.
Scotland - Braveheart (1995)
Braveheart is a historical epic directed by and starring Mel Gibson, which tells the story of Scottish hero William Wallace and his struggle against English rule. The film was shot on location in Scotland, featuring stunning landscapes, castles, and battle scenes. The film's success helped boost Scotland's tourism industry, with visitors flocking to see the locations featured in the movie, such as Edinburgh Castle, Glen Coe, and Loch Leven.
The Plaza Hotel, New York, USA - Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992)
The Plaza Hotel is a luxury hotel located in New York City, which has been featured in numerous films over the years. One of the most famous of these is Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, where the young protagonist, Kevin McCallister, stays in the hotel during his adventures in the city. The movie showcases the hotel's lavish interiors and iconic exterior, making it a popular tourist spot for those looking to relive the classic film.
Kualoa Ranch, Hawaii, USA - Jurassic Park (1993)
Kualoa Ranch is a private nature reserve located on the Hawaiian island of Oahu, which offers visitors the chance to explore the island's stunning natural beauty. The ranch gained international fame after being featured in the blockbuster film Jurassic Park, which tells the story of a group of scientists who create a theme park filled with genetically cloned dinosaurs. The movie's breathtaking landscapes and exciting action scenes were shot on location at the ranch, making it a must-visit destination for fans of the movie.
Monument Valley, Utah, USA - Forrest Gump (1994)
Monument Valley is a stunning desert landscape located on the border of Arizona and Utah, which has been featured in numerous films and TV shows over the years. One of the most famous of these is Forrest Gump, which tells the story of a simple man who finds himself at the center of some of the most significant moments in American history. The movie's iconic running scenes were filmed on location at Monument Valley, showcasing the stunning natural beauty of the area and making it a popular tourist spot.
Florence, Italy - A Room with a View (1985)
The beautiful city of Florence in Italy is another popular tourist destination that owes its popularity to a movie. The 1985 film "A Room with a View" is set in the city and features many of its iconic landmarks, including the Ponte Vecchio and the Piazza della Signoria. The movie follows a young Englishwoman, Lucy Honeychurch, as she navigates her way through the complexities of love and society in Edwardian-era Italy.
The film has since become a cult classic and has led to a surge in tourism to Florence. Visitors flock to the city to experience the same sights and sounds as Lucy did in the movie. They can visit the beautiful churches, palaces, and art galleries that feature prominently in the film, or simply wander the charming streets and alleyways that make up this beautiful city.
Petra, Jordan - Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)
The ancient city of Petra in Jordan is another popular tourist destination that owes its fame to a movie. In the 1989 film "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade," Petra was used as the location for the mythical city of the Holy Grail. The film showcased the magnificent Treasury building, which was carved into the rock face of the city's canyon, and has since become one of the most iconic movie scenes of all time.
The film put Petra on the map as a tourist destination, and visitors from all over the world now come to marvel at its ancient architecture and stunning natural beauty. The site is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the most visited tourist attractions in the Middle East.
Himeji Castle, Japan - The Last Samurai (2003)
The stunning Himeji Castle, located in the Hyogo Prefecture of Japan, was featured prominently in the Tom Cruise-starring film "The Last Samurai." The castle, which is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Japan, served as the primary filming location for the movie's climactic battle scene.
The castle, which is also known as the White Heron Castle due to its striking white exterior, dates back to the 14th century and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Visitors to the castle can explore its many towers, gates, and buildings, and learn about its rich history as a military fortress and center of political power.
In addition to its starring role in "The Last Samurai," Himeji Castle has been featured in numerous other films and television shows over the years, cementing its status as one of Japan's most iconic landmarks.
Angkor Wat temple, Cambodia - Lara Croft: Tomb Raider(2001)
The 2001 movie "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider" starring Angelina Jolie was largely filmed on location at the Angkor Wat temple complex in Cambodia. The film showcased the breathtaking beauty and intricate architecture of the ancient Khmer Empire, particularly the famous Angkor Wat temple. The movie's popularity helped to spark a renewed interest in the region's history and culture, drawing in tourists from all over the world who were eager to explore the ancient temples and ruins themselves. Today, Angkor Wat is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Southeast Asia, attracting millions of visitors each year who come to admire its awe-inspiring beauty and rich history.
Hobbiton, New Zealand - The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (2001-2003)
Hobbiton is a real-life movie set located in Matamata, New Zealand, that was used in the filming of the iconic Lord of the Rings trilogy. It was originally built as a temporary set for the films, but was so beloved by fans that it was turned into a permanent attraction after filming was completed.
Visitors to Hobbiton can take guided tours of the set, which includes 44 hobbit holes, the Mill, the Green Dragon Inn, and other iconic locations from the films. The set has been meticulously maintained and is surrounded by lush, rolling hills that look like they could have been pulled straight from the pages of J.R.R. Tolkien's novels.
Hobbiton has become a top tourist destination in New Zealand, drawing fans of the books and films from around the world. Visitors can enjoy a variety of experiences on the set, from taking a leisurely stroll through the Shire to sampling the local ale at the Green Dragon Inn. The site has also hosted a number of special events over the years, including weddings, corporate retreats, and even private movie screenings.
Conclusion: Movies have the power to transport us to new and exciting places, and to inspire us to travel and explore the world around us. The tourist destinations listed here are just a few examples of the many places that have become popular worldwide due to the magic of the movies. Whether you're a film buff, a history lover, or simply a curious traveler, there's no shortage of amazing destinations out there waiting to be discovered.
[There are more places that can be added to the list based on user requests in the comments section.]