Have you ever watched your favorite movie and contemplated on going to the exact locations it was filmed? How awesome would it be to sit in the Great Hall where Harry Potter and his pals discussed their next big adventure or find yourself in "Middle-Earth," a picturesque village of lush farmland where you'll find over 40 hobbit holes?
If your cherished movie wasn't filmed at a Hollywood studio or used a green screen for the entirety of the film, chances are you can travel to the exact place it was shot. Directors chose to shoot films in different places across the world, so it may even be a chance for you to discover a part of the world you'd never thought of going too. How amazing would it be to go to a country like Cambodia, where Lara Croft: Tomb Raider was filmed and walk through the awe-inspiring ancient temples all covered in vines? Or, travel to Skiathos, Greece, and belt out an ABBA hit like the cast of Mamma Mia!
We've listed 25 actual places from 25 different movies you'd want to travel too. Even if these aren't your favorite films, you should still consider traveling to these parts of the world to get a little taste of their culture and experience something new.
25 Harry Potter, Christ Church College, Oxford
The Harry Potter films have fascinated people for years and still do to this day. The eight movies, based on J.K. Rowling's seven books were filmed in England and most of the locations can be visited today. One of the most prominent locations was centered in one of the world's oldest universities, Oxford, however, Potter fans will know that it's Christ Church College that is most recognizable in the films. The college's grand staircase is featured in both The Sorcerer's Stone and The Chamber of Secrets, you can notice the college's cloisters pop up in the first film, and the grand and glorious Great Hall was the inspiration for the Great Hall of Hogwarts.
24 Jaws, Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts
Director Steven Spielberg put fear in the minds of many people about what could be lurking in the waters when the popular film Jaws was released in 1975. The world's most famous shark film was actually set on the blue waters of Martha's Vineyard, an island in Massachusetts that is only accessible by boat or air. According to Curbed, Spielberg was in search of "a vacation area that was lower middle class enough so that the appearance of a shark would destroy the tourist business." However, Martha's Vineyard is now known as a very upscale summer colony. One of the most well-known sights on Martha's Vineyard from the film is the bridge, which people are not allowed to jump off of, but still do as a "summer rite of passage."
23 Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade, Petra, Jordan
Walking through this famous archeological site in Petra, Jordan is breathtaking. Located in Jordan's southwestern desert, the city contains awe-inspiring tombs and temples carved right into pink sandstone cliffs. One of the city's most famous structures is the Al-Khazneh, a temple with intricate carving and a Greek-style facade. It's no wonder director Steven Spielberg chose this location for the third installment of the Indiana Jones series, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. The Al-Khazneh, which was known as the "Canyon of the Crescent Moon" in the film was where the Holy Grail was supposedly housed.
22 Angels And Demons, Vatican City
Angels and Demons, based on Dan Brown's 2000 novel, follows protagonist Robert Langdon, played by Tom Hanks, as he tries to stop a suspected plot by the secret society, The Illuminati from destroying the Vatican. While we see Hanks race against time to uncover the plot in and around the Vatican City, production wasn't actually filmed in the Holy See. In fact, the Catholic Church refused to let the movie be filmed in the Vatican or in any churches in Rome after anger spewed over The Da Vinci Code. However, to reconstruct the Vatican City, a team of people were sent and acted like tourists taking photos of the Vatican so that it would help digital effects specialists create the real thing.
21 X-Men, Gooderham Worts Distillery, Toronto, Canada
Director Bryan Singer's fantasy and science fiction movie X-Men is set in New York, however, it was mostly filmed in Ontario, Canada. The opening scene of the film takes place in 1944 in Poland, at a concentration camp, where a young Magneto is separated from his mother and father and shows his magnetic powers. The scene was actually filmed in Toronto, Canada, at the Gooderham and Wort Distillery, which was once one of the largest distillers in the British Empire. Today, the area is now an entertainment district and the sign, as well as the buildings, are surrounding area has been well preserved since the 1860s.
20 The Shining, Timberline Lodge
The Shining is not for the light-hearted, but if you've found the courage to see this thriller, starring Jack Nicholson, then you might remember the Timberline Lodge, which acted as the exterior of the eerie "Outlook Hotel." The terrorizing movie follows a family who heads to an isolated hotel where the father, Jack Torrance, played by Nicholson, becomes violent because of an evil spiritual presence and his psychic son sees predictions from the past and future. The movie wasn't filmed inside the Timberline Lodge, it was actually filmed in Elstree Studios in Hertfordshire, England, but the lodge has become a popular tourist attraction after its debut in the movie.
19 Argo, Grand Bazaar, Istanbul
Ben Affleck's Oscar-winning movie for Best Picture, Argo, is a film that loosely tells the story of six Americans who escape Tehran, Iran during the 1979 Iranian hostage crisis. They are forced into hiding, until extractor Tony Mendez, played by Affleck creates a scheme to rescue them. For obvious reasons, the movie could not be shot in Iran, so it was heavily filmed in Los Angeles and also filmed a few weeks in Turkey and D.C. Since filming in Iran was not allowed, Affleck and his movie crew opted for the colorful bazaars in Istanbul, Turkey. This Grand Bazaar is one of the oldest and largest covered markets in the world and attracts between 250,000 and 400,000 visitors daily.
18 Monty Python, Doune Castle, Scotland
This 14th-century courtyard castle in Doune, Scotland was heavily featured in the 1975 film, Monty Python and the Holy Grail. The movie tells the tale of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table as they embark on a silly and comedic search for the Holy Grail. While the story is mainly English, the movie was largely filmed here in the Doune Castle in Scotland. According to Rough Guides, the castle appeared as Arthur's home, Camelot, complete with the Great Hall and Round Table. The Doune Castle was also used for the castle known as Winterfell in the pilot of Game of Thrones.
17 The Dark Knight Rises, Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India
The large and breathtaking Mehrangarth Fort, which overlooks the city of Jodhpur in Rajasthan, India, was the perfect location for The Dark Knight Rises when Bruce Wayne (aka Batman) escapes the depths of an underground prison and sees this magnificent structure. The fort is located 400 feet above the city and overlooks the city while enclosed by imposing thick walls. Actor Christian Bale, Josh Pence, and director Christopher Nolan shot inside the Mehrangarth fort for a couple days back in 2011. According to News 18, Hollywood increasingly uses India's landscape as the setting for a number of adventure films, which also included The Avengers.
16 Lord of the Rings, Matamata, New Zealand
If you are a huge Lord of the Rings fan than you must know about Matamata, a town in New Zealand's North Island that was the setting for J.R. Tolkien's "Middle-Earth." This picturesque village and lush farmland is also known as "Hobbiton" and has more than 44 unique hobbit holes, including Bag End (Bilbo's house). Visitors can wander around the meadows of the Shire and hear interesting facts about this quaint area and how it was all created. Fans of the film can pretend they are hobbits and take one of many tours offered here.
15 The Hunger Games, DuPont State Forest, North Carolina
Based on Suzanne Collins 2008 science fiction book, The Hunger Games follows Katniss Everdeen who voluntarily takes her younger sister's place in the Hunger Games: a televised competition where two teenagers from each of the 12 Districts are chosen at random to fight to the death. The thrilling and suspenseful scenes of the actual "Games" was filmed in DuPont State Forest in North Carolina. The location for the "Games" seemed like a perfect fit for the film, with the forest consisting of large lush pine trees, craggy mountains and stunning waterfalls. It's a glorious forest where visitors can use trails to hike on and explore all its natural beauty.
14 Star Wars, Hotel Sidi Driss, Tunisia
Hotel Sidi Driss, Tunisia was the location of Luke Skywalker's Tatoonie home from the Star Wars movies. If you consider yourself a true Star Wars fan, you probably have already been here or dream of visiting this place. According to Atlas Obscura, the entire village is a prime example of traditional Berber architecture like the adobe caverns dug into sandstone. The area looks more like something out of another planet than something you'd find on earth, that is, if you were not so familiar with Berber architecture. The hotel was the place that many important scenes from Star Wars were filmed with fans recognizing Skywalker's childhood home on the planet of Tatoonie.
13 The Good, The Bad And The Ugly, Tabernas Desert, Spain
The Tabernas Desert is one of Spain's semi-arid deserts and is considered Europe's only desert. The area is the driest region in Europe and it has been an avid Hollywood film location for years because how similar it is to the American Wild West. You would never believe you were in Spain if you've walked through this location. The Tabernas desert was selected by legendary director Sergio Leone for his westerns, which included The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and it gave actor Clint Eastwood his big break. After Leone finished filming his spaghetti western, the sets were made into theme parks and visitors can walk through it today.
12 The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Rudolfinum, Prague, Czech Republic
The Rudolfinum building in Prague, Czech Republic is of Renaissance Revival architecture and was the perfect location for director's Stephen Norrington's The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. The 2003 film is based on the comic book series is about a group of contemporary fantasy, science fiction and adventure characters in an alternate Victorian Age world who team up to stop a villain who intends on turning the nations of the world against one another. The Rudolfinum acted as the setting for the film's "London Club" where the league is assembled by M. Today, the building is associated with art and music and is home to the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra.
11 Mamma Mia!, Skiathos, Greece
Traveling anywhere around the Greek islands sounds like a dream and the actors of Mamma Mia! definitely had a blast belting out ABBA hits while on the island of Skiathos. This Greek island is part of the Sporades archipelago, in the northwest Aegean Sea and is known for its stunning beaches and fun nightlife. The movies A-list cast, consisting of Meryl Streep, Colin Firth, Pierce Brosnan, Julie Walters and Amanda Seyfried seemed to have a spectacular time singing and dancing to hits like "Money, Money, Money" and "Honey. Honey."
10 The Avengers, Cleveland, Ohio
The most action-packed scene of The Avengers film is the final battle sequence when all of Marvel's biggest superheroes, including Iron Man, Captain America, the Hulk, and Thor team up to join forces to stop Loki from ruling Planet Earth. The epic battle scene was shot in Cleveland, Ohio, which was made to look like New York City. According to Cleveland.com, the most Cleveland-worthy moment comes when Captain America battles aliens inside the old Ameritrust Building before an explosion sends out to East 9th Street. If you’re a big Avengers fan, you might want to make a quick stop over to Cleveland and relive the battle scenes in your head.
9 The Godfather, Savoca, Italy
When you think of gangster movies involving crime, murder, drugs and mobs, you instantly think of the classic The Godfather. The movie's Corleone family, headed by up Vito, played by actor Marlon Brando come from the town of Corleone in Sicily, Italy. According to escape.com, the film wasn't actually filmed in Sicily because it appeared too overdeveloped, so instead, it was filmed in the more spacious and relatively untouched village of Savoca. Savoca was a perfect backdrop for the movie with locals leading a tough life, making it the right location to showcase a Sicilian family who migrated to the U.S. and made out well thanks to their involvement in the mafia.
8 Forrest Gump, Savannah, Georgia
The movie Forrest Gump opens with the main character, Forrest Gump, played by Tom Hanks, sitting on a bench in Chippewa Square, Savannah, Georgia, telling his life story to anyone who will listen to him. During the scene, Hank famously utters the line, "Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know which one you're gonna get." Today, you can visit the square and take a picture of the area where the opening scene was filmed, however, you won't find the famous bench there anymore. The bench was actually a movie prop that has since been placed in The Savannah Historical Museum, which you can visit today.
7 Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, Cambodia
Lara Croft: Tomb Raider might have put Cambodia on the map for places you must visit after viewers were awe-inspired by the nation's incredible carved towers and vine-clad temples. According to Insider's Journey, while Ta Prohm, a stunning monastery was the most recognized temple used as a location for the film, it is far from the only temple used. Fans of the film will notice that there was also filming in Phnom Bakheng, the hill overlooking Angkor Wat, and Bayon. The film set also had a large impact on actress Angelina Jolie, who said, "being here in this country changed my life. It's the most amazing place I've ever been to in my life."
6 Rebel Without A Cause, Griffith Observatory, Los Angeles, California
There have been a few films that have used the Griffith Observatory as a backdrop, however, none of these films have featured the building so predominately or brought it so much attention than Rebel Without a Cause. The 1955 drama captured both the interior and exterior of the building in several key scenes of the film, which starred James Dean, who tragically died in a car crash before the film was released. In commemoration of the use of the observatory in the film, a bust of James Dean was commissioned and placed on the west side of the observatory lawn, where visitors can go and see as they walk around the grounds.
5 The Shawshank Redemption, Ohio State Reformatory, Mansfield, Ohio
Filming for the 1994 drama The Shawshank Redemption took place at the striking Ohio State Reformatory, which was used as a fictional penitentiary set in New England as the Shawshank State Prison. The Mansfield, Ohio prison is actually quite stunning for what it is, with its variety of architectural styles like Victorian Gothic, Richardsonian Romanesque, and Queen Anne. The facility is no longer used as a prison, and has now been turned into a tourist attraction where visitors can take a guided tour in and around the prison. Most of the rooms have been restored to look exactly as they did in The Shawshank Redemption.
4 Saving Private Ryan, Curracloe Beach, Wexford, Ireland
Director Steven Spielberg wanted his film Saving Private Ryan to be as true to life as possible. The director went to great lengths to make the horrific and emotional scene of the 1944 D-Day Landings in Normandy come to life. Filming for this specific scene took place at Curracloe in Wexford, Ireland, one of the most visited beaches in the nation. According to Wexford Camping, Spielberg had 400 crewmembers and 1,000 Irish Reserve Army members, many of whom were amputees to give realness to the movie. The beach was also rigged with explosives with stuntmen located nearby and forty thousand gallons of blood was used. The film later went on to win five Oscars.
3 Lawrence of Arabia, Wadi Rum, Jordan
In southern Jordan, you'll find the deserts of Wadi Rum, which features dramatic sandstone mountains and where you'll find prehistoric inscriptions and carvings in rocky caverns. Lawrence of Arabia is the title of a 1962 film based on the life of T.E. Lawrence, who earned the nickname "Lawrence of Arabia" after helping Arabs in their revolt against the Ottoman Empire during World War I and his adoption of Arab culture and dress. According to Rough Guides, T.E. Lawrence passed through Wadi Rum during the Arab Revolt in 1917-1918, and so a large portion of the movie was filmed here.
2 Groundhog Day, Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania
Since 1886, Groundhog Day has been celebrated on February 2nd in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, so it was only a matter of time that someone created a film surrounding this unique celebration at its exact location. Groundhog Day stars Bill Murray who plays a cynical weatherman who finds himself reliving the same day over and over again when he goes to this small town to report on the annual Groundhog Day, until he manages to break the spell by capturing his love interest. The film was actually shot in Woodstock, Illinois because Punxsutawney "didn't have a town center that looked good on camera,” according to Mental Floss, so Woodstock became its replacement for the film.
1 Notting Hill, London, England
Notting Hill, in London, England is a very pretty and trendy area where casual cafes line Portobello Road, famous for its busy market selling crafts, antiques and fashion. In Westbourne Grove, you'll find high-end restaurants, boutiques and cool brunch spots. The location was perfect for the movie with the same name, Notting Hill starring British actor Hugh Grant who falls in love with a celebrity played by Julia Roberts. The movie showcases Portobello Road market and the blue door on Westbourne Park Road.
References: roughguides.com, lonelyplanet.com, curbed.com, telegraph.co.uk, news18.com, atlasobscura.com, mentalfloss.com, shawshanktrail.com, escape.com