A good movie can transport the viewer to any time or place within its world and luckily, some of the locations used to portray our favorite tales can actually be visited and experienced in person.
Feel the awe-inspiring buzz of walking in the footsteps of a favorite fictional hero or standing in the shadow of a building that feels as much a part of childhood as the family home. Every blockbuster movie has to film somewhere and while some locations are long gone, here are 10 that not only still exist, but welcome fans to cast themselves in a tale of adventure in the real world.
10 Ghostbusters Headquarters, New York City
One of the most iconic films ever made, several locations from Ghostbusters can be visited by starry-eyed tourists but a destination of most pilgrimages invariably tends to be the Firehouse at 14 North Moore Street in Tribeca.
The actual home of Hook and Ladder Company 8, it served as the headquarters for the ghost-gathering heroes of the movie and its exterior still maintains the exact image loyal fans will be expecting. Movie buffs are often here taking snaps of the recognizable structure but remember it is still a fully operational firehouse so be sure to stay out of the way should the sirens start blaring.
9 Grand Budapest Hotel, Saxony
The lobby of the Grand Budapest Hotel is in fact a department store in Germany that was scheduled for demolition but saved by the production. The movie’s production designer fell in love with the space and truly was the building's savior because not only was its destruction halted, it was eventually canceled altogether.
Despite having to craft some additions to make the area look as it needed to, the columns, staircases, windows and striking chandelier were all original and kept for the filming. Recently the structure has undergone a significant renovation and is now open to the public once more.
8 Yavin IV from Star Wars, Guatemala
Filmed amongst the Mayan Temple ruins of the Tikal National Park in Guatemala, the scenes on the fourth moon of Yavin are known by movie fans all over the world. Featuring in the original Star Wars movie, the area of natural beauty leaped off the screen and transported viewers into what truly seemed to be another world.
Director George Lucas chose the location after seeing an advertisement for the area at a travel agency while in the middle of a different shoot in London. Fans of the franchise can now visit the silver screen rebel base and get lost amongst the rugged scenery in the same way they got lost in the fictional world that took the film industry by storm.
7 Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters from X-Men, British Columbia
Used as the exterior for Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters in the X-Men series, Hatley Castle in British Columbia, Canada is an imposing structure that gave off an aura of majesty well before it made it’s movie debut back in 1996. Many of the exterior shots for the movies were shot in Canada, with viewers also able to visit Casa Loma in Toronto and Parkwood Estate in Oshawa to see other familiar facades.
While the interior was not used during shooting, it is possible to walk around the castle and dreamily imagine receiving your invitation to study alongside some of the most memorable characters in comic book movie history.
6 The Baseball Diamond from Field of Dreams, Iowa
The surface used for the seminal movie Field of Dreams has quite a strange history thanks to the original deal struck by Universal Studios during the making of the picture. An area was purchased that actually straddled the land of two separate farmers and once filming was completed, the families each owned half of the field.
This lead to the unusual situation of a tourist site that featured two gift shops, two parking lots, and two admission fees should you wish to wander across the entire movie set. Eventually, one of the families sold their portion to the other and plans are now in place to create a multi-million dollar complex appropriately named 'Baseball Heaven.'
5 Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, United Kingdom
The Harry Potter franchise is one of the most successful in cinema history and was of course filmed across countless locations throughout the years. Devoted fans are in luck however, because this simply means there is a long list of incredible buildings to visit that will inspire the magical feeling the series is renowned for.
Two spots that hosted a large portion of filming are Alnwick Castle in Northumberland and Gloucester Cathedral, which inspired many of the exterior shots and features heavily present in the end product. The Hogwarts Express also exists in the Muggle world now, able to be joined in Glenfinnian, Scotland.
4 Skyfall Lodge, Glencoe
Beautiful settings are a common theme throughout the James Bond canon and the Scottish countryside used in the movie Skyfall just about tops the impressive list. The lodge is a gorgeous building set amongst the breathtaking highlands and plays a pivotal role in the thrilling climax to the film.
What viewers are seeing on the screen is Glencoe, a truly remarkable slice of a truly remarkable country that can be visited and roamed freely by all with an inclination to explore. With any luck, there won’t be quite as much gunfire and secret agent shenanigans when you visit.
3 Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Petra
When Indiana Jones comes to mind, several iconic locations would jump out to most fans of the series. In the Last Crusade installment, most will think of Indy flying on horseback through sandstone canyons on his search for the Holy Grail in Petra, Jordan.
Filmed on location in an ancient city more than 2,000 years old, that has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the scenes were so memorable that a tourism industry has been born in the area. It is possible to walk and ride in the footsteps of our archeologist hero and thousands take the offer up every year.
2 Hobbiton from Lord of the Rings, New Zealand
One of the greatest tourism advertisements in recent memory, Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy sent interest in New Zealand through the roof. Naturally fantastical landscapes have always been a huge drawcard of the country but now that they are associated with some of the biggest films of all time, fans of J.R.R. Tolkien’s work simply can’t stay away.
Cleverly, the set of Hobbiton has been left standing and visitors can take tours to see where famous scenes were filmed, stay overnight at the Green Dragon Inn, eat at the Shire’s Rest Cafe and even celebrate a fairytale wedding. Fantasy has become reality in Matamata, just south of Auckland, and there are plenty of other filming locations well worth a visit country-wide.
1 Jurrasic Park, Hawaii
The stunning Kualoa Ranch on the island of Hawaii was used to create Jurrasic Park and even a cursory glance across the dramatic expanse shows how obvious a choice it was to represent a land before time. Also used as a set for films like Jumanji and Godzilla, the entire space is bursting with astounding scenery and unspoiled natural beauty.
A journey to Hawaii to experience the dinosaur-riddled park will be much safer than the movie made out, with the only danger being the likelihood that you will never want to leave what may be the closest to paradise this planet has to offer.