It's no secret that one of the best things about movies is that they're able to transport us to different locations and unknown worlds. However, what many people may not know is that there are a handful of incredible movies that were inspired by famous locations across the world.
From the ivory-white Taj Mahal in India to the historic Notre-Dame in Paris, movies from action to Disney have found their way onto the big screen by taking inspiration from these locations. Whether you're a fan of suspense, musicals, or movies about fantastic beasts, here are 10 great movies inspired by famous places.
10 Taj Mahal, India
The Sultan's Palace in Disney's Aladdin - home of Princess Jasmine - is based on the physicalities, royalty, and specialty of the Taj Mahal in India. The Taj Mahal, which means, "Crown of the Palaces," is a marble mausoleum located in the city of Agra. Surrounded by high walls and gates, the Sultan's Palace mirrors the Taj Mahal in its design.
When Jafar takes control over Agrabah, the Sultan orders the Genie to move the palace to a high mountain. The Taj Mahal was commissioned in 1631 by Shah Jahan to be built in memory of his wife, and similar to the palace in Aladdin serves as a place of honor.
9 The Forbidden City, China
In the Disney movie Mulan, the design of the emperor's home was inspired by The Forbidden City. Located at the center of Beijing, The Forbidden City is a Chinese Imperial Palace that was previously home to emperors and royal families of the Ming and Qing dynasties.
Despite its name, the palace is not off-limits to tourists or travelers as many people come from all over the world to walk the steps of the royal home. Just like in Mulan, many people gather at this location to celebrate special holidays and occasions.
8 Matmata, New Zealand
Matamata is a green, lush country town located under the shadow of the Kaimai Range Mountains in northern New Zealand, and is also the place that inspired many of the scenes from Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies. Shot on location, these films showcase Matamata in the movie's homeland known as "The Shire," and reveals the green plains' wildflowers, beautiful landscape, and quiet, secluded space.
Fans of the movies based on the novels by J. R. R. Tolkien can now travel to New Zealand and take a tour of the town that inspired the movie's breathtaking scenery.
7 The Trails of Vietnam
If you're feeling adventurous, take a hike on The Trails of Vietnam where the 2017 film Kong: Skull Island was shot on location. Through blue-green waters, mountain peaks, and bright green fields, these trails provided great scenery for soldiers scientists, and king gorillas to run through for the film.
Kayaking, boat rides, and paddle boating are among some of the exciting tourist attractions in this area. Curious travelers, dedicated hikers, and adventurous souls who love to travel on foot can re-live the movie experience by discovering this beautiful Vietnam location.
6 Rome, Italy
For all you romance movie lovers, Italy is the place to go if you're looking to retrace the footsteps of Liz Gilbert from the drama Eat, Pray, Love.
The capital of Italy is layered with historic sites and stunning restaurants that Gilbert visits on her journey to find her new self. Visit the Roman Colosseum, the Piazza Navona, and the San Crispino Gelato, where Gilbert gets her first taste of authentic Italian gelato for the first time. From boat rides through the city to tours of ancient cathedrals, Rome is the perfect place for anyone curious to try something new.
5 The Islands of Hawaii
Say aloha to your next destination - the islands of Hawaii, and the home of Jurassic Park. With islands, hills, and mountains surrounded by tall green trees, vast bodies of waters, and volcanos, many of the scenes from the Jurassic Park films were shot on location in Hawaii.
You'll be able to hike to Manawaiopuna Falls on the island of Kauai or walk along the coast of Kipu Kai beach, which was featured in The Lost World: Jurassic Park. Plan out your next summer vacation and head to Hawaii to pretend you're walking along the trails of Jurassic Park and among dinosaurs.
4 Skopelos, Greece
Here we go again! Filmed on location, the ABBA-inspired movie musical Mamma Mia was filmed on location in Skopelos, a small island off the coast of Greece.
Many of the outdoor scenes were filmed Kastani Beach which remains home to the clear, blue waters and rustic looking homes of the early days of Greece. Travelers who enjoy the sunshine, warm weather, and the ocean come from all over the world to experience the peaceful, carefree feel of this location. Grab your sun hat and your dancing shoes. Your next summer stop is waiting for you.
3 Los Angeles, California
Praised for many of the movie's beautiful scenery, the Oscar-winning musical La La Land was shot on location all over Los Angeles, California, in spots that many locals like to call part of their home.
From taking a tour of the Warner Bros. Studio to visit Mia's coffee shop to a free trip to the Griffith Observatory where Mia and Sebastian share an unforgettable moment together, Los Angeles is packed with landmark locations from the film. For lovers of the movie musical, places like The Lighthouse Cafe and the Hermosa Beach pier are perfect places to re-live the movie's best musical moments.
2 Liverpool, England
Located in the northwest of England, Liverpool is a maritime city famously known as being the birthplace of The Beatles, but now also as the city that inspired many scenes from Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
While the story of Newt Scamander mostly takes place in 1920's New York City, it's no secret that New York City no longer looks as it did before. To keep the same feel for the location, many scenes from the film were actually filmed in Liverpool. St. George's Hall and the Cunard Building are spots fans can visit to see the intricate architecture that inspired the film for themselves.
1 Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, Australia
The Great Barrier Reef is the world's largest coral reef system and is also the main inspiration for Disney favorite Finding Nemo. Located in the Coral Sea of the coast of Queensland, Australia, the Great Barrier Reef houses many different species of fish and sea creatures including clownfish, sea turtles, and jellyfish.
Similar to the vibrant depictions of Pixar animation, the Great Barrier Reef lies underneath blue-green water and is filled with a rainbow of plants and underwater animals. Tourists who enjoy scuba diving, swimming, and exploring the ocean are encouraged to add this destination to their bucket list.