Romance movies are the ultimate form of escape. Many of us cling to stories about love because they fulfill us when we don’t experience the same kind of passion in real life. They can also help us to understand our own relationships a little better.
While romantic films can be set anywhere, there are a few destinations around the globe that tend to host the best love stories. Home to stunning scenery, these cities, counties, and villages often serve as the perfect backdrop for movies about love.
Keep reading to find out what the best destinations for romance movie tourism are.
10 Los Angeles, United States
The City of Angels is a hotspot for all kinds of movie tourism, including romantic movies. Several of the most iconic movies were filmed here, including the classic Pretty Woman. Following the story of businessman Edward and night-worker Vivian, the film has some of the most memorable moments in the romance genre.
These include the scene where Edward asks Vivian to come up to his room while she’s sitting on the bench outside the Beverly Wilshire, and the scene where he climbs up to her apartment balcony to rescue her. You can spot both of these scenes on a number of movie tours in Hollywood.
9 Paris, France
Paris has a reputation for being one of the most romantic cities in the world, and that would be true even if no romantic movies were ever filmed there. The most famous ones include Before Sunset, Forget Paris, Amélie, and of course, Moulin Rouge!
Another famous film to be set in Paris in recent years is The Devil Wears Prada, which touches on protagonist Andie’s love life as well as her career at Runway. There is a selection of movie and film tours available in Paris, all highlighting the most famous settings from these romantic stories.
8 New York, United States
New York is on par with Los Angeles when it comes to hosting romantic movies. Off the top of our heads, visit the Big Apple and you’ll be able to walk in the steps of characters from movies like When Harry Met Sally, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, You’ve Got Mail, Seven Year Itch, Westside Story, and An Affair to Remember.
If you tend to prefer TV series to movies about love, New York is where the iconic Sex and the City was filmed. You can see several SATC filming locations in the city, either on a guided or self-guided tour.
7 Rome, Italy
Italians are known for their passion and flair for romance. It only makes sense that so many romantic movies are set in the Eternal City. One of the most famous is the 90s classic Only You starring Marisa Tomei and Robert Downey Jr. It follows the story of Faith, an American who sets off on a trip to Italy to find a man called Damon Bradley, whom a psychic told her she would marry one day.
Of course, Roman Holiday, To Rome with Love, and When in Rome are other romantic films set in the Italian capital.
6 Flavigny-Sur-Ozerain, France
Paris isn’t the only French city that’s perfect for fans of romance movies to visit. The charming village of Flavigny-sur-Ozerain in Burgundy was where much of the movie Chocolat was filmed. Starring Juliet Binoche and Johnny Depp, the film is about a woman who opens a chocolate shop in a quaint French village, much to the distaste of locals.
The village is listed as one of the most beautiful of its kind in France. Many of the locations where they filmed movie scenes are easily recognizable even without a guided tour.
5 Kyoto, Japan
Technically, Memoirs of a Geisha was mostly filmed in a Los Angeles studio. But there were a couple of particularly romantic and spectacular scenes that were shot in the Japanese city of Kyoto, and which can still be visited today. One of the most prominent places is Fushimi-Inari Taisha, which is where the young Chiyo runs after the love of her life, the Chairman, first gives her ice shavings.
While in Kyoto, also be sure to visit the Heian Jingu gardens, which is one of the most stunning locations in the city. This appears at the very end of the film.
4 London, England
If you want to feel like you’ve landed in a real romance movie, you can’t go past London, England. The city served as the backdrop for such romantic films as Notting Hill, Bridget Jones’s Diary, Sliding Doors, About Time, and of course, Love Actually.
London also briefly appeared in the holiday comedy The Holiday. If you want more romantic destinations in England, the charming villages of Surrey need to appear on your bucket list. Iris’s cottage is located in the idyllic village of Shere. You can find the village only one hour outside of London.
3 Seattle, United States
For fans of Sleepless in Seattle, visiting the iconic city is a must. There are several locations included in the film that you can still visit today, including the famous floating home (although sadly you won’t be able to go inside!). You can also visit Gas Works Park, which Tom Hanks looks over from his balcony.
Seattle was also the backdrop for romantic films like Fifty Shades of Grey, the 1989 flick Say Anything, and Love Happens starring Jennifer Aniston and Aaron Eckhart. The 2013 Chinese rom-com Finding Mr. Right was also set in Seattle.
2 Charleston, United States
You’d be hard-pressed to find a romance movie fan who isn’t slightly obsessed with The Notebook. And there’s good news if you’re still not over Noah and Allie’s tragic yet beautiful story. You can visit the real filming locations in Charleston, North Carolina.
Visit the Boone Hall Plantation to see Allie’s summer home, and be sure to check out the breathtaking Cypress Gardens located in Moncks Corner. This is where they filmed the iconic lake scene in the midst of a sea of swans. You can also check out King Street and the American Theater which feature in the film.
1 County Wicklow, Ireland
P.S. I Love You is the kind of romantic film that stays with you long after you watch it. The film documents memories, mostly, of Holly and her husband Gerry, who recently passed away from a brain tumor. She receives letters from Gerry, penned before he died, which help her to find herself again and move on with her life after his death.
Take a trip to the Wicklow Mountains in Ireland to see the real spot where Holly and Gerry met in the national park. It’s one of the most mesmerizing destinations on the planet!