From silver screen to your IG – the most iconic film locations you should visit
This is an article ‘From silver screen to your IG – the most iconic film locations you should visit’ by Marc Pulisci
Avid film fans often wish they could be transported to their favorite movie locations and relive the action they've seen on screen. Similarly, travel enthusiasts list destinations they find in movies for a future visit to experience the locales’ magic, firsthand.
For first-time international travelers, it might be best to do sone research first as some superb film locations are shot in sets or CGI rather than actual destinations. The China hotel James Bond stayed in on Skyfall was filmed in London, while all the Star Wars films were not shot in a galaxy far, far away.
For real iconic Hollywood hotspots that will give you that warm feeling of nostalgia, here's a list of five unforgettable getaways from some of the best movies for holiday trips.
Matera, Italy: No Time To Die
Even the most diehard fans of superspy James Bond will be astounded by the stunning scenes shown in the opening of No Time to Die. With the 007 franchise renowned for its use of exotic set locations, the Italian stone city of Matera has become an item on fans' bucket lists after it rose from obscurity after the film's release.
Today, Matera's cobblestone walkways and cave homes frequently appear on social media feeds and are no longer the eyesore that many considered it to be before. Developments like these prove how mega brands like James Bond can help make every tourist reconsider the charismatic nature of untapped foreign locations.
A little-known fact about this small town is that more than 80 films have chosen its downtown locale as scene locations. If you are interested in taking a tour, better book one that will take you along the squares and streets before retiring at one of the cave homes available for tourists.
Atlas Studios, Morocco: Indiana Jones 5
While slated for a 2023 release, the latest Indiana Jones movie lists England, Scotland, Italy, and Morocco as its selected film locations. Atlas Studios in Morocco is one destination you'd want to check out if you are a film fan. Marvel at one of the most extensive film sets in the world that combines actual environments with magical artificial locations.
When visiting the studio, make a stop at the Atlas Mountains for some of the top hotels in the world, where you can experience local wonders and feel the pulse of the friendly people who call it home.
Of course, the film studio itself is unique. Since the sets aren't removed after shoots like others usually are, new producers have to start over on an empty piece of land for new scenes. The studio expands every time it is utilized because there is plenty of desert in the area. The latest Indiana Jones production can attest to how anyone can be quickly enamored by Atlas Studios and its fantastic sets and natural landscape.
Maya Bay, Thailand: The Beach
For pandemic-laden tourists who long for an unforgettable beach experience, the natural beauty of Maya Bay in Thailand and the Leonardo DiCaprio-starrer The Beach location is an excellent choice.
We all know director Danny Boyle is meticulous in picking his film locations, and he got what he envisioned for his 1999 film with this Ko Phi Phi beach. Recently opened to tourists after officials lifted COVID-19 restrictions, there are still several factors that led authorities to impose visitor control and access to the bay. Yes, it might be risky to book unplanned flights to this stunning film location but if you can, get ready to see the most breathtaking sites on earth as seen in the film.
The Phi Phi Islands are 42 kilometers from Amphoe Mueang in the Andaman Sea. It is a portion of the Nopharat Thara Beach-Phi Phi Islands National Park, home to Tonsai Beach, where you can visit a bustling number of beach bars and restaurants in the village. Enjoy the nightlife just like Leo did and experience the ultimate luxury resort hideaway even if you are on a budget.
Suga Shrine, Japan: Your Name
This particular location might count as every anime fan's wet dream when it comes to visiting film locations. The beauty of Shinkai Makoto's vision of Japan in Your Name and how the director captured Tokyo's many breathtaking and beautiful sceneries will captivate anyone.
For non-Japan nationals who saw the film, it's easy to plan an organized itinerary that will take them to the many locations that inspired the film. From Salon De the Rond cafe in Roppongi to Suga Shrine in Shinjuku, you might cry retracing Taki's and Mitsuha's steps toward each other.
At Suga Shrine, you'll see the streets and staircase in the film's finale, along with the Meiji Memorial Picture Gallery in Meiji Jingu Gaien-Mae, which is not far from the shrine. This location might be a little ordinary for those who haven't seen Your Name. To the film's loyal followers, it's a pilgrimage worth taking.
Montauk, NY, USA: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
The words "meet me at Montauk" are all too familiar to fans of this 2004 cult classic. Joel and Clementine fans who want to experience the dream-like landscapes of this cinematic gem may go to the Hamptons coastal hamlet. There, they can still find the wintery beach where the couple first met before all their memories were erased.
Unfortunately, both the Plaza restaurant and Clementine's Williamsburg apartment are gone. However, real fans can still appreciate the beautiful beaches such as Ditch Plains and oceanfront inns at Block Island Sound. Visitors still enjoy a metropolis escape to this serene location filled with many activities. Families can indulge in its nature trails, music & art festivals, and visits to the Montauk Point State Park, which is home to the national landmark and historic Montauk Point Lighthouse, also seen in the film.
See for yourself
If you are both a film and travel fan, visiting destinations that have impacted your life through movies is one worth saving money for and taking leaps of faith.
Aside from giving you aesthetic satisfaction, you also get to feel the spiritual vibes of your favorite silver screen characters. And what movie buffs would give to fill their shoes, even for just a moment.