For true film fans, there is no experience that can compare to setting foot on the same streets that were once walked by your favorite film actor or screen character.
Actually experiencing the local sights and sounds is a great way to feel closer to a favorite film and can help you create personal memories when traveling. Traveling movie buffs are spoiled for choice when it comes to iconic Hollywood locations that are open and accessible. Wherever you are in the world, the nearest film location is never far away.
Iconic film locations in the US
Do you want to recreate that famous training scene from the Oscar-winning Rocky movie? Head for the boxing icon’s hometown of Philadelphia, where the famous 72 Rocky Steps mark the entrance to the Philadelphia Museum of Art and are easily and freely accessible to all. Run the steps just like Rocky and take the time to pose victoriously at the top, just like Sylvester Stallone did in a number of the movies from the Rocky franchise, then check out the Rocky statue located just to the North East of the steps themselves. Take some more time to tour the city, and you will be rewarded with familiar locations from not only these fighting films, but also modern classics including The Sixth Sense, 12 Monkeys, and Tom Hanks’ Philadelphia.
Nearby New York is another hotbed of film locations, with streets that seem familiar even to the first-time visitor. Head out from your New York hotel in the early morning and head for Fifth Avenue, where you can recreate Holly Golightly’s famous window shopping with a coffee and Danish scene from Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Head over to Katz’s Delicatessen on East Houston Street to recreate Meg Ryan’s most memorable scene from When Harry Met Sally – we’ll have what she’s having! Afterward, why not work off all those extra calories by dancing your way down 46th Street, just like the cast of the hit movie musical Fame! For extra authenticity, tune your iPod to the Pointer Sisters because the Irene Cara classic had not been fully recorded when the scene was filmed and had to be dubbed over at a later date!
Want to explore movie scenes on the West Coast? San Francisco has a few, such as the Mrs. Doubtfire house on Steiner Street in Pacific Heights and the Fort Mason Golden Gate viewpoint that features in Hancock’s Vertigo, along with lots of other city street shots.
International film set destinations
Looking to make more of a trip out of your film fandom? Why not head out into the world and discover some more sets! Head for the UK, where you can enjoy a steam train trip across the famous Harry Potter viaduct at Glenfinnan in the summer months, or book one of the many holiday apartments in London and make a pilgrimage to the wizarding franchise’s set tour in Watford. The UK capital provides access to a number of familiar movie scenes, including the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich that appears in Les Miserables, Pirates of the Caribbean on Stranger Tides and Gulliver’s Travels – three for the price of one! If you want to be ahead of the game, head out of town to the woodlands near Shere in Surrey and follow in the footsteps of screen icon Tom Cruise, who was recently spotted here filming scenes for the new Mummy film.
Star Wars fans may wish to take a trip to Tunisia, where original sets from the cult classic franchise can still be found on the desert plains surrounding the town of Tataouine. This is where George Lucas drew his inspiration for both the name and look of Luke Skywalker’s home planet.
Francophile film fans will enjoy a trip to Paris, where you can enjoy a coffee in the Montmartre Cafe des Deux Moulins, the workplace of Amelie in the popular French language movie of the same name. Why not catch a train at the Gare du Nord, which is prominently featured in Matt Damon’s blockbuster The Bourne Identity? After that, head for The Louvre, where scenes from The Da Vinci Code were shot.
Film travel an exciting experience
No matter what your favorite genre happens to be, with a little research, you are likely to find film sets to suit your style wherever you choose to travel, giving you an interesting experience while away and a great story to share with your friends back home.