Platform 9 3/4 in England

Filming locations that make us want to travel: Europe edition

Many desire to see Europe’s history, culture, food, and diverse scenery, but there is also a subset of travelers who love to immerse themselves in the world of fiction. Check out this epic list of filming locations across the continent, and decide which ones to add to your travel bucket list.
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There’s something about European landscapes that turn the silver screen into a portal for our travel-hungry souls, and I think that’s why so many filmmakers seek out an array of locations across the continent to capture their vision. These sought-after filming locations stir something deep within us, not only connecting viewers to the narrative being told but to the part of us that wants to see the world.

From the comfort of your couch, get ready to jet-set across the stunning and culturally rich landscapes of Europe, exploring places that contain buildings and landscapes directly featured in top films and TV shows. This guide will give you the opportunity to immerse yourself in some of your favorite fictional worlds and a few more that might pique your interest.

Whether you’re craving the romance of Parisian streets, the mystique of Italian alleyways, or the breathtaking landscapes of the Scottish Highlands, join us as we explore the shows and movies that make us want to travel. See which filming locations you’ve checked off your travel bucket list and which ones you need to add!

England filming locations

England isn’t just a destination; it’s a living, breathing movie set that has played host to some of the most iconic and unforgettable cinematic moments. From charming villages that seem straight out of a fairy tale to historic landmarks that have graced the big screen, this country is a treasure trove of movie magic.

The Harry Potter series

The Harry Potter film series, based on the novels by J.K. Rowling, brought to life the magical world of Harry Potter, his friends, and their adventures. Much of the series was filmed in England, utilizing a wide range of historic sites, beautiful landscapes, and purpose-built sets at Leavesden Studios. Here are some of the key locations in England where the Harry Potter series was filmed.

Lacock Abbey, England
Eleanor Brooke via Unsplash
  • Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter (Leavesden Studios): Located in Leavesden, this is where many of the interior scenes of the Harry Potter movies were filmed. It’s now a public attraction where fans can explore sets like the Great Hall, Diagon Alley, and the Hogwarts Express.
  • Alnwick Castle, Northumberland: This castle was used as Hogwarts in the first two films (“Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” and “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets”), particularly for exterior shots and the scene where Harry has his first broomstick lesson.
  • Durham Cathedral, Durham: Its cloisters served as various Hogwarts corridors in the first two films, and its chapter house was Professor McGonagall’s classroom where the students learned to turn animals into water goblets.
  • Gloucester Cathedral, Gloucestershire: The cathedral’s cloisters were used to film Hogwarts’ corridors in several of the Harry Potter films. Fans might recognize it from scenes such as the troll incident in the first movie.
  • Oxford University, Oxford: Various locations around Oxford were used in the Harry Potter films. The Bodleian Library’s Divinity School appears as the Hogwarts Infirmary, while Christ Church College’s Great Hall was the inspiration for Hogwarts’ dining hall (with studio sets built to mirror it). The cloisters in New College were also used, notably in the scene where Draco Malfoy is turned into a ferret in “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.”
  • Lacock Abbey, Wiltshire: This historic abbey featured in several Harry Potter films, serving as various Hogwarts interiors. Professor Quirrell’s Defence Against the Dark Arts classroom in “Sorcerer’s Stone” and Snape’s Potions classroom in “Chamber of Secrets” were filmed here.
  • King’s Cross Station, London: Platforms 9 and 10 at King’s Cross Station are famously known as the location of Platform 9¾, where Harry and the other students catch the Hogwarts Express. The exterior shots used the station’s façade, while a wall between platforms 4 and 5 was used for the scenes involving the magical platform entrance.
  • The Millennium Bridge, London: This pedestrian bridge over the River Thames is featured in the opening sequence of “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” where it is attacked and destroyed by Death Eaters.

Pride and Prejudice (2005)

Yes, we can fight about which version is better: BBC or the one with Kiera Knightly, and in this house, we stan Kiera. Wherever you fall, you’ll absolutely want to travel to England every time you watch this movie, and maybe go in search on your own Dr. Darcy or Elizabeth. Here are a few of the top filming locations you don’t want to miss.

Temple of Apollo at Stourhead Garden, England
Sabine_Bends via Pixabay
  • Chatsworth House: Renowned for its stunning architecture and gardens, this property was used as the exterior of Mr. Darcy’s Pemberley estate.
  • Basildon Park: Basildon Park is an elegant Georgian mansion in Berkshire, England, that served as the interior of Mr. Bingley’s Netherfield Park home.
  • Temple of Apollo at Stourhead Garden: What Pride and Prejudice fan wouldn’t want to visit the location of the famous rain scene between Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy? This is number one on our list, even though it’s the worst marriage proposal in literary/film history.
  • Groombridge Place: This iconic moated manor house in Kent, England, was transformed into the Bennet family home.
  • Rosings’ Burghley House: Burghley House is a grand 16th-century country house in Lincolnshire, England, that served as the imposing Rosings Park, the estate of Lady Catherine de Bourgh.

Croatia filming locations

From ancient cities with a touch of fantasy to stunning coastal landscapes that have graced the big screen, Croatia is a true star when it comes to serving as a backdrop for unforgettable film moments. Here, you can find the remnants of historical epics and fantastical worlds, creating an enchanting blend of reality and imagination.

Game of Thrones

The following locations in Croatia offered “Game of Thrones” an array of settings that could convincingly depict the series’ fictional lands, contributing significantly to the show’s visual appeal and atmospheric depth. The popularity of “Game of Thrones” has since turned these Croatian sites into major tourist attractions, drawing fans from around the world eager to walk in the footsteps of their favorite characters.

There are a TON of options when it comes to filming locations for GOT in Croatia, but here are a few you shouldn’t miss!

Dubrovnik, Croatia
Datingscout via Unsplash
  • Dubrovnik: The most iconic Croatian location in GOT is Dubrovnik, which served as the primary filming location for King’s Landing, the capital of the Seven Kingdoms, from season two onwards. The city’s ancient walls, narrow streets, and historic buildings provided the perfect setting for the political intrigue and royal events of the series. Key locations within Dubrovnik include the Lovrijenac Fortress (the Red Keep), the Stradun (the main street through King’s Landing), and the Dubrovnik City Walls, which were used for numerous scenes, including the Battle of the Blackwater and Cersei’s Walk of Shame.
  • Split: This city, known for its ancient palace of Roman Emperor Diocletian, was used to film various scenes, including those set in the dungeons beneath the Red Keep and in the city of Meereen. The cellars of Diocletian’s Palace were a key location, especially for scenes involving Daenerys Targaryen’s dragons.
  • Klis Fortress: Overlooking the city of Split, Klis Fortress was used to represent the city of Meereen. The fortress provided the backdrop for Daenerys’ crucifixion scene of the Meereenese nobles and other exterior shots of the city.
  • Šibenik: The historic city of Šibenik stood in for Braavos, one of the Free Cities across the Narrow Sea. Key locations in Šibenik include St. James Cathedral, which was used for the Iron Bank scenes, and the fortresses of St. Michael and St. John, which provided additional backdrops for the city.
  • Trsteno Arboretum: Located just north of Dubrovnik, this lush botanical garden was used as the setting for the Red Keep’s gardens. It is where many pivotal conversations and plots were hatched among the characters, including those involving the Tyrells and Lannisters.

Italy filming locations

Italy’s diverse landscapes and vibrant culture have provided the canvas for a wide range of cinematic stories. Whether you’re seeking romance, adventure, or simply the joy of exploring, Italy’s filming locations promise an experience that’s nothing short of cinematic magic.

Matera

Matera, Italy
sterlinglanier Lanier via Unsplash

Matera, Italy, is an ancient city in the southern region of Basilicata, known for its distinctive and striking landscape. The city is famous for its Sassi, a complex of cave dwellings carved into the limestone, which date back over 7,000 years, making Matera one of the world’s oldest continuously inhabited cities. This unique historical and cultural significance led to the Sassi of Matera being designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993.

The city’s rugged beauty, narrow streets, and ancient architecture have made it a popular location for filmmakers seeking a visually arresting backdrop. Check out some of the top films shot in this part of Italy.

  • James Bond film “No Time to Die” (2021): Matera gained particular international attention when it was chosen as one of the filming locations for the 2021 Bond film, directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga and starring Daniel Craig in his final appearance as the iconic British spy.
  • “The Passion of the Christ” (2004): Directed by Mel Gibson, this film used Matera’s ancient landscapes to represent Jerusalem and its surroundings during the time of Jesus Christ. The stark, rugged terrain and the old, stone structures of the city provided a convincing setting for this biblical story.
  • “Wonder Woman” (2017): Although primarily set during World War I, “Wonder Woman” used Matera to film several scenes set in the fictional Amazonian island of Themyscira. The city’s natural beauty and historic structures contributed to the mythical and ancient look of the Amazon’s homeland.
  • “Mary Magdalene” (2018): This biblical drama, which tells the story of Mary Magdalene, filmed extensively in Matera. The city’s old-world charm and biblical-era appearance made it a fitting location for depicting the life and times of Mary Magdalene and Jesus Christ.

Montepulciano and Twilight

Montepulciano, Tuscany
opera propria via Wikimedia Commons

It doesn’t matter if you’re Team Edward or Team Jacob, Twilight fans enjoyed New Moon’s filming location shot in Italy. Did you ever think of visiting? Yes, the town where the Volturi lived is actually in Tuscany, in the village of Montepulciano.

Montepulciano is a medieval and Renaissance hill town and comune in the southern part of Tuscany, Italy. It’s well-known for its stunning landscapes, rich history, and for producing a robust red wine, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. The town is characterized by its beautiful Renaissance buildings, ancient churches, and stunning vistas of the Tuscan countryside. Its winding streets and picturesque squares have made it an attractive location for filmmakers looking for authentic Italian scenery.

Aside from its appearance in the Twilight saga, Montepulciano has been a backdrop for various Italian and international movies and TV shows, thanks to its quintessential Tuscan appearance.

Lake Como area and Star Wars

Royal Palace of Caserta, Italy
tirex22 via Pixabay

While there is still (and always will be) a lot of contention surrounding the various prequel movies in the Star Wars legacy, the filming locations are neutral ground. Many of those locations took place on site, which may surprise many as most think this series was shot solely on a green screen. Here are a few of the main filming locations in Italy.

  • The Royal Palace of Caserta: The Royal Palace of Caserta, with its majestic interiors and expansive gardens, was used as a stand-in for the royal palace of Naboo in the prequel trilogy, notably appearing in “Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace” and “Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones.”
  • Lake Como: This idyllic location provided the scenic backdrop for the secret wedding of Anakin Skywalker and Padmé Amidala in “Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones,” specifically at the Villa del Balbianello.
  • Etna: Mount Etna’s erupting lava flows were filmed and used as the fiery landscapes of the planet Mustafar in “Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith,” where the climactic duel between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker takes place.

Scotland filming locations

Doune Castle, Scotland
Johnny Briggs via Unsplash

From ancient castles to untamed landscapes, Scotland’s movie locations offer a mesmerizing blend of fantasy and reality. So, whether you’re seeking wizardry, history, or the thrill of the Highlands, Scotland’s reel sites promise an adventure that will leave you starstruck and inspired.

There are a few main filming locations that many directors have used to capture their visions. Here are a few you don’t want to miss!

Eilean Donan Castle

Eilean Donan Castle, United Kingdom
George Hiles via Unsplash

Eilean Donan Castle is one of the most iconic and picturesque castles in Scotland. Located on an island at the point where three great sea lochs meet, and surrounded by some majestic scenery, it is little wonder that the castle is now one of the most visited and important attractions in the Scottish Highlands. The castle’s history dates back to the early 13th century, with the original fortress being built around 1220 by Alexander II as a defense against the Vikings. Over the centuries, it has been rebuilt and restored several times, with the present buildings largely the result of 20th-century reconstruction.

Eilean Donan has been featured in several movies, including:

  • “Highlander” (1986): Perhaps the most famous film to feature Eilean Donan, it serves as the home of the film’s protagonist, Connor MacLeod.
  • “The World Is Not Enough” (1999): This James Bond film used the castle as the exterior of the MI6 temporary headquarters in Scotland.
  • “Made of Honor” (2008): Eilean Donan appeared in this romantic comedy starring Patrick Dempsey and Michelle Monaghan.

Glenfinnan Viaduct

Glenfinnan Viaduct, Scotland
Jack Anstey via Unsplash

Glenfinnan Viaduct is a spectacular railway viaduct located in the West Highlands of Scotland, near the town of Glenfinnan. It is renowned for its impressive engineering and stunning scenic backdrop, making it a popular destination for tourists and train enthusiasts alike. The viaduct spans 380 meters (1,247 feet) across the Glenfinnan valley and features 21 arches, reaching a maximum height of 30 meters (100 feet) over the ground. It was completed around 1901 as part of the West Highland Line, a railway that connects Fort William with Mallaig, and is one of the largest engineering undertakings of its time, built entirely of concrete.

Beyond its engineering significance, Glenfinnan Viaduct has become famous worldwide as a filming location, most notably for its appearances in the Harry Potter film series. The viaduct and its surroundings were used to depict the iconic journey of the Hogwarts Express, especially memorable in scenes where the train travels across the viaduct on its way to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Its appearances in the Harry Potter films, particularly “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” and “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban,” have turned the viaduct into a pilgrimage site for fans of the series, eager to see the real-life location of Harry’s magical train rides.

Doune Castle

Doune Castle, Scotland
Johnny Briggs via Unsplash

Doune Castle is a medieval stronghold near the village of Doune, in the Stirling district of central Scotland. The castle was originally built in the 13th century, then rebuilt in its present form in the late 14th century by Robert Stewart, Duke of Albany. It is known for its striking 100-foot-high gatehouse and the well-preserved arrangement of its rooms, offering visitors a glimpse into medieval life. The castle’s robust history and architectural beauty make it a fascinating site for history buffs and tourists.

Over the years, Doune Castle has gained fame beyond historical interest, becoming a popular filming location for movies and television series due to its authentic medieval atmosphere and relatively well-preserved state. Here are some of the notable productions that have used Doune Castle as a filming location:

  • “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” (1975): Perhaps the most famous film to feature Doune Castle, this classic comedy by the Monty Python troupe used the castle as the setting for many of its scenes. The castle’s interiors and exteriors were cleverly utilized to represent various fictional castles in the film’s quirky retelling of the Arthurian legend.
  • “Outlander” (2014 – present): The television series, based on the novels by Diana Gabaldon, used Doune Castle to represent Castle Leoch, the home of Colum MacKenzie and his clan in the 18th century. The castle’s authentic historical feel made it an ideal choice for the time-travel series, which blends historical fiction with romance and fantasy.
  • “Game of Thrones” (2011 – 2019): In the pilot episode of this HBO series based on the books by George R.R. Martin, Doune Castle was used as a stand-in for Winterfell, the ancestral home of the Stark family. Although the series later used other locations for Winterfell, Doune Castle’s appearance in the pilot helped set the tone for the show’s epic scope and intricate production design.

Glencoe

Glencoe, Scotland
Johannes Mändle via Unsplash

Glencoe is one of Scotland’s most famous and scenic glens, often celebrated for its dramatic landscapes, towering mountains, and deep valleys. It is located in the Scottish Highlands, within the Lochaber Geopark, and offers some of the most breathtaking scenery in the country. The area is steeped in history, not just geologically but also culturally, with the infamous Massacre of Glencoe taking place there in 1692. Today, Glencoe is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, offering opportunities for hiking, climbing, skiing, and mountain biking.

Here are a few notable movies that have been filmed in Glencoe:

  • “Skyfall” (2012): In the James Bond film “Skyfall,” Glencoe was used to represent Bond’s ancestral Scottish home. The region’s dramatic landscapes provided a stunning and memorable backdrop for the film’s climax.
  • “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” (2004): Glencoe was used to film various external shots for the third Harry Potter film, including scenes involving the Hogwarts grounds. The area’s natural beauty added to the magical and mystical atmosphere of the film.
  • “Braveheart” (1995): Although much of “Braveheart” was filmed in Ireland, Glencoe was among the Scottish locations used to bring the story of William Wallace to life. Its landscapes helped to create a convincing and powerful setting for the film.

Edinburgh

Edinburgh, Scotland
Kate Bielinski via Unsplash

Edinburgh, the capital city of Scotland, is renowned for its rich history, stunning architecture, and vibrant cultural scene. The city boasts a unique blend of ancient and modern, with its medieval Old Town and elegant Georgian New Town. Edinburgh is home to iconic landmarks such as Edinburgh Castle, perched atop an extinct volcano, the Royal Mile, and the historic Holyrood Palace. It’s also famous for hosting the world’s largest annual international arts festival, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Here are a few notable films shot in Edinburgh:

  • “Trainspotting” (1996): Perhaps the most famous film set in Edinburgh, “Trainspotting” is directed by Danny Boyle and based on the novel by Irvine Welsh. The movie offers a gritty portrayal of the lives of a group of heroin addicts living in the city in the late 1980s. While some of the film was shot in Glasgow, several key scenes were filmed in Edinburgh, capturing the city’s darker side alongside its iconic landscapes.
  • “The Da Vinci Code” (2006): Directed by Ron Howard and based on Dan Brown’s best-selling novel, “The Da Vinci Code” included scenes shot at Rosslyn Chapel, located just outside Edinburgh. The chapel’s intricate carvings and mysterious history made it a perfect fit for the film’s climax, involving a search for the Holy Grail.
  • “One Day” (2011): This romantic drama, based on the novel by David Nicholls, stars Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess. It features various locations across Edinburgh, including the University of Edinburgh, where the two main characters meet on their graduation day, and Arthur’s Seat, offering panoramic views of the city. The film showcases the city’s romantic and picturesque qualities.
  • “Avengers: Infinity War” (2018): Parts of this blockbuster Marvel movie were filmed in Edinburgh, including scenes featuring Vision and Scarlet Witch. The city’s historic streets and buildings provided a dramatic backdrop for the superhero action, particularly around the Royal Mile and Waverley Station.

Greece filming locations

Greece’s breathtaking landscapes, ancient ruins, and stunning islands have set the stage for some of the most iconic moments ever filmed. From epic historical dramas to sun-soaked romances, Greece’s movie locations are as captivating as its rich history.

Santorini

Santorini
Tânia Mousinho via Unsplash

Santorini, officially known as Thira, is one of the Cyclades islands in the Aegean Sea, renowned for its breathtaking beauty, dramatic ocean views, stunning sunsets, and white-washed buildings with blue domes. This Greek island is a top tourist destination, famous for its volcanic beaches, ancient ruins, and the caldera, a vast crater left by one of the biggest volcanic eruptions in history.

The island’s unique landscape and picturesque villages have made Santorini a sought-after location for filmmakers and have been featured in various movies and television shows. Some notable appearances of Santorini in films include:

  • “Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life” (2003): This action film starring Angelina Jolie as Lara Croft included scenes shot in Santorini, showcasing the island’s stunning landscapes and ancient sites, contributing to the film’s dynamic and visually striking locations.
  • “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” (2005): Part of this film was set in Santorini, where one of the main characters, Lena, spends her summer. The island’s picturesque setting plays a significant role in the film, highlighting its beauty and providing a backdrop for Lena’s story of discovery and romance.
  • “Mamma Mia!” (2008): Although the movie was primarily filmed on the island of Skopelos, Santorini’s iconic imagery is often associated with the idyllic Greek island atmosphere depicted in the film. The success of “Mamma Mia!” and its portrayal of Greek island life has contributed to the popularity of Santorini and similar destinations.

Athens

Acropolis in Athens, Greece
Constantinos Kollias via Unsplash

Athens, the capital city of Greece, is a city steeped in history and culture, known as the cradle of Western civilization and the birthplace of democracy. It’s famed for its ancient monuments and archaeological sites, including the Acropolis, the Parthenon, and the Ancient Agora. Beyond its historical significance, Athens offers a vibrant street life, a bustling arts scene, and a dynamic mix of traditional and contemporary culture.

The blend of ancient ruins, urban grit, and scenic landscapes makes Athens an appealing location for filmmakers looking for a backdrop that can tell a story of historical depth or modern vibrancy. While Athens might not be as popular as some other global cities in terms of filming locations, it has featured in several notable film shows:

  • “Jason Bourne” (2016): Parts of this action-packed installment of the Bourne series were filmed in Athens, particularly the scenes depicting a tense political protest in Syntagma Square, showcasing the city’s modern-day vibrancy and the iconic backdrop of the Greek Parliament.
  • “The Two Faces of January” (2014): This thriller, starring Viggo Mortensen, Kirsten Dunst, and Oscar Isaac, features several scenes shot in Athens and Crete. The film captures the allure of 1960s Greece and includes scenes set against the backdrop of the Acropolis and other historic locations, highlighting the country’s ancient beauty.
  • “My Life in Ruins” (2009): This romantic comedy, starring Nia Vardalos, is set in Greece and includes scenes filmed in Athens, showcasing the city’s historic sites as the protagonist, a tour guide, rediscovers her passion for history and love for the Greek landscape.

Meteora

Meteora - Kalambaka, Greece
Clement Souchet via Unsplash

Meteora, Greece, is an extraordinary site known for its towering rock formations and ancient monasteries perched atop these cliffs. Located in the Thessaly region, Meteora, which means “suspended in the air,” offers a landscape that is both surreal and breathtaking. The area is home to several monasteries that date back to the 14th century, built by monks seeking solitude and safety from political upheaval. These monasteries, seemingly defying gravity, have made Meteora not only a significant religious and historical site but also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The dramatic scenery of Meteora has caught the eye of filmmakers and has been used as a filming location for various movies and television shows. Its unique landscape provides a stunning and otherworldly backdrop that is hard to find anywhere else in the world. Here are some notable examples:

  • “For Your Eyes Only” (1981): This James Bond film starring Roger Moore features Meteora prominently. The monastery of the Holy Trinity in Meteora was used as the setting for the villain’s hideout. The film showcases the breathtaking scenery of Meteora, with action sequences that include the iconic rock formations and monasteries.
  • “Game of Thrones” (2011 – 2019): While Meteora itself was not directly used for filming, its landscapes inspired the Eyrie, a castle in the Vale of Arryn in the series. The sense of a castle perched high upon a mountain, accessible only by a narrow path, echoes the monasteries of Meteora, contributing to the fantastical and majestic world of Westeros.
  • “Meteora” (2012): This film, directed by Spiros Stathoulopoulos, is a narrative feature that explores the lives of a monk and a nun in the Meteora region. The movie beautifully captures the spiritual and mystical essence of Meteora, using the stunning scenery as a backdrop to tell a story of faith, love, and devotion.

France filming locations

France’s timeless beauty and enchanting cities have been the backdrop for countless iconic films, making it a dream destination for both cinephiles and travelers seeking a touch of cinematic magic. From romantic streets to historic landmarks, France’s movie locations are ready to transport you into your favorite scenes.

Provence

Provence, France
Sébastien Jermer via Unsplash

Provence, located in southeastern France, is a region renowned for its diverse landscapes, from the Southern Alps and Camargue plains to the rolling vineyards, olive groves, pine forests, and lavender fields. Its Mediterranean coastline includes the French Riviera, home to glamorous beaches, while its inland countryside boasts historic cities and charming villages. Provence’s natural beauty, historic architecture, and vibrant colors have made it a favorite location for artists, writers, and filmmakers over the years.

The region’s unique blend of natural beauty and cultural richness has made it an attractive backdrop for various films and television shows, often chosen to convey a sense of romance, beauty, and the quintessential French lifestyle. Here are a few notable examples:

  • “A Good Year” (2006): Directed by Ridley Scott and starring Russell Crowe, this film is set in Provence and tells the story of a London banker who inherits a vineyard in France. The movie showcases the picturesque landscapes, vineyards, and the laid-back lifestyle of Provence, capturing the essence of the region’s charm.
  • “Jean de Florette” (1986) and “Manon des Sources” (1986): These two films, based on the novels by Marcel Pagnol, are set in the rural heart of Provence and tell a compelling story of greed, revenge, and tragedy, with the stunning Provençal countryside serving as a backdrop. The films highlight the region’s rural beauty and traditions.
  • “French Kiss” (1995): This romantic comedy starring Meg Ryan and Kevin Kline features scenes set in various locations around France, including the Provence region. The film captures the romantic allure of the French countryside, with its vineyards and picturesque villages.
  • “The Transporter” (2002): While this action film primarily showcases the French Riviera part of Provence, it’s worth mentioning for its thrilling chase scenes along the beautiful Mediterranean coastline, highlighting the region’s more glamorous and adventurous side.

Paris

Paris, France
Juan Ordonez via Unsplash

Paris, the capital city of France, is renowned for its art, culture, fashion, and gastronomy. The city’s iconic landmarks, including the Eiffel Tower, Notre-Dame Cathedral, the Louvre Museum, and the Champs-Élysées, are recognized worldwide. Its picturesque streets, historic architecture, and the River Seine contribute to its reputation as one of the most beautiful and romantic cities in the world. Paris’ unique charm has made it a favorite location for filmmakers, serving as a backdrop for countless movies and television shows across various genres.

  • “Amélie” (2001): Perhaps one of the most beloved French movies, “Amélie” showcases the Montmartre district, capturing the whimsical charm of Paris through the eyes of its titular character, a young woman who decides to change the lives of those around her for the better, while grappling with her own isolation.
  • “Midnight in Paris” (2011): Directed by Woody Allen, this romantic comedy-fantasy film stars Owen Wilson as a screenwriter who magically finds himself transported back to the 1920s each night at midnight, meeting historical figures and experiencing the Paris of a bygone era.
  • “Inception” (2010): This science fiction thriller directed by Christopher Nolan features several scenes shot in Paris, including a memorable sequence involving the folding of the city upon itself. The film utilizes the architectural beauty and urban landscape of Paris to create visually stunning effects.
  • “The Da Vinci Code” (2006): Based on Dan Brown’s novel, this mystery thriller film involves a conspiracy within the Catholic Church and features several key scenes shot in Paris, including ones at the Louvre Museum, where the protagonist begins his quest to unravel the mystery.
  • “Before Sunset” (2004): The sequel to “Before Sunrise,” this romantic drama directed by Richard Linklater follows the characters Jesse and Céline as they reunite in Paris and spend an afternoon together, pondering life, love, and what might have been.

Spain filming locations

Spain’s filming locations are a tapestry of history, passion, and natural beauty that mirror the country’s own diverse charms. So, whether you’re relishing the arts in Barcelona or seeking adventure in the desert, Spain’s cinematic treasures promise a journey that’s both reel and real.

Seville

Plaza de Espana, Seville, Spain
Joan Oger via Unsplash

Seville, the capital of Andalusia in southern Spain, is renowned for its rich history, vibrant culture, and stunning architecture. This city is a melting pot of Christian and Moorish influences, evident in its landmarks such as the Alcázar of Seville, the Cathedral of Saint Mary of the See (one of the largest Gothic cathedrals in the world), and the Giralda tower. Seville’s historic center, with its narrow streets and courtyards filled with orange trees, alongside the Guadalquivir River, provides a picturesque setting that filmmakers have found irresistible.

Check out some of the notable movies that were filmed in this great city.

  • “Lawrence of Arabia” (1962): This classic film about British officer T.E. Lawrence’s experiences in the Arabian Peninsula during World War I used Seville to stand in for Cairo and Jerusalem. The Plaza de España in Seville was famously used to represent the British headquarters in Cairo.
  • “The Dictator” (2012): Some scenes of this comedy film starring Sacha Baron Cohen were shot in Seville, which doubled for the fictional North African country of Wadiya. The city’s exotic look provided the perfect backdrop for the film’s setting.
  • “Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones” (2002): The Plaza de España in Seville was transformed into the city of Theed on the planet Naboo. The semi-circular plaza, with its Renaissance/Neo-Moorish architecture, provided a visually stunning location for the scenes where Anakin Skywalker and Padmé Amidala walk together.

Canary Islands

Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain
Fausto García-Menéndez via Unsplash

The Canary Islands, an archipelago off the coast of northwestern Africa but politically part of Spain, are known for their rugged volcanic isles and black- and white-sand beaches. The islands have a diverse landscape that ranges from the green forests and black sands of La Palma to the desert landscapes of Fuerteventura, and from the lunar-like terrain of Lanzarote to the towering Mount Teide in Tenerife, Spain’s highest peak. This variety, coupled with a favorable climate year-round, makes the Canary Islands an appealing location for filmmakers seeking exotic and varied backdrops.

The collection of films and TV shows below will definitely make you want to travel to the Canary Islands.

  • “Clash of the Titans” (2010) and “Wrath of the Titans” (2012): These mythological action films used the unique landscapes of the Canary Islands to represent ancient worlds, with Tenerife’s Teide National Park serving as one of the notable locations for its otherworldly terrain.
  • “Fast & Furious 6” (2013): The Canary Islands, particularly Tenerife, provided locations for some of the high-speed chases and action sequences in the film, exploiting the islands’ varied landscapes and extensive road networks.
  • “Exodus: Gods and Kings” (2014): Directed by Ridley Scott, parts of this biblical epic were filmed on the island of Fuerteventura. The island’s arid landscapes were used to depict ancient Egypt and its surrounding desert regions.
  • “Jason Bourne” (2016): The Canary Islands, particularly Tenerife, were used to stand in for various global locations in the film. The capital city, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, featured in a key action sequence.
  • “Wonder Woman 1984” (2020): Parts of this superhero film were shot in the Canary Islands, with Fuerteventura’s landscapes standing in for the fictional land of Themyscira.
  • “The Witcher” (Netflix series): The Canary Islands were among the filming locations for this fantasy series. The islands’ diverse landscapes helped to create the series’ rich, fantastical worlds.

Almería Desert

Almería Desert, Spain
Jessie Harel via Unsplash

The Almería Desert, located in the southeastern region of Spain, in the province of Almería, is part of the Tabernas Desert, one of the only true deserts in Europe. This arid landscape, characterized by its rugged terrain, dry river beds, and sparse vegetation, offers a striking similarity to the North American deserts, making it a unique filming location within Europe.

The desert’s dramatic landscapes have made it an ideal backdrop for many films, especially during the 1960s and 1970s, when it became famously known as the setting for many spaghetti Westerns. Here are a few you can’t miss!

  1. Spaghetti Westerns by Sergio Leone: The desert gained international fame as the setting for several iconic spaghetti Westerns directed by Sergio Leone. Films such as “A Fistful of Dollars” (1964), “For a Few Dollars More” (1965), and “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” (1966), starring Clint Eastwood, were primarily shot here. The stark, barren landscapes of the Almería Desert were perfect for Leone’s gritty, realistic depiction of the American West.
  2. “Lawrence of Arabia” (1962): This classic film used the desert landscapes of Almería to stand in for the Arabian desert, showcasing the versatility of the area’s scenery. The epic scale of the movie was well served by the expansive and unspoiled desert vistas.
  3. “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” (1989): Some scenes of this popular installment in the Indiana Jones series were filmed in the Almería Desert, utilizing its rugged terrain to represent various locations in the film’s globe-trotting adventure.
  4. “Exodus: Gods and Kings” (2014): Directed by Ridley Scott, this biblical epic used the desert landscapes of Almería to depict ancient Egypt, taking advantage of the region’s dramatic scenery and historical ambiance.

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