The power of films go beyond their entertainment value, they can challenge us, bring out a new perspective we didn’t know existed, make us laugh or cry like never before; but maybe most of all, they can transport us to worlds so ripe with imagination, so tantalizing and unapologetic in their rendering that for a moment, however brief, we become lost within its realm. This is the power of film. But then, the lights creep on, the credits roll, and you’re thrust back into a reality where you never got your Hogwarts acceptance letter and you still have to go to work on Monday.
Today, with all the advancements in special effects, CGI can allow us to completely create character and surroundings, making films both more realistic and capable of pushing the limits of our imaginations. Now, no one can deny we all reap the benefits of this, but there still is something to be said for the “old days” where movies were more likely to be shot down your street than in an elaborate Hollywood lot. Luckily, there are some things you just can’t recreate in a studio and your favorite movies scenes are more accessible than you think. Wouldn’t you like to take a stroll on Naboo? Walk in the footsteps of Indiana Jones or explore the jungles of Jurassic Park? Well, believe it or not, you can. Just check out these 25 film locations you can visit in real life and relive all the magic of the movies again, but this time, in person.
25 The Shining Hotel
Notably one of Stanley Kubrick's cult classics, The Shining took the theaters by storm when it first came out in 1980. Everyone who has ever been to a hotel (or motel) with its long hallways and not always up-to-date decorum can easily find them to be eerie. You can still visit the hotel today that was featured in the exterior shots of the film and even spend a night in it for around $150 bucks, which is surprisingly affordable. The actual hotel in the movie is called the Timberline Lodge and is located in Mount Hood, a region in Northern Oregon which is well-known for its surrounding scenery and winter skiing. (Source: TimberlineLodge)
24 The Hogwarts Express
Harry Potter fans will recognize the famous Hogwarts Express train featured in almost every one of the Harry Potter Movies. However, most will be surprised, and excited, to know that not only can you see the viaduct style overpass, but you can also ride it yourself! But you’ll have to make the journey to the Highlands in Scotland first. The Jacobite steam engine train runs twice daily and leaves from Fort Williams and arrives at Mallaig; a quaint town on the western coastline of Scotland. The 4-hour ride will set you back about $80 but the hardest thing is getting reservations since seats are usually booked months in advance. (Source: WestcoastRailways)
23 The Grand Budapest Hotel Lobby
Wes Anderson is known for his stunning and picturesque locations in his films and The Grand Budapest Hotel was no exception. Despite the secrecy around many of the locations, the main entrance of the hotel that was seen in the film isn't a hotel at all, in fact, it's actually a department store located in Görlitzer Germany. The ornate building is located about an hour and a half from the popular city of Dresden closely boarding the south of Prague. Round trip flights to Dresden cost just under $1000 and from there you can either rent a car or catch a train to get to this magnificent, and underappreciated department store.
22 Hunger Games: Catching Fire (Elevator Scene)
It must have been difficult finding a place that could fit the grandiose and futuristic city of District 1 and not have to use CGI to accomplish its modern look. At the beginning of part-one of Catching Fire, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson), are placed in a stark-overzealous building as they await the games and ride an enormously long elevator to their rooms. While it seems like CGI or a green screen, it’s actually the Marriott Marquis hotel in Atlanta, Georgia! If you’re in town you can ride the elevator for free or get a room in the hotel for just under $200 a night (and no, you don’t have to volunteer as tribute to do so). (Source: Marriott)
21 The Museum in Vertigo
Two years before Alfred Hitchcock released, probably his most famous film, Psycho the thriller-focused director filmed Vertigo (1958) throughout San Francisco. The mystery-romance-thriller was entirely filmed on location in San Francisco, with many of the locations still accessible to the public. While some places like the restaurant where Scottie first sees Madeleine has closed since the movie, the museum (which is a real museum) is still up and running. The Palace of the Legion of Honor and the Legion of Honor Drive in Lincoln Park are located in the northwest tip of San Francisco and have a range of impressive artists in its collection such Rembrandt, Monet, and Rodin. Tickets are $15 for adults and only $6 for students. (Source: LegionOfHonor)
20 The Godfather opening wedding scene
If you haven’t seen The Godfather yet, stop what you’re doing right now and go watch this classic mobster film directed by Francis Ford Coppola and featuring some of the most renowned actors of all time: Marlon Brando, Al Pacino and so many more. The wedding scene that opens the film, and where audiences first correlate mob-bosses and cats, was shot on location in Staten Island. The Italian-American crime families mansion still stands at 110 Longfellow Avenue at the end of the street's cul-de-sac in the posh neighborhood of Emerson Hill. You can take the Staten Island Ferry to St. George Ferry Terminal (for FREE!) and from there catch a bus to Grasmere where its only a 30min walk to the home.
19 Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones
It’s hard to believe that some of these locations are real especially when the backdrop is filled with Jedi's and strange outer-space creatures. In Star Wars Episode II, the Plaza de España in Seville was used as Theed, the capital of Naboo! Although they did shoot on location here, in post-production editors altered the surrounding background and sky so it’s hard to recognize at first. The scene you’ll probably remember being filmed here is the one above where R2-D2, Anakin Skywalker, and a young Padme (Natalie Portman) stroll through the long ornate pillars. Seville is a beautiful city where many other films such the Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz film Knight and Day. Best of all? Flights from the US to Seville are under $1000 buckaroos!
Maybe one of the reasons JAWS struck such a nerve in people—besides a seemingly universal fear humans have of being eaten by sharks—was the realistic nature of the town. For those who grew up on the East Coast or visited during the summer with family, you probably saw or even stayed in towns that looked just like Amity Island. Practically the entirety of JAWS was filmed in Massachusetts on Martha’s Vineyard, a small island on the North Atlantic Ocean. You can take one of the dozen Island Queen ferries that travel from Falmouth, Massachusetts to Martha’s Vineyard for a reasonable price of $22 (round trip) and spend the day exploring this quaint little island.
17 Lady Catherine Estate in Pride and Prejudice
Pride and Prejudice filmed this Elizabethan period piece in locations throughout England and at some of the most prestigious castles that once housed Kings and Queens. In the film, the strict and proper Lady Catherine de Bourgh, played by Judi Dench, lives in an elaborate estate which is actually The Burghley House located in Peterborough, England. Constructed in 1558, the house was built during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I and has more than 80 rooms, numerous halls and corridors, and historic gardens. The house and gardens are open to visitors and tickets run for about $20, but once you buy it you can come back as many times as you want for 365 days from the date of purchase. (Source: Burghley)
16 Jurassic Park
Practically all of the Jurassic Park series was filmed either in Hawaii or at Universal Studios in Los Angeles. Since the original Jurassic Park that premiered in 1996, animation has improved drastically, but the lush forests of Kauai island that are featured throughout the film still remain just as gorgeous. The giant ‘Jurassic Park,’ gate in the film is at the base of Mount Wai’ale’ale. Despite the gates being removed after filming two large metal poles still remain on both sides of the road. The National Tropical Botanical Gardens on Kauai also was the site where Grant finds the raptor nest and discovers that the lab-produced dinosaurs are able to reproduce! There’s so much to see on this spectacular island and from Los Angeles you can take a direct flight to Kauai for under $500! (Source: NTBG)
15 Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
The final of the original Indiana Jones series was shot all over the world with locations spanning across the USA and the middle east. Towards the end of the movie Indie (Harrison Ford) and his Father, played by Sean Connery, find themselves at the resting place of the Holy Grail in the “Lost City.” In reality, it’s not lost at all but really one of the Seven Wonders of the World and a popular tourist destination: Petra. Located in modern-day Jordan, Petra is a 3-hour drive from the capital Amman. You’ll be thrilled to know that the over 16-hour flight from NYC to King Hussein International Airport is just under $800 round-trip!
14 The Hotel in Pretty Woman
Julia Roberts breakout role as the girl who gets a taste of the high-life after meeting, and falling for, a kind and considerate millionaire couldn’t happen anywhere else but Hollywood. The hotel where Roberts character Vivian first gets a glimpse at what a life of luxury entails is at the Regent Beverly Wilshire, 9500 Wilshire Boulevard. The interior shots were filmed at Disney studio in Burbank, but you can still snag a room at the hotel for a hefty $895 a night, and that’s just the bare minimum! Suites can easily go over $3,000. If you’re not willing to drop a grand on a room, don’t worry, you can simply drive past the hotel and get a picture for the convenient price of $0.00. (Source: TheFourSeasons)
The Oscar-winning film for Best-Picture was entirely shot on location in Florida. While once a mecca for middle-class families, Liberty city today is known in the area for its violent crimes and dilapidated neighborhood, which was also a focal point in the film. Despite this, the pastel colors of most buildings give the area an aesthetic appeal. The neighborhood is west of I-95 and only a few miles north of Downtown Miami. Liberty Square Complex, featured in the film, is one of the oldest housing complexes in the area and sits between NW12 and NW15 Avenue. Meanwhile, the various ocean scenes were filmed at Virginia Key Beach (4020 Virginia Beach Drive, Miami, FL 33149). Best of all, you can see all of these locations for FREE!
12 Twilight Saga Forest
The popular vampire-romance books by Stephenie Meyer is set in the small town of Forks, Washington state. Even though Forks is a real town, the movies were actually filmed mostly in Oregon and California. The misty forest where Bella (Kristen Stewart) and Edward (Robert Patterson) often visit throughout the film and leap from treetops was shot in Silver Falls State Park, just 26 miles from Salem, Oregon. One trail at this gorgeous National Park lead you past 10 waterfalls, more than half of which are over 100 feet, and totals almost 9 miles. The park also offers pet-friendly rustic cabins that visitors can stay at for only $43 a night. (Source: OregonStatePark)
11 Hogwarts Castle
If you’re a Harry Potter fan and planning to visit England, Gloucester Cathedral is a MUST to visit. The 11th-century cathedral is located just 45 minutes south of Bristol and has been featured in EVERY Harry Potter film. Most notably, the Gloucester Cathedral long ornate arched hallways and glass windows made it the perfect setting for the wizards and witches at Hogwarts to walk through. You may remember, more specifically, towards the end of The Chamber of Secrets when Harry and Ron come across a message scrawled across a wall. Well, you can walk down that very hallway in the cathedral, and best of all, it’s FREE to enter! (Source: GloucesterCathedral)
10 Forrest Gump at anti-war protest
When Forrest Gump is selected by a group of anti-Vietnam supporters to go up and make a speech he, being Forrest Gump, willing agrees without hesitation. Its then during his speech (that no one can hear due to the mic being cut out that out) that a hippy Jenny comes calling out from the crowd and leaps across the water of the Lincoln Memorial, where they actually filmed the scene! The Lincoln Memorial, along with its long walkway to get there, is completely open to everyone. Plus, you can get a non-stop flights to Washington D.C. for the low-low. For example, if you’re flying out from Los Angeles, Spirit Airlines offers flights for around $220!!!
9 The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Located 10 hours south of New Delhi and 13 hours north of Mumbai, the Ravla Khempur hotel that was featured in the film is a little out of the way to get too. However, once you finally get there the architecture and surrounding hotel grounds is anything less than astounding. The Ravla Khempur hotel dates back to 1628 A.D. and offers camel safari excursions, a menu-less restaurant, and rooms for just $85 a night! A round trip flight will set you back about $1,200, which, considering its halfway around the world, isn’t too shabby. Most airlines will have you fly into Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (BOM) and then may you take a smaller plane to Maharana Pratap Airport (UDR), but from there it’s just a quick 50-minute taxi ride. (Source: RavlaKhempur)
8 Lord of The Rings
While the world of hobbits, wizards, and dwarfs was set in Middle Earth the filming for this epic trilogy was done entirely in New Zealand, which also happens to be the homeland of its director: Peter Jackson. New Zealand’s diverse geological scenery was the backdrop for more than 150 locations that were used throughout the filming of both The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit Trilogy, and luckily, you can take guided tours to these exact spots! You’ll be happily surprised that getting to New Zealand isn’t as expensive as you think, and with the help of sites like Kayak, you can find round-trip flights from NYC to New Zealand for around $900.
7 The Sound of Music
This 1965 hit musical, featuring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer, is a classic. Much of the film was shot in Salzburg, where the real Von Trapp family actually lived, and you can easily visit these locations throughout the city today. One of the most well-known scenes in the film has to be when Maria and the Von Trapp children skip through the Mirabell Gardens singing the classic Do-Re-Mi number, and you can do the same! The gardens are free to the public and still have the vine-covered archway that they run through in the film. Depending on the time of year, you can get direct flights to Salzburg for as low as $800 round-trip! (Source: Salzburg)
6 The home in A Christmas Story
More than 25 years later, the beloved holiday film from the 1980’s is still a cult classic. Although the characters are set in Indiana the iconic yellow home of the Parker family can be found in Cleveland, Ohio at 3159 W. 11th Street. The home was originally used for exterior shots only, but when owner Brian Jones bought the property in 2004 he decided to revamp the interior to make it exactly like how it was in the film and opened the house to the public in 2006 as a museum. Today, you can visit the Christmas Story House and Museum 7-days a week (excluding major holidays). General admission tickets are $11, while children ages 3-12 are only $8. (Source: AChristmasStoryHouse)
5 Xavier’s School in X-Men
Hatley Castle was used as the setting for Xavier’s renowned, and secret, school for mutants. The National Historic Site is located in Colwood, British Columbia and sits on more than 500 acres with glorious ocean and mountain views. The castle is located on Vancouver Island which you can get to by ferry from Vancouver (Tsawwassen Terminal) to Victoria (Swartz Bay Terminal). The ferry takes about an hour and a half in total and tickets for 12 years old and up are $17.20. Apart from the X-Men series many other films and television shows have shot on the grounds over the past 80 years including Deadpool, The Boy, Descendants, Smallville and much more. Hatley Castle also doubles as a wedding venue! But if you just want to explore the castle and park you can do so for $18.50. (Source: HatleyCastle)
4 Ghostbusters Headquarters
In the 1984 blockbuster hit Ghostbusters, Bill Murray, Harold Ramis and Dan Aykroyd play ex-professors who join together to seek out paranormal activity and rid the streets of New York City from dangerous ghosts. Their headquarters? An old fire station. Hook and Ladder 8 Fire Station was used as the “Ghostbusters Headquarters” in both the movies and today is an active firehouse that still serves the city. You can find this legendary film location at 14 North Moore Street, Manhattan. If you’re traveling by subway take the red line to Franklin St. and walk north on Varick St towards N Moore St and you’ll be there in less than a minute. Plus, from most states in the U.S., you can find round-trip flights to NYC for less than $400!
3 James Bond's childhood home in Skyfall
Daniel Craig returned to play James Bond for the third time back in the 2012 action-packed movie Skyfall. Filming for the 23rd James Bond film (we can’t believe there's been that many either!) took place all over the world including locations in London and Turkey. Towards the end of the film Bond returns back to his childhood home in Scotland. While Bond’s family home was made specifically for the film and deconstructed after shooting, you can still visit the majestic valleys of Glen Coe that were seen in Skyfall. The best way to travel through the highlands is by car, rentals average $20-35 per day. Meanwhile flying into Edinburgh, round-trip, will cost about $750. (Source: DiscoverGlenCoe)
2 Lara Croft: Tomb Raider
A large portion of the Tomb Raider was filmed in Siem Reap, Cambodia. In fact, you’ll even find many of the local hot spots in the area sporting themed items on their menu such as the “Tomb Raider Cocktail” at The Red Piano (a restaurant Angelina Jolie frequently visited while filming back in 2000). Angkor is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is home to more than 70 temples. The temple featured in the film is Ta Prohm temple and located within the Angkor complex. When you go you’ll want to see as many temples as you can, so opt for either a 3-day pass for $62 or a 7-day pass for $72. If you're willing to take a 20+ hour flight with connections, China Southern Air offers flights from NYC to Siem Reap for around $800.
1 Amityville Horror
Defiantly the creepiest location on our list, the colonial-style home is located at 112 Ocean Avenue in a suburban neighborhood in Amityville, New York. Since 1979, there have been 10 films made about the chilling events that occurred in 1974 where, tormented by ghosts, the family only stayed in the home for 28 days. Given this, it’s not surprising that films have only ever used the home for exterior shots. What may surprise you, however, is that the notorious house of horrors sold for $850,00 back in 2016.
References: movie-locations.com, roughguides.com, onlocationtours.com, and Google Flights