Many locations we see on screen are actually just prefabricated sets in film studios. The real locations moreover often differ from what they are portrayed to be in the movie, which saves the film makers a great deal of money but does not benefit travellers.
Here are 10 beautiful locations that have been used in some of the great movies and series of the last few decades.
1. Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic: James Bond Casino Royale, 2006
Casino Royale saw James Bond facing his poker opponents in a high stakes tournament in Montenegro. The scenes were actually filmed in the beautiful Czech spa town of Karlovy Vary with the Casino Royale Montenegro in reality being the Grandhotel Pupp located in that particular city.
2. Matmata & Tataouine, Tunisia: Star Wars, 1977-present
Most of the desert scenes in the original Star Wars trilogy were shot in the Tunisian desert, specifically in the regions of Matmata and Tataouine, the latter furthermore inspiring the name for Luke Skywalker’s home planet Tatooine.
3. Tongariro National Park, New Zealand: Lord of the Rings, 2001-2003
Most of the jaw dropping scenery that you saw in Lord of the Rings and the following spin-offs are national parks and conservation zones in New Zealand, such as Tongariro National Park.
4. Ocean Drive, Miami, FL: Scarface, 1983
As one of the most famed roads in America, the Ocean Drive in South Beach Miami has starred in numerous scenes but none as emblematic as the chainsaw scene in Scarface, when Tony Montana and his acolytes face their enemies in a small Ocean drive building in which one of Montana‘s colleagues is cut to pieces with a chainsaw.
5. Dubrovnik, Croatia: Game of Thrones, 2011-present
Game of Thrones plays in a fictitious world but the stunning locations in the series are to some extent real and as amazing in reality as on screen. Dubrovnik is one of the medieval fortress towns chosen by the shows’ creators and serves as filming location for most of the scenes in Westeros‘ capital, King’s Landing.
6. Palazzo Vecchio, Florence, Italy: Inferno, 2016
The Italian city of Florence has an enormous amount of architectural masterpieces at its disposal, the Palazzo Vecchio being one of its trademark palaces. The incredible amount of mural art, notably the Hall of the Five Hundred and the medieval corridors were used in the movie adaption of Dan Brown’s Inferno, in which Robert Langdon has to find a virus and decrypt some of the palace’s ancient secrets (although historically not entirely accurate).
7. Province of Alberta, Canadian Rockies: The Revenant, 2016
The breathtaking scenery of the Canadian Rockies has been used as set for the 2016 adventure movie The Revenant in which Leonardo di Caprio has to swim through freezing rivers, fight wild animals and cover endless miles of winter wilderness.
8. Grjótagjá cave, Reykjahlíð, Iceland: Game of Thrones Season 3, 2014
Another amazing location Game of Thrones fans will be familiar with. The cave beyond the wall in which Jon Snow and his wildling lover Ygritte have sex is actually a popular tourist destination in Iceland. The hot baths in the cave are one of the many ways of finding warmth in the harsh Icelandic climate.
9. Ouarzazate, Casablanca & Rabat, Morocco: Prison Break Season 5, 2017
The fifth season of Prison Break sees Michael alive and having to break out of a prison in war-torn Yemen. The events in Yemen were actually filmed in three Moroccan cities that provide stunning Arab settings and oriental architecture.
10. Medellín, Colombia: Narcos, 2015-present
The second largest Colombian city became infamous for the major role it played as a cartel stronghold during Pablo Escobar’s reign as drug lord in the ’70s and ’80s, a time portrayed in the series Narcos. Medellín has however come a very long way since its days as a cocaine hub and is in reality nothing like the TV show. The metropolis is nowadays one of Colombia’s economic powerhouses and was named world’s most innovative city by the Urban Land Institute in 2013.