Christ Church Cathedral
Christ Church Cathedral by Toby Ord (CC BY-SA)

50 Iconic Movie Locations Around the World

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It's no wonder filmmakers spend so much time trying to find the perfect shooting locations for their movies. After all, the willingness of an audience to suspend their disbelief can depend largely on how well a movie's set matches its story. But due to production constraints, filmmakers often have to get creative in choosing locations, especially when a movie takes place in a medieval city, or on the fictional planet of Pandora. If you've ever been curious about where some of your favorite films were shot, check out our list of 50 iconic movie locations that you might want to add to your travel bucket list (for when travel is a thing again). 

Related: 26 Stunning 'Game of Thrones' Filming Locations Worth Visiting

Cherry Tree Inn | Woodstock, Illinois
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Cherry Tree Inn | Woodstock, Illinois

"Groundhog Day"
The Victorian bed-and-breakfast from Harold Ramis' 1993 comedy "Groundhog Day" still serves as an actual B&B. Previously known as the Royal Victorian Manor, it was finally sold in 2017 for $695,000, and its current name echoes the name of the establishment where Bill Murray stayed in the film: The Cherry Street Inn. Though the real Groundhog Day festival is a tradition in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, some 500 miles away from Woodstock.

Fox Plaza
Fox Plaza by Tenji (None)

Fox Plaza | Los Angeles

"Die Hard"
The Fox Plaza in Los Angeles was completed in 1987. Just one year later, the postmodern building served as the exterior of the fictional Nakatomi Plaza, in which John McClane spent most of "Die Hard" hunting down German terrorists. Former President Ronald Reagan also had offices in the building after leaving the White House, and today Fox Plaza is still in operation.

Skellig Michael in Ireland
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Skellig Michael | County Kerry, Ireland

"Star Wars: The Force Awakens" and "Star Wars: The Last Jedi"
A Gaelic Christian monastery was built on this small, striking island off the coast of Ireland sometime between the sixth and eighth centuries. And on a different timeline, in a galaxy far, far away, Skellig Michael served as the refuge of Luke Skywalker in at least two of the "Star Wars" films. It's also one of the most beautiful views in the world.

Interior, 2008
Interior, 2008 by Andreas Praefcke (CC BY)

Görlitz Department Store | Görlitz, Germany

"Grand Budapest Hotel"
The Görlitz department store was one of the longest-running department stores in the world, operating out of a beautiful art nouveau building from 1913 to 2009. It served as the main set for Wes Anderson's 2014 film "The Grand Budapest Hotel," which won an Academy Award for best production design.

Related: 18 Iconic Department Stores We Miss

Curracloe beach
Curracloe beach by Vasiok1 (CC BY)

Ballinesker and Curracloe Beaches | Wexford, Ireland

"Saving Private Ryan"
Beaches figure prominently in many movies. The unforgettable D-Day landing scenes from Steven Spielberg's 1998 "Saving Private Ryan" were shot on two beaches in Ireland that are part of a nature protection area.

Related: 30 Free Things to Do in Ireland

Katz's Delicatessen in New York City, New York
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Katz's Delicatessen | New York

"When Harry Met Sally"
At 205 E. Houston St. in Manhattan sits Katz's Delicatessen, the lunch spot featured in the unforgettable "I'll have what she's having" scene from "When Harry Met Sally" (1989). It's also one of America's most iconic restaurants.

Toms River, New Jersey
Toms River, New Jersey by BrownieCharles99 (CC BY-SA)

Toms River, New Jersey, and Salem, Wisconsin

"The Amityville Horror" (1979 and 2005)
One of the scariest places in America, it's rumored to be haunted and was the place where a disturbed young man killed six of his family members in 1974. The lore behind the house at 112 Ocean Ave. in Amityville, New York, inspired two movies with the same name, as well as several sequels. The house featured in the 1979 film is at 18 Brooks Road in Toms River, New Jersey, (shown above) while the 2005 remake featured a home at 27618 Silver Lake Road in Salem, Wisconsin.

Mount Ngauruhoe
Mount Ngauruhoe by Drouyn Cambridge (CC BY-ND)

New Zealand

"Lord of the Rings" Trilogy
The striking landscapes of Queenstown, Glenorchy, and Arrowtown in New Zealand served as Middle-earth in many scenes of the "Lord of the Rings" movies. Locals took in about $200 for adults and up and $100 for children who wanted to take full- and half-day "Lord of the Rings"-themed tours of the country.

Island of Ischia in Naples, Italy
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Island of Ischia | Naples, Italy

"The Talented Mr. Ripley" and "Cleopatra"
This gorgeous Mediterranean island in the Tyrrhenian Sea served as the 1950s-era set of "The Talented Mr. Ripley," a 1999 psychological thriller starring Matt Damon, Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, and the late Philip Seymour Hoffman. It became a massively popular tourist destination, attracting millions each year for its natural beauty and thermal spas. The island was also featured in the 1963 historical drama "Cleopatra," starring Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor.

Hitching Post II Restaurant | Buellton, California
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The Hitching Post II Restaurant | Buellton, California

"Sideways"
Anyone who's seen Alexander Payne's 2004 dark comedy "Sideways" will likely remember The Hitching Post II, the restaurant where Miles, a wine enthusiast and struggling writer, was a regular. Next time you're visiting California's Central Coast, consider stopping in for some California-style barbecue and wine — just not merlot, if you want to follow in Miles' footsteps.

Christ Church Cathedral in Oxford, England
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Christ Church Cathedral | Oxford, England

"Harry Potter" series
Oxford's Christ Church Cathedral was known to draw more than 300,000 visitors each year, many coming because the 16th century cathedral served as Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in the "Harry Potter" movies. A walking tour was filled with recognizable locations from the films, such as the Great Hall and the staircase featured in the scene where students first arrived at Hogwarts.

Philippines Micronesia
Philippines Micronesia by Stefan Krasowski (CC BY)

Pagsanjan | Laguna, Philippines

"Apocalypse Now"
Francis Ford Coppola's Vietnam War epic "Apocalypse Now" was set in Vietnam and Cambodia, though the filmmaker's notoriously disastrous shoot actually took place in the jungles of the Philippines. About the shooting, the filmmaker was quoted as saying "We were in the jungle. There were too many of us. We had access to too much money, too much equipment. And little by little we went insane." Fans could follow in the wake of Capt. Willard and his crew by taking a guided trip up the Bumbungan River, which was the river next to Col. Kurtz's compound in the 1979 film.

Wadi Rum in Jordan
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Wadi Rum | Jordan

"The Martian"
Wadi Rum, also known as the "Valley of the Moon," is a protected desert in Jordan that bears a striking resemblance to the surface of Mars. That's presumably why Ridley Scott featured it in two of his space-themed films: "Prometheus" in 2012 and, more recently, 2015's "The Martian." Scenes from "Lawrence of Arabia" were also shot here. More recently, the location has appeared in "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker" as the fictional planet Pasaana.

Devils Tower, Wyoming
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Devils Tower | Wyoming

"Close Encounters of the Third Kind"
The first United States National Monument, Devils Tower is a massive rock formation — more technically known as a laccolithic butte — in the Bear Lodge Mountains of Wyoming. It was featured in Steven Spielberg's famous 1977 alien flick "Close Encounters of the Third Kind."

Related: 33 National Monuments Everyone Should Visit at Least Once

Dallas City Hall
Dallas City Hall by Kent Wang (CC BY-SA)

Dallas City Hall | Dallas

"RoboCop"
The imposing, modernist features of Dallas City Hall appealed to the filmmakers of 1987's "RoboCop," who turned it into the headquarters of Omni Consumer Products — the corporation that created RoboCop. Most visitors haven't gone to gawk, though, but to pay a ticket.

Seaside, Florida
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Seaside, Florida

"The Truman Show"
Seaside became famous after serving as picturesque Seahaven Island in 1998's "The Truman Show." In real life, Seaside is a planned community that was designed in the New Urbanist style, which emphasizes walkable neighborhoods.

Al Khazneh in Jordan
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Al Khazneh | Jordan

"Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade"
Carved out of a sandstone rock face in the first century A.D., this stunning temple served as the resting place of the Holy Grail in the 1989 third installment of the "Indiana Jones" franchise. It's been a tourist attraction since it was rediscovered by Swiss explorer Johann Ludwig Burckhardt in 1812.

The Bench at Chippewa Square | Savannah, Georgia
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The Bench at Chippewa Square | Savannah, Georgia

"Forrest Gump"
The park bench where Forrest Gump sits and tells his life story throughout most of the 1994 box-office hit was in Chippewa Square in the downtown historic district of Savannah, Georgia. The square is still there; the bench moved to the Savannah History Museum.

Timberline Lodge | Mount Hood, Oregon
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Timberline Lodge | Mount Hood, Oregon

"The Shining"
Perched at an elevation of 6,000 feet in Mount Hood National Forest lies the Timberline Lodge, which served as the exterior of the fictional Overlook Hotel in Stanley Kubrick's 1980 "The Shining." It gets at least a 4 out of 5 review across most major hotel rating services.

Related: 21 Horror Movie Locations You Need to Visit

United Methodist Church in LaVerne, CA
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United Methodist Church | La Verne, California

"The Graduate"
The modernist church featured in 1967's "The Graduate" was perfect for the film's famous final scene in which Benjamin Braddock (Dustin Hoffman) convinces the woman he loves not to marry another man through brilliant use of the art of persuasion. Actually, he just shouted her name over and over and banged his fists on the second-story glass wall. The church remained open for worship after its star turn — even for weddings.

Hook & Ladder Company
Hook & Ladder Company by Wally Gobetz (CC BY-NC-ND)

Hook & Ladder Company 8 Firehouse | New York

"Ghostbusters" (1984), "Ghostbusters II" (1989), and "Ghostbusters" (2016)
The Tribeca firehouse featured in the "Ghostbusters" movies was built in 1903 and has remained in operation throughout the years. In fact, the firefighters of Hook & Ladder Company 8 were some of the first responders on Sept. 11, 2001. The historic firehouse has received a $6 million upgrade in recent years and remains a popular place for passersby to snap photos.

Related: 10 Historic Firehouses Across America

Varda Viaduct in Varda, Turkey
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Varda Viaduct | Varda, Turkey

"Skyfall"
This century-old viaduct is the tallest in Turkey, standing at about 320 feet. In 2012's "Skyfall," James Bond falls off the viaduct after getting shot during a fight on top of a train traveling the single-track railway. Varda Viaduct is a popular tourist attraction mainly for its beautiful design, though.

Hatley Castle in British Columbia, Canada
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Hatley Castle | British Columbia, Canada

"X-Men" series
Hatley Castle was used as the exterior for Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters in the "X-Men" movies. In real life, the castle was used as dorms for Royal Roads Military College and now as the administrative center for Royal Roads University.

Field of Dreams
Field of Dreams by Mindy (CC BY-NC-SA)

Baseball Diamond | Dubuque County, Iowa

"Field of Dreams"
The famous baseball diamond featured in "Field of Dreams" was built for the movie, but it was left behind for the landowners after the film's completion. It became a multimillion-dollar baseball complex called All-Star Ballpark Heaven.

The McCallisters' House | Winnetka, Illinois
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The McCallisters' House | Winnetka, Illinois

"Home Alone"
The iconic Georgian house featured in "Home Alone" is at 671 Lincoln Ave. in this village a little north of Chicago. In 2012, it sold for around $1.6 million after being on the market for about a year.

Kauai, HI
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Kauai, Hawaii

"Jurassic Park" franchise
Kauai's striking mountains and lush landscapes served as the backdrop for scenes throughout Steven Spielberg's "Jurassic Park" franchise. The locations are inaccessible to tourists except by guided tours, when they run.

Glenfinnan Viaduct
Glenfinnan Viaduct by Modes Rodríguez (CC BY-NC-ND)

Glenfinnan Viaduct | Inverness-shire, Scotland

"Harry Potter" series
At 416 yards, the Glenfinnan viaduct is the largest concrete railway bridge in Scotland. It was featured in four of the "Harry Potter" movies during scenes in which students were traveling to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. To people who take ScotRail passenger trains on the West Highland Line, it's just how they get around.

Related: 40 Spectacular Train Trips Around the World

L Street Tavern in Boston, MA
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L Street Tavern | Boston

"Good Will Hunting"
South Boston's L Street Tavern was the local hangout for Will and his friends in the 1997 Oscar-winning film "Good Will Hunting." After the death of Robin Williams, who appeared in the film, the bar released a statement saying he was very kind and "certainly put us on the map, as we have visitors all over the world to see the little corner tavern where they filmed the Academy Award-winning film. He will be missed."

Cleveland, OH Christmas Story House
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The Parkers' House | Cleveland

"A Christmas Story"
"A Christmas Story" (1983) is based in Indiana, but the exterior shots of the Parker family's house were filmed in Cleveland, where the house stands today — with a leg lamp proudly displayed in the front window. It's since been renovated to match the interior of the home shown in the film and opened to the public, a complement to the A Christmas Story House Museum across the street.

Mayan Temple Ruins in Tikal National Park, Guatemala
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Mayan Temple Ruins | Tikal National Park, Guatemala

"Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope"
George Lucas reportedly chose the Mayan temple ruins at Tikal National Park as the filming location for the Massassi Outpost rebel base in his first "Star Wars" movie (later retitled "Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope") after seeing a poster at a travel agency in London. Today, the park is a UNESCO National Heritage Site.

Related: 18 Things You Must Do While Traveling Central America

The Graduate
The Graduate by Tony Hoffarth (CC BY-NC-ND)

The Robinsons' House | Beverly Hills, California

"The Graduate"
Although it had an all-white exterior when "The Graduate" was filmed, the Robinsons' house featured in the film still stands today, with a pool in the back, at 607 N. Palm Drive in Beverly Hills.

Tiffany's in New York, NY
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Tiffany's | New York

"Breakfast at Tiffany's"
Located at Fifth Avenue and 57th Street in Manhattan is Tiffany's, the luxury department store where "nothing very bad could happen to you," or so said Holly Golightly in 1961's "Breakfast at Tiffany's." The store opened an on-site cafe in 2017 so that, finally, visitors could actually have breakfast at Tiffany's, but a renovation meant its Blue Box Cafe couldn't seat guests until 2021. 

Related: Exceptional Restaurants and Cafes In Your Favorite Stores

Coney Island in New York, NY
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Coney Island | New York

"The Warriors"  
"The Warriors" was filmed in many locations throughout New York City, but some of the most memorable scenes were shot in Coney Island, including the 1979 film's climactic final battle sequence.

Marin County Civic Center
Marin County Civic Center by Jeff (CC BY-NC-ND)

Marin County Civic Center | San Rafael, California

"Gattaca"
The pink stucco walls and peculiar balconies of Frank Lloyd Wright's Marin County Civic Center complex served as the set for some memorable interior shots feature in 1997's "Gattaca," a sci-fi film in which eugenics has become a widespread practice. These buildings are the only government facilities designed by Wright that ever saw construction.

Marriott Marquis | Atlanta
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Marriott Marquis | Atlanta

"Hunger Games: Catching Fire" and "Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1"
Some scenes that took place in the Capitol in "Hunger Games: Catching Fire" and "Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1" were shot in the Marriott Marquis, a hotel famous for its 50-story atrium that was once the largest in the world.

Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts
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Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts

"Jaws"
There was maybe no better place to set this classic monster movie than the affluent summer colony of Martha's Vineyard, where the biggest threat to inhabitants before Steven Spielberg's 25-foot shark had likely been experiencing a sunburn. Some locations featured in the film have remained basically unchanged, such as the Amity Gazette Building in Edgartown.

Doune Castle in Scotland
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Doune Castle | Scotland

"Monty Python and the Holy Grail"
It might have been England's Camelot in the 1975 movie, but in real life, Scotland's Doune Castle served as King Arthur's home. The castle still stands today near Stirling, where its grounds are open for visits.

Contra Dam in Switzerland
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Contra Dam | Switzerland

"GoldenEye"
In 2002, respondents to a Sky Movies poll voted James Bond's epic bungee jump from Switzerland's Contra Dam in the opening sequence of "GoldenEye" the best movie stunt of all time. Thrill-seekers who can get to the dam at all can recreate the 720-foot plunge for about $150.

Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, Turkey
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Grand Bazaar | Istanbul, Turkey

"Argo"
The real-life story behind Ben Affleck's 2012 film "Argo" took place in Iran. But filming there was impossible, so the production team chose Istanbul instead. Some scenes were shot in Istanbul's Grand Bazaar, one of the world's oldest covered markets still in operation.

Hotel Sidi Driss
Hotel Sidi Driss by Panegyrics of Granovetter (CC BY-SA)

Hotel Sidi Driss | Tunisia

"Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope"
George Lucas chose the adobe caverns of Hotel Sidi Driss as the set for Luke Skywalker's childhood home in the very first "Star Wars" movie. The hotel remains open to guests, complete with decorations from the movies in some of the rooms.

Tabernas Desert in Andalucía, Spain
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Tabernas Desert | Andalucía, Spain

"The Good, the Bad and the Ugly"
Even though this quintessential Western was set in the U.S. Old West, it was filmed partly in Spain's Tabernas Desert, which is a 170-square-mile national park.

Hāmākua Coast in Hawaii
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Hāmākua Coast | Hawaii

"Avatar"
James Cameron's "Avatar" was created using a mix of CGI and real-life shots. Some of the latter were filmed on the Hāmākua Coast on the Big Island of Hawaii.

Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur, India
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Mehrangarh Fort | Jodhpur, India

"The Dark Knight Rises"
Perched 400 feet above the city of Jodhpur in the Indian state of Rajasthan is the behemoth Mehrangarh Fort, which Bruce Wayne sees after he escapes a brutal underground prison in the 2012 end of director Christopher Nolan's "Batman" trilogy. In an interview, Nolan said locals thought the crew "was nuts shooting in 120-degree [Fahrenheit] heat."

Skiathos in Greece
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Skiathos | Greece

"Mamma Mia!"
The simple white houses and gorgeous ocean views of Skiathos Town, on the small Greek island of Skiathos in the Aegean Sea, served as the backdrop for most of the 2008 star-studded movie "Mamma Mia!" It only helped draw 150,000 people annually to visit the island, which boasts more than 50 beaches.

Savoca in Sicily
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The Villages of Savoca and Forza D'agro | Sicily

"The Godfather"
Even though the don's family comes from Corleone, Sicily, the filmmakers chose to shoot the classic 1972 gangster film in the nearby villages of Savoca and Forza d'Agro because Corleone was too developed.

Angkor, Cambodia
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Bayon Temple | Angkor Thom, Cambodia

"Lara Croft: Tomb Raider"
In her 2001 quest to recover some ancient magical artifacts, Lara Croft, played by Angelina Jolie, travels to the 12th-century Bayon Temple in Angkor Thom, the last city of the Khmer Empire. At least then, she could have just booked a guided tour.

Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, NV
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Caesars Palace | Las Vegas

"Rain Man"
In an attempt to win big by counting cards in blackjack, the long-lost brothers played by Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman in "Rain Man" decide to visit Caesars Palace on the west side of the Las Vegas Strip. The casino remains open, but counting cards is just as much a no-go as it was in 1988.

Related: 22 Must-See Vegas Attractions That Aren't on the Strip

Mansfield Reformatory
Mansfield Reformatory by Matt Evans (CC BY-NC-ND)

Ohio State Reformatory | Mansfield, Ohio

"The Shawshank Redemption"
The Ohio State Reformatory operated as a prison for almost a century until closing its doors in 1990, just a few years before the filming of "The Shawshank Redemption" (which came out in 199). In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, producer Niki Marvin said she chose the site because it had the two qualities she was looking for: a timeless style and being absolutely empty. The reformatory went on to provide "Shawshank" tours most of the year.

Philadelphia Museum of Art, Pennsylvania
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Philadelphia Museum of Art | Philadelphia

"Rocky"
The Philadelphia Museum of Art is the third-largest art museum in the country and has been one of the most popular attractions in the city. But what drew in many tourists besides the art were the museum's steps, which Sylvester Stallone climbed in the iconic training scene from the 1976 film "Rocky." It helped that jogging the steps is free, while admission to the museum was $25 for adults.

Related: Most Iconic Staircases Around the World

Birds schoolhouse, Bodega Bay
Ki L./Yelp

Bodega Bay, California

"The Birds"
In Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds" (1963), Melanie Daniels (Tippi Hedren) is terrorized by a massive flock of aggressive birds that descend on the seaside town of Bodega Bay. Bodega Bay is a real town, and between Bodega Bay and nearby Bodega lies the restaurant, schoolhouse, and other locations featured in the film.