Planning a unique vacation you and the family will all enjoy? Why not jump right into your favorite movie!
Not every movie was filmed in a studio lot. Across the world, various sites were used in some of the most famous movies, sites ranging from natural wonders to famous buildings, to structures built in unique locations just for the movie. Your kids will love the chance to wander the same halls or paths as their favorite characters, and you’ll love getting to reenact scenes from your favorite classics. Plan your next vacation by traveling inside the big screen!
Here are 5 of my favorite travel destinations from movies:
- Hobbiton, Matamata, New Zealand: It’s definitely true what they say, all roads lead to the Shire, or Hobbiton. Come visit the site of The Shire from the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies. The Hobbiton tour brings you straight through the winding paths of the Shire. Check out the hobbit holes, or take your photo in front of Bagg End itself. You can grab a pint and second breakfast at the Green Dragon Inn and find out some insider facts about the movies. Tours start from the town of Matamata or from Rotorua. Across New Zealand, you can find various filming sites from the movies.
- Alnwick Castle England: Wands at the ready. Take a trip up to Alnwick Castle in Alnwick, England. The castle, of course, was used as the outside of the one and only Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. You won’t have to perfect the alohomora spell to unlock the castle’s doors — tours will take you inside the 11th-century structure. Alnwick Castle provides tours of the gardens and castle grounds, as well as the rooms inside. Just watch out for the whomping willow or any moving staircases! There are three types of tours you can take: one for the movie buffs to learn about how the castle has appeared in media, one for the history buffs to learn about the castle’s history, and one for the interior design buffs to explore and learn about the staterooms inside the castle’s walls.
- Tunisia: Can you feel the force pulling you to Tatooine? Or, Tunisia, that is. Structures built into the Sahara desert served as the filming locations for the planet of Tatooine in the Star Wars trilogies, as well as various cities across the country. Head to Djerba for “Ben” or Obi Wan-Kenobi’s hermitage, or check out Tozeur for easy trips to many of the filming locations, including Lars Homestead, Mos Espa, Jutland Wastes, and more. Travel down south to the city of Medenine to visit Anakin Skywalker’s childhood home, or go to Matmata to see Luke Skywalker’s home.
- Salzburg, Austria: The hills are alive. Check out the set of the classic movie The Sound of Music, in Salzburg, Austria. Visit the Captain’s home at Schloss Leopoldskron, which is in tip-top shape, or wander the halls of the convent at Nonnberg Convent and sing your heart out like Maria. Head to Mirabelle Gardens to see where the children splashed and sang with Maria, or visit Hellbrunn Palace to see where the Von Trapp family performed. Tours from the city of Salzburg will take you around the sites, while giving you fun facts about the city, the movie, and the real-life Von Trapp family.
- Petra, Jordan: Find the Lost City from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade hiding right under your nose in Petra, Jordan. Petra’s temples, carved into pink stone, were used as the backdrop of the movie during Indiana Jones’s quest for the holy grail. The city of Petra was built in the 1st century BC, and at one point had up to 20,000 citizens. Take on the adventures by wandering the temples, or take a tour to learn about Petra’s history before Indiana Jones showed up. Sadly, you likely won’t find any holy grail inside the temple’s walls.
Rebecca is a DC college grad who left the city of eternal brunch for the city of eternal spring to become a content writer at AllTheRooms in Medellin, Colombia. Likes include puppies, hiking, books, and fighting injustice. Dislikes include spiders.
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