Movie locations you want to explore - by James Barrass-Banks
Ever watched a film and thought, that looks like a cool place to visit? Why don’t you? We took a look at five famous movie locations, and what makes them great holiday destinations:
London has been host to a wide variety of movies and TV shows in recent years. If you’re a fan of Jason Bourne, the city has a range of locations to visit, allowing you to follow in the steps of Matt Damon in the fifth instalment of the franchise. Woolwich station, for example, was transformed into Athens for the filming, with Bourne dramatically bursting out from a café – a good opportunity for recreating that scene if you’re a wannabe action hero.
Iconic London landmarks such as Buckingham Palace were also featured in The BFG, and if you’re a fan of Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous detective, there are many locations from Sherlock to explore too: 187 North Gower Street stood in for 221b Baker Street, while messages from Sherlock fans can be found at St Bartholomew’s Hospital, another shooting location.
London’s also a surprisingly good place to visit in terms of the cost of living – a beer will cost you roughly £4.40, while dinner for two will cost on average £51.25. Compare this to other cities such as New York, where dinner will set you back £61.35, and a pint £4.60.
Europe in general
A sightseeing tour around Europe would be the perfect trip if you’re, like almost everyone these days, a fan of Game of Thrones. Shooting locations range across the continent, with Croatia, Ireland, Malta, Scotland, Spain and Northern Ireland all appearing in the show, while Titanic Studios in Belfast is where a lot of the production takes place.
Although you can’t access the studios themselves, Ireland has a lot of beautiful scenery to explore (although if you get the chance, Belfast is a great place to grab a cheap drink: £3.50 a pint, compared to £4.28 in Dublin). Downhill Beach, for example, featured in Game of Thrones’ second season as Dragonstone, while the small coastal village of Cushendun is where Melisandre gave birth to that Shadow. There’s also the Dark Hedges, where Arya escaped from King’s Landing, and Ballintoy, which has featured as the Greyjoys’ Iron Islands.
Toronto has been used for the filming of a lot of massive blockbusters, including The Incredible Hulk and Kick-Ass, but it would be a truly great place to visit for fans of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and Suicide Squad.
Locations such as the Toronto Public Library, St. Michael’s College, and Casa Loma, where Scott challenges Lucas to a fight, will be recognisable to all Scott Pilgrim fans. If you enjoyed Suicide Squad, meanwhile, Yonge Street is worth a visit – one of the busiest roads in Canada, it was completely closed for four days of shooting. Hy’s Steakhouse, the MaRS Centre, and Bay Street should also be on the list of any Suicide Squad fan.
Toronto can be a highly affordable place to stay if you know where to look. A lot of B&Bs and guesthouses in East Toronto, for example, will fit in with even a strict holiday budget. Car rental is also worth considering – after all, you’re only around 80 miles from Niagara Falls. In terms of drinks, you can expect to pay only about £3.87 for a pint of beer.
New York City
Ghostbusters fans old and new will enjoy visiting the shooting locations of the original 1984 film in New York. Guided tours also enable you to make the most of your trip, and see every recognisable scene from a whole host of movies. The beautiful art deco building 55 Central Park West is still known as the ‘Ghostbusters building’, while fans will recognise other locations such as the New York Public Library and the Ghostbusters’ HQ, Ladder 8 Firehouse.
Travelling around the city is cheap and straightforward thanks to the subway, although a taxi will not set you back too much at around £1.32 per km, compared to a city like Tokyo (£2.73). The different areas of the city also allow you to stay somewhere that best suits you. The Upper East Side will see more luxurious hotels, while Brooklyn and the Lower East Side will be perfect if you’re into more of a bohemian experience.
2001’s Lara Croft: Tomb Raider was the first film to be shot in Cambodia since 1964, and the country’s relatively undiscovered scenery gave the movie a lot of iconic shooting locations.
Phnom Bakheng is a stunning hill with a Hindu temple, while the beautifully constructed Bayon Temple is made up of 54 towers adorned with smiling faces.
Ta Prohm, meanwhile, is a temple with a unique courtyard interweaved with trees, and the 12th-century Angkor Wat is a must-visit monument even if you’re not a Tomb Raider fan.
As the Lara Croft shooting locations are quite far from the capital, it’s worth booking accommodation in Phnom Penh and then planning trips to the temples. The capital also has a bustling nightlife, but if you want somewhere a bit more relaxing, try Lakeside and the BKK1 area.
These are only five of numerous beautiful, exciting TV and movie locations across the world. Whether you’re an action fanatic, a Ghostbusters superfan, or just eager to win or die in the Game of Thrones, there’s somewhere for everyone to explore. And who could really resist when cheap drinks and bargain hotels coincide with these epic collisions of on- and off-screen worlds?