Films that inspire travel

Time of article published Jun 28, 2012

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Movie buffs can check out the destinations made famous on the big screen, with this pick of top 20 films that inspire travel from Student Flights.

The travel gurus have reeled in a list of popular movies and set locations around the world, including some Academy Award winners for ‘Best Picture’ and ‘Best Cinematography’.

Student Flights marketing manager Zoe Illingworth said movies often motivated people to travel overseas because of the exotic backdrops and intriguing characters.

“A great film, set in a visually spectacular location, can have the power to draw travellers to a particular part of the world,” she said.

“Whether it is a classic film, like The Sound of Music and Out of Africa, or a newer film, like Sex and the City, Lord of the Rings and Eat Pray Love, people tend to connect with the characters and want to follow in their footsteps.”


1. Casino Royale – Montenegro, Czech Republic, Bahamas, Italy and the United Kingdom

Set at the beginning of Bond’s career as a 007 Agent, this film maps out his movements from Miami International Airport to a poker game at Montenegro. Fast-paced and fiery, this is a sampler of Europe’s popular cities.

2. The Da Vinci Code - Paris, London, Scotland

Crack the code on a journey across Paris, London and Scotland to find the Holy Grail. This thriller exposes a massive religious conspiracy and showcases the Louvre, Westminster Abbey and Temple Church in a completely new light.

3. The Hangover – Las Vegas

The bright lights in Las Vegas provide the perfect scene for a comedy about the drunken misadventures of three groomsmen and their best mate before his big wedding day. Blokes keen to let loose won’t need much convincing of a good time on The Strip, if they follow the lead of these lads.

4. Euro Trip – Europe

This entertaining adventure across Europe is in search of a German pen pal, but some awkward and embarrassing situations along the way keep things interesting. Top cities along the journey include London, Paris, Amsterdam, Bratislava, Berlin and Rome.

5. Amelie – Paris

An inspirational tale in a pretty city about a beautiful and innocent young girl named Amelie, who moves to Paris in search of love and happiness. She spends her days working as a waitress at a central café in Montmartre and discovers romance can truly blossom.

6. Lord of the Rings Trilogy – New Zealand

This film has put New Zealand on the world map as a country of diverse and breathtakingly beautiful landscape. Follow the ring on its mystical journey through mountains, snow, dark forests, rivers and plains.

7. Eat, Pray, Love – Italy, India, Bali

Author Elizabeth Gilbert finds herself at crossroads in her life after a divorce, so she embarks on a journey of self-discovery in Italy, India and Bali. In her travels, she finds the pleasure of nourishment by eating in Italy, the power of prayer in India, and the balance of true love in Bali.

8. Memoirs of a Geisha – Japan

Set in Kyoto, this poignant picture tells the story of a poor Japanese girl who is taken from her family to a geisha school. A delightful old-world charm is beautifully complimented by accents of colour in masks and silk kimonos.

9. The Beach – Phi Phi Island, Thailand

The story follows a young nicotine-addicted traveller from a hotel in Bangkok to the beaches in Thailand, after he finds a map left by his weird neighbour who commits suicide. The map supposedly leads to a legendary island paradise where some other rebellious souls have settled.

10. Sex and the City – New York

This savvy, light-hearted chick flick has women around the world dreaming of a break in the big city. Get a taste of the New York lifestyle, from designer outfits and shopping along the fashionable 5th Ave to ladies lunches and a pre-wedding dinner at Buddakan in Greenwich Village.

11. Couples Retreat – Bora Bora

Stunning scenery of sparkling azure waters, soft sanded beaches and overwater bungalows make naturally Tahiti a dream destination for all couples. A hilarious storyline and great cast complement the beautiful setting and keep the tone romantically fresh and funny.

12. Under the Tuscan Sun – Tuscany

Discover the sweet Italian life, when a recently divorced writer buys a villa in Tuscany on a whim, hoping it will be the start of a change for the better in her life. It is a brilliant illustration of the amazing food, warm culture and friendliness of people in Italy.

13. Motorcycle Diaries – South America

Stunning scenery with a storyline and soundtrack to match. Poignant, passionate and heartfelt, it'll have you planning your next adventure to South America to see Machu Picchu, minus the rusty bike.

14. Out of Africa – Kenya

Dramatic sweeping shots of isolated plains and unique wildlife offer a truly brilliant backdrop and showcase the beauty of Africa. A beautiful film that is visually inspiring, ideal for travellers who want to escape somewhere remote.

15. Mamma Mia – Greece

Enthusiastic ABBA fans will love the songs and connect with the characters as they bounce around inflated beach balls. Amazing coastal panoramas, quaint little towns and a relaxed warm vibe will have you longing for a holiday in the Greek Islands.

16. In Bruges – Belgium

This Irish comedy crime film follows two hitmen as they hide in Bruges, one of the few canal-based northern cities in Europe. Get a peek into the storybook history and at one point, the characters visit the Groeninge museum to see Hieronymus Bosch's painting The Last Judgment.

17. A Good Year – France

It is not every day that you can escape to an uncle's chateau and vineyard in Provence, but this film turns dreams into reality. Enjoy the laid-back lifestyle and beautiful scenery in the country region of France.

18. The Sound of Music – Austria

Based on the Broadway musical, this uplifting film is as sweet as a spoonful of sugar and leaves you wishing you were skipping through fields of green in Austria. Now, the hills are alive with The Sounds of Music tours through Salzburg and the lakeside district.

19. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade - Petra, Jordan

You cannot help but imagine you're on horseback winding your way through the thin gorge that serves as the entrance to the Treasury in Petra, Jordan. Once you get there it is truly one of the most beautiful sites in the world, and you can really imagine the Holy Grail imprisoned behind its walls.

20. Gladiator - Ait Benhaddou, Morocco

Whilst it may seem the whole thing is set in Italy, it's not - parts of are filmed on location in the beautiful medieval fortress town of Ait Benhaddou in Morocco. This is a highlight of any trip to Morocco and a visit will transport you back a thousand.

To book travel to these destinations, call Student Flights on 0860 400 747 or check out the deals online at

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