Best movies and TV shows to help you 'travel the world'

Kristine Tarbert
Senior Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer

Some restrictions are finally starting to ease as the world looks to a way out of coronavirus lockdowns.

Unfortunately, while domestic travel could soon be on the horizon, some experts have predicted international travel could still be a while away yet.

But of course, dreaming of your next travel destination is definitely allowed - and what better way to do it than to get comfy on the couch and settle in for a TV marathon or a movie to transport you to some of the best travel spots in the world.

We've got your travel inspired movie marathon covered.

Here we’ve rounded up some of our favourites that can give you some inspiration on where to travel first after lockdown ends.

Under the Tuscan Sun - Tuscany, Italy

Before there was Eat, Pray, Love, there was Under the Tuscan Sun—the story of a woman who buys a villa in Italy after her marriage falls apart. Featuring the world famous Amalfi Coast, the thought of dropping everything to move to Tuscany suddenly doesn’t seem so ridiculous.

Breathtaking Tuscany landscape seen from the walls of Montepulciano, Italy. Photo: Getty

Tanna - Vanuatu

Tanna is the first feature film shot entirely in Vanuatu (on Tanna island) and was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the Academy awards in 2017. You can watch the movie trailer here.  

Tanna is the first feature film shot entirely in Vanuatu. Photo: Supplied/Tanna

Crazy Rich Asians - Singapore

Crazy Rich Asians tells the story of Rachel Chu, a Chinese-American professor who travels to Singapore to meet her fiancé's wealthy family. There are yacht parties and royal weddings, but in between you’ll get incredible glimpses of the city's greatest hits: Gardens by the Bay, the infinity pool of Marina Bay Sands, Chinatown's pastel-coloured shophouses, and the hawker center street food.

The hawker center street food in the film. Photo: Warner Bros Pictures
The famous Super trees in the Garden by the Bay, Singapore. Photo: Getty

Friday Night Lights - Texas, US

It may have hit the big screen well over a decade ago, but Friday Night Lights is a cult-classic that never gets old. Filmed in Texas - primarily the cities of Odessa, Austin, and Houston, the movie encapsulates the football-obsessed Lone Star State. Before FNL, Varsity Blues was the reigning sport movie, filmed in Coupland and Elgin. And if football is not quite your thing, try Cheer - the Netflix docuseries, Cheer that became a pop-culture phenomenon, filmed at Navarro College in Corsicana, Texas.

Football or cheerleading will have you headed straight for Texas. Photo: Getty

Lord of The Rings - New Zealand

Rotorua, and Matamata (otherwise known as Hobbiton), has become a huge tourist attraction and getaway spot just two hours south of Auckland. Visitors can take a tour of this verdant, scenic region and explore cluttered Hobbit holes (including the delights of Bag End), and have a pint at the Green Dragon Inn. It’s a necessity for fans of the franchise, not to mention nature lovers: think rolling green hills, emerald hedgerows and sheep by the field-load.

Matamata New Zealand is now otherwise known as Hobbiton. Photo: New Line Cinema

There is also Tongariro National Park, otherwise known as Mordor and Hidden Bay, and the entrance to The Lonely Mountain in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.

The site of Mordor in the Tongariro National Park. Photo: Getty

Sleepless in Seattle, 10 Things I hate about you, Greys Anatomy - Seattle

Sleepless in Seattle is the ultimate rom-com that puts the city front and centre on the silver screen. 10 Things I Hate About You was also filmed in Seattle and features locations including Kerry Park, Lake Union and of course, Gas Works Park where Kat and Patrick had their iconic paintball date. Grey’s Anatomy highlights landmarks like the Space Needle and Kerry Park’s famous sunsets.

Grey’s Anatomy highlights landmarks like the Space Needle and Kerry Park’s famous sunsets. Photo: Getty

Walk The Line, 21 Grams - Memphis

Walk the Line tells the story of the life of legendary musician Johnny Cash, who played his first professional performance at the Galloway Church in Memphis - the site where a bronze statue now stands of Cash in honour or his memory. Staring celebrity A-listers including Reece Witherspoon, Joaquin Phoenix, and Memphis local Gennifer Goodwin, the movie highlights elements of Memphis’ music history with scenes throughout the film shot at Sun StudioThe Orpheum Theatre and the South Main Neighbourhood.

21 Grams is for hardcore Memphis fans only, with the crime film telling the story of a fatal accident that brings three unlikely people together. Featuring names such as Sean Penn and Naomi Watts, the movie portrays scenes shot in Central Gardens in Midtown, the Arcade Restaurant which is Memphis’ oldest restaurant, and the city's popular watering hole Earnestine & Hazel’s. 

The legendary Sun Studio on Union Avenue in Memphis. Photo: Getty

PS I Love You, Harry Potter - Ireland

PS I Love You shot in Ireland for about ten days. A couple of days were shot in Whelan's Pub in Dublin. County Wicklow locations include Blessington Lakes, Lacken, Wicklow Mountains and The Sally Gap. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, the sixth Harry Potter film, combines one of the most famous locations in Ireland with one of the most popular series of all time. The Cliffs of Moher in County Clare play a brief but pivotal role in the movie.

Harry and Dumbledore head to Ireland in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Photo: Warner Bros
The Cliffs of Moher in County Clare. Photo: Getty

A Quiet Place, Succession, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Sex and the City - New York, US

The list of iconic movies and shows that feature New York are endless. A Quiet Place is set in the scenic natural settings of the Hudson Valley and Central New York regions are home to the hauntingly beautiful post-apocalyptic world where unseen creatures hunt by sound, forcing humans to live in silence. The HBO series Succession showcases locations in Long Island, Adirondacks, Central New York and NYC and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel takes place in NYC, however the second season features resorts in the Catskills. Otherwise settle in for a Sex and the City marathon to check out the best of Manhattan.

New York City stars in many movies and tv shows. Photo: Getty

Easy Rider - Mexico, LA, New Orleans

The film plays out like a motorcycle travelogue, following Wyatt (Peter Fonda) and Billy (Dennis Hopper) on their sojourn from Mexico to Los Angeles to New Orleans. The film is flush with desert landscapes and towns that the pair pass through on their ‘drug-and-booze-fuelled hippie adventure’.

Zocalo Square and Mexico City Cathedral. Photo: Getty

Spectre - Mexico City

The 26th James Bond movie's intro scene follows Daniel Craig through a Mexico City Dia de los Muertos parade that didn't actually exist until enough tourists showed up that the city decided to create one in the movie's image. As in most Bond movies, the plot crosses a multitude of borders, from Austria to Italy to Morocco.

Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants, Mamma Mia - Greece

The Greek portions of the Traveling Pants II movie were shot on the island of Santorini. Scenes were shot at the village of Oia, at Ammoudi Harbor, and at rock formations and other pretty locations around the island. In Mamma Mia, most of the outdoor scenes were filmed on location at the small Greek island of Skopelos, and the seaside hamlet of Damouchari in the Pelion area of Greece. The film's main location site in Skopelos was Kastani beach on the south west coast.

One of the most iconic island locations in Greece. Photo: Getty
Mamma Mia will have you dancing and planning a trip to Greece. Photo: Universal

The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert - Alice Springs

And for something a little closer to home there is Priscilla. Guy Pearce, Hugo Weaving, and Terence Stamp star as two drag performers and a transwoman who travel to Alice Springs, Australia, in a lavender-hued school bus they've named Priscilla for a road trip across the dusty outback.

The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert shows off Australia's desert landscape. Photo: Gramercy Pictures

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