Summer blockbuster season is here, and this year’s crop of movies was filmed in some pretty inspiring destinations. The setting for a movie can become an extra character, and this roundup has cast some amazing spots. In fact, the trailers alone have inspired me to add a few destinations to my bucket list! Read on for some of the best.
Robin Hood: England
The centuries-old legend of Robin of Locksley is being brought to life again, this time by Russell Crowe, making it a perfect time see Nottingham and Sherwood Forest. You can wander through Robin’s reputed hideout in Sherwood Forest, or explore National Trust properties throughout England and Wales where the movie was filmed.
Letters to Juliet: Italy
Sweeping aerial shots of Verona make this movie altogether enticing, and the mix of medieval and Renaissance architecture add to the romance that fills the city of Romeo and Juliet. Here, you can visit the Casa de Giulietta, where movie protagonist Sophie begins her own journey. Tuscany doesn’t need a movie to make it a desirable locale, but after seeing the rolling hills that inspired true love, you’ll want to explore the wineries and vineyards with your own significant other—or maybe meet one there. And if you can win a free trip, so much the better!
Sex and the City 2: Morocco
Whether or not you’re a fan of Carrie Bradshaw and company, you can’t deny that the upcoming movie is a feast for the eyes—and the designer shoes are only part of the reason. The ladies are purportedly on vacation in Abu Dhabi, but the visually striking background was actually filmed in Morocco. The city of Marrakech, as well as Erfoud and Rabat, hosted the four women, so if you’re enchanted by camel caravans and market shopping, this could be the destination for you. Bustling souks in Marrakech yield handmade leather sandals and flowing dresses; while the Gueliz neighborhood offers luxury goods.
Prince of Persia: Morocco
Set in the lands of Middle Ages Persia (modern-day Iran), this movie was also partially filmed in Morocco, though it shows a different side of the destination. If you’re looking for Moorish architecture with a medieval flair, head to the Jemaa el Fna area in Marrakesh, where street performers and storytellers will regale you with adventures even more amazing than movie character Dastan’s feats. Or, head to Ouarzazate, with traditional adobe buildings that are now classified as a World Heritage of Humanity Site. And Prince of Persia isn’t the only blockbuster to film the city known as the Doorway to the Desert: The iconic Lawrence of Arabia captured the stunning backdrop in 1962.
The Karate Kid: Beijing
The newest version of the Karate Kid takes place not in California or Okinawa, but in Beijing. Images of Dre Parker running along the Great Wall and panoramic mountain views are juxtaposed against busy city streets, showing the many different sides of this capital city. Even if you don’t know kung fu, the Forbidden City and Summer Palace will absolutely inspire you.
Eat Pray Love: Bali, Delhi, Rome
A movie about traveling is guaranteed to feature some amazing destinations, and Eat Pray Love is no exception. Follow in main character Elizabeth’s footsteps by eating your way through mountains of pasta in Rome while feasting your eyes on the ancient Coliseum. Find spiritual realization at a traditional Hindu retreat near Delhi. Or, explore the tropical paradise of Bali, from the sandy beaches to 17th century palaces. Even if you can’t spare an entire year to visit these amazing destinations, the shots of elephants and cobbled streets will have you packing your bags for a shorter trip.
What movies have inspired you to travel? What destinations are featured in your favorite productions? Leave a message in the comments section below.