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Discover 15 Iconic Film and TV Set Destinations to Explore in 2024

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Immerse yourself in the captivating world of cinema by visiting the actual locations of some of the most iconic movies and TV shows. This guide is a cinephile’s dream, taking you on a global tour from the bustling streets of New York City featured in countless films to the serene landscapes of New Zealand, immortalized in “The Lord of the Rings.” Each destination offers a glimpse into the world of filmmaking and enriches your travel experience with its unique history, culture, and scenery. Explore the stories behind these famous locations and plan your cinematic journey.

1. Hobbiton, New Zealand

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / Andrei Diomidov

Nestled in the lush hills of New Zealand’s Waikato region, Hobbiton brings to life the enchanting world of Middle-earth. Originally constructed for “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, this meticulously designed set features the iconic Hobbit Holes, the Green Dragon Inn, and the Party Tree.

A guided tour here is a walk through a movie set and a journey into the heart of one of the most beloved fantasy worlds. Visitors can explore the Shire as depicted in the films, with its picturesque landscapes and charming Hobbit homes built into the hillsides.

Insider’s Tip: To fully immerse yourself in the magic of Hobbiton, book an evening tour that concludes with a banquet feast at the Green Dragon Inn, offering a taste of the Shire’s hospitality.

The Film: “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” Trilogies

2. Doune Castle, Scotland

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / Nataliya Hora

Doune Castle in Scotland is a formidable medieval stronghold in “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” and the TV series “Outlander.” This 14th-century fortress offers visitors a glimpse into Scottish history and architecture and its cinematic significance.

The castle has retained much of its original structure, allowing fans to step directly into scenes from their favorite shows and movies. It bears witness to Scotland’s tumultuous past and its enduring appeal as a filming location.

Insider’s Tip: For “Monty Python” enthusiasts, the castle offers an audio tour narrated by Terry Jones, providing an entertaining insight into the film’s production here.

The Film: “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” and “Outlander”

3. Katz’s Delicatessen, New York City

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / Leonard Zhukovsky

Katz’s Delicatessen in New York City, the site of the famous scene in “When Harry Met Sally,” remains a popular spot for film fans and foodies alike. This iconic eatery, known for its classic deli fare, offers a taste of New York’s culinary history along with its movie magic. The deli has embraced its role in film history, marking the table where the scene was shot with a sign, making it a must-visit spot for movie buffs.

Insider’s Tip: Visit during off-peak hours to avoid the crowds and have a more relaxed experience, possibly even snagging the famous table for a photo op.

The Film: “When Harry Met Sally”

4. Savoca, Italy

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / Roman Babakin

Savoca, a small town in Sicily, captures the essence of the old-world charm depicted in “The Godfather.” This picturesque village, with its narrow streets and historical buildings, served as a key filming location for Francis Ford Coppola’s iconic movie.

Visitors can explore Bar Vitelli, where key scenes were filmed, and the church of St. Nicolò played a significant role in the movie. The town, relatively unchanged since the 1970s, offers a step back in time and a chance to explore authentic Sicilian culture.

Insider’s Tip: Enjoy a leisurely meal at Bar Vitelli, where you can find memorabilia from the movie and relish traditional Sicilian dishes.

The Film: “The Godfather”

5. Alnwick Castle, England

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / Craig Duncanson

Alnwick Castle in Northumberland, England, doubles as Hogwarts in the first two “Harry Potter” films. With its majestic structure and sprawling grounds, this historic castle offers fans a chance to experience the magic of Harry Potter’s world.

The castle hosts interactive activities, including broomstick training sessions inspired by the movies. Beyond its cinematic fame, Alnwick Castle is rich in history and architectural splendor, making it an ideal destination for movie fans and history enthusiasts.

Insider’s Tip: Participate in the broomstick training sessions for a fun and memorable Harry Potter experience.

The Film: “Harry Potter” Series

6. Matamata, New Zealand

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / Nok Lek Travel Lifestyle

Matamata in New Zealand, also known for its role in “The Hobbit” Trilogy, offers a unique opportunity to explore the lush landscapes of the Shire. This idyllic setting, with its picturesque hobbit holes and the Green Dragon Inn, creates an immersive experience for fans of the Tolkien universe. The attention to detail in the set design and the surrounding area’s natural beauty make it a must-visit destination.

Insider’s Tip: For a comprehensive experience, opt for a guided tour that includes a visit to the Hobbiton Movie Set and a traditional Hobbit meal.

The Film: “The Hobbit” Trilogy

7. Skopelos, Greece

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / Pit Stock

Skopelos Island in Greece, the primary filming location for “Mamma Mia!”, is a picturesque paradise that embodies the charm and beauty of the Greek islands. Known for its crystal-clear waters, lush green landscapes, and traditional white houses, Skopelos offers a tranquil and beautiful setting that captures the heartwarming essence of the movie.

Visitors can explore the quaint chapels, beautiful beaches, and the winding streets of Skopelos town, experiencing the laid-back lifestyle that made the film so inviting.

Insider’s Tip: Visit the Agios Ioannis Chapel, the site of the film’s iconic wedding scene, perched high on a cliff with stunning views of the Aegean Sea.

The Film: “Mamma Mia!”

8. Astoria, Oregon, USA

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / William Downs Photography

Astoria, Oregon, is a must-visit for fans of “The Goonies,” with its rich history and charming coastal setting. This small city’s Victorian-era architecture and picturesque landscapes were the backdrop for the beloved 1980s adventure film.

Visitors can explore the Oregon Film Museum, located in the old county jail featured in the movie, and take a self-guided tour of various filming locations around the town, reliving the excitement and adventure of the film.

Insider’s Tip: Check out the Goonies Day celebration held annually in Astoria for special events and screenings related to the film.

The Film: “The Goonies”

9. Seville, Spain

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / Massimo Santi

Seville’s historic Alcázar Palace served as the Water Gardens of Dorne in “Game of Thrones.” This UNESCO World Heritage site, with its exquisite Mudéjar architecture and beautiful gardens, offers a real-life glimpse into the world of Westeros.

Fans of the series can explore the ornate halls and lush gardens of the palace, experiencing the beauty and grandeur that made it a perfect setting for the show.

Insider’s Tip: Book your tickets in advance to avoid long queues, especially during peak tourist season.

The Film: “Game of Thrones”

10. Kauai, Hawaii, USA

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / Benny Marty

The island of Kauai in Hawaii, known for its lush rainforests and dramatic cliffs, was a primary filming location for “Jurassic Park.” The island’s natural beauty and rugged terrain provided the perfect backdrop for this groundbreaking film.

Visitors can take helicopter tours to see the iconic Na Pali Coast and Manawaiopuna Falls featured in the movie and experience the awe-inspiring landscapes that brought the world of dinosaurs to life.

Insider’s Tip: Opt for a helicopter tour that includes a landing at Manawaiopuna Falls for an up-close experience of the famous waterfall.

The Film: “Jurassic Park”

11. Vasquez Rocks, California, USA

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / Angel DiBilio

Vasquez Rocks Natural Area Park in California has been a popular filming location for various “Star Trek” episodes and films. Known for its striking rock formations, this park has become synonymous with alien landscapes in the “Star Trek” universe.

Visitors can hike through the park and see the famous rocks up close, exploring the same terrain where Captain Kirk and his crew had their adventures.

Insider’s Tip: Visit during the week to avoid crowds and have a more serene experience exploring the park.

The Film: “Star Trek”

12. Dubrovnik, Croatia

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / SchnepfDesign

Dubrovnik, renowned for its well-preserved medieval architecture, became the real-life King’s Landing in “Game of Thrones.” Fans can relive pivotal scenes from the series by walking through the ancient city’s streets and along the historic city walls.

The city’s fortresses, towers, and the Adriatic Sea in the backdrop made Dubrovnik a fitting capital of the Seven Kingdoms. While here, visit Fort Lovrijenac, which doubled as the Red Keep.

Insider’s Tip: Take a guided tour focused on “Game of Thrones” to discover hidden filming spots and insider stories from the set.

The Film: “Game of Thrones”

13. Vancouver, Canada

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / Margarita Young

With its varied landscapes and urban settings, Vancouver serves as the backdrop for the popular TV series “Riverdale.” The city’s mix of picturesque natural scenery and quintessential North American architecture provides the perfect setting for this teen drama. Fans can explore various filming locations throughout the city, from the neon-lit diners to the shadowy forests that add mystery to the show.

Insider’s Tip: Visit the diner that serves as Pop’s Chock’lit Shoppe for a meal and some great photo opportunities.

The Film: “Riverdale”

14. Hatfield House, England

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / Richard Semik

Hatfield House in Hertfordshire, England, is a magnificent Jacobean estate that played a significant role in the film “The Favourite.” Its opulent interiors and elaborate gardens perfectly captured the grandeur and intrigue of Queen Anne’s court. Visitors can explore the stately home, including the Marble Hall and the Long Gallery, which were prominently featured in the film.

Insider’s Tip: Look out for the exhibit of costumes and props from “The Favourite” displayed in the house.

The Film: “The Favourite”

15. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / Samuel Borges Photography

The city of Philadelphia is indelibly linked with the “Rocky” series, particularly the iconic steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, which Sylvester Stallone ascends in a triumphant training montage. Beyond the steps, visitors can explore other filming locations in the city, including the Italian Market and Rocky’s neighborhood in South Philly.

Insider’s Tip: Recreate the famous run-up of the museum steps and snap a photo with the Rocky statue at the bottom.

The Film: “Rocky”

The Bottom Line

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Image Credit: Pexels / Malte Luk

Your cinematic journey across the globe is a homage to your favorite films and TV shows and an exploration of diverse landscapes, cultures, and histories. Each location offers a unique perspective into the art of filmmaking and the real-world settings that inspire it.

As you traverse from the Greek Isles to the rugged terrain of Kauai, embrace the adventure and the stories behind these iconic locations. This journey is not only about seeing the places you’ve known on screen; it’s about experiencing the richness of the world that cinema brings to life. Remember, each destination holds a story waiting to be told, and now it’s your turn to be part of it.

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The post Discover 15 Iconic Film and TV Set Destinations to Explore in 2024 republished on Passing Thru with permission from The Green Voyage.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Pandora Pictures.

For transparency, this content was partly developed with AI assistance and carefully curated by an experienced editor to be informative and ensure accuracy.

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