The world is full of beautiful and unique places, and some are striking enough to make it on to the big screen. From incredible back drops and dramatic landscapes to obscure city streets and iconic locations, here are my top five movie destinations:
The Scottish city of Glasgow has been the set of a number of popular films, most notably the cult classic Trainspotting, and the new Batman movie. It is also set to be the location for the filming of the upcoming Indiana Jones and Batgirl films!
Catch a show at the stunning Theatre Royal if a play is more your style. Head to the Gallery of Modern Art, fronted by one of Glasgow’s most iconic and recognisable landmarks the Equestrian Statue of the Duke of Wellington, and watch out for the pranks played on this memorial in true Glaswegian humour.
Glasgow’s food scene showcases the best in both local and global cuisine, and there are plenty of options for every kind of craving. Enjoy seasonally changing Mediterranean dishes and a refined wine list at Alchimella. Here white stone walls and light dishes are enough to brighten Gotham’s darkest night. For something Scottish, Ox and Finch is a highly sought-after restaurant, serving sumptuous small plates featuring the best of local produce.
Whiskey tours are a must in Scotland and Glasgow has some of the best. The Scotch Whisky Experience and The Clydeside Distillery are two of my favourites. If Whiskey isn’t your style, Glasgow’s buzzing nightlife is sure to satisfy your tastes.
Stay at the luxury boutique Hotel du Vin, where uniquely designed rooms offer plush comfort in the fashionable West End.
Mumbai is the home of Bollywood, one of the most prolific film empires. From some of the world’s most lavish houses and sprawling slums to its coastal location, Mumbai’s scenery provides endless backdrops for every kind of movie.
Embark on a private tour of the Bollywood Studios to see the homes of the stars, and the studios in action, and learn the world-famous Bollywood dances.
Take a walking tour through Mumbai’s Colaba District, and marvel at the colonial-era Art Deco buildings. Your eyes will be filled with colour at the buzzing Crawford Market, a technicolour scene of life and trade. See the magnificence of the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus and imagine romantic acts of departure and arrival by train. The Indo-Saracenic High Court, with its intricate architecture and turrets is a grand and unmissable sight.
Explore Mumbai’s art scene at the Kala Ghoda galleries or stand at The Gateway of India at the centre of the city’s harbour.
For something more casual but with plenty of atmosphere, dine at Bombay Vintage. Here traditional favourites are served in a colourful and vibrant setting.
After dinner, Mumbai’s nightlife is known to offer India’s best night out. Bollywood’s influence has led to the rise of glitzy bars and cool cocktail lounges as well as the more underground haunts. Aer is the epitome of glamour offering rooftop views, and the promise of an A-list crowd. The Woodside Inn is best for cosy, casual and craft beers.
For a trip to remember, stay at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel. Boasting remarkable Renaissance architecture, 10 restaurants and a luxury spa opposite the Gateway of India, this is the city’s most prestigious accommodation.
New Zealand is a land of dramatic landscapes, perfect for creating movies that take your breath away. It is the backdrop of the hugely popular Lord of The Rings movie trilogy, as well as films such as Hunt for the Wilder People and The Chronicles of Narnia.
New Zealand is a vast country that is best explored over time to really experience all that this destination has to offer. Auckland is the nation’s largest city, and it provides the perfect mix of exciting metropolis and surrounding natural beauty.
Learn how the films were made on a guided walking tour through the village, and marvel at this quaint and picturesque town.
Visit Karekare Beach to see where Jane Campion’s award-winning film, The Piano was filmed, or head to Cathedral Cove to see the golden sands and white cliffs from The Chronicles of Narnia.
If Auckland is your base, The Maori Kitchen is a must try for an authentic dining experience. For something special, take the ferry out to Waiheke Island and dine at the Mudbrick Vineyard and Restaurant. Enjoy excellent own-grown ingredients amongst incredible views, and of course, a fabulous wine selection.
For fabulous views and cool vibes, stay at the SO/Auckland. Enjoy rooftop cocktails and sleek décor after a day of exploring.
Toronto is Canada’s film and production hub, and home to Canada’s largest film studio, Pinewood Studios. It’s the location of the famous American Psycho movie, as well as films such as Blues Brothers, Suicide Squad and Hairspray movie.
Film fanatics are advised to visit in September to see the highly acclaimed Toronto International Film Festival, where thousands of film buffs will be in attendance. Sci-fi and horror fans will enjoy a visit to the Royal Ontario Museum, and the Ontario Science Centre.
Take a day trip to Niagra Falls and experience one of the world’s most incredible natural beauties.
Toronto is a foodie’s haven and there are so many tasty places to try. Nibble your way through St Lawrence Food Market, where stalls sell every kind of snack to satisfy your hunger. China Town has hundreds of fabulous and affordable eateries. For something high-end, dine at Avelo, where the innovative plant-based menu showcases the best of veg-focused flavour.
Toronto’s nightlife is exciting and varied, and the locals really know how to party. Bambi’s is an underground dancing hotspot playing energising electronic beats. Get Well is best for craft beers, and Comedy Bar is a great place to catch some of Canada’s comic talent.
Stay in one of the city’s tallest buildings at the Shangri-La, where luxurious rooms come with unbeatable views.
Tunisia is a country of a wide variety of landscapes, from mountain forests and beaches to industrial landscapes and souks. It is a key Tatooine location for the Star Wars films and was the original set of Luke Skywalker’s desert homestead.
Tataouine is Tunisia’s film set location. Though some of the sets created have been destroyed by time and weather, many of the structures still stand and continue to draw visitors from across the globe. Visit Matmata where Luke Skywalker was raised by his uncle and aunt, where this underground labyrinth of tunnels and rooms still contains many of the original props used for filming.
If Star Wars is not your style, the Medina is a must-see gem of Tunisia, where a sprawling maze of ancient alleyways is home to souks selling everything from shoes to shisha pipes.
In Tunis enjoy fresh traditional dishes at Fondouk El Attarine, where live music and local ceremonies add to the character of this fantastic spot. Dar Slah is best for high-end local cuisine in the heart of the historical Medina.
Book a room at the family-owned Dar El Medina. This peaceful retreat in a central location makes for the perfect choice.
Of course, I couldn’t write this guide without an honourable mention for Hollywood, LA, the unmissable beating heart of the history of film! Whichever destination you decide to visit first, I hope it makes you feel like a star.