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Must-See Iconic Filming Spots Around the World

by Mary Melnick

Sep 20, 2023

© Korgathegreep | Dreamstime.com


Movie and TV buffs will love traveling to these iconic filming destinations from legendary TV and film sets. Travel experts at StressFreeCarRental.com researched the 10 iconic filming spots around the globe to inspire your next trip.


Scotland | Harry Potter Franchise

The magical world of witchcraft and wizardry created by J.K. Rowling was hugely influenced by Scotland, and some scenes were even filmed in the beautiful scenery. From Loch Shield in Lochaber, a freshwater lake and the location of the Triwizard Tournament, to the Glenfinnan Viaduct, also known as the Hogwarts Express, the train that takes the students back to Hogwarts through the Scottish Highlands, you’ll find many spots throughout the country as seen in the film.


Derbyshire, England | Pride & Prejudice

The Peak District in Derbyshire is an iconic and beautiful image featured throughout the 2005 Pride & Prejudice. Scenes shot in Derbyshire range from the rugged gritstone edge where Elizabeth Bennet daydreamed of Mr. Darcy, to the panoramic views of valleys and rivers showcasing the beauty of the British countryside. The movie adaptation also used the magnificent Chatsworth House, a stately home utilized for many of its exterior and interior scenes. The home is often referred to as the “jewel in the Peak District’s crown” and is open for travelers to tour.


Ireland | PS I Love You

Filmed in locations across Ireland, PS I Love You features breathtaking views of the Sally Gap in the heart of the Wicklow Mountains. The romantic appeal of the spot is overwhelming and showcases panoramic views where nature blooms in the rolling hills and dense woodlands. The romance film truly celebrates the Irish scenery and nature of various settings in Wicklow and Dublin.


Salzburg, Austria | The Sound of Music

For those who love The Sound of Music, Salzburg in Austria should be a stop on your bucket list. The timeless film features the beautiful Austrian countryside, Salzburg Cathedral and breathtaking Mirabell Gardens. Visitors wanting to experience all the scenes can book an extensive Original Sound of Music Tour through Salzburg city and lake district, which takes you through the settings of the movie and main cultural attractions in the region.


Greece | Mama Mia
As you may know, the hit movie Mama Mia was filmed across multiple locations in Greece, mostly the islands of Skopelos and Skiathos. The stunning wedding scenes in the church perched on top of a rock overlooking the Mediterranean Sea and Skopelos coast were filmed in the Church of Agios Ioannis to Kastri.


New Zealand | The Hobbit Trilogy

The Hobbit trilogy (and not to mention The Lord of the Rings trilogy, too) was filmed in New Zealand. Its breathtaking and unique landscapes are featured throughout the trilogy saw a massive spike in New Zealand tourism; visitors came from far and wide to see the locations featured throughout the film. Some locations include: Lake Pukaki, the filming location known for its spectacular views, and the Southern Alps, where the dwarves traveled through the Misty Mountains. Fans can walk in the footsteps of Bilbo and Gandalf while enjoying the majestic views of the home of Middle Earth.


Thailand | The Beach

Famous for being the setting for the 2000 film The Beach, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Koh Phi Phi Le is an island of the Phi Phi Archipelago in the Krabi Province of Thailand. While there are no places to stay on the island, tourists can visit for daytrips. The beach, famously known as Maya Bay, reopened to tourists in January 2022 after closing in 2018 to allow the coral and wildlife to recover. The main beach is surrounded by massive cliffs, soft white sands and a coral reef bay.


Canyonlands, Utah | Thelma and Louise

Dead Horse Point State Park, where the iconic Thelma and Louise cliff scene was filmed, can be reached by driving the Shafer trail. The trail takes visitors through colorful sandstone cliffs in the Canyonlands National Park. Fans of the film will recognize landscapes like the winding canyons and towering mesas boasting some of the most breathtaking scenery in the country.


Italy | Under the Tuscan Sun

Under the Tuscan Sun follows a divorced woman who visits Italy and buys a villa in Tuscany, and this film was primarily shot in Italy. To capture the beauty of the destination, the film was shot in various locations, including Rome, San Biagio and the Amalfi Coast. It features iconic buildings such as Florence’s Duomo and showcases the country’s spectacular architecture and Tuscan countryside.


Germany | The Grand Budapest Hotel

Filmmaker Wes Anderson used various Eastern European towns and cities in Germany as the backdrop for Zubrowka, an imaginary Eastern European country in The Grand Budapest Hotel. Many key scenes were filmed in the easternmost area of Germany in the town of Görlitz. The most iconic scenes shot in Görlitz’s Kaufhaus were used for the interior of the Grand Budapest Hotel lobby.


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