From lavish science fiction palaces to gritty city streets, movie locations exist all over the globe and can add excitement to your vacation. Here are 10 awesome destinations from movie you can visit whenever you want.
1. Skellig Michael, Ireland
Anyone who saw the last scene of Star Wars: The Force Awakens or the beginning act of Star Wars: The Last Jedi will recognize Skellig Michael as the island sanctuary where Luke Skywalker lived. This Irish island in the Atlantic Ocean was once a Gaelic Christian monastery, built between the 6th and 8th centuries. After being abandoned in the 12th century, the site was used off-and-on for several centuries until it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996.
Tours operate seasonally on the island, although access to the many rock steps is limited during rainy seasons for safety reasons. There are some concerns about possible adverse environmental effects of the spike in tourism caused by the success of the new Star Wars films.
2. Angkor Wat, Cambodia
The temples of Angkor Wat should have shared top billing with Angelina Jolie in 2001’s Tomb Raider. The ruins there are well-preserved and helped create an atmosphere of authenticity – no foam rocks and boulders were used in this film. Tomb Raider was the first Hollywood film set in Angkor Wat since 1965, and it revitalized tourism in the area. According to Angelina Jolie, filming in Cambodia changed her life forever, and inspired her humanitarianism efforts.
3. “Rocky” Steps, Philadelphia, PA
There are a lot of things to see and do in Philadelphia, but can you truly say that you’ve visited if you haven’t run up the steps of Philly’s Museum of Art? Reenact Rocky Balboa’s triumphant run up its stairs, and check out the bronze statue of the iconic character at their base.
4. Nakatomi Plaza, Los Angeles, CA
Located in downtown Los Angeles, Nakatomi Plaza, which is now known as Fox Plaza, served as the setting for the Bruce Willis 1988 action flick Die Hard. The skyscraper was just completed in 1987, and several of the scenes used floors that were still under construction. Today, the building is home to several offices, such as Goldman Sachs, and former President Ronald Reagan kept an office in the building after his last term. Stop by as part of several Hollywood and LA tours and yell out “Yippie-Ki-Yay!”
5. The “Exorcist Steps” Georgetown, Washington, D.C.
If you’ve had the experience of being scared out of your pants by watching 1973’s The Exorcist, you will immediately recognize the impossibly steep staircase featured throughout the film. The horror classic — which many cite as the scariest movie ever made — told the story of a demonically-possessed 12-year-old girl who lived in Washington, D.C.’s, Georgetown neighborhood. Her home was at the top of the steps and the film’s climax involved a fatal tumble all the way down. Now, tourists can walk the steps and relive their 45-year-old nightmares.
6. New York Public Library, New York City, NY
Any visit to Manhattan should include a stop at the New York Public Library for a lot of reasons. It’s centrally-located at the corner of 42nd and 5th, it’s a richly historic library, and it’s an overall wonderful place to hang out and people watch, especially in warmer months when nearby Bryant Park becomes an outside food hall. But many will remember the library as the setting for 1984’s Ghostbusters. Just remember to be quiet when looking through the basement stacks unless you plan on upsetting a librarian ghost!
7. Vizcaya Museum And Gardens, Miami, FL
A lot of films have been set in Miami, including Bad Boys, Miami Vice, True Lies and Scarface, but 2013’s Iron Man 3 featured the Villa Vizcaya as the villain’s lair. This palace was also used in other films, such as Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, and Any Given Sunday. The mansion was initially the winter home of publishing magnate James Deering.
8. Reggia di Caserta, Italy
This Italian estate served as the backdrop for a few Star Wars films as well: 2000’s The Phantom Menace and 2002’s Attack of the Clones. Exterior and interior shots of Queen Padme Amidala’s palace were set in this real-life Rennaisance palace, as well as several highly-digitized action sequences involving lightsabers, robots, and the infamous Jar Jar Binks.
9. East Corinth, Vermont
Deep in the middle of nowhere in New England, Tim Burton found the perfect setting for 1988’s Beetlejuice, a film about a mischievous demon who helps the recently-dead scare living people. Burton created the main house that Beetlejuice haunted — a mashup of New England rural architecture and modern urban art — but it was removed after filming. Other film settings, such as the girls’ school, country store, and covered bridge are all still present to be part of your New England countryside tour, however.
10. Sydney, Australia
Lastly, 1999’s The Matrix was filmed all over Sydney, Australia. From its rooftop scenes to fights in old subways, the filmmakers used the city’s sharp and stark modern vistas as a backdrop for the film’s aesthetic. Check out the Metcentre, formerly called the Metacortex Building, where Thomas Anderson (Neo) punched a clock before learning kung fu.
If you’re a film fan with a bit of wanderlust in your soul, consider one of these spots for your next adventure!