Europe is home to some of the most iconic backdrops of both the big and small screen. If you’re a lover of film and TV, why not take some inspiration from your favourite movies and shows when booking your next holiday break? Here are some of the top destinations in Europe to visit for film and television buffs alike:
Paris, France – Inception
Paris has long been the capital of culture and has certainly been the backdrop of many blockbuster films. However, fans of the cult science fiction thriller Inception will want to take in the engineering marvel that is the Bir-Hakeim bridge, just one of Paris’s 37 bridges over the River Seine, which is featured prominently in some of the film’s most epic scenes.
Estoril, Portugal – James Bond
Old-school 007 fans might be aware that On Her Majesty’s Secret Service – the iconic sixth film in the Bond franchise – was filmed primarily in Estoril. Nestled just a few kilometres away from the popular tourist destination of Lisbon, Estoril is something of a playground for the rich. Aristocrats and royalty have all stayed here, and it’s easy to see why: beautiful scenery, historic buildings and a stunning coastline all combine to make this a destination to live out your deepest secret agent fantasies.
Bruges, Belgium – In Bruges
In Bruges is a darkly comedic crime caper following the plight of a pair of hitmen that have been sent to Europe to lay low. While Colin Farrell’s character in the movie may have had a disdain for Bruges, fans of the film will love taking in the picturesque shooting locations while also enjoying everything this quaint yet cultural city has to offer.
Dubrovnik, Croatia – Game of Thrones
While several locations in Europe were used to film Game of Thrones, perhaps the most recognisable is Dubrovnik. It serves as the location for the fictional capital in the show, King’s Landing. Many of the battle scenes were filmed near the city’s Lovrijenac Fortress – an 11th-century castle that looks down on the Adriatic Sea.
Sporades Islands, Greece – Mamma Mia!
The hit romantic musical comedy Mamma Mia! was primarily filmed throughout the Greek Islands. While fans might be dismayed to find that the stunning island of Kalokairi doesn’t actually exist, many of the scenes were shot on the Sporades Islands. The seaside village in the film is Damouchari, situated in Pelion.
Skellig Michael Island, Ireland – Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Fans of the Star Wars franchise will be familiar with the breathtaking scenes of Luke Skywalker’s place of solitude in The Force Awakens. While Skellig Michael Island may have looked incredible as a fictional on-screen retreat situated a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, the truth is that the island itself is just as beautiful in our own time and place. It’s perhaps a destination for the purists, but it’s a tranquil and serene experience even if the Star Wars universe isn’t your thing.
Salzburg, Austria – The Sound of Music
The Sound of Music is considered to be an all-time classic, and much of its on-screen locations have been preserved in Salzburg. Visitors can enjoy all the famous settings from the film. In addition to enjoying some further musical culture, Mozart grew up here, and in the rolling hills, it’s easy to understand where his inspiration derived from.
Europe is home to some of cinema and the small screen’s most iconic moments. If you’re planning a trip this year, why not consider sightseeing at some of your favourite on-screen locations? The truth is that almost every major town and city in Europe has been featured in movies and television shows, so start planning your next itinerary in the hopes of reliving the magic of your favourite scenes today.