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Home Tourist Attraction Wanderlust meets Hollywood: 7 real-life movie locations you should visit

Wanderlust meets Hollywood: 7 real-life movie locations you should visit

by Staff

Published on 03:33 PM, December 27, 2023

Puja Sarkar

Movie locations and film sets frequently feature breath-taking architecture and scenery. At times, it feels like these places are out of our reach and merely Hollywood constructions. However, there are some places you can visit that were featured in some of your favourite movies/series.

Al Khazneh (Petra, Jordan)

If you have ever imagined yourself living in the same universe as Indiana Jones, filled with thrilling adventures and mysteries, Al Khazneh is the place to be. In The Last Crusade, Indiana Jones is after the Holy Grail, which was in the Canyon of the Crescent Moon, known as Al Khazneh in real-life, the treasury of Petra.

Photo: Collected / Sylvain Gllm / Unsplash

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Photo: Collected / Sylvain Gllm / Unsplash

The popular tourist attraction is a giant, ornately carved, massive sandstone temple facade, which dates back to the first century AD. Unfortunately, you will not find the Holy Grail there but it is a stunning location that will appeal to both history lovers and movie buffs.

There are many local tours that will take you around the city of Petra and see historical sites including Al Khazneh, the Obelisks Tomb, the Street of Facades, and many more.

In your tour of Al Khazneh, keep in mind that you will be able to enter the treasury. Going inside the treasury was open to the public till 1997. However, as people would shout inside to create echoes, it caused damage to the ceiling and thus, entry inside Al Khazneh is now restricted. On the flip side, there is not much to see inside the treasury other than plain rock.

Alcatraz (San Francisco, California)

Clint Eastwood starred in the thriller “Escape from Alcatraz” in 1979.

Alcatraz is a real location that served as a fully operational prison for infamous criminals like Al Capone and George “Machine Gun” Kelly. These criminals were once deemed as public enemies and had a history of trying to escape. Although locals consider visiting this location a very touristy thing to do, it’s worth the experience.

Photo: Collected / Markus Lauff / Unsplash

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Photo: Collected / Markus Lauff / Unsplash

The night tour or the morning tour are your options. As it gets crowded later in the day, it is advised to take the morning tour. You will witness many deserted, collapsing structures and ruins, with the cell house being regarded as the best-preserved structure.

When you plan to visit Alcatraz for a few hours, there are some things to keep in mind. The most crucial information to keep in mind is that Alcatraz City Cruises LLC, a private boat business that operates under a contract with the National Park Service, controls all entry to the island.

The island itself is open to the public but if you want to see the Jail Cell, you will have to go through the official ferry. It’s also important to remember that Alcatraz has no food options other than dry snacks and candies from the bookstore.

Dubrovnik, Croatia

The cobblestone alleys and gothic architecture of the seaside city of Dubrovnik, Croatia instantly remind one of King’s Landing, also known as the capital of the Seven Kingdoms in Game of Thrones. Yes, Dubrovnik is the place where Game of Thrones came to life.

With guided tours, you can head to the Old Town neighbourhood or the Walls of Dubrovnik, where members of the Lannister family spent a significant amount of the season brooding.

Your guides will let you in on the secrets of the filming of HBO’s hit series, walk you through major filming locations and relive the show’s most memorable scenes, and take a picture on the Iron Throne.

Central Market, (Los Angeles, California)

Central Market, which was made out to be more futuristic than it really is in ‘Blade Runner,’ is a real Los Angeles market with eateries, kiosks, and fresh produce. It is unlikely that you will see Harrison Ford sprinting through these streets, but it will feel like you are in the actual movie.

The market operated from Monday through Sunday from 8AM to 9PM. While there are many tours that will take you through the market to indulge in the food and walk-through filming locations, you can also walk around the market and explore the vibrant culture and try out new food yourself.

Hobbiton (Matamata, New Zealand)

The storybook-like set of Hobbiton, the quaint town where Frodo and Bilbo Baggins reside, was built especially for The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films. If you are ever in the town of Matamata, New Zealand you can reserve a guided tour, which brings visitors to locations used for filming, such as the Mill, Hobbit Holes, and the Green Dragon Inn.

Photo: Collected / Mike Swigunski / Unsplash

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Photo: Collected / Mike Swigunski / Unsplash

There are many tours you can pick from – the movie set tours which take about 2.5 hours, evening banquet tours and second banquet touch which both take around 4 hours. The prices of these tours vary for adults and children, all of which are mentioned in the website Hobbiton Move Set.

You probably remember the famous scene where Harry and the Weasley family walk straight through a brick wall at King’s Cross Station to reach the platform. This station is a recurring location throughout the franchise as the magical Hogwarts Express platform. It has grown to such a degree of notoriety that King’s Cross Station formally designated the platform between platforms nine and ten. You cannot really walk through the wall but you can make a stop there for some photos and recreate your Hogwarts dream.

The Tanner family is shown enjoying a picnic in front of a picturesque row of vibrant houses in the opening credits of Full House. This scene is a nostalgic one for most ’90s babies. Those houses do, in fact, exist and are one of San Francisco’s most recognisable and frequently photographed locations.

Known as the Painted Ladies located along the eastern edge of Alamo Square Park, the picturesque houses are still occupied by locals. The Painted Ladies are the names given to seven pastel-coloured houses that lie next to each other on Steiner Street.

These Victorian mansions are referred to as “postcard row” due to their picturesque appeal, and serve as a lovely reminder of the San Francisco of the past, with the glittering downtown cityscape of the modern city shimmering in the distance. These series of houses with their colours and captivating flare, represent the well-known California Gold Rush.

San Francisco builders sought to showcase their newfound affluence with these opulent residences as so much money was flowing into the city. That explains their abundance of turrets, ornate rooflines, and dramatic windows. While you will not be able to take a tour inside all the houses, you can look at the beautiful architecture from the outside. In some cases, the homeowners offer guided tours throughout the house.

When fiction and real-life settings juxtapose, there is a sense of wonderment and discovery. Travellers who follow in the footsteps of their beloved characters not only develop a greater love for stories but also forge enduring experiences imbued with the glamour of the big screen. These locations support the preservation of historical and cultural landmarks and make for a worthwhile visit for both cinephiles and casual tourists. 

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