When you don’t have the time to travel, what’s better than letting movies take you on a trip? Booker Travels got to see first-hand – on our recent visit to Morocco – a location where many productions were shot. It got us wondering, where else can film take us? Here are our top five locations we’re looking forward to visiting!
1. Vasquez Rocks
You may recognize these rocks from every sci-fi movie ever that features a windswept desert setting, including Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Star Trek (2009), Planet of the Apes, and Princess of Mars. However, these eerie-looking rocks aren’t just used in sci-fi films; they’re also featured in Little Miss Sunshine, Blazing Saddles, and Austin Powers. These rocks are even more popular with TV shows—they’re featured in episodes of 24, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, CSI, Star Trek, and MacGyver!
2. (Midnight in) Paris
Paris has been featured in so many films, but few do it quite as well as Midnight in Paris. A love letter to the city, this movie showcases the most breathtaking views and locations. From the shops on the Left Bank, to Claude Monet’s former home, to the gardens and palace at Versailles, both the past and present is showcased in this light, hilarious film.
This location was the site for Mos Espa, Anakin Skywalker’s home planet in Star Wars. Recently the site has been damaged by shifting sands and the Tunisian government has launched a campaign to save the site. Check out their cover of Pharrell’s “Happy” here.
And learn more about their campaign and how to donate here.
4. The Grand Budapest Hotel
While the Grand Budapest Hotel takes place in an imaginary country in Europe, the locations used were very real—the hotel’s rooms took place in a large abandoned department store in Germany called the Görlitzer Warenhaus, and such special rooms as the hotel’s Arabian baths were filmed in the surrounding area. Other locations of note include the Zwinger palace in Dresden, a 13th century fort in Zwickaw that served as a prison in the 18th century, and Castle Heinewalde, in Saxony, Germany.
5. New Zealand
The definitive fantasy series, Lord of the Rings inhabits such a large and varied world that Peter Jackson had his work cut out for him putting it on screen. Luckily, New Zealand had everything he needed. Tongariro National Park, home to three different volcanoes, was the site for Mordor, and the Kaltoke Regional Park became Rivendell. The private grounds of Alexander Farm in New Zealand were the location for the Shire, and still are—the sets are maintained as a tourist attraction! There are even themed restaurants nearby for hungry Tolkien pilgrims.