We’re all completely star-struck when faced with anything to do with our fave films and television shows, but for some reason, real life movie and TV filming locations seem to have that little bit of extra magic. Whether the opening shot to your go-to rom-com, or that one park bench where your favourite characters had ‘the chat’, visiting these hallowed grounds can add extra Hollywood glamour to any trip away.
To feed your inner fangirl, we’ve put in some super sleuth work to find the hidden and little-known TV and movie filming locations in Europe, that it might be worth taking a holiday detour for. Grab your binoculars, your oversized shades and your selfie-stick – it’s time to take a trip to the big (and small) screen…
Scene of the atrium lobby in The Grand Budapest Hotel:
The deliciously ornate 1920s department store Görlitzer Warenhaus is the real-life backdrop to Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel, and it is still open for visits on certain cultural occasions. This undeniably grand location only featured in the film by the skin of its teeth however, as until the production team intervened in 2013, it was actually scheduled for demolition!
Scene of The House of Black and White in Game of Thrones
A short drive from Split, this picturesque Croatian town plays the role of Braavos in the eye-wateringly popular HBO series Game of Thrones. The star of the show is the breathtaking Cathedral of St James, which is transformed into the formidable House of Black and White from series 5 onwards.
Scene of the Venetian hotel’s steps in Casino Royale
Prague, Czech Republic
Prague’s incredibly imposing National Museum plays a key role in Casino Royale, as Daniel Craig descends its staircase, taking a very important phone call. It may surprise you to know however that the museum was not featured as itself, but instead represents the interior of a Venetian hotel. Guess the budget couldn’t stretch to a plane ticket to Venice then…
Scene of the lunar surface in Doctor Who
Lanzarote, Canary Islands
This beloved, sun-drenched holiday fave is the last place you’d associate with the ever-so-British series Doctor Who. Die-hard fans may well recognise the Volcán del Cuervo however, as having played a hostile lunar landscape in the 2014 episode ‘Kill the Moon.’
Scene of the Old Town in The Danish Girl
Copenhagen’s Sankt Pauls Gade area is one of the city’s most popular and beautiful locations, and so unsurprisingly played a large role in hugely successful film, The Danish Girl. Follow in its oscar-winning footsteps, and wander the colourful streets for yourself!
Scene of the Wheal Leisure Mine in Poldark
Everyone’s favourite shirtless redcoat, Poldark saw fandoms and hysteria spread far and wide across the country after its release in 2015. The show’s infamous Wheal Leisure Mine is actually called the Wheal Owles Mine, and can be found in the tiny hamlet of Botallack on the windswept tip Cornwall.
Scene of The Capitol’s underground in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay (Part 2)
The distinctive orange pillars of Berlin’s Messedamm Underpass played host to Jennifer Lawrence and co., providing the suitably industrial backdrop for The Hunger Games’ Capitol underground. Fans of the films can easily wander through the underpass themselves at a much more leisurely pace.
Scene of the bridge in The Bridge
2014 sure was the year of the gritty, Scandi drama, and none captured the imagination more than The Bridge. You’ll be thrilled to learn that you can reenact your favourite brooding scene by crossing Malmö’s Öresund Bridge, which is the real-life counterpart of the series’ titular location.
Scene of Rusty and Isabel’s stroll in Ocean’s Twelve
The stunningly beautiful, ancient fishing village of Scopello in Sicily hosted one of Ocean’s Twelve’s pivotal scenes, and was wandered across by Brad Pitt and Catherine Zeta Jones for many a take during the film’s production.
Scene of Sherlock’s door in Sherlock
The unassuming Speedy’s Cafe near London’s Euston Station not only features as a regular snack spot in the BBC’s hugely popular series Sherlock, it is also right next to the famous black door used as the entrance to 221B Baker Street. Plus, it does a mean jacket potato. We’ve heard.
Scene of Grindelwald’s wand theft in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Part 1)
Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany
Featuring for mere seconds, the charmingly traditional German town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber (about 40 mins west of Nuremberg) plays the role of wandmaker Gregorovitch’s home. Eagle-eyed fans can see it as a young Gellert Grindelwald steals the elder wand and leaps from his window, in one of very few scenes in the movie not to have been filmed in the UK.
Scene of Istanbul hotel in The Night Manager
The show that introduced the world to Tom Hiddleston (and his bottom), The Night Manager featured many exotic locales. The ornate Palau March in Majorca’s capital, Palma, was one of the most idyllic, actually setting the scene for Richard the-worst-man-in-the-world Roeper and co.’s visit to a chic Istanbul hotel.
Scene of the Volturi’s home in Twilight: New Moon
A rustically Tuscan hillside town, Montepulciano is a popular tourist spot in its own right. You’re likely to find the odd die-hard Twilight fan wandering through its narrow streets too, taking in the real-life setting of the much feared Volturi’s home.
Scene of the Rostov’s home in War and Peace
Rundale Palace in Bauska is every bit as grand and imposing and you’d imagine the residence of Russia’s aristocracy to be. Although not technically in Russia, it was accurate enough to feature as the Rostov’s home and host of Anna Pavlovna’s soiree in the show’s opening scene, as its architect, Bartolomeo Rastrelli, also designed Catherine Palace near St Petersburg.
Scene of Augustus and Hazel’s bench in The Fault in Our Stars
As well as numerous Amsterdam landmarks, this fairly innocuous bench located at Leidsegracht 4 features in the award-winning sob-fest, The Fault in Our Stars. After going missing and eventually having to be replaced in 2014, the bench is now covered with graffiti and padlocks inspired by quotes from the film and book.
Scene of the Austrian hotel in Band of Brothers
No, we’ve not made a clerical error, the Austrian hotel featuring in episode 10 of the HBO series Band of Brothers can actually be found in the idyllic Swiss village of Brienz. It’s really called the Giessbach Hotel, yes you can stay in it, and with that view, you’d want to.
Scene of the Colosseum in Gladiator
Rather than clear out the ever-crowded Colosseum in Rome for months of filming, the production crew of Gladiator elected to rebuild the ancient ruins in the sleepy Maltese port of Kalkara. Fort Ricasoli saw most of the action, and although this derelict structure is not open to visitors, you can snap a pretty impressive Insta of it from along the nearby Rinella Bay.
Scene of the Palace of Oz in Emerald City
This Wizard of Oz inspired series was filmed in locations all over Europe, most famously in Barcelona’s Park Guell. The ornately magical halls of the Palace of Oz however, can actually be found inside Budapest’s spectacularly grand Ethnographic Museum.
Scene of James Bond’s shooting in Skyfall
Varda Köprüsü, Turkey
Just outside the popular Turkish holiday resort of Adana, Varda Köprüsü is home to a rather picturesque viaduct, built across its canyon-filled landscapes. If you catch the train across, not only will you get an eyeful of the region’s stunning mountainscapes, you’ll pass the point where Daniel Craig’s stunt double had a pretty tough day acting out James Bond being shot in Skyfall.
Scene of Mark and Spud’s run in T2 Trainspotting
The majestic Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh has been the panoramic backdrop to many a pensive movie moment over the years. The most recent and arguably iconic however, is the scene after Mark and Spud’s run around the expansive Holyrood Park in the much-anticipated T2 Trainspotting.
Scene of Eckhausen in The Missing
The deeply dark second series of BBC drama The Missing, features the provincial and serene looking Belgian town of Malmedy. Appearances can be deceiving however, as the town plays the role of Eckhausen, the scene of much of the series’ twisted and sinister happenings.
Scene of Svartalfheim in Thor: The Dark World
The moody, rolling landscapes of Iceland’s Landmannalaugar region provided just the mysterious setting for the Dark Elves’ Realm in Thor: The Dark World. Located within the country’s Fjallabak Nature Reserve, Landmannalaugar is a wild, untamed environment for intrepid hikers and hardcore Marvel fans alike.
And rumour has it…
Will be the scene of Luke Skywalker’s Ach-To Island in Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Skellig Michael, Ireland
Ok, so this remote, Atlantic island already features in The Force Awakens as Ach-To, but word on the street is that it’ll play a much larger role in the newest film in the Star Wars franchise, due for release in December of this year. Boats to the island are available, and leave from the town of Portmagee in County Kerry.
Will be the scene of a race in The Grand Tour
It has been recently heavily hinted that the ex-Top Gear gang will be visiting the sun-soaked sovereign state of Monaco at some point during the second series of their new motoring masterpiece The Grand Tour.
Will be the scene of St Peter’s Basilica in The Young Pope
Due to the banning of film crews inside Vatican City, none of the hotly anticipated new series The Young Pope could actually be filmed in its accurate location. To get around this, the production crew are having to reconstruct iconic Vatican landmarks in Rome. For example, St Peter’s Basilica will be recreated around the beautiful Santi Luca e Martina church – that’s quite some set design…
Ready to go movie and TV spotting? Plan your star-studded trip today!