- Discover the famous movie filming locations to some of the best-loved silver screen classics – from The Sound of Music to The Godfather
- What to look for when visiting filming location, movie facts and figures, and where you can retrace the footsteps of Hollywood stars
- Plan your trip with brilliant ideas for escorted tours, city breaks, and river cruises to visit these famous movie backdrops
Europe is home to a dazzling array of famous movie film locations – and you can follow in the footsteps of your favourite movie stars on a trip to Europe if you know the places to look out for. From Salzburg to Prague, and from the French Riviera to Malta, many destinations found on our escorted tours have had starring roles as the backdrops to some of the best-loved classic films.
Bring films from the silver screen to life by visiting some of the more iconic movie destinations and step into landscapes found in movies such as Mamma Mia 2, The Italian Job and The Godfather. We’ve rounded up 10 famous moving filming locations to get you started – lights, camera and action!
10 famous movie filming locations
The Sound of Music – Salzburg, Austria
If you love the iconic 1965 musical starring Julie Andrews and are a fan of the memorable ‘Do-re-mi’ scene where the von Trapp children sing while hopping up and down a flight of steps, then book a holiday to Austria. The Austrian city of Salzburg was the stunning backdrop to the classic film – the gardens at Mirabell Palace have a starring role. Other Sound of Music filming locations include Nonnberg Abbey, which was used as the exterior of the film’s abbey, and Schloss Frohnburg – its imposing gates doubled up as the entrance to Captain von Trapp’s villa. Experience dramatic Austria on our escorted tour of the Lakes and Mountains of Austria.
Inception – Paris, France
The French capital has been a film set for countless movies over the years including Last Tango in Paris, Amélie, Moulin Rouge and The Da Vinci Code but Christopher Nolan’s 2010 inventive thriller Inception sees the City of Lights turned on its head – literally. Starring Leonardo di Caprio as a professional thief who steals information from the minds of victims as they sleep, the film sees Ellen Page’s character Ariadne demonstrates how to create mindboggling dream worlds by folding up the Rue Cesar Franck. She also recreates the iconic Pont de Bir-Hakeim bridge that crosses the Seine River in this CG extravaganza. Wander the streets of France’s romantic capital on an escorted Paris city break with a programme of daily tours and visits.
Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again – Vis, Croatia
Ten years after the original Mamma Mia! film, the sequel Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again returned to our cinemas and had everyone singing Abba hits all over again. However, while Amanda Seyfield’s character was seen back at her fictional home of Kalokairi, the action didn’t happen on the Greek island of Skopelos in the Aegean Sea for this second outing. Instead, Mamma Mia 2 film locations are actually in Croatia, on the remote island of Vis. A destination on the itinerary of a Dalmatian Yacht cruise, unspoilt Vis is simply stunning, both in real life and on the big screen. Much of the action centred on the village of Komža. Enjoy the stunning beauty of Vis on our Dubrovnik, Mostar & Secrets of Dalmatia Yacht Cruise.
Amadeus – Prague, Czech Republic
Although Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born in Salzburg, and spent happy years of his composing life in Vienna, Amadeus film locations are found in another European city – Prague. The Old Town, Charles Bridge, Danish Embassy and Hradcanske Square were transformed into 18th-century Vienna in the 1984 movie, with the exterior of the Estates Theatre doubling up as Vienna’s opera house. Interestingly, the composer staged the Don Giovanni première at the Estates in 1787. Film buffs keen to visit Prague should note that scenes from the James Bond movie Casino Royale and the Tom Cruise action thriller Mission Impossible were also filmed in the city. Experience Prague like never before on our new 2020 escorted Prague tour including visiting Charles Bridge.
The Italian Job – Venice, Italy
It’s been 50 years since Michael Caine starred as crook Charlie Croker in The Italian Job. While five decades may have passed, the classic comic caper is famed for a crowd-pleasing scene when an entourage of Mini Cooper cars screech around Turin. Filmed in the Italian city during a massive traffic jam, the cars drive down the elegant staircase of the Palazzo Madama, through the Galleria San Federico, then along Via Roma. The remake in 2003, starring Mark Wahlberg, sees a heist taking place in another popular European tour and city break destination – Venice. The opening scene of the remake was filmed in Venice’s Campo San Barnaba with the 9th century San Barnaba Church as a backdrop – the church also featured as the exterior to the library in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Our tour of Lake Garda, Venice & Verona spends a day in Venice, and is a wonderful way to explore the historic city.
The Godfather – Sicily, Italy
If you are interested in visiting some of The Godfather’s key filming locations, Italy is the country to head for, and in particular the idyllic island of Sicily. While the action of many of Marlon Brando’s scenes took place in New York and Staten Island, when Al Pacino’s character Michael Corleone flees to Sicily, it’s the villages of Forza d’Agro and Savoca, located a few miles from Taormina, that take centre stage. Bar Vitelli in Savoca is where Michael meets Apollonia, an innkeeper’s daughter. The Chiesa di Santa Lucia is the church where the couple marry. Discover more about this beautiful island on our Sicily escorted tour including a trip to stunning Taormina.
In Bruges – Bruges, Belgium
Although it’s not always the case with film locations, the 2008 comedy thriller In Bruges was actually filmed in the charming Belgian city, so it’s easy to follow in the footsteps of actor Colin Farrell if on a Bruges city break. Scenes were filmed throughout the UNESCO-listed centre, with the Minnewater Bridge, Groeninge Museum, Church of Our Lady and the Belfry all making an appearance – the bell tower’s 366 steps get a mention, too. Cafedraal, the restaurant in which Farrell’s character enjoys a first date, is still recommended as being one of the best in the city. A river cruise is a great way to explore Bruges and the surrounding Dutch Waterways. Try our Bruges, Medieval Flanders, Amsterdam & the Dutch Bulbfields river cruise for a taste of The Netherlands.
For Your Eyes Only – Meteora, Greece
James Bond movies are famous for exotic locations, and the 1981 spy classic For Your Eyes Only starring Roger Moore didn’t disappoint, with several scenes filmed in Greece. While much of the early action is centred on the stunningly beautiful island of Corfu, with scenes filmed in and around Corfu Town, Katami Bay and Kanoni Island, the climactic showdown was filmed in Meteora in central Greece. The Holy Trinity Monastery was the location for the film’s fictional St Cyril’s – a remote mountaintop monastery that Bond and his companions must climb to retrieve the stolen ATAC decoder. Situated at the top of a rocky precipice over 400 metres high, the Holy Trinity Monastery is one of 24 monasteries originally built at Meteora, which means ‘suspended in the air’ in Greek. Only six are still active today and open to visitors with a good head for heights. Our new Thessaloniki, Meteora & Alexander the Great’s Greece 2020 escorted tour allows you to marvel at the iconic monasteries of Meteora. There are also departures exclusively for solo travellers.
Munich – Valletta, Malta
Despite its name, the 2005 film Munich was not shot in the German city. Instead, director Steven Spielberg decided to centre much of the drama in Malta. Munich film locations include the seaside resort of Bugibba, the waterfront at Sliema and a church at Rabat, but it is the island’s capital, Valletta, that is first seen on screen as ‘Rome’. Budapest in Hungry also later doubled up as the Italian city – you may just spot the dome of St Stephen’s Cathedral. As the action continues, Valletta appears again, once as ‘Beirut’ and also as ‘Athens’. Our 8-day Malta Uncovered escorted tour includes a guided tour of historic Valletta.
To Catch a Thief – French Riviera, France
Towns and villages along the French Riviera, or Côte d’Azur in French, were used as film locations for To Catch a Thief – the 1955 classic Hitchcock movie starring Cary Grant and Grace Kelly. Nice and Monte Carlo are both seen on screen when the heiress arrives at a hotel with her mother. The movie’s hair-raising car drive – in a 1953 Sunbeam Alpine – along the French Riviera’s Grand Corniche also showcases the villages of Èze and La Turbie. Discover the glamorous French Riviera and the playgrounds of the rich and famous on an escorted tour or ocean cruise. Solo travellers can experience the beauty of the French Riviera on our Côte d’Azur & Italian Riviera for Solo Travellers tour.
An escorted tour or cruise to one of these locations can bring the silver screen to life and make the fantasy your reality. Your expert tour manager will be able to give more details while you enjoy walking tours and visits to some of these iconic locations.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.