Sometimes all we really need is to stimulate our minds with adventure and travel. And the good news is we can achieve that right from our own couch. Reading travel books is a really good place to start. If you’re more of a visual person, consider a movie marathon of nothing but travel movies!
Here is our list of the best travel movies to watch to either satisfy that travel bug or to inspire your next vacation destination.
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14 Best Travel Movies To Inspire Your Next Vacation
1. Under the Tuscan Sun (2003)
Countries Featured: Italy (Tuscan countryside)
This is a comedy-drama about a divorcee named Frances Mayes rediscovering herself. Her friends send her on a tour of Tuscany, where she ends up falling in love with a ramshackle house and buys it on a whim. She ends up meeting a bunch of interesting people, including Polish builders and a quirky old British actor.
The movie is a ton of fun to watch, and you’ll be able to catch scenes of Cortona, Italy, featuring little houses cut into the hillside overlooking glistening waters!
How To Watch: Rent or buy digital copies of Under the Tuscan Sun on Amazon, Google Play, Apple TV, or YouTube.
2. Roman Holiday (1953)
Countries Featured: Italy
Take a trip back in time to Rome, circa 1953, where a princess (Audrey Hepburn) is trying to stay incognito. After she’s befriended by an American reporter, he realizes her identity but keeps his a secret in an attempt to get the scoop. As they embark on their romantic journey, you’ll get to enjoy scenes of Rome including the Spanish Steps, the Colosseum, and Vespa ride through the city traffic.
How To Watch: Rent or buy digital copies of Roman Holiday on Amazon, Google Play, Apple TV, or YouTube.
For more of Rome, watch the very, very lighthearted The Lizzie McGuire Movie (2002)! Does this movie recommendation show my age??
3. Amélie (2001)
Countries Featured: France (Paris)
Amélie is a story about a girl named Amélie whose childhood was suppressed by her Father’s mistaken concerns of a heart defect. With these concerns, Amélie gets hardly any real-life contact with other people. This leads Amélie to resort to her own fantastical world and dreams of love and beauty. Audrey Tautou is a true delight as an innocent, shy waitress who makes it her mission to help the quirky characters in her life. When Nino enters her world, her life takes a new and exciting turn.
This is such a beautifully shot travel movie, perfect for fantasizing about Paris and France in general!
How To Watch: Rent or buy digital copies of Amélie on Amazon, Google Play, Apple TV, or YouTube.
4. In Bruges (2008)
Countries Featured: Belgium (Bruges)
Who knew a film about a couple of hitmen could showcase a city’s beauty and charm so well? In this movie, the Irish contract a couple of killers hiding out in Belgium. While Ray just wants to get drunk, Ken would prefer to see the cultural sights.
Throughout this dark but funny movie, you’ll get to enjoy scenes of Bruges’ unique architecture, including the Belfry of Bruges as well as canal trips through the city. If you haven’t visited Bruges yet, you most definitely will want to after seeing this beautiful fairytale town!
How To Watch: Rent or buy digital copies of In Bruges on Amazon, Google Play, Apple TV, or YouTube.
You may also like: Photos That Will Inspire You To Visit Bruges, Belgium
5. A Midnight In Paris (2011)
Countries Featured: France (Paris)
A Midnight In Paris is one of my favorite Woody Allen movies in existence! Seriously, it’s so much fun to watch.
While on a trip to Paris with his fiancée’s family, a nostalgic screenwriter finds himself mysteriously going back to the 1920s every day at midnight. The movie features some of the Jazz Age’s icons of art and literature. The more time Gil spends with these cultural heroes of the past, the more dissatisfied he becomes with the present.
How To Watch: Rent or buy digital copies of A Midnight In Paris on Amazon, Google Play, Apple TV, or YouTube.
You may also like: Photos That Will Inspire You To Visit Paris
6. The Bucket List (2007)
Countries Featured: China, India, Tanzania, France, USA
Two terminally ill men (played by Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman) are complete strangers until fate lands them in the same hospital room. The men find they have two things in common: a need to come to terms with who they are and what they have done with their lives, and a desire to complete a list of things they want to see and do before they die. The two men bust out of the hospital and set out on the adventure of a lifetime.
You’re sure to get a new idea or two about where to visit next just by watching this lighthearted travel movie!
How To Watch: Rent or buy digital copies of The Bucket List on Amazon, Google Play, Apple TV, or YouTube.
7. Before Sunrise (1995)
Countries Featured: Austria (Vienna)
This cult romantic drama stars Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke. After meeting on a train in Vienna, they spend the night walking around the city together. Their natural conversations are the star of the movie, as are the beautiful sights of the Austrian capital. You’ll fall in love with the scenes of the pair jumping on trams and Ferris wheels along the banks of the Danube.
Once you finish that, follow it up with Before Sunset and Before Midnight!
How To Watch: Rent or buy digital copies of Before Sunrise on Amazon, Google Play, Apple TV, or YouTube.
8. The Darjeeling Limited (2007)
In this quirky, colorful film by Wes Anderson, three brothers travel across India by train in an attempt to bond with each other a year after their father’s funeral. Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody and Jason Schwartzman bicker and bond their way through a scenic rail journey in India. Though the film was shot mainly in Rajasthan, the fictional route also takes you to the Himalayas.
This fun travel movie is great for those who daydream about train travel!
How To Watch: Rent or buy digital copies of The Darjeeling Limited on Amazon, Google Play, Apple TV, or YouTube.
9. Wild (2014)
Countries Featured: USA (Pacific Crest Trail)
Wild is an inspiring story of one woman’s courageous inward journey of self-healing and forgiving. Cheryl Strayed (a real person) decided to walk the Pacific Crest Trail to face her demons, and her memoirs were turned into this uplifting film starring Reese Witherspoon.
The director, Jean-Marc Vallée was adamant that the movie be shot entirely on location–you’ll see scenes from the Mojave Desert, Mount Hood, Crater Lake, and the iconic Bridge of the Gods in Cascade Locks on the Oregon/Washington border. If you’re watching for the scenery alone, you’re in store for some epic natural landscapes.
How To Watch: Rent or buy digital copies of Wild on Amazon, Google Play, Apple TV, or YouTube.
10. The Way (2010)
Countries Featured: Spain (Camino de Santiago)
The Way features a grieving father who decides to walk the ancient spiritual trail of Camino de Santiago after the death of his son. Pilgrims trek the Camino de Santiago for countless reasons but for Tom, it was to feel closer to his son who died while on his own trek of the Camino. If you have ever dreamed of or plan to embark on this trek, this is a great movie to watch for inspiration!
How To Watch: Rent or buy digital copies of The Way on Amazon, Google Play, Apple TV, or YouTube.
11. Tracks (2013)
Countries Featured: Australia
Tracks is another memoir adaptation starring a young Mia Wasikowska as Robyn Davidson, who spent nine months trekking across the Australian desert accompanied only by her faithful dog and four camels. Her journey begins in Alice Springs and takes her across the scorching outback to the Indian Ocean. This movie features Australia’s natural sights such as Uluru and Coffin Bay.
This movie is a great inspiration for those who are considering solo travel.
How To Watch: Rent or buy digital copies of Tracks on Amazon, Google Play, Apple TV, or YouTube.
12. Into The Wild (2007)
Countries Featured: USA (Alaska)
Christopher McCandless is the son of wealthy parents who graduates from Emory University as a top student and athlete. However, instead of embarking on a prestigious and profitable career, he chooses to give his savings to charity, rid himself of his possessions, and set out on a journey to the Alaskan wilderness where he attempts to live in the wild.
Throughout this movie, you’ll be able to enjoy scenes of his time at peaceful Lake Tahoe, camping at Beard’s Hollow, kayaking down the Colorado River and running with wild horses.
How To Watch: Rent or buy digital copies of Into The Wild on Amazon, Google Play, Apple TV, or YouTube.
13. Eat Pray Love (2010)
Countries Featured: USA, Italy, India, Indonesia
At a crossroads in her life, Liz Gilbert (Julia Roberts) travels to Italy, India and Bali to discover meaning and happiness in this inspiring true story, based on the best-selling book. Throughout the movie, she literally rediscovers herself through the people she meets as well as eating, praying, and ultimately finding love again.
Filming locations include New York City, Rome and Naples, Delhi and Pataudi (India), Ubud and Padang-Padang Beach at Bali (Indonesia).
How To Watch: Rent or buy digital copies of Eat Pray Love on Amazon, Google Play, Apple TV, or YouTube.
Countries Featured: Scotland, ‘France’, and the ‘United States’
Okay, this is technically a TV series historical drama that takes place in the olden days of Scotland, France, and the United States, but I personally learned so much about the history of these countries from it and would highly recommend it to anyone looking to travel with their eyeballs. Not to mention, the scenery of the Scottish Highlands is to die for! Total eye candy if you’re into nature!
Outlander follows the story of Claire Randall, a married combat nurse from 1945 who is mysteriously swept back in time to 1743, where she is immediately thrown into an unknown world. She is then forced to marry Jamie, a young Scottish warrior. Claire then has to choose between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.
The show is filmed in locations such as Scotland, Cape Town, Africa, and Prague (where many of the Parisian street scenes were filmed).
How To Watch: Rent or buy digital copies of Outlander on Amazon, Google Play, Apple TV, or YouTube.
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