Have you ever been inspired to travel somewhere because you saw a scene from a movie? I definitely have. I’m a total movie fan, and especially a sucker for movies about travel (duh). I find that these movies beyond showcasing gorgeous places that I keep adding to my bucket list, they often teach important life lessons and empowering ideas. Seeing signs that it’s time to book your next trip? Here is a list of epic movies on travel and adventure that will inspire ideas for your next destination. And because I’m awesome, I’ve organized them by continents of interests! Yay me!
Let’s enjoy some movies!
*This post contains affiliate links, which means at no extra cost to you, I receive a small commission for purchases made through the links, which I will probably spend on ramen…
Movies on Travel and Adventure – Europe
Destination: Vienna (Austria)
Ooh travel and romance! This is a story of an American guy, Jesse (Ethan Hawke), and a French girl, Celine (Julie Delpy). They meet on a train as strangers and decides to explore Vienna together for one night. The city of Vienna is showcased beautifully in the movie as the two characters roam around and connect over talks about life and love. If you’ve ever fallen in love while traveling (even if you haven’t), this movie will give you all the feels, plus make you want to visit Vienna.
Watch Before Sunrise on Amazon from $2.99
Destination: Rome (Italy)
Audry Hepburn is probably every girl’s princess dream. And no image can be cooler than a beautiful princess zipping through the streets of stunning Rome on a Vespa, with a handsome American stranger, seeking for freedom. A classic film that has been loved by generations! If you end up visiting Rome because of this movie, you can do a Roman Holiday walk tour and visit all the famous locations where the iconic scenes in the movie were shot, i.e. The Spanish Steps where Princess Ann decided to live a little and try a gelato.
Watch Roman Holiday on Amazon from $3.99
Destination: Paris (France)
À bout de souffle in French (doesn’t that sound so sexy?), this story contains a criminal on the run, an American girl who aspires to be a journalist, and endless pretty views of Paris. Director Jean-Luc Goddard ushered in the “New Wave” in French cinema with this masterpiece. Even though this 1960 movie was so simplistic in shooting budget and style, the charm of Paris still oozes from every scene.
Watch Breathless on Amazon from $3.99
Destination: Santorini (Greece) and Mexico
Excuse me while I shed a tear over memories of my teenage days when my girlfriends and I LOVED this movie. I don’t care if you call it a chick flick, SOTTP is a touching story about coming of age and friendship. Four teenage best friends separate for one summer while they go on their individual journeys. However, they stay connected with a pair of jeans that they take turns wearing. The movie showcases each girl’s summer life but my favourite has got to be Lena’s (Alexis Bledel) because her story is set in Santorini, Greece. The backdrops are just stupidly beautiful!
Watch The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants on Amazon from $3.99
Destination: France, Spain
If you are a walker, you may enjoy this movie that takes place on the Camino de Santiago (the Way of St. James), a Catholic pilgrimage route to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, Spain. The story follows an American ophthalmologist, Dr. Thomas Avery (Martin Sheen), whose son, Daniel (Emilio Estevez), died while walking this famous spiritual trail. Tom goes to France to retrieve Daniel’s body, but makes a decision to take on the journey of his son and walk the Camino. During the walk, Tom meets several other pilgrims who are each doing the walk for different reasons. They accompany each other on the trek. A gentle yet powerful film that will very likely give you itchy feet!
Watch The Way on Amazon from $1.99
Movies on Travel and Adventure – Asia
This drama was filmed on the island of Kho Phi Phi in Thailand. The main character Richard (Leonardo DiCaprio) has an adventurous spirit. His curiosity leads him to discover a beach paradise. However, the dark problems in this “utopia” soon start to show. The intense plot and gorgeous sceneries make the movie totally captivating. Not to mention, Leonardo! *Wipes drool off my face.
Watch The Beach on Amazon from $2.99
Destination – India
A group of retirees goes to India, in hopes of a leisurely and affordable retirement in the exotic Marigold Hotel. However, upon arrival, they discover that the hotel is not quite how they expected from the luxurious advertisements they saw. Through the character’s development in their new home, the movie teaches that you are never too old to travel and to give something different a try!
Watch The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel on Amazon from $2.99
Destination – Cambodia
Other than Angelina Jolie, who was hella hot in this movie, the mysterious Angkor Wat is a reason to watch Tomb Raider. The ancient stone walls and huge banyan trees inspire so much imagination. Coupled with a bad ass heroine, this is a can’t miss movie if you plan to visit Cambodia someday!
Watch Laura Croft Tomb Raider on Amazon from $3.99
Destination: Tokyo (Japan)
Can’t never watch enough of romance movies! Get a taste of the nightlife and culture in Japan through Lost in Translation. Watch two strangers together find escape and distraction from their own troubling relationships, amongst the bright lights of Tokyo. Starring Scarlett Johansson and Bill Murray, the movie has many touching moments.
Watch Lost in Translation on Amazon from $2.99
Destination: Sichuan, China
A fan of Martial Arts? Jet Li? You will enjoy this imperial era drama set in China. Based on the true story of Jing Ke’s attempt to assassinate the first Emperor of the Qin Dynasty, this movie is packed with action! The stunning Jiu Zhai Gou alley near Chengdu is one of the most beautiful places in China that I’ve ever been to, and seeing it featured in this film was super exciting! If you love learning about other countries’ past, this is an awesome movie to watch! Not to mention the visuals are pure art!
Watch Hero on Amazon from $2.99
Movies on Travel and Adventure – Oceania
Destination: New Zealand
This trilogy film series need no introduction. Although it’s not a movie about “travel” per say it’s definitely about adventure! The jaw dropping landscapes in this film were what made me want to go to New Zealand in the first place. Fun fact: I have followed the footsteps of Frodo and climbed “Mount Doom”, aka Mount Ngauruhoe, an active volcano at the Tongariro Crossing in north island of New Zealand (No big. Casual brag).
Watch Lord of the Rings on Amazon from $9.99
Like the idea of a treasure hunt? Watch Fool’s Gold which stars two hotties, Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey. Many scenes in the movie were filmed in Queensland, Australia. From the Great Barrier Reef, to Airlie Beach, to Hervey Bay, to Fraser Island, these breath taking ocean vistas will surely make you want to head to down under!
Watch Fool’s Gold on Amazon from $3.99
Movies on Travel and Adventure – Africa
Destination: Fictional land in Africa
Probably one of my favorite movies of all time! The legendary intro in which all the animals gather for baby Simba’s debut, while the sun rises to “Circle of Life” playing in the background, will never fail to hit me with childhood nostalgia and a strong urge to go to Africa!
Watch The Lion King on Amazon from $18.99
Another awesome animation film with the funniest cast that will make you laugh your head off. Four zoo animals escape their life in captivity and find themselves on a ship to Africa. Unprepared for what to expect in the wild, hilarity ensues.
Watch Madagascar on Amazon from $2.99
Check out young Meryl Streep! Her acting, the filming, the story and the backdrops all together made this movie amazing. You will fall in love with Kenya after watching this film that has won seven Oscar awards! I hope to check “Safari in Kenya” off my list really soon and you better bet I will be binge watching this movie before I go.
Watch Out of Africa on Amazon from $2.99
Destination: Marrakech (Morocco)
A young mother (Kate Winslet) relocates with her two daughters from England to Morocco in the 60s, while she seeks for freedom and love. The family has many adventures and struggles in this new country. Winslet was hugely praised in her portrayal of the hippie mother. The colorful scenes of Marrakech are also highlights in the movie.
Watch Hideous Kinky on Amazon from $2.99
Destination: Cairo (Egypt)
A romantic drama set in Egypt about a brief love connection between a married woman and the husband’s friend. The majesty of Cairo is captured gloriously in this movie!
Movies on Travel and Adventure – North America
Ben Tyler (Joshua Jackson) has been diagnosed with cancer. With little chance of survival, he decides instead to go on a motorcycle trip across Canada from Toronto to British Colombia. On the road, he meets different people who help him develop a new perspective on his life. The movie features iconic Canadian sites and spectacular nature sceneries.
Destination: California (United States)
A dysfunctional American family drives to California together in support of their youngest daughter who wishes to enter the Little Miss Sunshine beauty pageant. They encounter many setbacks along the way and must get through with each other’s support. The movie was nominated for four academy awards, of which it won two, including Best Original Screenplay. Is taking a road trip through USA on your bucket list? Then you got to check out this movie.
Watch Little Miss Sunshine on Amazon from $3.99
Destination: New York (United States)
Ok there are so many movies set in New York but WHMS is one of the most classic for me. Iconic NYC landmarks such as Kat’z Deli, Washiton Square Park, and the Upper West Side, as well as the beautiful changing seasons in the city are showcased. All the while, one of the most referenced love stories plays out over the span of a decade. You will want to visit New York after watching this quintessential American rom com.
Watch When Harry Met Sally on Amazon from $3.99
Movies on Travel and Adventure – South America
Destination: Argentina, Chile, Peru, Columbia, Venezuela
This is a coming of age movie that tells the story of young Ernesto “Che” Guevara (Gael Garcia Bernal), who later became the leader in the Cuban Revolution. Ernesto travels with his friend Alberto through South America by motorcycle on a break before his last semester of medical school. They face all sorts of situations during the journey and through it all, they each discover their life’s calling.
Watch Motorcycle Diaries on Amazon from $3.99
Destination: Paradise Falls (fictional place)
Paradise Falls may be a fictional place in South America, but all the feels this movie will give you is fricken real! Carl Fredericksen, a retired old man, decides to carry out the promise between him and his wife and pursue their dream of going to Paradise Falls. He has an unbelievable adventure and realizes the preciousness of the life he lived. Try not to cry during this movie. I dare you!
Watch Up on Amazon from $3.99
Destination: Rio De Janeiro (Brazil)
Have you caught on that I love kids films? Couldn’t help but include another good animation film by Blue Sky Studio. The story is of an exotic male macaw named Blu, voiced by Jesse Eisenberg. Blu is taken to mate with another female macaw (Anne Hathaway) who lives in Rio de Janeiro, but the two love birds get kidnapped by animal smugglers. Together, they must escape and find their way back to freedom. Got to love the beautiful music and jungle scenes in this movie that portrays colorful Brazil brilliantly.
Watch Rio on Amazon from $3.99
Movies on Travel and Adventure – Antarctica
Unlike other movies on this list, A Year on Ice is a documentary. Real life in Antarctica is showcased from summer, when the sun would shine 24 hours a day, to winter, when the days are spend mostly in darkness. The stories are fascinating and the landscapes visually mesmerizing! A very educational movie to watch!
This movie got me bawling my eyes out and made me obsessed with Siberian Huskies. If you are a dog lover, you will adore this heartfelt survival film that takes place in Antarctica. Featuring eight incredible sled dogs who had to be left behind in a dangerous storm, the story is all about hope, friendship, and loyalty. Grab a hankie before watching. You’ll need it.
Movies on Travel and Adventure – The World and Beyond!
Destinations: Iceland, Greenland, Yemen, Afghanistan
“Live life by the ABCs. Adventurous, Brave, Creative.” This quote from the movie has become my life mantra. Walter (Ben Stiller) is a man who works in a monotonous job in New York City. He fantasizes about being a hero in his daydreams. When his job became threatened by an urgent call, he finally takes action and embarks on a trip that soon turns into a fantastical adventure. If this movie doesn’t make you want to get out there and see the world I don’t know what will!
Destinations: Italy, India, Bali (Indonesia)
If you’ve never heard of this movie, I’m sorry to say you’ve been living under a rock my friend. Based on the New York Times Best Seller novel, Eat, Pray, Love is a tale about a woman’s quest to discover herself while she travels to three destinations: Italy, India and Bali. Julia Roberts was superb in her role as the main character Liz Gilbert. (Another fun fact: In Bali, I lived in the Airbnb that was Liz’s home in the movie!)
Watch Eat Pray Love on Amazon from $3.99
Two strangers who lived very different lives, billionaire Edward (Jack Nicholson) and car mechanic Carter (Morgan Freeman), suddenly found themselves in the same hospital room as they were both diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. After they discovered their shared wish of completing a list of things they want to do before they kick the bucket, they go on a journey around the world. This movie is another reminder that we don’t have forever on this earth. Live everyday like it’s your last!
Watch The Bucket List on Amazon from $3.99
What are some awesome movies on travel and adventure that I’ve missed? I always love adding to the list so definitely tell me about your favourites in the comments!
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