We spend years looking at the location in movies that capture our imaginations. It might be a picturesque view of New York from Woody Allen or a galaxy far, far away from George Lucas. Either way, we often look at our screens and think, ‘wouldn’t it be cool to go THERE?’
Well, now you can! We have found the best location of some of the most popular movies that fans can go and visit. Sadly for sci-fi fans, all of these places are on Earth – but that shouldn’t diminish the excitement. Let’s take a look at some of these real-life movie locations…
The Art Institute of Chicago, ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’ – Chicago, IL
While the famous John Hughes film was mainly shot in the North Shore, some of the best scenes took place in the Art Institute. Ferris, Sloane, and Cameron enjoy their day off by linking hands and posing in front of some of the world’s most famous artwork.
Today, the Art Institute of Chicago attracts millions of visitors from around the world. Tourists can explore art from throughout the ages that follow many different styles and forms.
King’s Cross Station, ‘Harry Potter’ – London, UK
Of course, King’s Cross was already a famous train station in London and the English people. However, it was its inclusion in the Harry Potter series that really helped it stand out on the world’s stage.
Ever since it became the gateway to Platform 9 ¾, tourists have flocked from all over the world to take a look at the famous spot. The station recently installed a trolley statue to highlight and celebrate its place in modern British literature.
Alcatraz Prison, ‘Escape From Alcatraz’ – San Francisco, CA
Of course, Escape From Alcatraz is based on the real-life escape of three prisoners who managed to reach the mainland in 1962. While it no longer operates as a prison, tourists can take a ferry from San Francisco pier and visit the landmark.
In its history, Alcatraz housed criminals like Al Capone and other mobsters who needed special attention. The film adaptation of the escape was released in 1979 and starred Clint Eastwood as one of the lucky prisoners.
Karaoke Kan, ‘Lost in Translation’ – Shibuya-Ku, Japan
If you’re a fan of the classic film, then you can book a trip to Japan and sing for yourself! All you need to do is pack your pink wing and you’ll be well on your way to repeating some of the iconic moments from Lost In Translation.
If you want to recreate the entire moment while you visit Karaoke Kan, then the song they sang was ‘More Than This’ by Roxy Music, ‘Brass in Pocket’ by The Pretenders, and ‘(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love & Understanding’ by Elvis Costello.
Cafe des 2 Moulins, ‘Amelie’ – Paris, France
The small and charming cafe that appeared in 2001’s Amalie is actually a real location in Paris. It can be found in the neighborhood of Montmartre and earn its name due to being near two historic windmills.
If you ever find yourself in Paris, be sure to visit the Cafe des 2 Moulins where you can sip authentic coffee by dedicated bar staff. It seems like it might be time to start practicing your French!
Art Museum Steps, ‘Rocky’ – Philadelphia, PA
Who doesn’t get inspired when they see Rocky train up and down those famous museum steps? The scene, which is accompanied by Eye of the Tiger has become an iconic moment in film history that you can recreate yourself!
All you need to do is visit the Philadelphia Art Museum and run up and down those stairs yourself. In fact, the film made such an impact on the location that they erected a bronze statue of the fictional character.
Bates Motel, ‘Psycho’ – Universal Studios, CA
So, this one might not be an actual location, but you can still visit the iconic film set from Psycho. Today, the famous Bates Motel is resting in the Universal Studios lot in California, where fans can visit the set.
Bates Motel was the wildly successful TV show that followed which also used parts of the set in its show. So, if you’re a fan of Hitchcock or Norman, make sure to book yourself a stay at the spooky Motel!
Biograph Theatre, ‘Public Enemies’ – Chicago, IL
Back to Chicago for a trip to the Biograph Theatre. The setting was used for the 2009 film starring Johnny Depp and Billy Crudup. Set in the depression-era of the United States, the vintage building was a perfect choice.
Amazingly, the theatre is still being used today! Tourists in Chicago can book a showing in the operational theater and maybe even watch Public Enemies on its big screen. It can be found just moments from DePaul University.
Buckingham Palace, ‘Paddington’ – London, UK
Of course, Buckingham Palace is one of the most famous buildings in the world The chances are that you already knew it before its appearance in 2014’s Paddington. But if you didn’t then it was the perfect introduction.
Each year, millions of tourists visit London to watch the changing of the guards outside Buckingham Palace. If you’re lucky, you might just see a Royal appear on the famous balcony. It is one of the oldest buildings in the city.
Cabazon Dinosaurs, ‘Pee-wee’s Big Adventure’ – Cabazon, CA
Of course, dinosaurs no longer roam the world as they used to 65 million years ago. However, if you find yourself driving down this street in Cabazon, California, then you might be in for a treat! These massive statues were featured in 1985’s Pee-wee’s Big Adventure.
It’s been nearly 35 years since the film was released, but the dinosaurs are still standing tall today. If you find yourself in the area, you can pose with these giant statues and go on your own big adventure!
Carrie Bradshaw’s Apartment, ‘Sex and the City’ – New York City, NY
While most of Sex and the City was filmed in a studio, the exteriors were still used as establishing shots for our characters and their homes. Well, if you travel to Perry Street in the West Village, you’ll be able to see Carrie Bradshaw’s apartment!
Even today, thousands of people travel to the New York street to get a photo outside the popular building. It is so famous that it even has its own Instagram location tag!
Crain Communications Building, ‘Adventures in Babysitting’ – Chicago, IL
We’re back in the popular Chicago for another building that was made famous for appearing in a popular film. Previously known as the Stone Container Building, the Crain Communications Building is an iconic part of the Chicago skyline.
Many film fans will remember a scene in Adventures in Babysitting when the youngest sibling has to scale down its scary side all the way to safety. What with its unique design, we think this was the perfect building for the sequence.
Central Market, ‘Blade Runner’ – Los Angeles, CA
While it doesn’t share the futuristic imagery and technology we saw in Blade Runner, Central Market is still a real location with plenty to see and do. Locals can travel to the market and pick up their produce for the week.
If you find yourself in LA, you might want to check out the market and see how much they changed for its appearance in the futuristic sci-fi film. Some say it’s completely unrecognizable.
Christ Church Cathedral, ‘Harry Potter’ – Oxford, UK
Hogwarts isn’t a real place, but that doesn’t mean the filmmakers couldn’t find a location that looks magical to film inside. If we journey just outside of London, we will come across the Christ Church Cathedral.
Its exterior was used as a model for the school of wizardry, while some of the sets were built in a film studio. All they needed to do was add a few CGI effects and they completely transformed it!
Circus Liquor, ‘Clueless’ – Hollywood, CA
Sometimes, you don’t need to even leave Hollywood to visit some of the most famous film locations. In Clueless, we could tell that the filmmakers didn’t want to go too far from their trailers when they filmed this sequence.
Cher was robbed and left to die outside this iconic liquor store in North Hollywood. Today, locals and tourists enjoy snapping a photo in from of the now-famous clown sign. Today, it is still a functioning liquor store.
El Royale Hotel, ‘Boogie Nights’ – Studio City, CA
Once upon a time, this El Royale Hotel was once a MOTEL – but it’s great to see their successful upgrade! Back when it was a motel, the El Royale was the location where John C. Reilly and Mark Wahlberg get caught up in a drug deal.
In fact, director Paul Thomas Anderson has a soft spot for this particular location since he’s from the San Fernando Valley. He also used it in his other films, Punch Drunk Love and Magnolia.
Empire State Building, ‘Sleepless in Seattle’ – New York, NY
We’re back in New York for one of the most famous buildings in the world. It was in 1993’s Sleepless in Seattle where it made one of its most famous appearances with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan.
The last scene between these actors has gone down as one of the most romantic endings in history. Today, millions of tourists visit the tall building and explore the amazing scenery from the top.
Formosa Cafe, ‘LA Confidential’ – Los Angeles, CA
Do you remember the cafe from the 1997 film starring Kevin Spacey? Well, it turns out that the Formosa Cafe is a real location and people can sit down and eat in it – just like Lana Turner and a detective!
The cafe was briefly closed while it experienced renovations, but it has since reopened and welcomes tourists and locals from around the world. 23 years later, the film has helped the cafe stay in business and remain a cultural gem in the general location.
The Beverly Wilshire Hotel, ‘Pretty Woman’ – Beverly Hills, CA
Located just off Rodeo Drive you can find one of Los Angeles’ most iconic hotels. Eager film fans will remember that the Beverly Wilshire is the place where Julia Roberts stayed with Richard Gere during Pretty Woman.
Surrounding the hotel’s location are a myriad of shopping centers and boutique stores that are perfect for the perfect getaway. Even if you don’t want to go shopping or book a stay, you should definitely check out the inside while you’re there.
Grand Central Station, ‘Men in Black 2’ – New York, NY
If you want to visit the colony of aliens that occupy a locker in New York’s Grand Central Station, go outside of rush hour! The station sees hundreds of thousands of commuters every day.
If you are going to visit, make sure to check out C-18 in the baggage deposit area. That’s where Jay and Kay walk to when opening the door and say hello to all the minions of aliens who worship them like Gods.
Hanapepe Valley, ‘Jurassic Park’ – Kauai, Hawaii
There are many films that use the amazing Hawaiin scenery for their locations. One example is 1993’s Jurassic Park which used Hanapepe Valley for most of the famous dinosaur park. This untouched landscape is perfect to film for a dinosaur-infested world.
Today, tourists can visit Hanapepe Valley and take part in many different sports and activities. For a short stay, you’ll be able to sleep among the dinosaurs! Only kidding, they don’t exist – or do they?
The McCallister Home, ‘Home Alone’ – Winnetka, IL
It’s the home targeted by the Wet Bandits, and thanks to Kevin McCallister it is still standing today! Tucked away in Winnetka is the house made famous by everyone’s famous Christmas film, Home Alone.
While you can’t go inside, tourists can drive to the suburb and check out the exterior of the home. Most of the internal shots were filmed on a film set, so you’re not missing out on much for the inside!
Hook & Ladder Company 8 Firehouse, ‘Ghostbusters’ – New York, NY
We’re back at New York now to take a look at the Tribeca firehouse. In Ghostbusters, the Hook & Ladder headquarters is right off the subway and still in perfect condition today.
Tourists can take a look at the operational firehouse and cast their minds back to when our favorite heroes saved the day from ghosts and ghouls. When Harold Ramis died in 2014, fans of the series established a memorial at the site.
Baseball Diamond, ‘Field of Dreams’ – Dyersville, Iowa
If you ever travel across the country, you might find yourself in Dyersville, Iowa. This midwest state has plenty to offer, particularly the farm which was used as the set of the baseball diamond in Field of Dreams.
The 1989 film explored the lives of the Kinsella family and captured hearts and minds for 30 years. Today, you can visit the real-life setting of the scenes and maybe even pitch your own ball while you’re there.
Katz’ Deli, ‘When Harry Met Sally’ – New York, NY
In one of the most famous scenes of the whole film, Katz’ Deli skyrocketed in popularity after the success of When Harry Met Sally and THAT scene led by Meg Ryan. When proving to Harry that women could fake orgasms, Sally performed quite the show to other restaurant-goers.
The deli has been enjoying its fame for the last 30 years and is still going strong today. Katz’ is located on Houston Street in the Lower East Side of Manhattan.
The Bench, ‘500 Days of Summer’ – Los Angeles, CA
Any true romantic knows the bench where Tom and Summer first met and last connected in 500 Days of Summer. The bench, which is located at the bottom of Bunker Hill, became such a popular visitor spot that they had to close the area off to the public!
While the space has since been reopened to allow for fans to take their photos, it is expected that the entire area will be shut down and renovated in the future. So, if you’re in downtown LA soon make sure to snap your shot ASAP!
Lincoln Memorial, ‘Forrest Gump’ – Washington, DC.
Even though they didn’t technically film at the Lincoln Memorial, tourists can still take a walk to the monument and check out a part of America’s history. In Forrest Gump, Gump stands up and speaks some honest truths about the Vietnam War – but not before his microphone is cut off.
In ‘real life’, millions of people can walk around the monument and pay a visit to Abraham Lincoln. Looking straight out, you’ll be able to see the Washington Monument as well as Congress in the distance.
MacArthur Park, ‘Drive’ – Los Angeles, CA
Any fan of Ryan Gosling is going to want to pay a visit to MacArthur Park in Los Angeles. Most of it was used as the backdrop for many of the night-time scenes in 2011’s Drive. During the day time, it is one of the most charming places in the city – offering water, grass, and plenty of room for activities.
In Drive Gosling starred as a getaway driver who forms a relationship with his neighbor and her young son. While much of the action takes place in the car and in other settings, fans will be able to take a walk in the famous park.
The House From Mrs. Doubtfire, ‘Mrs. Doubtfire’ – San Francisco, CA
If you were alive in the 1990s, you probably remember Robin Williams’ amazing performance as the nanny in Mrs. Doubtfire. Well, the exterior shots of the classic film used this house in San Francisco to get an idea of Daniel and his family life before the divorce that set the film’s story into motion.
You can visit the outside of the house by journeying to a suburb right by the marina. While you might be able to find the address on Google, you shouldn’t bother the people who are busy living their private lives!
Notting Hill Bookstore, ‘Notting Hill’ – London, UK
When we meet Hugh Grant’s William in Notting Hill, he is an unassuming clerk in a bookstore. Soon after meeting Hollywood actress Anna Scott, his life is changed forever. Well, the store we see in the film is a real location.
It can be found in the real-life neighborhood of Notting Hill. Since the movie hit cinemas in 1999, it has seen an influx of tourists who hope to meet their own superstar!
Pike Place Market, ‘Sleepless in Seattle’ – Seattle, WA
This market, originally featured in Sleepless in Seattle is still a popular location for tourists today. Every year, thousands of people travel to the market to pick up their food, produce, or accessories, all the while remembering the classic film.
In Sleepless in Seattle film fans might remember Tom Hanks and Rob Reiner sharing a meal and a walk within the market. Today, it is a proud staple of iconic venues that can be seen around the city.
Pilgrim Baptist Church, ‘The Blues Brothers’ – Chicago, IL
They were on a mission from God. In 1980, Jake and Elwood Blues embarked on a cross country journey that saw them chased by police, orphanages, and more. Well, eager eyes might recognize this Pilgrim Baptist Church as the place where Pastor James Brown offered guidance and support to the brothers.
Sadly, the Church suffered a fire back in 2006 and doesn’t look the way it once did. For all of The Blues Brothers fans out there, it will always be an iconic place!
Point Dume, ‘Planet of the Apes’ – Malibu, CA
Surprise! It was Earth all along. No, the cast and crew didn’t fly off to another planet to film the iconic Charlton Heston film. In fact, they barely left Hollywood!
This amazing Malibu beach was where the final scene of the movie took place all the way back in 1968. As Heston spots the Statue of Liberty, he comes to the shocking realization about where he is. Don’t panic – the Statue of Liberty was just a prop!
Randy’s Donuts, Various – Los Angeles, CA
Randy’s Donuts is such a popular staple in Los Angeles that it has been featured in many Hollywood films over the years. Younger fans might recognize it as the place Tony Stark escapes to in his armor during Iron Man 2.
Older readers will remember Randy’s Donuts from Coming to America or Mars Attacks. Either way, it has been in enough films to be recognizable across generations in all kinds of films. The coffee isn’t too bad, either!
Selfridges, Love Actually’ – London, UK
Selfridges is one of the largest department stores in the UK – and it makes an appearance in one of Britain’s most famous rom-coms. You might remember when Rowan Atkinson was packaging a rather extravagant gift for Alan Rickman’s… girlfriend.
Selfridges has been famous in London for decades but it was after its appearance in the 2003 classic film that rose it to global fame. If you ever find yourself in London, make sure to shop until your heart’s content!
Stoke Park, ‘Bridget Jones’ Diary’ – Buckinghamshire, UK
Bridget Jones’ Diary features some amazing countryside landscapes that truly show off how charming the English countryside can be. If you find yourself in Buckinghamshire, then be sure to visit Stoke Park.
It’s the location where Bridget and Daniel, played by High Grant, go away for the weekend together before she heads to the ‘costume’ party. Next time you visit the countryside, be sure to take a trip to the park – but make sure to stay out of the water!
The Harbor Freeway, ‘La La Land’ – Los Angeles, CA
It’s often cited as one of the most complicated and intense highways, but it was full of charm during 2016’s La La Land. During the opening scene, commuters broke into a lovely song and dance as we were thrown into a brand new cinema experience.
Of course, the Harbor Freeway isn’t as charming of a location as its film counterpart, but it’s still interesting to see a historic part of LA. Just be sure not to dance in the middle of the road!
Griffith Observatory, ‘Rebel Without A Cause’ – Los Angeles, CA
There are many scenes from James Dean’s Rebel Without A Cause that used this famous observatory as its setting. Fast forward to today, and it looks basically the same as it did back then.
If you find yourself exploring Griffith Observatory for yourself, you might see a statue of James Dean up there. Aside from that, it promises amazing views of Los Angeles and the entire city. Check out the famous spot next time you’re there.
Al Khazneh, ‘Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade’ – Petra, Jordan
If you fancy a trip to the Middle East, tourists can explore a vibrant culture with some historic landmarks. One of the most impressive features in Jordan is the iconic Al Khazneh in Petra, Jordan.
Film fans will recognize this from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, starring Harrison Ford. It is thought that the temple was built in the first century and attracts thousands of tourists every year. Fans of the film and country can book tickets and travel to the location today.