Best Travel Movies of All Time That will Captivate You

by Last updated Jun 29, 2020Travel Wisdom

It wouldn’t be wrong to say that movies can inspire people. Sometimes if we watch a good movie, it lifts us our spirits and motivates us. For travellers like us, movies are undoubtedly a great source of inspiration. Have you ever felt like visiting a place after watching a travel movie? Well, we have felt the urge to visit a place after watching good travel movies, or any movie that depicts a place beautifully. The first time I saw Sonar Kella by Satyajit Ray, I knew I have to visit Rajasthan. And I totally relived the movie scenes of Joy Baba Felunath (another gem by Satyajit Ray) when I visited Varanasi (Kashi) where the movie is based on. And the list is endless.

This happens to almost all of us. So I asked a few of my blogger friends about their favourite travel movies and here’s what they had to say. With their suggestions, I have collated a list of all-time favourite travel movies that will take you on a virtual tour to a destination. Experience the place and people along with the protagonists. Feel their emotions and who can say, it might end up answering some of your unasked questions! Watch these great travel movies and even if you are unable to travel, these movies will surely give you an armchair travel experience!

List of Favourite Travel Movies according to Travel Bloggers

  1. Roman Holiday (1953)

IMDb Rating: 8

Available on: Amazon Prime

Contributed by Bisola from Bis to The World

One of my favourite travel movies is Roman Holiday. I love Audrey Hepburn and her perfect eyebrows so when I watched Roman Holiday, I was hooked! And as the title implies, it’s based in Rome.

The movie is a ‘modern’ fairy-tale about shy, Royal Princess Ann (Hepburn) on a state visit to Rome and while there becomes frustrated with her lack of freedom and decides to escape and secretly leave her embassy. Gregory Peck plays a US reporter, Joe, in Rome who stumbles on the princess sleeping on a park bench after her escape. Not knowing who she was and thinking she was drunk, he offered his place to stay the night. He finds out who she really is the next day, a princess eager for some adventure and immediately sees that he might have stumbled on the story of his career.

He becomes her guide as she goes incognito, lets her hair down, and explores what Rome has to offer! As she enjoys her freedom, Joe plots with his photographer friend to take pictures of Ann dancing, smoking and getting into trouble for his building story. But he starts falling for her, and battles with himself on possibly betraying her. Such a lovely film! This was Audrey Hepburn’s debut performance and she won an Oscar for it!

I love this film because, although it’s super old and in black & white, the love story was cute, but the way Rome looked was priceless. It made me want to visit Rome immediately and that’s what I did, but, years later. I spend my 25th birthday in Rome trying to live my best Roman holiday. Even went on a restaurant where they shot one of the scenes and had dinner there facing the Spanish steps.

  1. Out of Africa (1985)

IMDb Rating: 7.2

Available on: Netflix

It is a film that will make you fall in love with Africa. Meryl Steep and Robert Redford star in this film about a married baroness with an infidel husband falling take you on a virtual tour to the African safari and might make you yearn to travel to Africa.

  1. Thelma and Louise (1991)

IMDb Rating: 7.5

Thelma and Louise is definitely a classic. This is one of the first movies to tell the truth about women’s lives, friendship and bonding. The film is about two friends Thelma (Geena Davis) and Louise (Susan Sarandon) set out on an adventure to take a break from their banal life. They enjoy their moment of freedom on the road trip, but things soon take a wrong turn. Though the girls did not get a happy ending, but this movie actually paved the way for several women hitting the road. A well-cast and well-made movie, its screenwriter Callie Khouri became one of the few women to win an Academy Award for best original screenplay.

  1. Before Sunrise (1995)

IMDb Rating: 8.1

Available on: Netflix

Contributed by Cass from Cassie the Hag

‘Before Sunrise’ is a simple but beautiful film directed by Richard Linklater (now better known for ‘Boyhood’). American Jesse and French Céline meet on a train to Vienna. The plot follows them over just one night, walking through the beautiful streets of Austria’s capital city before Céline must catch her train at dawn. Their stroll around Vienna passes both impressive and simple landmarks, which will evoke a familiarity to any traveller who enjoys seeing a new city without a schedule.

Although I have not yet visited Vienna, I could still relate the film to my own solo travels in Europe. I sympathised with how both characters quickly bond and form a connection over their contrasting journeys. They open up to each other believing they’ll never see each other again. Far from an adventure travel movie, this film will appeal to those of us who understand travel is often less about the places and more about the connections and conversations that surprise and nourish us along the way. Though I’d love to visit Vienna now too!

  1. French Kiss (1995)

IMDb Rating: 6.6

Contributed by Jade from The Migrant Yogi

French Kiss is a romantic comedy from the mid-1990’s that was filmed on-location in (you guessed it) France.  The movie is about an American woman, Kate (Meg Ryan), who, terrified of flying, has to travel to Paris to win her fiancé, Charlie (Timothy Hutton), back from a young French ‘goddess’.  The Frenchman seated next to Kate on the plane, Luc (Kevin Kline), uses her to smuggle a stolen diamond necklace into the country.  This is completely unbeknownst to Kate.  Once the plane lands in France, an Inspector General (Jean Reno) spots Luc while Kate heads off to her hotel.  Eventually Luc tracks Kate down and Luc aims to get his necklace back (which Kate still doesn’t know she has in her possession).  This is all under the guise of helping Kate get her fiancé back.  The two share some sparks as they traverse France in search of Charlie and the ‘goddess’ all while evading the Inspector.  As one could imagine, eventually sparks begin to fly between Kate and Luc.

The movie travels with the characters from Paris to Provence and la Côte d’Azur, and gives some great, classically French scenery along the way – including a hilarious train scene in which a lactose-intolerant Kate describes (in detail) her sampling of 452 of French cheese.  I’m not usually into romantic comedies, but this movie is actually pretty funny.  It makes me want to return to France every time I watch it, reliving the cheese platters and champagne tastings that the country is famous for.

PS: For my Indian readers, if the plot sound familiar, yes the film was remade in Bollywood in 1998 as Pyar To Hona Hi Tha!

  1. Seven Years in Tibet (1997)

IMDb Rating: 7.1

Available on: Netflix

Contributed by Wendy Werneth from The Nomadic Vegan

My favourite travel movie is Seven Years in Tibet, which I first saw with my husband (who until that night was just a close friend) back in 2002. And I don’t just love the movie for sentimental reasons, although the fact that my husband and I became a couple that night does make it even more special for us.

Seven Years in Tibet tells the true story of Heinrich Harrer, an Austrian mountaineer who escaped from a British detainee camp in India and snuck his way into Tibet at the height of World War II. He was one of few foreigners who had ever visited Tibet, which at that time was a very isolated country. Harrer, who is played by Brad Pitt in the movie adaptation of his life, ends up staying in Tibet for seven years and develops a strong connection with its culture and its people. He even becomes the private tutor of the Dalai Lama, who was just a boy back then.

When watching the film, I was mesmerized by the stunning landscapes as well as the unique culture of Tibet. The film is set just before the Chinese invasion when Tibetan culture was still completely intact. It took another 17 years, but in 2019 my husband and I eventually made it to the Rooftop of the World, as Tibet is known. Even though we were forced to join a Chinese-approved group tour of Tibet, we were still able to experience a slice of life in this fascinating part of the world.

  1. The Castle (1997)

IMDb Rating: 7.7

Available on: YouTube

Contributed by Audrey Chalmers from See Geelong

One of Australia’s best-loved and most widely quoted movies is the comedy The Castle. I especially love it because it’s set in Melbourne, Australia just an hour from my hometown Geelong. And when I’m travelling I watch it for a taste of home.

The movie has a simple David and Goliath type storyline that showcases the nature of Australians in a comedic yet wholesome way. The quirky Kerrigan family love their home which is located just a few metres from Melbourne Tullamarine Airport. Government and airport officials reveal plans to force the family out of their home to make way for an airport expansion. The Kerrigans then hire a bumbling solicitor to help them with the fight of their lives.

The Castle was made 22 years ago, yet it still manages to feature on ‘Best Australian Movies’ lists. I think it’s because the film is about what is most important to us Aussies, looking after your family, owning your own home, and standing up for what’s right. But for me it’s just hilariously good fun.

  1. Amelie (2001)

IMDb Rating: 8.3

Available on: Amazon Prime

Contributed by Claudia from My Adventures Across The World

Without specifically being a travel movie, Amelie will definitely inspire you to travel to Paris. The movie was released in late 2001 and launched French actress  Audrey Tatou, who plays the role of Amelie, a young Parisian living and working in Montmartre – one of the places in Paris you really should not miss.

Amelie, a terribly shy woman, goes about town on a mission to have a positive impact on anybody she meets. She teases her father to get out more and travel by stealing one of his garden dwarf and sending it on a world tour with a flight assistant friend – who regularly sends photos of the dwarf in the mail.

She manages to set up one of her hypochondriac colleagues (who also works at a café in Montmartre) with a paranoid customer. Yet her biggest challenge is tracking down the man she falls in love with, who accidentally drops a book of photo-booth photos. Shy as she is, she eventually meets him and starts a relationship with him. The scene in which they roam the streets of Paris on a scooter is one of the most iconic of the movie.

Adding to this, the incredible soundtrack you will never tire to listen to. It’s a great feel good movie. You will be captured by the story, the music and the views. You will enter Amelie Poulin world and you will want to stay there.

  1. Lord of the Rings (2001-2003)

Available on: Netflix

Contributed by Diana from Travels in Poland

There are several installments of the movie Lord of the Rings, which was filmed in the beautiful country of New Zealand.  Most people are aware of the fictional fantasy novels written by J.R.R. Tolkien which have been made wildly more popular as a result of the movies.

The movies are based upon several books and follow the story of a ring that has been lost and is being sought out by many different characters.  The characters are all different kinds of forces that are trying to find it and use it for its power to rule Middle-earth.  Eventually, a young Hobbit named Frodo finds the ring, and adventures across the realms include worlds of elves, dwarfs, hobbits and men.  The story follows as he tries to find the balance between good and evil and meets powerful forces that work to take the ring from his possession.

The movie is spectacularly done, and the backdrop is across more than 150 locations in New Zealand.  One of the most iconic locations is the town of Matamata which shows the Hobbit village in the movie, and remains a permanent attraction.  Among other locations, Mount Aspiring National Park is another beautiful location that would be great to visit.  The striking landscape of New Zealand is prominently featured throughout the film and creates wanderlust for travellers who would want to be in an iconic natural setting.

  1. Count of Monte Cristo (2002)

IMDb Rating: 7.8            

Contributed by  Lauren from The Expat Chronicle Blog

Maybe it’s the romantic love story, the tale of triumph or the breathtaking French backdrop, but one of my absolute all-time favourite travel movies is the Count of Monte Cristo (2002).

The movie is an adaptation of the story written by Alexander Dumas and stars the incredible Jim Caviezel (The Passion of the Christ).

Set in 1815 the southeastern port city of Marseille, France, Caviezel plays the role of Edmund Dantes. He is a modest, kind and trustworthy sailor who is falsely accused by his jealous “best friend” of treason and is sentenced to life. After spending six years in the horrid conditions of his cell, he is met by an elderly prison mate of 11 years attempting to dig his way out. The pair forms a friendship and makes an agreement to escape together.

The escape does not go as planned but Dantes is still able to achieve freedom and flee back to Marseille with the help of some rebellious pirates. From this point on in the story, Dantes plans the ultimate revenge on the best friend who betrayed him, the city magistrate who imprisoned him and the lover he left behind.

By discovering a cave of hidden treasure (an estimated 80 mill francs to be exact) known only by the elderly prison mate, Dantes assumes the hidden identity of The Count of Monte Cristo.

The story is a tale of heroism, faith and friendship. It captivates me every time my husband and I watch it and although we know the ending, we often find ourselves cheering for the underdog, Dantes, throughout each scene.

Having had the opportunity to visit Marseille this past Fall and catching a glimpse of the famous Chateau d’If prison island in the distance was chilling. Although we did not have time for a tour of the prison, it is most certainly on our list for next visit!

  1. Lost in Translation (2003)

IMDb Rating: 7.7

Available on: Amazon Prime

Contributed by Dave Chant

After directing the hauntingly beautiful Virgin Suicides in 1998, Sofia Coppola came back in 2003 to direct the equally great Lost in Translation. It stars Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson as two strangers – Bob and Charlotte – lost in Tokyo, Japan.

Bob is a middle-aged American movie star arriving in Tokyo to film an advert for whisky, and Charlotte is married to a celebrity photographer, who is on assignment in Japan. It’s a beautiful, poignant and subtle portrayal of her strangers can meet and bond in a completely alien place.

The real key to Lost in Translation is its nuance. It can be taken on many levels. Tokyo is intriguing and you want to enter that world, visit it, be shocked by it as the main characters are. Things are literally lost in translation, a typical feeling for those that travel. But Tokyo is also held at a distant. Though the protagonists do venture out, there’s a coldness to it all – the city is mostly seen through taxi and hotel windows.

On a simple level, Bob and Charlotte are lost in the strange world of Japan and few places could make such a discrepancy between the world they are used to. But they are also lost in their own relationships and lives back home. In a strange way they are less dissociated to the real world in their travelling home then they are back home. Home for Bill is a series of disappointments and different shades of carpet samples he’s sent in the post to decide on.

It’s not all sadness. There are moments of humour and lightness that make this a grown up romance. And Tokyo is, of course, beautiful. I’ve never visited and it’s always been on my bucket list – I’ll have to go soon as I’ve been yearning to see it for twenty years now.

By the end scene of the film, you’ll realise both how life affirming and lonely travel can be, and also how the people you met briefly on the road can have the greatest impression.

  1. Under the Tuscan Sun (2003)

IMDb Rating: 6.8

Available on: YouTube Movies

Contributed by Anda from Travel for a While

One of my favourite travel movies ever is Under the Tuscan Sun. It’s an oldie already (2003) but definitely a goldie. Without adding too many details, it is about a divorced writer who buys a villa in Tuscany on an impulse. She remains in Italy and for a while, her life revolves around renovating the quaint house. In the process, she makes friends, ‘adopts’ a family and life restarts before she realizes.

Besides the amazing views of Tuscany from Cortona, Sienna and Florence, the movie takes us to Rome and Positano. It seems designed to make you book plane tickets to Italy. Watching this movie was actually the first time I heard about Positano, which turned into o trip to the Amalfi Coast. It also gave me an idea about the work on an Italian olive farm and I turned that later into a personal experience by volunteering on such a farm.

I visited Rome and Florence but I still have to take a proper tour of Tuscany, rent a car and drive for a few days through that amazing landscape, visit Sienna and Luca, drink Chianti and maybe even stay on a farm and take some cooking classes.

So, next time you have a free afternoon, take some gelato and watch this movie. It will feel like traveling to Italy.

  1. The Motorcycle Diaries (2004)

IMDb Rating: 7.8

Available on: Amazon prime

The story is about Ernesto Guevara and Alberto Granado, two friends who embark on a motorcycle trip across countries. Ernesto later goes on to become the famous Che Guevara. The film is set in South America, the two friends set off on their battered motorcycle travelling across the deserts and rainforests of South America. During their journey they encounter the poverty of the peasants and realize the difference between the haves and the have-nots. Even if you do not agree with the political attachment of the movie, it is well cast and directed. If nothing, this travel movie will definitely want you to take your motorcycle and hit the roads.

  1. A Good Year (2006)

IMDb Rating: 7

Available on: YouTube Movies

Contributed by By Keri Baugh from Bon Voyage With Kids

One of my absolute favorite travel movies to watch at home is A Good Year, starring Russell Crowe and Marion Cotillard.  This lighthearted romantic comedy is set in Provence, France. It is a charming tale of a London-based trader who unexpectedly inherits his uncle’s under-cared for vineyard estate in Provence, where he spent his childhood summers.  He travels there with the intent to sell the property, having no emotional attachment to it. Through the process, he learns a lot about himself and what makes life in Provence so special.

Prior to seeing this movie, I had been to Paris, but never Provence. After this movie, renting a home in Provence was high on my bucket list, as the glory of a summer in Provence takes center stage in A Good Year.  Whether it is the rows of lavender fields, hilltop villages, or the slower pace of life, there is so much magic in Provence.

This movie makes you want to jet set there immediately and indulge in wine, cheese, and delicious breads while taking in the “joie de vivre”. It was the inspiration for us to travel several times to Provence and stay in an old-Provencal farmhouse with our family. We very much felt like we were experiencing A Good Year.  It is such a great travel movie to watch to enjoy the magic of Provence from home.

  1. Mama Mia (2008)

IMDb Rating: 6.4

Available on: YouTube movies

Contributed by Chrysoula from Travel Passionate

Mamma Mia is a feel-good summer movie set on the Greek islands about the lives of mother and daughter, Donna and Sophie Sheridan (Meryl Streep and Amanda Seyfried). The film sees the main protagonist, Sophie, planning her wedding to partner Sky, on the beautiful islands of Skopelos and Pelion.

The twist in the tale comes when Sophie decides to invite three men to the wedding, any of which could be her father! The ABBA-inspired musical comedy that ensues then follows conversations between Sophie, her partner, her mother, and these three men, trying to navigate the mysteries of Donna‘s wild, younger days.

Apart from the sing-a-long ABBA music and the character interactions, it is the Greek island landscapes that really capture the imagination of the viewer. The film portrays classic white-washed houses contrasted against the rich, azure waters, as well as rocky coves, pristine chapels, and traditional farmhouses that make you want to live the island dream!

I love Mamma Mia as it’s a light-hearted, warm movie that can cheer me up and make me think about beautiful Greek islands on even the drabbest winter day. While it’s obviously cheesy in places, this is all part of the charm and it’s a great film to watch with your girls’ friends with a drink in hand!

  1. In Bruges (2008)

IMDb Rating: 7.9

Available on: Amazon Prime

Contributed by Veronika from Travel Geekery

Travel movies tend to be usually romantic and/or melancholic. That’s not the case with “In Bruges” from 2008 staring Colin Farrell. The movie is a cross between drama and comedy with a twisted detective plot.

The main part of the movie takes place in Bruges, a beautiful town in Belgium just an hour away from Brussels. The duo of hit men spends their time in Bruges awaiting orders from their boss. While one of them loves Bruges and wants to enjoy his time there, the other one, Colin Farrell, is the always-grumpy hater who doesn’t like anything. But Bruges’ charm eventually gets to him too in the end.

I like the movie since it’s raw and fun and some of the jokes are of a high caliber. I remember cracking up often while watching it.

I visited Bruges even before seeing the movie and it served as a great enhancement of my memories from the enchanting town. At the same time, it got me thinking what all could go on behind the picture-perfect tourist sites.

The movie will perfectly transport you virtually to Bruges, so in a way you can use it as an armchair travel experience.

  1. Angels and Demons (2009)

IMDb Rating: 6.7

Available on: Amazon prime

Contributed by Kenny from Knycx Journeying

If you are a fan of Dan Brown – you must know who is Robert Langdon. His adventure in the series was so intense that you may lose sleep wanting to finish the book as soon as possible. In case you don’t have the time, watch the three blockbuster movies that were played by Tom Hanks to have a taste of the Langdon’s world.

Angels & Demons is the first one to watch – because this is the first novel of the series that starts it all. The mystery thriller took places in Rome, Italy, where Dr. Langdon, partnered with beautiful CERN scientist Dr. Vittoria Vetra, in the quest to recover a missing vial of antimatter from an Illuminati terrorist, who planned on destroying the Roman Catholic Church by annihilating the entire Vatican City.

So why do I love the movie? The story is filled with brilliant plots, heart-racing catch-and-chase scenes, riddle-solving that based on ancient symbology, secret societies, and conspiracy theories, all under the backdrop of the Eternal City. Follow Dr. Langdon’s path and visit the heritage sites in Rome, from the Pantheon, Piazza Navona, Santa Maria del Popolo, Sistine Chapel, Saint Peter’s Square to Basilica, Castel Sant’ Angelo and Passetto… Trust me, the movie takes you through a journey like no others; You will definitely see the paintings and sculptures, symbols, and architecture from a completely different point of view.

  1. Eat Pray Love (2010)

IMDb Rating: 5.8

Available on: Netflix

Contributed by Lara from Both Feet On The Road 

Eat Pray Love is the perfect feel-good movie for anyone who’s looking for some travel inspiration or who’s at a crossroads in their life. Should I travel the world or find a steady job and settle?

Julia Roberts plays a recently divorced woman, who decides to take a sabbatical and travel to Italy, India, and Indonesia. The movie is based on the book of the same name. First, she travels to Rome in Italy, where she takes Italian classes, meets new friends and mostly, eats a lot of delicious food. If Italy wasn’t on your bucket list yet, I am sure that all these shots of food will put it right at the top!

After Rome, she travels to Delhi in India to stay at an ashram and meet her guru. This is more of the spiritual part of the movie, hence the second word of the title: Pray. Lastly, she travels to Bali in Indonesia where she finds peace and balance and eventually love.

I love the fact that this movie takes you through so many beautiful places across the world. I had already fallen in love with Rome and Italy before the movie, and Bali had been on my places visit for quite some time. But it did inspire me to add a Vipassana meditation retreat to my bucket list.

And even though I hate the clichés of people going traveling to find themselves, there is some truth in the cliché and the movie, which is why it is such a great movie to watch for travel lovers!

  1. The Way (2010)

IMDb Rating: 7.4

Available on: YouTube / Amazon Prime

Contributed by Campbell & Alya from Stingy Nomads

The Way is a movie about walking the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage from St Jean Pied de Port in France to Santiago de Compostela in Spain. The movie follows a group of pilgrims on the Camino on the 800 km journey walking in Northern Spain. It shows different parts of pilgrims’ life on the Camino including challenges on the way, relationships between people that meet on route and different reasons why people walk the pilgrimage. We’d recommend watching the movie if you’re planning to walk the Camino and definitely watch it if you are one of the handful of pilgrims that have not seen it!

We watched this movie while walking the Camino, one of our fellow pilgrims told us about it. It was interesting to recognize some of the scenery we have already passed and we laughed, because some of the characters and situations in the movie reminded us a lot of what we experienced on the Camino. We were on our way to Portugal to walk the Camino Portuguese, another Camino de Santiago pilgrimage, from Portugal to Santiago de Compostela in Spain with family when the lock down started and will do this next summer. It is an inspirational movie that can be enjoyed by anyone and the movie may even inspire you to walk the Camino!

  1. Midnight in Paris (2011)

IMDb Rating: 7.7

Available on: Amazon Prime

Contributed by Lauren from Always Find Adventure

“Midnight in Paris” a Woody Allen film that takes place in Paris, France, one of my favourite cities. The first scene of the movie is a 5-minute long montage of all the beautiful areas of Paris. Just that is enough to make you lust after the city. In the movie, Gil Pender played by Owen Wilson also becomes enchanted with Paris, therefore I relate to him. But the movie not only takes place in current-day Paris. Gil drunkenly stumbles into a car at midnight, only to find himself in Paris during the 1920s. He’s surrounded by famous creators of the time like Salvador Dalí, Pablo Picasso, Scott and Ella Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, and Gertrude Stein. What an awesome concept!

Another reason I love this movie so much is that I relate to Gil’s struggles of straying and finding one’s path. Gil’s character is blinded by love and totally disregards his own wants and needs because he’s infatuated with his materialistic fiancée, Inez (played by Rachel McAdams). Gil wants to change his career from making good money writing garbage movie scripts and instead, wants to continue on his passion project, his novel, which has no monetary guarantee. He gains confidence through his literary heroes and comes to his senses at the end of the movie, finally breaking free of the illusions.

It’s funny because what may have been actual ‘illusions’ and ‘drunken adventures in his mind’ are the exact things that helped him see the reality of his situation. I relate to his character because, I too, like many of us travel content creators, was struggling with my seeing my career path clearly. Like Gil, I knew all along what I wanted to do, but was blinded by the pressure of society to ‘be successful’ by climbing the corporate ladder. I won’t give away the ending, but I’ll tell you it’s a happy one.

  1. The Loneliest Planet (2011)

IMDb Rating: 5.5

Available on: YouTube

Contributed by Emily from Wander-Lush

Not many people have heard of this film before, but The Loneliest Planet is one of my favourite travel movies of all time. Set in the Republic of Georgia against a backdrop of the majestic Greater Caucasus mountains, the story follows a young couple, Alex and Nica (played by Gael Garcia Bernal and Hani Furstenberg), as they embark on a multi-day trek. A third protagonist, a local guide (played by Georgian actor, Bidzina Gujabidze), is recruited to lead them through the mountains.

It’s all fun and games (and breathtaking scenery) until an unexpected plot twist throws the trio into a strange situation. The movie crescendos with one quick interaction and after that, the pace changes dramatically. This is a travel film at heart – the location is the real star – but it also ruminates on themes of love, loyalty and self-preservation. The movie is considered a bit off-beat, mainly because there’s no dialogue. To me, the deafening silence is the perfect way to convey the solitude of the Caucasus mountains.

I first watched The Loneliest Planet when it was released back in 2011. Not only did it get me thinking about visiting Georgia – which I eventually did 6 years later – it also contributed to my decision to move here! I think my love affair with Georgia can be traced back to that first viewing and the movie that sparked my curiosity for a country I knew absolutely nothing about.

  1. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013)

IMDb Rating: 7.3

Available on: YouTube Movies

Contributed by Sinead from Map Made Memories

One of my favourite travel movies is ‘The Secret Life of Walter Mitty’ starring Ben Miller. The movie is about a city-dwelling, office-based Mitty who works for Life Magazine but spends his days daydreaming of escape and adventure. To track down an elusive missing photograph, Walter Mitty has to leave his office behind and embark on a round the world journey to trace the photographer of the missing image. Walter visits locations all over the world during his trip – through most of the movie was shot in Iceland, even the parts of the story set in Afghanistan, the Himalayas and Greenland!

The film follows Walter’s growing confidence to make life-changing decisions. It is an engaging, beautifully shot movie with stunning backdrop locations. But for me, what I love about this movie is the ‘feeling’ of what travel gives to Mitty rather than the locations he is in. My favourite part of the movie is when Walter borrows a skateboard to ride down an incredibly scenic mountain road in Iceland (Seyðisfjarðarvegur in Eastern Iceland). Anyone watching the movie at this point will feel Walter’s sense of joy and freedom in his white knuckle ride. We visited Iceland four year after the movie was released and it did not disappoint!

  1. Copenhagen (2014)

IMDb Rating: 7.1

Contributed by Anjali from Travel Melodies

Copenhagen remains one of the most inspiring travel movies I’ve ever watched. As the name suggests, the movie features Copenhagen, Denmark’s vibrant capital city. You know, it’s one of the happiest cities in the world. For a good reason.

The movie is about an unconventional and intricate love affair between two strangers. William – a half-Danish man in his late twenties after backpacking Europe reaches Copenhagen in search of his grandfather. He unknowingly falls in love with his local guide and translator named Effy – a girl half his age who intends to help him in tracing his grandfather.

William is immature for his age while Effy is wiser beyond her age. As the chemistry between the two builds, William realizes that “if the girl of your dreams is half your age, maybe it’s time to grow up!”

From the pretty cobbled streets of Copenhagen to the enticing canals with vibrant buildings of Nyhavn as a backdrop, the city of Copenhagen is so apparent in the movie that it’s hard not to fall for it. I loved everything about the movie.

Copenhagen is the movie that inspired me to take a trip to Copenhagen. I dreamt of exploring Copenhagen the way William and Effy do. The day I landed in Copenhagen, the streets and buildings all look familiar as if I’ve been here before. That’s the magic of this movie! The city, in fact, feels like a protagonist!

  1. Marshland (2014)

IMDb Rating: 7.3

Contributed by Paul from Anywhere We Roam

Featuring the vast natural landscape of Spain’s Andalucía region, Marshland is a killer thriller set between the death of Franco in 1975 and the 1982 election which established the new democratic state.

The story follows two detectives, Pedro Suarez and Juan Robles who are sent to a ‘backwater’ town on the Guadalquivir Marshes in Andalucía to investigate the disappearance of two sisters. What unravels is a series of small town secrets where no-one is as innocent as it first appears.

The backstory of the detectives and the turbulence of the small town runs in parallel with the massive change Spain is going through at the time. One detective is a sour left-leaning idealist, the other a shamed ex-fascist who thought Spain was better under Franco – a sentiment shared by many in the town. Just like the secrets tearing the town apart, the political divide in the country is stretching the fabric of Andalucían society to its limits.

The genius of Marshland is the way it characterises the mood of Spain at the time; a period whose legacy shapes the country that is left behind today. It’s an enthralling look at the mindset of a society emerging from the shackles of fascism and awkwardly embracing the concept of democracy.

Backed by stunning landscapes featuring beautifully crafted overhead shots, it’s a visually exotic and expertly crafted film that makes viewers yearn to experience the mystery of the land and the culture. It’s also a thoroughly engrossing murder mystery

  1. A Walk in the Woods (2015)

IMDb Rating: 6.3

Available on: Amazon Prime

Who says only young men can be the heroes of adventure and travel movies? A Walk in the Woods is the story of two septuagenarians who decides to hike the entire Appalachian Trail. Bill Bryson (Robert Redford) is a popular writer of travelogues who is in a great state of boredom after attending a funeral. This is when he see the marker of Georgia-to-Maine trail and decides on a whim to go all way out. He picks up Stephen Katz (Nick Nolte), an old friend, only because all the others deny accompanying him. The movie takes you through the beautiful Appalachian Trail while resting on the interesting and funny dialogues between the two protagonists. The landscape and sceneries that the movie takes us through is simply gorgeous.

  1. Coco (2017)

IMDb Rating: 8.4

Available on: Disney+Hotstar

Contributed by Rose Munday from Where Goes Rose

One of the best and most endearing travel movies to watch is Coco. This cute Pixar cartoon does a great job of portraying Mexican culture and educating the viewer about Dia de Los Muertos, in English, Day of the Dead.

This unique Mexican holiday celebrates ancestors who have passed on from the physical world by holding lively parties in cemeteries and welcoming them back into the home with ‘ofrendas’. These are a type of altar, usually laden with the deceased’s favourite food and drink and photos of the family together. Marigold flowers and incense are also used to guide the spirit home.

Western countries usually see death as a sombre and mournful affair but this is the total opposite in Mexico. Coco explores this exciting holiday through the eyes of a young local boy, Miguel, as he explores the story of his ancestors. Coco is fun and entertaining but also an important cultural watch.

I travelled to experience the Oaxaca Day of the Dead celebrations after having watched Coco. This small city in Southern Mexico was a fantastic place to experience the festival while already understanding the cultural background, thanks to Coco.

  1. Call of the Wild (2020)

IMDb Rating: 6.8

Contributed by Catherine from Passports and Adventures

One of the best travel movies we have seen recently has been the remake of “The Call of the Wild”. This story is set in the 1890’s in Alaska in Yukon and follows the tale of a large dog called Buck.

Buck has a comfortable life in California but is dog-napped and brought to the wilds of Alaska to join a dog sledge team delivering post along the route between Skagway and Dawson. He is a total novice and one of the funniest parts of the movie is watching him discover snow for the first time. He soon finds his feet and eventually becomes the leader of the team. I won’t spoil the movie by telling you how.

It is an exciting journey as they race from outpost to outpost and town to town and with the help of Buck, the team delivers the mail on time for the first time. However, when the mail route is cancelled, Buck and his team of fellow dogs are sold to a set of greedy gold hunters. Buck is rescued from his harsh new owners by John Thornton, played by Harrison Ford and they begin a new journey together. It is another incredible journey and ends in both tragedy and triumph. You’ll have to watch it to find out more.

The Call of the Wild has a heart-warming story, and it is a great film with wonderful scenes, albeit through CGI. Some have criticised the CGI but for us, it did not detract from the movie or the storyline. In fact, it has made us want to visit Alaska even more. Even our six-year-old son loved it. It is a great travel movie and one to watch with the family.

Bollywood Travel Movies

  1. Zindagi Milegi Na Dobara (2011)

IMDb Rating: 8.1

Available on: Netflix

Contributed by Umang Trivedi from Travel Max

The Movie starts with three best friends: Arjun, Imran & Kabir. They are planning a bachelor party before Kabir gets married to Natasha. The Bachelor party is not a conventional one, but rather an adventurous road trip in Spain. During the trip, each friend chooses an activity. The other two have to indulge in the activity picked by the 3rd friend and just cannot refuse.

The movie portrays the beautiful landscapes, culture & vibe of Spain. The countryside with swaying fields, the cities dipped in culture, the friendly locals and a lot more about Spain is portrayed in an impressive and cinematic way. The activities that the friends choose are Scuba Diving, Sky Diving and Bull Racing. In between, the friends also indulge in La Tomatina Festival as well. All these experiences are presented in such a way that I was impressed by the beautiful country of Spain. This movie really inspired me to visit this country and that’s what I loved about the movie.

I visited Spain recently after getting inspired by the movie. The only difference was that I didn’t go with friends, but on a solo trip. It was a long 20-day trip and I did the skydiving course at the same place which was shown in the movie. I spent 15 days in Seville as I trained myself to become a certified skydiver. I had enrolled at Skydive Spain for the AFF certification which is the first step to becoming a certified skydiver. Anyway, I couldn’t complete the course, but that’s a story for another time. Along with Seville I also visited Madrid, Barcelona and Lisbon during my trip. I witnessed the Flamenco dance at Seville and it was as gorgeous and fascinating as the movie shows it.

  1. Tamasha (2015)

IMDb Rating: 7.3

Available on: Netflix

I know there are many who do not like this Bollywood flick by Imtiaz Ali, but I absolutely love this movie. Tamasha is a beautiful story that goes beyond “girl meets boy” story and tells us about how often we are live our lives as defined by society and jump into the rat race of life. Tamasha (meaning spectacle) delves on this thought and questions us on why always the same story. The film takes us through the stunning landscapes of Corsica and later the alleys and lanes of Delhi. Even with all its flaws, Tamasha is a well thought movie that made me question my choices in life. Very few movies make you do so and that’s why this is in the list.

  1. Dil Dhadakne Do (2015)

IMDb Rating: 6.8

Available on: Netflix

Contributed By Anwesha Guha from Going Places with Anwesha

Dil Dhadakne Do is an Indian comedy-drama depicting a dysfunctional Punjabi family who invites their family and friends on a cruise trip to celebrate the parents’ 30th wedding anniversary and work together to resolve their differences by the end of the movie. This movie also portrays a more realistic sibling relationship in contrast to the unconvincing over-the-top portrayal for which Bollywood is known for.

I love this movie for two reasons. The first reason is of course due to the travel destinations they show in the movie – the cruise ship sails across the Mediterranean and Europe; stop at various ports in France, Spain, Tunisia, Turkey, and Italy. Cruise holidays give you enough time to get down and explore the shores.

The second reason is the message that the movie stands for – it conveys to be fearless, to pursue what you love, and give freedom to your loved ones. In short, traveling makes life more meaningful. This movie also showcases a side of the traveling – the joy of traveling with your pets.

Since most of the story unfolds in the cruise ships, after watching it, I want to go on a cruise across Europe on my 25th wedding anniversary. To achieve that dream, I have to start saving in a travel fund from now onwards.

  1. Jagga Jasoos (2017)

IMDb Rating: 6.5

Available on: Netflix

One of the most underrated Bollywood movies, Jagga Jasoos is about a stuttering boy detective in search of his foster father. Since the boy, played to perfection by Ranbir Kapoor stammers and stutters, he sings to communicate. Thus prose is converted to poetry and silence into music. The film follows the adventure of its hero when he travels to Africa in search of his lost father. The film made in Broadway-musical language takes you to a fantasy world. The film was shot in Darjeeling, Morocco and Cape Town taking you across their beautiful landscapes. Once you watch the film, you will be struck with a sense of wanderlust to travel to these wonderful lands.

  1. Kedarnath (2018)

IMDb Rating: 6.1

Available on: ZEE5

Contributed by Sundeep and Bedabrata of DelhiFunDos

Kedarnath –a  Hindi movie based on an inter-caste love story in the backdrop of floods that devastated the state of Uttarakhand in 2013, is special for many reasons. First, it makes us nostalgic about a childhood trip to Kedarnath, the epic mountain shrine in Uttarakhand, India. Second, it gives us fresh travel goals.

The film is shot in the actual location of Kedarnath and we are spellbound by the beauty of this place all over again. The film has deftly captured the beauty of the landscape. Though the flood scene is created through computer graphics, the rest of the film has brilliantly utilised the bounty of nature almost as a third dimension. The rivers, the mountains, the bridges and the quaint village markets are shot so well that we are almost overcame by an urge to visit Kedarnath soonest possible. Thousands of pilgrims visit Kedarnath for religious reasons but what draws us are the treks and the natural beauty so oozing out of celluloid.

Apparently, the film was shot without disturbing pilgrimage in Kedarnath or harming nature. This is so in tune with sustainable tourism. Having seen Kedarnath decades back from the eyes of a kid, we are sure much would have changed after that. Therefore, we want to experience it all over again and want to revisit every place and redo everything we did in our earlier trip. Call it the nostalgia or the wanderlust of travel bloggers; we have added Kedarnath to our immediate bucket list after watching this film.

So these were a few movies that have inspired travellers like us to venture into unknown lands and explore our own city or town. The list is obviously not a comprehensive one. Do let us know your favourite travel movie by commenting below. If you think any movie should be on this list, let us know as well.

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Best Travel movies of all time

Agni & Amrita

Agni & Amrita

Travel Experts

We are Agni and Amrita, the story-telling team behind Tale of 2 Backpackers and partners in crime in travel and (mis)adventures of life. We have been travelling together for more than a decade looking for immersive experiences while enjoying the little beauties of life. We are intrigued by heritage, culture, festivals and people and that is reflected in our travel. And yes, we love the Himalayas too.

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5 Comments

  1. Going by some of the movies you have listed here James Bond movies too should fall into the catagory of travel movies. Thanks for sharing the list.

    Have watched half of he movies listed here. Will watch the remaining, all of which which I have come across never agave a serious thought to watch them.

    Kedarnath – I found difficult to continue watching after 10 or 15 minutes.

    If The Lord of the Rings is a travel movie, so is Ramayana.

    Reply
  2. Wonderful article and fantastic ideas!!

    Reply
    • Thank you, Lauren!

      Reply
  3. I can’t believe I haven’t watched few of these – hides face. Bookmarking this post for a travel movie binge-watching weekend.

    Reply
    • Thanks Jyotsna! I havent seen a few of these myself.

      Reply

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