11 Film TV and Screen Tourism Locations to Visit

Film, TV or screen tourism is defined as a location that becomes popular for people to visit, thanks to its appearance in a movie or television show. It could be a country that comes onto people’s radars because of its prominence in a movie, such as Salzburg, Austria did after being featured in 1965 in “The Sound of Music.”

Idyllic alpine landscape in Austria, Heutal, Unken, Pinzgau, Salzburger Land, Austria, Europe
Salzburg, Austria, became hugely popular after being the backdrop for “The Sound of Music.”Photo credit: Adobe Photos.

More recently, pop culture hits that inspire people to travel to certain destinations include:

  • Sex and the City (New York City)
  • Lord of the Rings (New Zealand)
  • Twilight and Northern Exposure (Pacific Northwest)

After all of the Harry Potter films came out, families flocked to filming locations. This included our family, which did our own version of film and screen tourism when we took our tween daughters on vacation to London.

TOKYO, JAPAN - JUN 3, 2023: Warner Bros. Studio Tour Tokyo – The Making of Harry Potter in Tokyo, Japan.
Platform 9 3/4 at Kings Cross Train Station in London. Photo credit: Adobe Photos.

One of our stops was Platform 9 3/4 at the Kings Cross train station, where there is half a luggage trolley mounted in the wall.

11 Film TV and Screen Tourism Locations to Visit

More than ever, travelers are recreating the magic of film and television shows by visiting the places they see on screen. The trend, sometimes called set-jetting, has been around for a few years, but TV shows now influence where travelers go even more than social media sites like Instagram and TikTok, according to research conducted by OnePoll for Expedia Brands.

Consider these stats:

  • The first two seasons of “The White Lotus” drove a 300% increase in travel demand to Hawaii and Sicily.  
  • Following the release of “Wednesday” on Netflix, Expedia saw a 150% increase in travel searches for Romania. 
  • Expedia saw a 200% increase in searches to Paris after “Emily in Paris” debuted its previous season. 
  • Searches for Richmond in London increased by 160% after season 2 of “Ted Lasso” aired, and they doubled after season 3 aired. U.S. fans accounted for 65% of searches, followed by Australians, Canadians, Brits and the Japanese. 
  • Searches for Chicago increased by 45% following the first season of “The Bear.” 
  • Searches for Norway increased by more than 65% after “Succession” aired its final season. 

Popular tourist destinations

Some of the most popular real-life locations to visit, according to SetJetters data, are already popular tourist destinations. The Netflix series “Emily in Paris” brought a surge of new interest in France, already the world’s most-visited country as of 2019. The “Harry Potter” movies continue to bring tourists to London like it did my family a few years ago. Plus, several blockbuster movies and TV shows, from “Ghostbusters” to “Gossip Girl,” drive interest in New York City.

People are still interested in visiting Salzburg, Austria, even though “The Sound of Music” is nearly 60 years old. If that describes your interests, here is a great one day Salzburg itinerary.

I expect that the Greek Island of Paros to become popular soon as well. That’s because the Netflix series “One Day” did some of its filming there. Want to learn more about Paros? This article about Naxos or Paros compares the Greek islands.

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At the same time, regions that haven’t historically had huge crowds are beginning to see more set-jetting tourists. Stacker combed through trending destination data from Expedia, the SetJetters app, and local tourism boards to find out which destinations saw more visitors due to TV- and film-loving tourists.

Finally, I’ve added in a few of my favorites as well, to round out these 11 film TV and screen tourism locations you may be interested in visiting this year. One that I’m still working on: planning a trip to Wrexham, Wales.

Facade of Georgian buildings in Church Street in the city of Wrexham, North Wales, UK
TV Show “Welcome to Wrexham” has made Wrexham, Wales, a popular tourist post. Photo credit: Depositphotos.

My husband and I have fallen in love with the reality Hulu TV show from Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney “Welcome to Wrexham” about their purchase and rejuvenation of a football club in this former mining town. We want to experience Wrexham in real life.

FYI, Ryan Reynolds is one of the people included in this article about celebrity brands with famous founders.

Bușteni, Romania: “Wednesday”

An aerial view of a large medieval castle surrounded by trees.

Shutterstock // AlexeMarcel

The comedy horror series “Wednesday,” starring Jenna Ortega as the popular “Addams Family” character along with Catherine Zeta-Jones and Christina Ricci, was a huge hit for Netflix. It became the streaming platform’s third most-watched English-language series of all time.

World Premiere Of Netflix's 'Wednesday' Season 1
Actors Gwendoline Christie, Jenna Ortega, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Christina Ricci at the “Wednesday” World Premiere (Photo by Xavier Collin/Image Press Agency via Depositphotos.)

My Millennial and Gen Z daughters told me I had to watch it because they loved it. They were right — I loved it, too.

Some of that viewership turned into increased interest in travel to Romania by fans. In fact, according to OnePoll research conducted for Expedia Brands, hotel searches for Bucharest increased by 55% after the series premiered in November 2022.

One destination featured on the show, the Cantacuzino Castle, located in Bușteni, has seen an influx of young and foreign tourists. The filmmakers used exterior shots of the castle for the show’s Nevermore Academy.

Scottish Highlands: “Outlander”

Tall mountains surrounding small white house in green valley.

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I’m not surprised that interest in visiting the Scottish Highlands and other parts of Scotland has been on the rise since the time-travel drama “Outlander” debuted. My husband and I felt the same way when we started watching the series.

Glasgow Caledonian University researchers estimate the “Outlander” effect has increased tourism by 45% to 200% at many Scottish locations. Tours promising the “Outlander” experience have popped up across Scotland to capitalize on interest in the book-turned-TV series.

“Outlander” fans may have a couple more years to add new areas of Scotland to their travel wishlist. The popular Starz show has announced Season 8 will be its last. However, the final season isn’t coming out until 2025.

Definitely check out the Visit Britain website. If you search for “Scottish Highlands” or even “Period drama filming locations,” you’ll find travel information to your favorite “Outlander” and other British show sites.

Finally, some of the nicest vacation rentals in Europe are actually in Scotland. One is in the captial city. And if you do end up there, here is a list of free things to do in Edinburgh.

Richmond, UK: “Ted Lasso”

A group of boats sitting on top of a body of water in a small horbour with buildings in the background.

Shutterstock // Gordon Bell

Searches for London’s Richmond borough increased by 160% on Expedia’s website after Season 2 of the hit Apple TV series “Ted Lasso” came out. By the time Season 3 came out, that interest reportedly doubled, according to OnePoll.

The town of Richmond has leaned into its newfound popularity with its Ted Lasso Tours, which takes fans to Ted’s Local Pub, thinking bench, and front door. U.S. travelers are driving the heightened interest in Richmond. I believe it. My husband and I want to take a Ted Lasso tour of London on our next trip to England.

Interestingly, the show hasn’t found a large audience in the United Kingdom. However, Australian, Canadian, and Japanese travelers are also jumping in on the “Ted Lasso” tourism trend.

Finally, I recently discovered that when my mother and I took a garden tour of England, we spent a day at Kew Gardens in London. Kew is located in Richmond. That’s near the “Ted Lasso” filming locations. If only I could time travel back in time and tell my younger self to take a half day to explore Richmond from a “Believe” POV. IYKYK.

Bath, UK: “Bridgerton”

A group of houses situated on a small hilltop surrounded by trees.

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“Bridgerton” fans are using their vacations to venture away from London, dear reader, and instead heading to Bath, located in South West England. The popular Netflix series has given the city an economic boost of about $1.9 million.

Since the most famous filming locations are spread out across the town, a Bath charity responded by adding a fleet of e-bikes for tourists to get around more easily. Hotels in Bath also offer special “Bridgerton” tours and afternoon teas to immerse fans in the Regency experience.

Again, I recommend checking out the Visit Britain website and searching for “Bridgerton.” You’ll find tons of places to visit on your self-made TV itinerary for this period drama. Here is my advice for taking the kids to London.

Pasadena, California: “Twilight”

A large, white building with a clock tower surrounded by trees and mountains.

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The “Twilight” films may be over a decade old, but Twihards continue flocking to places that remind them of Bella and Edward’s love story. A certain “Twilight” prom scene continues to drive visitors to Pasadena, a city northeast of Los Angeles. Pasadena is home to the Rose Bowl and also Occidental College. Also, home to many Marriott hotels with EV chargers.

The scene, in which Bella sits outside on a bench and talks to Jacob, was shot at a private house worth more than $12 million as of November 2023. It was one of the top film location stops in 2023 on the SetJetters app.

“Twilight” also continues to drive interest in visits to parts of Washington State. This is where other parts of the movie franchise were filmed. Here are the places to target in the Pacific Northwest to relive “Twilight” scenes from the movies:

Brisbane, Australia: “Thor: Ragnarok”

Talll, glass skyscrapers reflected in a body of water.

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Who knew an alley could become a top tourist attraction? That’s the case for Esk Lane in Brisbane’s central business district, thanks to four days of filming that took place there in 2016.

Many fans appeared during filming to wave at actors Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston and Cate Blanchett. The “Thor: Ragnarok” scene — a key confrontation between the characters Thor (Hemsworth), Loki (Hiddleston), and Hela (Blanchett) in the 2017 Marvel film — was teased in an early trailer for the movie before the setting was abruptly changed to a green plain in later trailers.

Nonetheless, Esk Lane was one of the most popular locations on the SetJetters app for 2023. This despite the fact that the movie isn’t the newest one on screens. Also in Australia? Hotels with Peloton bikes.

Budapest, Hungary: “The Witcher”

A large, ornate illuminated building with a white facade and a central dome.

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Seasons 1 and 2 of “The Witcher” were filmed in several locations across Europe, including Slovenia, the U.K., and Poland. Budapest saw a 170% tourism boost, largely due to early scenes in the series that use Vajdahunyad Castle as a backdrop.

Coincidentally — or not — “The Witcher” is not the only popular story linked to Vajdahunyad Castle. The landmark also imprisoned Vlad III Dracula of Wallachia, or Vlad the Impaler, believed to have inspired Bram Stoker’s Dracula character.

Taormina, Sicily: “The White Lotus”

Bright houses with red roofs by the body of water and green hills.

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The second season of the HBO series “The White Lotus” was filmed at the San Domenico Palace, located in the hilltop town of Taormina. Sicily was the 10th most popular location by combined visits, searches and views on the SetJetters app and saw a 300% increase in bookings after its first two seasons, according to OnePoll data.

Considering it satirizes the tourism and travel industries, it is ironic that “The White Lotus” inspired travel to Hawaii, its Season 1 location. Reportedly, they used the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea as a stand-in for The White Lotus resort.

You can’t blame people for wanting to go to this gorgeous destination. Also, it’s one of the Hawaii hotels with Peloton bikes.

The same happened with Sicily, as mentioned above. More people wanted to visit Taormina, Sicily than ever before.

“The White Lotus” won’t be back with new episodes until 2025, but HBO has confirmed it will occur at a luxurious hotel in Thailand. If the show continues working with Four Seasons hotels, there are four Thai locations to choose from:

Petra, Jordan: “Star Wars”

Bright orange desert landcape with rock formations and bright blue sky.

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Ever wondered where they film many of the epic battle scenes in the rocky red desert? This is the place.

Love for the “Star Wars” franchise has endured since the 1970s, with more recent films drawing crowds to the stunning Martian-red desert of Petra and nearby Wadi Rum. “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” and “Rogue One” both include scenes filmed in the Jordanian desert.

Beyond the Force, many other films have used the dramatic sandstone and granite mountains as a backdrop. Over 100 feature films worldwide have been filmed in the area. Not surprisingly, the tourists follow.

Some Hollywood examples include:

  • “Prometheus”
  • “Dune”
  • “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade”
  • “The Martian”

A suspention bridge over a body of water.

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Astoria, Oregon: “The Goonies”

The cult classic film “The Goonies” may have been a phenomenon of the 1980s. However, the thrill of a treasure hunt lives on among its fans today.

It’s a good thing the movie characters didn’t tear down Mikey’s house in real life. Astoria, Oregon, remains the fourth most popular location by visits, views and searches on the SetJetters app. The “Goonies” houses being one of the most popular locations for 2023.

The homes’ current owners have mixed feelings about the popularity of their properties. One house has a “Goonies Not Welcome” sign outside it. On the other hand, the owner of Mikey’s fictional house — a “Goonies” superfan — bought it with the intention of preserving the cinematic landmark.

Northern Ireland: “Game of Thrones”

aryas-steps-game-of-thrones

Photo credit: Leah Ingram

As I wrote in my review of our Game of Thrones tour of Northern Ireland, there are a number of locations outside of Belfast, Northern Ireland connected to the HBO hit series “Game of Thrones”. We visited a few years ago and traveled across the Northern Irish countryside to various filming locations. This included a cave on the coastline where Melisandre birthed a smoke demon, a set of steps into the North Channel waterway at Glenarm where Arya emerged after the Waif stabbed her and the Dark Hedges, which doubles as the Kingsroad in Season 2.

Portions of this article originally appeared on Stacker.com. Sheeka Sanahori contributed. Story editing by Eliza Siegel. Copy editing by Paris Close. Photo selection by Ania Antecka.

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