50 Top Travel Movies

Seeking travel inspiration for the year ahead? This (by no means an exhaustive list) of popular movies about travel, adventure, and voyages of self-discovery offers plenty to get you started on the right path. From epic road trips to stunning journeys around the world, these 50 Top Travel Movies will stir your wanderlust—and we’ll take you the rest of the way from there!

A distant view of a snowcapped Mount Jefferson surrounded by trees, in Oregon.

Mount Jefferson, Oregon

NORTH AMERICA

INTO THE WILD 2007 MOVIE COVERInto the Wild (2007)

Based on the true story of Christopher McCandless, who after graduating from college in the 1990s, gave away all his money and hitchhiked his way to the Alaskan wilderness. He travels through Arizona, California, Georgia, Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, South Dakota, and Washington along the way, meeting various characters also seeking escape, peace, and reinvention. (No spoilers, but…have tissues handy.)
Amazon, iTunes, Showtime, Vudu

One Week (2008)

After receiving a diagnosis of stage IV cancer, a young man (Joshua Jackson) rides his motorcycle coast-to-coast across Canada from Toronto to Vancouver Island, reevaluating his life and dreams as he goes.
Amazon, Apple TV, Google Play

Wild (2014)

Reese Witherspoon depicts author Cheryl Strayed as she solo-hikes 1,000 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail—through Washington, Oregon, and California—as a means of coping with the death of her mother and the end of her marriage.
Amazon, Google Play, Vudu

An aerial view of Rainbow Valley at Antofagasta, Chile.

Rainbow Valley at Antofagasta, Chile

SOUTH AMERICA 

The Motorcycle Diaries (2004)The Motorcycle Diaries (2004)

Based on the 1952 motorcycle journey of two 20-something friends—one of whom was future revolutionary Che Guevara—this movie travels 5,000 stunning miles’ worth of Argentina, Chile, and Peru.
Amazon, GooglePlay, iTunes, Starz, Vudu

180° South (2010)

Recreating a 1968 adventure undertaken by the founders of the Patagonia and North Face brands, the filmmaker of this gorgeous documentary voyaged 5,000 miles by sea from Ventura, California to Patagonia, Chile. Along the way he visited Baja California, the Galapagos, and Easter Island before climbing Fitz Roy, an epic, 11,171-foot-tall peak that straddles Chile and Argentina.
Crackle, iTunes, Vudu

View of the Eiffel Tower on a bright day, Paris, France.

Eiffel Tower, Paris, France

EUROPE

France

A Good Year (2006)A Good Year (2006)

It’s a toss-up as to what’s more gorgeous in this movie: Russell Crowe, Marion Cotillard, or the Vaucluse department of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur. The latter serves as the backdrop for this film adaptation of Peter Mayles’ novel, about a British investment banker who inherits a chateau and vineyard where he spent much of his childhood—the last time he felt laid back and carefree.
Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu

Before Sunset (2004)

The second installment of director Richard Linklater’s Before trilogy brings Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy’s characters to Paris, nine years after they first met and fell in love in a single day. The City of Love has rarely seemed more romantic, which is no mean feat.
Amazon, Hulu, Showtime, Vudu

The Hundred Foot Journey (2014)

Shot in the charming Tarn department of the Occitaine region of Southern France, this tale of culinary culture-clash stars Helen Mirren as a Michelin-starred chef whose world is upended when a lively Indian family moves in and sets up their own restaurant…all of 100 feet from her own.
Amazon, Hulu, Netflix, Vudu

Midnight in Paris (2011)

In this time-travel tale from Woody Allen, a restless American screenwriter (Owen Wilson) mysteriously wanders from modern day Paris into the city’s Jazz Age past, meeting that era’s cultural luminaries and growing increasingly dissatisfied with his life in the present.
Amazon, iTunes, Showtime, Vudu

Italy

A Room with a View (1986)

Traveling between Florence, Tuscany’s Fiesole, London, and the bucolic Kentish countryside of South East England, this screen adaptation of E.M. Forster’s novel highlights a young woman’s struggle between marrying for wealth and family expectation, or for free-spirited, unbridled love. It’s unlikely you’ll ever settle for a room without a view again.
Amazon, iTunes, Showtime, Vudu

Roman Holiday (1953)

While visiting Rome, a waylaid European princess (Audrey Hepburn) finds refuge with an American reporter (Gregory Peck), who after learning of her true identity, has to choose between scoring a big scoop or a great love. All you have to do is swoon over scenes of Rome in its cobblestoned glory.
Amazon, Apple TV+, Google Play, Kanopy, Paramount+, Vudu

The Trip to Italy (2014)

The Trip to Italy (2014)

In the second installment of their Trip series, British comedic actors Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon tool from Ravello along the jaw-dropping Amalfi Coast, all the while sharing gorgeous meals, hilarious conversations, and each other’s company.
Amazon, iTunes, Google Play

Under the Tuscan Sun (2003)

Starring Diane Lane, this feel-good adaptation of Frances Mayes’ memoir follows a divorcee from America to Florence, Cortona, Montepulciano, Rome, the Amalfi Coast, and Positano as she purchases a rural villa, begins a new romance, and re-discovers herself.
Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu

Spain

The Trip to Spain (2017)

Coogan and Brydon travel Spain from top to bottom, driving from the northern Rioja region to Malaga on the southern Costa del Sol, dining like kings, exploring the countryside, and oscillating between cracking each other up and getting on each other’s nerves.
Amazon, iTunes, Google Play, Vudu

The Way (2010)

In a script written by his son Emilio Estevez, Martin Sheen plays an American father who travels to Spain to recover the body of his estranged son who died while walking the rugged Camino de Santiago—and then decides to take the pilgrimage himself.
Amazon, iTunes, Google Play, Vudu

Greece

Before Midnight (2013)

Nine years after Before Sunset, Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy’s characters are on their last night of a vacation on the stunning Peloponnese Coast, reminiscing about (and reevaluating) their lives together and the choices they’ve made.
Amazon, Google Play, Hulu, iTunes, Showtime, Vudu

My Life in Ruins (2009)

My Life in Ruins (2009)

A Greek tour guide (Nia Vardalos) feels she’s lost her way in life, but while introducing a motley crew group of tourists to some of her homeland’s many highlights—including Athens and Olympia—she finally rediscovers her kefi, or mojo.
Amazon, Google Play, iTunes

The Trip to Greece (2020)

Coogan and Brydon back at it again, this time tracing the stunning Aegean Coast and wandering through Athens, reveling in top-notch attractions, hotels, and restaurants as they reflect on life, work, and love.
Amazon, Vudu

Austria

Before Sunrise (1995)

The first film in the Before series, Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy’s characters explore Vienna together over a single night, creating a bond that leaves them asking where the morning will take them.
Amazon, Google Play, Hulu, iTunes, Showtime, Vudu

Belgium

In Bruges (2008)

After a job gone wrong, two hit men (Colin Farrell and Brenda Gleeson) head to the peaceful Medieval city of Bruges to lay low among a colorful array of locals and tourists—but the peace doesn’t last for long.
Amazon, Google Play, Hulu, iTunes, Starz, Vudu

Czech Republic

Last Holiday (2006)

Last Holiday (2006)

When a usually cautious woman (Queen Latifah) receives a diagnosis of terminal cancer, she withdraws her savings and wings off to Europe to enjoy an epicurean, fabulous, and no-holds-barred version of her life. Much of the movie was shot during a wonderland-y winter in the gorgeous, riverside spa city of Karlov Vary.
Amazon, Google Play, Hulu, iTunes, Showtime, Vudu

England

The Trip (2010)

The first of Coogan and Brydon’s Trip films wends its way through Northern England—from Cumbria (home to the Lake District), to Lancashire and North Yorkshire—amidst the humor and pathos of the pair’s mid-life crises.
Amazon

Iceland

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013)

Stuck in a tedious routine as a film developer at Life Magazine, Ben Stiller’s meek Mitty only daydreams of a life of adventure and romance. But when the publication’s new owners send him to Iceland to get the perfect photo for its final issue, Mitty gleefully explores the rugged west, east, and southeast of the country, including Vatnajökull, the biggest glacier in Europe.
Amazon, Google Play, Hulu, iTunes, Vudu

Ireland

Leap Year (2010)

Anna (Amy Adams) plans to surprise her erstwhile boyfriend by visiting him in Dublin, following a Celtic tradition and popping the question to him on a leap-year February 29th. She gets lost, though, and ends up on the other side of the island, discovering Inishmore on the Aran Islands, and counties Kildare, Wicklow, and Laois—as well as sparks with a handsome yet surly innkeeper.
Amazon, Google Play, HBO Now, Hulu, iTunes, Vudu

Scotland

Brave (2012)

Of course an animated film can be a travel movie! In this Pixar fairytale of adventure, action, humor, and mystery, Princess Merida seeks the help of an eccentric witch to buck royal tradition and prove her warrior’s courage with a bow and arrow. Gorgeous visuals of the lush Scottish Highlands span mountains, lochs, castles, clans, crags, and moors.
Amazon, Disney+, Google Play, iTunes, Starz, Vudu

A silverback mountain African gorilla in a rainforest in Rwanda.

Rwanda, East Africa

AFRICA

East Africa

Gorillas in the Mist (1988)

Gorillas in the Mist (1988)

Sigourney Weaver plays wildlife researcher Dian Fossey, putting herself between gorillas and the poachers who would prey on them in densely verdant jungles like the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park in South West Uganda.
Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu

Out of Africa (1985)

Meryl Streep, Robert Redford, and the Shaba National Reserve in Kenya are the stars of this epic tale, where an aristocratic woman must choose between the love of a soulmate and a simple, rural life in one of the most beautiful spots on Earth.
Amazon, Google Play, HBO Max, iTunes, Vudu 

Queen of Katwe (2016)

With help from a missionary (David Oyelowo) and her devoted mom (Lupita Nyong’o), a 10-year-old Ugandan girl discovers that the game of chess can take her from a life of rural poverty to a bright future in the bustling, colorful capital of Kampala. Set near Lake Victoria, this stunning, hilly city is Uganda’s largest, full of museums, markets, and rich Bantu culture.
Amazon, Disney +, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu

Southern Africa

The Gods Must Be Crazy (1981)

When a Coca-Cola bottle falls from a plane into a remote desert village, the strange foreign object wreaks havoc amongst the normally peaceful inhabitants. To set things right, the village leader decides to return the bottle to the gods at the “end of the world,” taking a wacky, hilarious journey on foot through Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa.
Amazon

North Africa/Middle East

The Band’s Visit (2007)

When eight Egyptian musicians mistakenly arrive in the wrong small town in Israel’s Negev Desert (depicted here by the southern Israeli city of Yeruham), they’re offered shelter at a local restaurant—and a wry, funny, and touching cross-cultural exchange begins.
Amazon, Vudu

The English Patient (1996)

The sweeping Sahara Desert is the main backdrop of this epic, Academy Award-winning romance between a married Englishwoman (Kristin Scott Thomas) and a Hungarian explorer (Ralph Fiennes) in Libya and Egypt.
Amazon, Google Play, Hulu, Showtime, Vudu

Journey to Mecca (2009)

Shot in Saudi Arabia and Morocco, this Ben Kingsley-narrated documentary (which originally appeared in museum IMAX theaters) intercuts a dramatization of 13th-century Muslim scholar Ibn Battuta’s 18-month journey to Mecca with scenes from the contemporary pilgrimage.
Vimeo

Great Wall of China

Great Wall of China

ASIA

Japan

Lost in Translation (2003)

Two depressed strangers meet in the bar of the Park Hyatt Tokyo: Bill Murray as an aging movie star in town to film a commercial, and Scarlett Johansson as a newlywed traveling with her inattentive photographer husband. Forming a surprising bond, they explore the Shibuya and Shinjuku districts of Tokyo together, and Kyoto and Mount Fuji make some guest appearances, as well.
Amazon, Google Play, Hulu, Starz, Vudu

Memoirs of a Geisha (2005)

Memoirs of a Geisha (2005)

Sold into servitude by her parents at age nine, Sayuri (Zhang Ziyi) rises to wealth and influence as the most sought-after geisha in Kyoto—until World War II arrives. Shot gorgeously on location in Kyoto, as well as in various Japanese gardens throughout Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Sacramento.
Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu

China

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)

A lush and exciting adventure of love, thievery, intrigue, and martial arts mastery set in 19th-century Qing Dynasty China, shooting locations include Beijing; the Anji Bamboo Forest in Zheijiang Province; the remote northern Xinjiang region; the northern coastal Hebei Province; and the eastern Anhui Province, which is home to the famed Yellow Mountains.
Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, Starz, Vudu

The Farewell (2019)

Billi (Awkwafina) and her U.S.-based family return to Changchun, capital of the northeastern Jilin Province, to stage a fake wedding as a means of saying goodbye to Billi’s beloved grandma—who hasn’t been told she has only a few weeks to live. A rare look at daily life and family culture in a large Chinese city.
Amazon, Google Play, Vudu

Singapore

Crazy Rich Asians (2018)

Rachel (Constance Wu) accompanies her longtime boyfriend Nick (Henry Golding) from New York City to his best friend’s wedding in Singapore—only to learn that Nick is not only extremely wealthy, but also one of the country’s most eligible bachelors. She handles jealous socialites and quirky relatives with grace, but her biggest challenge is Nick’s disapproving mother (Michelle Yeoh.) Two hours’ worth of over-the-top parties, fashion, jewelry, food, and architecture, plus a wedding that must be seen to be believed.
Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, Sling, Vudu

India

Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011)

Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011)

A group of British retirees (including Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, and Maggie Smith) decide to pull up stakes and relocate to far-cheaper India, lured by ads for a luxurious hotel—which they find, once they arrive, hasn’t been lovely for quite some time.  A sweet tale of letting go of the past and starting again, shot amidst the beauty of the Jaipur and Rajasthan. The characters’ retirement adventures continue in The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2015).
Amazon, Apple TV, Google Play, Vudu

The Darjeeling Limited (2007)

Three estranged brothers (Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody, and Jason Schwartzman) reunite for a train journey across India, ostensibly to reconnect in the wake of their father’s passing. One brother soon reveals the trip’s ulterior motive, though, and neurotic hilarity ensues. Shot in the cities, markets, temples, rivers, and desert landscapes of Rajasthan.
Google Play, HBO, Hulu, iTunes, Starz, Vudu

Monsoon Wedding (2001)

A Punjabi family reunites from all over the world to celebrate an arranged marriage, exploring aspects of romance, lust, tradition, loyalty, and caste in both New and Old Delhi—two of the most fabulous stars in this beautiful film.
Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, Starz, Vudu

The Namesake (2006)

After moving from Calcutta to New York, an Indian family tries to maintain a delicate balance between honoring their native traditions and fitting into American society. However, their son (Kal Penn) wants to connect more deeply with his heritage, and travels back to Calcutta to create his own unique identity.
Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu

Slumdog Millionaire (2008)

From the set of the Indian version of “Who Wants to be a Millionaire,” a young man (Dev Patel) tells the amazing story of how he got there. In flashbacks, we find that he grew up motherless in Mumbai’s Dharavi, the largest slum in Asia; rather than choosing his brother’s life of crime, though, he works hard to make a better future for himself. In addition to awe-inspiring scenes of Mumbai, the film travels to Agra, home of the Taj Mahal.
Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu

Nepal

Everest (2015)

Everest (2015)

Two climbing expeditions start their final ascent to the summit of Mount Everest, only to be suddenly engulfed by one of the fiercest blizzards ever encountered. Amidst harsh winds and freezing cold, the two teams wage an epic battle to survive. Shot in Kathmandu and Everest Base Camp, as well as Italy’s Dolomites, this story serves as a reminder to review your packing list very carefully when embarking on adventure travel.
Amazon, Google Play, Vudu

Wollongong, Australia

Wollongong, Australia

OCEANIA

Australia

Australia (2008)

Australia (2008)

During World War II, a British aristocrat (Nicole Kidman) and a cattle drover (Hugh Jackman) set out on a cattle drive across hundreds of miles of harsh Australian terrain to save the lady’s ranch—only to encounter the Japanese military in the Northern Territory. Shot beautifully in Darwin; Queensland; Sydney and other spots in New South Wales; and the Kimberly Range and Kununurra in Western Australia.
Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, Starz, Tubi TV, Vudu

The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994)

In a silver tour bus affectionately named Priscilla, three drag queens take their show on the road in the Australian desert, encountering culture shock, homophobia, and tenderness along the way. Their cross-dressing adventure includes Alice Springs and Watarrka National Park in the Northern Territory; Coober Pedy in South Australia; and Sydney, Broken Hill, and Breakaways Reserve in New South Wales.
Amazon, Google Play, Vudu

Rabbit Proof Fence (2002)

Following the 1,500-mile journey home of two Aboriginal girls forcibly separated from their parents by white Australians, this drama’s shooting locations include Adelaide, the Flinders Ranges, Lake Torrens, and McLaren Vale in South Australia; and Perth, the Gibson and Pilbara deserts, Meekatharra, and Jigalong in Western Australia.
Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, Starz, Vudu

Tracks (2013)

This strange yet romantic drama recreates a young Australian woman (Mia Wasikowska)’s real-life 1,700-mile trek across Australia in 1977, accompanied only by her dog and four camels. Shot in South Australia and the Northern Territory, stunning locations include the Flinders Ranges, Coffin Bay, Uluru, and Ayers Rock.
Amazon, Google Play, iTunes Tubi TV, Vudu

New Zealand

The Piano (1993)

In the 19th century, a mute Scottish woman (Holly Hunter) who’s been sold into marriage to a man she’s never met (Sam Neill) travels to the windswept Auckland Region of the North Island with her young daughter and a piano in tow. Rather than falling for her husband, though, she’s more intrigued by his Maori-friendly employee (Harvey Keitel)—and quiet conflict ensues.
Amazon, Vudu

Whale Rider (2002)

Whale Rider (2002)

When a 12-year-old Maori boy dies before he can become chief, his twin sister (Keisha Castle-Hughes) enlists the help of her grandmother and uncle to buck tradition and claim her birthright. One of the 2000s most beautiful movies, it explores much of the northeast coast of the North Island, including Gisborne, Lake Taupo, and the small town of Whangara.
Amazon, Google Play, Vudu

Antarctica

Encounters at the End of the World (2007)

Werner Herzog’s quirky documentary travels to Antarctica’s McMurdo Station, a U.S. Antarctic Program research station on the southern tip of Ross Island by McMurdo Sound, which is home to roughly 1,200 scientists who’ve opted to abandon civilization and tough out a life of exploring and studying one of the most remote, volatile, and awe-inspiring places on Earth.
Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu


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