10 movies to inspire your next trip

There’s nothing like a film to activate a desire to travel, whether it’s the feel of the entire movie or one particular scene that stays with you long after the credits stop rolling. When a production makes the filming location the star of the show, you might suddenly find yourself googling filming locations and searching for flights.

Which movie or TV show has inspired your travels? Here, Lonely Planet staffers share the destinations that have jumped off the screen and onto their travel wish lists.

Meghann Fahy on a terrace, filmed for HBO’s “The White Lotus”The second season of HBO’s “The White Lotus” is a love letter to Sicily © HBO / Alamy Stock Photo

The White Lotus: Sicily, Italy

The second season of The White Lotus is a love letter to Sicily. All the scenes and locations are gorgeous, from the palazzos to Palermo’s streets. This show has definitely moved Sicily up on my future travel list.

– Matt Paco, Video Producer

Get trusted guidance to the world’s most breathtaking experiences delivered to your inbox weekly with our email newsletter. Still from My Brilliant FriendMargherita Mazzucco, left, and Gaia Girace star in HBO’s “My Brilliant Friend” © HBO / Alamy Stock Photo

My Brilliant Friend: Naples, Italy

The HBO adaptation of Elena Ferrante’s best-selling novel about childhood friends in postwar Naples is arguably one of the most beautiful shows on TV. The cinematography is sublime, and pulls the viewer into the lives of the characters who live there. You develop intense, fleeting relationships with them, moving with them as they navigate the city’s frenetic backstreets, grungy neighborhoods and well-heeled piazzas. Everything feels vibrant, loud and lived-in. I visited Naples last year and it was just as spellbinding in real life as it is on screen.

– Sasha Brady, Digital Editor

A young woman shot from behind walking on the Camino de Santiago, SpainMelissa Yeager was inspired to take to the Camino after watching “I’m Off Then” © iburek / Getty Images

I’m Off Then: Camino del Santiago, Spain & Portugal

A lot of people get inspired to do the Camino from Martin Sheen’s trek in The Way – but my introduction to the famous pilgrimage route came from watching I’m Off Then on German Netflix while I lived in Berlin. The show, based on the book by Hape Kerkeling, made the prospect of doing this epic journey simply dazzling. I finally got to take on the Portuguese section this past year, and it absolutely did not disappoint.

– Melissa Yeager, Senior News Editor

Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon in a Ridley Scott’s road-trip movie “Thelma & Louise” (1991)“Thelma & Louise” – maybe the ultimate road-trip movie – will make you want to take to the open road in Utah © Alamy Stock Photo

Thelma and Louise: Utah, USA

Fans will know that the fictional Thelma and Louise didn’t make it to Utah when their road trip to a cabin turned into them being fugitives on the run from the law – but much of the real-life movie was filmed in the western state. The movie’s dusty desert and wild sandstone vistas never fail to amaze me. I want to hit the open road and have my own adventure through the Utah landscapes seen in the film.

– Sandie Kestell, Senior Editor

La Vele buildings in NapleLocals are trying to protect the residential complex of Le Vele di Scampia from being entirely demolished © AFP / Getty Images

Gomorrah: Naples, Italy

I am deep into this gritty drama set in Le Vele, a housing project in Naples built in the 1960s that resembles ships’ sails. The effect is majestic (there is similar and much sought-after real estate on the French Riviera). Le Vele, however, became the drug capital of Europe, and today lies abandoned and is in the process of being demolished. I would love to see these unique buildings before they are finally torn down.

– Fin McCarthy, Editorial Director

Julie Andrews in a scene filmed in the Austrian Alps in “The Sound of Music” (1965)“The Sound of Music” features iconic scenes of Salzburg and the Austrian Alps that have inspired generations of travelers © Alamy Stock Photo

The Sound of Music: Salzburg, Austria

Ever since I first saw The Sound of Music as a kid, I longed to visit Salzburg, Austria. I finally got to visit it when I did a road trip around Europe with my husband and dog six years ago. We even got to stay at Schloss Leopoldskron, the gilded palace that was the fictional home of Captain von Trapp.

– Matt Paco, Video Producer

A still from the 2015 film “Everest” depicting mountain climbers on a snowy slope“Everest” may not make you want to reach the peak of the giant mountain – but might inspire you to at least set out for base camp © Alamy Stock Photo

Everest: Nepal

While I have no business actually scaling Mt Everest, I think it would be possible and much safer for me to at least trek up to base camp. It’s been on my list for years, and I want to get to it sooner than later while I’m still on the younger side and remain crazy enough to spend 12 or more days at an uncomfortable altitude.

– Zoe Jablow, Engineering Manager

Bathers in the Mediterranean at Les Prophètes beach, Marseille, Côte d’Azure, FranceMarseille’s combination of Mediterranean sunshine and grittiness have made it an irresistible location for filmmakers © Theo Giacometti / Lonely Planet

The Marseille Trilogy: Marseille, France

I love Jean-Claude Izzo’s books in general, and his trilogy of detective stories set in Marseille is my favorite. They embody the city’s gritty, time-worn essence, and reading them makes me want to sit on a rocky corniche at sunset with a glass of pastis.

– Laura Motta, Senior Director of Content

A still of actors in traditional Swedish folk costumes from the film “Midsommar” (2019)“Midsommar” might make you want to experience this traditional Swedish festival. Without the gore, that is © Alamy Stock Photo

Midsommar: Sweden

I’m not sure I should be looking to a horror film for inspiration (and I know some of the film was shot in Hungary) but…I have yet to time my trips to Scandinavia to coincide with whimsical Midsommar celebrations. What’s not to love about a never-ending party where you don flower garlands, dance your cares away and drink schnapps? Seriously, this is something I need to make happen…just without the murder-y bits.

– Chris Zeihar, Senior Director of Sales and Marketing


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