15 Famous Movie Locations You Can Visit in Real Life
Have you ever been watching a movie and thought, “Wouldn’t it be awesome to visit that place?” Well, you might actually be able to! You’d be surprised how many movies were inspire by or filmed at these famous locations, and some of them might be closer to you than you realize. We’ve picked 15 of our favorite movie locations that you’ll recognize… and want to visit.
1. Philadelphia Museum of Art Steps from Rocky (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
Follow in Rocky Balboa’s footsteps (literally) when you run up the 72 steps to take a picture at the top, arms raised victoriously. If climbing stairs is not your thing, you can also get a photo with the Rocky statue at the bottom of the stairs.
2. Kauai, Hawaii from Jurassic Park
A good deal of the Jurassic Park films were shot on the beautiful island of Kauai. You can visit Jurassic Kahili Ranch, best known for the scene where they first spot living dinosaurs grazing, and Manawaiopuna Waterfall, the iconic waterfall they see from the helicopter when they first arrive on the island. Many of the places they filmed are hidden deep on the island and difficult to reach without a guide.
3. The McCallister Home from Home Alone (Winnetka, Illinois)
The house from Home Alone is one of the most instantly recognizable homes in cinema. In the movie, the McCallister family lived in Chicago, but the real house is located in Winnetka, IL. This 4,200 square foot house is a private residence that sold in 2012 for $1.585 million. Some of the interior rooms were used during filming, while others were created on a soundstage, but the exterior of the house remains timeless and iconic.
4. King’s Cross Station (Platform 9 ¾) from the Harry Potter movies (London, England)
Since platforms 9 and 10 are in a separate building from the main station at King’s Cross, the film crew used a support arch between platforms 4 and 5 to represent the wall (that actually does not exist) between platforms 9 and 10. In 1999, a plaque and the back end of a luggage trolley were installed on a wall near platforms 9 and 10, but were later relocated in 2012. Now a popular tourist spot, fans line up get their photo taken “running through” the wall to get to Platform 9 ¾. You can also visit the Harry Potter gift shop located next to the photo op.
5. The Beverly Wilshire Hotel from Pretty Woman (Beverly Hills, California)
Although the Beverly Wilshire Hotel was the setting for Pretty Woman, most of the interior shots were not actually filmed there. For die-hard fans, the hotel offers Pretty Woman packages, starting at $15,000. For those who want to go for something a little less expensive, you can find Pretty Woman playing on repeat at the hotel’s nail bar.
6. The Art Institute of Chicago from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (Chicago, Illinois)
Get lost in George Seurat’s famous painting, “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte,” just like Ferris Bueller’s friend Cameron did in the movie, and many other works of art that are also featured in the timeless John Hughes film.
7. Gonpachi from Kill Bill, Vol. 1 (Tokyo, Japan)
Now a notable tourist attraction, Gonpachi (otherwise known as the “Kill Bill Restaurant”) is the place that inspired the setting for the iconic Bride vs. Crazy 88s fight scene from the movie. Because it is a tourist spot, the cuisine is geared more towards Westerners than a typical Japanese restaurant, but many people say visiting is definitely worth the hype.
8. Firehouse, Hook & Ladder Company 8 from Ghostbusters (New York, New York)
Like many other places on this list, the filmmakers used the exterior of the building, but not the interior. Those scenes were shot in a studio and in Fire Station No. 23 in Los Angeles, CA. Hook & Ladder No. 8 is an actual, active fire station in Manhattan. In fact, the firefighters of Hook & Ladder No. 8 were among the first responders to the September 11, 2001 attacks.
9. Karaoke Kan from Lost in Translation (Tokyo, Japan)
Want to experience karaoke like Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson? Visit Karaoke Kan and ask for rooms 601 or 602 - the ones used in the movie - for a view of the street. Just make sure to call in advance and make a reservation!
10. Mrs. Doubtfire’s House from Mrs. Doubtfire (San Francisco, California)
This house 3,300 square foot house, located in the heart of the Pacific Heights neighborhood, sold for $4.15 million in 2016. In the film, they actually used both the exterior and the interior of the house. Since it’s a private residence, you can’t go inside, but you can stop by and take a picture of the exterior, which has undergone very few changes since the movie was filmed. After Robin Williams’ death in 2014, fans flocked to the house to leave flowers and notes for the legendary comedian.
11. Doune Castle from Monty Python and the Holy Grail (Stirling, Scotland)
Due to budget and a time crunch, the filmmakers used different parts of Doune Castle to depict almost every castle seen in the film. Its Great Hall was featured in the song and dance routine “Knights of the Round Table,” while the kitchen, courtyard, and Duchess’ hall were used to depict other castles. It is now maintained by Historic Environment Scotland and is open to the public.
12. Randy's Donuts from Mars Attacks (Inglewood, California)
It’s hard to miss the world’s most famous donut! Located near LAX, this 23-foot-tall donut was also featured several other movies, including Iron Man 2. They serve delicious donuts 24 hours a day, 365 days a year… so really, there’s no excuse not to visit this iconic L.A. symbol.
13. Hobbiton, Mt. Doom from The Lord of the Rings (New Zealand)
Over 150 real locations all around New Zealand were used for the Lord of the Rings films, including Mordor, Hobbiton, and Rivendell. Top picks from fans include Tongariro National Park (the main setting for Mordor, which includes Mount Ngauruhoe, used to depict Mount Doom) and Matamata (the Hobbiton set). You can actually climb Mt. Ngauruhoe, although it is made of soft ash, so it’s not for the faint of heart. Fans will be excited to know that the entire Hobbiton set still exists in Matamata and available is for tours.
14. Hoth from Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (Finse, Norway)
The snowy village of Finse was the location for the exterior scenes of the ice planet Hoth. For a true behind-the-scenes experience, you can stay in the Finse 1222 Hotel, where the cast and crew stayed during filming. Inside the hotel, you’ll find a guest book signed by the cast and crew, a wall of behind-the-scenes photos, and a trooper hat prop on display in the lobby. To explore more of the outdoor film locations, it is advised that you take a guided tour due to the rough weather and terrain.
15. Zhangjiajie National Park from Avatar (Zhangjiajie, Hunan, China)
According to the filmmakers, the pillar-like formations found there inspired the floating Hallelujah Mountains seen in the film. In fact, one of the pillars, the Southern Sky Column, was renamed Avatar Hallelujah Mountain because of the film. Tourists can visit the longest glass bridge in the world to get a better view of the park. Those who have been there warn visitors to plan ahead and expect large crowds.