5 Cities With Iconic Film Locations
By Kathryn Foley
Classic films conjure the most iconic images of the cities they were filmed in, and if you're a movie buff you won't only want to visit the most famous movie locations from the big screen but discover the hidden gems that feature in them too. So check out 5 of the best cities to visit if you want to visit iconic film locations, and see for yourself where cinematic history was made!
London - Notting Hill
The real Travel Bookshop in Blenheim Crescent which was the inspiration for William’s charming bookstore in the film has sadly closed down, but you can still visit the movie location from the film at 142 Portobello Road where you’ll find a shoe shop that’s been aptly named ‘Notting Hill’. Stroll along Portobello Road and browse the antiques’ market; you’re unlikely to find Hugh Grant wandering down this famous road with its colourfully painted houses, a coffee in hand and a wistful look on his face. But you can visit the place where his character’s house was located with its famous blue door. The original was actually sold at auction for charity, but it has happily been replaced and of course, painted exactly the same shade of blue.
Paris - Amélie
If anything was going to make you fall in love with Paris, it’s Amélie. Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s enchanting film conjures images of the Paris that you’ve dreamed of; charming cobbled streets, fairy-tale houses and tiny gardens, the epitome of a Parisian bistro, le metro and the magical merry-go round that sits in the shadow of le Sacré-Cœur. Montmartre’s timeless charm is effortlessly captured as we follow Amélie around this enclave, so walk in her footsteps and discover this village in the 18th, which has become a famous movie location and draws many fans of the classic film. Pay a visit to Maison Collignon, the greengrocers, stop for a petit cafe in le Café des Deux Moulins and explore the vine covered lanes of Rue Saint-Vincent and Allée des Brouillards.
Tokyo - Lost in Translation
Tokyo might have been the setting for many blockbusters, but a lot of the time, their iconic Tokyo scenes weren’t actually filmed in the city! One exception that has become a famous movie location to visit is Lost in Translation, Sofia Coppola’s masterpiece which was all shot in Japan. The love story between Bob and Charlotte mostly unfolds in Shibuya and Shinjuku, the neon-coloured, fast paced and famous neighbourhoods which are an assault to the senses (in the best kind of way possible) and the areas that most visitors to Tokyo can’t wait to visit. Of course, for any fan of film a trip up to the New York Bar in the Park Hyatt Hotel is a must; the view more than makes up for the pricey drinks and sipping a cocktail at the bar you’ll really feel like you’ve stepped onto set. As well as exploring (or getting lost) in vibrant Shibuya, you can visit the Jugan-ji Temple in Shinjuku just like Charlotte - just don’t make the same mistake she did and call it a shrine!
New York - Breakfast at Tiffany’s
Nothing is more old school glam than breakfast at Tiffany’s. Stroll through the upmarket East Side along streets of classic NY brownstones, and search for Holly’s apartment at 169 East 71st Street and Lexington Avenue. Grab breakfast on the go and stop by Tiffany’s on Fifth Avenue if you want to do some serious window shopping, then head for Central Park, an iconic film location, and scout out Conservatory Water or the Central Park Bandshell. And if, like Holly, you’ve never been to the New York Public Library, make a beeline for this beautiful landmark which is as classic an image of the city as you can get.
Rome - La Dolce Vita
For your own taste of La Dolce Vita, follow in the footsteps of Marcello Rubini and flit your way around the most iconic locations in the city. Fellini’s masterpiece invites us into the glitz of via Veneto in its heyday of the 50s and 60s, when the rich and famous would gather in its fashionable bars and restaurants after a day’s filming. If you are determined to visit some of the more well-known locations where movies were filmed then be sure to stroll down via Vittoria Veneto, where you’ll still find the extravagantly glam side of Rome. Window shop (or actually shop) at Versace and Casuccio e Scalera to experience the epitome of Italian luxury fashion. Of course, no one could forget the iconic shot of Anita Ekberg wading into the Trevi Fountain? You can end up with a heavy fine for trying to recreate this, but visiting the fountain is a must when you're in the Eternal City!
Another classic, Roman Holiday, takes us on whirlwind tour of all of Rome’s iconic landmarks like the Spanish Steps, the Colosseum, the Pantheon and Bocca della Verità, the Mouth of Truth. Re-enact the classic moment where Gregory Peck pretends to have his hand chopped off by the Mouth of Truth at this famous movie location. As the film was shot entirely in Rome, you can tick off pretty much every location that’s visited by Hepburn’s Princess Ann and Peck’s Joe, apart from the scenes which were filmed in the the studios of Cinecittà in its heyday, when Roma was known as ‘Hollywood on the Tiber’. Search out Joe’s apartment on via Margutta 51, and if your time in the city falls on a Saturday you can even visit the extravagant Palazzo Colonna to see the extravagant opulence of the Sala Grande Galleria, where Princess Ann memorably chooses duty over her love.