The Ultimate Tours For Movie And TV Buffs [Gallery]

The ultimate tours for movie and TV buffs

There's a new phenomenon in travel called "set jetting," and whether you're a reality TV expert or devotee of blockbuster movie franchises, there's a themed vacation for you.

‘Game of Thrones’

One of the most popular shows in the world has inspired vacationers to seek out the real-life inspirations for the fictional kingdom of Westeros. "Game of Thrones" filming locations have fueled the set-jetting trend, with fans flocking to Croatia, Spain and Northern Ireland on week-long tours or miles-long treks just to walk the same streets at Cersei, Daenerys or Jon Snow.

‘The Last Jedi’

The latest destination to play up its status as a major movie location is the western coast of Ireland. Skellig Michael stood in for Luke's island, Ahch-To, in "Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi," while cities such as Donegal were where the cast and crew would sleep and unwind with a pint after filming. Zicasso has put together an 8-day trip for "Star Wars" fans to explore the area and offers an insider perspective on how the movies were filmed there. The tour company also offers a 9-day trip to Croatia based around the "Last Jedi" scenes on the planet of Canto Bight filmed in the city of Dubrovnik.

‘Star Wars’

For mega-fans of the original trilogy, locations like Tatooine are much more tempting to travel around the world to see. The Mos Eisley Cantina, the Lars family homestead, Obi-Wan Kenobi's home on Djerba Island and Tosche Station are all real-life buildings you can visit on a tour in Tunisia. The country is also home to "Star Wars" canyon where multiple fight and chase scenes were filmed. Film crews returned to the Saharan African country to film desert scenes from the prequel trilogy as well.

‘The Lord of the Rings’

While "Star Wars" might be the latest blockbuster to tap into the movie location travel trend, the first to capitalize on it in a major way was probably New Zealand with "The Lord of the Rings" films. Dozens of companies offer tours of different lengths, from one day to two weeks, to explore the more than 150 locations throughout the country that were used in "LOTR" as well as "The Hobbit" trilogy. Visit constructed sets like Hobbiton as well as Mount Ruapehu, the stand-in for Mount Doom. You can also go behind-the-scenes of director Peter Jackson's studio, Weta Workshop.

‘Breaking Bad’

After "Breaking Bad" rocketed to international acclaim, fans of the show set out for New Mexico to take in the sights from their favorite show. Although the series ended in 2013, adventure awaits in the Land of Enchantment for those wanted to have their own Walter White experience. On a 5-day tour, you can see iconic areas of Albuquerque from the show, eat at the real-life Los Pollos Hermanos and hang where the cast and crew did while off the clock.


New Mexico isn't the only location in the Western U.S. with a major claim to fame from an acclaimed TV show. The state of Utah has been the setting for the HBO series "Westworld." If the beautiful vistas on the show give you wanderlust, book an 11-day tour to experience places like Moab, Canyonlands National Park and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument — without having to watch your back for attacking androids.

‘The Walking Dead’

"The Walking Dead" is the most-watched television series in basic cable history, and mega-fans of the show, called Walker Stalkers, have indeed followed the show's stars to rural Georgia to explore the places where the show has been filmed through the seasons. Book a tour in Atlanta to see major landmarks from season one, or visit Senoia, Georgia, the stand-in for Woodbury. Senoia has embraced its claim to fame, with shops themed around the show, such as The Waking Dead coffee shop. Fans can also visit a gift shop co-owned by Robert Kirkman, the creator of the graphic novels, that sells exclusive collectables from the series.

‘Dirty Harry’

While the homes of San Francisco remind an entire generation of the opening of "Full House," a classic Clint Eastwood character is what comes to mind when many out-of-towners take a trolley ride. In his eponymous 1971 movie, "Dirty Harry" Callahan, played by Eastwood, roams the streets of San Francisco. A two-hour bus tour makes stops at iconic locations, including Kezar Stadium and Sts. Peter and Paul church, where Dirty Harry pursues the murderer known as Scorpio.

‘Mad Men’

Travel back in time to the New York City of the 1960s on a "Mad Men"-themed tour. You can drink, dine and drive like a hot-shot ad exec on the tour, which will transport you to locations from the show in style, such as picking you up in a Rolls Royce to visit Oyster Bar in Grand Central Station. Other Don Draper-inspired activities include hitting up some of the city's hottest speakeasies.


Although it's been off the air for almost two decades, "Seinfeld" continues to be an iconic sitcom, and the show's real-life locations around NYC still draw folks who want to meet the Soup Nazi. On his "Kramer's Reality Tour," Kenny Kramer, the real-life former neighbor of Larry David who inspired the character of Cosmo Kramer, leads fans on a three-hour tour of famous sites from the show and tells funny insider stories about how the series came to be.

‘Harry Potter’

While The Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park is an immersive experience, muggles who really want to see behind-the-scenes of the hit movies will have to head to England. One option is a walking tour of London that stops at major locations from the films, such as Millennium Bridge and King's Cross Station. True Potterheads won't want to miss the Warner Bros. Studio Tour. Head northwest of London to see a collection of authentic sets, props, costumes and more.

‘Downton Abbey’

With its upstairs-downstairs politics, impeccable costumes and dramatic plot lines, "Downton Abbey" attracted fans who longed to experience life like the Crawley family. The next best thing is to tour Highclere Castle, the real-life country estate in Hampshire, England, used as the interior and exterior of the family's house, as well as nearby Bampton, the small town that played Downton on screen. Different tour companies offer day- or even week-long "Downton"-themed experiences.

‘The Crown’

The latest British period drama to capture the attention of fans around the world is Netflix's "The Crown." Tour company Black Tomato offers an immersive 9-day experience that gives fans inside access to the world of Queen Elizabeth II. Take tours of Kensington Palace, Buckingham Palace and Hampton Court in London, followed by a jaunt to the royal retreat of Gleneagles in Scotland. Special activities include trying royal pursuits such as shooting, archery and golf.

The James Bond movies

If royalty doesn't enthrall you, maybe the world of superspies can inspire your London vacation. The city is home to the M16 headquarters from the James Bond films. The real Secret Intelligence Service building at Vauxhall Cross has appeared in "Skyfall," "Spectre and "The World is Not Enough." There are James Bond walking and bus tours of London that will take you past this building as well as filming locations such as St. Petersburg Square. A Bond day trip outside the city will allow you to visit sets at Pinewood Studios.


London has connections to another major hero of literature and film: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes, whose popularity surged once more thanks to the BBC's TV series "Sherlock." Whether you prefer Benedict Cumberbatch or Robert Downey Jr.'s take on the famous detective, the Sherlock Holmes Walking Tour of London offers views from both. The 3-hour BBC Sherlock Locations Tour focuses solely on sights from the TV show, such as the location used as 221B Baker Street and Speedy's Cafe.

‘Doctor Who’

One final London walking tour for TV buffs is based on the long-running sci-fi show "Doctor Who." The guide will take you to iconic locations from old-school as well as new episodes of "Doctor Who," such as the London Eye and Westminster, and learn insider facts and trivia about how the show was filmed at such crowded locations.

Studio Ghibli films

West of Tokyo lies a museum dedicated to the magical worlds created by Hayao Miyazaki and his animation studio, Studio Ghibli. The museum includes exhibits on the art of animation and world-building and a mock-up of the company's animation studio. Spend a day exploring areas such as the rooftop garden and children's playroom, which have replicas of iconic Ghibli characters, such as Totoro, Cat Bus and the robot soldier from "Castle in the Sky."


The lush greenery and pristine beaches of the Napali Coast on the Hawaiian island of Kauai have made this a popular filming location for movies like "Jurassic Park" and "Raiders of the Lost Ark." But this area's biggest claim to fame might be standing in for the island on the TV show "LOST." Re-create your favorite scenes like discovering the hatch or fighting off polar bears while hiking through the tropical jungle. Tour options are plentiful, ranging from a 10-day "LOST"-inspired trip to a single-day tour of locations around "Hollywood's Backlot" on Oahu, where Hurley built his golf course and more.

‘Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil’

"Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" is both a best-selling book and a Clint Eastwood movie. The twisted Southern Gothic tale is set in the city of Savannah, Ga., and chronicles the real-life murder that took place in the spooky Mercer House. Fans can follow in the footsteps of Jim Williams, Lady Chablis and other larger-than-life figures from the book and movie, including a stop at Bonaventure Cemetery, on a 2.5- or 3-hour tour.

‘Sex and the City’

To fans of the HBO series "Sex and the City," New York City is synonymous with the glamorous lives of Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda. To experience NYC like to the gals of "SATC," take On Location's 3.5-hour tour of the foursome's favorite spots and filming locations such as Carrie's Brownstone at 66 Perry Street and Steve and Aidan's bar.

‘The Sopranos’

If New York City isn't the setting of your favorite show, how about New Jersey? Hop on a half-day bus tour from NYC and travel through the Lincoln Tunnel to see the sites featured in the hit HBO show "The Sopranos." Your tour guide is an actor who actually got to be on the show, and he will narrate as you visit places like Pulaski Skyway, Carmine's Funeral Parlor, the Skyway Diner and more than 40 other locations.


Mel Gibson's Oscar-winning epic "Braveheart" might not be historically accurate, but it was based on a real Scottish hero. "Braveheart" fans can head to Scotland for a William Wallace-themed tour, including stops at Stirling Castle and the National Wallace Monument. While Stirling was where the movie premiered in 1995, the movie was actually filmed predominantly in neighboring Ireland. That's because the Irish government promised Gibson the use of 1,500 Irish Defence Forces members as extras. Die-hard fans can visit shooting locations in Wicklow, Kildare and Meath in order to reenact their favorite battlefield scenes.

‘Twin Peaks’

Fans looking for a "damn fine cup of coffee" can travel in and around Snoqualmie, Washington, the real-life stand-in for the town of Twin Peaks, on an 8-night tour. Now that the cult show has been resurrected, this is the time to stay in the Great Northern Hotel where Agent Cooper did, explore Snoqualmie Falls from the opening credits, and hit up other locations, such as the Double R Diner, Ronette's Bridge, Giant Log and the sheriff's station.

‘Pawn Stars’

Super-fans of the History Channel's reality show "Pawn Stars" can take an official 4-hour tour. Explore the Gold and Silver Pawn Shop, where you might spot Rick, the Old Man or Big Hoss working, then visit other prominent Las Vegas locations featured on the show, such as the Toy Shack, Ultimate Sports Cards and Memorabilia, and the Carroll Shelby Museum.

‘Brideshead Revisited’

Both the 1981 miniseries and the 2008 movie adaptation of Evelyn Waugh's novel "Brideshead Revisited" were filmed at Castle Howard in North Yorkshire. The 300-year-old country estate has become synonymous with Brideshead but has also been used in other period productions, such as "Death Comes to Pemberley." Fans can book half-day tours from York, or trek out to the house themselves and schedule a private tour focused entirely on the relationship between Waugh's classic novel and Castle Howard.

‘The Young Pope’

The Vatican is hotter than ever thanks to Jude Law's turn as the titular Pope Pius XIII in "The Young Pope." With the limited series now coming back for season two, fans of the show have all the more reason to see the show's setting up close on an eight-day Italian tour based on the TV series. The tour takes you through Rome and Verona before ending in Venice, the same city where the season one finale took place.

‘The Bridge’

Fear not fans of more obscure Scandinavian drama "The Bridge" — there's a custom tour for you too. A 5-day themed trip based on the Nordic noir TV shows "The Bridge" as well as "The Killing" will take you through Copenhagen, across the titular Oresund Bridge and through Malmo before ending in Stockholm.

‘Gossip Girl’

While visiting NYC, fans who grew up with the dramatic antics of Blair, Chuck, Serena, Dan and more, can't miss a tour of locations from the CW show "Gossip Girl." The 3-hour tour takes you to the stomping grounds of Manhattan's elite socialites. You'll visit more than 30 locations, such as the building used as the Constance Billard School for Girls and the steps of the Metropolitan Museum.