For your next trip, why not see where your favourite movie or TV series was filmed? Film tourism is gaining in popularity every year and no wonder – a trip around the location of your favourite film is the ultimate movie experience! Here are five great options for journeys in the footsteps of your favourite screen characters. Discover new places while immersing yourself in the world of characters from productions like Friends, Harry Potter, The White Lotus, Game of Thrones and The Witcher.

Friends – New York

A list of iconic screen destinations couldn’t start any other way. Friends is one of the most popular TV series of all time. Although the first episodes were shot in way back in 1994, the fate of Joey, Chandler, Phoebe, Rachel, Ross and Monica, the iconic Friends cast, remains popular to this day. The titular friends are sassy New York residents and now fans of the show can follow in their footsteps, heading to Central Perk, the cafe from Friends before snapping a selfie in front of Monica’s apartment. Unfortunately, Central Perk cafe is, like much of the iconic set, located inside the Warner Brothers studio in Los Angeles. However, New York remains the backdrop to the series, so if your destination is Central Perk New York, head to Greenwich Village.

90 Bedford Street, the front of the building known as Central Perk from
90 Bedford Street, the front of the building known as Central Perk from “Friends © Ana Lanza on Unsplash

It is here, at 90 Bedford Street (Christopher Street-Sheridan Square subway station), that you’ll find the corner tenement house whose facade was featured as the building housing the famous cafe as well as Monica’s apartment. You’ll see plenty of Friends fans taking photos in front of the “Little Owl” restaurant that currently occupies the space. So where was Friends filmed in New York? Other screen locations include the Solow Building skyscraper, where Chandler worked and the nearby Plaza Hotel, where Monica and Chandler celebrated their engagement. If you want to feel like Joey, visit the Lucille Lortel Theatre where he trod the boards as a jobbing actor.

Imagine walking back to your hotel, humming ‘I’ll Be There For You’ by The Rembrandts under your breath as you pass by locations that look like the backdrop for a TV series. This vision could come true if you choose The New Yorker, A Wyndham Hotel for your NYC stay. It’s just a 30-minute stroll from the famous Greenwich Village townhouse where Central Perk was set and just steps from New York attractions such as the Jacob Javits Center, Penn Station and Madison Square Garden. It’s also right next to a subway station, which is a huge bonus in such a big city.

Harry Potter – London

Another iconic production that remains just as popular today as on its release, if you want to see the props, costumes, and sets from the Harry Potter films with your own eyes, be sure to visit Warner Bros Studios in Leavesden, just outside of London. Buy a train ticket from London Euston station to Watford Junction – the journey takes approximately 20 minutes and a shuttle bus will be waiting to take you straight to the studios in Leavesden.

Prefer to visit the real Harry Potter filming locations in London? Let’s start with Platform 9 ¾ at King’s Cross Station, where the Hogwarts Express departed. A commemorative plaque hangs in this busy working train terminus, alongside a trolley on which the wizard’s luggage was placed – the queue to take a photo here is always long, but worth it! Interestingly, the external shots of the station were actually the neighbouring St. Pancras, while Hogsmeade train station is located at Goathland Station in North Yorkshire.

Platform 9 and 3/4 from
Platform 9 and 3/4 from “Harry Potter” at King’s Cross station known in London © Sarah Ehlers on Unsplash

Where is Hogwarts located? Scenes at the wizarding school were shot, among others, at Alnwick Castle in Oxfordshire and at Lacoc Abbey in Wiltshire. Other places recommended for a Harry Potter tour in London include Leadenhall Market and The Glass House pub – better known as The Leaky Cauldron.

For your stay in the UK capital, we recommend The Royal Horseguards Hotel in the heart of London. Any budding wizard or witch will feel right at home here –  awaken the magic as you take in views of the Victorian architecture and the charming secret garden. It’s only a few minutes’ walk from King’s Cross railway station, where you’ll find the famous Platform 9 and ¾, as well as plenty of other locations that inspired JK Rowling or served as settings for the Harry Potter films.

The White Lotus – Sicily

It’s time for an iconic holiday scene, and more precisely, sultry Sicily. It was here that The White Lotus season 2 was filmed. The fate of the employees and guests at this holiday resort has captivated fans around the world, just like the locations featured in the series. Where was “White Lotus” filmed? The centre of the action takes place at the San Domenico Palace (Piazza S. Domenico de Guzman 5). The five-star resort featured in Taormina was once a monastery and its picturesque hilltop location, array of guest amenities and references to the now globally-renowned TV series make it hard to get a reservation. If you do manage to snag a booking, expect to pay more for the expensive accommodation, but it’s still worth seeing the stunning interiors for yourself.

San Domenico Palace where
San Domenico Palace where “The White Lotus” was filmed © shutterstock

Where was the series filmed, more specifically the shots at the beach club? Head to the village of Giardini Naxos where “La Cambusa” restaurant doubled as the club. Where else was White Lotus filmed? In Noto, Cefalu and the baroque villa Castello degli Schiavi in Fiumefreddo di Sicilia. To follow in the footsteps of the characters of your favourite show, it is best to rent a car on arrival. After all, the Sicilian sun is sometimes better with a touch of air-conditioning. Want to know more about the island itself? Read the story from our visit to Catania.

Game of Thrones – Croatia

There is probably nobody on earth who hasn’t heard of Game of Thrones. Much of the production was shot in Croatia, especially in Dubrovnik and the city of Split. Let’s start with the most frequently asked question from fans of the series – Where is the Game of Thrones throne now? Make your way to the city port of Dubrovnik, from where there are regular boat trips to the island of Lokrum. This is the serial city of Qarth and it is here that you can take a commemorative photo on the iron throne.

Returning to Dubrovnik itself, the city doubled as King’s Landing, i.e. the capital of the Seven Kingdoms. A walk around the Old Town will make you feel like you’re on a production set. Baroque stairs to the Church of St. Ignatius will certainly remind you of the stairs to the Great Sept of Baelor and you will also cover Cersei’s penitential route, leading through m. st. Dominica. The role of the Red Fortress fell to the Lovrijenac fortress, while the House of the Undead to the Minčeta Tower.

Jesuit Stairs in Dubrovnik known from Game of Thrones © iStock
Jesuit Stairs in Dubrovnik known from Game of Thrones © iStock

So where else was Game of Thrones filmed? Other locations from the production include Bokar Fortress and Gradac Park. However, Game of Thrones in Croatia also includes other cities, including Split. Diocletian’s Palace played the role of Daenerys’ throne room and dragons’ storage while the Klis Fortress is the city of Meereen in the series.

If you want to enter the epic world of Game of Thrones during your stay in Croatia, it’s worth staying at the Cornaro Hotel. It’s just a minute’s walk from Diocletian’s Palace in Split, where many scenes with Daenerys and her dragons were filmed. As well as comfortable accommodation, this elegant hotel has a bar and a rooftop pool, open in the high season from April onwards, with panoramic views of the city. Feel like a Lord of Westeros as you enjoy the luxury and the unique atmosphere of this hotel.

The Witcher – Budapest

The recreation of Sapkowski’s novel is one of the most popular Netflix productions. Where was The Witcher filmed? The first season of the series was shot in Hungary. So, where is the Witchers castle? In Budapest, head to the City Park, home to Vajdahunyad Castle from the 20th century. You’ll also find the Kiscelli Museum – the location for the wizard’s ball in Aretuza.

Vajdahunyad Castle in Budapest where Netflix's
Vajdahunyad Castle in Budapest where Netflix’s “The Witcher” was filmed © Nick Night on Unsplash

In the heart of Budapest, where the echoes of ancient battles and enchantments still reverberate through the historic streets, you will find the President Hotel –  a refuge for adventurers and mysteries from the world of The Witcher. Situated next to the majestic St Stephen’s Basilica, the roof terrace overlooks the city as if it were the noble seat of kings and wizards. The Hungarian parliament is a ten-minute walk away, andVajdahunyad Castle a forty-minute walk.

About 50 km from the Hungarian capital there is Tata Castle, located right by Lake Öreg. It was here that Geralt met Yennefer. It is also close to the Shelim Cave in Tatabánya, approximately 15 minutes away by car. Another popular stop in the footsteps of Geralt of Rivia is the town of Szentendre, approximately 30 km from Budapest.



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