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Set-Jetting: Exploring Iconic Movie Set Locations Around the World

From the rolling hills of New Zealand to the bustling streets of Tokyo, the world has played host to some of the most iconic movie sets that have enchanted viewers and sparked wanderlust. This unique form of travel, also known as "set-jetting," allows movie buffs and adventurers alike to step into the scenes of their favorite films, offering a tangible connection to the magic of the movies. Here's a guide to some of the most popular and breathtaking movie set locations around the globe that every film lover should add to their travel list. And don't forget to take the poll at the end of this article: If you could Set-Jet to any of these destinations, where would you go?


set jetting northern ireland
Giant's Causeway: Northern Ireland

1. Northern Ireland: "House of the Dragon"

Venture to the mystical landscapes of Northern Ireland, where rugged coastlines and historic castles set the scene for HBO's "House of the Dragon." Much like its predecessor "Game of Thrones," this region provides the perfect backdrop for the fiery tales of the Targaryens. Fans can explore Castle Ward in County Down, which doubles as the iconic setting for several Westeros locations, offering a journey through medieval history and fantasy alike.


set-jetting new zealand
'Hobbiton': New Zealand

2. New Zealand: "The Lord of the Rings" & "The Hobbit" Trilogies

New Zealand's lush landscapes became the real-world Middle-Earth under Peter Jackson’s directorial vision. The rolling hills of Matamata transformed into the peaceful Shire, home to the hobbits, with the set still open for visitors today. The Southern Alps doubled as the Misty Mountains, and the forests of Wellington became eerie backdrops for the Elves. A trip to New Logan is a pilgrimage for fans, offering guided tours that explore the detailed sets and breathtaking landscapes that framed the epic quests of hobbits and heroes.


set-jetting jordan
Lost City of Petra: Jordan

3. Jordan: "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" & "Lawrence of Arabia"

The rose-red city of Petra in Jordan, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, was featured prominently in "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade." The site's stunning architecture and desert landscapes make it an unforgettable destination not only for movie fans but also for history enthusiasts. Petra’s imposing façade, known as Al-Khazneh or The Treasury, appears as the entrance to the final resting place of the Holy Grail in the famed Indiana Jones series.


set-jetting Tokyo
Tokyo: Japan

4. Tokyo, Japan: "Lost in Translation"

The Park Hyatt Tokyo gained international fame through Sofia Coppola's "Lost in Translation," where it served as a backdrop for the burgeoning friendship between Scarlett Johansson and Bill Murray's characters. Visitors can emulate the film’s melancholic yet hopeful exploration of Tokyo by staying at the hotel, enjoying a drink at the New York Bar, and soaking in the sprawling, neon-lit city views that define the film's aesthetic.


set-jetting scotland
Scottish Higlands

5. Scotland: "Outlander"

Travel through time with a visit to Scotland, the scenic backdrop of "Outlander." The show, which shifts between the 1940s and the 18th century, makes use of Scotland’s stunning natural beauty and historic sites. From the ancient standing stones at Clava Cairns near Inverness, inspiring the show's fictional Craigh na Dun, to the majestic Doune Castle, portrayed as Castle Leoch in the series, Scotland offers a captivating blend of history and dramatic landscapes perfect for fans and history buffs alike.

And who could forget about "Skyfall"?

In "Skyfall," James Bond's loyalty to M is tested against the backdrop of his remote childhood home in the Scottish Highlands. The dramatic scenery surrounding Glen Coe was chosen to represent the rugged beauty and isolation of Bond’s familial estate, “Skyfall Lodge.” Though the lodge itself was a constructed set that no longer exists, the surrounding area remains a popular destination for its stunning valleys and ancient mountains, offering a dramatic sense of scale and solitude.


set-jetting thailand
Phi Phi Islands: Thailand

6. Thailand: "The Beach"

Leonardo DiCaprio's quest for paradise in "The Beach" leads him to the stunning Maya Bay on Ko Phi Phi Leh Island. The film catapulted this already beautiful location into the realms of a must-visit destination for travelers seeking crystal clear waters and idyllic sandy beaches. While the bay was closed for a period to recover from tourist impact, it has since reopened with restrictions to preserve its natural beauty.


set-jetting england
Bath: England

7. England: "Bridgerton"

Immerse yourself in the Regency-era elegance depicted in Netflix's "Bridgerton" by visiting some of England’s most picturesque locations. The grand estates and luxurious gardens seen throughout the series are often found in the English countryside. Bath, with its stunning Georgian architecture, serves as the setting for many of the exterior shots of Regency London, while the grand Wilton House in Wiltshire features as the Duke of Hastings' residence. Each location offers a glimpse into the lavish lifestyles and romantic intrigue of the Regency period. I



set-jetting downton abbey
Highclere Castle: Newbury, United Kingdon

8. England: "Downton Abbey"

Experience the aristocratic grandeur of "Downton Abbey" by visiting Highclere Castle in Hampshire, England. The castle serves as the main filming location for the beloved series and provides an authentic glimpse into the life of the British nobility in the early 20th century. Visitors can explore the opulent rooms and vast estate, which tell the tales of the Crawley family and offer a firsthand experience of the show's setting.


set-jetting Croatia
Dubrovnik: Croatia
9. Various Locations: "Game of Thrones"

While "Game of Thrones" may have concluded, the show's incredible filming locations across Europe continue to draw fans. From the dark forests of Northern Ireland to the ancient city of Dubrovnik, Croatia, which doubles as King’s Landing, the series offers diverse locales that bring the Seven Kingdoms to life. Each site promises an adventure, whether you’re stepping into the icy landscapes beyond the Wall or wandering the streets of the capital of Westeros.



If you could Set-Jet anywhere, where would you go?

  • 0%Northern Ireland

  • 0%Croatia

  • 0%New Zealand

  • 0%Thailand

You can vote for more than one answer.


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Author:
Jordana Manchester

Welcome to my passion project - the Storied Lands travel blog. Gather here for trip inspiration, stories, destination spotlights,  helpful tips, and thought-provoking discussions about important issues throughout the travel and tourism industry.

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