It’s time to book a trip to visit the fabulous places you’ve seen in the movies. Guess what? They’re even more spectacular in real life, and you can get there via Air France.
London Movie Sights
Royal weddings aside, London is one of the most popular family travel destinations mostly thanks to Harry Potter. In fact, we visited last summer for a Harry Potter London vacation. It is entirely possible to immerse in this wizarding world while simultaneously seeing the best London attractions. And, there are even more sights in London to see based on movies.
Located in the financial district, Leadenhall Market is a covered pedestrianized market and one of the oldest in the city, dating back to the 14th century. We love its Victorian arcades lined with shops, cafes, and especially the cheesemonger called Cheese.
Leadenhall Market was used as the site of Diagon Alley and the Leaky Cauldron in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001).
Before Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts in Notting Hill (1999) made the London West End neighborhood a household name, it was (and still is) a lovely mostly residential area famous for colorful row houses and the Portobello Road antique market. We also like visiting Notting Hill’s many restaurants and browsing its bookshops.
Take a walk across the famous Tower Bridge, just like Bridget Jones did in Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (2004). It has served as a backdrop for many other movies including Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (2015).
And, the Tower of London, a must-see London attraction with its history as a palace and prison (and let’s not forget the Royal Jewels inside) awaits just steps away. It’s fun to walk on the glass observation walkway if you’re in London with kids.
See also: 10 Best Day Trips from London
Cannes Film Festival, Beaches, and Glamorous Hotels
The location of one of the world’s most famous film festivals is Cannes along the gorgeous French Riviera. Visit Cannes any time of the year to see where the festival is held in addition to some sights you’ve likely seen in the movies and travel magazines.
When in Cannes, enjoying the beach is a must. Some hotels have private beaches, but there are plenty of public ones as well where anyone can rent a lounge chair, umbrella or locker to enjoy the shoreline and a swim in the Mediterranean Sea.
Cannes beaches have appeared on the big screen, notably in Rust and Bone (2013) where Marion Cotillard’s character swims for the first time after an accident.
I do love a luxury hotel with history and this one, built in 1911 has seen its fair share. Hotel Carlton has been the host of many movie stars, especially during the Cannes Film Festival, and film sets including Alfred Hitchcock’s To Catch a Thief (1954) with Grace Kelly and Carey Grant. It’s also where Grace Kelly met Prince Ranier III of Monaco, whom she married shortly after.
It’s not movie-related, but Elton John fans will appreciate that the Hotel Carlton is featured in his “I’m Still Standing” music video. It’s home to 343 rooms and suites, many with stunning sea views.
Speaking of luxury, be sure to check Air France’s list of luxe things to do in Cannes
Palais des Festivals (Cannes Film Festival)
The Palais des Festivals is where the Cannes Film Festival, a prestigious showcase for European films, is now held. The Festival’s success meant that it had outgrown other venues, so the decision was made to build the Modernist facility here on the site of the municipal Casino.
Follow in the footsteps of the stars by taking a guided tour of the Palais des Festivals.
See also: French Riviera: Stay and Play in These Popular Spots
Experience Bollywood in Mumbai
It’s the home of Hindi cinema, affectionately called Bollywood (Bombay-meets-Hollywood), and a place that’s been on my travel bucket list for some time. Over a hundred movies are shot here every year. Among the most famous worldwide is likely Slumdog Millionaire (2008).
Film City (Dadasaheb Phalke Nagar)
Film City was built by the government in 1977 to facilitate the making of Bollywood movies. In fact, nearly all of them are filmed here. It was renamed to Dadasaheb Phalke Nagarin 2001 after India’s first producer-director-screenwriter.
The massive film studio complex is home to various sets including a prison, lake, mountains, fountains, villages, helipad and a human-made waterfall and much more. The public can take a two-hour guided tour of the facilities.
The world’s largest open-air laundromat and well-known Mumbai attraction, Dhobi Ghat, also has a movie based on it. Dhobi Ghat (Mumbai Diaries) (2018) is about a complicated love story between an investment banker/photographer and her washer, known as a dhobi.
Dhobi Ghat was built during the British Raj in 1890. Over 200 families live here with dhobi techniques passed down between generations. If you’d like to see the colorful clothes hanging, go later in the day.
Taj Mahal Palace Hotel
Reopened in 2010 after renovations due to the deadly 2008 Mumbai attacks, this Indo-Gothic style five-star hotel is better than ever. This, for you luxury hotel lovers, is the flagship hotel of the Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces and where many dignitaries, US Presidents, and royalty have laid their heads.
When it comes to movies, the soon-to-be-released American-Australian thriller movie Hotel Mumbai is based on a documentary Surviving Mumbai (2009) that chronicles the survivors of the Mumbai attacks at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel.
Haji Ali Dargah
(I’ve wanted to see this for some time. I’m sure it’s been featured in movies, too, but think it’s worth a mention.)
One of the most popular sights in all of Mumbai is the Haji Ali Dargah mosque and tomb, built in 1431 as a tribute to a wealthy merchant (he is buried here) who gave up all of his wealth before a pilgrimage to Mecca. It’s situated on an island and accessible by a long walkway only during low tides. The timing of your visit is everything.
Which movies have inspired you to travel?
Katie Dillon is the managing editor of La Jolla Mom. She helps readers plan San Diego vacations through her hotel expertise (that stems from living in a Four Seasons hotel) and local connections. Readers have access to exclusive discounts on theme park tickets (like Disneyland and San Diego Zoo) and perks at luxury hotels worldwide through her. She also shares insider tips for visiting major cities worldwide like Hong Kong, London, Paris, and Shanghai that her family has either lived in or visits regularly (or both).
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