The good news is you can still virtually travel, albeit from your couch. We’ve done the research and come up with the best films that are guaranteed to scratch that travel itch, while you’re tucked up safely at home.
We’ll be breaking the movies down by region over a few blog posts and first up we’ve got a selection of films set in Europe.
So put your passport away, grab some popcorn and your remote control – you’re about to stream your way around the world!
Austria – Before Sunrise
If a stranger invites you to get off your train to tour the streets of Vienna, would you? Well that’s exactly what Celine has to decide, and that’s how the 12-hour love affair in Vienna begins, with no strings attached. Aimlessly walking the beautiful streets, the movie beautifully showcases Vienna’s landmarks, including the Maria Theresien Platz, the Maria am Gestade church and the Albertina Museum, which will entice you to plan your post-covid Vienna trip as it truly shows it at it’s best!
Belgium – In Bruges
Everyone makes mistakes in their job, but not quite like Ray does. Crushed by guilt from a job gone wrong and unimpressed with his surroundings, we follow Ray, and his partner, Ken, as they float around the medieval winding streets of one of Europe’s greatest treasures. Take in the gentle, touristy beauty of Bruges as these two hit men await orders for their next job. The more Ray complains about Bruges, the more you take in the surroundings and notice just how picturesque Bruges really is and why it’s considered ‘The Venice of the North’, it truly is the perfect setting for this dark and mesmerizing story.
England – Notting Hill
Notting Hill is a classic rom-com which perfectly portrays the vibrant West London neighbourhood in all its greatness, from colourful houses to the Portobello Road Markets, one of London’s notable street markets known for it’s second-hand clothes and antiques. It’s a tale of the sweet and awkward love story of an independent bookshop owner, and how his simple life is turned upside down when he falls in love with one of the most famous people on Earth.
France – Amelie
This quirky movie will take you all around Paris, with scenes taking place in a Parisian cafe, the Metro and the Basilica of the Sacré Cœur, along with gorgeous landscape shots and the beautiful French language, Paris has never looked so dreamy. If you’ve never been to Paris, you’ll want to plan a post-covid trip there after stepping into Amelie’s world. This whimsical, contemporary French classic shows the life of an imaginative waitress living in Montmartre as she goes on quite the personal adventure throughout the city. It’s as good as it gets for Paris inspiration and wanderlust.
Germany – The Book Thief
Ease yourself into the history of Nazi Germany and the horrors associated with it through the young eyes of a spirited young girl, Liesel. This is no movie about fighting, even though it is set during World War II, but rather focuses on the social consequences of the war on children and families throughout Germany, where two meals rather than three was the norm and Jews and Communists were simply getting ‘taken away’. Although the movie doesn’t portray the intensity and darkness of the holocaust expected during this time period like other movies, it perfectly encompasses the authenticity of those from small villages in Germany coping with the situation and their experiences in different ways, with some showing love and compassion, whilst others are turning into brainwashed bullies.
Greece – Mamma Mia
“Mamma Mia!” may be the best movie to immerse yourself in the beautiful panoramic views of Greece and virtually transport you to the Pelion region and colourful islands of Skopelos (known as Kalokairi in the movie) and Skiathos, whilst also singing along to some of the best ABBA hits there are! The film is built around these hit songs and tells the story of a young bride-to-be’s quest to figure out who her father is by inviting him to her wedding. The problem is, it could be one of three men, so she invites them all. You’ll truly wish you were on a Greek Island, surrounded by the Santorini blue and white houses, swimming in the crystal clear blue sea and singing ABBA songs after watching this movie.
Ireland – Once
Once stars a real-life local superstar, Glen Hansard, and tells the story of the busking scene within Dublin through the eyes of a street-loving musician. Although the story is heavily romanticised, it provides a great taste of the city’s artistic scene within Grafton Street and Temple Bar, with many successful bands paving their way by playing on the tiles at the beginning of their careers. Not only the artistic side of Dublin is portrayed but also the beautiful architecture of Georgian Dublin and the Irish countryside is strongly featured throughout. With panoramic views of the countryside alongside the ocean, you’ll wish you were riding on the back of Glen’s motorbike with wind rushing through your hair.
Italy – Murder Mystery
Netflix’s new action comedy stars Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler, I’m sure you don’t need much convincing to watch it. Murder Mystery will take you on a once in a life time cruise ride – in saying that, not the type you want to experience, as per the title. However, the journey starts off on the beautiful docks of the Mediterranean Sea in Malaga, Spain, and then moves to Italy. It will take you to some of the most gorgeous ports in Italy, give you some of the best views of Milan and an inside view of the Monaco Grand Prix. It was shot in a similar location as a James Bond movie, so watch out for that. And, while you’re at it, enjoy some action and comedy too!
The Netherlands – The Fault In Our Stars
After reading an unfinished novel, two terminally ill teenagers decide to track down its author in order to learn its ending. This journey takes them to Amsterdam, where they meet up with the mysterious novelist and discover that life rarely follows a set narrative. The pair explore the beautiful city of Amsterdam and visit some of it’s most famous sites, including The Anne Frank House, The Rijksmuseum, and Vondelpark. Admire Amsterdam for it’s art, it’s architecture and its culture, all from the comfort of your couch.
Scotland – Braveheart
When William’s secret bride is executed for assaulting an English soldier who attempted to rape her, he begins a revolt against King Edward I of England, who wishes to inherit the Scottish crown for himself. As William leads an uprising and takes his army to war, the movie will transport you on an epic journey across the most stunning locations throughout Scotland, taking you on a virtual tour of its undulating terrain, graceful glens, romantic isles, and ambiguous lochs. This film will not fail to hypnotize you with Scotland’s beauty.
Spain – Pan’s Labyrinth
Dive into Spain’s cultural heritage through the beautiful cinematography of Pan’s Labyrinth. It follows the story of Ofelia, a young girl and how she escapes into an eerie but captivating fantasy world. This movie provides beautiful panoramic views of Spain and provides a deep understanding of the rich history and regional identity of north Spain during the early years of Franco’s dictatorship, specifically Navarra, a region sandwiched between Castilla-La Mancha and Basque Country. The horrors of the real world and fantasy for Ofelia are perfectly intertwined in this intriguing story, so sit back, relax and explore the culture Spain has to offer throughout this movie.