6 Famous Filming Locations In Europe That You Can Visit
There’s something thrilling about visiting a movie or television series location in person. Perhaps it has something to do with bringing the intangible to life, or making the leap from your sofa to reality. It definitely also has to do with the fact that these locations were chosen for a reason – usually their natural beauty, distinct details, or unique architecture. Whatever your reason for visiting them might be, there are many famous filming locations in Europe that you can reach by train.
6 filming locations in Europe to visit
1. The Godfather: Sicily, Italy
The author of iconic gangster film The Godfather was inspired by real-life events perpetrated by Sicily’s notorious mafia. A visit to this Italian island will instantly transport you to the real-life set version of the film. While the Corleone family that features in the movie comes from the Sicilian town of Corleone, most of the scenic shots come from Savoca.
If you want to take in as many iconic filming locations as possible, consider going on one of the many Godfather tours offered in the region.
How to get there: You can reach Sicily by train from the Italian mainland by traveling to the port of Villa San Giovanni or Reggio Calabria on the tip of the peninsula. There, the trains board large barges that cross to Messina.
2. The Sound of Music: Salzburg, Austria
The Austrian city of Salzburg is famously beautiful. The towering mountains and fairytale castle above a bustling old town mean this city a must-visit in its own right. But add to its credentials that it was the location for one of the world’s most popular and influential musicals, and you’ve got a truly captivating city to explore.
The Sound of Music references and locations are hard to miss. The best way to explore them all is by organized tour.
How to get there: High-speed EuroCity and RailJet trains link Salzburg with several European cities, including Vienna, Graz, Innsbruck, Budapest, Prague, Munich, and Zurich.
3. Game of Thrones: Dubrovnik, Croatia
The most famous European filming location of late is for one of the decade’s most popular television shows, Game of Thrones. You’ll find familiar scenes in at least three European cities, but none as dramatic and enthralling as those you’ll find in Dubrovnik.
The city’s Old Town, now known to fans of the show as King’s Landing, is a beautiful place to explore – whether or not you’re a fan of the show. And, however unlikely it might be, the excitement of potentially bumping into cast and crew is ever-present.
How to get there: Dubrovnik doesn’t have a train station, but your Eurail Pass will get you to the nearby towns of Ploče or Split. From there, you can get to Dubrovnik by bus.
4. Amadeus: Prague, Czech Republic
Prague has an impressively long list of film location credentials. It dates back to the early 1970s, when Hollywood producers saw how they could combine the magic of the city’s architecture with a wide range of intriguing plots. The most famous classic movie filmed in Prague may well be the 1984 release Amadeus, which used several familiar outdoor locations.
More recent blockbusters such as Mission Impossible, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and Casino Royale have continued to attract movie buffs from around the world in search of the original filming locations.
5. The Good, The Bad and the Ugly: Almería, Spain
The Andalusian city of Almería and its nearby Desert of Tabernas have been the backdrop for dozens of famous films, including several iconic spaghetti westerns by Italian director Sergio Leone. Are you a fan of Clint Eastwood classics such as The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly and A Fistful of Dollars? This stark, beautiful region of southern Spain will be instantly recognizable.
Cleopatra and King of Kings were also shot nearby. The most decorated Almería film to date is still Lawrence of Arabia, which walked away with 7 Oscars.
How to get there: There are at least two daily trains to Almería from Madrid that take approximately 6 hours. There are also several daily trains from Seville and Granada.
6. Mamma Mia: Skiathos and Skopelos islands, Greece
The extravagant musical movie Mamma Mia stars some of Hollywood’s biggest names. It drew large crowds to Greece, especially to the stunning island of Skiathos. There you’ll find familiar tavernas, beautiful sandy beaches, and glorious sunshine that will make you fall in love with this spectacular island – and the film – all over again.
If you want the full Mamma Mia package, the nearby island of Skopelos also featured prominently in the movie.
How to get there: You’ll need to take a ferry from nearby Volos to reach the island of Skiathos. There are regional and high-speed trains that connect to Volos to other Greek cities that may require at least one change, including Athens and Thessaloniki.
Whether you actively seek out all-time classic filming locations in Europe, or suddenly realize you’ll be crossing paths with one on your next rail journey, be sure to make an effort to immerse yourself in the destination. Seeing these locations in the flesh can be an immensely rewarding experience. With a Eurail Pass you’ll be able to reach many film sets and more!