No mater how many incredibly scenic drives I experience around the world, there's always one…
Forget jet setting, we’re going set jetting! One of the many upsides to being in the golden age of television is that many shows are opting to film in a variety of incredible locations all around the world – locations we can visit for ourselves. From luxury resorts to gothic castles, why not plan a vacation based off your current favorite show? Step in your favorite character’s shoes and pretend you’re a part of the story. Below are some hottest shows of the last year or so for inspiration.
Where to Set Jet Based off Your Favorite TV Show or Movie
1. House of the Dragon
I think it’s safe to say that when the trailer dropped for the “House of Dragon,” many “Game of Thrones” fans reacted with intense skepticism. After all, I can’t think of any TV show that has had a bigger final season let down… ever! However, once the show dropped, it soon drew us all back in with its intriguing plot (are you Team Black or Team Green?) Even more importantly, it reminded us all that this show knows how to pick its filming locations. Here are some places you’ll want to see in person:
Most of the production of “House of Dragon” moved to England and you can spot some familiar landmarks as the show moves through fictional Westeros and Essos. Cornwall featured quite a bit from Holywell Beach as Stepstones or St. Michael’s Mount as Driftmark. Over in Derbyshire, you can see the real life Vale of Arryn in Castleton. If you really want to visit every single location, know that many English beaches and coasts were used to bring Westeros to life.
Spain & Portugal
Just like “Game of Thrones,” “House of the Dragon” looked towards Spain for some of its more sun-drenched locations. Cáceres and Santa Clotilde Gardens were used to recreate King’s Landing while La Calahorra was used for both Pentos and Dragonstone. Monsanto in Portugal was also used for Dragonstone.
Bonus: If you’re already planning a Westeros-themed trip to Europe, add in some of the famous locations from “Game of Thrones.” Think Dubrovnik, Croatia, Belfast, Northern Ireland, Seville, Spain, and many, many spots around Iceland!
2. Emily in Paris
“Emily in Paris” is a candy-colored romp of a show that sees an American wind up in Paris working at a marketing firm. As you might guess, all sorts of culture clashes occur. While this lighthearted show has caused quite a… spirited conversation, there’s no doubt they really know how to bring Paris, and, now, the South of France to life. Here’s where you can visit in the show:
Paris – of course!
One of the things I love about the show is recognizing many of the places they film at. From the Jardin du Palais Royal to a number of landmarks around Montmartre, it’s easy to see why many fans want to follow Emily’s footsteps through the City of Lights. I will warn you though, Paris is one of the most overly romanticized cities in the world. My best tip is to remember it’s still a living, breathing city with all sorts of “normal” things that might not make anyone’s Instagram feeds. You can enjoy this magical city if you just make sure you’re not expecting something crisp and clean straight out of a heavily edited photo!
I’m also going to guess many of the hotels, cafes, bars, and restaurants will be full of reservations from other Emily fans. Luckily Paris is full of historic hotels and quaint cafes, so you can recreate some of your favorite moments even if it’s not at exactly the same place. Not to mention, you can always find the Eiffel Tower glittering in the night from plenty of spots around the city – including on the metro!
South of France
Despite the name, the show doesn’t just film in Paris. In Season 2, they head down to the beautiful French Riviera – specifically Villefranche-sur-Mer, the very fancy Grand Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat, and St. Tropez.
Luckily, you don’t need to shell out thousands of dollars a night to enjoy this region. There are plenty of more affordable options to stay and with the South of France’s rail system, it’s easy to hop on and visit any number of villages dotting the coastline.
3. The Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power
Set thousands of years before the movies, “Rings of Power” was created based on Tolkien’s Middle-earth history. It’s sort of an origin story that helps set up the events we see later – like the creation of the rings and the rise of the Dark Lord Sauron. As you might guess, show creators returned to iconic landscapes of New Zealand to help bring the Middle-earth we saw in Peter Jackson’s cinematic masterpieces back to life.
The majority of the location shoots happened on New Zealand’s North Island with the main production studios situated in Auckland. Head over to the Denize Bluffs in Mangaotaki Valley to see the real life Harfoot territory. For super fans, you may also recognize it as Trollshaw Forest in The Hobbit. Check out the surfers from the black sand shores of Piha Beaches and imagine what it would’ve been like being stranded here following the Sundering seas. Other key filming locations you can visit are Hauraki Gulf and Coromandel Peninsula.
A number of epic locations were picked in South Island as well. You can easily recognize the mountainous landscapes of Fiordland National Park in the show. Meanwhile Central Otago is real life Eregion and Khazad-dûm and Kahurangi National Park was used for lush wildlands of Rhovanion.
Bonus: While you’re in New Zealand, check out many spots used in the LoTR and The Hobbit trilogies. Think places like Hobbiton and Nelson, where you can even do a helicopter tour to Mt. Olympus!
4. White Lotus
Is any show more primed to be a set jet show than “White Lotus”? Inspired by creator Mike White’s time on “Survivor,” each season features a new cast, story, and location. The one thing they have in common is that they are set at one of the fictional White Lotus luxury resorts and feature an ensemble of colorful guests and the hotel staff that has to put up with them.
Season 1 takes place on Wailea Beach in Maui, Hawai’i. While White Lotus itself is a fictional hotel brand, the cast did take over the Four Seasons Maui to bring the resort to life. Although, the fun themed rooms you hear debated about in the show were actually inspired by Madonna Inn in San Luis Obiso!
I do want to note that if you want to set jet to Hawai’i, I recommend taking some time to do some research on the current situation when you go and listen to native Hawaiians on how to respectfully visit.
For season 2, viewers were transported to White Lotus’s Sicily location! Not only is the cast on a quintessentially Italian vacation, they did more than hang around the resort. This means that while you may not be able to stay at the real life White Lotus in the San Domenico, a Four Seasons hotel, you can still stop by many of the places our onscreen guests ventured out to. The hotel itself is set in Taormina, which is a historic town that sits upon a cliff along Sicily’s east coast.
You can also be like Daphne and Harper and plan a girls’ trip to the charming town of Noto. Sitting at the foot of the Iblean Mountains, it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its baroque architecture. Be sure to visit Palazzo Ducezio and town hall especially! Another notable location is Castello degli Schiavi, aka the castle made famous in The Godfather and visited by the DiGrasso family in the show.
Who else loved the return of our favorite morbid, deadpan teenager – this time with a Tim Burton twist?
In the show, Wednesday heads to Nevermore Academy in Jericho, VT – a truly gothic setting that matches the mystery of the show. To get this feel, the Netflix show was actually filmed in Romania.
If you’re following the filming locations, start out in the beautiful city of Bucharest! First join a studio tour of Buftea where the show held its main operations. See how they recreated the town of Jerich for both town scenes and, of course, Pilgrim World. Two other key locations are Palatul Monteoru (Monteoru House) and the Gradina Botanica Dimitrie Brândza (Bucharest Botanical Garden). The Monteoru House was used for a number of Nevermore interiors. In real life, it dates back to 1874 and was once the headquarters for the Writers’ Union of Romania. Apparently it turns into a nightclub on the weekends! Meanwhile the botanical garden was used, of course, for botany classes.
Further out, see the exterior of Nevermore at Cantacuzino Castle in Bușteni! Finished in 1911, this Neo-Romanian castle was once the summer residence for Prince Grigore Cantacuzino’s family before becoming a sanatorium and then opening up for visitors.
Bonus: While you’re visiting Cantacuzino Castle, stop over at nearby Peleș Castle. You might recognize it from holiday movies like A Princess for Christmas, A Christmas Prince, Royal Matchmaker, and more.
And there you have it a few shows and their real life filming locations to get you thinking about your own set jet vacation! Which show have you watched lately that’s made you add somewhere new to your list? Sound off below!