The itch to travel is hard to fend off, especially when you aren't really allowed to go anywhere because of COVID-19. But movies are a solid alternative to ease any aching wanderlust. When you can’t physically stroll through the sun-drenched streets of Paris or hitchhike to the Alaskan wilderness, you can do so vicariously through compelling characters who, honestly, may have a more enthralling experience than you ever would IRL. There’s truly no shortage of travel films, but these works do the cities they portray justice.
Roman Holiday (1953)
Entirely shot in Rome, this classic black and white film starring Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck will have you longing for an epic romance in a far-off city. This fairy tale between royalty and a commoner–a European princess and an American reporter–paired with humour will not disappoint.
Midnight in Paris (2011)
Have you ever felt nostalgia for an era you didn’t live through? This movie tackles that idealized yearning through a screenwriter, played by Owen Wilson, who finds himself mysteriously going back to the 1920s every day at midnight while on a trip to Paris with his fiancée's family.
Under the Tuscan Sun (2003)
Going on a tour of Italy after you discover your husband is cheating on you seems like the right response. In this rom-com, a new divorcée does just that and takes it one step further by impulsively buying a rural Tuscan villa to start her new life in. It’s a struggle at first, but meeting a hot Italian man makes up for it.
The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)
The vibrant set designs alone will draw you to this film. Set in the 1930s, it follows the concierge and lobby boy of a popular European ski resort where the service goes above and beyond–including meeting the needs of some of its guests. When one of the concierge’s lovers dies, he is left with a priceless painting and becomes the suspect in her murder.
In the 24th James Bond film, as with most of the others, the British secret agent crosses several borders with each location fully action-packed. The film opens in Mexico City and hits Austria, Italy, Morocco, and, of course, the U.K. throughout.
Crazy Rich Asians (2018)
ICYMI, this rom-com features gorgeous views of Singapore and Malaysia. It follows Rachel Chu, who discovers her boyfriend Nick comes from a filthy rich family when she accompanies him to Singapore for a wedding. How can a girl find a man like that? Asking for a friend.
Into The Wild (2007)
After graduating from college, Christopher McCandless decides to forgo a profitable career and money from his wealthy parents in favour of a solo journey to the Alaskan wilderness. Along the way, he stops in the wheat fields of South Dakota, rafts down the Colorado River, and encounters people from all walks of life.
Before Sunrise (1995)
The first in a trilogy, this film hits that brief daydream that sweeps over you when you notice an attractive passerby: forging a romantic connection with a total stranger while in a public place in a beautiful city. The spontaneity! The romance! What more could you want?
Murder on the Orient Express (1974)
You could watch the 2017 remake of this whodunit, but the 1974 version hits different with its ensemble cast who portray a whole range of murder suspects from an American widow, to a Russian princess, to a Hungarian diplomat, with a Belgian detective at the helm of it all. IMO, it makes train travel look exceedingly glamorous.
P.S. I Love You (2007)
This movie will have you in full-blown tears, so make sure you have tissues, a pillow, or shoulder to cry on. It follows a grieving widow who receives letters from her dead husband for her 30th birthday that and are designed to help her move on.
Lion follows the astonishing true story of an Indian boy who got lost on a train, ended up miles from home, had to survive on his own, and then eventually got adopted by an Australian couple. Decades later, he uses Google Earth to track down his family.
Call Me By Your Name (2017)
Consider Call Me By Your Name a chance to ride bikes through the countryside of Lombardy, Italy, read books in age-old piazzas, and discover archaeological finds in the waters of Lake Garda. Also, Timothée Chalamet. Need I say more?
In Bruges (2008)
Two hitmen end up having to hide out in Bruges in this crime comedy. One really hates the small Belgian city, and the other finds the beauty in it. They encounter everyone from tourists to locals, and there's even a potential budding romance for one.
Lost in Translation (2003)
This rom-com follows the love story between an American actor having a mid-life crisis and an American woman who accompanies her husband on a business trip to Tokyo. If anything, it will make you fall in love with Japanese capital if you don't already have it on your travel bucket list.
Queen of Katwe (2016)
This biographical drama tells the story of 10-year-old Phiona and her family in Uganda. When she becomes quite taken with the game of chess, her skills give her the chance to escape poverty.
Last Holiday (2006)
When she finds out she only has three weeks to live, Georgia Byrd, played by Queen Latifah, withdraws her life savings and heads to Europe to live it up like a millionaire. Sounds like a fantastic way to spend your final days, no?
Thelma and Louise (1991)
This on-the-road film centres on two working-class women who need an escape from the men in their lives. While at a bar, Louise ends up killing a man, and the two decide to go on the run to Mexico. They eventually end up at the Grand Canyon, where they have to make a heavy decision.
Letters to Juliet (2010)
Even if you don't have an epic love out there to maybe one day reconnect with, the thought of it is hopelessly romantic. This film will have you wanting to book your next trip to Verona as soon as possible.
Via Cosmopolitan US