Live like the main character at these underrated Europe destinations featured in iconic movies and TV series

by Jermina

As a huge movie buff, I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve secretly wished that I could be transported into the big screen because of the stunning views and historic landmarks it has to offer. 

That being said, there’s only so much that you can see on screen which is totally different than actually being there in person. 

Can anyone else relate? 

To take matters into my own hands, here are 10 underrated places to travel to Europe featured in popular movies and shows like Harry Potter, Avengers and more. 

Here’s your chance to immerse yourself into the world of your favourite movie and live out your main character moment. 

1. Glenfinnan Viaduct Railway in Scotland — Harry Potter (2001–2011) 

Photo: IMDB

After watching Harry Potter, I’d secretly hoped for my own Hogwarts letter to arrive by owl but unfortunately it never did come (sadly)

If anyone is feeling similar sentiments, a visit to Glenfinnan Viaduct Railway in Scotland might just have to do it for now. 

Europe travel places
Photo: The Jacobite Trail/facebook

For those who aren’t familiar with this location, it’s the scene that features the golden trio riding the Hogwarts Express on the way to Hogwarts. 

Ring a bell now? 

Europe travel places
Photo: @morgan_the_druid/instagram

To get on the railway, you’d have to get tickets to board the Jacobite Steam Train AKA Harry Potter Steam Train. 

Besides crossing the iconic bridge, you’ll get a peek of the Glenfinnan Monument, Loch Shiel and an attractive view of the Scottish Highlands

Otherwise, you can head to the two main viewpoints at the Glenfinnan Visitor Centre to get shots of the train crossing. Be sure to arrive earlier for the most optimal photo spot!

2. Skellig Michael in Ireland — Star Wars Episode VII (2015)

Photo: IMDB

Star Wars is another iconic film franchise that has gained much support and love from beloved fans across the world. 

This is your chance to live like Luke Skywalker in Episode VII in Skellig Michael, Ireland talk about the most dramatic cliffhanger.

Since it is a remote island, this is one of the travel places in Europe you can expect to spend at least a full day exploring. 

Europe travel places
Photo: @essocakes/instagram

Although you’ll have to climb up the steep and rocky steps to reach the summit, it’ll be worth basking in the sun and soaking in the tranquillity from the ocean

Besides that, explore the magnificent structure at The Skellig Michael Monastery or take the eco boat tour if you’re not a fan of heights but still want to catch a glimpse of the island (and spot some adorable puffins).

3. Lyme Park in Disley, Cheshire — Pride and Prejudice (1995)

Photo: IMDB

For all the hopeless romantics, it’s no secret that Pride and Prejudice has become a cult classic (it basically invented the enemies to lovers trope)

If you remember watching Elizabeth Bennet and Mr Darcy first meet at the lake near the Pemberley estate in the BBC version, you might want to read on. 

Europe travel places
Photo: @thattravelergirl/instagram

Reenact your very own scene at the Lyme Mansion (Mr Darcy’s home) in Disley, Cheshire which welcomes visitors, alongside an entrance fee.

Europe travel places
Photo: @bigm0se/instagram

Discover stunning mediaeval, Elizabethan and renaissance-style features decorated all throughout the grand mansion. 

To fully embody the period drama, have some afternoon tea in Lyme Park overlooking a charming view of the pond or simply head to Timber Yard Cafe for tea and scones

4. Dubrovnik in Croatia — Game of Thrones (2011–2019)

Photo: IMDB

Filled with betrayals, wars between noble families and fiery dragons, Game of Thrones is filled with exhilarating plot lines that I just can’t get enough of. 

Did you know that the majority of the King’s Landing scenes were actually filmed in Dubrovnik, Croatia? 

Europe travel places
Photo: Dubrovnik Tourist Board: Experience Dubrovnik/facebook

This ancient city has lots to offer including Game of Thrones ultimate tours and massive stone walls surrounding Dubrovnik. 

Even though you might not get to ride an actual dragon like Daenerys Targaryen, you can still appreciate the exquisite sea views at cafes that have plenty of coffee options and handcrafted cocktails.

5. Mirabellgarten in Salzburg, Austria — The Sound of Music (1965)

Photo: IMDB

Musicals can be a refreshing change amongst the many blockbusters, rom-coms and fantasy movies. 

That said, nothing beats The Sound of Music if you’re in search of some wholesome and heartwarming vibes. 

Europe travel places
Photo: @msubaby_/instagram

One song that always gets stuck in my head is Do Re Mi, featuring Maria and the children dancing on the garden stairs. 

Well, that iconic backdrop is an actual place in Europe called the angel staircase in Mirabellgarten, situated in Salzburg, Austria

Photo: @terenceyu7186/instagram

Take a stroll in the garden as it boasts numerous statues including the Roman gods like Hercules, Apollo and Venus — now you don’t need to travel to the Vatican City just to see the sculptures. 

There’s also the Pegasus Fountain and baroque marble hall in the Mirabell Palace just waiting to have your photos taken. 

6. Skopelos Town in Greece — Mamma Mia (2008)

Photo: IMDB

If you’re in a light-hearted mood, Mamma Mia is another musical to consider for playful romance and wacky moments. 

Visit the Kastani Beach with crystal clear waters and white sand which appeared during the song, Lay All Your Love On Me

It’s probably one of the most stunning places in Europe to travel to.

Photo: @niinanviemana/instagram

Otherwise, explore over three hundred churches, including the Agios Ioannis Chapel that’s situated on top of the rock where Sophie’s wedding took place. 

If you want to experience life as a local, you mustn’t skip out the horseshoe waterfront walk to admire the town’s architecture and old harbour.

7. Kaufhaus in Gorlitz, Germany — Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)

Photo: IMDB

There’s nothing more aesthetically pleasing than a Wes Anderson movie, especially the Grand Budapest Hotel

Best believe that you can find a few of these filming locations like the Kaufhaus — used as the setting for the hotel’s reception area — in Gorlitz, Germany

Europe travel places
Photo: @servus.darek/instagram

Although it’s currently closed, you can always visit other landmarks that made a movie appearance like The Holy Trinity Church

Afterwards, you should grab a bite at Untermarkt, which houses small cafes and occasional festivals. Don’t forget to try out the highly raved Restaurant Destille for local fare like Königsberger meatballs, Potato Rosti and more.

8. Alsace in France — Beauty and the Beast (1991)

Photo: IMDB

“I want adventure in the great wide somewhere! I want it more than I can tell!”

If you’re feeling like Belle from Beauty and the Beast, you’ve got to check out Alsace, France the inspiration behind her hometown. 

This is probably the most aesthetic village amongst the other underrated destinations in Europe. 

Europe travel places
Photo: @alsace/instagram

It features fairytale-like villages like Eguisheim boasting lush gardens, florals and buildings with personality. 

Think brightly coloured half-timbered houses in pastel pink, blue and yellow with pointed roofs. 

For people who enjoy drinking, you have to go for wine tours to have a taste of local white wine and explore scenic vineyards. 

9. Jökulsárlón Glacier Lake in Iceland — James Bond: Die Another Day (2002)

Photo: IMDB

There’s a reason the James Bond series has remained so popular even after sixty years.

Audiences just love the adrenaline-filled blockbuster, especially the legendary car chase scene in Die Another Day which was filmed in Jökulsárlón Glacier Lake, Iceland

Photo: @na_rchive23/instagram

If you actually take the time to notice, it’s a stunning lagoon surrounded by towering icebergs and glaciers. 

Go for glacier hiking and ice cave tours or explore the lagoon by boat — something you definitely can’t do in Singapore. 

Photo: @kotomi.yama/instagram

There’s even a diamond beach with volcanic black sands nearby. 

You won’t spot the agent himself but you might find seals and orca whales if you’re lucky.

10. Town of St Abbs in Scotland — Avengers Endgame (2019)

Photo: IMDB

Last, but definitely not the least, Avengers: Endgame is probably the most famous movie in the world. 

The Town of St Abbs in Scotland is a quaint fishing village that was the new home of the Thor and the other Asgardians. 

Photo: @adventureguideuk/instagram

See if you can spot any easter eggs around the island like a “St Abbs Twinned with New Asgard” sign. 

If you’re one of those people who fancy doing outdoor-related activities whenever you travel to places overseas, this town in Europe is made for you. 

Europe travel places
Photo: cpmj_photo/instagram

Take a scenic walk at St Abb’s Head National Nature Reserve with an abundance of wildlife and coastline overlooking the sea. 

It would certainly excite anyone who’s a nature lover (or loves hiking and bird watching).

With such surreal landscapes and popular landmarks to visit, this is a sign to start making plans for your next vacay. 

Which of these underrated places in Europe will you travel to soon?

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