September 24, 2023

35 classic films that will feed your wanderlust and inspire you to travel the world

The best travel films are the ones that make your feet itch and your brain start buzzing with adventure, escape and possibilities. They push you off the sofa and onto a plane because if you’ve seen it happen, you know you can do it too. These are some of the best travel movies that inspire wanderlust, make you dream bigger and chase real-life travel experiences.

35. Eat Pray Love (2010)

A quintessential ‘find yourself’ movie or just another cliché? Whatever you think about Eat Pray Love, no other film promotes a fabulous year of long-term travel like this one.

Voted 5.8/10 on IMDb


34. National Lampoon’s European Vacation (1985)

Authenticity isn’t high on European Vacation’s priorities, but the Griswald family travel to London, Paris and Bavaria in this classic American comedy.

Voted 6.2/10 on IMDb

best travel movies - National Lampoon’s European Vacation

33. The Inbetweeners 2 (2014)

You can’t think about embarking on a working holiday in Australia without watching the lads travel to all the major backpacking spots in the land down under.

Voted 6.4/10 on IMDb


32. The Hangover Part II (2011)

The Wolfpack rage havoc all over Bangkok during one of their legendary benders and have to make up for all their wrongdoings in time for Stu’s wedding.

Voted 6.5/10 on IMDb

31. The Beach (2000)

Is there a more seminal backpacker film? Leonardo DiCaprio stars as a traveller looking for paradise amongst the islands in Thailand.

Voted 6.6/10 on IMDb

best travel films - the beach

30. Under the Tuscan Sun (2003)

Who doesn’t dream of dropping everything to buy a house in Tuscany? Diane Lane’s writer does just that and ends up falling madly in love, and not just with the jaw-dropping countryside.

Voted 6.6/10 on IMDb


29. Eurotrip (2004)

It’s like American Pie in Europe, what could be better for a Saturday night movie in? Four American teenagers backpack Europe during the summer before college and shenanigans ensue.

Voted 6.6/10 on IMDb

28. Letters to Juliet (2010)

One of the best romance travel films of this century, Letters to Juliet begins in Verona at Shakespeare’s Juliet Balcony before travelling around Tuscany in search of long lost love.

Voted 6.6/10 on IMDb

best travel films - letters to Juliet

27. Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again (2018)

After the success of Mamma Mia, this sequel follows Donna’s backpacking journey and exploits through Paris before settling down on a paradise-like island in Greece.

Voted 6.8/10 on IMDb


26. A Good Year (2006)

Russell Crowe plays a high-powered London businessman turned vineyard owner as he learns to appreciate the slow life (and good wine) in the French countryside.

Voted 7/10 on IMDb


25. P.S. I Love You (2007)

This tragic love story starring Gerard Butler and Hilary Swank unfolds amongst the rolling hills of Ireland, specifically the picturesque Wicklow Mountains.

Voted 7.1/10 on IMDb

best travel films - P.S. I Love You (2007)


24. Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008)

Proof that not everyone changes during the trip of a lifetime, but Vicky and Cristina still have a summer in the famous Catalan city they will never forget.

Voted 7.1/10 on IMDb


23. Wild (2014)

Cheryl Strayed’s life is at a crossroads when she decides to walk the Pacific Crest Trail along America’s west coast and move past the pain of her mother’s death and breakdown of her marriage.

Voted 7.1/10 on IMDb


22. The Darjeeling Limited (2007)

Three brothers hope to experience a ‘spiritual awakening’ on a train ride throughout India. The use of such a huge travel cliché makes for a humorous watch.

Voted 7.2/10 on IMDb

best travel films - The Darjeeling Limited (2007)

21. Copenhagen (2014)

Half-Danish William travels to Copenhagen during a backpacking trip to trace his father’s family. Denmark’s capital city is so prominent in the film’s narrative, it’s practically the main character.

Voted 7.2/10 on IMDb

20. Tracks (2013)

Based on a true story, Robyn Davidson trekked across the Australian outback defying illness and dehydration to develop a deeper understanding of her home country.

Voted 7.2/10 on IMDb


19. The Way (2010)

Martin Sheen takes his late son’s place on the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage across Northern Spain. Featuring beautiful Galician landscapes and the notion that you’re never too young for a great adventure.

Voted 7.3/10 on IMDb


18. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013)

Turning his daydreams into reality, Walter Mitty travels to Greenland, Iceland and the Himalayas in search of an elusive piece of camera film and ends up finding his courage to face the unknown.

Voted 7.3/10 on IMDb

17. Easy Rider (1969)

Inspiring serious wanderlust for motorbike enthusiasts, Easy Rider is the OG bike movie as two guys travel all over the USA for a drugs deal.

Voted 7.4/10 on IMDb


16. The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999)

One of the best thrillers in the last 20 years, Matt Damon’s Mr Ripley cons his way around Italy’s elite in Sicily, Rome, San Remo and Venice.

Voted 7.4/10 on IMDb

best travel films- the talented Mr Ripley


15. To Catch A Thief (1955)

Alfred Hitchcock hits the French Riviera for a stunningly beautiful crime caper starring Grace Kelly and Cary Grant. The film road trips through Monaco, Nice and Cannes.

Voted 7.5/10 on IMDb


14. The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994)

A drag act travelling through the Australian outback singing Abba in a rickety old bus called Priscilla? It shouldn’t work, but it does.

Voted 7.510 on IMDb


13. The Indiana Jones Series (1981-2008)

It’s physically impossible to watch all four Indiana Jones movies without wishing you were a whip-cracking archaeologist travelling to places like Eygpt and Nepal to uncover secret treasure.

Voted 7.6/10 on IMDb (Average of 4 films)


12. Midnight in Paris (2011)

One of the best travel movies in terms of travel planning, you could just follow where Owen Wilson’s character visits in the film! A very wanderlust-inspiring comedy.

Voted 7.7/10 on IMDb


11. Lost in Translation (2003)

Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson are lost in translation in Sofia Coppola’s acclaimed drama which shows us that the relationships we make while travelling are often more important than the sights we see.

Voted 7.8/10 on IMDb

best travel films- lost in translation

10. The Motorcycle Diaries (2004)

Before he was Che Guevara, he travelled through Peru (including Machu Picchu), Bolivia, Chile and Venezuela. The Motorcycle Diaries is not just a road movie, it documents how travel can change the course of your life forever.

Voted 7.8/10 on IMDb


9. In Bruges (2008)

The main characters may not be enjoying their break in Bruges, but the film still flaunts how beautiful the Belgian medieval city is if you’re not laying low after committing murder.

Voted 7.9/10 on IMDb


8. Call Me By Your Name (2017)

Timothee Chalamet and Armie Hammer star as unlikely lovers over one summer in the beautiful Lombardy region in Italy.

Voted 7.9/10 on IMDb


7. The Before Trilogy (1995-2013)

Before Sunrise, Before Sunset and Before Midnight shows how a holiday romance can become something much more while set in the beautiful backdrops of Vienna, Paris and Messenia, Greece.

Voted 8/10 on IMDb (Average of 3 films)


6. Roman Holiday (1953)

This Hollywood classic stars Audrey Hepburn as a Princess who wants to experience the magic of Rome as a regular traveller and Gregory Peck as a journalist who becomes her willing tour guide.

Voted 8.1/10 on IMDb

best travel films - Roman Holiday (1953)

5. Into the Wild (2007)

This ultimate ‘leave everything and travel’ film is paradoxically both wanderlust-inducing and a cautionary tale about recklessness and appreciating what you have.

Voted 8.1/10 on IMDb


4. Lion (2016)

Five-year-old Saroo becomes separated from his family in India and is eventually adopted by an Australian family. A beautiful film spanning two nations and cultures.

Voted 8.1/10 on IMDb


3. Lawrence of Arabia (1962)

David Lean’s cinematic masterpiece takes us on an epic journey via camel through the deserts of the Middle East.

Voted 8.3/10 on IMDb


2. Forrest Gump (1994)

This is the best travel movie to watch if you’re heading to the USA. Forrest Gump travels all over the country taking us, and his magnetic zest for life, with him.

Voted 8.8/10 on IMDb

best travel films - forrest gump

1. The Lord of the Rings Series (2001-2003)

Hobbiton has to be on every traveller’s bucket list. You can’t travel to Middle Earth but you can travel to New Zealand, which is just as good in my opinion.

Voted 8.8/10 on IMDb (Average of 3 films)

best travel films - The Lord of the Rings Series (2001-2003)

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