Top 10 Best Travel Movies

There’s nothing like the wonderful world of cinema to inspire us to travel. Below are my picks for the the top 10 best travel movies of all time. Feel free to list any that are not included!

10. The Beach (2010 – Thailand)

While this movie can be a bit cliche amongst travelers, it’s hard to compile a list of travel movies without a mention of The Beach. Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Guillaume Canet and Tilda Swinton, it tells the story of a young backpacker in Thailand and his discovery of a secret island. For anyone who has been to SE Asia, I’m sure you’ve seen it a million times.

9. Into the Wild (2007 – USA)

This is an amazing movie about a young man (Emilie Hirsch) and his rejection of the materialism and conventions of everyday life, as he sets off to embark on his journey of reaching Alaska. While this is definitely not a “feel good” movie as it ends off on a depressing note, I feel like this captures our most basic human desire for travel – freedom.

8. Eurotrip (2004 – All over Europe)

Europtrip is  American teen comedy at its best – this movie is great for its funny depictions of European stereotypes as these four gap year students embark on an adventure every 18-19 year old has dreamed of. I also particularly like how Scotty’s European love interest is a German girl, and not another tres irresistible Frenchie. Also the song “Scotty Doesn’t Know” is super catchy….

7. Lost in Translation (2003 – Japan)

This is a great movie about two travelers (Scarlett Johansson and Bill Murray) as they experience culture shock and loneliness during their time in Tokyo. After a chance meeting at a hotel, they join forces to explore this unknown city together. Light, funny, and mesmerizing, it’s Sofia Coppola at her best.

6. Under the Tuscan Sun (2003 – Italy)

Starring Diane Lane, this is a story about a woman who lives to Italy after divorcing her cheating husband. Centered around her experiences of purchasing a villa in Tuscany, it is based on a memoir by Frances Mayes. I like how it portrays traveling as a solution for a new life – that despite our worst experiences in life, there will always be another chance for new loves, friendships and happiness.

5. Seven Years in Tibet (1997 – India, Tibet)

Based on the memoir of Austrian mountaineer, Heinrich Harrer, this movie looks at a darker and political side to travel. Starring Brad Pitt it is about a group of Austrian mountaineers in the Himalayas, and their experience as a POW by the British in India.

4. L’Auberge Espagnole (2005, Spain)

This movie follows the lives of a a group of European exchange students in Barcelona. Very funny and entertaining. Highly recommended for anyone going on an exchange to Europe.

3. Les Poupees russes (2005, Russia, UK)

While I’m normally not a fan of sequels, I found this movie even better than the first (L’Auberge Espagnole). Taking place several years after the first movie, this movie centres around Xavier and Wendy, and looks at the difference between love and attraction. (Psst, I am totally in love with the part where William learns a new language just to be with the girl of his dreams)

2. Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008, Spain)

A stunning cast and a beautiful city. This is my favourite Woody Allen movie, and a must-see for anyone who dreads the conformity and conventions of life. I was blown away by the beauty of Spain and can’t wait to see it all for myself one day. This is an amazing movie to bring out the dreamer in all of us…

1. Before Sunrise (1995, Austria)

I had to re-watch this movie right after watching it for the first time…I loved it that much! While the plot is simple (boy meets girl on train, they fall in love after scenic stroll in Vennia), the dialogue and chemistry between the two characters is amazing. I can’t tell if I’m more in love with Ethan Hawke or Julie Delpy. Having similar experiences like this of my own, I highly recommend it for anyone who has ever fell in love while traveling. Hell, I recommend it to anyone, period.

(images taken from



  1. January 17, 2011 / 4:49 pm

    I havent seen many of the films up on the list I have to admit (I'm not much of a film buff) but I must say I am a massive fan of 'Into the Wild' its one of my all time favourite films. I shall take a look into them when I get an hour or two free.

  2. January 17, 2011 / 8:23 pm

    Definitely do check some of them out when you have time! Well worth it! 🙂

  3. Anonymous
    April 24, 2011 / 3:47 pm

    Keep posting stuff like this i really like it

  4. July 16, 2011 / 1:13 am

    I am a location Travel movie addict and of course a real travel addict I recommend BLUE CRUSH ONE AND 2 AND SAHARA

  5. vinny
    August 13, 2011 / 7:19 pm

    Great list Michelle! Ive seen all of them except for Russian Dolls.

  6. Anonymous
    August 24, 2011 / 9:50 am

    I like into the wild.peace

  7. youness slimani
    August 24, 2011 / 10:07 am

    I will see l'auberge look amazing.
    into the wild simply great

  8. November 12, 2011 / 11:24 pm

    Into The Wild is my current favorite on the list. Eddie Vedder's music really makes this movie sing to me. Check out "The Snow Walker" if you're interested in a fantastic movie about Alaskan Survival (and a little Eskimo romance).

  9. February 12, 2012 / 11:15 pm

    The wonderful world of cinema always inspires me to travel, as I’m sure it does many. Movies have a way of getting into the more intimate parts of our emotions and striking chords that are beautiful and triggering of all sorts of nostalgia. “The Beach” is actually one of those trigger movies for me and takes me to one of those places that I feel I need to experience. I can actually see myself in a foreign land having strange adventures, finding forbidden islands covered with various people from all over the world. Although I do travel frequently for Dish, it’s not about having fun it is work all the way around. I think that triggers an even deeper longing in me to travel the rest of the world. Thank goodness, for dishonline and all the thousands of movies I can escape into there. As a subscriber, I have access to lots of vacations just waiting for me. One I would add is Lord of the Rings (trilogy). Eventually when the time is right, I will have my own over sea adventure and I won’t be back for a while.

  10. February 24, 2012 / 3:10 am

    So cool! You are combining 2 of my favorite things: travel AND movies!! Thanks for the tips! I'm definitely gonna be checking these out! I love Before Sunset! 🙂

  11. Anna
    March 21, 2012 / 12:38 am

    I just watched Before Sunrise – ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT. Thanks for the recommendation! By the way, I found your blog on Stumbleupon and I'm in my last semester at Western too, how random is that?

  12. Tom
    April 10, 2012 / 2:38 pm

    Great list, I love them all… In case you don’t know about it, there’s a sequel to Before Sunrise called (of course) Before Sunset, where you can find out what happened to them. It’s just as fantastic as the first 🙂

    • Michelle
      April 10, 2012 / 11:59 pm

      I have seen it! It’s pretty good but I liked the first one a lot more. Have you heard the rumors of a 3rd one coming up? pretty exciting!

  13. April 30, 2012 / 7:43 pm

    Great list Michelle. I’m a bit disappointed to not see The Motorcycle Diaries as it is on my list. 🙁 Otherwise, fantastic choices ESPECIALLY L’Auberge…definitely very nostalgic for me.

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