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)
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 wikipedia.org)