You are currently viewing My 10 favorite filming locations around the world (that you can visit for free!) — Part 1

There is perhaps one thing I enjoy more than traveling: movies. So why not put both of those favorites together and tell you a little bit about some of my favorite filming locations around the world? By the way, most locations in this list are free to visit; even if some require a bit of an adventurous spirit to find, as you’ll see below.

As a lover of both traveling and the movie industry, it has become a recurring habit of mine to search for an interesting filming location to visit in every destination I travel to. 

It’s a cool practice for many reasons: it can take you to a completely off-the-beaten-path location in a popular destination; and even better, you get to say “I’ve been there!” every time a particular scene pops up on your screen, which is pretty fun.

So, here are the first 5 destinations from my list of top 10 filming locations to visit, in no particular order — Part 2 is coming soon.


1. Bocca della Verità (Rome, Italy) — Roman Holiday (1953)

The city of Rome needs no introduction, it’s easily one of the most popular destinations around the world and if you enjoy traveling there’s a high chance you’ve been there already.

There are often good prices to Rome popping up on Flytrippers’s flight deals page, but like most European destinations, it’s often cheaper to use the self-transfer tip.

That being said, odds are even if you’ve been to Rome, you have passed by and yet not taken notice of a marble mask locally called The Mouth of Truth, or Bocca della Verità.

The Mouth of Truth marble mask (photo credit: Wikipedia Commons)


The legend around it says you can put your hand inside its mouth, but it will bite it off if you’re a liar. 

It has always been a fairly known spot for locals since there’s also a lot of cool history around it, but international notoriety only happened when The Mouth of Truth was depicted in an iconic scene of the classic movie Roman Holiday (1953), starring Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck.  

Scene from Roman Holiday with Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)


Visiting the Mouth of Truth is very easy and so worth it; not only for the enigmatic piece itself, but for the location it’s at. 

The mask is currently standing against the left wall of the portico of the Santa Maria in Cosmedin Church, at the Piazza della Bocca della Verità, the site of the ancient Forum Boarium — which is actually Rome’s oldest Forum and a fantastic attraction.

While you’re there, you can also visit the Temple of Hercules and Temple of Portunus, 2 very well kept and fascinating historical constructions. No entrance fee or scheduling needed, the forum is open to everyone at all times. 


2. Parroquia del Purísimo Corazón de María (Mexico City, Mexico) — Romeo + Juliet (1996)

Mexico City is often overlooked, but the capital is worth a visit. Even if you’re in Cancún, it’s often just C$98 roundtrip. By the way, I’ll soon be visiting the Yucatán Peninsula and will share my itinerary so that you can be inspired.

(In case you want to take advantage of the new ultra low-cost carrier routes from Canada to Cancún for as low as $240 roundtrip, which is cheaper than what I need to pay to get there from Brazil!).

Like with the Mouth of Truth, if you’ve ever visited Mexico City there’s a chance you’ve been to this one already and did not know you were stepping into the universe of Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet (1996).

After all, the Parroquia del Purísimo Corazón de María is a fairly iconic Mexican building, its origins dating back to 1923.

Parroquia del Purísimo Corazón de María (photo credit: Indira R Oliveira)


In the movie this is the place where the popular Shakespearean lovers meet their very tragic ending, but in real life, the location is an architectural landmark, designed by Luis Olvera. 

Fun fact: to locals, the parish is known as Nuestra Señora del Tránsito, that being “Our Lady of Traffic”. That’s because the statue at the top appears to be directing traffic in the area.

The building in the movie (image credit: Romeo + Juliet, 1996)


The very interesting mix of architectural styles in the church makes it fascinating to look at, especially if you’re interested in architecture at all. You can easily spot some art deco and functionalism, but even touches of gothic architecture are present. 

The church is located at 415 C. Gabriel Mancera, in the Del Valle neighborhood.


3. Shakespeare and Company Bookstore (Paris, France) — Before Sunset (2004)

From a few Canadian cities, Flytrippers has been spotting flights to Paris for as low as the C$500s roundtrip again (finally, after a few months of very rare deals).

This one is among my favorite spots in Paris and I only heard about it because of the movie Before Sunset (2004), the 2nd installment in Richard Linklater’s Before trilogy. 

Shakespeare and Co. at the background of a scene (photo credit: Before Sunset, 2004)


Shakespeare and Company is an active English-language bookstore, opened in 1951 by George Whitman. It’s located at the Left Bank, by the Seine River

It serves as a seller of second-hand books, but also as an antiquarian and a public library. 

Shakespeare and Company Bookstore in reality (photo credit: Indira R Oliveira)


It’s known as the “most famous bookstore in the world” since it’s been in many other movies such as Julie & Julia (2009) and Midnight in Paris (2011).

But even if you have never seen any of these movies before and you’re just a fan of books in general, there’s no way you can go to Paris and not visit this iconic location. It truly is magical.


4. Postman’s Park (London, UK) — Closer (2004)

Along with Lisbon and Paris, London is the other European city that is often the cheapest to fly to from Canada. It makes for a great destination for a long stopover, because it’s a great city and you can then fly to almost anywhere in Europe for C$100 roundtrip or a bit more (like to Denmark for just C$96 roundtrip).

London is a city with no shortage of options when it comes to public gardens and parks, but Postman’s Park might be one of the most interesting ones. 

The location dates back to 1880, but the park got its most iconic feature only in 1900: George Frederic Watts’s Memorial to Heroic Self-Sacrifice. 

The memorial pays a homage to ordinary people who died while saving the lives of others and who might otherwise be forgotten. Their names and heroic deeds were etched into ceramic plaques hanging on a long wall around the garden.

George Frederic Watts’s Memorial to Heroic Self-Sacrifice (photo credit: Indira R Oliveira)


Now, if you have watched the movie Closer (2004), you might recognize one of the names: Alice Ayres.

Alice Ayres plaque (photo credit: Indira R Oliveira)


That’s because in the movie’s opening scene, Jude Law and Natalie Portman’s characters visit the park and Portman secretly takes the name for herself for the entirety of the film.

Postman’s Park in the movie (photo credit: Closer, 2004) 


Honestly, this is a pretty cool location to visit, and I try to stop by every time I go to London. The park itself is quiet and very relaxing. And reading the plaques along the memorial wall is always a very emotional journey. 

It’s also pretty easy to find, located a very short distance from the iconic St Paul’s Cathedral, at King Edward Street.


5. Scottish Highlands (Scotland, UK) — Outlander (2014) and Game of Thrones (2011)

I shared a bit of the logistics of traveling to Scotland in my post about a beautiful remote spot called the Isle of Raasay last week.

Back in 2019, I visited a small city in the Scottish Highlands called Pitlochry and this area has 3 filming locations I want to share.

The small town itself is already very worth the visit, but it got even better once there I realized I was at a short driving distance from many of the filming locations for the hit series Outlander (2014).

If you know anything about this show, you won’t be surprised. If not, let me just tell you the main plot of the series takes place in 1743’s Scottish Highlands and the show somewhat follows true historical events that happened in the region.

Luckily, there are websites that will tell you exactly how many locations you can visit and how to get there, including Scotland’s official tourism website

Let me preface this section by saying I hitchhiked my way from Pitlochry to most of these locations — it’s really cool how used to hitchhikers they are in Scotland, which makes it very easy and safe to get a ride everywhere — but rest assured you can reach all these places either by bus, train, or by car if you get a rental car


Doune Castle

This is a 2-for-1 sort of deal, since aside from appearing as Castle Leoch in Outlander (2014), Doune Castle was also used as a filming location for the iconic castle of Winterfell, in HBO’s Game of Thrones (2011).

Doune Castle in the show (photo credit: Outlander, 2014)


This is the one exception to this list that is not free, since you actually need to pay an entrance fee of £9 to visit (about $C15). 

But honestly, that’s a very reasonable price. 

The medieval stronghold dates back to the 13th century, and even though a lot of it was damaged in the Scottish Wars of Independence, Doune Castle is still incredibly well preserved.

Doune Castle in reality (photo credit: Indira R Oliveira)


I’m not talking about only looking at ruins here; you get to see a lot of the medieval castle, from kitchens and bedrooms to one of the best preserved great halls in Scotland.

You learn so much history there, I genuinely didn’t want to leave. Also the view of the nearby village of Doune is gorgeous — always a plus!


Kinloch Rannoch

Kinloch Rannoch is a small village located at the eastern end of the breathtaking Loch Rannoch, about half an hour distance from Pitlochry

Even though the village is a tourist and outdoor adventure hub, it’s fairly remote. 

Remember when I mentioned some of the locations in this list might require a bit of an adventurous spirit? 

Well, this one is what I was talking about.

If you have a rental car it’s a very simple trip, but I didn’t at the time. So, it took me about an hour to find a bus that would take me there (about another hour journey from Pitlochry) and once there I had to find a willing villager to take me where I wanted to go.

The whole region is gorgeous, but the main attraction here is the Celtic stone circle that Outlander‘s protagonist uses to travel through time, in the show it’s called Craigh na Dun. 

Craigh na Dun in the show (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)


The filming location used for it was a private farm a few miles east of the remote village. So, as you can imagine, this is not an official tourist attraction.

Luckily, the owners won’t charge you a ticket or stop you from entering if you want to visit it, but they also won’t make an effort for you to find it either 😂

Sign at the entrance of the farm (photo credit: Indira R Oliveira)


It’s a pretty well known secret in the area though, so it’s not hard to find some local tours, or some kind villagers that will give you directions from Kinloch Rannoch.

Once you’re there though, it’s a breathtaking view.

The location in reality (photo credit: Indira R Oliveira)


The iconic rocks from the show were unfortunately fake pieces of scenery that were removed after the scene was shot. But the circle of trees and lake view are very much real and gorgeous.

As hard as it was to find it, I really enjoyed this one and always recommend it to any fan of the show or just grand nature locations in general.


Midhope Castle

And finally, we have Midhope Castle, a 16th-century tower house on the outskirts of Edinburgh. In the show though it appears as the main house in James Fraser’s estate, Lallybroch. 

Midhope Castle as Lallybroch (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)


There isn’t much to see on the inside, since only the exterior was used in the show; but the building itself is interesting enough for a visit. 

After all, unlike other locations in this list, there wasn’t much done to the tower house in order for it to appear on the show, so you get to see a very similar view than the one on camera.

Midhope Castle in reality (photo credit: Indira R Oliveira)


It was free back when I visited in 2019, but there were talks of possibly charging a £3 (about $C5) entrance fee. 

Either way, it shouldn’t cost much to step into Outlander‘s universe for a moment.


Want to get more content to discover awesome destinations?

Sign up for our free newsletter



Visiting iconic filming locations is one of my favorite things to do (after traveling, of course!). So, here is Part 1 from my list of top 10 places to visit if you want to explore a unique spot but also step into the magical world of movies while you’re at it (come back soon for Part 2).

What would you like to know about these filming locations? Tell us in the comments below.


See the deals we spot: Cheap flights

Explore awesome destinations: Travel inspiration

Learn pro tricks: Travel tips

Discover free travel: Travel rewards


Featured image: Kinloch Rannoch, Scotland (photo credit: Indira R Oliveira)

Share this post to help us help more people travel more for less:

Indira R Oliveira

Indira is a remote administrative coordinator at Flytrippers. She is a Brazilian journalist with a passion for traveling - with a lot of experience especially when it comes to traveling on a really low budget. She's been to 30+ countries and is aiming to expand that list soon!

Leave a Reply