The ultimate list of all time best travel movies

21 Best Travel Movies That Will Inspire Your Wanderlust

In Travel inspiration by JurgaThis post may contain affiliate links, which means that we may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. More info: Disclosure.

Are you looking for some good movies about travel to kindle your wanderlust? This article has some great suggestions and some of the best travel films of all time. Find out!

Have you ever found yourself inspired to travel to one or the other location just because you saw it in a movie? It happens to me all the time! So today I decided to share some of my favorite travel movies, the ones that got me googling the filming location and planning a trip before the movie was even over.

If you are looking for a good story or some travel inspiration then you’ll definitely find it in these films. These are one by one great travel movies and stories that will get you out of the couch and booking a trip to discover new destinations.

Below is my personal selection of some of the best travel movies of all time. Take a look!

Click on the title of the movie to see reviews, get a DVD, or watch it on Amazon Prime. Some of these movies are also available on Netflix.

Into The Wild

Into The Wild is an unbelievable true story of a top student and athlete who abandons everything he has and hitchhikes to Alaska to live in the wilderness will probably stay with you forever.

It’s an inspiring story taking place in the most incredible landscapes of Alaska. If you choose just a few movies to watch from this list, definitely include this one in your selection!

Into The Wild - one of the best travel movies
 

The Way

The Way is a heart-warming story of a father who heads overseas to recover the body of his son who died while traveling the Camino de Santiago trail in the Pyrenees (France – Spain). Once he gets there, he decides to take the pilgrimage himself.

This movie is about family, friendships, and life choices. And of course, the beautiful places along Camino de Santiago. It’s a powerful story that will make you think deeper about the difference of the life we live and the life we choose.

The Way - amazing travel film
 

Under The Tuscan Sun

Under The Tuscan Sun is a romantic story that takes place in rural Tuscany. Beautiful landscapes, Italian lifestyle, and a heart-warming story makes it a perfect choice for a relaxing evening.

This beautiful movie will get you planning a trip to Italy sooner than you think.

Under The Tuscan Sun - the movie that will get you planning a trip to Italy
 

The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty

The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty is a light-hearted story for a movie night with friends. The movie features some of the most incredible travel destinations.

A lot of the scenes (even the ones from Himalaya and Afghanistan) are filmed in Iceland and some in Greenland. The unbelievable adventures of Walter Mitty will leave you longing for an extraordinary adventure of your own.

This film is so good that it has inspired thousands and thousands of people to travel more and discover new places. If you watch just one movie from this list of the best travel films, make it ‘The Secret Life of Walter Mitty’. You’ll love it!

The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty - probably the best travel film ever
 

A Walk in the Woods

A Walk in the Woods movie is based on a true story and a book by Bill Bryson, A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail.

The famous writer who never hiked much, sets on the Appalachian Trail, with a total length of about 2,200 miles (3,500 km), that stretches through 14 states along the east coast of the United States, from Georgia to Maine.

I haven’t read the book and reviews are somewhat mixed (it seems that people either love or hate Bryson and his writing style). I find that the movie is really funny, entertaining, and the scenery will definitely inspire you to get outdoors and take a hike of your own.

Best travel movies - A Walk in the Woods
 

Out of Africa

Ok, I know it’s an old one, but Out of Africa definitely deserves a place in the all-time favorite travel movies list.

Filmed in Kenya and the UK, this classic that has won 7 Oscars and countless other prizes will definitely get you dreaming of Africa. It’s one of those movies that you can watch again and again.

Out of Africa - classical movie that will inspire your wanderlust
 

The Motorcycle Diaries

The Motorcycle Diaries is an awe-inspiring film that is based on the memoirs of Che Guevara. It will take you to the most beautiful places in South America. A beautiful story in an incredible setting.

The Motorcycle Diaries - great travel movie
 

In Bruges

In Bruges is very different from all the rest of the travel movies on this list. But I just had to include this movie in the top-20 of the best travel films because it’s filmed in Belgium, where we live.

It’s a hilarious dark comedy and a great performance by all three main characters in the most fantastic setting in Belgium’s most beautiful fairytale town.

If you haven’t been to Bruges, you’ll definitely want to visit it after watching this movie!

In Bruges - great travel film
 

Before Sunrise – Before Sunset – Before Midnight

If you like Europe and deep meaningful dialogues with a good dose of humor, you’ll love this trilogy called Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, and Before Midnight. We only discovered these films recently when we accidentally saw the first one, Before Sunrise, on TV. 

Regarded as one of the most significant films of the ’90s, Before Sunrise, was followed by two more sequels. We watched all three films and loved every second of it.

The first movie takes you to Vienna, Austria, the second one – to Paris, and the third – to the Greek Islands.

These travel films are probably not for everyone, but if you can appreciate this style, you’ll love them all!

Movie series Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, Before Midnight
 

Amélie

If you haven’t been to Paris yet, you will definitely want to plan a trip after watching this movie. If you have, you’ll want to return.

Amélie is a beautiful example of French cinema, Amélie will take you to the most inspiring locations in Paris.

Amelie - good travel movie that will inspire to visit Paris
 

Wild

Based on a true story of a young woman who sets on a journey of over 1,000 miles hoping to recover after the death of her mother.

Wild is full of beautiful scenes throughout the Pacific Northwest in the U.S. Beautiful travel film that reminds us that it’s more about the journey than the destination.

Wild - one of the best travel movies ever
 

Lost In Translation

A beautiful film that shows the fun and unexpected side of traveling in a new country. Lost In Translation is about the many little random travel experiences that stay with you long after you return back home.

The sights and the energy of Tokyo will get you planing a trip to Japan.

‘Lost in Translation’ is considered a real classic and one of the best travel films ever.

Lost in Translation - one of the best travel movies
 

Midnight in Paris

Midnight in Paris is a bit different travel film and is probably not for everyone. But if you like Woody Allen, Paris, and artists, then you’ll love this surreal story that takes you back to Paris of the 1920s.

Midnight in Paris - travel film
 

A Good Year

A Good Year is a light-hearted romantic story that takes place in the most beautiful setting in the Provence region in the South of France.

This movie will not only inspire you to visit France but might also make you reconsider your life choices. Great film!

A Good Year - great travel film
 

The Way Back

The Way Back is inspired by an incredible true story of seven prisoners from very different backgrounds who try to escape from a Siberian prison in winter.

This movie is filmed in some amazing locations in India, Morocco, and Bulgaria and features some great actors.

Film The Way Back
 

The Beach

The Beach is a great film from the ’90s that has a little bit of everything: good story, beautiful music, and amazing scenery from Thailand. Oh, and the young Leonardo DiCaprio, who once again proves that he deserves the Oscar he finally got recently.

For a while, Thailand even had to close the Maya Beach on Koh Phi-Phi due to its increasing popularity that has been attributed mainly to this film. So if you feel inspired to visit Thailand after watching ‘The Beach’, you may want to look for some alternative beaches and beautiful islands.

You can find some inspiration in our Thailand island hopping itinerary.

The Beach - one of the best travel movies
 

Tracks

Tracks is a beautiful adventure story of a young woman who crossed 1,700-miles over the deserts of West Australia with four camels and her faithful dog.

Based on a true story and featuring some amazing Australian landscapes. A beautiful film that will inspire you to visit the Australian Outback!

Tracks - good travel film
 

Encounters At The End Of The World

Encounters At The End Of The World is an incredibly beautiful and funny travel film about the people and animals who live in Antarctica.

If Antarctica was not on your travel list yet, it will be after watching this great documentary!

Encounters At The End Of The World
 

The Bucket List

The Bucket List is sentimental, predictable, and yet a very heart-warming story that will inspire you to tick off your bucket list sooner rather than later.

Filmed in various locations in India, China, Egypt, Tanzania, France, and the U.S., this movie will definitely give you some new ideas for the next trips.

The Bucket List - one of the great movies about travel
 

Photos: IMDb

So, this is a list of some of my top travel films and favorite movies about travel. Have you seen any of these films? Which one is your favorite travel movie of all time?

Below, you can see a selection of some other nice travel films that are also fun but just didn’t make the list.

If you found this post useful, don’t forget to bookmark it and share it with your friends. Are you on Pinterest? Pin this image!

The best travel movies of all time
 

Comments

  1. Wait, wait, wait, I’m sorry, did you say some people hate Bill Bryson?!?! …HOW?!

    I actually haven’t read A Walk In The Woods even though I’ve owned it for about a year, so I guess this is a good time to pick up that one. I need to watch a bunch of these, too. I don’t know why I still haven’t seen The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty!

    1. Author

      There are always people who like or hate something/ someone. Still, I was surprised at how harsh some reviews were. It seems that not everyone can appreciate Bryson’s sense of humor… But if you liked his other books, I think you’ll enjoy ‘A Walk In The Woods’ as well. Same with the movie.
      And yes, this is now the perfect time for watching movies and reading books – no better way to fill weeks and weeks at home.

  2. Thank you for this list! Prime has been recommending me The secret life of Walter Mitty for weeks now and I didn’t know it was about travel and an adventurous journey. Watching it now, thanks again!

    1. Author

      Great movie. Hope you enjoyed it! It’s a really nice move that will probably inspire you to visit Iceland and Greenland. When you decide to go, we have plenty of information on both destinations on the blog… 🙂

  3. I agree with half of these big budget suggestions. Other films that rate higher in my book:
    1. Gerry (2002), starring and co-written by Matt Damon and Casey Affleck about hiking inDeath Valley.
    2. Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994) comedy-drama about drag queens and a transgender woman as they journey across the Australian Outback in a tour bus named “Priscilla.”
    3. The Martian (2015) science fiction film starring Matt Damon about an astronaut left behind on Mars and his struggle to survive.
    4. One Week (2008), Ben Tyler is diagnosed with cancer, and instead of treatment, he decides to take a motorcycle trip across Canada.
    5. Chasing Bubbles (2016), Friends and family tell the story of Alex Rust, his free spirit, ambitions for adventure, fondness for people and curiosity about the world as he sailed around the globe. Don’t miss the clips at the end while running the credits. Excellent. I’ve watched it multiple times.
    6. In the Footsteps of Marco Polo (2008) PBS documentary about two men who retraced Marco Polo’s journey from Venice to China.
    7. Take me to Pitcairn (2012). 50 people reside at Pitcairn, a very tiny island in the Pacific Ocean, and they’re all descendants of British sailors who hijacked a British ship and hid out on this desolated island for the rest of their lives. A famous movie was made about this story, “Mutiny on the Bounty.”
    8. Mile… Mile and a half (2015), Hikers on the John Muir Trail – 219 miles. 25 days. Much better hiking movie than Wild.

    1. Author

      Wow, that’s a nice list. Thanks for sharing, Susan. I have seen some of these and will add the rest to the list. Always nice to see a good movie!
      Happy travels!

  4. Brilliant list. I will pick up movies from here to watch.

  5. Lost in translation is best i have seen so far

  6. Out of Africa is a classic,In Bruges is superb,Midnight in Paris is brilliant,Bucket list is inspiring…..

  7. Wow, a lot of interesting selections I haven’t seen. Absolutely loved ‘The Bucket List!’ Great post for travel inspiration. 🙂 Found your Post on Pinterest!

    1. Author

      Thanks for your feedback, Robert. And good to hear you found some inspiring movies you haven’t seen yet.

  8. thanks for list it is really amazing.

  9. Into the wild – classic, In Bruges absolutely deserves to be on the list, I didn’t know that there are other movies after Before Sunrise. Nice list, I’m adding the movies I haven’t watch to my movies to watch list. 🙂

  10. I read Tracks the book and really enjoyed it. Haven´t gotten around the book yet. On the plane home from Lima, they had under the Tuscan sun but it was only available in Italian. It was a little too much.

  11. I’m so ashamed that I have hardly seen any of these. The Beach is a classic. I’m gonna save this list for the next I’m complaining I can’t find anything to watch.

    thanks for sharing 🙂

  12. Cool post! I find Out of Africa and The Motorcycle Diaries massively inspiring, could watch them over and over again. Thanks for putting together such a comprehensive list.

  13. This is such a great list! I can’t believe how many of these I haven’t seen yet! Going to have to watch the Before Sunrise trilogy ASAP 🙂

    1. Author

      We loved all three movies from that trilogy, Leah. It’s not often that the second and the third film are as good as the first one, but here it’s definitely the case. Enjoy!

  14. Bucketlist is what inspired me to travel. Had me in tears and thought of life hard after a terrible breakup. Glad i am still traveling today. It change my thinking totally.

    1. Author

      It’s amazing what a good movie or a book can do. Thanks for sharing your experience, Elisa!

  15. I love this list!!! Up in the air with George Clooney is one of my favorites as well for travel inspiration.

  16. Have seen only a few of these – definitely have Out of Africa, Lost in Translation and The Beach on my list.

    I would add ‘The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’ and ‘The English Patient’ (I love that film ❤️️)

    I am looking forward to seeing A United Kingdom about the life of Seretse Khama and his marriage to Ruth who he met in England.

    Great post Jurga!

    1. Author

      Great suggestions, Tracy, both really great films! Happy to hear you found some inspiration!

  17. I’ve seen some of these movies but haven’t seen most of them. Which is great, because I’m adding them to my Movies to watch list right now. Thanks for sharing!

  18. Some great films here! Made me realise how much film locations influence wether I like a film or not. Endless Summer inspired us to go to Costa Rica and we’re constantly looking for film locations when we visit places, one photo on my recent Venice post is from a scene in The tourist where she shoots a baddie 😉

    1. Author

      Glad to hear I’m not the only one who would actually plan a trip somewhere because of a movie. 🙂

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