Let’s face it, we all spent most of lockdown with our eyes glued to a screen, hopping from Zoom calls in the morning to the sofa in the evening to watch the latest Netflix show. And all the time spent in between wishing we could explore new destinations and gain new experiences… so now that travel has kickstarted again, why not combine the best of both worlds? According to a survey, 44% of people admitted that TV has inspired their travel planning and 37% have booked a trip after seeing it featured on TV or in a movie on a streaming service. So, what are you waiting for? Flights, camera, action!

Emily in ParisParis, France

Just when we thought that Paris couldn’t get any more romantic, the American-Parisian smash comedy series starring Lily Collins hit Netflix screens worldwide in 2020, making viewers everywhere itch for a trip to the French capital. Protagonist Emily’s career success, relationship mishaps and friendship faux pas against the backdrop of scenes of the Seine, images of the Eiffel Tower and close-ups of the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris made us long for the smell of fresh croissants and sounds of chatter floating from the iconic cafés. Filming for the show took place at Île-de-France, the centre of Paris, so it’s only right to follow in Emily’s footsteps and discover iconic landmarks including the Louvre, Arc de Triomphe, all the famous bridges and more. But, as Emily in Paris has taught us, there’s so much more to the city that meets the eye. Delve deeper beneath the tourist attractions (although don’t skip them entirely – they’re popular for a reason!) for a more authentic Parisian experience often found at classic bistros hidden off the beaten track, gorgeous gardens tucked around corners and lesser-known museums to discover fascinating times in history.

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The Crown – London, UK

Royalist or not, The Crown is, understandably, one of Netflix’s most successful original creations, following the political rivalries and romance of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign and the royal events that shaped the latter part of the twentieth century. Filming locations for the show took place at multiple various locations across the United Kingdom, drawing from the stunning historical theatres in London to some of Scotland’s most picturesque landscapes. The majestic Lancaster House in London is a must-visit, standing in for Buckingham Palace in not only The Crown, but in Sherlock Holmes, The King’s Speech, and National Treasure. While you’re in the Big Smoke, head to iconic Theatreland and catch a show at the Lyceum Theatre which stood in for the Royal Albert Hall (also worth a visit) in season five, a scene in which Mohamed Al-Fayed and Princess Diana watch a performance of Swan Lake, just two months before her death. Oh, and did you know that some filming for Season 6 of The Crown took place at Choice Hotel EMEA’s London office in Liverpool Street? If that’s not a claim to fame, we don’t know what is… 

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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 – Bavaria, Germany

The Harry Potter series is nothing short of a worldwide phenomenon, capturing the hearts of people young and old for decades on end. An intense filming process for each instalment saw multiple locations being scouted, but one must-visit is in the storybook region of Bavaria, Germany. This gorgeous destination was the backdrop for a pivotal scene in the penultimate film where viewers saw Grindelwald stealing the Elder Wand from Gregorovitch’s house – but a closer look sees beautiful timbered houses and crooked cobbled streets that Bavaria is so well-known for. Be enchanted as you walk around the majestic region, delight in alpine forests and snow-capped mountains, crane your neck at the medieval castles fit for royalty, and, of course, sample the world-famous beer and Weisswurst (white sausage, served with pretzels and mustard) in a traditional beer garden. Don’t forget to give your wand flourish a practice too! 

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Tár – Berlin and Dresden, Germany

Tár, a psychological drama released in January 2023, has been described as a modern masterpiece and arguably Cate Blanchett’s best performance to date. Blanchett takes on the role of composer-conductor Lydia Tár and the film is set in the international world of Western classical music with German capital Berlin as its backdrop. Marco Bittner Rosser, the film’s production designer and Berlin resident, displays the gritty city in all its glory, showcasing where the modern and the historical come together, a trope that Berlin is so well-known for due to its once East/​West divide. Mitte, Berlin’s centre, makes an appearance in the film, a hub of German culture from fascinating museums and theatres to funky bars and modern restaurants serving a melting pot of international cuisines. It’s a must-visit for both first-time and seasoned visitors to the city as there’s always something new to discover and a slice of fascinating history to be learnt.

Surprisingly, Berlin Philharmonic which is one of Társ most notable locations was not actually shot there – it was in Dresden! With a mid-century look and lots of light, the space was a recently renovated 1960s concert hall transformed into the iconic Berlin building, and Dresden has so much more to offer beyond. Multicultural and vibrant, Dresden is a modern city that boasts a wide variety of architectural masterpieces, a fascinating art scene and delectable cuisine that will have you returning time and time again. 

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Happy Valley – West Yorkshire, UK

After a seven-year hiatus, acclaimed BBC drama Happy Valley has returned to screens for a third season, picking up in real time to continue the story of West Yorkshire police officer Catherine Cawood. While the elements of violence, crime and strained relationships aren’t exactly happy, if one thing steals the show besides the stellar acting and plot twists, it’s the striking rural landscapes and gorgeous visuals of West Yorkshire that make an appearance in every episode. Happy Valley is set in the Calder Valley where show creator Sally Wainwright was raised, highlighting the incredible rolling hills, beautiful neck-craning cliffs, and traditional English houses for a beautiful backdrop to contrast the programme’s gritty storylines. Lovers of nature will fall head over heels with West Yorkshire, but don’t worry – the area certainly isn’t anywhere near as dangerous as it may appear on screen! 

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