We all love to travel and explore new places, and sometimes the best way to get inspired is to watch one of the best travel movies of all time! From classic films like The Motorcycle Diaries to modern favorites like Into the Wild, there are plenty of inspiring travel movies out there.
So let’s take a look at some of the best travel movies to inspire your next big adventure!
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The Best Travel Movies to Watch in 2023:
Eat Pray Love
Eat Pray Love is a 2010 American biographical romantic drama film starring Julia Roberts as Elizabeth Gilbert. It is based on Gilbert’s best-selling memoir of the same name. The film chronicles Gilbert’s journey as she embarks on a year-long journey of self-discovery. She travels across Italy, India, and Bali. Along the way, Elisabeth meets a variety of people who help her find balance in her life and learn to love herself again.
Travel guides to:
Seven Years in Tibet
Seven Years in Tibet is a 1997 film starring Brad Pitt and David Thewlis. It is based on the true story of Austrian mountaineer Heinrich Harrer. Heinrich, after escaping a British internment camp in India during World War II, makes his way to Tibet, where he becomes close friends with the Dalai Lama. The film follows Harrer’s journey as he learns about Tibetan culture and religion and befriends the young Dalai Lama. In addition, it explores the difficult situation faced by Tibetans under Chinese occupation.
Your travel guide to Tibet:
Nowhere in Africa
Nowhere in Africa is a 2001 German-language period drama film. Caroline Link wrote and directed it based on the 1995 autobiographical novel of the same name by Stefanie Zweig. It tells the story of a German-Jewish family. They emigrate to Kenya to escape persecution in Nazi Germany, and adjust to their new lives in Africa. The family’s daughter, Regina narrates the story and focuses on her relationship with her father, Walter Redlich. The film won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 2003.
Your travel guide to Kenya:
The Bucket List
The Bucket List is a 2007 American comedy-drama film starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman. The film follows two terminally ill men on their road trip with a wish list of things to do before they “kick the bucket.” As the pair develop a bond, they come to understand the true meaning of friendship and life.
Tracks is a 2013 Australian drama film starring Mia Wasikowska. It is based on Robyn Davidson’s memoir of the same name. The film follows Davidson’s real-life journey of 1,700 miles across the Australian outback. From Alice Springs to the Indian Ocean with her four camels and a dog. Along the way, she meets various characters who challenge her in different ways, ultimately leading her to confront her past and discover her true self.
Travel to Australia:
The Beach is a 2000 adventure drama film. It is based on the 1996 novel of the same name by Alex Garland. It stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Richard, a young backpacker who travels to Thailand in search of a legendary, isolated beach paradise. Along the way, he meets a strange group of travelers and joins them in their search for the beach. The film follows Richard as he deals with the dangers of both the jungle and the dark secrets of his companions. The Beach is an exciting and suspenseful journey into a world of adventure, discovery, and danger.
Your guide in Thailand:
The Way Back
The Way Back is a 2020 American survival drama film inspired by an incredible true story. The film stars Colin Farrell, Ed Harris, and Saoirse Ronan. It tells the story of a group of soldiers who escape from a Siberian gulag during World War II and embark on an epic 4,000-mile journey across the Eurasian continent to freedom in India. Along the way, they battle the elements, face dangerous enemies, and ultimately discover what it means to be truly free.
Lost in Translation
Written and directed by Sofia Coppola, Lost in Translation is a 2003 American romantic comedy-drama film. The film follows an aging American movie star, Bob Harris (Bill Murray), stranded in Tokyo while on a promotional tour. Here, he meets Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson), a young college graduate newly arrived in the city. The two form a bond as they find solace in their mutual isolation and explore the city together.
As their relationship deepens, they become aware of the difference in their respective ages and cultural backgrounds. Yet find comfort and understanding in each other’s company.
Wild is a biographical drama film based on the memoir of the same name written by Cheryl Strayed. The film follows Cheryl (played by Reese Witherspoon) as she embarks on a 1,100-mile solo hike along the Pacific Crest Trail in order to recover from her troubled past. Along the way, she deals with a variety of obstacles, such as extreme weather conditions, wild animals, and her own personal demons.
Midnight in Paris
Midnight in Paris is a romantic comedy-fantasy film by Woody Allen. It follows the story of a screenwriter, Gil Pender, who is visiting Paris with his fiancée. During his stay, he begins to wander around the city at night. Gil soon discovers that he can travel back in time to the 1920s.
As he continues to explore the city during the midnight hours, Gil meets some of the most influential figures of the era. Such as Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Salvador Dalí. Through his interactions with these iconic figures, Gil discovers an appreciation for the beauty and romance of the past and begins to question his life and choices.
Encounters at the End of the World
Encounters at the End of the World is a 2007 documentary film directed by Werner Herzog. The film follows Herzog as he travels to Antarctica to explore the landscape, wildlife, and human inhabitants of the continent.
The film features interviews with a variety of Antarctic researchers and adventurers who have chosen to make the continent their home. Through these interviews and his exploration of Antarctica, Herzog paints a picture of a place that is both inhospitable and awe-inspiring, full of beauty and mystery.
A Good Year
A Good Year is a 2006 romantic comedy-drama film directed and produced by Ridley Scott. The film stars Russell Crowe, Marion Cotillard, Didier Bourdon, and Abbie Cornish. The film is about Max Skinner (Russell Crowe), an investment broker living in London who inherits a vineyard in Provence, France from his late uncle.
With the help of a local café owner (Marion Cotillard), Max learns to appreciate the simpler things in life and discovers love.
Bruges is a 2008 black comedy-crime film written and directed by Martin McDonagh. The film stars Brendan Gleeson and Colin Farrell as two Irish hitmen in hiding, with Ralph Fiennes as their gangster boss. The film takes place in the Belgian city of Bruges, after a job in London goes wrong.
The two hitmen are left with orders to await further instructions while exploring the city, leading to a series of comedic adventures. The film received critical acclaim, and has been praised for its dark humor and complex characters.
A Walk in the Woods
A Walk in the Woods is a 2015 adventure comedy-drama film directed by Ken Kwapis and starring Robert Redford, Nick Nolte and Emma Thompson. The movie follows two old friends, Redford and Nolte, as they attempt to hike the 2,100-mile Appalachian Trail.
Along the way, they encounter various obstacles such as getting lost in the wilderness, wild animals and personal conflicts. The film is a comedic look at the struggles of growing old and the struggles of modern life.
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is a 2013 American fantasy comedy-drama film directed and produced by Ben Stiller. The film stars Stiller as the eponymous character, a photographic negative assets manager at Life magazine. He daydreams of adventures and embarks on a global journey to find a missing photograph negative. Along the way, Walter discovers his courage, true love, and a newfound zest for life.
Under the Tuscan Sun
Under the Tuscan Sun is a 2003 romantic comedy-drama film written, produced, and directed by Audrey Wells. It stars Diane Lane as a recently divorced San Francisco writer who impulsively buys a villa in Tuscany on a trip to Italy.
While she’s there, she meets an array of vibrant characters that help her discover the beauty of life and learn to take risks in order to find true happiness. The film also stars Sandra Oh, Lindsay Duncan, Vincent Riotta, and Raoul Bova.
The Way is a 2010 American drama film directed, produced and written by Emilio Estevez. The film follows the story of an American doctor (played by Martin Sheen). He comes to France after his son (played by Estevez) dies while walking the “El Camino de Santiago,” a pilgrimage route in Spain.
He decides to take his son’s ashes with him and complete the pilgrimage in his son’s memory. Along the way, he meets other travelers who help him to heal his grief and find new meaning in life.
Into the Wild
Into the Wild is a 2007 biographical adventure drama film written, co-produced, and directed by Sean Penn. It is an adaptation of the 1996 non-fiction book of the same name by Jon Krakauer. It tells the true story of Christopher McCandless (Emile Hirsch), a young man who hiked across North America into the Alaskan wilderness in the early 1990s.
The film depicts McCandless’s adventures as he gives away his life savings, rejects his conventional life and sets out on a journey to experience life in the wilderness. The film explores themes of freedom, adventure, and self-discovery.
Out of Africa
Out of Africa is a 1985 romantic drama film. It is based on the autobiographical book Out of Africa written by Isak Dinesen. It tells the story of Danish aristocrat Karen Blixen (played by Meryl Streep) as she and her husband (Robert Redford) move to British East Africa and start a coffee plantation in the early 1900s.
Blixen soon develops a close relationship with the African landscape and its people. This eventually leads to a tragic love story when she meets a charming adventurer, played by Klaus Maria Brandauer.
The Motorcycle Diaries
The Motorcycle Diaries is a 2004 biopic about the formative, life-changing journey undertaken by the young Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara and his best friend Alberto Granado. The two 23-year-olds travel 8,000 kilometres (5,000 miles) on a 1939 Norton 500 motorcycle. From Buenos Aires, across the Andes and through Chile, Peru, Columbia and Venezuela.
Along the way they experience the poverty of Latin America, witness the effects of US imperialism, and discover their own revolutionary spirit.
Amélie is a 2001 romantic comedy film directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet. The film is a whimsical depiction of contemporary Parisian life, set in Montmartre. It stars Audrey Tautou as the title character, an innocent, naive girl in Paris with her own sense of justice. She decides to help those around her and, along the way, discovers love.
Your guide to Paris:
The Monsoon Wedding is a 2001 Indian drama film directed by Mira Nair. It is set in Delhi and centered around an extended Punjabi family preparing for an arranged marriage. The film follows the story of Aditi and her cousin. They are both caught up in a whirlwind of emotions as they prepare for the wedding.
The film details the preparations for the wedding and the various issues that arise among the family members in their journey to make this union successful. The movie features a large ensemble cast, with Naseeruddin Shah, Lillete Dubey, and Shefali Shah in the lead roles.
Samsara is a non-narrative documentary film that takes viewers on a journey around the world, exploring the wonders of humanity and the connectedness of all life. The film travels to 25 countries and offers stunning visuals of ancient spiritual practices, modern industrial landscapes, and breathtaking natural wonders. It examines the link between the physical and spiritual worlds, and explores humanity’s relationship to the ever-changing environment. Samsara serves as a reminder that our actions have consequences beyond what we can see.
Watching the best travel movies can be an exciting and inspiring way to get a taste of the world without ever leaving your couch. From adventure to comedy, these films have something to offer everyone. So, whether you’re looking for an entertaining way to pass the time or some fuel for your wanderlust, these are the best travel movies worth checking out. So, what are you waiting for? Grab some popcorn and start your journey now!
Know some great travel movies that deserve to be on the list of the best travel movies? Share in the comments below!
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