Movies and video games have changed how people see the world. Legendary films and games like The Lord Of The Rings, Blade Runner, Assassins Creed and Grand Theft Auto (just to name a few), have left audiences glued to their seats wishing they could jump on the first flight to Hobbiton. But what if instead of seeing these places from the comfort of your couch you could actually go there. What a lot of gamers and movie goers don't know is that a lot of these amazing destinations do exist. The world around us has provided inspiration for some of the most epic destinations from our favorite movies and games. Here are 24 incredible video game and movie destination you can see in real life.
24. Overwatch's Map Ilios Is Basically Santorini, Greece
In Overwatch, Blizzard have created a truly breathtaking universe, with several unique and colorful locations. But none are more beautiful than Illios. Unfortunately, Ilios isn’t a real place. Luckily, the island of Santorini is. And the resemblance is clear to see. Originally home to the Minoan people, Santorini is what remains after one of the largest volcanic eruptions in recorded history. (Fun fact, this eruption and the resulting fall of the Minoan civilization is likely the source of the legend of Atlantis.)
23. Far Cry 4's Kyrat Can Be Found In The Mountains Of Nepal
It’s true that Far Cry 4 takes place in the fictional nation of Kyrat. However, Kyrat is heavily based on the real-life nation of Nepal. From snowy mountain tops, to roadside shrines, a trip through Nepal will give you flashbacks to that time you rode an elephant through one of Pagan Min’s strongholds. Just try not to do that in real life, we won’t be held responsible if you do.
22. Fallout 3's Capital Wasteland Is Actually Washington DC...
Taking place in “The Capital Wasteland” (a post-nuclear war Washington DC), Fallout 3 features many national landmarks. Luckily for us, these landmarks are still standing and not radioactive. You’re able to visit all of the landmarks featured in Fallout 3 by taking a quick trip to the United States capital.
21. Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood Is The Best Way To See 16th Century Rome
The Assassin’s Creed franchise is known for beautifully recreating historic cities for gamers to play around in, and AC: Brotherhood’s Rome is probably the highlight of the series. From the Colosseum, to St. Peter’s Basilica, to Trajan’s Market, Rome is chock full of amazing landmarks that you can visit both in-game and out.
20. Tomb Raider Underworld Is Phang Nga Bay, Thailand
Lara Croft has made a name for herself in the gaming world for more than one reason. But for the sake of this article, let’s focus on her globe-hopping adventures. One of the better pre-reboot Tomb Raider titles, Underworld, features the “Ko Tapu Islands” which draw inspiration from Thailand's magnificent Phang Nga Bay. And specifically Ko Ta Pu, a 66ft tall islet that was also featured in the James Bond movie “The Man with the Golden Gun.”
19. Half-Life 2's Overwatch Nexus in City 17 Is Actually Serbian Parliament In Belgrade, Serbia
If you’re still waiting on Half-Life 3, well, I can’t help you there. What I can do is give you a Half-Life themed expedition for the next time you’re in Serbia, so… Almost as good? Turns out ‘City 17’ in Half-Life 2 is based on the real-life city of Belgrade. And the Overwatch Nexus? Well, that’s just the Serbian Parliament building.
18. S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl Is Pretty Obviously Chernobyl, Ukraine
Who would have guessed a game with the subtitle “Shadow of Chernobyl” would take place in the real-life ruins of Chernobyl? That being said, it’s now possible to take a tour of the city renowned for the 1986 nuclear disaster. So if you’re a S.T.A.L.K.E.R. fan and want to live out the greatest moments in the game, nothing is stopping you.
17. Explore Uncharted 2: Among Thieves Locations In Kathmandu, Nepal
While it’s true the Uncharted series is basically just Tomb Raider but with a male protagonist, that hasn’t stopped it from gaining a wide fan base. In Uncharted 2, Nathan Drake finds himself in the real-life city of Kathmandu, which has been lovingly recreated by the team at Naughty Dog. While the graphics look a bit dated today, the real city is still just as beautiful as ever.
16. Assassin’s Creed Revelations Mosque Is Really The Blue Mosque In Istanbul
Once again the Assassin’s Creed series takes a spot on the list. This time with their rendition of Constantinople. The city is now known as Istanbul (not Constantinople), and the most striking landmark is that of the Blue Mosque or The Sultan Ahmed Mosque, which is commonly regarded as one of the greatest masterpieces of Islamic architecture. You can visit the Mosque, which was built in 1616, to this day, just watch out for Templars.
15. Resistance: Fall of Man Is Based On The Beautiful Manchester Cathedral Manchester, England
When Resistance: Fall of Man was released in 2006, it was always going to be a hit. What no one expected was the controversy surrounding the game. Featuring a level inside the Manchester Cathedral, Resistance: Fall of Man caught some flack from the Church of England for allowing people to fire guns inside a virtual representation of the church. Sony eventually apologized, but if you want to visit the place that was ground zero to the controversy (and the alien invasion), just pop over to Manchester.
14. Grand Theft Auto V's Del Perro Pier Is Really Santa Monica Pier In California
Rockstar Games’ GTA V is one of the densest and most detailed digital worlds out there. The fact that it’s based on Los Angeles and the surrounding area makes it all the more fun for virtual vacations. One of the more popular locations in the game is Del Perro Pier, which is inspired by the real-life Santa Monica Pier. Unfortunately, it’s frowned upon to launch your car off the end of the Santa Monica Pier, so keep that in mind when you visit.
13. Dark Souls Anor Londo Castle Is The Stunning Duomo In Milan, Italy
The world of Dark Souls is probably not the first place that comes to mind when you think, “I wanna go on a vacation.” But if you’re a fan of flying buttresses, you might have a thing for the castle in Anor Londo. If that’s the case, you’re in luck. The castle is actually based on the Duomo di Milano, flying buttresses and all. Taking six centuries to complete, (almost as long as an average playthrough of Dark Souls) the church stands to this day as the seat of the Archbishop of Milan.
12. Dallas City Hall In Texas Is Actually Robocop OCP Headquarters
While Robocop may take place in Detroit, the OCP headquarters where Murphy is rebuilt as OCP Crime Prevention Unit 001 is in Dallas, Texas. When it came time to film the external shots of OCP’s HQ, the film team headed to Dallas City Hall, which still looks much the way it did in the original film, save one thing. It’s shorter, much shorter. In the film they used matte paintings to make the building look taller than it is in real life. But still, if you want to see where Robocop was born, head to Dallas, not Detroit.
11. You Can Go To X-Men Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters In Hatley Castle, British Columbia, Canada
Ever wanted to enroll in Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters? I can’t actually believe I’m saying this, but you totally can. The mansion used in the X-men films is Hatley Castle, on southern Vancouver Island, British Columbia. It’s also a real university - Royal Roads University. I can’t stress this enough. You can actually go to school here. Mutant powers not included, of course. If you don’t want to go to school though, Hatley Castle is still open for tours, so you can still get contact credit at least.
10. Hobbiton, New Zealand: This One Speaks For Itself
When Peter Jackson set out to film the Lord of the Rings trilogy he decided he wanted to actually build Hobbiton in New Zealand. When the films were done, he just left it there. Now you can tour it yourself. The Green Dragon Inn, Bag End, and plenty of other Hobbit holes are open to visitors at Hobbiton and the surrounding Shire.
9. Downton Abbey Is Highclere Castle in West Berkshire, England
If you have dreams of visiting the real life Downton Abbey, head over to West Berkshire in England and make your way to Highclere Castle. Open to the public for roughly 70 days a year, the real castle is home to the 8th Earl of Carnarvon and his wife. But don’t expect to find a staff of “downstairs people”
8. Sherlock’s Apartment At 187 North Gower Street in London Is Real
If you’re a fan of BBC’s Sherlock, you might have dreams of visiting 221B, Baker Street in London. Well, feel free, there’s a Sherlock Holmes museum there, but don’t expect to sneak a peek at Benedict Cumberbatch. For that you’ll need to head to 187 North Gower Street, where the show films. While you’re there you can even grab a bite to eat at Speedy’s cafe.
7. Go Throw A Pizza On Walter White’s House At 308 Negra Arroyo Lane in Albuquerque, New Mexico (Or Don't)
You can actually visit the home of Walter White from Breaking Bad in Albuquerque, New Mexico. However, as it’s a private residence, don’t expect any tours. Also, please don’t throw any pizza on the roof. The current owners are tired of that gag. They have also installed 24/7 video surveillance of the building, so no trespassing.
6. Walk The Game of Thrones Kingsroad In The Dark Hedges of Northern Ireland
While Ned Stark didn’t have terribly great things to say about the Kingsroad, luckily the real-life location that stood in for it on the HBO series is much nicer than its reputation would let on. You can take a stroll along the beautiful Dark Hedges of Northern Ireland, completely free, and take in the beauty of the beech trees lining the road.
5. The Forest Moon of Endor Lives In California Redwood National Park
Home to the adorable (or hated, depending on your stance) Ewoks, the Sanctuary Moon of Endor can be visited by taking a trip to California’s Redwood National Park. While you probably won’t run into any Storm Troopers, you will be able to walk among the towering redwoods that reach astonishing heights of 380ft, and live over 2,000 years.
4. Visit Blade Runner's Legendary Bradbury Building
When Decard visits the toymaker in Blade Runner, he does so in this iconic Los Angeles building. The Bradbury has a long history of film credits (including 2011’s Oscar-winning The Artist), dating all the way back to the 1943 film, China Girl. But it’s Blade Runner that really showed off the beauty of the building.
3. Jurassic Park Is Actually Kauai Hawaii
Head over to the northern shore of Kauai to take a trip to the park 65 million years in the making, and visit locations used in Jurassic Park. Notably, the Valley House Plantation Estate on the northeastern shore was used to film the sick triceratops scene.
2. The Force Awakens & Last Jedi Location Ahch-To Is Skellig Michael in Ireland
When Rey finally finds Luke at the end of the Force Awakens, she has to travel all the way to the remote planet of Ahch-To. Luckily, all you’d have to do in reality is visit Ireland. Skellig Michael is a UNESCO world heritage site dating back to the 7th century. Only 13 vessels are allowed to dock on the island though, so if you want to visit, make plans ahead of time or risk disappointment.
1. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade Was Set In Stunning Petra, Jordan
The home of the Holy Grail looks so impressive that it’s gotta be fake. But as luck would have it, Petra is a totally real place you can visit in Jordan. Where better to keep the grail safe than a place known as “The Treasury of Petra”? Established in the 4th century as the capital of the Nabataean Empire, Petra is a UNESCO world heritage site and one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.