Travel Destinations Inspired by Every James Bond Film
Film: “Dr No” (1962), starring Sean Connery
Bond wakes up on a beach to see Honey Ryder (Ursula Andress) in that iconic bikini emerging from the sea as if Aphrodite herself. Like Bond, go to Oracabessafor crystal clear waters, and then walk around the captivating Dunn’s River Falls. You can even stay at Ian Fleming’s former estate, now beach-facing GoldenEye resort,for a true Bond inspired Caribbean getaway.
Film: “From Russia with Love” (1963), starring Sean Connery
Lured by Tatiana Romanov (Daniela Bianchi), Bond arrives in Istanbul, trading in his martini for Turkish coffee. Get lost in a labyrinth of carpets at the Grand Bazaar, go through a secret passage to the Basilica Cistern, and visit the must-see Hagia Sophia. Beyond Bond, this dazzling seaside capital has a rich history as a melting pot of cultures, bridging the East and the West.
Miami, United States of America
Film: “Goldfinger” (1964), starring Sean Connery
A constant list topper for greatest Bond film of all time, it opens with a sweeping aerial shot of this art-deco haven, welcoming us to Miami Beach. Although the film features the Fontainebleau Hotel, nearby accommodations include Casa Casuarina, the home of Gianni Versace until his death. Miami Beach is one of the most prominent resort areas of America, with a thriving architecture and arts scene. Art Basel attracts hundreds of leading modern galleries every year.
Paradise Island and Nassau, Bahamas
Film: “Thunderball” (1965), starring Sean Connery
In the tropical Bahamas, Bond and Domino (Claudine Auger) have their underwater tryst at Clifton Pier, and then emerge to walk along the aptly named Love Beach. Do not forget to snorkel around the pristine, blue waters of Thunderball Grotto, renamed after the film. This year-round destination continues to captivate travellers with its ocean breeze and sun-soaked charm.
Film: “You Only Live Twice” (1967), starring Sean Connery
How could anybody forget when Bond “turned Japanese”? A day trip from Osaka via bullet train, travel to Bond’s ninja training site: the hilltop Himeji Castle, a 17th century castle complex and UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visit in April for the sakuraseason as the light pink petals compliment the grand, white exterior of the castle, which gives it the nickname “White Heron”.
Film: “Casino Royale” (1967), starring David Niven
The “original”, although non-Eon produced, film adaptation of Casino Royaleis unlike any other film on this list. It has a cast that looks more Pink Pantherthan it does James Bond, and lacks the exotic filming locations of the other films (but makes up for that in its terrifically talented ensemble cast). Nonetheless, this film is a great opportunity to discover Bond’s home, one of the most vibrant cities of the world, where there is something for everybody: London.
Swiss Alps, Switzerland
Film: “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” (1969), starring George Lazenby
Lazenby’s only appearance as Bond is filled with adventure, excitement, and dazzling locations. A half hour cable car ride brings you to the summit of Schilthorn Mountain. There, the research institute of Blofeld is a revolving restaurant called the Piz Gloria. At an elevation of 9,740 feet, the ride and the restaurant give you a cinematic view atop the snow-covered Swiss Alps.
Las Vegas, United States of America
Film: “Diamonds Are Forever” (1971), starring Sean Connery
In his penultimate Bond film, Connery smuggles diamonds into the United States and soon finds himself in the entertainment capital of the world: shiny and sinful Las Vegas. There is perhaps no city that encapsulates the debonair, bachelor, thrill seeking Bond lifestyle like Las Vegas. Indulge yourself in all the entertainment this shining oasis in the Nevada desert has to offer.
New Orleans, United States of America
Film: “Live and Let Die” (1973), starring Roger Moore
The film opens up along the colorful, soulful streets of the French Quartersin New Orleans. Visit during Mardi Gras, when you can walk through the historic district to admire its preserved architecture, unique cuisine, and have a magical experience with a little help from the city’s deep history that is part jazz, part voodoo, all wonder.
Ko Tapu, Thailand
Film: “The Man with the Golden Gun” (1974), starring Roger Moore
Bond travels to the exotic Far East, tracking down the whereabouts of his kidnapped assistant, Mary Goodnight (Britt Ekland), to an isolated island in Phuket. Ko Tapu, renamed James Bond Island due to the popularity of the film, in Phang Nga Bay is a dream destination. Its distinctive tall, limestone rock tower emerges cinematically from the Bay, surrounded by a tropical paradise.
Film: “The Spy Who Loved Me” (1977), starring Roger Moore
In this Cold War thawing classic, Bond works with KGB Agent Triple X (Barbara Bach) on a mission around Egypt. The son et lumiereshow is presented every night at the last Seven Wonders of the Ancient World standing, the Giza Necropolis complex, location for the iconic fight scene between Bond and Fekkesh. Egypt is home to Ancient civilizations; it is the perfect destination for any and all explorers.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Film: “Moonraker” (1979), starring Roger Moore
Carnivalé is in full swing on the streets of Rio de Janeiro for Bond and Holly Goodhead (Lois Chiles). During a scenic cable car ride to the nearby Sugarloaf Mountain, Bond engages in a tense fight scene above Guanabara Bay. A boat chase through the Amazon Rainforest and Riverends at the breath-taking Iguazu Falls. The heart of South America is perfect for thrill seekers and lovers of adventure, like Bond himself.Corfu and Meteora, Greece
Corfu and Meteora, Greece
Film: “For Your Eyes Only” (1981), starring Roger Moore
During a brief sojourn in Corfu, Bond visits the Achilleion Palace. Its artistically landscaped garden, complete with Greek statues, has a balcony that offers a spectacular view of Corfu Bay. The climax comes at the mountaintop Monastery of the Holy Trinity, which features dazzling Eastern Orthodox style frescoes once you manage to climb the steps to the top.
Film: “Octopussy” (1983), starring Roger Moore
A boat ride to the Ganguar Ghatbrings you to the luxurious Hotel Shiv Niwas Palace, part of a spectacular complex of old royal palaces and gardens, while a tuk tukcan bring you to the must-see Jagdish Temple. Grab a drink at the Taj Lake Palace, a floating harem of sorts lead by the titular Octopussy (Maud Adams). Udaipur is a unique destination that showcases the best of Hindu architecture and the most romantic sides of Indian culture, known for its lavish royal palaces floating on a sophisticated lake system.
Film: “Never Say Never Again” (1983), starring Sean Connery
In his brief return as Bond, Connery finds himself around the French Riviera. While staying in Nice, nothing is more Bond than a road trip to the Monte Carlo Casino, where he has his iconic dance with Domino (Kim Basinger). The playground for the rich and famous, the Cote d’Azur has everything for the gallivanting playboy as well as honeymooners looking for a romantic getaway.
Film: “A View to a Kill” (1985), starring Roger Moore
North of Paris is the stunning Chateau de Chantilly, the home of the film’s villain, Max Zorin (Christopher Walken). However, one of the greatest sequences from any of the Bond films is back in Paris. It begins with Bond at Alain Ducasse’s, Michelin-starred Le Jules Vernein the Eiffel Tower. Soon, he is chasing May Day (Grace Jones) up the Tower’s steps. At the top she parachutes down, giving us a breath-taking view of this quintessential European destination.
Film: “The Living Daylights” (1987), starring Timothy Dalton
For his Bond debut, Dalton was thrown into culturally rich, central Europe. Vienna exudes sophistication and class with its vibrant arts and design scene. After a ride on the Wiener Riesenrad, walk along the Danube River, and then visit the impressive Schonbrunn Palacecomplex. On every street corner you will experience how easy it is to fall in love with this city’s imperial, old European charm.
Mexico City, Mexico
Film: “License to Kill” (1989), starring Timothy Dalton
A stand-in for the fictional Isthmus City, Bond stays at the iconic Gran Hotel Ciudad de Mexico, known for its genuine Tiffany stained glass windows and Louis XV chandelier. There is more than meets the eye in this buzzing megacity, with its historically lively arts scene and growing reputation as a major foodie destination.
St Petersburg, Russia
Film: “GoldenEye” (1995), starring Pierce Brosnan
After a brief Bond-less period, all women of the world were thankfully introduced to handsome, confident Brosnan. The Grand Hotel Europe, where Xenia Onatopp (Famke Janssen) attempts to seduce Bond, is one of the great hotels of the 19th century. It is a stone’s throw from the esteemed Mikhailovsky Theatreand the indescribable Hermitage Museum. Although actually shot in London, the film captures the intrigue of the capital of imperial, Tsarist Russia, a city of beautifully adorned Orthodox Churches and sublime opulence
Film: “Tomorrow Never Dies” (1997), starring Pierce Brosnan
Bond’s iconic skyscraper descent and fantastic motorcycle chase, with Wai Lin’s (Michelle Yeoh) arms wrapped around him, were filmed along the bustling streets of Bangkok. A constantly fun Asian city break for friends, families, and solo travellers, it has everything from beautiful Buddhist temples, like the Wat Phra Kaew, to the ornate Grand Palace.
Film: “The World is Not Enough” (1999), starring Pierce Brosnan
Azerbaijan is a Eurasian treasure is hidden between the Caucasus Mountains and the Caspian Sea. For foodies with the utmost, refined taste, the country is known for its exquisite caviar, which is sold locally at a fraction of European prices. This waterside capital offers beautiful promenades and a medieval Old City worth visiting and getting lost in.
Film: “Die Another Day” (2002), starring Pierce Brosnan
Who could forget the exciting car chase in a sleek Aston Martin around glaciers and icebergs as Bond returns to the Ice Palace to rescue Jinx Johnson (Halle Berry)? The frozen surface of glacial lagoon Jokulsarlonis is otherworldly in every sense of the word, perfect for travellers looking for something new and different, unlike anything they have experienced before.
Prague, Czech Republic
Film: “Casino Royale” (2006), starring Daniel Craig
In our introduction to the Bond reboot, the rough yet charming Craig supposedly gallivants around the world but is in Prague half of the time. The House of Commons is the famous library in the Strahov Monastery, the Montenegro scene is filmed in the out of town, Wes Anderson-esque Grandhotel Pupp, while the titular casino is actually the grandiose, Viennese-style Kaiserbad Spa. This historically Bohemian capital has limitless charm that is easy to fall in love. It is clear why the film crew wanted to make use of all the beauty Prague has to offer.
Film: “Quantum of Solace” (2008), starring Daniel Craig
The waters of Lake Garadaprovide the backdrop of the Italian car chase before Bond travels southward. First, to the Medieval town of Siena, which hosts the Palio di Siena horse race in its 13th century Piazza del Campo. Then, perched on a cliff overlooking the Mediterranean, is Torre di Talamonaccio, the luxurious villa now available for rent. Admire the dazzling rolling hills of Northern Italy while sipping the best local wines under the Tuscan sun.
Film: “Skyfall” (2012), starring Daniel Craig
In this modern favorite, we finally learn more about the Bond constant, extremely loveable, and flirtatious, Eve Moneypenny (Noamie Harris, although the original incarnation played by Lois Maxwell deserves to be mentioned as well). The build up to the titular estate highlights the beauty of the Scottish Highlands, with its misty peaks and dramatic, rolling fog perfect for a calm, cinematic getaway from city life.
Film: “Spectre” (2015), starring Daniel Craig
Dr Madeleine Swann (Lea Seydoux) and Bond travel to exotic medina Tangiers in search for the mysterious L’Americain. It turns out to be a classic Moroccan riad, which is the type of local accommodation one must stay at when visiting Morocco. Take the Oriental Desert Expressto enjoy the sweeping Saharan landscape. If stopping in the middle of the desert like Bond, opt for a luxury camping experience on golden sand dunes and watch one of the most beautiful sunsets you may ever experience.