Wadi Rum, Jordan
Wadi Rum, Jordan

10 Exotic Movie Locations

From an 18th-century palace to the sewers of Paris.

  1. Wadi Rum, Jordan. The desert replicates the surface of Mars in The Martian.
  2. Angkor Wat, Cambodia. Ta Prohm, one of the many temples here, was the backdrop for Lara Croft: Tomb Rader.
  3. Maya Bay, Thailand. Phi Phi Ley Island was the filming site of The Beach, starring Leonardo DiCaprio.
  4. Jaipur, India. The railway station, airport, and hotels are some of the locations used in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and its sequel. 
  5. Ait Ben Haddou, Morocco. The Gladiator features the Ksar, which is believed to date from the 11th century.
  6. The Royal Palace of Caserta, Italy. The 18th-century palace doubled as Queen Amidala’s castle on Naboo in Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace
  7. Putangirua Pinnacles, Wairarapa, New Zealand. Dimholt Road in this rugged landscape is where Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli seek the Paths of the Dead in Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King.
  8. Paris. In Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2, actors run away from monsters in Paris’s narrow sewer system.
  9. Gloucester Cathedral, Gloucester, England. The cathedral, a stand-in for Hogwarts, was used for scenes in Harry Potter movies: Philosopher’s Stone (2001), Chamber of Secrets (2002), and the Half-Blood Prince (2009). 
  10. Tikal National Park, Guatemala. George Lucas filmed the opening scenes of Star Wars IV: A New Hope from the top of a Mayan pyramid in this park.