For many people, movies serve as an escape from their mundane lives. Luckily, travel provides that same getaway. Famed director Woody Allen is known for setting his films in an array of cities around the world, making millions of viewers desire to jump off the couch upon viewing the movies and travel to these magical destinations themselves. If you haven’t been to these cities or want to rediscover the places you visited through the silver screen, check out these top Woody Allen movies that will make you want to explore the world.
1. Manhattan (1979) – New York City, United States
Watching Allen’s classic Manhattan is almost the same as being in New York City itself. This film, written and directed by and starring Allen, puts the most iconic areas of “the city that never sleeps” on display. From the romantic views of Queensboro Bridge from Sutton Square to the scenes in Central Park, Times Square, and Brooklyn, Manhattan shows so many great parts of the city that it could practically work as a 96-minute video advertisement of the city by the NYC Tourism Bureau. After watching it, it’s impossible to not want to be in “The Big Apple”—whether or not you’re traipsing around the city with the likes of Allen, Diane Keaton, Michael Murphy, and Meryl Streep.
2. Midnight in Paris (2011) – Paris, France
The opening scene of Midnight in Paris is arguably the best slideshow tour of Paris ever made; if you have seen the movie, you know exactly what I’m talking about. There is no way not to fall in love with France’s capital after seeing Owen Wilson travel back in time and witness La Belle Époque, Paris’ Golden Age from the late 1800s to early 1900s, when he meets some of the most renowned artists and writers to ever live. Midnight in Paris, Allen’s highest-grossing film, even won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay in 2012.
3. Match Point (2005) – London, England
This drama set in London marked the beginning of a series of Allen’s movies shot in Europe. Starring Scarlett Johansson and Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Match Point is a masterpiece—one of Allen’s best ever. Since the film chronicles the story of a heated love triangle at the heart of a wealthy family, its chosen locations are among London’s most exclusive, such as the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, Pimlico, Belgravia, the Royal Opera House, and the Tate Modern and Saatchi Gallery museums.
4. Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008) – Barcelona, Spain
The plot centers on two American friends (Rebecca Hall and Scarlett Johansson) who fall in love with the same man during a summer vacation in Barcelona. Even though some scenes were shot elsewhere in Spain, in the cities of Oviedo and Avilés, most of Vicky Cristina Barcelona takes place in Catalonia’s capital. Spectators of the film can enjoy the beautifully framed artistic treasures from Joan Miró and Antoni Gaudí, such as La Sagrada Familia, Casa Milà, and Park Güell, as well as the popular street of La Rambla and a beautiful view from the Montjuïc hill. The movie also won the 2008 Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy.
5. To Rome with Love (2012) – Rome, Italy
This film is not known to be one of Allen’s best movies, but the romantic comedy still worth watching for the main purpose of amazing yourself with Rome’s beauty. With To Rome with Love, Allen pays homage to Italy’s capital through a romance film that explores four unrelated love stories involving Italians and Americans (Alec Baldwin, Penelope Cruz, and Jesse Eisenberg, to name a few). The Roman Forum, Trastevere, Fontana di Trevi, and the Piazzas Venezia, del Popolo, and Mattei are some of the iconic attractions where Allen decided to shoot his scenes.
Travel to any of these cities, or anywhere else in the world, for that matter, and maybe Woody Allen’s next film will be based on your adventures abroad…