Longing to escape into your favorite films or books? Now you actually can! From Middle Earth to Jurassic Park—we rounded up the real-life locations behind 25 fictional places, with photos from 500px and video clips.
Scroll down and get inspired to plan your next getaway!
Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit
1. Bilbo Baggins’ home in Hobbiton can be found in Matamata, New Zealand.
2. “One does not simply walk into Mordor…” But you sure can walk into Tongariro National Park, New Zealand, where the scenes in Mordor were filmed.
Though the movie adaptation wasn’t filmed here, Passu Lake in Gilgit, Pakistan is a dead ringer for Mordor.
3. Hogwarts Express, the train that takes Harry Potter and his classmates to Hogwarts, can be seen speeding across Glenfinnan Viaduct in Lochaber, Scotland.
This railway viaduct appears in this unnerving Dementor attack scene:
4. Hogwarts Dining Hall was inspired by The Great Hall in Christ Church, Oxford University.
5. You can visit a recreation of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry yourself in Universal Studios, Florida.
6. Dare to check into the haunted Overlook Hotel? Stanley Kubrick and Jack Nicholson filmed the exterior scenes for the movie adaptation in Timberline Lodge in Mount Hood, Oregon.
7. But what really beckoned Stephen King to write The Shining in the first place was The Stanley Hotel in Colorado.
8. Remember these badass fights atop towering bamboo trees in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and House of Flying Daggers?
You can visit Arashiyama Forest in Kyoto, Japan to see this forest for yourself:
9. The mountains of Zhangjiajie National Forest Park in China bear a striking resemblance to the fictional planet Pandora in James Cameron’s Avatar.
10. The real-life ghost town Centralia, Pennsylvania was the basis for the blood-curdling Silent Hill.
When the strip mine beneath the town of Centralia caught fire, its 1,000 residents were evacuated. The fire continues to burn—even to this day, creating steaming pits, carbon monoxide vents, and sink holes all over.
11. The creepy church in Silent Hill exists too.
12. Remember that remote landmark, Paradise Falls in the Pixar movie UP? Check out Angel Falls in Venezuela.
13. In Doctor Who, the TARDIS is a time machine that is bigger on the inside. In real life, this Police Box in Earls Court Station is one of the last few mobile police stations left in the U.K.
14. In Inception, the bridge where Leonardo DiCaprio gives Ellen Page a mind-bending lesson in dream-sharing is real. It’s the Pont de Bir Hakeim in Paris.
15. James Joyce’s celebrated novel Ulysses spans an entire day in Dublin, Ireland. The story opens here in Martello Tower in Sandy Cove, Dublin. This spot is now known as The James Joyce Tower and Museum where the writer’s memorabilia is stored.
16. Deep in the jungles of Cambodia, the ruins of Ta Prohm Temple were the setting of Lara Croft’s adventures in Tomb Raider.
17. The make-believe town of Amity Island in Steven Spielberg’s Jaws is actually Menemsha Harbor, Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts.
18. One of the climactic scenes in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is Canyon City. In real life, it is actually an ancient Treasury called Al Khazneh, found in Petra, Jordan.
19. Remember that scene in Forrest Gump where he just keeps on running, crossing state lines across America? One of the actual landmarks he reaches during his run is the Marshall Point Lighthouse in Point Clyde, Maine.
And three years after start of his run, Gump stops at Monument Valley in Utah and decides to return home.
20. The desert planet Tatooine is home to Luke Skywalker and Anakin Skywalker. Tatooine, in real life, is Tunisia. Some sets, including Luke’s home and Mos Eisley Cantina, remain to this day in Matmata, Tunisia.
It’s also where this awesome, viral fan-made video was shot:
21. From Dubrovnik to Iceland, there are just too many awesome real-life locations in Game Of Thrones that we gave them their own feature. Click here to find out!
22. Highclere Castle in West Berkshire, U.K. is the home and filming location of the period drama, Downton Abbey.
23. In Da Vinci Code, all is finally revealed in Scotland’s Rosslyn Chapel.
24. These pastel-hued buildings in Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic inspired Wes Anderson’s dreamy production design in The Grand Budapest Hotel.
25. While most scenes in Jurassic Park were shot on soundstages, the exterior shots of Isla Nublar (a.k.a site of Jurassic Park) were of Na Pali Coast in Kauai, Hawaii.
Enjoyed your trip to these not-so make-believe lands so far? Go ahead and explore more lovely landscapes!