There is simply no other film series that’s considered as big a movement as the James Bond collection. Created by the iconic novelist Ian Fleming in the mid-1900s, James Bond is a fictional MI6 agent that’s stolen the hearts of millions over the past 70 or so years.
Played by seven different actors over the course of the series, Bond has been featured as the main character in 27 films. As he portrays the life and experiences of an undercover MI6 agent under the codename of 007, Bond makes his way to some of the most incredible destinations on the planet. With movie budgets reaching 300 million US dollars for some films, next-level film locations shouldn’t come as much of a surprise.
From the tropical beaches of Jamaica to the headquarters of the MI6 in the bustling city of London to Turkish railway stations and Italian piazzas, Bond journeys through some of the most exciting locations of any film series.
If you’re a fan of the films, you’ll likely have a few of these destinations on your bucket list already. But to make things easier for you, I’ve collated a list of the best bond locations, from historic buildings to idyllic beaches and everything in between.
The Best Bond Location to Visit
There is no doubt about it; the James Bond movies were filmed in some of the best global locations, sparking the trend for other similar spy and secret agent films to follow in its lead.
This list compiles ten of the most popular 007 films, featuring their main set locations and how-to-visit bond location sets today.
Dr No – Ocho Rios, Jamaica
The first James Bond film to hit the big screens, Dr No stars Sean Connery as the first, original and best 007. The film takes place on the idyllic island of Jamaica, where Bond is sent to investigate a suspected murder of a fellow MI6 agent. With the help of a CIA agent and a local fisherman, Bond follows the trail of Dr No to his private Island Crab Key, the location of Dr No’s secret nuclear laboratory.
While the island is the sinister base of Dr No in the film, the actual place is much more peaceful and alluring. Of course, this mythical island, supposedly just off Jamaica’s coast, doesn’t exist in real life. However, the reality isn’t far off from the fictional island, and many of the island scenes were filmed along Ochos Rios in Jamaica (now dubbed Crab Key Beach by Bond fans). It’s one of the best places to visit in Jamaica for a relaxing vacation.
Where was Dr No filmed?
Ochos Rios is a charming town on the northern coastline of Jamaica. Locally known as Ochi, the town was once a sleepy fishing village that has exploded in tourism growth since the release of the Bond film.
It is now the centre of Jamaica’s duty-free shipping scene, has a huge cruise terminal, and is home to many gorgeous beach resorts and hotels. It’s one of the best places to stay in Jamaica if you’re looking for both relaxation and plenty of activities.
Other than arriving by cruise liner, the best way to get to the town is to fly into Donald Sangster International Montego Bay Airport and drive along the North Coast Highway for just over an hour and a half.
Tourists visit this coastline for its gorgeous beaches and laid-back atmosphere, as well as to see the setting of the original James Bond film. Jamaica is typically known for its reggae music and jerk chicken. Still, it is the region’s beautiful mountains and waterfalls, as well as local colourful fishing villages, that make Ochos Rios a top destination for all sorts of travellers.
If you want to visit the Bond film set, you’re in luck. Various locations were used to film scenes around Dr. No’s secret lair, including Dunn’s River Falls and the beach at Laughing Waters, where a character emerged from the ocean.
Jamaica is overflowing with gorgeous places to stay, including self-catering Airbnb’s. Take a look at this list of the Best Airbnb’s in Jamaica.
From Russia With Love – Istanbul
Released in 1963 and starring Sean Connery, From Russia With Love was the second movie in the James Bond series. Throughout the film, Bond is assigned the role of helping a young Russian girl who is believed to be an essential government asset. The girl, named Tatiana, is, in fact, a spawn of SPECTRE, a criminal group who plan to use the beautiful woman to lure Bond to his death.
Most of this film was filmed in Turkey, with a few scenes shot at Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire, UK, and in Scotland. Some later scenes in the movie were shot in Venice, Italy, on the iconic canals.
Istanbul is an incredible destination to visit on vacation. With over 2500 years of history, culture, and traditions, the city is teeming with incredible landmarks, dynamic nightlife, world-class food, and breathtaking views. It’s a cultural melting pot of Europe and the East, there are plenty of epic things to do in Istanbul for everyone.
Where was From Russia With Love filmed?
The film takes place in the fascinating and alluring city of Istanbul. At the site of the Yerebatan Saray Sarnici at Sultanahmet Square, James Bond escapes with the Lektor decoding machine. Parts of the film are also shot at the Blue Mosque, the Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, and the Byzantine Hippodrome.
Other film sites include the Spice Market of Istanbul, the impressive Galata Bridge, the Grand Bazaar, the Egyptian Market, and the Bay of Pendik: some of the best places to visit in Istanbul, especially on your first visit.
Towards the end of the film, the plot moves to the Istanbul Sirkeci Terminal, where Bond and Tatiana board the Orient Express to escape SPECTRE. As one of the most notable film locations of the movie, the Orient Express journeys through Europe and stops at the Zagreb and Belgrade railway stations along the way.
Since many of these film locations are major tourist attractions for the city, most, if not all, of the best bond locations in Turkey can be visited pretty easily. In fact, most city tours are bound to include them as major tourist attractions, so they’ll slot into your Istanbul Itinerary without any trouble.
If you’re looking for a promising yet affordable place to stay in Istanbul, this Hostel Travel Guide has you covered.
Live and Let Die – New Orleans
Live and Let Die was released in 1973 as the eighth film in the iconic James Bond series. It was the first film to star Roger Moore as 007 and had a whopping (by 70’s standards) box office budget of over 160 million USD.
In this film, Bond begins his adventure by investigating the murders of three fellow agents. Along the way, he becomes a target, escaping and evading vicious killers as he closes in on his primary target, Mr Big. As 007 works to unravel this devious mastermind’s plan, he meets a beautiful tarot-card reader whose magical abilities are essential to the mastermind they are trying to bring down.
Much of the film was shot in and around New Orleans, Louisiana. Conveniently, the most well-known film locations are set right in the heart of the New Orleans historic district and can be visited just by walking on the street. In fact, many of the best places to visit in New Orleans can be assessed on foot.
The buildings all look the same as they did in the film, and with a bit of imagination, you’ll easily be able to see where the famous cafes and restaurants Bond visited during the movie were located. Be sure to plan out your New Orleans itinerary so it gives you plenty of time to explore and get lost in the historic streets.
Where was Live and Let Die filmed?
Other than New Orleans, where this film is based, the film was shot across a few locations. These include Jamaica, Harlem, New York City, Pinewood Studios, and England.
If you’re wondering where is Bond filmed, Louisiana’s New Orleans is the place to be. One of the main locations includes 826 Charles Street in the French Quarter of the city, where the fictional Fillet of Soul Restaurant was located. Fans will be glad to know that this district hasn’t changed much at all since the film was made, and visiting it will make you feel like you’re right in the plot of the film yourself.
The Lakefront Airport hosted the set of the Bleeker Flying School, where Bond smashes a wing off of an aeroplane. Visiting is a fun thing to do in New Orleans if you want to get off the beaten track.
Easily one of the most well-shot scenes of the film is the iconic boat chase, which takes place along the riverways and highways of Louisiana. Around Louisiana State Highway 39, viewers see Bond launch a speedboat over highway 11. This boat chase was filmed across the Crawded Bridge, Millers Bridge (where the police erected a river block), and Lake Pontchartrain (at the Marina of the Southern Yacht Club).
The best way to experience the local charm and Southwestern charm of New Orleans is to stay in a B&B. This guide to the 15 Best Bed and Breakfasts, Cottages, and Lodges in New Orleans is bound to have a spot on it you’ll want to book right away.
The Man With The Golden Gun – Thailand
In this world-renowned film, government agent James Bond is on the hunt for a stolen solar cell technology invention that can turn the sun’s heat into a globally destructive weapon. Offt! During his search, Bond receives an ominous golden bullet, showing that he is the next target of the world’s most expensive assassin; Francisco Scaramanga (played by the legendary Christopher Lee who was incidentally Ian Fleming’s step-cousin).
Along the way, Bond manages to track down the hit man to a tropical isle hideout (now one of the most iconic Bond film set locations to visit), where the killer-for-hire has, in fact, lured him for a dynamic duel. These days it’s a popular day trip on any Phuket itinerary.
Where was The Man with the Golden Gun filmed?
The most impressive scenes in The Man with the Golden Gun were shot in Thailand. Along with the Thai locations, some scenes were also shot in Macau, Hong Kong, and London.
The film was shot across the country, with scenes in the capital city of Bangkok, the resort town of Phuket, Thonburi, and on the islands of Ko Khao Phing Kan and Ko Tapu.
After spending some time in Hong Kong, the search for the villain takes Bond to Bangkok, where he engages in a dynamic boat chase through the klongs – a network of canals that cross through the city.
He then attends a karate school in the Ancient City of Muang Boran. Today, this city is the world’s largest outdoor museum and houses miniature versions of Bangkok’s most impressive and historic buildings.
The kickboxing match where Bond first meets Scaramanga was filmed in the Rajadamnern Stadium on Nok Road in Bangkok.
Easily one of the most famous and best Bond locations, Scaramanga’s impressive beach house hideout was supposedly located on the island of Ko Khao Phing Kan in Phang Nga Bay, one of the most stunning national parks in Thailand.
The island of Ko Tapu (a jungle-covered 66-foot tall islet rock feature with no buildings on it) is now locally referred to as James Bond island by locals and tourists! In fact, the region was used as a location to film the 1997 Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies too.
When the film was shot, Phang Nga Bay was a remote destination with little tourist activity. Today it’s one of the most popular tourist areas in the country and is overrun with activities, resorts, and boat tours. It’s one of the best things to do in Phuket if you’re looking for a day trip.
The Man with the Golden Gun was filmed across various Thai locations. Depending on where you want to base yourself in this incredible southeast Asian country, this list of Hostels in Thailand should help guide you.
Octopussy – Udaipur
A crowd favourite of the series, James Bond is assigned to solve the murder of a fellow agent, who was killed in East Germany clutching onto a fake Faberge egg… a classic Bond storyline if ever there was one!
Bond’s employers, the MI6, suspect that the Soviets are involved (aren’t they always!?) in the murder and send Bond to find and identify the real Faberge Egg and its seller. The journey leads him to the Rajasthan province in India, where he follows an alluring woman who operates a smuggling ring under the guise of a travelling circus. Yes, the storyline is wild and yes, we love it!
Where was Octopussy filmed?
Some of the best Bond locations in the series, the most impressive scenes in the film are shot at the floating palace in Udaipur, which Bond is tasked to infiltrate. On arriving at the palace, he meets the owner, Octopussy, a wealthy businesswoman who ends up being a part of the plot. It’s one of the must-see locations on any trip to this beautiful country, just be sure to check the time of year you visit India to make the most of the lake.
The palace, known as the Taj Lake Palace in real life, is built in the middle of Lake Pichola. Some exterior shots of Octopussy’s home were shot at the Jag Mandir Palace, another floating palace just a short boat ride from the Taj Lake Palace. Visitors can travel to these incredible palaces by boat and be greeted by the same elephant statues shown when Bond arrives in his submarine.
Another iconic set location is the Shiv Niwas Palace, which is the hotel where Bond stayed during the movie. A tuk-tuk driver mentions the hotel’s name when he collects him from the hotel, and Bond is also seen playing at the hotel casino and eating dinner at the restaurant next to the swimming pool.
Other beautiful film locations include the Monsoon Palace, built atop a hill overlooking Udaipur. Fun fact? The Rolls-Royce Phantom II used by a villain in the film is still owned by the Maharaja of Udaipur and is on show at the Vintage Car Collection Museum.
If you’re wondering how to visit this Bond location, the Shiv Nivas Hotel is a part of the former residence of the Maharaja of Udaipur and is located right on the banks of the same lake that the Taj Lake Palace is set in. The two hotels have views of each other.
If you’re a fan of the series and have the budget to spend, you can book a room at these hotels, walking in the footsteps of your favourite fictional MI6 agent. Alternatively, the palaces can be visited by tourists. You could enjoy a meal at the palace overlooking the lake or join a boat cruise around the iconic island palaces for the best views.
Udaipur is a place of luxury and royal opulence. But the city also has its fair share of affordable accommodations. If you’re trying to save cash, check out this guide for Backpacking India on a Budget.
Spy Who Loved Me – Luxor
The tenth film in the series, The Spy Who Loved Me starred Roger Moore as James Bond and was released in 1977. The storyline follows the journey of an unhinged megalomaniac who plans to destroy the world as we know it and build a new civilization under the sea… makes sense right!? Bond teams up with a Soviet agent to put a halt to the insanity, coming into all sorts of trouble along the way.
Where was Spy Who Loved Me filmed?
The film was shot on location in Eqypt, in both Cairo and Luxor, with a few scenes shot in Italy. The underwater scenes were shot in the Bahamas.
During the film, Bond is dispatched to Cairo, where he makes his way into the Giza Necropolis complex, visiting the three Great Pyramids and the Great Sphinx along the way.
He is then driven out to Luxor, a smaller town on the Nile River, about 450 miles south of Cairo. It is here where 007 follows a villain into the Great Hypostyle Hall and through the maze of giant columns in the Karnak temple complex, just a mile northwest of the city of Luxor. It’s somewhere you just have to include on your trip backpacking in Egypt.
The Temple of Karnak is an impressive historical structure still standing today. In fact, as the world’s largest religious building, it’s more like an enormous city of temples, built over a period of around 2000 years. If you’d like to see where this Bond was filmed, you can access this ancient religious site by rail from Cairo.
Another intriguing location, the Joint HQ between the MI6 and KGB is set in the Great Temple of Rameses II, behind four impressive statues of the Pharoah at Abu Simbel. You can visit this incredible architectural feat from the village of Aswan on a boat cruise.
Accommodation in Luxor is far and few between. If you’re struggling to find an area that is safe, near the attractions you want to visit, and affordable, this guide to the Coolest Areas and Locations in Egypt might be useful!
License To Kill – Mexico
After a drug baron kills his best friend’s wife, Bond relinquishes his license to kill and disobeys official orders to go on a revenge mission. On a vengeful mission to take down the organization of the drug lord, Bond enters one of his most brutal missions yet, without the assistance of his agency to fall back onto.
This was the sixteenth film released in the series in 1989, starring Timothy Dalton as James Bond.
Where was License to Kill filmed?
Unlike other Bond films, License to Kill features minimal shots within the UK. Instead, the film’s locations were mainly based in Florida and Mexico, with the production done at the famous Churobusco Studios in Mexico. As the country’s largest and oldest movie studios, Churabusco Studios are located in Mexico City and were the base of production for the film.
When Bond arrives in Mexico, he ventures to Isla Mujeres with his CIA friend to search for an infamous drug lord. One of the best bond locations to visit, this island is located just eight miles off the Yucatan Peninsula in the Caribbean Sea, not far from the world-famous resort of Cancun. Many underwater scenes were filmed in the crystal clear waters around this island. Ideal for tourists, the island is similar to Cancun but with a more peaceful atmosphere. Taking a day trip is one of the best things to do when you’re in Cancun if you can’t afford to stay a few days.
Sanchez’s house is set at Villa Arabesque in the di Portanova Estate on the beach near Las Brisas in Acapulco. This real-life masterpiece estate was built by a wealthy jet-setter. It features an underwater-themed disco room, three swimming pools, a rooftop helipad, and a funicular railway system used to get from the house to the beach, as shown in the film.
Today, the villa is available to stay in as a luxury hotel, and it’s also on the market for sale for almost 30 million USD, so it might just be a bit of a stretch for your Mexico backpacking trip!
The next famous film location is the Post Office in Mexico City, the elaborate and still functioning post office where Bond makes a substantial deposit. Bond stays at the incredible art nouveau Gran Hotel Ciudad De Mexico, which is also still available to book as a hotel. The Gran Hotel lobby and Biblioteca de la Banca de Mexico also make an appearance in the film and are some of the best places to visit in Mexico City if you’re a bond fan.
Estudios Churubusco is located just outside the hustle and bustle of Mexico City, which is easily one of the most exciting cities to visit. Check out this list of Hostels in Mexico City if you’re after a sociable yet affordable stay.
GoldenEye – Verzasca Dam in Switzerland
Years after a fellow MI6 agent and a personal friend are killed on a joint mission with Bond, a Russian crime syndicate (headed by a former ally-turned-enemy) takes control over a secret satellite weapon known as the GoldenEye.
When the deadly satellite weapon that can fire a devastating electromagnetic pulse toward the planet falls into enemy hands, Bond is recruited to retrieve it and save the world from disaster. Along the way, 007 has to fight off various assassins who are out to derail his mission.
Released in 1995 as the seventeenth James Bond film, GoldenEye was the first to star Pierce Brosnan as James Bond and has gone down as a classic.
Where was GoldenEye filmed?
If you’re desperate to visit a Bond film set, you’ll find most in the UK, Russia, France, Monaco, and Puerto Rico. However, one of the film’s more memorable scenes was shot at the Tusker Dam in Lake Verzasca near Ticino in Switzerland.
In the opening teaser scene of the film, the dam wall sets the backdrop for Bond’s spectacular bungee jump at the fictitious Arkangel Chemical Weapons Facility of the USSR.
Often referred to as Contra Dam, the Locarno Dam, or the Verzasca Dam, Tusker Dam can be visited from the small town of Ticino, close to one of the most incredible National Parks in Switzerland. The dam is used for bungee jumping and is home to one of the world’s highest fixed bungee installations.
If you’re the adventurous type, walk in the footsteps of Bond and do this adrenaline-pumping jump yourself. The jump is open between April and October on Saturday and Sunday afternoons and can be booked online for around 275 USD.
The dam is in an off-the-beaten-track location in Switzerland, right by the Italian border. Since finding accommodation can be far-and-few-between here (not to mention incredibly pricey), I advise checking out this Guide to Backpacking in Switzerland on a Budget.
Skyfall – Scottish Highlands
Starring Daniel Craig, Skyfall follows a 007 assignment that goes horribly wrong. The film begins with a dramatic chase through the streets of Istanbul, where Bond recovers a flash drive with the names of every MI6 and NATO agent currently operating undercover in terrorist organisations around the world.
Car chases and fights atop a moving train make this one of the more intense films to watch, made even more spectacular with modern CGI (since it was only released in 2012).
A botched mission leads to a whirlwind turn of events, exposing undercover agents worldwide and leaving MI6 in terrible jeopardy. While the agency is compromised, the leaders of MI6 relocate and turn to Bond for help.
Where was Skyfall filmed?
As a matter of fact, Skyfall was filmed on location in many countries, with some of the best Bond locations shot in studios in London, Hankley Common, and Surrey in England, Japan, China, and a bunch of different locations across Turkey.
However, one of the most cinematographically impressive locations shot at was in Glencoe, a small village in the lush Scottish Highlands. If you’re planning a backpacking trip to Scotland, then you just have to include it on your itinerary.
In the Bond novels written by Ian Fleming, the village of Glencoe is mentioned as the home of Bond’s father. In Skyfall, Bond arrives in the Scottish Highlands, driving along the A82 highway with the misty peaks of the Buachaille Etive Mor and Buachaille Etive Beag of Glencoe in the backdrop. This area is home to some of the most incredible National Parks in Scotland and is mindblowing to visit.
Contrary to popular belief, the scenes at Bond’s Scottish home, including the chapel and entrance gate, were constructed for the film and were, in fact, filmed in the Hankley Common, in Surrey, England, and not in Scotland.
The Scottish Highlands offer an abundance of adventures, with many small villages and farming settlements scattered throughout the moors and highlands. Take a look at this guide on Where to Stay in Scotland if you need more clarity with the options.
No Time To Die – Matera & Gravina
No Time To Die opens with Bond and his lover starting a new life in Italy. However, it doesn’t take long before he is the target of SPECTRE agents. The couple escapes an ambush. However, more trouble awaits Bond in London, where SPECTRE attacks again, this time destroying an important laboratory used to create a devastating weapon known as Heracles.
Where was No Time to Die filmed?
The film is shot worldwide, including many locations in the UK, the Faroe Islands, Jamaica, and Norway. Many of the best bond set locations were set in the gorgeous Italian countryside throughout Matera, Gravina, Publia, and Sapri.
One of the more critical sequences takes place in the picturesque town of Matera in Italy. This authentic city sits atop a rocky outcrop in Southern Italy’s Basilicata region. The cemetery scene and a bunch of romantic scenes were shot in this town, as well as a high-speed, action-packed chase involving a motorcycle and Bond’s iconic Aston Martin DB5. Be sure to visit on when you backpack around Italy.
Among other locations, the monochrome stone buildings of Matera, built into the rocky mountain, created the perfect setting for the film. However, the bridge that the film portrays as connecting Matera to the Necropolis is, in fact, located a half-hour drive away in Gravina. It is here where Bond gets caught and attacked, leading him to jump off the Roman bridge. Both spots are perfect additions to your Italian Itinerary.
Other sites shown in the film that you can visit as a Bond location today include the Palazzo Gattini in the Piazza Duomo, Casa Diva in Via Giumella, the Sextantio Hotel in Sasso Barisano, and the Beach Restaurant Riva dei Ginepri in Marina di Pisticci.
The closest big city to Matera and Gravina is Bari, located on the Italian coastline of the Adriatic Sea. It’s the perfect place to stay in Italy if you want to explore this area of the country.
If you’re hoping to save on accommodation in this rural Italian region, check out these Hostels in Bari for some of the best, most affordable places to stay while checking out where is Bond filmed.
From tropical island hideouts to bustling Asian cities and impressive ancient European villages set atop rising hills, there is no denying that the James Bond film series is shot across some of the most incredible locations worldwide. James Bond might call London home, but he doesn’t stay still for long!
Unlike many modern films, most of the impressive footage is shot in real-life locations, with just a few additional shots and scenes filmed in studios using CGI and greenscreens.
Because of this, it is possible to visit many of these real-life bond film locations as a fan of the series, walking in the same footsteps as your favourite MI6 agent.
Where will you head to first?
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