25 Best Travel Movies Of All Time (MUST WATCH)

Best Travel Movies Guide
What are the Best Travel Movies?
Travel Inspiration

These are some of the best travel movies ever (in my opinion). You can watch these films over & over again, and never get sick of them. Get ready to be inspired!

I started to realize I had a travel obsession when all my favorite movies were based on crazy travel adventures. Now I’ve been traveling for over 9 years, with no plans to stop anytime soon.

Here is my personal list of the best travel movies of all time.

Once I’ve finished watching any of these films, I feel the instant urge to pack up everything and head out to explore the world. Great travel movies like these have helped inspire my own personal travel goals over the years.

So if you’re looking for some inspiration to push you into a backpacking adventure of your own, sit down and watch a couple of these fantastic flicks with a bowl of popcorn, a glass of wine, and a friend.

It’s the next best thing to actually traveling!

Just make sure to get off that couch and experience the real thing once in a while, because no matter how good these movies are, they can never replicate the incredible experiences of actual world travel…

My Favorite Travel Movies For 2019

1. The Motorcycle Diaries

2004 | Walter Salles | Spanish

The Motorcycle Diaries Movie

The Motorcycle Diaries is one of my favorite movies of all time. The true story of two medical students embarking on a five month motorcycle trip across South America in order to use their medical training to volunteer for a remote leper colony along the Amazon river.

Based on the personal journals of Latin American revolutionary Che Guevara, it highlights the freedom, adventure, and personal discovery that is part of the travel experience. A beautiful movie about one of the most influential people to have ever lived, no matter whether you think his influence was positive or negative.

Get The Movie Here →

2. Secret Life Of Walter Mitty

2013 | Ben Stiller | English

Secret Life of Walter Mitty Movie

The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty tells the story of Walter (played by Ben Stiller), an introverted, awkward, and anonymous photo editor at LIFE Magazine who’s real life is pretty boring. However Walter has a very active imagination. When his job is threatened, he embarks on the adventure of a lifetime.

Traveling the world from Iceland to Afghanistan in search of his hero while taking risks and conquering new challenges along the way. A mix of incredible visual landscapes, a beautiful soundtrack, and some humor is just icing on the cake. The perfect movie to inspire those yearning for something more out of life.

Get The Movie Here →

3. A Map For Saturday

2007 | Brook Silva-Braga | English

A Map For Saturday

A Map For Saturday is a travel documentary that follows one man as he quits his cushy job with HBO to travel around the world for a year and live out of his backpack. It shows the different ways people travel, and gives an accurate picture of what it is like to vagabond around the world long term.

You get to experience both the ups and downs of his trip at a very personal level. If you ever thought of doing something like this, the movie will show you what the experience is really like. It also shows you that anyone can travel cheaply if they really want to. The only thing stopping you is, well, you.

Get The Movie Here →

4. 180 Degrees South

2010 | Chris Malloy | English

180 Degrees South

180 Degrees South is a documentary that follows the adventure of a group of friends as they travel to Patagonia in the spirt of their heroes. They pack their surfboards and climbing gear as they sail and drive along the South American coast, learning about the losing battle against industrialization and the destruction of the natural world.

Modern commercial interests fed by the growing human consumption of disposable goods is ruining our planet, and the film shows what some brave people are doing to try and stop it. The movie’s beautiful scenery and fantastic soundtrack mix together with a strong message and travel adventure to create a true work of art.

Get The Movie Here →

5. Que Tan Lejos

2009 | Tania Hermida | Spanish

Que Tan Lejos<

Que Tan Lejos (How Much Further) is set in Ecuador, as Esperanza and Tristeza try to get from the capital city of Quito to the town of Cuenca. It is normally a 5 hour bus ride. The two women decide to hitchhike when local strikes force their bus to stop. One girl is a local trying to stop the love of her life from getting married, while the other is a tourist from Spain.

Along the way, they learn from each other while meeting interesting people who help them re-evaluate the purpose of their journeys. The film is filled with beautiful scenery from Ecuador, and gives an authentic portrayal of life in that country.

Get The Movie Here →

6. The Way

2012 | Emilio Estevez | English

The Way<

The Way is a beautiful and inspiring tale about a father walking Spain’s Camino de Santiago trail to honor his recently dead son. The experience is an eye-opening an emotional one for him, as he’s forced to make friends with complete strangers and examine his life during the 800km journey.

It features a very eclectic mix of characters, all walking the path for their own personal reasons. The movie certainly made me more interested in traveling along the Camino at some point in my life.

Get The Movie Here →

7. In July

2004 | Fatih Akim | German

In July<

In July (Im Juli) is a movie about a road trip through eastern Europe and all the adventure that goes along with it. Daniel is a shy & boring young school teacher who never really does anything fun & exciting. He decides to break out of his shell while chasing a girl from Germany to Turkey on a crazy road trip that will change his life forever.

His travel partner shows him what he’s been missing as they drive, hitchhike, walk, swim, get robbed, steal a car, get in fights, escape from jail, and bribe border guards to get to their ultimate destination. By the end of the adventure, he’s a changed person.

Get The Movie Here →

8. L’auberge Espagnole

2012 | Cedric Klapish | French

L’auberge Espagnole<

L’auberge Espangnole (The Spanish Apartment) is about a young, slightly uptight Economics student who goes on an exchange program in Barcelona to learn Spanish before he lands a big job. Xavier is not that experienced with the world, and is in for a surprise when he moves into an apartment filled with international students.

He has to learn to live with 6 other roommates from different corners of the globe, putting up with their cultural and personal differences. The adventures they have will open his eyes to what life can be. It’s a funny and realistic movie, based on the real life experiences of the director.

Get The Movie Here →

9. The Darjeeling Limited

2008 | Wes Anderson| English

The Darjeeling Limited<

The Darjeeling Limited is a wacky film about three wealthy, spoiled brothers taking an overland train trip through India. They haven’t spoken in a year, and the trip is supposed to heal and bond them again. Initially it all goes wrong as they bicker and fight with each other. They are all suffering from depression, and pop pain killers like candy.

When it seems like nothing is going right, their crazy experiences along the way finally put things into perspective. The ultimate goal of healing and rejuvenation starts to happen. They finally start to grow up and turn into men. The movie is hilarious and beautifully shot too. It will make you want to visit India.

Get The Movie Here →

10. A Good Year Movie

2007 | Ridley Scott| English

A Good Year Movie<

A Good Year is about a high powered London stock broker who’s favorite uncle passes away, leaving him a chateau and vineyard in France. When he visits to quickly prepare the property to be sold for millions, he gets addicted to the laid back, stress-free lifestyle of the French countryside.

He falls in love with a local beauty, and has fond flashbacks of his childhood under the care of his womanizing uncle. The whole thing is very funny, and it’s a great date movie! The underlying theme is that there is much more to life than money, plus it will make you long to visit the South of France.

Get The Movie Here →

11. Lost In Translation

2010 | Sofia Coppola | English

Lost In Translation<

Lost In Translation is based on two separate travelers, Bob & Charlotte, visiting Tokyo at the same time. They meet each other and form a friendship as they experience confusion and hilarity in a strange and curious city. Bob is an aging actor starring in commercials, while Charlotte is the bored wife of a photographer there on business.

They are an unlikely pair, experiencing a degree of loneliness in a foreign city filled with millions of people. This is another beautifully shot film that also shows how funny and interesting traveling in a new country can be. The many little random experiences that present themselves while traveling are often the most memorable.

Get The Movie Here →

12. Lawrence Of Arabia

1962 | David Lean | English

Lawrence Of Arabia<

Lawrence Of Arabia is the classic story of a young, eccentric British army officer who heads into the Arabian desert to gather intelligence about the Arab revolt against Turkey during World War 1. He ends up leading a guerrilla force of them to attack the Turks.

The setting of the film is fantastic, and it follows Lawrence as he learns about the people and starts adopting some of their customs. I think this is one of the benefits of travel. You learn from other cultures, and adapt your lifestyle around what you’ve learned. Although the “white man leads a bunch of natives” theme is kind of cheesy, overall the film is great.

Get The Movie Here →

13. Into The Wild

2008 | Various | English

Into The Wild<

Into The Wild is the true story of Christopher McCandless, a recent college graduate who gives away his live savings and hitchhikes to Alaska. He meets all kinds of people along the way, each with their own stories. In Alaska, he heads out into the wilderness to live on his own.

His life is filled with random adventures and experiences while he makes his way up to “The Last Frontier”. This is what travel is all about to me. Experiences, good and bad, make you who you are. And long term travel is FULL of new experiences. The key is to not completely get in over your head (like Christopher did).

Get The Movie Here →

14. Seven Years In Tibet

2004 | Jean-Jaques Annaud | English

Seven Years In Tibet<

Seven Years In Tibet is about an Austrian mountaineer who heads out to conquer a Himalayan mountain in 1939. After getting captured and sent to a prison camp, he ends up breaking out with another man and sneaking into the holy Tibetan city of Lhasa. He befriends the young Dalai Lama just as the Chinese attempt to invade Tibet by force.

Both men are from totally different worlds, yet become great friends and learn from each other. The character starts off as a selfish prick, but slowly changes his outlook on life when confronted with new experiences in a very foreign land. It’s a good movie that shows you how travel adventures can transform your life.

Get The Movie Here →

15. Y Tu Mama Tambien

2002 | Alfonso Cuaron | English

Y Tu Mama Tambien<

Y Tu Mama Tambien is about two best friends who meet an older woman at a family wedding in Mexico City. They convince her to come with them on a road trip to a magical hidden beach that doesn’t exist. She agrees when she finds out her husband has been cheating on her. They head out to find a beach that matches their made-up story.

Along the way there is passion, conflict, and jealousy. The film is unrated and has some pretty risqué scenes in it, and may not be for everyone. Their trip reveals the harsh realities of poverty that exist outside their privileged life of the city. It’s an eye opener that all travelers experience at some time in their wandering.

Get The Movie Here →

16. Vicky Cristina Barcelona

2009 | Woody Allen | English

Vicky Cristina Barcelona<

Vicky Cristina Barcelona is the tale of two friends who take a vacation to Barcelona, where they meet a mysterious painter, Juan Antonio, who asks them to spend the summer with him. Vicky is the more reserved of the two, engaged to be married, while Cristina is more of a free spirit. The relationship between the three is sexually charged, and drama ensues.

Things only get more complicated when Juan’s mentally disturbed ex-wife shows up. The movie is quite entertaining, and is set in the beautiful landscapes & cityscapes of Spain. I especially enjoy it because it shows how travel can open you up to new experiences. You learn what you’re really made of on the road.

Get The Movie Here →

17. Encounters At The End Of The World

2008 | Werner Herzog | English

Encounters At The End Of The World<

Encounters At The End Of The World is an incredibly beautiful and funny movie about the people and animals who live in Antarctica. The film is done by Werner Herzog, one of my favorite directors. The individuals that work at the National Science Foundation research station are full of character, and most are permanent world travelers.

Even if you’ve seen the Discovery channel shows about Antarctica, this is totally different and fresh. I liked it much more than I thought I would, and it has earned a spot on my best travel movies list because as soon as it was over I wanted to pack up and head down there for a bit!

Get The Movie Here →

18. UP

2009 | Animated | English


UP is about an old man who spent his life dreaming of world travel and adventure with his wife, only for the both of them to grow old without ever taking any action. Then he finally decides to do something about it, and ends up having the adventure of a lifetime! This animated movie had it all, and was definitely not just for kids.

Most people spend their whole life pushing travel goals off to the future, when they should be living those dreams right now. Life is short, and you have to fill it with interesting experiences as often as you can. This movie does a good job of emphasizing that theme.

Get The Movie Here →

19. Indiana Jones Series

1962 | Steven Spielberg | English

Indiana Jones<

The Indiana Jones Series are not particularly accurate travel movies, but they sure are fun! These movies helped plant the seed of adventure in my head many years ago. Who wouldn’t want to go searching for lost artifacts in remote jungles and deserts all over the world?

Indy’s wild adventures have inspired many travelers over the years. Sometimes group tours won’t cut it. Heading out by yourself into the unknown is a whole different kind of travel experience, and very rewarding. But the last one, Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, sucks monkey balls.

Get The Movie Here →

Get Out There & Travel More!

Ok, so the thing about travel, is that movies from around the world will never do the real experience justice.

So while I highly recommend you watch as many travel movies as you can, my hope is that these films will inspire you to get out there on your own to explore this big planet!

An investment in travel is an investment in yourself.

Travel Planning Resources

Packing Guide

Check out my travel gear guide to help you start packing for your trip. Pick up a travel backpack, camera gear, and other useful travel accessories.

Book Your Flight

Book cheap flights on Skyscanner, my favorite airline search engine to find deals. Also read my tips for how I find the cheapest flights.

Rent A Car

Discover Cars is a great site for comparing car prices to find the best deal. They search both local & international rental companies.

Book Accommodation

Booking.com is my favorite hotel search engine. Or rent local apartments on Airbnb ($35 discount!). Read my post for tips on booking cheap hotels.

Protect Your Trip

Don’t forget travel insurance! I’m a big fan of World Nomads for short-term trips. Protect yourself from possible injury & theft abroad. Read more about why you should always carry travel insurance.

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Check out these awesome travel movies to inspire your next trip!


I hope you enjoyed my guide to the best travel movies of all time! Hopefully you found it useful. Here are a few more wanderlust-inducing articles that I recommend you read next:

  • Ok, now it’s time to read a book! Here are my favorite travel books that will make you want to explore the world.
  • So, you want to travel more, but you don’t have the money. Here’s how I was able to save money to travel.
  • Check out these inspring travel quotes from famous writers to help cure your case of wanderlust.
  • Working while traveling is the ultimate digital nomad dream. Here are some travel jobs that can help make it happen!
  • Browse my useful budget travel resources page to learn how to travel the world. It’s full of beginner tips.

What are some of your favorite travel movies? Did I miss any good ones? Drop me a message in the comments below!


Hi, I’m Matthew Karsten — I’ve been traveling around the world for the last 10 years as a blogger, photographer, and digital nomad. Adventure travel & photography are my passions. Let me inspire you to travel with crazy stories, photography, and money-saving travel tips.
Matthew Karsten
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Comments (280)

  1. Enjoyed a few of them noted above.
    But also guys think of the darien a film late 90s
    And also a more recent one Pirates of somalia. Them two films are just brilliant both true stories as well.

  2. Thanks for that list, Matt! :)
    + 3from me

    Milarepa (2006) – cause just watching a Bhutan movie is exciting enough
    Le dernier trappeur (2004) – Yukon, Yukon, Yukon <3
    Never Cry Wolf (1983) – dances with wolves…but just the real deal

  3. Love your list! I loved ‘The Way’ and husband’s favourite travel movie is ‘Secret Life of Walter Mitty’. Wish they would make more travel movies though!

  4. I wanted to share one more film that I think it’s not only beautiful but touching and what got me to want to do just that! Travel. It’s called Last “Stop for Paul” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V-qGe3Vx6Sc the movie is shot with what looks like no budget but I think it’s because they really didn’t have any budget. Anyway check it out if you can. It was a great little film but to me very inspiring

  5. Hello Matt!
    I have watched some of the movies, they were really great indeed.
    I would add another movie- “Seventy seven days”. Its a Chinese movie about a traveler, who crossed Chang Tang plateau in Tibet from west to east. Chang Tang is one of the most difficult to access areas in the world, and its crossing is harder than climbing Everest or every other 8000+ m peak.

  6. Hey Matt! I think you’re pretty amazing, have been following your blog for 3 weeks now and I think I’m almost done reading all your posts..
    Also done watching Motorcycle diaries and Into the Wild, so obsessed with how emotional and inspiring the movies can be. Fallen completely in love with Eddie Vedder and all his soundtracks for the movie.
    Continue inspiring, and have a great trip :)

  7. Thanks for this list! I watched “The way” last year just before embarking on a 3000km journey on foot across New Zealand. Loved the movie.

  8. Great List. Another one that I enjoyed thoroughly was The Way Back. It was more a survival movie, but covered landscapes of Russia, Mongolia and a little bit of China

    • I’ve seen that one, it’s pretty good. Always a fan of survival type movies too — especially when they involve travel.

  9. You are realy amazing Matt . I am a big fan of you. I love u travel and my dream is to become a traveller like you. The movie into the wild is awsome and very inspirational. Thankz for your posts in the blog.

  10. Hey Matt! I think you’re pretty amazing, have been following your blog for 3 weeks now and I think I’m almost done reading all your posts..
    Also done watching Motorcycle diaries and Into the Wild, so obsessed with how emotional and inspiring the movies can be. Fallen completely in love with Eddie Vedder and all his soundtracks for the movie.
    Continue inspiring, and have a great trip :)

  11. I have the Secret Life of Walter Mitty at home and I have watched it more then once let me tell you. My parents say ” Are you watching that again?” LOL
    I’ll make sure to watch some of these movies :)

  12. The top 7 travel movies on/in Africa that you must watch before you go include:
    1. Out of Africa****
    2. The Ghost and the Darkness***
    3. Mandela, The Long Walk to Freedom*****
    4. Constant Gardener****
    5. Kitchen Toto
    6. Cry Freedom
    7. Zulu
    8. The Last King of Scotland
    9. Lion King*****
    10. Hotel Rwanda
    11. Blood Diamonds
    12. District 9
    I must a good number of these is about African dictators, genocide and resource wars. But the first 4 are a great watch and full of love, struggle and sheer will of the people.

  13. Top 5 Indian (Bollywood) Travel movies

    1. Dil chahta hai – Travelling with friends
    2. Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara – Travelling with friends
    3. Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani – It is a love story. Two friends bond during a trekking trip and the guy leaves India to pursue his dream to travel the world. The message you get from this movie is – when you are travelling the world on your own you do miss your family and friends
    4. Queen – The actress decided to go alone on her honeymoon alone, after being dumped by her fiance just a day before the wedding. She meets strangers, explores new places, stays in a coed hostel for the first time and and receives her first kiss.
    5. Jab We Met – It is a Love Story. It captures the beauty of road trip from Manali to Leh

  14. Great list…some movies I love, and some I am putting on my “to watch” list. Can’t wait to see A Map For Saturday.

    If I may interject a few “chick flick” style travel movies in here – I am always inspired by watching Enchanted April or Shirley Valentine. They both show the transformative power of travel.

    And one film that hardly anyone ever puts on their list, but has the most amazing scenery – The Sheltering Sky.

  15. Oh come on, how could you talk about movies for vacation without talking about national lampoons vacation. Sure it is a goofy comedy and may only appeal to a certain group but it is still a funny movie worth watching while traveling.

  16. Awesome list! Some of these movies I have never heard of. Also I would like to add Departures, all though not a movie, but a TV series, it’s great!


  17. Geez! Thank you for this article! I now have something to look forward to every weekend – movie marathon until I finish all of the movies in this list!

  18. If you like Venice, an oldie and cheesy goodie is “A Little Romance” with a young Diane Lane and an old Laurence Olivier.

  19. I am looking for travel movies and I noticed “the beach” is not in there.
    Anyway I will watch seven years in Tibet because he is one of my favorite actor of all time besides Leonardo! Thanks for the recommendations.

  20. Love your list! A bit less than half are on my list as well. Now I am craving to go to Italy again because of all the Italian movies I am watching with Sophia Loren. They are incredible.

  21. Nicholas Roeg’s Walkabout, a stunning film about two white Australian children abandoned by their father in the wilderness and rescued by an indigenous boy on his year-long walkabout.

  22. What a great list! I have been reading your blog posts for a while but I did not come across to this amazing list before though. Actually I’ve already seen four of them, but I realize, there are still lots of good movies to watch about finding inspiration to travel. I could have add “The Bucket List” to this list. Thank you Matt. Cheers!

  23. I have seen a good number of these and included one or two of them in my own short 5 movie list of wanderlust inspiring movies! Thanks for the list Matt, I will be sure to check some of these out!

  24. Oh I have not watched a lot of these movies. But I watched Vicky Cristina Barcelona. Ha ha ok movie. But I cannot say you will learn too much about Barcelona watching it. But if watching a movie about a country or city whets your curiosity why not! Let’s see … I will watch a few on your list. Thanks for the good list.

  25. So glad to see the Encounters at the end of the world get a mention. This film blew me away the first time I saw is. It’s just so beautiful.

  26. Great list, some of my favorite movies are in there too!

    I would also like to add: ‘The Bucket List’ with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman, great movie and great actors!

  27. There’s this alien language movie named “charlie” running few theatres all around the world with English subtitles.. It’s my favorite vagabond movie so far.. Everyone should watch it.. “Charlie Malayalam movie” released on 2015 December..

  28. I really like this list. I have seen about 1/2 of them so it gives me more to watch. I would add Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, which, along with Darjeeling Limited, makes me want to go to India; and Marigold, which is a silly Bollywood-inspired love story that will make you want to do the same; and Under The Tuscan Sun, which made me decide I need to retire there!


  29. Great list, seen some of those movies and totally loved them!
    Travel movies keep me inspired on the road and motivate me to travel while at home, they have the same power of a real trip!

  30. Really good list, the ones I’ve already seen are really as good as you say. And the unknown ones are definitely now in my list. Thanks!

  31. I just watched Walter Mitty and then Into the Wild. I should have watched it the other way around since now that I’m going to bed ~_~

  32. Fabulous list. Most are still on my list though. I only have seen abut 10, and my absolute favorite is, what else could it be, The Motorcycle Diaries!

  33. Dear Matthew,

    All you have mentioned here i am sure that they have their mark in everybody who watch, but i guess your list will be incomplete without a blend of Bollywood movie. it s the movie “Zindagi Milegi Na Dobara”,Yah you hear it right.

    Have a watch on it and i am sure you will like it. Just a request.

  34. Re Lawrence of Arabia:
    “white man leads a bunch of natives” theme is kind of cheesy,
    Are you kidding? It happens to be true. It is not just a cheap Hollywood bullshit trick.

    • While the basic story is true, much of it is exaggerated. The Arab forces weren’t a bunch of dumb, simple-minded savages, as the movie portrays. There is plenty of cheap Hollywood bullshit in it.

  35. Ok – My favorite and most realistic travel movie for me is Before Sunrise. Ive traveled a lot and Im sure some people will agree, that some of the very random romantic connections you make on the road really create some incredible memories. The script feels effortless, its innocence is magnetic and for all the movies Ive seen, this reflects my travel experiences. I really recommend this film to travelers coming to this blog. The whole series (there’s three now) is incredible but the first one definitely stands out.

  36. I went to India because of the combined influence of Darjeeling Limited and Slumdog Millionaire, and am now headed to Patagonia thanks to 180 South! Some of the only movies I can sit through…

  37. Great work. Really all these movie are so good. Every person must watch all these at once and feel the magic of being a traveler in your life.

  38. I haven’t seen most of these movies. I saw Into the Wild and yeah, I felt really sad and frustrated while watching [SPOILER REDACTED]. It’s a very nice movie, and full of lessons; like you really must [SPOILER REDACTED].

    Lost in Translation and Secret Life of Walter Mitty and of course, UP are my favorites!

  39. Really a great list of 25 best travel movies and I am pretty much happy that i have completed to see all of them. Thanks

  40. Personally I love “A good year” with Russel Crowe. After reading this post I want to check out “Into the wild” and “7 Years in Tibet”.

  41. Hey Matt,

    I know this list is old now, But man we had some of the same movies on the list! I loved 180 Degrees South, It really speaks to the industrialization of the world. Imagine using more power for silly video games then all of San Diego!

  42. A few of my favorites: “The Great Outdoors,” “The Long, Long Trailer,” “Undercover Blues,” “Coupe de Ville,” “Captain Ron,” “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.”

  43. “In Bruges”- The setting in Belgium was amazing and definitely inspired me to visit a country I otherwise may have skipped through quickly. Also, this movie is darkly comedic and I love the dialogue in it.

  44. Some good movies there. Saw the way and really enjoyed it – you don’t have to be religious and more about self-discovery and meeting people along the way. And I felt the same way about wanting to do it :)
    Lost in Translation one of Spanky’s favorite movies. Had a hard time with it.
    Life of Walter Mitty – been wanting to see that so bad and finally found it on a recent flight from Kuala Lumpur to Frankfurt. Except I fell asleep and missed the whole thing. Darn.
    Frank (bbqboy)

  45. Nice list. Many of them our my favorite movies.Some of them i have never heard so definately will watch them.
    keep posting!!

  46. Excellent list. Just watched “Into the Wild” recently and liked it. Some of these I’ve never heard of though so will have to check them out.

  47. seen some of them! but needed some inspiration by watching some movies I havent seen before. i need to get on the road again! any other recommendations?

  48. Great list! Will definitely watch l’Auberge Espagnole tonight – never even heard of it before!
    I actually made my own list of 20 travel-inspiring movies. Check it out, maybe you’ll find something new to watch, too! :)

  49. good list..i would sugest “the art of travel”,”the beach”,”neelakasham pachakadal chuvanna bhoomi (its in malayalam) but great movie

    • I recently returned from visiting Iceland, and the magic of that country matches up with how it’s portrayed in the movie. Amazing!

  50. Love your list, some of them are my favs too. Here are some more ideas:
    “Eat, Pray, Love” Story about a young woman leaving her relationship, job and friends behind to find herself on her trip through Italy, India and Bali.
    “BERLIN TWO SHANGHAI”(berlin2shanghai). Especially love that one! About two brothers who go by bycicle all the way from Germany to China with all their obstacles, fights and victories. Amazing, authentic movie about a crazy adventure.
    “Wild” Movie about a woman hiking the PCT (Pacific Coast Trail)
    “Same same but different”, about a young german-thai couple in Bangkok, Thailand and their cultural differences.
    “The White Massai”, about a german woman falling in love with an African Massai.

  51. Great list, Matt! I was about to write a similar list for our blog but it looks like you have it covered! Haha! Up and Indy are both on my list. They both really inspire adventure and an interest in far out culture. If you haven’t already, watch The Lunch box with Irfan Khan. A great and hilarious slice of Indian culture.

  52. apologies for recommending Gadjo Dilo. It would have been a weak list without :) Also check When the Road Bends… Tales of a Gypsy Caravan
    Thanks for Craigslist Joe and a map for saturday, very funny to watch!
    The gods must be crazy always bring back good memories…


  53. I saw the film La distancia más larga (The Longest Distance) recently at a film festival. I felt that it is a very good movie which can be categorized as a travel movie. The Roraima the Venezuelan border forms the backdrop for the movie. Though i looked for a DVD of the movie to see it again, none was available. Would love to see it again.

  54. Some great films I hadn’t seen. In both the list, and the comments. Thank you!
    Here’s some others that inspired me to see the world. I don’t think they’ve been mentioned yet…

    1 Giant Leap
    1 Giant Leap: What About Me?
    Craigslist Joe
    Dances with Wolves
    Life in a Day
    Never Cry Wolf
    Oh My God
    Romancing the Stone

  55. Just watched The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. It inspired me and that’s the reason why I’m craving for more travel films. I heard most from the comments about “Into the Wild” and “The Art of Travel”. Gonna watch them first :) Thanks people.

  56. Wow there are loads here I wasn’t aware about. Let me recomend you one filmed in my hometown in the Venezuelan Andes.. Una Vida y dos mandados.

  57. It’s pretty much filmed in it’s entirety on location in Paris which is pretty much my favorite city on Earth so far. There’s not much travel except for a garden gnome that flies around the world, and I am pretty sure was the inspiration for Travelocity’s roaming gnome. Even though the main character’s never leave Paris, the film really takes you places. It’s a must see if you haven’t already guessed it, “Amélie”.

  58. I’ve walked the Camino twice, and let me tell you… While “The Way” is a feel-good movie, it does not show, in any way, shape, or form, how hard it can be! I didn’t see him get a single blister in that movie. LOL If you want to see A REAL documentary about the Camino de Santiago, check out “Walking the Camino: Six Ways to Santiago.” (http://caminodocumentary.org/) I was fortunate to see this a week after I returned from my first camino, and it was incredible. Absolutely spot on. A true representation of the pain, joy, hardships, and friendships made along the way. It is scheduled to be out on DVD this fall (2014), but it is being shown at many film festivals. Check the website for up to date info.

    • Rory, I plan to walk the camino in two years, you’re right about showing no hardships and it seemed quite difficult too taking three months to reach somewhere. But I’m determined. Guide a little on this, how to prepare myself for it and what to expect? the link you’ve given isn’t working for some reason.

      Hopeful :D

  59. A great one I found on Netflix was mile..mile & 1/2. It’s a documentary about a group of friends hiking the John Muir Trail for a month. Great scenery and enjoyable commentary

  60. UP is one of my favourite movies. The story is really inspiring. But will watch other movies that you are recommending.

  61. My number one is The wild and not because it’s a real story but some how this movie really opened my thoughts like ,WOW what would you do if you were in his situation.

  62. Matthew – this is a great collection of movies which I keep coming back to, again and again. Not just the post, but the awesome set of comments here as well! Great job.

    I got to see “Beyond the pole” recently – although not a strict travel movie per se, it kind of portrays the complexities you always get while planning any travel. I think somebody already tried to mention about “Everything is Illiminated”, but I found the movie to be very inspiring, albeit because it had Eugene Hutz in it! Another movie which comes to mind is “Withnail and I” – again not a 100% travel movie, but I remember this movie everytime I go for a hiking trip only to have bad weather spoil the ‘very calculated’ trip. Another one that springs to mind is ‘Dil Chahthai Hai’, a Hindi movie from India – this movie was solely responsible for a million college students to bike to Goa on random trips! Only about 30 minutes of the movie is actually ‘spent travelling’, but it had quite a huge impact. I did not see ‘Latcho Drom’ in the comments anywhere, but its debatable whether its a travel movie or not.

    Other assorted collections: (apologies if people have mentioned this before!)

    Away we go
    One week
    Le grand voyage
    Que tan lejos


  63. The Way Back starring Ed Harris, Colin Farrell and Jim Sturgess. Now the movie isn’t primarily about travel for the sake of traveling/expedition. It is about some convicts escaping a Russian jail and the gargantuan trek they take from Russia to India, traveling across barren lands, deserts, greenery and lakes. The movie is about their struggle during the travel, but the movie was beautifully shot and deserves a watch from every nature/travel lover.

  64. You must add “The Beach” with Leonardo DiCaprio. I only watch the first 45 mins of the movie before the harsh story line kicks in lol

  65. My favorite travel movie which inspired me lot is “Neelakasham Pachakadal Chuvanna Bhoomi”

    after watching this movie I bought Royal Enfield and ride to same places which i saw in the film,

    The journey was amazing and also the movie was spectacular..

      • that’s a malayalam movie ( a regional language of Kerala) . I think those movie makers were inspired by the movie “motorcycle diaries”. But the story is entirely different.

  66. Maybe it’s one of those series that are only really good when you’re young but I absolutely loved the tv-series Relic hunters about ten years ago. They travel the world saving ancient artifacts and it is definitely one of the reasons why I’m currently travelling wonderful New Zealand and planning my next trips to south America and se Asia!
    Great blog by the way!

  67. Great list, sir! Thank you! There are quite a few on there that i haven’t seen yet. Some of my suggestions: Kon-Tiki, The Endless Summer, Before Sunrise, Baraka, Easy Rider, The Beach (although the book is way better) and Tracks (just went to see it and I was blown away:))

    • Just a note to agree with Hidde about “Tracks”….Brilliantly understated experience of what must’ve been a gruelling solo trek…well, solo ‘cept for the camels!

  68. You forgot Up in the Air, Last Stop for Paul, A Map for Saturday, The Beach, The Art of Travel, and Before Sunrise-Sunset-Midnight

  69. I would go for Only You with Robert Downey Jnr & Maria Tomei. Bit of a soppy film but some majestic Italian scenery compensates for this!

  70. I’ve just watched “The way” and I have cried the whole length of the movie!!!
    The ending was great thought, great message!!!

  71. Into the Wild is the best in my book. I also agree with one commenter here about The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Movies that compels you to just go live your travel dreams!

  72. I have been searching for some travel movies to refresh my memories of past journeys, and to inspire me to new adventures. Thanks for this wonderful list, Matt! I don’t recall having seen these films mentioned in the comments, so I’d like to suggest Richard Linklater’s exceptionally executed “Before” trilogy (Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, Before Midnight). Taken as individual movies and as a complete oeuvre, these little narrative and cinematic gems have transported me to their gorgeous locales and served as inspiration for new trips.

  73. I would recommend “Hobo” , by John T Davis. In this movie John is traveling with trainriding hobos in USA. Its a really good movie, it have all igreedients – information, portrait of people, the travelfeeling,,,, its just a really good travelmovie that will make you grab Your backpack and head for the road. Or the railroadtracks.
    And while Im at it – “Sans toit ni loi” , also known as “Vagabond”. A french drifter in france. Really an inspiering travelmovie if You are into ruff travel and dont mind sleaping outside. /Noa

  74. The Seltering Sky, Under the Tuscan Sun, Letters to Juliet, The Painted Veil, The English Patient, Eat Love and Pray, Australia, The City of Life (about Dubai), Before Midnight (greece)

  75. Under the Tuscan Sun has always made me dream about traveling to an unknown quaint place in Europe and just settling there

  76. I don’t recall seeing this in the comments. Not sure if it should count as a travel movie but since Up was mentioned I was reminded of the french movie Amelie. Especially the part where she took her father’s garden gnome and had postcards from all over the world sent to his house of garden gnome selfies inspiring Amelie’s father to travel for the first time since his wife died.

  77. Good collection.thanks for this collection.A question for u ?

    I m Nirban Bhattacarjee,from Kolkata,India.I m very interest to travel adventure.Do u know sir ,why can i join in real adventure journey???Pls give some suggestion for me.

    • Nirbin you must go. There are secrets out there for you to uncover. Do you know a Fokker disappeared recently in the Hindu Kush carrying something very valuable. What if you found it?

  78. Good selection! I really like the Highest Pass. I’ve traveled in this part of India and the movie helped me remember how breathtakingly beautiful it is.

  79. I’d put “The Tourist” on the list. It inspired me to visit Venice and I quickly booked my tickets and hotel :)
    Additionally, I’d also suggest you the “Silver Streak” and “North by Northwest” movies. Quite adventurous!

    Thanks a lot for your list!

  80. Add The Secret Life of Walter Mitty to your collection. I love movies that make me want to trade the drive home for a drive someplace new and beautiful and Walter Mitty gave me dreams of Iceland, mountaintops, and the great outdoors.

  81. Good list!

    Here are my suggestions:
    One Week
    Garden State
    The Art of Travel
    The Way
    Cry the Beloved Country
    Stealing Beauty
    A Room With A View, A Passage to India (travel films about 1900s)
    TV Show Northern Exposure

  82. Awesome list. I’ve always loved traveling but The Art of Travel is by far the best and most inspiring. I now work a second job soley to do a long term Latin America trip. Who knows, maybe even more than that.

  83. The Mosquito Coast 1986 w/ Harrison Ford & River Phoenix
    Was the inspiration for my trip to Belize in 1999.

    The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, makes me want to go to India.

    “Sideways” 2004 makes me want to travel before I get too old :)

    Those are my three cents!

  84. Now that the weather’s starting to get cooler and I’m spending more time indoors, I love that I have some movie suggestions! Thanks!

  85. I just found me a great new list of movies to watch. Actually, I have never been much of a movie buff but have heard too much about some of these to never watch them. Just about to watch “Into The Wild” for the first time. Thanks for the list!

  86. great list. i was searching for a complete list of travel films.
    thanks lot mathew and other contributors.
    mathew can you please revise the list and make a top 10 real travel movies?

  87. Two For The Road is one of my favorite travel films! Audrey Hepburn and Albert Finney play a married couple who meet on the road and fall in love, and the movie follows the ups and downs of their marriage.

  88. To add to this list, I just found a list of 5 great french movies on Netflix, the link is in hte Commentluv. I watched CRAZY and it’s now one of my favorite movie ever…

  89. Tony Gatclif is an Algerian Gypsy director, most of his films are on a budget and often include local people in the cast. Xiles and Gadjo Dilo are great!

  90. Kind of silly but how about “coming to america” that one was hilarious! Or not super travel movie but the one where cheech marin gets stranded in mexico, i forget the name, but the movie is based on him fighting to get back to america!

  91. i strongly recommend “Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara”.
    it is a great Indian movie in hindi language. the title of the movie means ‘you don’t get life twice’. its about three friends who travel to spain on a bachelor party trip. the people they meet and the things they face together change their lives forever. must watch travel film.

  92. I would also add “up in the air” to this list.
    Another possible list could be of the movies that inspire you to travel, that would be a different one though. you could even add Amelie with traveling gnome thing or Frida that makes you wanna go to Mexico!

  93. Great list, I have seen some of them but will definitely watch the others. There are two other films I would add. One is “Outsourced” – it is not exactly a travel movie but shows the experiences of an American working in India and the clash of the two cultures. The other is a kind of road movie through Ukraine. It is called “Everything is enlightened”. And I wish they made a movie of one of the books of my favorite travel writer, Bill Bryson. Or have they? –

    • I also loved the tv show inspired by the movie. I was so upset when NBC cancelled the show after the first season of Outsourced. It had everything and I learned quite a bit about India and the culture.

  94. Though I agree with most films on the list, I’d totally exclude Revolutionary Road, because it’s the exact opposite of a road movie.

    The sequel to L’Auberge Espagnole” is called, in english, “The Russian Dolls”, also a very nice movie. And sorry, I cannot leave “Easy Rider” out.

    Finally, in a somewhat more exotic note, I suggest the movie “Bye Bye Brasil”, about a circus troupe that crosses the Amazon forest.

  95. Some of these might be a little more on the frightening side but I’ve really liked The Beach, Brokedown Palace, and Mammoth.

  96. The Way Back, it gets left out of so many of these lists but has such beautiful landscapes that it just makes you want to get out and explore the world!

  97. Hi Matthew,
    A good one to add to your site: “The Way”, written by Emilio Estevez. Never heard of it before last weekend but was an enjoyable movie. Good job on your website!

  98. Ended up here after watching Into the Wild once again. A great addition to the list would be Taiwan Oyster. Saw it at a film festival in Taipei. A must if you’ve ever visited Taiwan at least – or worked as an expat in Asia.

  99. I love travelling too. I think its that ancient human urge to explore new places that is still alive in us..
    I like you list though i havent seen all the movies . But motorcycle diaries, in to the wild are definately my favourite ones…also i would like to add Americano, Duets, Almost famous as well as Banger sisters rings similar bells in my heart
    Keep travelli Sir …

      • I would like to suggest an interesting work by National Geographic. The name of the movie is “Life in a Day”. It is not exactly a travel movie but for sure you get is an exposure to different culture, people getting captured in its most basic way. Excluding the limelight it is a noble attempt to show how the world lives in a day. It has inspired me in a very subtle sense. Best part of the movie which keeps you activated is their background score. Commendable work !

  100. Another good one is The Way Back; and although it is a bit violent at times it shows how travel, pain and fear can unite just about anyone. Even tough the people who become friends don’t have so many things in common.

  101. Love them all and each have their own appeal. There are some great movies in this list which I have seen and love to watch again and again Laurence of Arabia, Seven Years in Tibet and Into the Wild or the Motorcycle Diaries and UP. Each of them is unique and it’s very difficult to pick and choose one from the list. I’ll add that this list has some great movies which should be seen regardless of the fact whether you travel or not :-)

  102. Great list! We were excited to see so many we haven’t seen! We watched The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel just last night, which was great, followed by Life of Pi (that one, of course, might not inspire some to travel). I’m with you and others all the way on Motorcycle Diaries. Donny (the other Turtle of TurtlesTravel) is a fan of the Beach…all about the scenery.

  103. I absolutely loved A Map For Saturday. Had to purchase it directly from their sight (you can not rent it anywhere), but well worth the trouble. So true to how it is out there. Also, I saw a few suggest The Way, with Martin Sheen. One of the best movies I’ve ever seen.

  104. There are alot of travel/adventure films in some of the extreme sport communities. i highly recommend checking out some of the film festivals they put on. My local climbing gym screens one called Banff Mountain film festival which is excellent, they go on tour around the world so you might wanna check out if there’s a showing near you.

    • I know the Banff Mountain film festival Ricotomo — I used to live in Bozeman, Montana. They show some pretty epic movies!

  105. El Topo by Alejandro Jodorowsky
    Central Station by Walter Salles
    In This World by Michael Winterbottom
    The Passenger by Michelangelo Antonioni
    And in a “reverse angle” – Last Year at Marienbad by Alain Resnais (endless attempts for a “kick start” repeatedly getting suspended in a particular place and time)

  106. I am definitely checking out some of these movies! Thanks for the list! My own additions would be The Way with Martin Sheen about the Camino de Santiago, and The Art of Travel. The Way inspired me to walk the Camino de Santiago which, to date, is one of the toughest and most amazing experiences of my life. Cheers!

  107. Yep, I’ll vote for” Into the Wild” as well but I’ll add a great lil Aussie film called “Bran Nue Dae” and an awesome book that sold me fully on India, it’s called “Shantaram”. It’s a beautiful told adventure masterpiece.

  108. I wonder if you can help me to find the names of two british movies from the 80s, one is from two london girls that work in the south of Spain and ends when one of them is on a boat heading to Morocco. The other movie is from two guys backpacking in Hungary or Bulgary and of them falls in love with a local girl and when heading to the train station they play “if you leave” of OMD, thank you

  109. Great list! I highly recommend…’We Can’t Change The World But, We Wanna Build a School in Cambodia.’ It’s a powerful Japanese film (English subs) that shows us how new experiences and cultures can transform our lives in a dramatic way.

  110. some people have no idea about what is outside their city and for some reason content about it. I completely respect that and also completely astonished. this world is full of adventure, excitement..if your bored one day..you gotta look at the map…do some research..find a place that intrigues your imagination. I have been spending alot of my time in asia…im looking for places that have beautiuful people…beautiful scenery. post it if you know a place that is like that….im in.

  111. Just started watchin the movies in this list, thought that “Into the Wild”, “A Map for Saturday” and “A Good Year” are more than worthy additions, would highly recommend!!!

  112. Any of the “Auf Wiedersehen pet” series are very inspiring to visit Europe, The Gumball Rally movies/docs are also interesting. Top Gear also has some award winning episodes and specials around the world.

  113. Came across your list and just when I was running out of stuff to watch I find a few more! I recently just finished watching Long Way Round and Long Way Down. Both awesome if you like motorcycles and travel.

  114. Roadside Prophets — Two strangers meet on the road and travel through Nevada on a motorcycle to find an elusive spot where they can dump another man’s ashes. It’s offbeat and challenging in that it takes a bit to get into (I had to watch it 3 times before it finally “seeped in.”) Existential, yet somehow very satisfying.

  115. One Week. Canadian movie about a guy diagnosed with cancer who takes off on a motorcycle trip across Canada. It was awesome to recognize so many places I myself have been to, but also really made me want to see the rest.

  116. Great list! I would also add The Way, recently released by Emilio Estevez and Martin Sheen – it’s about a dad who walks the Camino de Santiago in Spain after his son is accidentally killed on the trail; it’s actually filmed on the Camino and shows some of the backpackers’ way of life on the trail. I might also add Last Holiday with Queen Latifah – might be considered by some to be a little “fluffy” but at the time, it inspired me to do more traveling. Thanks for the list!

  117. i quite like your list of the best travelin movies but i think you should add.. 127 hours and Before Sunrise both are fantastic movies and I think they deserve to be in this list.

  118. I haven’t caught Motorcycle Diaries yet but watched Into the wild and A Map for Saturday like a million times. lol

    Another one would be ‘One Day in Africa’ by the same dude who did A map for Saturday. :)

    Love your site!


  119. “Wolf Creek” might, in essence, be a serial-killer-offs-young-kids-one-by-one horror film but two things struck me when i first saw it – 2 things that had nothing to do with the gore. The spirit of group road tripping (friends+strangers in a car marathoning long distances) and the beautiful Desert Outback nature shots. I’ve never seen scenery shots incorporated into a genre film like that. Those shimmery, oily, monochromatic desert shots took my breath away.

    • I love that movie Kadri! It totally made me want to visit the Outback (other than the serial killers of course). :)

  120. I don’t know if this qualifies as a travel film, but since you are visiting Nicaragua you should watch “Carla’s Song” which is about a Nicaraguan woman living in Glasgow who’s escaped the revolution in her country. She meets a bus driver and together they end up going to Nicaragua to find out what’s happened to her boyfriend/husband who may or may not have been killed in the revolution… (sorry, this may not be totally accurate but it’s been several years since I saw it!) Great blog by the way… I live in Nicaragua and it’s great reading all the stuff you’re doing here!

  121. I have only seen a few movies of this list, should watch the others as well. So far Into The Wild has been my favorite one, and yeah I liked The Beach as well :)

  122. Nice picks man! I have seen a few of these and your descriptions are spot on. VCB was part of the clincher that made me include Barcelona on my trip to Europe last September!

  123. Glad to see some great stuff by Wes Anderson, Sofia Coppola, Werner Herzog and more here. The travel film I most treasure is Chris Marker’s essay film Sans Soleil, which reflects on the ways we experience the places we travel and features some gorgeous footage from Japan, Guinea-Bissau, Iceland, and beyond.

  124. Before Sunrise and Before Sunset!

    You never know who you’ll meet in your travels… and if you’ll ever meet again.

  125. I loved your list. Some of the best travel movies – yes. I am just reading (and yes there are documentaries to go with the books – ahh..capitalism at it’s best) Long Way Down and also read Long Way Round by Obi-wan and Charley Boorman. Really good books about the difficulties or traveling long trips on motorbikes and the charities they support.

    Have a great day!

  126. Though I hate to admit it, but I really liked “The Beach.” It captures the clickish long-term/short-term traveler scene pretty well and the Thai setting is fantastic.

    • The Beach was the first movie to awake wanderlust in me. Sailed to the Caribbean recently and if I’m lucky, Indo is next on that list. Anywhere new is good actually. For book lovers: “Zen and the art of motorycle maintenance” and “Eat, Pray, Love”, it’s good, even though its a bit mainstream and heavily critisized

  127. Loved your list!! Watched some of them and I fell in love with them! Can’t wait to watch those I haven’t seen yet and rewatch the rest:)

    Indiana Jones Serie are movies that sure made me travel when I was younger. I think they gave me the urge to see and explore the world:)

    • Luke, I agree! Into the Wild is on the top of my list. It is one of many inspirations for my upcoming Pacific Crest Trail through-hike in April…to be followed by travel through-out Asia and who knows what else.

  128. Some of my favourite films on there (Motorcycle Diaries, Into the Wild), and I also think Revolutionary Road is a great one for making sure you follow through on your dreams.

  129. I added your link to my Best Travel Movies collection, and will “Borg” the movies I have not seen. I read many of these lists, and I feel you really watched all these films.

    I am a perpetual traveler, I use torrents to find the movies and often it can take weeks to download a movie because of my dodgy connections.

    Thanks for the great reviews, it is helpful for me to prioritize which movies to watch.

    “Go Native” — A phrase in Lawrence of Arabia is classic.

  130. Lawrence is still my overall favorite. I have seen most of these. The others I will keep an eye out for down the road (probably after South America). btw, your link a couple days ago for Welcome to Antigua does not seem to work.

  131. I hadn’t heard of A Map For Saturday or 180degrees South but after reading your descriptions and the sensitive way you talk about these films, I want to see the films and I hope I have the pleasure of meeting you one day.