The World’s Best Destinations for James Bond Fans
Published on: September 29th, 2021
Last modified: September 29th, 2021
It’s been over half a century since the first Bond novel was published, and this globetrotting secret agent is still going strong. In the two dozen films he stars in, James Bond has travelled the world – leading to legendary scenes in some of its most breathtaking settings.
The films are packed full of iconic sites, and you could happily tour the globe based solely on their settings. We've pulled together some of our favourites to inspire you for your next trip. If you’re a fan of the franchise, check out the incredible destinations below to follow in 007’s footsteps.
Highlands, Scotland – Skyfall
How could anyone forget the dramatic conclusion of Skyfall? The final scenes of this 2012 installment were filmed in the Scottish Highlands, and more specifically in Glencoe. This is the site of Bond’s (fictional) childhood home, Skyfall Lodge, so it’s pretty much a mandatory stop for any enduring fans.
As you explore the unique landscape, you’ll enjoy the same sweeping views that Bond and M contemplate in the film. Spend the night at Fife Arms, a stunning historical hotel that could be straight out of a movie itself. There is also a collection of luxury castle stays across Scotland for you to escape reality for a while.
Mexico City, Mexico – Spectre
In the very first moments of Spectre, Bond is engaged in an epic chase scene through Mexico City’s Day of the Dead festivities. This sequence was filmed in Plaza del Zócalo, the Mexican capital’s main square. It’s hard to tear your eyes away from the action-packed pursuit, but if you focus on the background you’ll see several important monuments and buildings. Take a luxury trip to Mexico City to learn about the history of this area – and then visit the nearby pyramids.
Lake Como and Venice, Italy – Casino Royale
The original 1967 version of Casino Royale was filmed in the UK, but the 2006 reboot features the gorgeous backdrops of northern Italy. You’ll recognise Venice’s Grand Canal and Piazza San Marco, as well as several other historic sites in the ‘Floating City’. After you’ve hit the highlights, make the most of your trip to Venice by exploring the lesser-known islands of Murano and Burano.
Later on in Casino Royale, there is a suitably dramatic confrontation on the shores of Lake Como. You can visit the famous Villa del Balbianello, where it was filmed, and stay at the nearby Grand Hotel Tremezzo. To fully appreciate the elegant surroundings, we highly recommend a private boat tour of the area.
Turkey – Skyfall, The World Is Not Enough, From Russia With Love
Turkey appears in not one, not two, but three classic Bond movies. Several pivotal scenes in Skyfall were filmed in Istanbul, and The World Is Not Enough also features the Turkish capital in its exciting conclusion. In From Russia With Love, Bond navigates the underground waters of the famous Basilica Cistern. This impressive site is open to the public, and well worth a visit on any trip to Turkey.
After exploring Istanbul, head south to Adana and Fethiye, which also feature prominently in Skyfall. Now for even more otherworldly scenes, stay at Argos in Cappadocia and enjoy incredible views of the hot air balloons at sunrise.
Udaipur, India – Octopussy
Much of the 1983 classic Octopussy was filmed on site in India. It’s easy to spot the Monsoon Palace, Shiv Niwas Palace, Lake Palace and Jag Mandir in the film. Fans of this one will be delighted to know that the Lake Palace is in fact now an incredible hotel. Travel to Rajasthan to see all these settings in person, and then immerse yourself in the mountains and deserts of this massive Indian state.
You can take a safari to see wild felines, and stay in a real-life sand castle before heading back to the urban centres of Udaipur and Jodhpur. From here, explore the city on heritage walks or you can even hire a vintage car for the day. If you’re on a romantic escape, we recommend combining both India and the Maldives.
Japan – You Only Live Twice
The fifth film in the Bond franchise was filmed almost entirely in Japan, from Tokyo to Mount Shinmoe-dake. The car chase scene was shot near the Olympic Stadium; Bond got married in the picturesque town of Nachikatsuura; and several other iconic spots can be seen throughout the film.
If you have to pick one, we suggest Himeji Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that was the setting of Tanaka’s ninja training camp. It makes for a perfect day trip from Kyoto. Our Travel Designers suggest to travel between March and April for the cherry blossom season or experience Japan in its autumn glory between November and December.
Iguassu Falls and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – Moonraker
This 1979 Bond film was shot in various locations, but some of the most memorable scenes took place in South America. First of all, there’s the famous cable car fight scene at Rio de Janeiro’s Sugarloaf Mountain. And then there’s the boat chase through the Amazon, which concludes at Iguazú Falls on the border of Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay.
Get your adrenaline pumping by going on your own (hopefully less eventful) cable car ride, or take a boat tour to see the jaw-dropping waterfalls up close. You most surely wouldn’t want to miss the annual Rio Carnival experience either. Our team of travel designers can even help you be part of the show.
Jökulsárlón, Iceland – Die Another Day, A View to Kill
Jökulsárlón might just be the world’s best-known glacial lagoon, thanks in large part to Bond. It features prominently in 2002’s Die Another Day, in which he visits an extravagant ice palace – and gets into an icy car chase. Back in 1985, this same spot was used to shoot A View to Kill’s opening scene, which was supposed to be set in the USSR. You can explore Jökulsárlón on a luxury tour of southern Iceland, including scenic hikes and snowmobile excursions.
No trip to Iceland is complete without spotting the Northern lights. Let our travel designers help you plan your next adventure and maximise your chances of catching the Aurora Borealis in Iceland.
London, England – Bond’s Home Base
It should come as no surprise that London figures prominently in the Bond universe (he is an MI6 agent, after all). You could spend weeks visiting all the filming locations here, from Thames House and the National Gallery to Westminster Abbey and Whitehall. If you want to see it all, our Travel Designers can help you create a customised tour. 007 would be proud!