Fiction tourism
tourism involving travel to locations aimed at media
Travel topics > Cultural attractions > Fiction tourism
Fiction tourism aims at locations famous from literature, motion pictures, television series, video games, comic books and other media. Among featured destinations are film sets, other shooting locations, TV or motion picture studios, theme parks, and museums.
Some of these have guided tours and other organized hospitality for fiction tourists.
Specific works, franchises and genres
Fiction reveals truth that reality obscures.
—Jessamyn West
While series such as Breaking Bad and The Wire mostly take place within one city, others are spread out across a country, or even several continents.
Multiple media
Alice in Wonderland, Wales, UK
Disney tourism.
Winnie the Pooh's Hundred Acre Wood in literary tourism is Ashdown Forest's Five Hundred Acre Wood near Hartfield, UK.
Radiator Springs of Cars is based on multiple real US Route 66 locations
TV Shows
Board games
Carcassonne is a French city that was fought over in the 13th century during the Crusade against the Cathars; much of the medieval city has been preserved and today it is a popular tourist destination. There is a board game called Carcassonne; it emphasizes development of the countryside, not battles. Some visitors bring a copy to play in the location, perhaps in the shadow of the city wall.
Our articles on Chess, Go, Shogi (Japanese chess) and Xiangqi (Chinese chess) have links to sites associated with those games. The musical Chess takes place in Merano in Italy; an earlier version in Bangkok in Thailand as well.
Map of Fiction tourism
The Namibian desert is the shooting location of the 2015 film Mad Max: Fury Road
South Africa
Soweto in Johannesburg. District 9 was filmed in South Africa in the townships of Soweto, though the actual area they filmed in was set to be demolished (that's why they were able to blow up parts of it for the film). 
Matmata (Tunisia). Scenes of the desert planet Tatooine in a number of Star Wars films were filmed here. Also see the nearby town of Tataouine, where a little filming was also done. 
Fans of the world's most famous agent will immediately recognize this building
Nordic countries
Hans Christian Andersen Museum, Bangs Boder 29, ☏ +45 65 51 46 01. Daily 10AM-5PM. A museum dedicated to the city's most famous son, author and poet Hans Christian Andersen, most famous for his fairy tales and in particular The Ugly Duckling and the Little Mermaid. Part of the museum is located in the house where Andersen was supposedly born (though he would never confirm it). The impressive collection is mainly documents from his life and times, period furniture, and many drawings and paper clippings he is famous for at home. 55 DKK for entrance. 
Central Europe
Britain and Ireland
Braveheart, 1995
The BBC equivalent of that one rock in Southern California (see below) is Harriet Hole in Dinorwic Slate Quarry in Wales, where according to one probably apocryphal account two series were shot at the same time without either production knowing of the other, thus the two got in the way of each other.
Globe theatre london
Stratford-upon-Avon has five sites closely associated with Shakespeare. A combi-ticket (called "The Full Story") is best value and they can all be seen in the course of an afternoon. Three are central: Shakespeare's birthplace on Henley Street is the obvious starting point. In later life he bought a house at New Place - it's long been demolished, but you visit to see the garden there, and the adjoining Nash's House where his grand-daughter Elizabeth lived. His daughter Susanna married Dr John Hall, and Hall's Croft was their house. A mile west in the hamlet of Shottery is Anne Hathaway's Cottage, where she grew up before marrying Shakespeare. Three miles west in Wilmcote is Mary Arden's Farm, childhood home of Shakespeare's mother. His plays are regularly performed at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in the centre of Stratford.
Portmeirion view of central plaza
Paris, one of the world's most prominent cities, has been the backdrop of many films, both French and international. It was also in Paris the world's first public movie screening took place in 1895.
What does a fictional Apache chief that was dreamed up by someone from Radebeul, Saxony have to do with Croatia? Well, when the works of Karl May about Old Shatterhand, Winnetou and all the others were put to film by German companies, they found that (then) Yugoslavia was much cheaper than the actual Llano Estancado and people in their target audience would neither notice or care, so the site of Winnetou's death is indeed to be found in Croatia, Trogir looks a lot like the Santa Fe of the third movie and when going through Plitvice Lakes National Park you might find the heroes of your youth come back to life. To add yet another wrinkle, the very successful early 21st century parody on the Karl May movies "Der Schuh des Manitu" ("The shoe of Manitou") was shot in neither the Balkans nor North America but instead in Spain.
Melbourne/Box Hill and Glen Waverley, Victoria. The classic Australian drama series, Neighbours, is set in a small cul-de-sac in Vermont South, in Melbourne's south-east. 
Sydney — Did you know that the sci-fi movie The Matrix and its sequels largely were filmed in Sydney? Unsurprisingly also many Australian films are set in the country's largest city. The city is also home to Fox Studios Australia, the largest film production facility in Australia.
Sydney/Manly. The classic Australian TV series, Out of the blue, fully filmed in Manly. 
New Zealand
New Zealand: Famous for the Lord of the Rings franchise.
North America
The seaside town of Acapulco is where some episodes of the Mexican TV series El Chavo del Ocho and El Chapulín Colorado were recorded in the 1970s.
Hotel Emporio Acapulco, Av Costera Miguel Alemán 121, Fracc Magallanes, Magallanes, Acapulco de Juárez, Gro., México (Acapulco, Guerrero), ☏ +52 744 469 0505. Two episodes of the Mexican TV series El Chavo del Ocho and one episode of El Chapulín Colorado were recorded inside this hotel in the Mexican city of Acapulco in 1977. The destination has become very popular with tourists from Hispanic America and Brazil. (updated Jan 2020)
United States
The fiction of the Old West is set all across the western United States - shooting locations of Western movies often included places far away from the US, for monetary or political reasons.
Leo Carrillo Beach, the backdrop for many film and TV scenes
In California, they don't throw their garbage away - they make it into TV shows. – Woody Allen
California in general has been (and continues to be) used for many films given that it is the center of the American mainstream film industry and offers a wide variety of different landscapes that can be used to represent different environments; for example, one rock in Southern California has reportedly been used as a backdrop in dozens of incredibly varied movies.
Chicago — the country's third largest city (and historically its "second city") is also featured in several movies, some of them being The Blues Brothers, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, The Fugitive, Batman Begins, Breakfast Club, and Chicago.
Union Station - among other films, the famous staircase shootout with the imperiled baby carriage in The Untouchables was filmed here.
East Coast
Washington, D.C.: Any film involving the American political leadership in any form or role will have Washington as a backdrop — frequent appearances are made by the White House, U.S. Capitol and the Pentagon, across the Potomac in Arlington, Virginia.
Seneca Falls is widely believed to be the original Baxter Falls in the holiday classic It's a Wonderful Life.
Manchester-by-the-Sea for the eponymous 2017 film
St. Andrew's School (Middleton, Delaware). Setting of the 1989 film Dead Poets Society, described to take place in Vermont.
Forks, Washington. Main setting for the Twilight literary and film franchise. 
Seattle, Washington. Setting for series such as Frasier and Grey's Anatomy, as well as films such as It Happened at the World's Fair, The Parallax View, Singles, and Sleepless in Seattle
Green Gables Heritage Place, Route 6, Cavendish (Cavendish, Prince Edward Island). May 1-Oct 31: daily 9AM-5PM; Nov 1-30: open by special appointment only; Dec 1 2017-Apr 14 2018: closed for the season. Author Lucy Maud Montgomery visited the farm as a young girl and based the location of her best-selling "Anne" series of books on the Green Gables farm. The farmhouse exterior has not changed significantly over time, and its interior decor and artifacts depict the late Victorian Period in rural Prince Edward Island.
(updated May 2017)
South America
Many Brazilian action films have taken place in favelas (slums) of Rio de Janeiro, such as City of God, the two Elite Squad movies and Last Stop 174. One of those favelas where some of this filmes were shot is Tavares Bastos, located at Catete neighborhood, in South Zone of Rio de Janeiro. In addition to these films, in this favela was recorded the music video Beautiful by Snoop Dog and Pharrell.
Fan conventions and trade shows
Fan groups often hold conventions for like-minded people to gather and share their love for the specific genres. Similarly, industry groups often hold their own events to announce the development of new products to the press. While hundreds of such events exist, the ones listed here are particularly notable for showcasing works that are at the pinnacle of their respective genres.
Comic books
Anime and manga
Fantasy and science fiction
Dragon Con in Atlanta, United States
Video games
Many destinations (especially film and literature settings, and current and former celebrity homes) are private property. Some are off limits to the public. Even if they can be legally approached, trespassing or excessive photography might disturb residents.
Works of fiction usually become public domain 70 years after the author's death; which means that most modern works are proprietary. Businesses (including guided tours and merchandisers) might need a license to make profit from those franchises.
See also
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Last edited on 17 August 2021, at 10:36
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