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Cinematic Sites
22 March, 20244 minute read

Cinematic sites

Some of the most recognisable landmarks from cinematic history attract thousands of visitors annually, so we want to find out where is home to the most famous cinematic sites.

We’ll explore Instagram hashtags and TikTok views to determine which locations are the most popular for film lovers to visit. We’ll also review Google search data to reveal how much public interest has increased around the most popular film locations.

Choosing a reputable travel operator is imperative if you plan to venture to one of our cinematic sites. Some of the best holidays and tours will offer package deals to ensure your holiday suits you and your budget.

The most searched cinematic sites

Cinematic Sites

1. Tam Coc, Vietnam - Kong: Skull Island (2017)
Search increase (2022-2023): 132%

Tam Coc is a popular tourist destination in North Vietnam. It’s located in Ninh Binh and is part of the Tràng An Scenic Landscape Complex, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Tam Coc recorded the highest annual search increase, 132%. The US travel magazine Travel + Leisure listed Ninh Binh as one of Asia’s most remarkable movie filming locations. 

Tam Coc means ‘three caves’ in Vietnamese, referring to the three natural caves tourists can pass through on their boat tour. The caves were used for one of the scenes for Kong: Skull Island (2017), and the filming crew took advantage of its breathtaking views. Visitors can now experience the stunning scenery of Tam Coc firsthand, just like the movie’s all-star cast of characters did.

2. Kenting National Park, Taiwan - Life of Pi (2012)
Search increase (2022-2023): 104%

Kenting National Park occupies the Hengchun Peninsula at the southern tip of the island of Taiwan. Well known for its white-sand beaches, caves, coral reefs, and northern mountains, Kenting National Park ranked second with a search increase of 104%.

Most parts of the 2008 movie Cape No. 7 were filmed inside Kenting National Park and nearby Hengchun. Part of the multiple Oscar-winning 2012 film Life of Pi was also filmed inside the park, which is not far from Taiwanese film director Ang Lee’s birthplace. After the massive success of Life of Pi, Kenting Beach has become the most representative place for tropical paradise in Taiwan.

3. Adana, Turkey - Skyfall (2012)
Search increase (2022-2023): 62%

Adana, a large city in southern Turkey situated on the Seyhan River, placed third in our ranking of the world’s most famous cinematic sites, recording a search increase of 62%. Adana is famed for its breathtaking Varda Viaduct bridge, which became popular after appearing in the 2012 James Bond film Skyfall. The 172-metre-long and 98-metre-high bridge was featured in the prologue of the series’ 25th film.

4. Angkor Thom, Cambodia - Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001)
Search increase (2022-2023): 59%

Angkor Thom, meaning ‘Great City,’ located in Cambodia, was the last and most enduring capital city of the Khmer Empire. Presenting a search increase of 59%, Angkor Thom is recognised for its many-faced Buddhist Bayon Temple within the bounds of the ancient city. 

The 2001 movie Lara Croft: Tomb Raider features scenes across many sites in Cambodia, but the majority surround the ancient temples at Angkor. 

5. Kyoto, Japan - Bullet Train (2022)
Search increase (2022-2023): 58%

Kyoto, once the capital of Japan, is a city on the island of Honshu and is famed for its numerous classic Buddhist temples, gardens, and imperial palaces. Experiencing a 58% increase in searches, Kyoto is a famous movie location for many titles, including Lost in Translation (2003), which showcases scenes from Kyoto’s Heian-Jingu Shrine. In the movie, Scarlett Johanson walks over the iconic stepping stones in the shrine’s garden. Chion-in Temple was also featured in The Last Samurai (2003), as the steep steps lead to a dominating building directly at the top of the temple.

Cinematic Sites

The most Instagram famous cinematic sites 

Cinematic Sites

1. Tokyo, Japan - This Is Spinal Tap (1984)
Instagram hashtags: 64.8 million

Japan’s biggest capital, Tokyo, is the most Insta-famous cinematic site on our list, with 64.8 million hashtagged posts. Mixing the ultramodern neon-lit skyscrapers with its traditional historic temples, it is one of the most wanderlust-inducing and iconic filming sets.

 The city of Tokyo has showcased many blockbuster hits, including the 2003 romantic comedy Lost in Translation and action-packed The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006). 

2. Toronto, Canada - Thanksgiving (2023)
Instagram hashtags: 57.7 million

Toronto, is the second most popular destination on Instagram, recording 57.7 million hashtagged posts. Toronto is a dynamic metropolis with a core of soaring skyscrapers, all dwarfed by the iconic CN Tower.

This year, Toronto was voted number one ‘Best Place to Live and Work as a Movie Maker’ conducted by MovieMaker magazine, which celebrated the city’s talented crews, beautiful locations, and vast studio spaces. Many American-produced films use the city as a stand-in for New York City or Chicago due to its more affordable filming permits.

3. Buenos Aires, Argentina - Starship Troopers (1997)
Instagram hashtags: 27 million

Buenos Aires is Argentina’s big cosmopolitan capital city, holding over 27 million hashtags on Instagram. Argentina has become one of the major filming destinations to showcase Spanish culture.

In recent years, there has been significant growth in Argentinian film, television, and advertising. Talented young directors in the country have attracted international interest, with Netflix showcasing many Argentine productions, such as The Distinguished Citizen (2016). According to a study commissioned by Netflix, more than two-thirds of spending for films or series made in Argentina is reinvested in other sectors, such as hotel accommodation and transport.

Cinematic Sites

The top trending cinematic sites on TikTok

Cinematic Sites

1. Los Angeles, California - Pulp Fiction (1994)
TikTok tags: 54.3 billion views

Los Angeles, California’s City of Angels, recorded the highest number of TikTok tag views, with 54.3 billion views. As Los Angeles is the home of Hollywood, many major American productions have been filmed there, from Rush Hour (1998) and the Dark Knight Rises (2012) to Blade Runner (1982) and La La Land (2016); the city has been the backdrop to some of the most iconic movie scenes and is a must-visit for every movie buff as they can visit the studios where iconic movie moments were made. 

2. Toronto, Canada - Thanksgiving (2023)
TikTok tags: 41.6 billion views

Toronto is TikTok's second most popular destination, capturing 41.6 billion tag views. Every year, 27.5 million people visit Toronto to see its vibrant attractions, like the CN Tower, the Royal Ontario Museum and Casa Loma. Toronto’s film and television cluster is the third largest in North America, and some notable films shot here include The Vow (2012), Stephen King’s It (2017), and the horror movie Orphan (2009).

3. Kauai, Hawaii - Jurassic Park (1993)
TikTok tags: 40.4 billion views

Kauai, an island in the Central Pacific, part of the Hawaiian archipelago, ranked third place with 40.4 billion TikTok tag views. Nicknamed ‘The Garden Isle’ for its incredible forests and jungles, the island is home to some of Hawaii's most diverse plant and animal species. Kauai inspired the 2009 film Avatar, thanks to its beautiful rainforests and winding rivers. The filming crew spent five days filming non-CGI scenes at Kauai’s Keahua Arboretum, a nature preserve surrounding the Wailua River.

Cinematic Sites


  • Our list of famous movie destinations was taken from Delicious, Travel and Leisure, and Enjoy Travel.

  • The most popular movie for each location was taken from IMDB. This data is accurate as of 01/03/2024.

  • The number of worldwide searches for each destination in 2022 and 2023 were taken from Google Keyword Planner. We were able to work out the percentage increase in searches during this period. This data is correct as of 24/01/2024.

  • Each destination was searched on Instagram to find the number of hashtagged posts. This data is correct as of 25/01/2024.

  • Each destination was searched on TikTok to find the number of tag views. This data is correct as of 26/01/2024.


Ting has a serious case of wanderlust. Having travelled to over 40 countries, it’s her mission in life to make her way through her ever-growing list. Her two young sons have also caught the travel bug, and recent trips have seen them making snow angels in Iceland while watching the Northern Lights, as well as walking alongside elephants in South Africa.

Ting | About the author

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