Fantasy Filming Locations You Can Visit

Some of the most epic and unbelievable fantasy movies and shows were filmed in places you can travel to, and no, not just New Zealand.

When it comes to the fantasy genre, the perfect location is critical. It has to feel otherworldly, unimaginably beautiful, expansive, and unlike anywhere else in its own special way. Due to this fantasy fact, many movies and shows are set in locations we can only travel to in our dreams. But not all of them.

Over the last twenty years, some of the most iconic fantasy movies and television series have primarily been filmed in places we can actually visit. So why not make those dreams into a vacay reality?

Vancouver, Canada

Mountain lake inlet with two opposing shores in Canada
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Vancouver is one of the most popular cities as far as fantasy filming locations go, especially for television. And it’s not hard to see why. Two of the biggest fantasy/horror series of all time were actually filmed here: Supernatural and The X-Files. Deadpool, Arrow, and The 100 were also filmed nearby. 

Here’s a map of where Sci-Fi and Fantasy TV shows were filmed in Vancouver, compliments of Daily Hive News.

New York City

Manhattan New York City
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Obviously, New York City is among the most famous filming playgrounds on earth. Due to its mindbending grid-like layout, skyscrapers, and endless layers of intrigue, it’s the perfect spot for sci-fi and fantasy shoots, such as I Am Legend, Spiderman, and King Kong.

Alcazar of Seville in Spain

Patio in Royal Alcazars of Seville, Spain
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While New York will always be a hot spot for the genre, some of the most popular fantasy series and films have been shot overseas.

It goes without saying, Game of Thrones is one of the biggest fantasy television series of all time. And you may not guess it by the terrain, but a lot of it was filmed in Spain. If you want to relive some GoT magic, make your way to Alcázar of Seville. As mega fans might recall from the Song of Ice and Fire novels, Sunspear is the principal stronghold of House Martell. HBO filmed Sunspear in Dorne right here.

Dubrovnik, Croatia

Old town and harbor of Dubrovnik Croatia
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Look familiar? King’s Landing is an important fictional city in Game of Thrones. But its real name is Dubrovnik, Croatia. Those who visit say the setting was so well integrated into the fantasy series that you’ll feel a strong sense of deja vu while you’re walking around.

The Islander II, a sequel of the fantasy and adventure movie that’s basically the Croatian version of The Hunger Games, was filmed here as well. It’s also one of the top three filming locations for the 2021 fantasy series, Wheel of Time.

The Czech Republic

Ruins of "Dolský mlýn" (Dolsky Mill) in the gorge of Kamenice (Kamnitz) river, Bohemian Switzerland
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Most of The Wheel of Time was filmed in the Czech Republic, in and around Prague and Switzerland. This moss-covered mill where many scenes took place is known as Dolský mlýn. Per Decider, a studio has also been built in the capital’s Letňany district.

Matamata, New Zealand

Hobbiton movie set created for filming the Lord of the Rings and "Hobbit" movies at Matamata, New Zealand
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We can’t put together a fantasy genre list and leave off New Zealand. It’s often dubbed number one for both quantity and quality of fantasy filming locations, namely, all things Lord of the Rings

If you really want the full effect, you can visit the Hobbiton set, which is basically its own town. Pictured above, the unusual farm used for filming comes equipped with actual Hobbit holes put in place for the Hobbit movies. People come from all over the world to take guided and self-led tours of this tiny town, and you should too.

Forks, Washington

View of dark woods with sun rays through trees in Oregon
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Twilight really put Washington on the fantasy/supernatural/teen vampire movie map. But frankly, this stunning state (and most of the Northwest) deserved to be on the list long ago, primarily thanks to its mystical, lush, and foggy forests. And as it turns out, Forks, Washington, is a very real place, and you can visit anytime you want.

While it’s a quaint little town with not much going on, there’s a Twilight gift shop and tour awaiting you. Not to mention, the nearby wilderness is absolutely worth a nature walk.

Oxford, England

Radcliffe Camera, Bodleian Library, Oxford University, Oxford, Oxfordshire, England, United Kingdom
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What would any fantasy genre list be without one of the key on-location locations for Harry Potter? While much of the series was filmed in studios, those who know HP best are fully aware just how important Oxford was to the film, both for design inspiration and filming location.

The Great Hall was inspired by the Great Hall at Christ Church in Oxford. Also, the Hogwarts Infirmary filming took place at the Bodleian Library Divinity School.

Wellington, New Zealand

Wellington's Bay Sunrise, Tutukaka Coast
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If you’re taking the Lord of the Rings tour, you’ll need to visit more than one city in New Zealand to really do it justice. Wellington is not only one of the most important for filming, it’s one of the most beautiful to visit. Also noteworthy, the WETA workshop is still there.

You’ll find other key filming locations nearby. If you’re really in the spirit, you can join the masses and reenact a few big movie moments. For example, head to the forests of Mount Victoria. That’s where the Hobbits ran from the Nazgul and hid in the tree. And so can you.

Los Angeles, California

Beautiful sunset of Los Angeles downtown skyline and palm trees in foreground
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Rounding out the list, we arrive at Los Angeles. Much like the Big Apple, there’s no genre that isn’t filmed in Hollywood. But La La Land is perfect for fantasy in its own unique way. What would Blade Runner, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Thor look like if they’d taken place somewhere else?

When it comes to terrain, LA boasts the perfect combination of dreaminess and grittiness, just right for transcendent storylines and fantastical surprises. Best of all, it’s one of the easiest to visit and take a tour of the iconic sets you’ve always fantasized about seeing in real life.

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