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25 of the best travel movies of all time

January 22, 2018
A scene from The Grand Budapest Hotel
A scene from The Grand Budapest Hotel

Few things inspire us to travel like movies do. They take us to the places we want to go. Which begs the questions, which travel movies have made the biggest impact on viewers? Which are the most inspiring of them all?

One of the organizations that has taken the effort to rank some of Hollywood’s greatest travel movies is IMDb, one of the world’s most popular sources for movie, TV and celebrity content, with 250 million unique monthly visitors. The ten highest ranked travel movies, based on the 10-star rating system used by IMDb, is listed below with a very brief description of each.

Long Way Round
A documentary series that follows actors Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman on a motorcycle trip around the world. The two friends travel through places such as Siberia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia and Alaska, before finally ending the journey in New York.

Baraka
This movie, a non-narrative documentary film, explores themes via a kaleidoscopic compilation of natural events, life, human activities and technological phenomena shot in 24 countries on six continents over a 14-month period.

Samsara
Filmed over nearly five years in 25 countries on five continents, and shot on 70-millimeter film, Samsara transports viewers to the varied worlds of sacred grounds, disaster zones, industrial complexes and natural wonders.

Amélie
This 2001 French romantic comedy is a whimsical depiction of contemporary Parisian life, set in Montmartre and telling the story of a shy waitress, played by Audrey Tautou, who decides to change the lives of those around her for the better, while struggling with her own isolation.

Riding Solo to the Top of the World
This is a film about filmmaker Gaurav Jani’s solo motorcycle journey from Mumbai to one of the remotest places in the world, the Changthang Plateau in Ladakh, bordering China. As a one-man film unit, he astonishes viewers, filming the landscape he passes by and the people he interacts with, capturing moments of beauty, pain, love, hardship, self-doubt and spiritual triumphs.

In the Wild
After graduating from Emory University, top student and athlete Christopher McCandless abandons his possessions, gives his entire $24,000 savings account to charity and hitchhikes to Alaska to live in the wilderness. Along the way, he encounters a series of characters that shape his life.

Before Sunrise
Starring Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy, Before Sunrise is the story of a young man and woman who meet on a train in Europe and wind up spending one evening together in Vienna. Unfortunately, both know that this will probably be their only night together.

Touching the Void
The true story of two climbers and their perilous journey up the west face of Siula Grande in the Peruvian Andes in 1985.

The Grand Budapest Hotel
The adventures of Gustave H, a legendary concierge at a famous hotel from the fictional Republic of Zubrowka between the first and second world wars, and Zero Moustafa, the lobby boy who becomes his most trusted friend.

Central Station
An emotive journey of a former school teacher, who writes letters for illiterate people, and a young boy whose mother has just died, as they search for the father he never knew.

The top 25 travel movies on IMDb also includes notable films such as Lost in Translation, Midnight in Paris and Out of Africa. You can view the full list on the IMDb website by clicking here.

But what are your favorite travel movies and why? We would be interested in hearing your opinion. Just click here to write to us.

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