HI Hostels Blog

How to experience movie magic while hostelling

Here at HI we’re getting excited for the Oscars – but without tickets to the iconic event we’re stuck at HQ dreaming of the glitz and glamour.

If you haven’t been lucky enough to score an invite to the star-studded event, why not make a pilgrimage to the set of your favourite film? Retrace the steps of your most beloved characters, visit the locations of the scenes that made your heart leap, and  follow in the footsteps of the stars.

Here are our top 5 hostels for experiencing a bit of movie magic on a hosteller’s budget.

YHA Oxford, England: Harry Potter

Oxford University's Great Hall
Oxford University’s Great Hall – Photo ©Nathan

Let’s face it, we were all disappointed when that acceptance letter from Hogwarts didn’t fly through our letterbox when we were 11. But there’s still a chance to get into Hogwarts – Oxford University’s Christ Church College is where the ‘grand staircase’ scene was filmed, when the first years were met by Professor McGonagall. The building’s Great Hall was also the inspiration for Hogwarts’ Great Hall – floating candles not included. As well as that, you can also visit Bodleian Library which was used both as the Hogwarts infirmary and library.

Rotorua YHA, New Zealand: The Hobbit

A hobbit hole in Hobbiton
Discover hobbit holes in Hobbiton – Photo ©Matt Chan

Stay at our hostel in Rotorua and you can find out where the likes of Gandalf and Bilbo Baggins hang out. Take a guided tour of The Shire, a pretty fictional village scattered with quaint ‘hobbit holes’. Your tour guide will show you around while filling you in on behind-the-scenes stories and trivia. When the tour’s finished, you can stop for a cider at the Green Dragon where Frodo and friends spent many a happy time.


Paris – Yves Robert, France: The Da Vinci Code

Glass pyramid at the Louvre
Search for hidden symbols in the Louvre – Photo ©Denis McLaughlin

Paris is packed with so much art, you can puzzle over the hidden symbols they may posses day and night if the mood takes you. If you’re visiting the City of Light, you’ve probably already factored in a trip to the iconic Louvre museum. The famous glass pyramid you saw in the film greets you as you enter the building through it – ‘a scar on the face of Paris’ or not, it’s certainly a looker. The Église Saint-Sulpice in Rue St Sulpice was where Silas searched for the keystone, however, don’t expect the interior of the church to be familiar – it was recreated with green screen for the film.

Salzburg – Haunspergstrasse, Austria: The Sound of Music

The famous gazebo from The Sound of Music
The famous gazebo from The Sound of Music – Photo ©Patrick

If you’ve been inspired by the story of the Von Trapp family, then head to Salzburg. Our hostel can organise a guided Sound of Music tour for you where you can see all the best locations from the hit musical. Pretend you’re 16 going on 17 in the Gazebo at Hellbrunn Palace, practice your Do-Re-Mis at Mirabell Gardens, or snap a picture at the front gate of Nonnberg Abbey where the real-life Maria was a novice nun.

HI-Martha’s Vineyard, USA: Jaws

Martha's Vineyard ocean view
What’s lurking in those waters? Photo ©David Berkowitz

This quiet island in Cape Cod is known for its pristine sandy beaches, rich history, relaxed atmosphere… and Jaws. The 1975 thriller, directed by Steven Spielberg, saw Martha’s Vineyard take on the role of Amity Island. Both interior and exterior scenes were filmed on the island, the majority being shot in the Edgartown neighbourhood. The beaches may be unrecognisable now to fans of the film, but you can still take a paddle in those same waters inhabited by the fictional beast… Or why not try shark cage diving to truly get a close encounter!

Have you ever visited the location of your favourite film? Let us know about it in the comments section below or email us at socialmedia@hihostels.com


5 unusual cinemas

Would you rather see the locations on the big screen? Take a look at these 5 unusual cinemas around the world for a cinema experience with a difference!

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