I’m a huge James Bond fan (who isn’t?) and it seems that wherever I go, he goes.
Ok, so maybe it’s the other way around, but my point is, James is one well-travelled spy. He’s been to so many places, it’s hard to keep track. Bond has been traveling for far longer than I so it’s only natural that the guy has a bigger country count than mine, but I’m slowly getting there. We seem to take a liking to the same places, though. Great minds think alike? Most surely. Here is a non-exhaustive list of the best James Bond movie locations I’ve visited!
Like me, Bond is obsessed with this mesmerizing Turkish city. From the opening scene of Skyfall in and around the Grand Bazar to the superb scene set in Hagia Sophia in From Russia with Love, James knows the city well. There is also that moody scene where Bond slowly sails through the waters of the Basilica Cistern, which is one of the eeriest places you can visit in Istanbul.
Jamaica is a Bond fan’s dream: it’s where it all started, where Ian Fleming wrote most of his famous novels at his Goldeneye villa. My favorite Jamaican Bond location? In Dr. No, with Ursula Andress singing Underneath the mango tree -a favorite earworm of mine- on the beach below Dunn’s River Falls. When I was in Jamaica two summers ago, I couldn’t help but to hum the tune and pretend I was her, though less graceful and with a more plain-looking bikini.
Okay, so I didn’t arrive in Macau the same way Bond did in Skyfall, but still. I wandered throughout the back alleys & casinos of Macau, which looked a bit less glamorous than in the film.
I had to step foot in the iconic Fontainebleau hotel just because James did in Goldfinger, but MI6 refused to pick up my tab.
Like James, I had high tea at the most iconic Hong Kong hotel, the Peninsula, which served as a posh décor in The Man with the Golden Gun.
Shanghai was a memorable setting in Skyfall, with the stunning fight scene set in one of the city’s high-rise overlooking Pudong and the Bund lit up with a thousand neon lights.
I’ll be heading to Egypt in a few days and will not miss visiting the same sites as James in The Spy Who Loved Me, like the Giza Plateau and Karnak Temple. I’m just hoping not to fall face to face with someone as unsavory as Jaws.
CORFU TOWN, GREECE
Like James in For Your Eyes Only, I strolled through the streets of Corfu Town this spring looking for Russian spies… or a decent iced coffee.
Part of the action of Casino Royale is set here, but actually no scenes were shot in this tiny, gorgeous Balkan country I visited this spring. I’m including it anyway.
From Moonraker’s speed boat chase scene to a more realistic leisurely sailboat outing with Vesper Lynd quite a few years later in Casino Royale, Bond navigates the canals of Venice in style. For my part, I had to take the water bus.
Some scenes of Spectre take place in Morocco’s northern city of Tangier, where I travelled to in 2012, somewhat less stylishly than James and Madeleine as they search for L’Américain in this bustling, dusty city.