Top Movies to Inspire European Wanderlust

By Marina Shea

Whether you’re planning to travel to Europe or are just a lover of all things European, movies are the best way to temporarily transport yourself to another place and get excited for the sights you may soon see in the flesh! Here’s a list of the top movies to inspire your European wanderlust (and a few extras with some great European scenery).

A Good Year

A stiff London banker travels to Provence after inheriting his uncle’s vineyard and learns how to take life at a slower pace.

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance

Where you’ll travel: London and Provence


Angels and Demons

Full of mystery and suspense, a renowned symbologist must solve a murder and help prevent an attack on the Vatican by an ancient brotherhood known as the Illuminati. Just be warned that while it is very entertaining it is notoriously inaccurate.

Genre: Mystery, Thriller

Where you’ll travel: Rome



A French village gets turned upside down by newcomers who bring life and zest to the sleepy town through chocolate.

Genre: Drama, Romance

Where you’ll travel: France



Shot throughout the city of Copenhagen, this is a story about a man on a journey and a young Danish girl who teaches him how to live and love.

Genre: Adventure, Drama, Romance

Where you’ll travel: Copenhagen (obviously)


The Da Vinci Code

Cryptic clues left behind after a murder in Paris’ Louvre Museum lead to an action packed chase to uncover a truth that could rewrite religious history.

Genre: Mystery, Thriller

Where you’ll travel: Paris, London, and Scotland


Eat Pray Love

Newly divorced Elizabeth Gilbert sets out to travel for a year to Italy, India, and Indonesia to rediscover herself.

Genre: Drama, Romance

Where you’ll travel: Rome, India, Bali


French Kiss

A must if you love a 90s Meg Ryan, French Kiss is the story of a woman who teams up with a French thief to journey through France and win back her fiancé who has run off with a French woman.

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance

Where you’ll travel: Paris, the French countryside, and the Côte d'Azur


Girl on a Bicycle

An Italian who drives a Paris tour bus becomes infatuated with a French woman he sees on a bike while on his bus route and soon finds himself caught between the cyclist, her children and his German flight attendant fiancé.

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance

Where you’ll travel: Paris


The Italian Job

While only the opening sequence takes place in Italy, the scenic chase through Venetian canals are enough to leave you lusting for Venice as the crimes a group of intelligent criminals must be corrected after one of their own turns against them.

Genre: Action, Crime, Thriller

Where you’ll travel: Los Angeles and Venice


Julie and Julia

The intertwined stories of a New York woman who assigns herself the project of preparing all of the recipes from Julia Child’s cookbook and Julia Child’s mission to conquer French cuisine.

Genre: Biography, Drama, Romance

Where you’ll travel: Paris


Leap Year

Anna is determined to finally marry her boyfriend of many years and follows him to Ireland in order to propose to him on leap day but just might find love in the Irishman she hires to take her to Dublin.

Genre: Comedy, Romance

Where you’ll travel:  Dublin, Inis Mor, Dingle, and really all of Ireland


Letters to Juliet

A young woman named Sophie finds an old love letter left to Juliet Capulet in Verona and reaches out to Claire, the letter’s author, inspiring a journey throughout Italy to find Claire’s lost-love with Claire’s grandson and Sophie in tow. (Again, cannot recommend highly enough)

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance

Where you’ll travel: Verona and Tuscany


Midnight in Paris

While on vacation in Paris with his fiancé, Gil Pender finds himself often exploring the city alone and makes friends that seem to take him back in time to the Parisian Jazz Age.

Genre: Comedy, Fantasy, Romance

Where you’ll travel: Paris


Roman Holiday

A European princess escapes her guards to explore the city of Rome without supervision and finds herself falling in love with an undercover American reporter.

Genre: Comedy, Romance

Where you’ll travel: Rome


To Rome with Love

A series of vignettes looking into the comical experiences of the Eternal City’s residents and visitors.

Genre: Comedy, Romance

Where you’ll travel: Rome


The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

A man who works developing photos for Life magazine gets the chance to go out and have his own adventure when his job is threatened and he is sent on a mission.

Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Drama

Where you’ll travel: Greenland, Iceland, Himalayas


The Tourist

An American tourist finds himself entwined with beautiful and mysterious stranger in Venice.

Genre: Action, Romance, Thriller

Where you’ll travel: Paris and Venice


Under the Tuscan Sun

A recently divorced woman goes on a tour of Italy and impulsively buys a Tuscan villa and begins renovations on the villa as well as her life.

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance

Where you’ll travel: Tuscany


Vicky Christina Barcelona

Two young Americans living in Barcelona for the summer each get involved with a Spanish artist and one enters into a polyamorous relationship with him and his fiery ex-wife, Maria Elena.

Genre: Drama, Romance

Where you’ll travel: Barcelona 

MORE movies that make you catch the European travel bug:

  • Amélie (France)

  • Before SunriseBefore Sunset & Before Midnight (series- Austria, Paris, Greece)

  • Casanova (Italy)

  • Casino Royale (Czech Republic, Bahamas, Italy)

  • Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (France)

  • Ever After (France)

  • Funny Face (France)

  • In Bruges (Belgium)

  • The Italian Job [1969 version] (Italy, England)

  • Love Actually (England)

  • Magic in the Moonlight (France)

  • Mamma Mia! (Greece)

  • Match Point (England)

  • My Life in Ruins (Greece)

  • Notting Hill (England)

  • Only You (Italy)

  • P.S. I Love You (Ireland)

  • Pride & Prejudice (England)

  • Ratatouille (France)

  • Sherlock Holmes (England)

  • The Talented Mr. Ripley (Italy)

  • When in Rome (Italy)