With such a wide selection of films on Netflix, it can be hard to find the right one. Well we’ve done the hard work for you – scouring out the best of the best when it comes to travel-inspired movies.
Into the Wild (2007)…
A heartbreaking true story, the journey that an eager Christopher McCandless (Emile Hirsch) undertakes ends in tragedy. This keen traveller embarks on an epic trip across North America, culminating in an extended (and ultimately terminal) stop in Alaska. Into the Wild was written and directed by Sean Penn and has a narrative structure that will captivate you as much as the story itself.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016)…
This film is, in part, the classic story of a kid running away from home to escape his troubles – but it is also one of the funniest films on Netflix. Director Taika Waititi infuses his quirky sense of humour into the film (something that has landed him the role of director for Thor: Ragnarok , which is out in October) but there is also a sense of wonderment that comes from the New Zealand backdrop.
The Beach (2000)…
Danny Boyle’s follow-up to Trainspotting must have been something of a journey for the director himself. Going from the streets of Edinburgh and a relatively unknown cast, we find ourselves in the company of Leonardo DiCaprio among the lavish islands of Thailand. You’ll definitely feel the travel-bug bite early on, but this is also a warning about some of the potential dangers of going too wild.
You might also like: These are the most beautiful cinemas in the world
The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2015)…
This film is proof – not that we needed it – that travelling and embarking on new challenges isn’t just a young person’s game. Following the success of the first film, most of the gang are back and this time they are joined by an American in the form of Richard Gere. The growth of India, both economically and as a travel destination, is part of the story and so are the characters we have now grown to love.
Salmon Fishing in the Yemen (2011)…
What to do when you have more money than you can possibly spend? Well, if you’re this particular Arabian, billionaire sheikh you decide you want to fish for salmon in your own back yard… the only problem is that you need to build a fresh water stream from scratch to accommodate your dream. Dr. Alfred Jones (Ewan McGregor) is the man asked to make the impossible a reality.
Hologram for a King (2016)…
An underrated Tom Hanks performance is a rare thing indeed, given that this actor is one of the most critically praised of modern times. However, the small-scale, intelligent Hologram for a King seems to have flown under the radar. A washed up American salesman heads off to Saudi Arabia to put together a holographic video conference, and along the way he realises a lot of his concerns about the region are shared by the locals he meets.
Seven Years in Tibet (1997)…
Here is another one of those journeys that wasn’t exactly ‘planned’. Austrian mountaineer Heinrich Harrer (Brad Pitt), who is travelling in British India, finds his affiliation with Germany landing him in huge trouble once the Second World War breaks out. Even though he is far from the war zone, Harrer is still deemed to be a threat and ends up in a British POW camp. Eventually escaping with his friend, Harrer has to traverse a dangerous border to the safety of Tibet, where he spends seven years discovering himself.
You might also like: The Beautiful Scottish Locations Showcased In Amazon’s Outlander
This exhilarating documentary isn’t going to be on Netflix for long, so you’ll have to be quick! Laura Dekker isn’t your ordinary 14 year old. This keen seafarer was intent on becoming the youngest person to sail round the world before a Dutch court (concerned for her safety) decided to step in. The film is a thrilling testament to the desire we all have to explore, even if some us have an extreme interpretation of what that means.
The Fundamentals of Caring (2016)…
This road trip movie stars comedy legend Paul Rudd, rising Welsh star Craig Roberts and international pop star Selena Gomez. This hugely talented trio portray cantankerous and argumentative characters who are also determined to reach their target of the world’s deepest pit. You’ll get a real sense of what makes for a good – and bad – road trip from this Netflix original.
Imagine being able to do the job you love out on the open road. Sounds great, doesn’t it? Well for L.A. based chef Carl Casper (Jon Favreau) the lure of opening a food truck is just too great, especially when it means he can return to his hometown of Miami. Picking up dishes and ideas along the way, this film won’t just get your feet itching to travel, it will also set your belly rumbling, thanks to some gratuitous shots of mouth-watering food. Do not watch this when hungry.
The Lighthouse of the Whales (2016)…
Also known as El faro de las orcas in its native language, this film tells the story of a mother’s desperate bid to help her autistic son. Lola travels from Spain to Argentina, hoping to meet with a ranger famed for his special bond with killer whales. Lola hopes that meeting this man will help engage her son with his emotions. As unlikely as it may sound, the ranger character is based on a real person, Roberto ‘Beto’ Bubas, with the film being an adaptation of a book he wrote about his experiences.
You might also like: 15 Places That Look Like They’ve Come Straight out of a Movie
On the surface of it, this heartbreaking story doesn’t seem like the most inspiring film to set you off on your travels, but stick with it – the payoff is astounding. Saroo Brierley is a young boy living in rural India. After being separated from his family and unable to identify where he lives, Saroo ends up on the street and, subsequently, in a home for abandoned children. Thereafter the young boy is adopted by a loving Australian family, but as he grows older his memories return and he becomes desperate to find his family. There are several standout performances (including the superb Sunny Pawar, who plays five-year-old Saroo) and the real-life origins of the story will leave you in floods of tears.
The final film on our list is another one based on a true story. Reese Witherspoon steps into the well-worn walking boots of Cheryl Strayed and embarks on a lengthy trip across America. Told through a series of flashbacks, as well as the linear depiction of an exhausting journey, we see how Cheryl is trying to piece her life back together after a messy divorce and the death of her mother.Wild is one of those films where you find yourself initially flabbergasted at the naivety of the main character, but eventually root for her to make it.
For more travel inspiration, you might like our Big Little Lies journey to Monterey
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.