All photos: Emirates
It’s almost the middle of the year (honestly, where did all the time go?) and there’s no time like now to plan your holiday hit list. Well Emirates is doing us all a favour by offering economy class seat sales from Singapore to select destinations such as Paris, Rome, and Barcelona starting at $559. Looks like travellers can now visit film destinations from the reel life in real life. The popcorn’s optional.
1. Finding Dory (2016) – Melbourne
The Pixar sequel was a touching reunion tale, which saw most of the storyline unfold in an animated version of the SEA LIFE Aquarium in Melbourne. Fun for children and grownups alike, check out the real deal, home to the largest collection of searhorses and sea-dragons, sub Antarctic penguins, sharks and stingrays. Plus explore the outdoors by walking along scenic routes such as the Great Ocean Road and Yarra River.
Fly to Melbourne with Emirates from $559.
2. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011) – Zurich
The Hollywood adaptation of Stieg Larsson’s best-selling novel had some scenes set in Zurich. It’s where Rooney Mara’s Lisbeth Salander carries out multimillion dollar banking transactions and stays at the fancy Dolder Grand Hotel’s Masina suite. Sitting on a hilltop with scene-stealing views of the lake, the alps and the city below, this five-star grand dame dates back to 1899.
Frankly if we scored a room in the hotel, we’re not sure we could bring ourselves to leave it. But if you do decide to venture outside – take a day trip to Bernese Oberland’s Jungfrau region. The snowy landscape was digitally enhanced and used as a backdrop to various scenes in the 2005 Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith film for Princess Leia’s home planet Alderaan.
Fly to Zurich with Emirates from $969.
3. The Fault in Our Stars (2014) – Amsterdam
Easily the most talked about young adult film of the year, let alone one that’s made in Amsterdam. The tear-jerker starred up-and-comers Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort. There’s even a bench covered in fan graffiti, located near the intersection between the Herengracht and Leidsegracht canals. It’s a look-a-like to the bench that appeared during one of the movie’s pivotal moments, put in place after the original was stolen.
Fly to Amsterdam with Emirates from $1,019.
4. The Brothers Grimm (2015) – Frankfurt
Make it a year-end trip to catch one of the best Christmas markets in Germany. Munch on gingerbread, sip mulled wine and enjoy other delectable treats as you wander through the festive stalls on the Romerberg and St Paul’s Square. Speaking of gingerbread, Germany’s home to famed The Brothers Grimm, the writers behind Hansel and Gretel. Honestly, the 2005 film was pretty forgettable – notwithstanding that it starred Matt Damon and Heath Ledger – but it’s hard to ignore how ingrained childhood stories like Cinderella, Rapunzel and Sleeping Beauty are in our memories.
25km from Frankfurt is Hanau, the birthplace of the brothers, marked by the The Brothers Grimm National Monument. It’s also the starting point of the German Fairytale Route. Winter might be too cold for it but if you’re there when the weather’s warmer, make an adventure out of it by traveling from sout to north, passing by the town of Alsfeld (Little Red Riding Hood) and Sababurg Castle in Reinhardswald Park (Sleeping Beauty Castle).
Fly to Frankfurt with Emirates from $989.
5. Roman Holiday (1953) – Rome
Audrey Hepburn‘s Breakfast at Tiffany’s quotes and posters may be more ubiquitous but Roman Holiday – for which the actress won an Oscar for – was her first breakout hit. It’s an enchanting “famous girl meets regular guy” storyline that precedes Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant’s Notting Hill. In it Audrey Hepburn plays Princess Ann, who slips out of her tightly scheduled life at her country’s embassy, begins a love affair with a reporter played by Gregory Peck, and explores the city. Retrace her footsteps down the Spanish Steps, stick your hand into the Mouth of Truth, and make a wish at the Trevi Fountain. Other films set in Rome include Eat Pray Love, Mission Impossible III and Ocean’s Twelve.
Fly to Rome with Emirates from $1,099.