If you’re trying to decide the location for your next travel adventure or simply need an evening flick-fix as a salve for life’s woes, these travel movies fit the bill. Currently available on Netflix streaming service, these 10 films promise to stir the wanderer in you.
Delhi in a Day (2011)
From the aerial intro shots to the moment-by-moment portrayal of how servants are treated in India, "Delhi in a Day" is a mirror held up to India's capital city. Cultural differences between the young British man, Jasper (Lee Williams), and his Indian host family can be hilarious and sometimes uncomfortable. Partially in subtitles, the film follows the stories of the servants, the family and the visiting guest. Street scenes from Jasper's morning drive through the capital include sights that make us yearn to hop on the next flight: motorcycles whizzing through traffic, elephants and handlers walking the sides of the roads and new construction popping up all over the city. Gorgeous scenery and realistic travel scenes have us watching this movie more than once.
Even if you have seen this classic, it's worth watching again. This adorable French film chronicles Amélie (pronounced AH-May-Lee) in her day-to-day life in this quirky look at life in Paris. "Amélie" is one of the most well known French movies for its perspective on this the delicate, naive girl (Audrey Tautou) who wants to find love. The totally-subtitled film stays interesting thanks to scenes like the mischievous pranks that Amélie plays on the mean-spirited grocer or the gnome photos she sends her father from locations around the globe. Peeking into her French flat, the open-air markets and the café where Amélie works is sure to make anyone dream of Paris.
Into the Wild (2007)
A maddeningly idealistic college graduate leaves home—after selling his car and donating his life savings to charity—to find true happiness in isolation. Christopher McCandless (Emile Hirsch) hitchhikes through most of the U.S., kayaks illegally down the Colorado River and eventually makes his way to Denali National Park. Hold your breath through the gorgeous glimpses of Denali National Park and the stops Christopher makes along the way. After he finds an abandoned bus in Denali, he sets up camp for the long winter ahead. At first, life in isolation is all he had hoped.
Night Train to Lisbon (2013)
A lonely, Swiss teacher stops a suicide on a rainy bridge during his morning walk to school. After the girl disappears, the teacher (Jeremy Irons) is sucked into a story of the 1926 coup d'état against dictator Antonio de Oliveira Salazar. Sit back for gorgeous views of Lisbon and a story of heroism told through flashbacks. Spanish subtitles are used in flashbacks.
The Way (2010)
When a young man dies during a storm on his trek through the El Camino de Santiago trail in France, his estranged father comes to collect his remains and picks up the journey where his son left off. Tom (Martin Sheen) is an inexperienced hiker who meets others along the trail and tries to learn more about his son and himself in the process.
Beyond the Edge (2013)
Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary were the first people, in 1953, to step foot on the top of Mount Everest, the highest peak in the world. The story is told through dramatic restaging and actual footage from the climb, along with news segments and more. The historic—and politicized—event changed history and mountaineering forever.
L'Auberge Espagnole (2002)
A straight-edged French student—studying economics, no less—moves into a shared apartment with six other twenty-somethings. From answering the telephone when someone else's mom calls to other mundane tasks like eating and cleaning, the cultural differences and language gaps show how anyone who's lived in an exchange home has felt in at least one instance. Subtitles are used for several of the languages represented in the house.
This tense viewing experience pays off with spectacular views of Denali National Park's mountains and wildlife. Mackenzie (Ella Purnell) is trying to escape an uncle who sexually assaulted her and, in the process, has a run-in with Rene Bartlett (Bruce Greenwood). Mackenzie ends up following him through the park during a hiking trip he had planned to complete solo. Throughout the trip he begrudgingly becomes a quasi-father figure for Mackenzie on her journey to escape Alaska to Seattle.
Kon Tiki (2012)
This dramatic retelling of the 1947 voyage of the Kon-Tiki, built by Norwegian Thor Heyerdahl and five-man crew is riveting and historically accurate. The balsawood raft created by Heyerdahl and his crew mimicked the style of vessels that Heyerdahl believed South Americans used to make a 4,300-mile journey to settle Polynesia before Christopher Columbus accidentally discovered the New World on his way to India in 1492. Whether or not the South Americans actually made such ancient voyages, Heyerdahl's 101-day voyage made history (and inspired a similar attempt in 2015). Subtitles are used throughout the film when the adventurers slip into Norwegian conversations.
In Bruges (2008)
Classified as film noir, "In Bruges" is gritty and dramatic. Ken (Brendan Gleeson), the older and more sophisticated of the two, likes "the tall buildings and history and such" while Ray (Colin Farrell) is fighting PTSD symptoms from earlier trauma revealed in flashbacks. Throw in a love interest, violence, drugs and tourism with an ending that, in true film noir style, leaves the outcome up to the viewer. While the story is completely in English, turning on closed captioning may help get every detail of Ken and Ray's thick accents. Though it's not suitable for children, this film makes our list for the calm, rosy moments in which Ken gets to quietly enjoy Bruges’ tall buildings and history.