24 Fantastic Classic Travel Films You Should Watch

Classic Wanderlust Movies for Travelers by Hepcat HannahCare to fuel your wanderlust?  How about a selection of classic travel films to get you primed for globe-trotting?  If you like suspense, I would suggest a Hitchcockian-style movie, such The Moon-Spinners or Charade.  If you prefer a genuine Hitchcock film, how about To Catch a Thief?  Or, if your a romantic (like yours truly), well then, you must watch Rome Adventure or Two For the Road.

Please enjoy this selection I have put together, just for you!



1: Walk, Don’t Run  (Japan – 1966)

Starring:  Cary Grant, Jim Hutton, and Samantha Eggar.

This delightful remake of The More the Merrier is set in Tokyo during the 1964 Olympic Games.  Due to the housing shortage, Sir William Rutland (Grant) convinces Christine Easton (Eggar) to sublet half of her apartment to himself.  Things get fun when Sir William sublets half of his half to American Olympic competitor Steve Davis (Hutton).  Confusing, right?  Just wait, even more chaos arises.

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2: Hatari!  (Tanzania – 1962)

Starring:  John Wayne, Elsa Martinelli, Hardy Krüger, and Red Buttons.

You’ll get an authentic taste of Africa in this Howard Hawks film about professional wildlife catchers.  This has been a old favorite of mine for years, and it still is. Hatari is Swahili for danger!  And when you add a touch of romance and throw in some baby elephants and a cheetah, it’s a definite must-see adventure film.

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3: The Moon-Spinners  (Greece – 1964)

Starring:  Hayley Mills, Eli Wallach, and Peter McEnery.

Nikky Ferris (Mills) is spending a holiday in Greece with her Aunt Frances.  Once in Agios Georgios, they arrive at their hotel The Moon-Spinners, owned by a mysterious Creatan name Stratos.  Intrigue is inevitable in this Hitchcockian-style film when murder attempts & hidden treasure enter the picture.

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4: To Catch a Thief  (France – 1955)

Starring:  Cary Grant and Grace Kelly.

John Robie (Grant) is a retired jewel thief, previously nicknamed “The Cat,” who lives on the French Riviera.  When a sudden series of burglaries occur, he becomes the prime suspect.  With the help of the beautiful American, Frances Stevens (Kelly), Robie works to uncover the real thief.  Ahh, what is better than romance, intrigue, France, and fabulous jewels?

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5: Rome Adventure  (Italy – 1962)

Starring:  Troy Donahue, Angie Dickinson, and Suzanne Pleshette.

Former assistant librarian Prudence Bell (Pleshette) is forced to resign after loaning a student an inappropriate book.  Prudence packs her bags and heads off to the city of love: Bella Roma!  Get lost in this romantic tale of love & life in Italy.

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6: Two For the Road  (France – 1967)

Starring:  Albert Finney and Audrey Hepburn

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7: Casablanca  (Morocco – 1942)

Starring:  Humphery Bogart and Ingrid Bergman.

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8: Come September  (Ligurian coast, Italy – 1961)

Starring:  Rock Hudson, Gina Lollobrigida, Sandra Dee, and Bobby Darin.

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9: The Quiet Man  (Ireland – 1952)

Starring:  John Wayne, Maureen O’Hara, Barry Fitzgerald, Ward Bond, and Victor McLaglen.

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10: The World of Suzie Wong  (Hong Kong – 1960)

Starring:  William Holden and Nancy Kwan.

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11: Third Man on the Mountain  (Switzerland – 1959)

Starring:  Michael Rennie, James MacArthur, and Janet Munro.

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12: How to Steal a Million  (Paris, France – 1966)

Starring:  Audrey Hepburn, Peter O’Toole, Eli Wallach, and Hugh Griffith.

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13: Swiss Family Robinson  (Oceania – 1960)

Starring:  John Mills, Dorothy McGuire, James MacArthur, Janet Munro, and Tommy Kirk.

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14: Roman Holiday  (Rome, Italy – 1953)

Starring:  Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn.

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15: Blue Hawaii  (Hawaii – 1961)

Starring:  Elvis Presley, Joan Blackman, and Angela Lansbury.

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16: Charade  (Paris, France – 1963)

Starring:  Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn.

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17: Five Weeks in a Balloon  (Africa – 1962)

Starring:  Red Buttons, Fabian, and Barbara Eden.

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18: Where the Boys Are  (Florida – 1960)

Starring:  Dolores Hart, George Hamilton, Connie Francis, Yvette Mimieux, Paula Prentiss, and Jim Hutton.

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19: North by Northwest  (USA – 1959)

Starring:  Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint, and James Mason.

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20: The Man Who Knew Too Much  (Marrakesh, Morocco – 1956)

Starring:  James Stewart and Doris Day.

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21: The King and I  (Thailand – 1956)

Starring:  Deborah Kerr and Yul Brynner.

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22: National Velvet  (Sussex, England – 1944)

Starring:  Mickey Rooney and Elizabeth Taylor.

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23: An Affair to Remember  (Transatlantic Cruise – 1957)

Starring:  Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr.

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24: The Inn of Sixth Happiness  (Yangcheng, China – 1958)

Starring:  Ingrid Bergman

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I hope you enjoy a few (hopefully all) of these classic travel films.  These are my favorites, and I am constantly finding more.  There are so many classic travel films out there that I haven’t discovered yet.

Also… I have now written a Part 2 to this article.  Click here to check out 24 more fantastic classic travel films.

Do you have any favorites that I didn’t mention?  Please let me know in the comments below. 🙂

About Hannah

Hannah is a vintage girl with two things always on her mind: Traveling & Books. When she’s not out exploring the world, she is at home on her parent’s farm in the Ozarks, planning her next adventure or writing romantic fiction. The travel bug hit her at an early age, and she skipped the college scene in favor of a career in travel blogging. Hannah loves jazz music, is slightly obsessed about her INFJ personality type, and is a lot quieter in person than she is in the blogosphere. Until you get to know her, that is.

6 thoughts on “24 Fantastic Classic Travel Films You Should Watch

  1. This is such a great list! Another movie that majorly inspires wanderlust in me is Under the Tuscan Sun. While not a classic per se, You should check it out if you haven’t already! Thanks for sharing!

  2. How about Donovan’s Reef? It’s set in French Polynesia although it’s really filmed in Kauai, Hawaii. Beautiful scenery and just a fun John Wayne comedy. You even get to see the classic western icon in a pair of swim shorts:)

    1. You’re certainly right, Donovan’s Reef should be in this list. I’m sure there will be a future article of “More Classic Travel Films” as I am always finding new ones.

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