During a time when most people around the world have been confined to their homes, many have turned to the small screen to indulge in moments of escapism. Seeking comfort and distraction during weeks in lock-down, the overwhelming majority (97%)* of travelers spent time looking for vacation inspiration, with a third (30%) looking at potential
During a time when most people around the world have been confined to their homes, many have turned to the small screen to indulge in moments of escapism. Seeking comfort and distraction during weeks in lock-down, the overwhelming majority (97%)* of travelers spent time looking for vacation inspiration, with a third (30%) looking at potential travel destinations as often as once a week. While travel might be on pause in these unprecedented times, immersing in our favorite shows has certainly brought many destinations top of mind for when travel restrictions are lifted and as it becomes safe to experience the world again. From a modern-day Irish love story set in the breath-taking county of Sligo, to a dramatic bank heist in vibrant Madrid, Booking.com presents a selection of the must-see locations from some of the most-popular shows for travelers to add to their wish list for when the time is right.
Seoul, South Korea
Korean dramas have always been Hong Kong TV-enthusiasts’ absolute favorites. A Korean drama based on a popular Webtoon (a digital comic) where, in a parallel universe, an app alerts people if someone nearby likes them, attracted a global fan base – with anticipation still building online for the next season release. Like most modern-day Korean dramas, Seoul is the main location for this series, and the capital is now becoming an internationally recognizable destination due to its mesmerising skyline with eye-catching skyscrapers. Those wanting to discover why Seoul is the perfect filming location will not leave disappointed, with so much to see and do.
Where to stay:
Hotel28 Myeongdong is a must-stay for any movie buffs as every floor has been tastefully designed to display film-inspired artworks. This luxury boutique hotel features stylish and comfortable rooms and is located in the centre of Myeongdong, a popular shopping area and the go-to-place to experience the young culture in Seoul.
Monterey, California, USA
Also known for its starring role in many Steinbeck novels, Monterey California has more recently made a big splash on the small screen, in a popular show that features footage of scenic drives along the dramatic Pacific Coast and acts as a setting for jogs along pristine beaches. Located on California’s glorious Central Coast about a two hour drive south of San Franciso, Monterey is the setting of a murder that shakes the wealthy community in this dramatic series. The incredible backdrop witnessed on screen is something to behold in real life too, with some of the main attractions of Monterey being a drive along the iconic Big Sur bridge on Highway 1 or a leisurely stroll along Old Fisherman’s Wharf to catch sight of nearby sea lions and otters – and that’s no lie.
Where to stay:
For a taste of the characters’ wealthy lifestyle, The Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa offers world-class service, stunning views of Monterey Bay that are not dissimilar to the scenic footage featured through the series, and even boasts its own private beach for hotel guests. Visitors can fully immerse themselves in the local heritage of Monterey as it’s only a short walk away from Cannery Row, an idyllic sea-front street featuring historic and cultural experiences.
The Spanish capital, known for its sophisticated boulevards and immaculate gardens, is now also recognisable for some TV-lovers as the home of the Royal Mint of Spain. Fans of this show have been captivated by an elaborate robbery plot, and those wishing to visit the real Royal Mint of Spain when the time is right can visit and learn about its history at its permanent exhibit, Museo Casa de la Moneda. The façade however, won’t be familiar to the show’s fans, as the popular show used the headquarters of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) for its exterior scenes.
Where to stay:
Located a short walk from the CSIC (which many fans of the show will be familiar with) is Barceló Emperatriz, a luxurious hotel that features stylish rooms with state-of-the-art furnishings. With a prime location in the heart of Madrid’s glamorous Salamanca district, characterful 19th century boulevards lined with fine-dining restaurants and designer boutiques are all within reach.
Another capital featured on recent trending television choices is Berlin, Germany. In this particular series we see the main character leave behind a strict religious culture and troubled arranged marriage, fleeing to Berlin where she is immersed in its vibrant cosmopolitan culture and music scene. The show was largely filmed in the Kreuzberg district of Berlin, which is known for its thrift shops and laid-back cafes, but there is also a riveting scene that takes place further west at the popular and historic swimming spot, Wannsee Lake.
Where to stay:
Berlin Base Apartments are located in the Kreuzberg district, which will be instantly recognizable from the TV series due to its colourful and leafy streets, offers impressively stylish accommodation, with an inviting terrace where guests can relax after a day exploring. Just a few moments away from the apartment is Görlitzer Park, a popular destination for locals to spend the day as there is a Children’s Farm, along with several sports and football fields.
Symonds Yat, England
The quiet and sleepy village of Symonds Yat, located in Herefordshire near the Welsh border, recently shot to fame following the popularity of a comedy-drama series that follows a group of teenagers as they navigate adolescence in high school. It features heavily in the binge-worthy series, with its panoramic shots of sweeping treetops in the Wye Valley and the bending River Wye. This picturesque village is perfect for a scenic walk or even a boat trip along the river, with gorgeous houses and pubs dotted along the valley. When it is safe to travel again, Symonds Yat has plenty of activities to enjoy and is a destination that can be appreciated by travelers of all ages.
Where to stay:
Located on the idyllic banks of the River Wye is Ye Old Ferrie Inn, a characterful 15th century pub that offers bright and airy accommodation with spectacular views of the river. Visitors to the area will be spoiled for choice with activities to do, from canoeing along the river to scenic walking trails a stone’s throw away from the Inn, and horse riding is also available nearby.
Sligo County, Ireland
When a best-selling novel following a story of two star-crossed lovers based in Ireland was turned into a TV adaptation, it had people gripped from the get-go as millions streamed the series in its first week of release. The tale is based in Sligo, Ireland, and throughout the TV series, viewers are treated to beautiful shots of Sligo’s beaches and the lush countryside – putting the destination firmly on the map for places to visit in Ireland. Beyond the series that put Sligo on the map, it is worth taking a trip one day to discover its beautiful surroundings, steeped in medieval history including Sligo Abbey, which features carved tombs and a 15th century altar.
Where to stay:
Found in the heart of Sligo County and a short drive from the series’ iconic locations such as Streedagh Point, Teeling Street, St John the Evangelist Church and Killoran’s Pub, is Down Yonder Boutique B&B. The quaint accommodation is perfect for anyone wanting a rural getaway to discover the best of Sligo and its picturesque surroundings.
*Research commissioned by Booking.com and conducted among a sample of adults who have traveled for business or leisure in the past 12 months, and must be planning to travel in the next 12 months (if/once travel restrictions are lifted). In total 20,934 respondents across 28 markets were polled (including from 999 USA, 496 from Canada, 497 from Mexico, 997 from Colombia, 999 from Brazil, 499 from Argentina, 995 from Australia, 499 from New Zealand, 999 from Spain, 996 from Italy, 996 from France, 999 from UK, 996 from Germany, 498 from Netherlands, 499 from Denmark, 499 from Sweden, 498 from Croatia, 1001 from Russia, 498 from Israel, 997 from India, 994 from China, 499 from Hong Kong, 497 from Thailand, 496 from Singapore, 499 from Taiwan, 997 from South Korea, 500 from Vietnam and 995 from Japan). Respondents completed an online survey in July 2020.