Christmas movies are a great way to get into the holiday spirit and transport us to a number of festive locations, from the magical New York City to picturesque snowy towns bursting with Christmas cheer.
But for many of us festive film lovers, this sparks a desire to experience the magic and nostalgia firsthand and visit the real-life locations of our favourite movies.
From The Holiday to Love Actually, I have found the most Christmassy Christmas film locations that you can visit this December.
1. Home Alone (1990)
Nothing says Christmas quite like the iconic Home Alone house. Based at 671 Lincoln Avenue in Winnetka, Illinois, the house boasts six bedrooms, six bathrooms and a whole lot of nostalgia for film lovers.
Whilst you can’t enter the house as it’s a private residence, you can take in the magical exterior of the house that is well worth the visit, leaving you feeling sentimental about your favourite Christmas film. You can also stop by Trinity United Methodist Church and Grace Episcopal Church which also feature in key scenes of the festive film.
2. The Holiday (2006)
The festive romcom The Holiday sees Amanda and Iris swap properties and lives for the Christmas season, giving us all the wholesome holiday feels. Whilst Amanda’s stunning property is architect Wallace Neff’s 1928-built Mission Revival house in San Marino, California, Iris’s quaint English cottage in Surrey was built as a set for the film.
Whilst you can’t find the cottage itself, you can visit the picturesque village of Shere. You can visit other filming locations in the village, including the White Horse Pub for a drink, or take a walk around the grounds of the Cornwell Manor.
3. Love Actually (2003)
Love Actually film fanatics can get the ultimate movie experience by visiting the UK’s capital, London. Walk through Trafalgar Square, across the Millennium Bridge or even stop by Heathrow Airport to see the filming locations of some of the most iconic scenes.
And if your heart can take it, you can visit the Selfridges department store on Oxford Street, where the gut-wrenching scene of ‘the purchase of the necklace’ takes place.
4. Elf (2003)
The city of New York is magical at Christmas Time, so it’s no surprise that it’s the filming location of many festive films, including the legendary Elf. Take a visit to the most famous festive symbol in America, the twinkling Rockefeller Center tree, or enjoy ice skating through Central Park.
If you want to really get into character, you can see the revolving door that Buddy runs continuously through at 10 West 33rd Street – but we can’t guarantee you won’t get any funny looks if you try it yourself.
5. The Santa Claus (1994)
There’s no film quite like the classic The Santa Claus to get you into the Christmas spirit, and if you want to take it a step further and visit the movie set itself, then you’ll find yourself headed to Oakville.
Ontario’s largest town, Oakville, is one of the main filming locations for the film, where you can find Scott Calvin’s house located at 17 Chisholm Street. You can wander the town’s Christmassy streets that appear frequently throughout the film and even take in the annual Santa Claus parade.
6. A Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
A Miracle on 34th Street (1947) is another classic Christmas movie filmed on the streets of New York. Making it accessible for film fans to visit some of the movie’s most iconic locations.
The first stop on your list should be Macy’s department store renamed as Cole’s for the film, where the movie’s Kris Kringle worked. The actual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade sequences were filmed live during the 1946 parade – and if you time your visit right, you could experience the parade for yourself.
7. The Princess Switch Trilogy
This trilogy of Christmas films that sees two people trade places and locations, The Princess Switch series has some filming locations that aren’t to be missed.
The city of Montenaro is a fictional place, but you can visit the ‘Montenaro Royal Palace’ that’s actual name is Hopetoun House, South Queensferry, one of Scotland’s finest stately homes. The Montenaro Concert Hall is a restaurant you can eat at called The Dome in Edinburgh and ‘Sweets and Treats’ bakery is actually called Mimi’s Bakehouse in Leith, Edinburgh.
To visit the ‘Belgravia Royal Castle’ you’ll need to visit Romania and head to the Károlyi Castle in Carei, close to the Hungarian border.
8. Home Alone 2 (1992)
The popular, festive film Home Alone 2 sees the characters meet again, but this time in New York City- which is great news for fans, as there are a number of movie locations you can visit.
First up on the list should be the famous Plaza Hotel, and if staying at the hotel is looking too pricey, you can always pop into the hotel bar or restaurant. You can also enjoy a walk through the legendary Central Park, which is a spot not to be missed.
Have you visited any of these Christmas film locations?