Now this is business travel.
Smooth, debonair, and impossible to ruffle, James Bond hit just about every glamorous corner of the world to catch evil-doers and sample the local martinis. On the 50th anniversary of his creation we celebrate 007’s favorite destinations. Travelers can enjoy the sights, but they do well to avoid the stunts.
Khao Phing Kan Island; Phuket, Thailand
Even if you’ve never seen a James Bond film in your life you probably know this location which served as Scaramanga’s hideout in the movie, The Man With the Golden Gun. In fact, it’s become so associated with the movie that it’s often just referred to as “James Bond Island.”
Photo credit: Lonut Lordache
“Jaws” Beach; Haiku, HI
Referred to by visitors and locals as “Jaws” beach (it’s real name is Pe’ahi), this was used in the spectacular opening of Die Another Day. Said to have the highest waves in the world, the waves at Jaws are said to reach up to 120 feet.
Photo credit: Derek Broderick
Basilica Cistern; Istanbul, Turkey
This incredible underground palace served as the setting for the Russian consulate in From Russia With Love. Legends about the upside down position of the heads are numerous, although the prevailing “belief” is that Medusa’s head is upside down to negate the powers of gorgons.
Photo credit: Lee Gowland
Agia Triada Monastery; Akrotiri, Greece
While a monastery isn’t exactly the kind of place you’d associate with James Bond, Agia Triada was used as the site of St. Cyril’s in For Your Eyes Only. Said to have been built in the late 1400s, the monastery could only be reached by means of rope ladders and baskets until the 1920s when rock stairs were added.
Photo credit: Peter Mahnke
Palio Horse Race; Siena, Italy
Wondering how the crew of Quantum of Solace managed to film during the incredibly crowded Palio di Siena horse race? They didn’t. They actually filmed the race long before even starting principal photography.
Photo credit: Sylvain Boursot – Marie Servais
Himeji Castle; Himeji, Japan
This castle doubled as a school for ninjas in You Only Live Twice. Built some time in the 1330s, the castle is frequently referred to as “The While Heron Castle” because of its white exterior.
Photo credit by Nick Austin
Maiden’s Tower; Üsküdar, Turkey
The Maiden’s Tower was where the infamous “M” character was imprisoned in The World is Not Enough. There are lots of legends about this tower but the most popular one is about a young girl kept here until her 18th birthday when she was killed by a poisonous snake. She should have asked for a car!
Photo credit: Onur Kabadayi
Pont Alexandre III; Paris, France
It was in A View to a Kill that Bond jumped from the Pont Alexandre III into an awaiting boat, although Adele fans may remember it better from her “Someone Like You” video. It’s one of the most picturesque spots in the world’s most picturesque city so be sure to stop by and take a snap.
Photo credit: Airdecker
Great Sphinx of Giza; Giza, Egypt
It was here that evil-doer Fekkesh bit the dust in The Spy Who Loved Me. Built somewhere around 2558-2532 B.C., this is still, amazingly, the world’s longest monolith and one tourist trap well worth seeing.
Photo credit: Bung Tiaoqui
Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte; Maincy, France
Yeah, OK, so remember Drax’s cute little California weekend retreat in Moonraker? Well, it wasn’t so much in California as it was in France. This stunner was designed in part by famed French architect Le Nôtre and is said to be the first building designed in the Louis XIV style.
Trg bana Jelačića; Zagreb, Croatia
It was still Yugoslavia when it appeared in From Russia With Love, but it’s every bit as intriguing now that it’s Croatia. Fans will remember that this is where Bond meets archenemy Red Grant on the train.
Photo credit by Daniel Fernandez
Guggenheim Bilbao; Bilbao, Spain
In The World is Not Enough they wasted no time showing the magnificent Gehry-designed Bilbao Guggenheim; it appeared in the opening sequence. Interestingly this design wasn’t commissioned, but chosen in a contest.
Photo credit: Christian Spanring
Grand Bazaar; Istanbul, Turkey
It was here that Bond met Ali Kerim Bey in From Russia With Love. The original Grand Bazaar dates back to the 1400s and today an estimated 250,000-400,000 people pass through it on a daily basis.
Photo credit: Stephanie J. Robinson
Hagia Sophia; Istanbul, Turkey
This is where Red Grant murdered a Russian agent in From Russia With Love. Completed in 537, it was originally a basilica, then a mosque, and finally the museum it is today.
Photo credit: MiGowa
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