Here Are James Bond’s Favorite Destinations (& How to Get There)
Just in case you hadn’t noticed, Bond is back. “Spectre,” the latest outing for the world-conquering spy franchise, sees the suave secret agent heading to locations including London (but of course), Mexico City and Rome. In our unabashed excitement, we decided to dig out some old DVDs and put together a list of our top seven (see what we did there?) Bond locations of all time.
London – as seen in, well, almost every Bond film
Nearly all the Bond films have a scene or two set in London, but it’s “The World is Not Enough” and “Skyfall” that showcase the best of the city. In the former, Brosnan’s Bond (below) takes us on a whirlwind tour on the Thames, rushing past Westminster, the Tower of London and Canary Wharf, before landing – literally – on The O2.
We also glimpse some stunning skyline views in “Skyfall” before Daniel Craig’s Bond crashes through Westminster’s streets and plunges into the London Underground system in pursuit of Javier Bardem’s villainous Silva.
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Thailand – as seen in “The Man with the Golden Gun”
Flying across Phang Nga Bay to find your nemesis’ secret lair, followed by lunch and a pistol duel is not how we’d recommend spending your holiday in Thailand.
Instead, hire a canoe and paddle around the bay’s caves and stunning limestone karsts that shoot vertically out of the water. And don’t forget to spend a few days in Bangkok to check out the capital’s sights.
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Venice – as seen in “From Russia with Love”, “Moonraker” & “Casino Royale”
Venice’s narrow alleys and criss-crossing canals are perfect for a romantic escape with your latest love interest, or a high-speed gondola chase, depending on your Bond.
If navigating the waterways at break-neck speed isn’t your cup of tea, take a leaf out of “Casino Royale”‘s book and hit the tourist trails at a leisurely pace. Just try not to end your break in a sinking building.
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Iceland – as seen in “A View to Kill” & “Die Another Day”
It’s no secret that Hollywood has propelled Iceland’s otherworldly scenery into the spotlight in recent years. But before the likes of “Game of Thrones” and “Interstellar” got in on the action, Bond was hightailing it down the Breiðamerkurjökull glacier and escaping diamond-encrusted super criminals across a frozen Jökulsárlón lake.
Most of our deals use the colorful and compact capital of Reykjavik as a base, with the option to add on your choice of day tours (fear factor optional).
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India – as seen in “Octopussy”
Bond’s version of India reads like the manual of stereotypes: strange food, rickshaw chases through bazaars, fire breathers, hot-coal walkers, sword swallowers and snake charmers.
But behind this weak portrayal of India’s rich culture sits the stunning setting of Udaipur with Monsoon Palace and the Taj Lake Palace — also known as the floating palace — the undisputed scene stealers.
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Istanbul – as seen in “From Russia with Love”, “The World is Not Enough” & “Skyfall”
Connery’s Bond gives us the most comprehensive tour of Turkey’s “City of Spies”, Istanbul. Suited and booted in style, his trip takes him through The Grand Bazaar, past the old city walls, across the Bosphorus and into the beautiful Basilica Cistern via rowing boat. That’s one side to Bond’s Istanbul: the other sees Craig’s Bond give chase on a motorbike across the city’s rooftops, culminating in that train scene. But whichever side of Istanbul’s character you choose, you’re sure to be wowed.
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The Bahamas – as seen in “Thunderball”, “License to Kill” & “Casino Royale”
Don’t let the franchise fool you – the Bahamas isn’t just about poker. But if card games, cocktails and skimpy Speedos really are your bag, then this tropical island chain isn’t a bad place to spend your holiday.
Just don’t forget to fit time for the white-sand beaches, the world-class diving sites and lively junkanoo parades.
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