When we watch movies or advertisements, we often connect not only with the characters but also with the settings where the stories unfold. The significance of these locations might not always be immediately apparent, yet they play a profound role in shaping our cinematic experiences. No matter the genre or theme of the film, the choice of location is paramount, which is why location scouts tirelessly search for the perfect backdrop.

Some locations, however, possess a magnetic allure that transcends the screen. You've likely seen them countless times in films or on television, but there's nothing quite like experiencing them in person. In this captivating journey, we'll traverse the globe to explore some of the world's most renowned and frequently used filming locations, inviting you to discover their magic firsthand.

1. Morocco's Ait Benhaddou Ruins

Nestled along the ancient caravan route between the Sahara Desert and Marrakech, Ait Benhaddou stands as a testament to history and architectural brilliance. Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this fortified town holds a unique allure that extends beyond its historical significance. It has become a sought-after destination for both filmmakers and travelers alike.

The journey to Ait Benhaddou can be arduous due to its remote location, especially when transporting production equipment. However, once you set foot in this cinematic oasis, its surreal beauty justifies the effort. Ait Benhaddou is an entire city constructed from earth and sand, creating a mesmerizing landscape that captivates the imagination.

This location has graced the silver screen in numerous iconic films, including "The Mummy," "Gladiator," and "Babel." Moreover, Ait Benhaddou breathed life into Yunkai, one of the city-states in the acclaimed HBO series "Game of Thrones." Witnessing the charm of Ait Benhaddou in person, you'll understand why it ranks among the world's most beloved filming sites.

2. Scotland's Glencoe

For aficionados of action-packed films, Glencoe may evoke memories of Adele's haunting theme song for "Skyfall." However, this rugged Scottish terrain has served as a backdrop for far more cinematic gems than just James Bond adventures.

The Scottish Highlands, with Glencoe as a standout, have drawn directors from across the globe. Its untouched landscapes and exquisite natural light, impossible to replicate in a studio, offer a wealth of cinematic possibilities.

Movies such as "Harry Potter," "Monty Python and the Holy Grail," and "Braveheart" were filmed amidst the dramatic beauty of Glencoe. The allure of this location isn't limited to filmmakers; it beckons photographers and nature enthusiasts eager to capture its breathtaking vistas, especially from the perspective of a drone.

3. The Big Apple, Manhattan

Manhattan, the heart of New York City, is a perpetual star on the silver screen. It's an undeniable fact that this bustling metropolis has earned its place as one of the most frequently used filming locations in the world. But what makes Manhattan an eternal favorite?

To experience the pulse of the city and be at the epicenter of life's vibrant tapestry, you need only hire a local moving company and set your sights on the Big Apple. Manhattan's streets resonate with energy, echoing with the sounds of daily life. Even during a move, you're likely to encounter captivating tales from your movers.

Manhattan offers the complete cinematic package. It boasts the serene beauty of Central Park juxtaposed with the bustling streets teeming with people and vehicles. Whatever your narrative demands, you can likely find it within a block's radius. Manhattan's accessibility, diversity of locations, and unparalleled energy have lured filmmakers for decades.

Movies like "Breakfast at Tiffany's," "Ghostbusters," and "Elf" have immortalized Manhattan on film. Filmmakers are drawn to this borough for its convenience and the myriad of locations it offers, each contributing to the city's timeless cinematic allure.

4. Utah and Arizona's Monument Valley

Monument Valley has graced the silver screen since the 1930s, captivating audiences with its magnificent plateaus and cloud-filled canyons. Nestled near the Four Corners region, this striking landscape of the American West is remarkably accessible.

Beyond its cinematic appeal, Monument Valley offers ample reasons for a visit. Films like "Stagecoach," "Easy Rider," and "The Lone Ranger" have used its iconic vistas. The names associated with this location read like a who's who of classic American cinema.

Yet, it was the portrayal in "Forrest Gump" that endeared Monument Valley to countless viewers. After all, who could resist the allure of this awe-inspiring landscape? If you seek an authentic cinematic experience amid a breathtaking natural backdrop, Monument Valley beckons.

5. Los Angeles's Venice Beach

For those seeking the convenience of local shooting without the hassle of packing and moving film equipment, Venice Beach emerges as an attractive option. Hollywood studios have long embraced the idea of filming in their backyard, and Venice Beach provides an ideal setting.

Venice's popularity isn't solely due to its proximity to studios; it's a multifaceted gem. With its picturesque canals, charming bungalows, and lively amusement piers, Venice Beach offers a kaleidoscope of cinematic possibilities. The eclectic architecture further enhances its appeal, making it a favored location for feature films.

The sun-soaked Los Angeles setting of "The Big Lebowski" comes to life in Venice Beach. Los Angeles boasts some of the world's most stunning filming locations, and Venice Beach stands out as a quintessential example of the city's cinematic diversity.

6. Cape Town, South Africa

Cape Town, nestled at the southernmost tip of Africa, has emerged as one of the world's most sought-after filming destinations. Its versatility in terms of landscapes, cost-effectiveness, and robust production infrastructure has catapulted it into the global filmmaking spotlight.

The city boasts a diverse array of stunning settings, from sandy shores and scenic vineyards to towering mountains and a bustling urban center. Notably, the esteemed TV series "Black Sails" was exclusively shot at Cape Town Film Studios, utilizing the city's scenic coastline and well-preserved historical buildings as integral locations.

"Dredd," a dystopian film featuring Karl Urban, transformed Cape Town into a futuristic, post-apocalyptic world, showcasing the city's adaptability. Cape Town's thriving filmmaking industry is supported by exceptional local production companies like YLO Productions, renowned for their expertise in working with domestic and international productions.

South Africa's government incentivizes foreign productions, offering rebates of up to 35% through programs like the Film and Television Production and Co-Production incentive. This, coupled with Cape Town's Mediterranean-like climate and extended summer days, has solidified its status as a prominent filmmaking destination, rivaling Los Angeles and New York on the global stage.

7. Hawaii's Oahu

While the term "extreme weather productions" often brings snow-covered landscapes to mind, filming in tropical settings presents its unique challenges. However, some places make this endeavor significantly less daunting, and Oahu, Hawaii, is a prime example. You may recognize this island from its appearances in iconic films like "Jurassic Park," "Forgetting Sarah Marshall," and the more recent "The Descendants."

Oahu's diverse landscapes make it an ideal setting for filmmakers. From craggy mountains formed by volcanic activity to lush green valleys and sheer rock faces, it can effortlessly stand in for various locations in Africa, South America, or even the English countryside. Oahu's rich tapestry of landscapes and cultures offers filmmakers an array of cinematic possibilities.