Aug
04

12 Best City Breaks for TV fans

August 04, 2019
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Claire Butler

Fancy checking out Sherlock Holmes’ iconic apartment in London? Or dining out in one of Carrie Bradshaw’s favourite restaurants in NYC? Pay homage to a TV show that’s meant something to you by visiting the old haunts of your favourite characters. Here are our local guides’ top picks for the best city breaks with a TV twist…

Los Angeles

Central Perk

LA is the spiritual home of television. It is without doubt the best city in the world for TV lovers. Checkout the I Love Lucy permanent exhibit at the Hollywood Museum, take the Warner Bros tour which includes the Central Perk set from Friends (plus a café/giftshop – could it be any better than that?!) plus sets from The Big Bang Theory. Try to time your visit with one of the Paley Center’s unrivalled TV events, the best of which is PaleyFest, where you can get up close to your favourite stars at panel shows and attend signings afterwards (it’s usually held in March). Fans of Vinny Chase and Ari Gold should hit up Urth Caffe to pay tribute to their favourite Entourage boys. This is a popular brunch spot in Los Angeles where the gang would go grab a coffee (and sometimes hit on the waitresses). You can also party like the boys at the Roosevelt Hotel Tropicana Pool Bar, which featured frequently in the show (this is where the notorious Eminem party ended in a punch up). Curb Your Enthusiasm is filmed in and around Los Angeles, which offers a plethora of homage sights for wannabe Larrys. We recommend En Sushi where our hero came to blows with one of the Japanese waiters in season two and Canter’s Deli, a legendary 24-hour Jewish deli that featured in The Blind Date episode (plus an episode of Entourage). LA featured heavily in AMC’s sublimely retro Mad Men; the best places to soak up that 1950’s Don Draper vibe are Cole’s for a boozy lunch against a vintage art deco backdrop and Musso & Frank Grill for a martini (LA’s oldest and most storied restaurant is always a good idea). Western watchers should get out of town for the day and check out Melody Film Ranch in Newhall (1 hour 20 mins drive from central LA), where many westerns have been filmed, including TV fan favourites Deadwood and Westworld.

Explore vintage Hollywood by night on Urban Adventures’ Sips of Old Hollywood tour, which invites you to have a few drinks in the pubs, dive bars and restaurants of Hollywood’s Golden Age. Fancy sitting in the same chair as Humphry Bogart? Join our local LA guide for a cocktail and the beginning of a beautiful friendship…

Discover the LA haunts of Charlie Chaplin and Marilyn Monroe in our Finding Hollywoodland: Plan your perfect classic movie-themed day out guide.

Dubrovnik/Split

Dubrovnik Game of Thrones tour
The bridge leading to the Ploce Gate in Dubrovnik, forever known to Game of Thrones fans as King's Landing. See all the GOT sights in the city on our Best Game of Thrones Tour Ever! Photo credit: Dubrovnik Urban Adventures

The spectacular walled city of Dubrovnik provides the inspiration for King’s Landing, the fictional city in TV behemoth Game of Thrones. Fort Lovrijenac doubles as the Red Keep in King’s Landing, the capital of the Seven Kingdoms. The Minčeta Tower was used as the exterior of the House of Undying in Qarth. You can explore the city where George Martin’s fantasy became a reality on Urban Adventures’ Best Game of Thrones Tour Ever! Did you ever think it would be possible to visit Westeros and Essos in the same day? Well in Dubrovnik it is! This unique Game of Thrones tour will allow you to relive some of the most memorable moments from the revered HBO TV series as you explore beautiful Dubrovnik with a local by your side. Then take a scenic, 4 hour ferry ride to Split, home to Diocletian’s Palace (or the World of Westeros to GOT fanatics) and yet more locations that were used by those canny GOT location scouts. Urban Adventures’ Split Game of Thrones tour visits the Palace cellars where you’ll walk in the footsteps of the warriors entering Meereen, to release the slaves for Khaleesi’s army. As you walk through the narrow streets into the heart of the city known as Peristil, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, you’ll see why the producers chose to film here. After all, it is the most preserved example of Roman architecture on the eastern coast of the Adriatic.

London

Fleabag church London
Pheobe Waller Bridge, AKA Fleabag at the Church of the Hot Priest, AKA Parish Church of St Andrew's in Kingsbury, London.

Fans of Pheobe Waller Bridge’s mega hit Fleabag should make their way to Dartmouth Park in Camden where most of the two glorious seasons were filmed; the Guinea Pig Café does exist (hooray we hear you cry!) but it’s a Turkish restaurant in real life called Bold Café. You should also consider taking a pilgrimage to the hot priest’s church at Parish Church of St Andrew’s in Kingsbury. Sherlock fans should head to Mr Holmes & Dr. Watson’s iconic apartment but don’t put 221B Baker St into Google Maps just yet, the exterior is actually located at 187 North Gower Street. Eagle-eyed fans will be overjoyed to hear that Speedy’s Café. Grab a tasty bite from there when you’re done snapping pictures.  The Bluebird Café is a regular haunt of the cast of Made in Chelsea. When watching TV isn’t enough, how about being on TV? London is the UK’s number one location for live tapings, so if you’re interested in being an audience member for The X Factor, Britain’s Got Talent or dozens of other telly offerings, sign up for ApplauseStore alerts.

Paris

Killing Eve Paris
The wickedly wonderful Villanelle living it up at Palace Vendome in Paris in a key scene from Killing Eve.

Embrace the frilly pageantry and obscene wealth of Louis XIV with a visit to his beloved Versailles Palace, which unsurprisingly featured fairly regularly in the Franco-Canadian mega-production TV show Versailles. Even if you’re not a fan of the show you would be mad to miss this opulent treasure while you’re in town, the palace is truly one of the most awe-inspiring buildings ever constructed. Spy lovers should take a stroll through the 6th Arrondisement to Rue Guénégaud and Rue Maz where they’ll find Villanelle’s chic apartment from Killing Eve. Another famous scene was filmed at Place Vendôme, where Villanelle confronts Konstantin while wearing a pink tutu dress.

New York

Carrie and Big at Loeb Boathouse, New York
arrie and Big before their fall in the lake at the romantic Loeb Boathouse in New York's Central Park.

Fans of Carrie, Miranda, Samantha and Charlotte will be spoiled for choice if you’re looking for Sex and the City themed activities. Our top pick is a romantic night at Russian Samovar, an old school little bar and restaurant off Broadway where Carrie had her first date with ‘The Russian;’ it’s owned by Mikhail Baryshnikov (the famous ballet dancer who played Aleksandr Petrovsky) and was once a favourite haunt of Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack. Also check out the Loeb Boathouse in Central Park for lunch and a boat ride, just try not to fall in like Carrie and Big! Friends fans will know the show was filmed in Los Angeles, but you can check out Monica, Rachel, Joey & Chandler’s apartment building at 90 Bedford Street in Greenwich Village. Enjoy brunch or dinner at the Little Owl restaurant, a fabulous little brasserie that inspired Central Perk. The Paley Center for Media is another good bet for TV fans, with regular programs throughout the year that feature live Q&A’s with your favourite TV stars. Other shows filmed in the Big Apple with interesting locations to visit include Seinfeld, How I Met Your Mother, Gossip Girl and The Sopranos. Check out our New York for TV fans post for a full round up.

If you want to explore your favourite TV and Movie locations in New York City but don’t know where to start, talk to our NYC team who can help you create your best ever NYC tour, cramming in all your favourite TV show locations (hello Friends apartment!) alongside a slice of city life from your local expert guide and maybe a bite of some of New York’s legendary chow.

Vilnius

Vilnius Chernobyl tour
Discover the filming locations of HBO's Chernobyl 2019 TV series on a Private Chernobyl Behind the Scenes tour with Urban Adventures, which includes a visit to the fictional neighbourhood of Pripyat. Photo credit: Vilnius Urban Adventures

HBO’s Chernobyl used the Vilnius neighbourhood of Fabijoniškės as a stand in for Pripyat on the show, the town closest to the nuclear reactor. You can explore the filming locations used in the series (including a visit to the KGB museum and a dose of iodine to keep you well!) on our Private Chernobyl Miniseries – Behind the Scenes tour. It is possible to extend your tour to include more filming locations and a final stop at a real-life nuclear reactor similar to Chernobyl’s. The pretty old town of Vilnius has become a popular doppelganger for Russia in recent years with high profile TV series’ from Catherine the Great starring Helen Mirren to War & Peace and The Last Tsars all being filmed here. Check out the Orthodox Cathedral of the Dormition, which doubled  afor the Russian church where Tsar Nicholas’ coronation took place in The Last Tsars. The city’s quirky history, stunning architecture and tiny size make it a great place to get lost in and cheap flights make it a steal too.

Melbourne

Ramsey street sign
Ramsey Street, where good neighbours become good friends...

‘Everybody needs good neighbours’ is a phrase that will take some of our UK and Aussie readers back to their glory years. Melbourne is the home of Neighbours, Australia’s longest running soap and a favourite of British students for over 30 years. The delightfully camp show made its name churning out some of Australia’s brightest talent, from Kylie Minogue and Guy Pierce to Russell Crowe and Margot Robbie. And let’s not forget the mighty Stefan Dennis as the legend that is Paul Robinson. You’ll be pleased to hear that Ramsay Street actually exists (it’s known as Pin Oak Court) and is located in Vermont East, which is handily next door to the TV network’s head studios in Nunawading. Security has been put in place at Pin Oak Court in recent years as they have had issues with eager fans trying to get into the houses, jump the fences and even steal the street sign. Not very neighbourly… Wannabe trespassers should be warned that the house interiors are filmed in the studio and look nothing like the real interior of the homes.

Urban Adventures Melbourne can help you organise your very own Neighbours-themed tour of Melbourne, including a visit to Pin Oak Court. Just let us know exactly what you’d like to do on your private, bespoke tour and we’ll do the rest! Create Your Own Melbourne tour today.

Boston

Cheers Bar Boston
Visit the shop at the Cheers Bar in Boston and satisfy your craving for Cheers Onesies and Framed 'Normisms' posters. Photo Credit: Cheers bar

It’s a little-known fact that you can go for a drink at the bar that provided the inspiration for the bar where everybody knew Sam, Diane, Cliff, Norm, Woody and Frasier’s names. Originally called the Bull & Finch Pub, when The TV series premiered in September 1982 it changed its name to Cheers after the success of the show. You’ll find it in the Beacon Hill neighbourhood and there’s also another location at the Faneuil Hall Marketplace. As well as the iconic bar, you can wander around the delightful gift shop, which sells all kinds of wacky Cheers souvenirs and collectables. We love the Norm bobbleheads and Cheers-themed Christmas baubles. Happily, the interior looks remarkably similar to the bar set on the show (perfect for selfies!) and there’s plenty of memorabilia on display for die hard fans to pore over, pint in hand.  Draft beers are served up in themed mugs, and the menu tickles the taste buds and the 80s nostalgia with the Coach’s Club Sandwich, the Giant Norm Burger and Frasier’s Chicken Panini.

Mallorca

Night Manager Restaurant Mallorca
The beautiful terrace of Mallorca's Ca’s Patro March restaurant, one of many stunning locations used in BBC's The Night Manager, with Tom Hiddleston

Not exactly a TV classic but a brilliant piece of escapist drama and intrigue set against the dreamy backdrop of sun-kissed Mallorca with Tom Hiddleston in sexy spy mode. Touring the glamourous locations of 2016’s smash hit The Night Manager seems as good an excuse as any to hop over to Palma for a few romantic days of sightseeing and fine dining. The restaurant ‘kidnapping’ scene where the son of Hugh Laurie’s baddie was taken away, was shot at Ca’s Patro March restaurant, a beautiful foodie hotspot that sits atop the rocks of Cala Deia overlooking crystal clear water. The series also showcased the picturesque Pine Walk, which hugs the coastline of the chic resort of Port de Pollensa, a romantic stroll at any time of day. Palma’s stunning Sadrassana restaurant in Plaça de Drassanes stood in for a sexy restaurant in Madrid and is well worth a visit to try their delectable coca with black pig, goat cheese, raisins and pine nuts.

Toronto

Toronto Television Museum

If you want to find out more about the history of television, look no further than Toronto’s often overlooked but always fascinating MZTV Museum of Television. It features a large collection of vintage TVs including the original TV from the 1939 World Fair. There’s also an app for your phone that offers a very good self-guided tour of the museum’s many curiosities. Suits is set in New York but in reality, most of the filming is done in Toronto’s Financial District. Bay Adelaide Centre plays the Pearson Specter Litt building; occasionally you may see your favourite Suits stars filming outside. The Handmaid’s Tale, starring Elizabeth Moss used The Church of St Aidan as The Red Centre (where the handmaids are trained up) and the banquet scene from series one where the Gilead children were paraded was filmed at the Fairmount Royal York Hotel.

Sydney

The Pier, Summer Bay, Sydney
Take a walk along the Pier at 'Summer Bay' in Sydney and reminisce about all your favourite Home & Away scenes that were filmed right here.

Palm beach in northern Sydney has been the fictional home of Summer Bay, the setting for Aussie soap opera Home & Away for more than 30 years. Fans will want to check out The Boathouse Palm Beach, the location of the Summer Bay Diner and Alf’s Bait Shop (there’s a ‘Welcome to Summer Bay’ sign outside that visitors love to pose with!). It’s always a busy spot as the lunches are popular with locals. It’s also a favourite of brides and grooms who want to get married at ‘Summer Bay.’ The Pier opposite the Boathouse Palm Beach has been featured in the show countless times over the years and it’s well worth a wander to the end as you hum the Home & away music in your head (‘closer each day…’). Nearby, you can also visit the show’s famous lighthouse which is called Barrenjoey Lighthouse. Sydney is the centre of Aussie television, if you’re looking to catch a live show while you’re Sydney, such as Australia’s Got Talent or The Voice, check out That’s The Ticket for dates and ticket prices.

Visit Summer Bay with a local by your side on a Create Your Own Urban Adventure. Just tell us what you’d like to see, do and eat and we’ll help you design your best Home & Away tour ever!

Copenhagen

Copenhagen Bridge

Nordic Noir has been having a moment for a while now. If you’re hankering for a Scandi-chic city break with a noir twist, look no further than foodie’s favourite Copenhagen. Home of Oresund Bridge or The Bridge as TV fans will know it. The bridge itself is a remarkable feat of engineering that connects Copenhagen to the summery Swedish city of Malmo. Take the 11km drive and enjoy stunning views of the two cities as you channel your inner Martin and Saga. Christianborg Palace is a must for fans of Borgen, which happens to be the nickname of the palace that houses the Danish Houses of Parliament. If you’re looking for a culture-filled afternoon in Copenhagen, this is the place to be; tour the state rooms, admire the royal horses and check out one of the historic exhibitions that are updated regularly. Copenhagen’s Police Headquarters also double as Police HQ in both The Bridge and The Killing. The impressive neo-classical building is close to the delightful Tivoli Gardens, which you should definitely make a beeline for while you’re in the area.

You can create your own Nordic Noir-themed tour with the Urban Adventures Copenhagen team, just tell us what you’d like to do and we’ll help you plan a (Nordic) drama-filled itinerary.

Create Your Own TV-Themed Tour