50 Amazing filming locations from iconic movies set in France

Movie Locations in France you can visit

Francophile movie fans, after Canada and the UK, France is one of the top 3 places where many American movies are filmed. From fascinating medieval villages to iconic monuments, if you’ve ever wondered, “Where in France something was filmed?” Here are over 30 iconic Hollywood film locations of movies set in France, which you can visit. 

A good Hollywood movie can magically transport moviegoers to new and fascinating places, and we owe it all to the Lumière brothers.

The Lumière brothers were two French cinema and photography pioneers.

In 1895 they invented and patented the Cinématographe,  a camera and projector that could record and project a film onto a large screen. They also invented the movie poster as a form of advertisement for their movies. 

French inventors: The Lumiere brothers invented not only the Cinematograph, predecessor to the modern day movie projector but also movie posters

Famous Locations of Movies Set In France

Here are some iconic Movies and the locations of the parts of those movies set in France. 

The Davinci Code (2006)

movie poster the Da Vinci Code

The Da Vinci Code is a controversial 2006 mystery-thriller movie starring Tom Hanks and Audrey Tautou from the French cult film Amélie.

The movie was shot in many places around the world, including France.  Here are two scenes from the movie that were set in France.

1) The Louvre

Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris

Louvre museum in Paris

The Louvre is featured twice in the Davinci Code, first when the curator is found murdered inside the museum, then at the end. It’s here, under a stone reproduction, that Mary Magdalene’s tomb is supposed to be hidden.

2) Palais -Royal

204 rue Saint-Honoré, Place du Palais-Royal

Palais Royal Palace in Paris across from the Louvre

Located directly across from the Louvre is the Palais-Royal, the former royal palace. In the Da Vinci Code, Robert Langdon walks through the historic palace, searching for the end of the rose line. 

Coco Avant Chanel 2009 (Coco before Chanel)

Coco Avant Chanel is not only a great movie; it’s based on a true story of how a young French girl from a poor family, Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel, became one of the most notable self-made women of the 20th century.

Unlike the other movies on this list which are American movies in English, this is a French movie in the French language, so if you don’t speak French, you’ll have to turn on English subtitles.

3) La boutique Chanel

 31 rue Cambon, 75001 Paris

rue-saint-hornore-chanel

The end of the film takes place in Chanel‘s historic flagship store located at 31 rue Cambon.

We see Coco sitting on the famous Art Deco staircase of her store adorned with mirrors. Gabrielle Chanel used to sit on the fifth step to watch the models without being seen.

Coco’s apartment was located on the hotel’s second floor and has been kept as it was when she lived there.

4) Ritz Hotel

15 place Vendôme, 75001 Paris

Ritz hotel Coco Chanel Suite

Although Coco had her own apartment above her flagship Chanel store on Cambon street, her real home was the Ritz hotel located less than a 10-minute walk from her store. 

This is also the place where Chanel died. Anyone with around 18k Euros can spend a night in the suite named Coco Chanel. 

You might be interested in reading: Coco Chanel Quotes And Mantras: For Fabulous Badass Girls.

Moonraker (1979)

In the 1979 James Bond movie Moonraker starring Roger Moore, Bond investigates the theft of a Space Shuttle.

His search leads him to Hugo Drax, the owner of the company that manufactures the shuttle.

Bond follows the trail from California to Venice, Rio de Janeiro, the Amazon rainforest, and finally into outer space to prevent a plot to wipe out the world population and recreate humanity with a master race.

5) Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte

77950 Maincy, France

Although the exterior and Grand Salon of Drax’s mansion are set in California, they were actually filmed at the Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte, about 55 kilometres (34 mi) southeast of Paris.

The remaining interiors were filmed at the Château de Guermantes.

chateaux-de-Vaux-le-Vicomte-France

Two things that may surprise visitors about this stunning chateau; it’s the largest, PRIVATELY owned residence in all of France, and it was the inspiration and prototype of the more famous Palace of Versaille.

Every Saturday evening from June to October, the château offers evening visits by candles where 2000 candles light the château and its gardens. 

You can rent a mini electric golf cart to explore the vast 33 hectares (1,235 acres) of gardens created by André Le Nôtre, the gardener to French kings and one of the greatest French landscape architects responsible for creating the most beautiful French gardens of the 17th century. 

There’s also a museum and even an annual Easter egg hunt

This chateau has been featured many times in French movies but here are the other American films where it was featured

Other films that featured Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte

  • The Man in the Iron Mask (1998) starring Leonardo Di Caprio.
  • Historical Drama Marie-Antoinette (2006), directed by Sophia Coppola.
  • Start the revolution without me staring (1970), starring Gene Wilder and Donald Sutherland.

Chocolat (2000)

Movie Poster Chocolat

Based on the 1999 book of the same name, Chocolat is an award-winning cult film starring many big names such as Juliette Binoche, Judi Dench, and Johnny Depp.

Set in 1959, the tranquillity of a traditional French village is disturbed by the arrival of a strange, beautiful young female chocolatière and her six-year-old daughter.

The woman opens a chocolate shop, much to the chagrin of the residents who are religious and morally strict and against the chocolate makers’ free-spirited indulgences. 

6) The village of  Flavigny-sur-Ozerain, France

Chocolate shop in movie Chocolat in Flavigny-sur-Ozerain, France

Chocolat is set in a fictional French village in rural France, almost entirely filmed in Flavigny-Sur-Ozerain in Burgandy.

The town is located just one hour northwest of Dijon, perched on a hilltop, surrounded by the French countryside and is classified as one of France’s 100 most beautiful villages.

By exploring this quaint town on foot, you’ll feel like you have stepped onto a movie set.

You’ll be able to visit familiar places and buildings on a network of old streets, such as the stone church that features heavily in the film and the mayor’s house.

The chocolate shop featured in the film is located at Rue du Four, 21150 Flavigny-Sur-Ozerain, France. It’s mostly a vacant building now. 

7) Beynac-et-Cazenac

Beynac-et-Cazenac-movie-chocolat

In the opening scene of the movie Chocolat, Vianne and her daughter Anouk drift into a little french village and set up a chocolate shop.

These shots were taken in the quaint village of Beynac Dordogne before moving to Flavigny-Sur-Ozerain in Burgundy. 

Although not featured in the movie, make sure to visit “les Jardins de Marqueyssac, one of France’s most beautiful and romantic gardens and the most visited garden in Perigord. Here are some other things to do in this quaint town

A Good Year (2006)

Movie Poster: A good year

The movie A Good Year starring Russell Crowe, is based on the book of the same name by Peter Mayle: his second book about Provence.

It’s about failed London banker Max Skinner who inherits his uncle’s vineyard in Provence, where he spent many childhood holidays. Upon his arrival, he meets Max, a woman from California who tells Max she is his long-lost cousin and that the property is hers.

8) Chateau la Canorgue

Chateau la Canorgue, a working vineyard from movie a Good year

In the movie A Good Year, this is the house that Max inherits from his uncle, which is an actual working vineyard in Provence called Chateau la Canorgue.

It’s located about a mile from the town of Bonnieux. Much of the movie was filmed inside the chateau and outside in the garden and vineyards.

Love Actually (2003)

Movie poster: Love Actually

Love actually is a romantic comedy set around Christmas time. It follows the lives of eight different couples dealing with their love lives in various loosely interrelated tales. It stars some big names such as Hugh Grant, Liam Neeson, Colin Firth and Keira Knightley.

9) Le Bar de la Marine

15 Quai de Rive Neuve, in the Old Port.

Le Bar de la Marine in Marseille from the movie Love Actually

In one of the funny moments from Love Actually, Colin Firth’s character, Jamie, proposes to Aurelia, his Portuguese housekeeper, in front of a crowd of strangers and Aurelia’s family, who follow him into the restaurant where she works.

The scene was filmed at “Le Bar de la Marine,” a restaurant located at the port of Marseille. This is an excellent place to grab a bite to eat and watch people pass by as you sit outside at one of the tables facing the old port.

The French connection (1971)

The iconic crime drama movie called “The French Connection was filmed all over Marseille, too many places to list in this article, but here are some of the more notable places you can visit.

10) Chateau d’If

Embarcadère Frioul If, 1 Quai de la Fraternité, 13001 Marseille, France

Chateau d'If, Marseille France: Movie French connection

You may already know this island fortress prison made famous by Alexandre Duma’s classic novel, The Count of Monte Cristo.

Chateau d’If is where the secret meeting between Charnier, Nicol and Devereaux took place.

Chateau d’If is a fortress built on an island off the coast of Marseille by the French king Francis I in 1524. It was later used as a prison. 

11) Rue du Vallon des Auffes

13007 7Arrondissement Marseille

Rue du Vallon des Auffes

Rue du Vallon des Auffes is where the opening scene of the French connection was filmed. It’s a small but picturesque traditional fishing port on the Kennedy Corniche, in the 7th arrondissement of Marseille, 2 km southwest of the Marseille’s Old Port.

It’s also a beautiful setting where you can stop to eat at one of the many restaurants that surround the port. Make sure to order the fish.

12) Basilique Notre-Dame de la Garde

Rue Fort du Sanctuaire, 13006 Marseille, France

Notre Dame de la Garde Marseille church: French connection

The Notre Dame de la Garde Basilica is a beautiful 19th-century Romanesque-Byzantine style Catholic church that overlooks Marseille, France.

It’s perched on a hilltop south of the Vieux Port (Old Port) with panoramic views of Marseille, the mountains, the Mediterranean Sea and nearby islands.

Merlin: BBC tv series (2008-2012)

poster Merlin bbc tv

Merlin, also known as The Adventures of Merlin, is a British fantasy-adventure and historical drama television program. It’s loosely based on King Arthur’s legends and his close relationship with Merlin.

13) Pierrefonds Castle

Rue Viollet le Duc, 60350 Pierrefonds, France

Pierrefonds castle in France

About 80 km northeast of Paris is Pierrefonds, an impressive fortified medieval castle dating back to the 12th century. 

Although the TV series is set in England, much of the Merlin series was filmed inside the chateau and outdoors.  Pierrefonds castle has also been used as the backdrop for many other movies, including The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc and the 1998 version of The Man in the Iron Mask. 

Inception (2010)

Movie poster: Inception

Inception is a science-fiction action thriller film. Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his partner Arthur (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) perform illegal corporate espionage by entering the subconscious minds of their targets, using two-level “dream within a dream” strategies to “extract” valuable information.

14) Palais Galliera

10 Avenue Pierre 1er de Serbie

Cobb needs to recruit a new architect to help build a convincing ‘dream world.’ For this, he needs to consult his former tutor and father-in-law, Miles, played by Michael Caine. 

Cobb goes to the academy in Paris where miles teaches. The entrance to the fictitious academy is that of Palais Galliera.

15) Da Stuzzi Delcatessen

 6 Rue César Franck, 75015 Paris, France

Inception De Bussy: Da Stuzzi Delicatessen

Café Debussy was filmed at the Italian delicatessen Da Stuzzi in paris, now called Il Russo. 

75015 Paris, France

Inception movie Pont de Bir-Hakeim

Devil Wears Prada (2006)

movie poster the devil wears Prada

The Devil wears Prada is a comedy-drama starring Anne Hathaway and Merril Streep.

Anne Hathaway’s character “Andy” is an aspiring journalist who lands a job as a junior personal assistant to the editor-in-chief of Runway magazine.

It’s a job millions of girls would kill for.

Andy plans to put up with her boss’s excessive demands and humiliating treatment for one year in the hopes of getting a job as a reporter or writer somewhere else.

17) Musée Galliera

10 Av. Pierre 1er de Serbie, 75116 Paris, France

Palais Galliera, musée de la Mode de la ville de Paris

The scene where Andrea Sachs and Miranda Priestly attend a Paris Fashion show is filmed in front of the Palais Galliera.

This museum is home to nearly 200,000 works (clothing, accessories, photographs, drawings) that reflect the fashion and clothing in France from the 18th century to the present day. 

18) Fontaine des Fleuves

Place de la Concorde: 75008 Paris, France

Fontaine des Fleuves Paris

Built in 1838, this is where the fashion show takes place and where Andy quits her job throwing her phone into the fountain.

Midnight in Paris (2011)

Movie poster: Midnight in Paris

Woody Allen’s movie, Midnight in Paris, is about Gil, a Hollywood screenwriter (played by Owen Wilson) who takes a trip to Paris with his fiancée Inez.

One of Gil’s evening strolls turns into a fantastic trip back in time to 1920s Paris, where he’s hobnobbing with the likes of Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, and Gertrude Stein. Here are a few notable places from the movie. 

19) Monet’s Garden

Monet's Garden: The bridge

The movie opens with screenwriter Gil revealing his love for the romantic images of old Paris at Monet’s Garden, home of impressionist painter Claude Monet.

Located just 80 km west of Paris, Monet’s gardens at Giverny is a wonderful day trip where you can take a stroll through the landscape that inspired Monet, such as the bridge where Monet created so many of his dreamy waterlily paintings.

20) Musée de L´Orangerie

Jardin Tuileries, 75001 Paris, France

Musée de L'Orangerie

This is the scene where Gil and Inez visit the Musée de L’orangerie to admire some of Monet’s paintings inspired by the gardens at Giverny, including eight huge water lily paintings. 

21) Musée Rodin 

77 Rue de Varenne, 75007 Paris, France

The Thinker at Rodin Museum: Le penseur
The thinkers like Rodin

Rodin Museum in Paris is the backdrop to a scene where Carla Bruni (ex-wife of ex-French president Nicolas Sarkozy) shows Gil and Inez around the beautiful grounds.

22) Les puces de Saint-Ouen

Les puces de Saint-Ouen midnight in Paris

Gil and Inez visit the famous antique Paris flea market called Les Puces de Saint-Ouen located at Porte de Clignancourt.

While Inez shops, Gil meets Gabrielle, a friendly woman selling antiques and memorabilia who shares his passion for the music and art of 1920s Paris.

You can visit this old Parisian Flea market which is the largest antique market in the world, from Friday to Monday.

23) Maison Deyrolle

46 Rue du Bac, 75007 Paris, France

Deyrolle a kind of taxidermy museum
Maison Deyrolle: Paris

Founded in 1831, Maison Deyrolle is possibly one of Paris’s most unusual shops/museums and the perfect surreal setting for Gil’s midnight adventures in Paris. 

It’s hard to explain, but Maison Deyrolle is part Taxidermy shop meets museum which combines science and art with taxidermy and entomology specialism. A kind of cabinet of curiosities. The ground floor of Deyrolle has been transformed into a chic gardening store called Le Prince Jardinier.

Ratatouille (2007)

movie poster ratatouille

Technically, since the Ratatouille is an animated film by Pixar, it wasn’t filmed in France at all, but I wanted to include it anyway since it’s set in Paris, the French capital.

 15-17 Quai de la Tournelle, 75005 Paris, France

25) Rue Mouffetard

Rue Mouffetard, Paris

Julie and Julia Rue Mouffetard

Rue Mouffetard is one of Paris’s oldest streets with plenty of French old-world charm. In his novel A Moveable Feast, Hemingway described rue Mouffetard as “that wonderful narrow, crowded market street which led into the Place Contrescarpe.”

There’s an open market on this street that dates back to the 1200s, where you can pick up fresh fruit and produce. It’s the same market that inspired Julia Childs and where she finds the ingredients for her groundbreaking culinary experiences in Julie and Julia.

26) Shakespeare & Company

37 rue de la Bûcherie, Paris

Shakespeare and company English bookstore paris

Shakespeare & Company, located across from the Notre Dame in Paris, specializes in English books, second-hand books and plenty of French flare. This is the bookstore where Julia Childs searches for a French cookbook written in English. 

Armageddon (1998)

movie poster Armageddon

Astronomy students discover a comet-asteroid “the size of the Super Dome” that threatens the world.

A secret USA defence destroys it in space, but a large chunk the size of Texas veers off towards earth.

A plan is devised to send oil drillers to land on the asteroid and drop a nuclear device down a 1000-foot shaft to crack the asteroid into two halves, saving earth.

27)  Mont Saint Michelle

Armageddon: Mont St Michel

While the American president gives a speech broadcast on the radio and television, listeners worldwide are seen listening intently, including a sheep herd from Normandy, France. In the background, you see Mont-Saint-Michel for a few seconds. 

Indiana Jones and the adventures of the lost ark (1981)

movie poster Indiana Jones Raiders of the lost ark

28) Port of La Pallice in La Rochelle

La Rochelle, France, is a city on the central west coast of France and a seaport on the Bay of Biscay, a part of the Atlantic Ocean. Spielberg shot the underground Nazi submarine base scenes at the port of La Pallice in La Rochelle. This is a real-life place the Nazis used in World War II as their U-boat base, which you can still see from the port.

On the second Sunday in June, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., the port opens its doors to the public. This day allows you to learn more about the port’s activity, meet the people who work there and discover trades little known to the general public.

To Catch a Thief (1955)

Movie poster to catch a thief

To catch a thief, the Alfred Hitchcock classic, starring the handsome Cary Grant and Grace Kelly, was filmed across the French Riviera, mainly in Cannes and Nice. The entire film shows the colourful landscape of the South of France, and it would be hard not to want to visit after watching this movie. Here are a few locations from the film which you can visit. 

29) InterContinental Carlton on La Croisette boulevard

Hotel Carlton: Cannes France

The hotel Carlton in Cannes is famous for hosting movie stars from around the world during the annual Film Festival. It was also the central filming location in the movie to catch a thief where Frances Stevens (Grace Kelly) stays with her mother.

30) Le Vieux Port (the old port)

Cannes: Old Port: Vieux port

Le Vieux Port was and still is the place to see and be seen today and the place to park your superyacht. This is the scene where Cary Grant’s character fools the police by pretending to fish so he can figure out which jewellery has gone missing. 

31) Cours Salaya

Cours Saleya: Nice Flower market

Cours Saleya in old town Nice France is home to four different markets. The most well-known is the Marché aux Fleurs, a traditional Flower Market, open Tuesday through Sunday. Filming there would be too problematic, so the production crew set up a flower market for the film on the Boulevard Jean Jaurès. This is the scene where John Robie meets with the insurance man H.H. Hughson.

Moulin Rouge (2001)

Movie poster: Moulin Rouge

Moulin Rouge is a love story set in 1899 at, you guessed it, the Moulin Rouge in Paris, a nightclub where rich and poor men alike come to be entertained by the dancers and the Cancan. It stars Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor. 

32) Moulin Rouge

Moulin Rouge Paris outside building

The movie wasn’t filmed anywhere near France or the Moulin rouge; however, le Moulin Rouge should be high on your list of things to do in Paris. Moulin Rouge is the same age as the Eiffel tower and has entertained Parisians and tourists from around the world with its risqué shows for over 130 years.

I recommend booking your classic French 3-course meal, with plenty of champagne in advance. Then after dinner, sit back and enjoy the amazing cabaret show, the birthplace of the Can-Can. 

Amélie (2001)

33 to 50) 17 Parisian locations where this French cult movie was filmed.

Let’s not forget about this emblematic French language film from 2001 that has become a worldwide cult favourite.

Photo of Annie André: www.AnnieAndre.com

Annie André

About the author 

I’m A Bilingual North American With Thai And French Canadian Roots Who's Been Living In The South Of France For Over 10 Years. I Love Writing Weird, Wonderful, Interesting, Forgotten, And Fascinating Articles For Intellectually Curious People Amazed By France, French Culture, And World Travel.

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