Escape to Spain: Four Inspiring Movies

Nick Kenrick

When it comes to travel inspiration, few mediums can capture the true essence of a location, an experience, and a culture quite like film. Take a look at four movies that will have you saying, “Hola, España!” in no time.

1. Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008)

Woody Allen’s love poem to Spain (and to the beauty of actors like Javiar Bardem, Scarlet Johansson and Penélope Cruz) was shot on location in Barcelona. Everyone drinks Spanish wines—big bowls full of it—in sunny outdoor locales, while wearing great looking clothes and looking at art. Can we come to the party?


2. L’Auberge Espagnole (2002)

Though this is technically a French film, this 2002 release by director Cédric Klapish has an international cast, including Audrey Tautou and Romain Duris. This film is about a house of strangers, living together while studying abroad in warm, vibrant, and exciting Barcelona. Things start getting real very quickly as drama, seductions and the beauty of Barcelona ensue.


3. Hemingway and Gelhorn (HBO, 2012)

You can’t think about vintage, literary Spain and not think: Hemingway. Here, he’s played by a man-strapping Clive Owen who romances journalist Martha Gelhorn (Nicole Kidman) in various Spanish locales during the Civil War. The script may be a bit hero-worshippy but the literary romance is worth writing home about.


4. The Sun Also Rises (1957)

Hemingway’s novel of expats on the loose at bullfights and bull runs is punctuated in this vintage 50s technicolor film by the beauty of Ava Gardner (who fell in love with Spain and ended up living there after several films). Errol Flynn is also on hand to look elegantly wasted and everyone wears berets and striped shirts. A classic.