Missing travel? These shows and movies on Netflix, Disney+ Hotstar will take you places

Get your travel fix this summer without stepping out of home or breaking the bank. All you need to do is switch on the TV and stream these shows and movies on Netflix and Disney+ Hotstar.
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The travel and tourism industry was one of the largest casualties of the COVID-19 pandemic. As countries and territories worldwide imposed travel restrictions to limit the spread of the coronavirus in 2020, the United Nations World Tourism Organisation stated, “Never before in history has international travel been restricted in such an extreme manner.”

As we stepped into 2021, hopes arose that the pandemic was a thing of the past. As cases began falling and vaccination drives began across the world, people began travelling. The second COVID wave in India has put paid to all that, ensuring that we prepare to stay locked in for a few more months.

Travel may be off the radar, but the telly is right in front of you and can take you places – without the need for bookings and visas.

This list of shows and movies stands out for one reason – the fact that the location plays a starring role. Get your travel fix during this summer break without stepping out of home or breaking the bank.

Out of Love

Whether you love or hate the main protagonists – Rasika Dugal’s Meera and Purab Kohli’s Akarsh – you won’t leave this serial without falling in love with Coonoor.

Nestled in the magnificent Nilgiris, this picturesque hill station is redolent with lush, velvety tea estates and magnificent Colonial-style bungalows.

Be it the drives through wooded areas, the many scenic sights (waterfalls, hills, tall trees, and gorgeous blue skies), the standout bungalows, or the aerial shots of a charming small town, this series – an adaptation of BBC production Dr Foster - may make Coonoor the next summer hotspot for India.

Season 2 may not be as gripping as Season 1, but the location is the same – unspoilt, serene, and inviting!

Streaming on Disney+ Hotstar

The Grand Budapest Hotel

Written and directed by Wes Anderson, this 2014 movie has Ralph Fiennes leading a seventeen-actor ensemble cast. He’s Monsieur Gustave H, the famed concierge of a 20th-century mountainside resort located in the fictional East European country of Zubrowka.

The visually lush film, which seems inspired by Europe-set mid-century Hollywood films and the Library of Congress's print collection of alpine resorts, takes you on a ride across Europe — from the spa town of Karlovy Vary in the Czech Republic to an old department store in Gorlitz, Germany,  and on to a gorgeous bakery in Dresden, Germany and the Sphinx Observatory in Switzerland.

Streaming on Disney+ Hotstar

High Seas

Set aboard a luxury ocean liner, Bárbara de Braganza (formerly Covadonga), this Spanish mystery series follows sisters Eva and Carolina Villanueva as they travel from Spain to Brazil in the late 1940s. During the course of their journey, the sisters become embroiled in investigating mysterious onboard deaths and hidden Nazi gold.

But that’s not all that will stay with you. The elaborate set design recreates the magic of the Art Deco era, and even though you may not see much of Spain the architecture of the ocean liner brings to mind long voyages, glamorous aesthetics, and beautiful people.

The set of the fictional Barbara de Braganza was heavily inspired by ocean liners SS Normandie and the Queen Mary.

Streaming on Netflix

Murder on the Orient Express

Filmmaker Kenneth Branagh’s adaptation of Agatha Christie’s 1934 novel Murder on the Orient Express starred Branagh also as the iconic Belgian detective with a stellar lineup of suspects: Johnny Depp, Judi Dench, and Michelle Pfeiffer.

It may have been filmed largely in a UK studio, Longcross Studios, but the movie takes you on an unusual journey.

Be it the Stamboul (archaic word for Istanbul) Station set, loosely inspired by the actual Sirkeci railway station, the former terminal stop of the Orient Express in Istanbul the huge viaduct where the luxury train is stranded following a snowdrift (apparently the Balkans), or the picture-perfect Brod railway station, the journey – and the denouement – is one you won’t forget in a hurry!

Streaming on Disney+ Hotstar

Shetland

Detective work on a gorgeous subarctic archipelago in the Northern Isles of Scotland? Detective Jimmy Perez, Sergeant Alison “Tosh” Macintosh, and Detective Constable Sandy Wilson have their hands full in these remote islands located between Great Britain, the Faroe Islands, and Norway.

But the setting - the former Zetland that straddles its Scottish and Norse heritage with ease – showcases all that Shetland is known for – the guttural Scottish burr, graphic beaches, awe-inspiring landscapes, and an astonishing range of wildlife and birdlife.

Don’t miss your culture fix - the series spotlights Up Helly Aa, 12 fire festivals held annually in Shetland from January to March to mark the end of the yule season.

Streaming on Netflix

Edited by Teja Lele Desai