TV In Real Life: How TV Tourism Is Taking Off

7 January 2015
Read Time: 4.7 mins

How do you get a square-eyed couch-potato off the lounge? Take them to the source! TV Show Tourism is inspiring travel and carving out a unique industry niche. A mix of culture, make-believe, fashion and more, there’s plenty to discover on the TV tourism trail. I once took three subway rides to get to Hoboken from New York City for a sandwich because Liz Lemon made said sandwich famous on the hit TV show 30 Rock. TV is a powerful thing. It was also the best sandwich I’ve ever had. Thank you, Liz Lemon.

Here’s where to satisfy TV fanatics on TV show tours around the world.

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USA

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New York City

Kramer Reality Tour

 Me with Kenny Kramer outside 'the Seinfeld cafe'

For the Seinfeld fans out there, this is the ultimate New York City experience. Hosted by Kenny “The Real” Kramer, you’ll board Kenny’s bus and be taken on a three-hour bus and video tour around New York City. Along the way you'll learn the ins and outs on what it was like for Kenny as the real-life neighbour of Larry David and the real-life inspiration for the Seinfeld character Cosmo Kramer. Stops include lunch at the Soup Nazi and time to pose for photos outside Tom’s Restaurant (Monk's Cafe).

Sex And The City Hotspots

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Anyone with a map and a good sense of direction can find 64 Perry Street. This brownstone stoop is probably one of the most iconic spots for Sex and the City fans, being the fictitious front steps to Carrie Bradshaw’s apartment. Don’t be fooled, though, it’s not located on the Upper East Side. You’ll find 64 Perry Street in the West Village, but there’s a chain across the landing to deter hoards of Manolo Blahnik heeled babes crowding the staircase.

However, if you want more than just a stoop, you can join an official tour where you’ll visit the girl’s favourite lunch spots and boutiques and get the chance to reminisce at famous SATC locations through Midtown, Greenwich Village, The Meat Packing District and SoHo.

Bachelorettes can even splash out on a Sex and the City Hotspots Limousine Tour.

The Sopranos Sites Guided Tour

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A professionally guided four-hour bus tour through New Jersey’s ‘Sopranoland’, visiting over 40 locations featured in The Sopranos. Operates every Saturday.

Los Angeles

The TMZ Hollywood Tour

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The tour hosted by a TV show! TMZ gives you the Hollywood scoop, featuring never-before-seen footage and plenty of celeb secrets. Live TMZ TV moments frequently happen on the tour as the TMZ guides are always on the look out to spot and interview celebrities on the streets, right before your eyes. Even if you don’t spot a celeb, the tour is plenty of fun and a unique way to see the sights of LA.

Albuquerque, New Mexico

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Hit TV series Breaking Bad has helped put the unassuming Albuquerque on the map. Fans are flocking to New Mexico to visit locations from the show. Not surprisingly, a bunch of themed tours and products have popped up.

  • Albuquerque Trolley Co. BaD Tour covers 38 miles of Breaking Bad territory over three and a half hours.
  • The ‘Biking Bad Tour’ takes to the streets on two wheels.
  • Breaking Bad RV Tours – probably the cleverest of the tours, you’ll travel in a RV just like the mobile meth-van from the show. You’ll visit 17 locations from the show and the tour includes lunch at Los Pollos Hermanos.
  • In addition to the store’s popular Blue Ice Candy, The Candy Lady’s “The Experience” Tour will chauffeur you around town in a luxury limousine.

While you’re in town, don’t forget to sample O’Niell’s blue Breaking Bad cocktail, Marble Brewery’s Walt's White Lie and Heisenberg's Dark Ale or Rebel Donut’s ‘Blue Sky Donut’.

Atlanta, Georgia

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AqjLc7F2qNM[/embed]

Fans of the cult AMC series The Walking Dead are making their way to Atlanta and small-town Georgia to track down locations from the show and partake in the ‘Big Zombie’ bus tour. Turns out a zombie apocalypse is good news for Georgia tourism. The Big Zombie Tour meets in downtown Senoia, Georgia. Located about an hour South of Atlanta, Senoia is one of the state's best kept film secrets.

 

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UK

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London

Sherlock Holmes Walking Tour of London

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lDAGP-Nu7K4[/embed]

A chance to see London from a sleuth perspective, you’ll visit locations featured in the BBC Sherlock series as well as some featured in the big screen movie adaptations. A must for real fans of Holmes and Watson.

England at large

The Only Way is Essex Tour ('TOWIE' Tour for short)

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o8aODZopi7g[/embed]

This four-hour tour is your chance to get amongst Essex. Enjoy a walking tour of Brentwood, hear trivia and about the show, visit famous show locations and even visit shops owned by stars of the show. It’s the closest thing to actually appearing in a episode!

Downton Abbey Tours

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Become a Lord or Lady of Grantham for the day, visiting film locations from the BAFTA winning period drama in a Downton Abbey Tour. Starting in central London, you’ll soon find yourself whisked away to the charming Oxfordshire countryside. Have lunch at Highclere Castle and partake in a guided tour of several 'Downton' locations such as the hospital, village pub and the rooms of the property used to film Downton Abbey.

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Europe

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Game of Thrones Tour/s

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Yes, that’s right – Game of Thrones fans can geek out in not just one, but four different countries!

GOT is filmed in Croatia (Dubrovnik and Split), Malta (Valletta), Northern Ireland (Belfast) and Iceland (Akureyri). True fans can guess which parts of the acclaimed series are filmed where.

In Iceland you can check out ‘North of the Wall’ locations while enjoying the natural splendours of rugged Iceland, including a soak in the natural lagoon at Mývatn Nature Baths.

In Malta you’ll visit Valletta, Mdina and Birgu to see sites used as King’s Landing and Red Keep, visiting ancient forts and wander ancient streets as well as hearing trivia about the show.

In Croatia you can choose between Split or Dubrovnik. In Split you’ll see Klis Fortress and explore Diocletian's Palace, following your guide along rugged pathways whilst admiring the sweeping views of the Adriatic Sea. In Dubrovnik you’ll set foot on the capital of the Seven Kingdoms – King’s Landing! Spend days wandering the ancient walled city, climb the walks of Lovrijenac Fortress and visit Trsteno Arboretum. Expect the hear anecdotes about the Starks, Targaryens and Baratheons along the way!

In Northern Ireland you can tour the epic Giant’s Causeway. Departing from Belfast, you'll head north and explore caves and castles, witnessing the dramatic coastline featured in the show along the way.

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And don't forget – iconic TV tours right here in Oz

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The Official Neighbours Tour of Ramsey Street

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Everybody needs good neighbours! If you ever find yourself with three hours of spare time in Melbourne, you can visit Ramsay Street and check out where Australia’s longest-running soap opera goes down! You might even get to meet Toadfish! Is he still on the show?

Home and Away Tour of Palm Beach

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Summer Bay IRL! (In Real Life). A short trip from Sydney and you can visit Palm Beach, where cult TV show Home and Away is filmed. Take selfies outside Alf’s Bait Shop, visit the Summer Bay Surf Club, live the Summer Bay dream for a day! The tour ends in Manly where you can explore the vibrant beachside suburb then easily catch the Sydney Ferry to Circular Quay. The perfect Aussie day out!

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Press pause and buy a plane ticket! A world of REAL LIFE TV awaits you!

Rachel Surgeoner

A self-confessed 'food-tourist', I take hunting for the world's greatest sandwich very seriously, my quest has taken me from Berlin to Hoboken. Stopping off only for vintage shopping, craft beers and Mediterranean sunsets.