10 Movies and TV Shows to Watch Before you Go to Iceland

Iceland has a surprisingly strong connection to major films and tv shows for an island country with one of the smallest populations. Smash hit TV shows such as Game of Thrones and major superhero movies like Thor: The Dark World and Batman Begins were all shot in Iceland. There is also a collection of critically acclaimed Icelandic movies. We created a list of the films and shows to watch before you go to Iceland to get a taste of the scenery, and have that magic moment where you step into your favorite movie moments in real life.

Game of Thrones

Country of Origin: United States
Filming Location(s): Dimmuborgir, Vik, Thingvellir National ParkVatnajökullSkaftafellGrjótagjá, Laxa I kjos
IMDB Rating: 9.5

Game of Thrones has dozens of filming locations in Iceland. On our Life Nomading trip to Iceland, we are staying on the Laxa I Kjos where Drogon burns the sheepherder and his sheep. If you haven’t seen Game of Thrones, we recommend you do! It’s kind of hard to jump into it as the plot is intricate and intertwined. However, if you are familiar and want to catch some Iceland scenery, almost any episode beyond the wall or at the wall is shot in Iceland.

Noi, The Albino

Country of Origin: Iceland
Filming Location(s): Bolungarvik
IMDB Rating: 7.4

Noi The Albino is the most critically acclaimed Icelandic film with over 20 awards. The movie follows Noi who is either a genius or the village idiot. His big dreams of escaping the remote fishing village for which he grew up in rubs some townspeople the wrong way. Including the father of the girl he romances, who is less than enthused by the whole ordeal. He willfully fails in school and attends classes not in person, but through a tape recorder placed at his desk. Tomas Lemarquis, who plays Noi, went on to act major Hollywood films such as X-Men: Apocalypse, Snowpiercer, and Bladerunner: 2049. This quirky film is one of the best Icelandic movies of all time and is a must see whether you are going to Iceland or not.

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Country of Origin: United States
Filming Location(s): Grundarfjörður; Stykkishólmur; Vatnajökull
IMDB Rating: 7.3

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is an adventure inspiring film any way you slice it. It is not only an ideal movie to watch before going to Iceland, but also a good movie to watch before any vacation. It follows Walter Mitty on an epic adventure that changes his life and results in major updates to his online dating profile. Several scenes are shot in Iceland with full utilization of the surreal Icelandic landscape. It didn’t get the best reviews from critics, but audiences gave it a thumbs up. It’s an epic adventure for the soul and the eyes.

Batman Begins

Country of Origin: United States
Filming Location(s): Skaftafell; Vatnajökull; Öræfasvei.
IMDB Rating: 8.3

Most of the scenes set in Tibet were shot in Iceland. While this is often considered the worst movie in the Batman Dark Knight trilogy, it is still a great movie and the beginning of the best Batman trilogy. Most of the Iceland footage is in the part of the film where Batman trains with the League of Shadows in Tibet.

James Bond: Die Another Day

Country of Origin: United States
Filming Location(s): Jökulsárlón
IMDB Rating: 6.1

Die another day is one of several James Bond movies shot in Iceland. This is probably one of the most famous scenes, where 007  makes an epic escape in a pimped out Aston Martin. Not much of the movie is shot in Iceland, but what it has a ton of action and an excellent utilization of the landscape.

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

Country of Origin: United States
Filming Location(s): Vatnajokull
IMDB Rating: 8.8
 The force must be active in Iceland. Many star wars movies shot in Iceland – including the two newest films to the franchise: Force awakens and The Last Jedi. In The Empire Strikes Back, all the scenes set on the ice planet, Hoth, are filmed in Iceland.

Land Ho!

Country of Origin: United States
Filming Location(s): All Over Iceland
IMDB Rating: 6.0
Land Ho! is almost exclusively filmed in Iceland. A film professor recommended this movie for the list, and it is an excellent movie. It has tons of Iceland footage and explores all around the country. It tells the tale of an Englishman who gets coxed into an Icelandic road trip vacation with his ex-brother in law who is a wealthy southern businessman from the USA.

Lara Croft: Tomb Raider

Country of Origin: Iceland/United States
Filming Location(s): Jökulsárlón, Breiðamerkursandur
IMDB Rating: 5.8
Lara Croft: Tomb Raider is one of many major Hollywood movies shot in Iceland. There are several Iceland filming locations including the excellent destination of Jokulsarlon lagoon. While watching the movie note the pars set in Siberia, all those scenes filmed in Iceland.

Everest

Country of Origin: Iceland/United States
Filming Location(s): Iceland – Unkown
IMDB Rating: 7.1
The movie Everest which is based on a true-life story was filmed in Iceland. While this may not be a full-blown Icelandic film, it is directed and produced by the Icelandic director, Baltasar Komakur. It follows two mountaineers that make a successful ascent of Mount Everest only to encounter a deadly storm. It stars Jake Gylennhaal and Josh Brolin. It is difficult to determine which scenes were shot in Iceland, but it was reported they shot there for over a month.

Thor: Dark World

Country of Origin: Iceland/United States
Filming Location(s): 
Thingvellir national park,  Landmannalaugar, and Vatnajokull
IMDB Rating: 7.0
Norse gods and Thor, the god of lightning, descend from Nordic traditions. It only makes sense for a Thor movie to film in Iceland. Several scenes are shot in Iceland and it is said that the background for the city of Odin, Thor’s home, is taken from Icelandic landscape.

If you want to checkout Iceland for vacation don’t miss out on these awesome opportunities to step into the screen and see where your favorite film moments took place.