The latest Die Hard movie goes to Moscow

Inspired by this month’s Oscars, we bring you our top 5 cool movie locations. From terrorist plots in Moscow to a zombie love tale in Montreal, there's plenty of eye candy in these blockbuster destinations.

Pondicherry, India: Life of Pi

The enchanting film Life of Pi is a tale of a young boy’s friendship with a tiger named Richard Parker and their epic journey of discovery and adventure. CGI-enhanced special effects make this film a visual masterpiece and a strong contender for the Oscars; in particular, the opening scenes of a fictional zoo set in Pondicherry’s Botanical Gardens make the place look magical.

Pondicherry pillarsGranite pillars guard Pondicherry beach
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Understated and largely unknown, Pondicherry, the former capital of what was once French India, certainly has plenty to beguile: explore the old French Quarter where elegant colonial buildings and wide boulevards give way to rickshaws carrying fruit and spices to the town’s open air market. Then head down to Pondicherry’s glorious, unspoilt beaches and stroll along the seafront promenade where eight intricately-carved pillars stand like sentinels. For avid shoppers, there are a range of classy boutiques selling batiks, jewellery, carvings, antiques and saris.

Philadelphia, US: Silver Linings Playbook

Highly acclaimed Silver Linings Playbook, a rom-com starring Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper, is shot in the suburbs of western Philadelphia, a city renowned for its historical and cultural significance. It was here in Philly where the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were signed; learn more on a guided tour of Independence Hall.

phillyfeboscar2013A new Philly love tale
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Meanwhile, art lovers have plenty to fawn over: the Barnes Foundation, which features post-impressionist and early modern paintings, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts for sculptures and the refurbished Rodin Museum.

However an unlikely new landmark has emerged on the Philly tourist trail; the Llanerch Diner, where movie fans are flocking to sit at the very same booth as the film’s two stars and buy memorabilia such as mugs and T-shirts.

Tokyo, Japan: The Wolverine

Due to be released this July is The Wolverine, part of the popular X-Men series, which sees the superhero played by Hugh Jackman travel to Japan to train as a samurai. Scenes from the latest instalment were shot in the capital Tokyo, including the 333m-high (1,092ft) red-and-white Tokyo Tower, with four floors of restaurants, museums and shops and the place to head for panoramic views of the metropolis.

tokyofeboscar2013Glittering Tokyo appears in The Wolverine
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Nearby Zojoji Temple also features in the film; its impressive gate has survived numerous fires, earthquakes and wars since 1622. When in Tokyo, eat at legendary Kozue, a slick Japanese restaurant located in the Park Hyatt Hotel, where you can tuck into beef with mushrooms or a traditional steaming bowl of noodles, accompanied by endless sake.

Make a beeline for the electric bars in Roppongi where you can party all night. Walk off your hangover the next day along the spectacular Kachidoki Bridge surrounded by gleaming skycrapers and overlooking the Sumida River.

Moscow, Russia: A Good Day To Die Hard

High rise buildings with onion-shaped peaks loom over the beautiful city of Moscow; the setting for the hotly anticipated fifth instalment of the Die Hard series starring Bruce Willis, out on 14 February. Endless explosions and car chases provide plenty of entertainment in the action-packed blockbuster but what of the capital itself?

StbasilMoscow's onion-domed cathedral
Creative Commons / tinou bao

Moscow’s instantly recognisable Red Square dominated by the beautiful St Basil’s Cathedral and the Kremlin are among a string of architectural jewels; elsewhere, discover extraordinary-looking churches, palaces, theatres and art galleries. History aside, modern-day Moscow is a hotbed of conspicuous consumption; it pays to have money to enjoy its frighteningly expensive restaurants and designer shops. When it comes to nightlife, all the beautiful people head to exclusive nightclub Krysha Mira renowned for its electronic music.

Montreal, Canada: Warm Bodies

Due to be released tomorrow in the UK (8 February), Warm Bodies subverts the zombie movie genre by telling the tale of a blossoming love story between a human and an unusually, emotionally sensitive zombie. The comedy flick is set in Canada’s Montreal, a city renowned for its old, cobbled quarter and port but also rich in swanky eateries and trendy bars.

montrealoscar2013Zombie flick Warm Bodies is set in Montreal
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Most of this action is centred on ‘The Main’, otherwise known as Boulevard Saint Laurent, where you can grab a cocktail in Casa del Popolo then kick back and enjoy live indie rock music late into the night. The next day, recharge your batteries with a visit to the Biodome where penguins, macaws and other wildlife can be viewed as you walk through four different ecosystems, or amble through the city’s sprawling botanic gardens.

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