20 Trip Ideas From the Accidental Wes Anderson Subreddit
A Wes Anderson movie is a portal to an alternate universe — a world where The Kinks play on repeat, the clothing is vintage and the tableau is oddly symmetrical. In 2015, Anderson brought this stylish vision to life in the form of Bar Luce, a mid-century take on a typical Milanese cafe, complete with formica furniture, veneered wall panels and an arched ceiling that nods to the vaulted glass roof of the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele in downtown Milan.
“While I do think it would make a pretty good movie set,” the filmmaker said in a statement for Fondazione Prada, the arts institution Bar Luce calls home. “I think it would be an even better place to write a movie. I tried to make it a bar I would want to spend my own nonfictional afternoons in.”
As expected, Bar Luce became an Instagram darling, prompting fans to plan their vacations around a visit. But for those who can’t afford to make a stop in Milan, there’s always the Accidental Wes Anderson subreddit, where fans trade real-life snapshots of settings that could have appeared in his movies. There are grand English manors, Norwegian fjords and churches with brilliant stained windows; some specific, others obscure. We collected a few of our favorites, along with ideas for how to explore them.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Primary color enthusiasts will love La Boca, the famously gritty barrio at the mouth of the river Riochuelo (which explains its name). Once you’ve tired of watching futbol at La Bombonera, head to the contemporary art museum Fundación Proa, where the panoramic views from the third floor are cinema-worthy.
No Anderson aficionado can skip an afternoon tea at Sketch, which may or may not have made millennial pink a thing. Designer India Mahdavi gave the space a ravishing makeover in 2014, adding soft velvet chairs, brass accents and 239 original drawings by British artist David Shrigley.
Manhattan Beach, California
At the end of Manhattan Beach Pier, you’ll find the Roundhouse Aquarium, where viewing and touch tanks display a sensational selection of marine fish. When you’re finished exploring, make a pit stop at Love & Salt, where the pizza dough is brushed with olive and sea salt before being tossed in the oven.
The iconic Parisian monument with the striking glass dome is a cultural center worthy of exploration. From there walk to the Église de la Madeleine, a Roman Catholic church built in the Neo-Classical style as a monument to the might of Napoleon’s army. Anderson would approve.
Though no one can say where this photo was taken, you can get the Anderson vibe at Khoo Kongsi, one of the most dynamic attractions in George Town. Located on Cannon Square, about a 10-minute drive from the coast, the temple remains one of the most distinctive relics of Chinese clan association in the country.
About 15 minutes northwest of the center of Norwich you’ll find Heydon Hall, an Elizabethan manor that could have appeared in Roald Dahl’s fairytales. On the rare day the gardens are open to the public, stroll by the walled kitchen garden, where you’ll be pleasantly surrounded by rows of rose arches and espaliered fruit trees.
The Hague, Netherlands
It’s unclear where this photo was taken, but the impressive facade of the Peace Palace should evoke similar feelings of awe. Still used by the International Court of Justice as well as The Hague Academy of International Law, the Peace Palace, completed in 1913, is dazzling enough to rival “The Grand Budapest Hotel.”
The walkable Castlefield neighborhood, on the southwest side of the city center, is a local hotspot, especially when Manchester United’s in town. Look for Lock 91, a canalside bar in an early 19th-century lockkeeper’s cottage, where you can drink all the Bloody Marys like Richie Tenenbaum.
Start your tour of the port city at Trans Europe Cafe, where the quirky interior and 70s soundtrack feel delightfully retro. Spring for the black pudding and poached egg on a toasted muffin — it sure beats Steve Zissou’s meal of choice, sardines and olive oil.
The year is not 1965, when “Moonrise Kingdom” takes place, but you can pretend like it is at Hellnar, an ancient fishing village in the westernmost part of the Snæfellsnes peninsula. Once a large fishing station, today Hellnar draws tourists to the Vatnshellir cave where they can explore lava formations.
The Atrium Theater with the mustard yellow curtain is no longer with us — it is now a trendy shisha bar — but you can still take a stroll around Old Town, known for its bustling open-air markets. There you’ll find everything from fruits to old silver swords, not to mention Franconian brezels, a cousin of pretzels.
If “Moonrise Kingdom” recaptures the sensation of falling in love at age 12, then a trip to this sleepy town, nearly three hours south of Trondheim, will remind you of the solitary bliss of self discovery. There’s not much to do here, but don’t let that dissuade you: The stark landscape is home to some of Norway’s most magical landscapes, including the Åmotan gorge.
Alberta’s capital city is a food-lover’s paradise, with plenty of French pastries, modern trattorias and craft cocktails to keep you busy. Drop by Calcutta Cricket Club, an eastern-inspired eatery on 17th Avenue, which looks like the ice cream parlor Royal and Margo visited.
San Rafael, California
Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, the Marin County Civic Center, built in 1957, was the architect’s last commission and his only realized work for a government entity, according to the Marin Convention and Visitor’s Bureau. The whole building could double as a set for Anderson’s movies, particularly the curvy courtrooms, whose style was copied nationwide.
The municipality and town on the northern coast of Tenerife is as picturesque as this photo. Make like the young romantics in “Moonrise Kingdom” and explore the historical oddities such as a monument to a wine rebellion in the 17th century.
Friends may dog you for snapping a selfie in the passageway of Claude Monet’s gardens, but the color palette is too evocative of “Grand Budapest” to resist. Above ground, visit Monet’s kitchen, where the aqua-blue interior remains as lively as anything you’d see on a train across India.
Mackinac Island, Michigan
Take a horse-drawn carriage to the Woods Restaurant on Mackinac Island, where everything, from the gingham-covered chairs to the framed ribbon medals, feels stolen from the Tenenbaum mansion. After dinner, challenge your friends to a game on America’s oldest operating duckpin bowling alley.
Much like the scene in “Grand Budapest” where Deputy Kovacs meets Zero to discuss M. Gustave, this semi-spiralled staircase could make your heart race. The iconic leaning tower is not to be missed, but make Anderson proud with a stop at the hip Filter Coffee Lab.
On the northern edge of the Thuringian Forest, this quaint royal town offers lots to discover, from underground embrasure chambers to rifle galleries. For fans of “The Darjeeling Limited,” there is also the Thüringerwaldbahn, one of Germany’s oldest cross-country trams, which runs from Gotha into the forest and ends at Tabarz.