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Frequent Flyer: James Bond

GoldenEyeWhen it comes to going on location, few films do it with as much panache and style as the James Bond series. ‘GoldenEye,’ the 17th Bond installment, features an in-his-prime Pierce Brosnan, as 007 in a case that sends him around the globe. The first of the Bond films to be made after the Cold War,  ‘GoldenEye’ heads back to the U.S.S.R., stopping just about everywhere else along the way.

Let’s go, shall we?





The film opens in 1986, in a Soviet weapons plant in the northern Russian town of Arkhangelsk. It won’t do you any good to go there though, the scene was actually shot in Switzerland, at the Verzasca Dam near Hittnau. There you can get a real taste of the Bond lifestyle by recreating his famous bungee jump through Trekking Tours

Casino de Monte-Carlo

One of the film’s unmistakable locations, though, is the Casino de Monte-Carlo (Place du Casino, MC 98000). Located at the heart of the decadent and glamourous principality, the casino is where Brosnan’s Bond meets up with the villainess Xenia Onatopp, played by Famke Janssen. If you want to visit the casino be prepared to dress up and bring your passport — you must be at least 18 and citizens of Monaco are forbidden to enter.

Not far from there you’ll head to the Port d’Hercule Harbor (Quai Albert 1er, La Condamine), filled with luxury yachts — especially during busy Grand Prix season. You’ll recognize the Harbor as where Onatopp steals the steals the Tiger Helicopter.

Then its off to Russia, and to the headquarters of the Janus crime syndicate in St. Petersburg. Here you’ll see the Neva River and St. Isaac’s Cathedral (Isaakievskaya Ploschad 1, St. Petersburg). Most of the other “Russian” scenes were filmed in locations around London, including the airport scene, which was actually filmed at England’s Epsom Downs racecourse (Surrey, KT18 5LQ).

Arecibo Observatory

Arecibo Observatory

Next stop is Cuba, which — for obvious reasons — did not play itself in the film. Instead production crews headed to nearby Puerto Rico. Once there, you won’t want to miss the Arecibo Observatory, or “El Radar,” in Arecibo, about a one-hour drive from San Juan. Feel free to skip the museum at the Observatory and just take in the awe-inspiring views of the massive radio telescope, which has had starring roles in ‘Contact‘ and the ‘X-Files‘, as well as in ‘GoldenEye.’ Read more about the Observatory in Jose Lustre Jr.‘s tour of Puerto Rico in Film+Travel from Museyon Guides.

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