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The Geography of James Bond

The Geography of James Bond
Columbia Pictures

The trailer for Skyfall was released on Tuesday, and for once, the urban eye candy is underwhelming. As any fan knows, you can learn quite a bit about the world's cities just by watching James Bond movies. The franchise has featured 41 cities in its 22 films, beginning with London and Kingston, Jamaica, in 1962's Dr. No, and only a few cities have been featured more than once. The all-time leaders, besides London, are Venice and Hong Kong, which Bond has visited three times. Cairo, Istanbul, Tokyo, St. Petersburg and Miami each make two appearances. There are also a number of surprising places to which, as the films approach their 50th anniversary, Bond has never traveled: Moscow, Washington D.C., Beijing, Rome, and the U.A.E., to name a few.

The map below, which tracks James Bond's film travels over the last five decades, is coded by symbol to indicate era, and in the linked larger version, an alphabetical list is available:

Sean Connery, 1962-1971

Roger Moore, 1973-1985

Timothy Dalton, 1987-1989

Pierce Brosnan, 1995-2002

Daniel Craig, 2006-present

Bond hotspot--multiple films.

We see that Bond has only visited the United States once since the Roger Moore era, and he's seen twice as many Caribbean cities as South American cities. Surprisingly, he hasn't seen much of urban Eastern Europe, with Kiev, Warsaw, and Budapest all untapped.

George Lazenby, who played Agent 007 in only one film, On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969), hardly visited any cities at all, making only a short stop in Bern, Switzerland. Bond's more pastoral locations, like Iguazú Falls, where 007 nearly drowned in 1979's Moonraker, have not been included — Bond has also been to India and the Korean Peninsula, but not to Mumbai or Seoul. Lastly, filming has not always taken place in situ. The St. Petersburg Statue Park scene in Goldeneye, for example, was actually filmed in Budapest.


View The Geography of Bond in a larger map

As to where Skyfall will bring us, the newest trailer drops few hints except that London looks to figure prominently. Can you identify the Hagia Sofia lookalike at 2:08?

Henry Grabar is a freelance writer and a former fellow at The Atlantic Cities. He lives in New York. All posts »

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