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Whether it’s the works of Beethoven or the Notorious B.I.G., we’ve all experienced the ways in which music can transport, taking us from 19th-century Austria to 1990s Brooklyn and everywhere in between. Add to those sounds the colors, landscapes, styles, and faces made capable by the addition of film? Well, we may as well grab the next flight there.
Thankfully, several musicians are privy to the power of sight and sound, tapping into that marriage by way of music videos that are bound to prompt flight, train, and bus purchases in no time. From Chris Martin dazzling fans in Sydney to the Queen Bee capturing Bourbon Street, here are some of the coolest music video sites and venues to visit now.
Lake Como, Italy: “Cool,” Gwen Stefani
The former No Doubt frontwoman and Voice alum shot this video in the epic backdrop of Lake Como, Italy, where she hops about town amidst flashbacks to a former life—and former relationship. Though the scenes move fast, that captivating estate you see for an instant is Villa Erba, a 19th-century villa planted in the town of Cernobbio, home to some of the most stunning properties in the region.
Bourbon Street, New Orleans: “All Night,” Beyoncé
Beyoncé spotlights Louisiana throughout her Lemonade album, from the Madewood Plantation House and Fort Macomb to the Superdome and Fontainebleau State Park. New Orleans is, of course, no exception. In “All Night,” the icon intermixes video footage of her and Jay-Z with that of couples throughout town—particularly along Bourbon Street, the city’s famed strip and Mardi Gras party hub.
Iceland: “I’ll Show You,” Justin Bieber
Iceland’s epic beauty compelled Justin Bieber to shoot this music video there, taking him across myriad spellbinding sites. The first was the southeast region’s Fjadrargljufur Canyon, where the pop star ascends a ridge alongside the striking landscape. From there, we see Seljalandsfoss Waterfall, one of the area’s most famous attractions for its awe-inspiring panoramas (plus the ability to walk behind it). We encounter plenty more with Bieber as guide, from the Fjadra River and the island of Dyrholaey to Skogafoss Waterfall and Solheimasandur Beach.
New York City: “Empire State of Mind,” Jay-Z and Alicia Keys
There are few songs that champion cities as strongly as this one, and that’s the very reason every single time we hear it, we want to book it to the Big Apple, stat (and if we’re there already, our NYC pride powers up faster than lines outside of Katz’s Deli). Whether it’s Jay-Z rapping on otherwise quiet neighborhood blocks or Ms. Keys upright at her piano and tending to those ivories in Times Square, we want to be right there alongside of them.
Buda Castle, Budapest (Hungary): “Firework,” Katy Perry
It’s only appropriate that a song fit for royalty was filmed at Budapest’s Buda Castle, a palace complex first completed in 1265 and expanded in 1769. This video features Katy Perry walking throughout the castle, while weaving in scenes of the individuals to whom she is singing. It crescendos in a massive, celebratory finale of fireworks in the courtyard, including glimpses of the party from afar—depicting the prominence the landmark still has on the city today. If you go, do check out the eight museums the property houses onsite—including, aptly, the Museum of Music History.
Oheka Castle, Huntington (New York): “Blank Space,” Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift may have a thing for filming in castles. After all, Tennessee’s Castle Gwynn served as the site for her 2008 hit song “Love Story,” a success she followed up with a visit to New York’s Oheka Castle for “Blank Space,” the happy-ish harbinger that gained cult-followed status on her Grammy Award-winning 1989. Built in 1919 on the highest point on Long Island in Cold Spring Harbor, the chateau-esque property spans 443 acres and continues to serve as the second-largest private residence ever built in America.
Sydney, Australia: “A Sky Full of Stars,” Coldplay
Each dressed as their own one-man band as they saunter through the streets of Sydney gaining more and more fans along the way, it seems as though Chris Martin and team had a heck of a good time with this one. Most of the video takes place on King Street in the suburb of Newton, a hip neighborhood brimming with restaurants, theatres, bookstores, and bars that cater to visitors and locals alike—especially the area’s vibrant college scene.