Just to be clear, when I recommend you travel like James Bond, I’m not suggesting you’re looking to add some indiscriminate sexing, exploding and killing to your travels. But, then again, maybe you are; I don’t know your life. Anyway, if you are hoping to up the amount of random sex and violence in your next trip, this article will not help.
What it will do is help you travel in Bond’s elegant and adventurous footprints. Specifically, we’ll be tracking the locations featured in the 2006 James Bond film, Casino Royale, both the supposed settings and the true shooting locations. This way, you’ll be able to travel either to those spots James Bond the fictional character visited, or to the locations the filmmakers used to create Bond’s world.
Prague – The Czech Republic
The opening scenes, shot in black and white and featuring Bond’s first kills, earning him double-O status, are both set and shot in the Karlin District of Prague. Specifically, these scenes were shot in the Danube House at Karolinská 650/1.
As we’ll see, much of the film was shot in the Czech Republic.
‘Mbale – Uganda
Technically not one of Bond’s destinations, ‘Mbale, Uganda, is the setting for our introduction to one of the film’s chief antagonists, Le Chiffre, played by the inimitable Mads Mikkelsen. Despite the location’s complete lack of Bond, maybe you wanna plan your next trip around the travel habits of Bond Villains, so I’m including it here.
These scenes were actually shot in Black Park, near Buckinghamshire, England, a popular shooting location with the makers of the Bond films.
Even for a film crew with a multi-million dollar budget, Madagascar proved too expensive. In Casino Royale, the Bahamas stand in for the African island nation. The scenes in which Bond chases Mollaka, the parkour-running bomb maker, were shot in Nassau and other areas of New Providence Island.
For those keeping track, this location is the setting for lots of exploding and killing.
London – England
As mentioned, Prague serves as multiple locations in Casino Royale, including subbing for Bond’s own headquarters of London, England. Though the filmmakers want you to believe M’s superiors are ripping her a new one in the British House of Commons, the scenes were actually shot in the library of the Strahov Monastery, in Prague, at Strahovské nádvorí 1/132.
Again, no Bond here, but, I dunno, go ahead and travel like M, too.
Nassau – The Bahamas
Hey, now we’re in the Bahamas for true! No substitutions here, Bond heads for Paradise Island and stays at the very real One and Only Ocean Club. The Versailles Gardens, inspired by the ones at the Chateau de Versailles, are featured during Bond’s drive to meet up with Dimitrios.
Speaking of Dimitrios, his palatial home is actually the Albany Gold and Beach Resort on the southwestern end of New Providence Island.
The One and Only Ocean Club is also where Bond does some sexing with Dimitrios’ wife, Solange.
Miami – Florida
Man, Prague is doing some heavy lifting in this flick. The Miami Airport is actually Prague Ruzyne Airport, while the runway scenes, during which Bond does some quality exploding and killing, were shot at the Dunsfold Aerodrome, in Surrey, England.
Prague’s Vitkov Monument, in Vitkov Park, is the location of the Miami Body Worlds exhibition, where Bond plays both hunter and prey.
So, now we get to Montenegro and the actual, real, for true Casino Royale, right? Nope. Czech Republic again. The hotel where Bond meets up with Vesper Lind (Eva Green) is not named Hotel Splendide but, rather, the Grandhotel Pupp, in Karlovy Vary in Bohemia, the western region of the Czech Republic.
The Casino Royale itself is actually the Kaiserbad Spa, also in Karlovy Vary.
The scene in which Bond meets with Mathis is Loket, a small town just southwest of Karlovy Vary.
Lake Como – Italy
After getting his “itch scratched” (meaning Le Chiffre repeatedly pummeled his nuts with a sailor’s knot) Bond recovers at a lake-side sanitarium. This is the Villa Balbianello, on the shores of Lake Como and near the village of Lenno.
It is also where Bond does some sexing, despite his repeatedly pummeled nuts.
Venice – Italy
Inexplicably, Bond decides that he has fallen in love with Vesper (that must have been some fantastic sexing she gave him) and wants to quit the service. He quits via email while seated on a yacht drifting along Venice’s Grand Canal.
That is, of course, the real Grand Canal and we get glimpses of the Accademia, the Rialto Bridge and, later, the Piazza San Marco.
The newly unemployed Bond and Vesper check into a magnificent hotel for more sexing, but this hotel is not located in Venice. Can you guess where it can actually be found? I dropped several clues throughout this article. It’s not really a difficult guess. Wow, you are terrible at this.
It’s Prague. Again. And not a hotel at all. It’s Prague’s Natural History Museum, the Národní Muzeum on Wenceslas Square.
Some of the movie’s most notable exploding takes place during its final scenes and lead to the complete collapse of a palazzo into the Grand Canal. The palazzo exists and is still standing. Its destruction was all special effects completed in Pinewood studios, in Buckinghamshire.
Back to Lake Como – Italy
The movie ends with Bond killing Mr. White. White’s impressive home is the Villa La Gaeta at Sant’Abbondio, on Lake Como.
So, go forth, young double-0, and travel like Bond! Just be sure to practice safe sexing and try to keep the exploding and killing to a minimum.