10 famous movie and TV locations that locals say have been ruined by tourists

  • Some locations from famous shows and movies exist in real life, which means they can attract tons of tourists.
  • The couple who bought the “murder house” from FX’s “American Horror Story” have described having to deal with lots of tourists crowding their home and sometimes trying to break into it.
  • Many of those who live near the New York City “Joker” stairs have been inconvenienced by tourists trying to pose for pictures on it.
  • Said to be the inspiration behind Arendelle in “Frozen,” the Alpine village of Hallstatt, Austria, attracts tons of camera-wielding visitors each day.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Though it may seem like a fun idea to visit the spots where your favorite films and TV shows were made, overtourism is a growing problem around the world.

From the “American Horror Story” house in California to the “Joker” steps in New York City, here are 10 locations that have become swarmed with tourists in recent years.


The “Breaking Bad” house in Albuquerque, New Mexico, is a private residence that now has super-tall fences to help ward off tourists.

caption
The homeowners have since installed a huge fence around the home.
source
AMC

The AMC series “Breaking Bad” featured Walter White (Bryan Cranston) making meth in a house in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and that spot has since become a must-see destination for fans.

And though the Albuquerque Convention & Visitors Bureau capitalizes on the show to bolster tourism, it notably does not list White’s house on its website – primarily because it’s a private residence.

In 2017, the homeowner’s daughter Joanne Quintana told KOB4 News in Albuquerque that a ridiculous number of visitors would come to the house each week just to take photos – and would also do things like take rocks from the property or toss pizza at the roof (in a nod to a famous scene from the show).

According to the Chicago Tribune, the homeowners have installed a 6-foot wrought-iron fence around the property to deter selfie-happy tourists.


The titular abode from “Full House” has drawn in so many tourists that San Francisco’s transit authority has had to intervene.

The sitcom “Full House” is set in San Francisco, and exterior shots of the titular abode were filmed at a property on Broderick Street.

The famous home has since been purchased by the show’s producer, Jeff Franklin, and is on the market.

Though “Full House” originally aired in the 1990s, Netflix rebooted the series in 2016, and interest remains so high that San Francisco’s transit authority passed a motion to bar tour buses from Broderick.

And not all residents in the area are pleased with tourist foot traffic.

Natcher and Carla Hashagen, residents of Broderick Street, told Curbed in 2018 that they took time-lapse footage of the corridor and observed large masses of fans frequenting the area.

“We’ve counted 1,000 to 1,500 visitors or more on busy days. They come in buses, Ubers and Lyfts, Go Cars, bikes, motorcycles,” Carla Hashagen said.


The couple who bought the “murder house” from “American Horror Story” described dealing with a lot of overcrowding and even a few break-ins.

caption
The house on an episode of “American Horror Story.”
source
FX

The “murder house” from season one of FX’s “American Horror Story” (aka the Rosenheim Mansion in Los Angeles) has also been a popular filming location for shows like “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Bones,” and “Law & Order: SVU,” according to Atlas Obscura.

Because of this, it’s also a popular tourist spot – and Ernst Von Schwarz and Angela Oakenfold, the couple who own the home, said they were horrified when hordes of fans began to crowd their property shortly after they moved in.

The couple told CBS News that hundreds of people would flock to their house nearly every day, with some scaling fences and climbing walls to get a better look at the building.

Oakenfold also told the publication that once a group of teenagers were so dedicated to glancing inside the home that they had a garbage-truck driver hoist them up with his crane.

Von Schwarz and Oakenfold told CBS News they weren’t aware of how famous this home was before moving in and had called the police multiple times to report break-ins.

They said they were suing the former homeowner and their realtor for unspecified damages to build a permanent fence or hedge around the mansion.


The pink house from “Love, Actually” became so popular among Instagrammers and bloggers that the local council is telling tourists to stop visiting.

caption
The house in question is the one Mark visits so he can profess his love to Juliet.
source
Love Actually/YouTube

Located in London’s Notting Hill neighborhood, the eye-catching pink house from “Love, Actually” has become a major draw for Instagrammers and bloggers.

It served as the backdrop for the iconic rom-com scene in which Mark (Andrew Lincoln) declares his love for Juliet (Keira Knightley) with cue cards, and fans of the rom-com can’t resist posing in front of it.

“I had no idea this house was in the film when I bought it before the Instagram craze and now I am living under a blanket of selfies, tour guides, and a queue of tourists lining up to take photos on weekends,” the house’s owner, who wishes to remain anonymous, told the Daily Mail.

According to The Telegraph, to combat the problem, the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea council has requested that tourists stop crowding outside the property.

The council is also highlighting alternative movie locations nearby, like the public Portobello Road area, which was featured in the film “Paddington.”

In the meantime, the woman who owns the “Love Actually” house is making the best of the situation.

As The Telegraph reported, the homeowner has since placed a donation box outside the building and is giving the proceeds to local charities dedicated to helping those who are experiencing homelessness.


“Joker” fans who are visiting the stairs from the movie have seriously gotten in the way of some Bronx residents.

caption
The scene from “Joker” and a fan posing on the steps.
source
Niko Tavernise / Warner Bros / REUTERS / Isabella Jibilian

In “Joker,” the supervillain played by Joaquin Phoenix dances down a stairwell in the Bronx borough of New York City.

Wedged between two apartment buildings, the #jokerstairs, as they’re known on Instagram, are the latest trendy New York movie destination.

This seemingly mundane stairwell has become so popular that it’s disrupting the lives of Bronx residents who climb it on their route to work or school.

Locals are naturally frustrated that fans are stopping to pose on the stairs and blocking foot traffic. In fact, Gothamist reported that someone taped up a poster advising visitors to be respectful of the neighborhood.


Tourists should perhaps wait until 2021 to visit the idyllic cove from “The Beach.”

caption
Leonardo DiCaprio in “The Beach.”
source
20th Century Fox

Maya Bay, a cove on the Thai island of Phi Phi Leh, was immortalized in Leonardo DiCaprio’s 2000 drama-adventure flick “The Beach.”

Characterized by its crystal-blue waters and limestone cliffs, this idyllic escape became a bit of a nightmare when 5,000 visitors descended on the beach daily, causing severe damage to the local coral population, the BBC reported.

In 2018, Thailand’s National Parks Department temporarily shut down the beach because of the damage. It will reportedly reopen to the public in mid-2021.


“Game of Thrones” has contributed to some of the overcrowding at Iceland’s Fjadrárgljúfur Canyon.

Iceland’s Fjadrárgljúfur Canyon served as the backdrop for Justin Bieber’s “I’ll Show You” music video and for some episodes of “Game of Thrones.”

Notably, it was the place Jon Snow (Kit Harington) flew his first dragon and where Jon battled the Night King’s army on the episode “Beyond the Wall.”

According to the Associated Press, the Environment Agency of Iceland estimates that more than 1 million people have visited the canyon since 2015.

And, as the Associated Press reported, the influx of visitors has damaged the area’s delicate landscape.

In May, the publication reported that since the place was so overwhelmed by tourists, government officials had installed warning signs and stationed park rangers at the canyon’s entrance to deter visitors.

The canyon has received some repairs, and it reopened in June 2019, but tourists should still be mindful of respecting their surroundings when trodding the popular spot.


“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” helped spur an increase in tourism to Skellig Michael, but this isn’t an entirely good thing.

caption
A scene from “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”
source
Lucasfilm

Sceilg Mhichíl, or Skellig Michael, an island in County Kerry, Ireland, was used as a filming location for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”

Though it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site and received tourists even before “Force Awakens” was released, the sci-fi blockbuster helped spur a surge.

Unfortunately, overtourism could be putting the area’s delicate early medieval monastic remains and its famous bird habitats at risk.

The Irish Independent reported that the site would need to reduce its tourist count by a third to maintain the “sustainable” level recommended by UNESCO.

According to reports, nearly 17,000 people frequented Skellig Michael in 2018, a figure well-exceeding the 11,000-visitor cap proposed by the World Heritage organization.

Ireland’s Office of Public Works is working on a plan designed to better adjust tourism to the recommended, sustainable level while not drastically affecting the area’s economy.


Dubrovnik, Croatia, proposed a ban on new restaurants to curb in the influx of “Game of Thrones” fans.

caption
A scene from “Game of Thrones” and an image of Dubrovnik, Croatia.
source
HBO/Shutterstock

As of August, Dubrovnik, a Croatian city that was featured on “Game of Thrones,” had a record of more than a million people visit the city in just a few months.

Recently, the area proposed a ban on new restaurants in an attempt to curtail the stream of tourists flocking to this scenic, seaside locale.

In an interview with CNN Travel, Dubrovnik’s mayor, Mato Frankovic, noted that the law would mainly affect cafés with outdoor seating in the historic Old City section.

“They can open inside, but knowing the Old City it’s very hard to find a place where you can work inside,” Frankovic said. “Ninety-nine percent of restaurants work mainly with outside tables.”

This law could help combat the problems overtourism can cause, including environmental damage and surges in real estate that price out locals.


Said to be the basis of the Arendelle kingdom in “Frozen,” Hallstatt, Austria, is a picturesque village that tourists frequently visit.

caption
Some report that the place is flooded with camera-wielding tourists.
source
Shutterstock

Hallstatt, a village with a population of fewer than 800 people, attracts upward of 10,000 tourists a day, according to CNN.

As Insider’s Rachel Hosie reported, sightseers flood the village just to take photos, and many local homeowners have put up barriers and traffic cones to try to deter them from stepping on their property.

Though tourism drives up business, this UNESCO-designated destination is still figuring out how to handle the camera-wielding crowds in a way that will continue to boost local economy without angering residents and causing permanent damage.