Looking for new destinations to add to your bucket list? Or do you want to get in the mood for your next trip? Then we have something for you: 5 must-see travel documentaries!
Whether in a team or alone, on foot, hitchhiking or bicycle, by car or in a plane, around the world or through individual continents – these films offer everything that makes your travel heart beat faster. Take a look and get inspired!
1. “FAR”: The Cadillac of travel documentaries
A young couple from Freiburg traveled around the world for more than three years – on just a few euros a day, without a plane and ultimately with a baby. They filmed how it works and produced one of the most fascinating and successful travel documentaries of recent years.
In the spring of 2013, Gwendolin Weisser and Patrick Allgaier set out on their world tour. You start in an easterly direction, drive across the Balkans to Russia and Asia, tour through Central and South America, and hike through half of Europe. They cover 100,000 kilometers – by hitchhiking, bus, train, boat, and donkey, on foot or in their VW bus Carlos.
Three years and 110 days later they arrive back in Germany, this time the three of them: their son Bruno was born in Mexico in May 2015. In this really impressive travel documentary, they show who they met, which landscapes they saw, and which cultures they got to know. “FAR” is a full 129 minutes long and is available to stream online. And here comes the trailer:
2. “Two to Shanghai”: Twins on a bike tour
By bike from Germany to China – in just seven months. That was the goal of the twin brothers Paul and Hansen from Berlin. The two of them cycled off without much luggage, always with them: their camera. The result was a film about a journey in the saddle, exhaustion and a thirst for adventure, sibling love, and social crises.
All fans of travel documentaries should already know the brothers from their world travel documentary “Two around the world – in 80 days without money”.
Exactly on their 30th birthday, Paul and Hansen set off with their bikes on the longest overland route in the world to Shanghai, 13,000 kilometers away. They don’t take much more than a small tent, two sleeping mats, and a camera with them. You cycle through Poland, Russia, the Kazakh steppe, Kyrgyzstan, the Taklamakan desert, and the Himalayas to China. You will experience new cultures, breathtaking landscapes, crises, extreme weather, injuries, and illness.
A travel documentary well worth seeing – unvarnished, captivating, and more than impressive. The travel documentary by Paul and Hansen is available in a three-part ARD film series entitled “Berlin2Shanghai” and as a book from Piper Malik Verlag. You can also watch the more than two-hour documentary on YouTube:
3. “Expedition Happiness”: 25,000 kilometers in a school bus
Felix Stark became known with his bicycle documentary “Pedal the World”. Now he’s on the road again: For his next project, Felix got on a school bus and cruised from Alaska to Mexico with his girlfriend Selima Taibi, aka Mogli. They document their adventure in a video diary – the material for sensational success.
Despite a good life in Berlin, Felix and Mogli are not happy. In search of their happiness, they, therefore, decide to leave Germany for a long-term trip with their dog Rudi. The globetrotters had previously bought an old, 13-meter-long school bus and converted it into a modern mobile home in three months. They set off without a plan, to glaciers, mountains, deserts, and jungles, from Alaska to Mexico.
Felix, Mogli, and Rudi are on the road for more than a year, seeing wolves, elks, and bears, and experience ups and downs. With strong images and private insights, they succeed in this exciting documentary. Mogli, who works as a singer, contributed to the film music herself. You can stream Expedition Happiness on Amazon. The official trailer is here:
4. Tavel documantries Across the World: “Australia in 100 Days”
Independent filmmakers Silke Schranz and Christian Wüstenberg explored the number one backpacker country for three months: Australia. They drove 22,000 kilometers around the entire continent in their camper and shot a film that is a diary, nature documentary and travel guide all rolled into one.
With their journey through Australia, Silke and Christian demonstrate what many wish for: travel through the wilderness of the largest island in the world. Their road trip should last exactly 100 days – hardly feasible, according to experts and friends.
But Silke and Christian jet with their camper from Perth along the west coast to Darwin, via Alice Springs and Cairns to the south, via Sydney and Melbourne to Adelaide. The experienced filmmakers know how to show the full beauty of the red continent in breathtaking scenes without any pathos or theatrics.
A breathtaking and relaxed travel documentary that is worth every 133 minutes. “Australia in 100 Days” was released in German cinemas in 2012 and is therefore the pioneer that should not be missing from our list. You can find insights into the Australian adventure here:
5. “Around the World in 10 Days”: Fast-forward world tour
Christoph Karrasch starts his journey around the world at full throttle. He only has ten days to do it! Fans and followers determine his route and the tasks he has to fulfill on-site. This leads to a lot of chaos and fun for the viewers… The interactive world tour is not only the shortest but also the craziest trip on our list.
Five continents in ten days. Nobody believes in the new project of the young travel journalist Christoph Karrasch. In addition, he does not have his travel planning in his own hands but leaves it to his fans.
They decide that he should travel to Lima, Las Vegas, Auckland, Kathmand,u and Cape Town, dance the haka, eat guinea pigs and do something good. In a funny and exciting documentary, Christoph shows how he manages the short trip around the world despite all his exhaustion.
The perfect inspiration for everyone who wants to organize their next 14-day vacation a little differently. Christoph was awarded the Columbus Film Prize for “Around the World in 10 Days”, and he has also written a book about his speed trip around the world.