Istanbul Filming Locations: James Bond

Two James Bond films have been filmed in part in Istanbul; ‘From Russia With Love’ in 1964 and ‘The World is Not Enough’ in 1999 starring Sean Connery and Pierce Brosnan respectively as agent 007. The former is the better movie but the latter has its moments (covered in ‘London Pt 007: James Bond Filming Locations’) and thats where we start. After my Bosphorous cruise I took the ferry over to Uskudar on Day 1 to get a much closer look at the maidens tower just off the coast which is where ‘M’ (Judi Dench) is taken prisoner.


Istanbul was far more prominant in ‘From Russia With Love’with all the main sights featuring at some point. One of the more memorable places was the Basilica Cistern which I visited on Day 2 after Topkapi. In the film its situated under the Russian Consulate and is where James Bond and Kerim Bey escape with the Lektor decoding machine. In reality its under the south-west part of Aya Sofya. With temperatures reaching 35 degrees on that day this place was a nice cool break from the heat. The two lower photos are the columns in the north-west corner supported by Medusa heads.


Bond and Tatiana board the Orient Express on platform 1 at Sirkeci station (below). This station also fills in as Belgrade station where Bond sends a message to ‘M’ and Zagreb station where he is contacted by fake agent Grant. It was also not surprisingly the location for ‘Murder On The Orient Express’ in 1974.


Tatiana leaves a plan of the consulate and the whereabouts of the Lektor machine and a Russian agent is killed at Aya Sofya (also called Hagia Sofia). Bond also obtains blueprints for the Russian consulate at this place.


Bond is driven to meet Ali Kerim at Grand Bazaar (below left) which also featured in the 2009 film ‘The International’ starring Clive Owen. Bond also visits the Spice Bazaar (below right).


See other James Bond filming locations by clicking on the cities below:

Tokyo   London   Prague   Venice   Como

Prague Filming Locations: Casino Royale (2006)

The 2006 re-boot of the 007 franchise begins in black and white with James Bond (Daniel Craig) earning his licence to kill. This was shot near to my hostel in the Karlin district on the banks of the Vlatva River in Prague. I had almost given up on trying to locate Danube House (Karolinska 650/1), the fairly new office block where it was filmed, when I found it almost by accident and mightily relieved to find it I was as it had been a slow start to my morning.


However, that wasn’y my first Bond location of the day as before that I had ascended Vitkov Hill which wasn’t too easy due to the very icey paths and steps and also because it was actually roped off but as no-one was around I ignored that and climbed up to find the Vitkov monument under reconstruction. Scaffolding and work being done on buildings seems to be the bain of my life which can be annoying when one has gone to a certain place to see that landmark. Luckily I didn’t go to Prague just to see this monument which was home to the ‘Miami Body Worlds’ exhibition for a short scene involvolving ‘M’ and Bond before the film moved onto ‘Montenegro’ which was yet another case of the Czech Republic filling in for another place but that one was outside of Prague.

Next up was Strahov Monastery (found at Strahovske Nadvori 1/132) at the top of the hill in Petrinske Sady. The picture below is the exterior of the place but it was the library interior that was used but I wasn’t interested enough in the place, which was the committee room in ‘London’s’ House of Commons, due to the cost of entry and a pressing need to move on to the next locations in order to maximise daylight hours.


You can see my other ‘Casino Royale’ Como & Venice filming locations here and here.