Stunning real-life destinations in ‘The Queen’s Gambit’ you can visit

Beth final shot white hat The Queen's Gambit Netflix

  • Warning: Spoilers ahead for Netflix's "The Queen's Gambit."
  • The hit limited series "The Queen's Gambit" follows chess genius Beth Harmon from a Kentucky orphanage to playing in tournaments from Paris to Mexico City.
  • In reality, most of the show was filmed in Berlin, and some in Ontario, Canada.
  • Many filming locations can easily be visited, post-pandemic. 
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns that "travel increases your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19."
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

When the audience isn't in awe of chess genius Beth Harmon's impressively swift and savage chess-playing in Netflix's "The Queen's Gambit," it's enamored by her style and glamour, which often ends up stealing the show.

Harmon's dramatic chess-playing also features some stunning backdrops, with her entering tournaments in exotic locales ranging from Paris to Mexico City.

In real-life, however, the show was filmed mostly in and around Berlin as well as in Ontario, Canada.

The show's production designer, Uli Hanish, told Architectural Digest that because Berlin was once separated into east and west it features a variety of architecture that lends itself to depicting a slew of different locations. Canada was needed for those exteriors that needed to pass as American, per Curbed.

Keep scrolling to see the gorgeous filming locations from the show, as well as their equally impressive real-life counterparts, many of which can even be visited — post-pandemic, of course.

The show's opening scene sees Beth Harmon in a glamorous suite in a hotel in Paris scrambling to make it to her tournament on time.

In real life, the Parisian hotel is the palatial Haus Cumberland in Berlin, which was built in 1912 and features Art Nouveau design.

Most of the scenes were filmed in its (now permanently closed) Café Grosz.

Source: The Economist

After her mother's fatal car accident, Harmon starts attending the Methuen Orphanage for Girls in Kentucky.

The home is actually Schulzendorf Castle, outside of Berlin. It was built in 1889 by a Jewish family that lived there until it was seized in WWII. Their ownership was restored in 1993.

Source: Schulzendorf, Alle Burgen

When Harmon is adopted, she moves into a single-family home in Lexington, Kentucky.

The house's exterior is actually a private residence in Cambridge, Ontario.

Source: City of Cambridge

Ben Snyder's is the department store of choice for Harmon and her adoptive mother, and Harmon buys her first chess set here. The store did once exist in Lexington.

Source: The Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life, KY Photo Archive

But the Ben Snyder's in the show is actually the Humana Secondhand & Vintage Kaufhaus, a department store that only sells vintage clothing in Berlin.

Harmon's first big chess tournament takes place at the Gibson Hotel in Cincinnati, which existed until the late '70s.

Source: University of Louiseville

While the lobby shots were filmed at Spandau Town Hall in Spandau, Germany …

… the tournament itself takes place in the Meistersaal, a concert hall in Berlin that opened in 1913 and briefly acted as a recording studio for artists like David Bowie.

Source: Misters

In episode three, Harmon heads to Sin City for the US Open at the fictional Hotel Mariposa.

Here, she first faces off with Benny Watts.

The Las Vegas hotel is actually the Palais am Funkturm in Berlin, a retro-looking event venue built in 1956. It boasts Berlin's largest ballroom and has a retractable staircase and an adjustable chandelier.

Source: Me sse Berlin

Episode four takes Harmon to Mexico City, where she and her mother stay at the fictional Aztec Palace Hotel.

In reality, the Aztec Palace Hotel is the Friedrichstadt Palace in Berlin, which opened in 1867. It claims to have the world's biggest theater stage and hosts Broadway-caliber musical productions.

Source: Visit Berlin

We rarely see Harmon do anything besides play chess, but in Mexico City she takes a trip to the zoo, where she encounters fellow contestant Vasily Borgov and his family.

In real life, she's at the Berlin Zoo, Germany's oldest zoo, having opened in 1844.

Source: Visit Berlin

In episode six, we're back in Paris with Harmon, finally seeing what happened before the show's opening scene.

While some of the Paris scenes were filmed at the aforementioned Haus Cumberland, some were filmed in the Bode Museum: you can see the statue of Friedrich Wilhelm I behind her.

In the final episode, Harmon takes on the Russians — allegedly the world's best and most serious chess players — in Moscow.

The tournament takes place in Berlin's Old City Hall, in the Baerensaal, or Bear Chamber. The marble-clad room, which dates back to 1911, is a whopping 4,000 square feet and has 62-foot ceilings.

Source: Berlin

When she's not at the tournament, Harmon is in her fictional Russian hotel, practicing for it.

In reality, the hotel is an apartment complex on Berlin's Karl Marx Allee, formerlyStalinallee, which is known for its Soviet-inspired architecture.

Source: Visit Berlin

A handful of scenes show Harmon eating at the hotel restaurant, which features floor-to-ceiling windows.

The hotel restaurant is actually Kino International's Panorama Bar — a bar located in a '60s movie theater.

Source: Visit Berlin

In the series' final scenes, Harmon escapes her CIA handler to wander through Moscow on her own, ultimately joining a group of old Russian men playing chess outside.

Once again, Berlin doubles as Moscow. Here, she walks through the Rose Garden, which was created in the 1950s, and is also located on Karl Marx Allee.

Source: Visit Berlin

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