From Rome to New York, 9 destinations to visit if you’re an Audrey Hepburn fan

by | 19 Jan 2023

Actress, style icon, and humanitarian, Audrey Hepburn (1929-1993) was a true legend of cinema and fashion. After rising to stardom in Roman Holiday in 1953, she would go on to become one of only 17 people who have won Academy, Emmy, Grammy, and Tony Awards. Hepburn has been recognised by the American Film Institute as the third-greatest female screen legend from the Classical Hollywood cinema and was inducted into the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame. She’s also received BAFTA’s Lifetime Achievement Award, the Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille Award, the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award, and the Special Tony Award. Hepburn’s last recorded performances were in the 1990 television series Gardens of the World with Audrey Hepburn, for which she won a Primetime Emmy Award.

Besides her shining cinema and fashion career, Hepburn was humanitarian at heart. As a teenager, she helped the Dutch Resistance against the Nazis in World War II. Later in life, from 1954, she devoted herself to UNICEF and worked in some of the poorest communities in Africa, Asia and South America. In 1992, she was awarded the US Presidential Medal of Freedom for her work as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. A month later, after returning from a UNICEF trip in Somalia, she died of appendiceal cancer, aged 63.

To commemorate 30 years since Audrey Hepburn’s death on 20 January 1993, we dive into her remarkable world. Here are 9 destinations where you can walk in the footsteps of the legend herself.

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“Each, in its own way, was unforgettable. It would be difficult to — Rome! By all means, Rome. I will cherish my visit here in memory as long as I live.”

Audrey Hepburn filmed her first Hollywood feature in Rome, for which she won her first Oscar. Roman Holiday, released in 1953, has some gorgeous scenes of Rome, Italy’s ancient capital. You’ll recognise the Spanish Steps from the scene where Audrey Hepburn sits before Joe Bradley “bumps” into her. Travellers should note you’re not allowed to sit on the steps anymore, but you can still certainly admire them. You might also recognise locations in the film like the Palazzo Colonna, Castel Sant’Angelo, the Tiber River, and the Basilica di Santa Maria in Cosmedin. Wander around the city and have your own glamorous Audrey Hepburn-esque moments in Rome!

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“Paris isn’t for changing planes, it’s for changing your outlook! For throwing open windows and letting in la vie en rose.”

Audrey Hepburn and Paris are an iconic duo. Hepburn loved Paris and her legendary style and grace were the embodiment of the City of Lights. She would go on to film six movies in Paris including Charade, Funny Face, Paris When it Sizzles, Love in the Afternoon, How to Steal a Million, and Two for the Road. You can follow in her elegant footsteps in all the most famous spots in the city.

Funny Face filming locations

The 1957 film Funny Face is one of Hepburn’s best movies. It’s where she plays a quiet bookish girl who’s life is transformed when a magazine editor introduces her to the world of fashion and French couture. The movie is one big fashion shoot all over Paris. You can still imagine the eternally fashionable Hepburn strutting down the stairs of the Palais Garnier or sailing on a barge on the River Seine. She floats down the Daru staircase in the Louvre in a ruby gown and holds a bunch of balloons by the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel. You might also recognise filming locations like the Île de la Cité flower markets, the marionette theater at the Jardin des Champs-Elysees, the Eiffel Tower, and the Le Château de la Reine Blanche.

Here are five more places in Paris to visit if you’re a fan of Audrey Hepburn.


Hepburn first stayed at this regal five-star hotel when filming Funny Face. She would go on to book this hotel every time she came to Paris and it became her home away from home. The actress loved the hotel’s intimacy and having chocolat chaud and homemade madeleines on the rooftop terrace, while playing on the giant chess board. If you don’t spend a night here, you can always head to the roof terrace bar. The view stretches all the way to the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe. On nearby Avenue George V, you’ll find the store of Hubert de Givenchy, Hepburn’s lifelong friend and collaborator.


The Hôtel Ritz Paris stars in Love in the Afternoon and How to Steal a Million. In fact, most of Love in the Afternoon, where Hepburn stars with Gary Cooper, was filmed at this hotel. If spending the night here isn’t an option, you can always enjoy a drink at the bar like Audrey’s character in How to Steal a Million… Lace eye mask optional.

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Set on Place du Trocadéro, this gorgeous salon de thé (tearoom) has been running since the 1920s. This is the spot where Hepburn once sipped chocolat chaud. Embrace your inner Audrey and come and enjoy your own molten cocoa delight here.


An avid gardener, Hepburn hosted the 1990 series Gardens of the World. And she had this to say about her beloved Jardin du Luxembourg:

“Of all the parks in Paris, the Jardin du Luxembourg is the most successful in joining the pleasures of park and garden on a human scale. It is a 60-acre sanctuary where one is encouraged to loiter in nature. Here flowers, water and trees form an urban retreat, an escape from the city where congestion has reached the limits of the absurd. The garden’s atmosphere is charged with the personalities of its inhabitants who keep thousands of garden chairs on the move in search of sun, shade and nourishment of the senses. A public park full of private spaces, it’s designed to accommodate the individual. At the turn of the century, Isadora Duncan used to dance here at dawn. Today it is still a haven for lovers, thinkers, walkers, chess players and, most especially, children.”

Be sure to visit this park and spend a few hours soaking up the beauty and tranquility, just as Hepburn once did.

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The 1961 film Breakfast at Tiffanys is one of Audrey Hepburn’s most famous movies, where she plays Holly Golightly who lives on Manhattan’s swanky East Side. Walk in Hepburns’ footsteps as you wander the streets of Manhattan and visit her character’s apartment at 169 East 71st Street and Lexington Avenue. You can also head to the titular Tiffany’s & Co. store, located at the corner of Fifth Avenue and 57th Street in Manhattan. The polished granite facade and window displays are iconic in cinema. You might also recognise scenes from the movie when you visit the New York Public Library on 5th Avenue and Conservatory Water and Bandshell in Central Park.

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Audrey Hepburn was born Audrey Kathleen van Heemstra Ruston on 4 May 1929 in the Ixelles in Brussels, Belgium to an aristocratic family. She spent her childhood across Belgium, England and the Netherlands, studying ballet in Amsterdam and London. Her first home was at Rue Keyenveld 48 in Ixelles and if you go there today, you’ll see a plaque dedicated to Hepburn. Stroll down the cobbled street and imagine what life was like for Audrey as a young girl growing up in Europe in the 30s and 40s.

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Audrey loved to spend time in Switzerland. She often took family holidays and skiing trips from Bürgenstock and Gstaad to Klosters and St. Moritz.

Despite being a global superstar and glamorous Hollywood actress, Audrey always sought out an ordinary life. She found her peaceful haven in Tolochenaz, Switzerland. Here she lived in an 18th-century farmhouse known as La Paisible. Audrey lived here for around 30 years, enjoying her time with family out of the public eye. She loved tending to her garden and going to the market in Morges. It was here at La Paisible that she passed away at the age of 63 from appendiceal cancer on 20 January 1993. Audrey was laid to rest in a cemetery across from the local church.

While this sleepy town is not a tourist location, you can come here to visit the place where Audrey found peace and pay respects to the great woman she was.

Alex is the Editor of Insightful, and has over 10 years' experience as a writer and editor within the travel industry. In his professional travels, he has been all over the world – from road-tripping in Australia and New Zealand, to eating his way around the Canadian Maritimes and criss-crossing Italy from Sardinia to Emilia-Romagna.