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Sate your wanderlust with the best travel documentaries and shows on Netflix

You'll love these amazing travel documentaries

Traveling is something that many people wish they could do more of. Whether you lack the time, money, or know-how to travel the world, though, it can be comforting to watch others do it from the comfort of your couch. A great travel show or documentary can be a wonderful escape, and a reminder that the world is much bigger than the tiny slice of it you live in every day. What’s even better is that many great travel docs are readily available on Netflix, if you’re willing to go looking for them.

These documentaries will deliver stunning panoramic shots of the U.S. National Parks, as well as plenty of international wonders, and a little bit of good food as well.

If you like all kinds of docs, travel or not, we’ve got you covered with Netflix documentaries (or maybe you’re just really into crime docs and action flicks). We also have an overall guide on the best Netflix movies and Netflix shows.

Down to Earth with Zac Efron (2020)

Down to Earth with Zac Efron
60 %
tv-pg 1 Season
Genre Documentary
Cast Zac Efron, Darin Olien
If you’re looking for a combination of travel and health tips, Down to Earth is exactly what you need. Zac Efron travels around the world with wellness expert Darin Olien to highlight different ways to live sustainably. By shining a light on solutions to problems rather than the problems themselves, this docuseries manages to wring an optimistic message out of some fairly dire material. And Efron’s doofy, bro-like charisma only makes it more enjoyable.

The Chef Show (2019)

The Chef Show
tv-ma 2 Seasons
Genre Documentary
Cast Jon Favreau, Roy Choi
Created by Jon Favreau
This wonderful show all began during the filming of director and actor Jon Favreau’s hit movie, Chef. Roy Choi had been brought on as a consultant for the film and the two ended up bonding over the cooking process. Throughout the series, the lighthearted duo travels around the country cooking with celebrities and famous chefs. They also showcase a variety of delicious recipes, taking you step-by-step through the process of making some truly delectable-looking dishes. The Chef Show is also one of our top picks for the best cooking shows on Netflix right now.

Street Food Collection (2020)

Street Food Collection
tv-pg e Seasons
Genre Documentary
Cast David Gelb, Brain McGinn
Created by David Gelb
This Netflix series from the creators of Chef’s Table explores a different region of the world each season. We start off on the streets of much of Asia — Japan, Thailand, Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore, and more — to see the carts, stalls, and markets that folks visit as part of their everyday routines. Subsequent seasons visit Latin America and the US, and unlike other food shows, Street Food spends each episode highlighting the intense personal connection between the meals and the people who make them. Immerse yourself in the sights and sounds, then pretend you can smell all the smells.

Tales by Light (2015)

Tales by Light
tv-14 3 Seasons
Genre Documentary
Created by Abraham Joffe
All of the most potent documentary films, in-depth magazine features, and stirring nonfiction works have someone to thank: The person behind the camera. Photographers are often left out of the spotlight because they’re too busy searching for the next perfect shot (and, you know, taking it). Tales By Light, which began as a short series from Canon and evolved into a partnership with National Geographic, introduces you to one amazing photographer in each episode and takes you along his or her next journey to capture elusive wildlife, unique communities, and stunning landscapes. The almost metaphysical look through the lens at another person looking through a lens encourages you to see the subject matter in a slightly different light (no pun on the show’s name intended).

Dark Tourist (2018)

Dark Tourist
60 %
tv-ma 1 Season
Genre Action & Adventure, Documentary
Cast Sebastián Treviño, David Farrier
Created by Carthew Neal, David Farrier, Polly Fryer, Mark McNeill
Cults, rituals, gangs, war zones, crime scenes, and ancient ruins. In this documentary, our host, David Farrier, travels the world in search of the dark, the devious, and the dastardly. Unlike the other shows on this list, this series will show you a whole new side of tourism, where the darkest aspects of humanity are also the center of attention.

Midnight Asia: Eat Dance Dream (2022)

Midnight Asia: Eat Dance Dream
1 Season
Genre Documentary
Cast Darice Chang, Kathy Cheng, Brian Hioe

In an original series from Netflix, Midnight Asia: Eat Dance Dream details the exciting and ever-changing night life of multiple Asian countries. With each episode, we see a different, thriving Metropolis that comes alive for travelers as well as locals. The camera crew will follow a few quirky individuals who are either a part of the entertainment or simply choose to take part in it on a regular basis.

Jack Whitehall: Travels with My Father (2017)

Jack Whitehall: Travels with My Father
tv-ma 5 Seasons
Genre Comedy, Reality
Cast Jack Whitehall, Michael Whitehall
Created by Jack Whitehall
Would you travel through foreign countries with your dad? Comedian Jack Whitehall drags his father, Michael, around on unlikely adventures that force them both out of their comfort zones. Their difference in tastes causes some interesting (and often funny) disagreements. For example: One of them wants to stay in a hostel. The other wants to stay in a five-star hotel. Who do you think wins?

Lorena, Light-footed Woman (2019)

Lorena, Light-footed Woman
Genre Documentary
Cast Lorena Ramirez
Ultrarunners and marathoners are notoriously gear-obsessed. Who doesn’t want the latest technology in shoes, clothes, and snacks? Lorena Ramírez bucks that trend completely. The Mexican native competes in her indigenous garb: Sandals and skirts, and sees places all over the world as she runs distances that exhaust most of us when we’re just thinking about them.

The World's Most Amazing Vacation Rentals (2021)

The World's Most Amazing Vacation Rentals
2 Seasons
Genre Reality, Documentary
Cast Jo Franco, Megan Batoon, Luis D. Ortiz
Sometimes, all a show needs to be is what its title suggests it will be. In World’s Most Amazing Vacation Rentals, three travel experts unite to visit some of the most amazing vacation rentals all over the world. There’s a little bit of travel porn happening here, to be sure, but it’s mixed in with a few budget-friendlier places, and it maybe just the show you need to gain a greater appreciation of a world that is mostly for the fabulously wealthy.
The World's Most Amazing Vacation Rentals | Official Trailer | Netflix

Our Planet (2019)

Our Planet
tv-g 1 Season
Genre Documentary
Cast David Attenborough
Although it’s not explicitly a show about travel, Our Planet is a pretty comprehensive look at the natural world and its often breathtaking beauty. The series is explicitly about the way that climate change is destroying the world around us, but it’s also a stark reminder of all of the wonders of the natural world. Whether Our Planet makes you want to travel or not, it’s worth watching if only to appreciate how much is at stake when we talk about the future of the place we all call home.
Our Planet | Official Trailer [HD] | Netflix

Salt Fat Acid Heat (2018)

Salt Fat Acid Heat
1 Season
Genre Documentary
Cast Samin Nosrat
Spinning off of her book of the same name, Salt Fat Acid Heat follows Samin Nosrat as she travels the world in an attempt to dispel the mysteries behind what makes great food so great. Nosrat’s travels take her to Japan, Israel, and the Yucutan peninsula as she breaks down what makes the food she’s eating so good. It’s the ideal show for travelers who make food one of their main objectives, no matter where in the world they’re headed.
Salt Fat Acid Heat | Official Trailer [HD] | Netflix

Editors' Recommendations

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Joe Allen
Joe Allen is a freelance culture writer based in upstate New York. His work has been published in The Washington Post, The…
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