A “Killing Eve” Tour of Europe: Travel Like Villanelle (Without the Murder)
Photo: Gareth Gatrell / BBCAmerica
Powerful like a Roman centurion and with a wardrobe that says: “I’m trained to look devastating … obviously,” Villanelle, the Russian assassin and main antagonist in BBC America’s Killing Eve, knows how to steal a scene. But aside from V’s one-liners and the romantically charged obsession between her and British intelligence agent Eve Polastri—it’s the wanderlust served by the European filming locations that keep this show at the top of our watchlist. From London to Barcelona, here’s how to travel around Europe like Villanelle. No assassinations required.
Although Villanelle only calls the City of Light home for one season, there’s no other place that suits her quite so well. A look inside her Paris apartment (the exterior of which was shot at 16 Rue de Lancry near Jacques Bonsergent metro station) reveals decaying walls, wardrobes filled with haute couture, and a fridge with nothing but Champagne in it. It’s très chic, but dark, which epitomizes Villanelle.
A walking tour of Saint Germain des Prés, known for its cafés and boutiques, is a fast-track way to get to know Villanelle’s Paris. The neighborhood in the upscale 6th arrondissement is also within strolling distance of the Notre Dame and the Louvre for more traditional sightseeing. The top spot on any Killing Eve fans list, however, is arguably the Place Vendôme, where Villanelle confronts Konstantin while wearing that bubblegum-pink dress.
The London that Killing Eve portrays may lack the pomp, circumstance, and royal landmarks seen in The Crown, but there’s no shortage of noteworthy locations spread across the British capital. The Tate Modern, where Villanelle has a staring contest with a human statue; Royal Albert Hall, where Carolyn and Villanelle talk job opportunities; and Tower Bridge (I’m still not over that scene) are the most obvious. But offbeat venues like Rivoli Ballroom, the site of #Villaneve’s first dance, and the Clapton Hart pub, which hosts Kenny’s wake, are worth the trip outside of zone 1. Remove the need for mapwork by booking a dedicated "Killing Eve" tour of London.
To see Villanelle’s London, stay in Shoreditch. Design-forward hotel, the Hoxton, offers a similar vibe to V’s converted warehouse apartment (which is located at 11 Cotton’s Gardens). While you’re there, take a food tour, check out the street art, and learn about the East End’s gangster history.
Killing Eve Tour of London
In season 2, Amsterdam is the scene of Villanelle’s most flamboyant killing. Inspired by a visit to the Rijksmuseum, Villanelle performs a gory murder, in front of a crowd, in a Red Light District window. You can find the window at 4 Oude Nieuwstraat, but for a unfiltered look at the city’s sex industry, take a Red Light District tour led by a sex worker.
For a more quintessential view of the Dutch capital, explore the city’s canal ring either on foot or by boat. Head to where the Brouwersgracht and Herengracht canals meet and you'll find De Belhamel, the café where Villanelle trips up a random woman. It’s also outside that café that an elaborately dressed Villanelle yells at an Instagrammer to “Get a real life!”
The Roman Empire was known for its power, decadence, and destruction. It seems fitting then that Killing Eve’s second season should end amid the ruins of ancient Rome. That scream-at-the-screen final scene was shot (pun intended) at Hadrian’s Villa, a 2nd-century emperor’s retreat in Tivoli. You may not need to scramble through underground tunnels to get there (it’s a popular day trip from Rome), but you can coincide your Tivoli trip with a tour of the Colosseum that grants access to the tunnels under the arena floor for maximum effect.
In Rome proper, you’ll find Aaron Peel’s 16th-century palazzo, Palazzo Baldoca Muccioli, close to the banks of the Tiber River. Nearby, too, are the stairs on Via di Sant'Onofrio, where Konstantin meets both Villanelle and Carolyn.
Season 3 sees Villanelle move to Barcelona, where The Twelve set her up with yet another stunning place to live. You can stay at V’s killer apartment, which in real life is called Casa Ramos, but to channel that same energy without the $300 per night price tag, add Barcelona’s Gaudí sights to your trip itinerary. Choose a tour that offers skip-the-line access to both his magnum opus, La Sagrada Familia, and the equally famous Park Güell. Or, see alternative Gaudí sights like Casa Milà (La Pedrera) and Casa Batlló on a Gaudí walking tour.
You’ll also want to ride the Teleferic de Montjuic cable car, à la Villanelle and Konstantin, and explore the Gothic Quarter. (Mark Sant Pere Més Baix on your map–it’s the street Villanelle walks down at the beginning of episode 2.) For an aperitif, head to Joanet in Sant Agustí Vell Square or Can Ganassa in Barceloneta Square–Villanelle and Dasha discuss missions at both café terraces, though the latter is where Dasha dumps the baby in the trash.