Killing Eve is back for its second season, with the femmes fatale manoeuvring their way back into our hearts – with a bullet.
The show picks up where it left off in season one, using Europe’s great cities as the canvas for a new layer of intrigue and deceit. While we might not have Villanelle’s wardrobe – or her murderous intentions – we can use the filming locations as a blueprint to plot our next moves this summer.
Spoiler alert: while we’ve avoided giving any significant plot information away, we have included some details of events that take place. Purists should read with caution!
As you might have guessed from the season one finale, the Killing Eve heroines have a pressing need to leave Paris. Those in less of a rush to catch their train can relive the drama in the streets around Gare du Nord train station, which sees some 700,000 visitors each day (though the scene was actually filmed at the nearby Gare de l'Est).
While Villanelle’s apartment is in the 6th arrondissement, the local neighbourhood round here is the slightly scruffy 10th arrondissement. Lead writer Emerald Fennell said the show deliberately filmed in some of the city’s less well-known locations: 'You won’t see the Arc de Triomphe… but you will have a kind of underpass full of very beautiful old French graffiti'.
Take the neighbourhood in en route to Marché St-Quentin, a covered food market only a five-minute walk from the Gare du Nord. Distinguished by its steel arches and glass windows, one of the few remaining buildings by prominent 19th-century architect Victor Baltard draws design buffs as well as foodies, who will want to sample French pastries, cheeses, and seafood, and enjoy a glass of wine (as Eve would).
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
One of the most memorable acts of this season of Killing Eve takes place in Amsterdam, where Villanelle commits her most creative murder yet. Or as episode director Lisa Brühlmann calls it, 'a love letter to Eve'.
But first, she takes a day in the city, strolling the canals that are an open-air museum to Amsterdam’s mercantile history. Villanelle swats away an Instagrammer at an outdoor coffee house on one of the 1753 bridges – but only a sociopath could avoid taking pictures of the glittering water and colourful flower boxes that line the city.
Rent a bike and cycle to the Rijksmuseum, home to over 7500 works and regarded as one of the world’s finest art museums. Most come to see Rembrandt’s Night Watch and Vermeer’s Milkmaid, but fans of the show will want to drop by Jan de Baen’s gruesome Corpses of the de Witt Brothers to see what captivated the Russian assassin.
Villanelle would say that the murder she commits in the red light district of De Wallen is a true work of art. While you can’t visit the actual box where it takes place – the production designer created his own red light area in a shop front on an Amsterdam street – you don’t need much imagination to wander the medieval alleyways, where sex workers advertise in hundreds of red-lit windows. The city is trying to clean up the area somewhat, so you’ll also find art galleries, bars and boutiques among the oldest buildings in the Netherlands, dating back to the 14th century.
Forest of Dean, England
Why question a suspect in stuffy office building when you can take them to one of the oldest and most impressive woodlands in the United Kingdom?
Before hosting our favourite international spies, Gloucestershire’s Forest of Dean served as the hunting grounds of royalty and the inspiration for J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth. It's roughly four hours by train from London or Cardiff, though instead of coming here to interrogate suspects, most visitors are drawn to see the springtime bluebells, the rich colours of autumn oaks, and enjoy a host of sporting activities including hiking, caving and kayaking the River Wye.
Cambridge might be better known for producing MI6 spies, but some of the high drama of the second season of Killing Eve takes place in that other famous British university, Oxford. Here, the show’s scenes were filmed at Magdalen College, one of the wealthiest of the 38 colleges that make up the institution.
Visitors can enter Magdalen to try to spot where an important showdown takes place, or take the scenic route with a punt (a long, narrow boat) along the River Cherwell, with bonus points for finding the herd of fallow deer that call the park home.
In spite of its history as a breeding ground for politicians and academics, the city of Oxford itself is far from stuffy. Attracting the young and talented from around the world, this cosmopolitan city is known for its prodigious live music acts, gastropubs, independent bookshops, and markets.
This season we discover, among other things, that the enigmatic Carolyn Martens maintains her razor-sharp demeanour by fencing. Actor Fiona Shaw honed her skills at Glasgow’s Braveheart Fencing Academy – although the scenes were filmed under the grand high ceilings at Westminster School Sports Centre in London.
While we discover Martens despises breakfast ('It's just constant eggs. Why? Who decided?'), when it comes to lunch, Villanelle has a distinct way with pasta at a restaurant Aaron Peel books out for the two of them. That view of London can be found at City Social in one of the capital's tallest buildings, Tower 42 in the City financial district.
The denouement of this season of Killing Eve occurs in the Italian capital, whose hot-blooded history serves as the perfect backdrop for another dramatic climax.
The pink facades and cobblestone streets where Eve and Hugo stay can be found on Via di San Girolamo della Carità in Rome’s Regola district. The twisted medieval streets are the perfect place to find yourself by getting lost in the crowd – especially if, like some of the characters, you’re being followed. Across the River Tiber, catch a breath at the stairs on Via di Sant'Onofrio, Konstantin’s meeting place of choice.
There is no better place for a Killing Eve showdown than Villa Adriana, also known as Hadrian’s Villa, in Tivoli, around 30km outside central Rome. Designed to flow with the lay of the land, the huge complex of libraries, bath houses, sculpture gardens, theatres, alfresco dining halls, and pavilions is a romantic place for two to explore.
Constructed for the Emperor Hadrian around 125 AD, the Unesco heritage site is considered to epitomise the power, elegance and excess of the Roman Empire. Fitting, then, that the season should end here.