This blog post was updated on September 18, 2019.
Fans of the HBO hit Game of Thrones…brace yourselves! Even if the fight for the Iron Throne is already over, that doesn’t mean that you should stop exploring the epic universe created by George R.R. Martin. We have come up with a selection of key locations from the show that you can actually visit! The best part? You don’t even have to be a hardcore GoT nerd to appreciate these places: they are all in (or nearby) some fantastic destinations that would make for a great holiday anyway. What more do you need to book some airline tickets and explore everything Westeros and beyond have to offer?
Any Game of Thrones fan who’s itching to see where a lot of Westeros was filmed needs to head to Northern Ireland. Filming for season seven saw more action return to Belfast, the show’s production base, with a lot of the interior shots being conjured up in the city’s Titanic Studios. Even though most of the outdoor locations are not easily accessible, you can pay for a guided tour to take you to places like the famous Dark Hedges (used to depict the King’s Road), Castle Ward in County Down (parts of Winterfell), County Antrim’s Murlough Bay (the Iron Isles), and Magheramorne Quarry (Castle Black). You can also visit the picturesque Downhill Strand, a stretch of beautiful beach that’s overlooked by Mussenden Temple, which served as a location frequently visited by Stannis Baratheon and the priestess Melisandre in previous seasons.
As we see Daenerys and her army march on to retake Westeros, you can reminisce about her arduous journey and check out the trail of conquest she’s left behind. Plan a holiday to Morocco, which served as the real-world location for the Khaleesi’s dramatic victory at Slaver’s Bay in season three, with the ancient fortified city of Aït Benhaddou standing in for Yunkai the Yellow City and the Western city of Essaouira representing Astapor, Home of the Unsullied. Both are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Sites and are definitely worth seeing.
The medieval metropolis of King’s Landing is filled with danger and duplicity. The politics surrounding the Iron Throne could get your head chopped off, while the chaos on the streets could get you stabbed. Let’s not forget, you also could be blown to bits by Wildfire if you cross a vindictive queen! While the Mediterranean island nation of Malta was used to represent Westeros’s capital city in season one, filming moved to Croatia for the second season and stayed there until season five (season six saw King’s Landing moved to Spain). The southern port city Dubrovnik (a popular tourist destination) stood in for many King’s Landing landmarks while the nearby Fort Lovrijenac portrayed the Red Keep. Season two’s legendary Battle of Blackwater was also filmed in the port city’s bay. You can easily catch a Croatian guided tour to see and learn more about these locations.
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The areas beyond the Wall, the massive defensive fortification along Westeros’s northern border, is home to Wildlings and White Walkers. You can pretend to be a member of the Night’s Watch trudging through this treacherous land – all you have to do is look for some cheap airline tickets and book your trip to Iceland! Scenes in previous seasons were filmed at the massive Myrdalsjokull and Vatnajökull glaciers, the eerie lava formations at Dimmuborgir, and the renowned Lake Myvatn. You’ll also recognize Thingvellir National Park as the site of the path leading up to the Bloody Gate (where The Hound takes Arya Stark). Although they may be hard to recognize from the show, it’s best to visit in the summer when most of them are not covered in snow.
Given that the Westeros kingdom of Dorne is based on medieval Spain, it makes sense that the show’s producers would head to the southwestern European country for scouting out locations. The historic city of Seville provided a lot of the Dornish stand-ins, the most famous being the real-life royal fortress Alcázar de Sevilla. Viewers would also remember flashback scenes from season six of the Tower of Joy in Dorne, which were filmed at Spain’s Castle of Zafra. For season seven, the showrunners shot in Spain’s lush Basque country. The town of Barrika, the coastline of San Juan de Gaztelugatxe, and the port of Bermeo are good examples of this. Finally, the Castillo de Almodóvar del Río (in the province of Córdoba) was accurately turned into Highgarden- the seat of House Tyrell- for season seven.
Are you a Game of Thrones superfan who would love to visit these great locations? Think we missed any destinations? Let us know in the comments section below!