Game of Thrones (GoT) has transcended from fantasy books to a television phenomenon. Naturally, to represent this fantasy world created by George R. R. Martin, producers of the show scout for some of the most visually exciting and surreal locations across the world.
These film sites have turned into tourism destinations in their own rights, and visitors are scouring the globe looking to recreate their favorite scenes from the show. While the show has been filmed in several countries, these six are our favorite Game of Thrones film locations that anyone can visit.
Be warned: spoilers lie ahead!
One of the top tourism destinations in Europe with or without Game of Thrones, it’s also one of the most popular GoT locations for enthusiasts. The medieval city of Dubrovnik alone doubles as King’s Landing, with many of its streets, parks, towers, and fortress wall serving as real settings for the fictitious capital city. When you visit Dubrovnik, you’ll see that King’s Landing is not far from the reality that exists there – just some extra CGI to take it over the top, GoT style.
The city of Split also serves partially as the setting for Essos. The historic center of Split and the Diocletian’s Palace can be seen as Meereen in season four, where Daenerys sets her throne room. Not far from Split, there’s the Fortress of Klis, which also served as the exterior of Meereen, especially the shot where revenge is taken against the city rulers by nailing them to crosses.
If you’re a fan of Braavos, then you must head to Sibenik and Kastel Gomilica, to see where Arya sold her oysters from a handcart.
Even though Iceland is well known for its green pastures and wild, colorful nature, for GoT, Iceland is the place to go to film anything beyond The Wall. Since Iceland has the largest glacier in Europe, it makes sense producers decided to shoot the battles beyond The Wall and any scene on that frozen wasteland right on the glacier.
If you want to feel like walking beyond The Wall, you can walk on the Svínafellsjökull Glacier at the Skaftafel National Park. Vatnajökull and Vik are also filming locations for this cold part of Northern Westeros.
If you’re a fan of John Snow and Ygritte’s scene in the cave in season three, then look no further than Grjótagjá. This is a famous cave with thermal springs in it, and it can be visited year round.
Last but not least, when you head to Thingvellir National Park, go to the continental plates divide. This is where the pass to the impregnable Eyrie was filmed.
During the first season of GoT, Malta served as King’s Landing, specifically the city of Mdina. Remember the scene in season one when Ned goes to the gardens of the Red Keep and confronts Cersei about her incest? That was filmed in the St. Dominic Monastery in Rabat.
Malta is also home to certain scenes by the Dothraki Sea. Among the Dothraki settings are the small town of Manikata and Mtahleb Valley, where the iconic scene of Drogo’s funeral was filmed and where Daenerys burned on the funeral pyre to become Queen of Dragons.
Pentos, as seen in season one, was also filmed in Malta; with locations like the Verdala Palace and The Azure Window, where Drogo’s and Daenerys’ wedding feast happened.
Northern Ireland is also a widely used filming location for the series. In it, you’ll find almost every region of Westeros, but more specifically, Winterfell and the North.
Remember when the Starks found their direwolves? That was filmed at the Tollymore Forest Park. Other locations like Castle Ward and Carncastle take us back to the pilot episode when Ned shows us his value beheading a deserter as well as the setting for the ancestral home of the Starks.
Head north to Murlough Bay and Ballintoy Harbour and you’ll feel like you’re in the Iron Islands. Other places like Glengarriff, River Quoile and Audley’s Field and Castle can be seen as the Vale of Arryn, Riverrun, and the Riverlands, respectively. Want to see where Melisandre gave birth to the murderous shadow baby? Then head to the Cusendun Caves on the northern region of the country.
Spain serves well for those warm, Mediterranean looking settings like Dorne. To get a glimpse of Dorne, you can head to Castle of Zafra, yet to witness its beautiful gardens, you must head to the Alcázar of Seville. The city of Girona and the Castell de Santa Florentina served as settings for Old Town and Braavos.
If you’re interested in seeing the Long Bridge of Volantis, then the city of Cordoba will be your place to go – specifically its Roman bridge from the 1st century BC. Meereen can also be spotted in cities like Peniscola and Osuna; and surprisingly, the Dothraki Sea was also filmed in Spain, in places like the Bardenas Reales and Almeria.
Last but not least, there’s Morocco, which is the perfect location for Slaver’s Bay and the Free Cities. Famous and touristy destinations like Ouarzazate and Ait Ben Haddou served as the location for Pentos and Yunkai. And, if you head to the seaside town of Essaouira, you’ll see where Daenerys met her army of Unsullied for the first time.
Which Game of Thrones location do you want to visit most?
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Norbert Figueroa is an architect who hit the pause button on his career in 2011 to do a round the world trip. He's been blogging for over three years at globotreks.com, where he shares his travel experiences, budget travel tips, and a good dose of world architecture. From hiking Mount Kilimanjaro to diving with great white sharks, he is always on the search of adrenaline and adventure. Norbert is originally from Puerto Rico and he is currently based in Milan, Italy... when not roaming around the world, that is. He has traveled to more than 80 countries in 5 continents and his goal is to travel to all 193 U.N. recognized countries. Follow Norbert on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google Plus.
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