The worldwide phenomenon that is Game of Thrones spans the globe in more ways than one. The cast and crew, as well as the viewership, come from all corners of the world, and suitably, the show is crafted in some of the most beautiful and diverse locations to be found on the planet.
With the show’s seventh season now over, and the final season not coming out for, it seems, another 18 months, hardcore fans will need a way to satisfy their Game of Thrones cravings. We think there is no better way to do this than to visit the world of Westeros yourself by exploring the spectacular filming locations of the show. From sunny Dorne to beyond the Wall, these are the places in our world that bring to life everyone’s favorite fantasy saga.
Croatia has famously been used to film numerous locations in George R.R. Martin’s fantasy world, with the iconic city of Dubrovnik (pictured below) transforming into the capital of Westeros, King’s Landing. Throngs of visitors crowd the narrow cobbled streets of the 16th century Old Town in search of Flea Bottom and the Great Sept of Baelor, or in an attempt to retrace Cercei Lannister’s steps on her walk of atonement.
Unfortunately, the Thrones-induced rise in tourism has been detrimental to the city (putting its UNESCO World Heritage status at risk), and there are plans to further reduce the number of visitors allowed in the Old Town each day to just 4,000 (the current limit is 8,000). So plan ahead and increase your chances of getting in by purchasing a Dubrovnik City Card or registering your arrival in advance to get priority access.
Alternatively, fans can visit the numerous other filming locations found in Croatia, including the city of Šibenik (Braavos, above), the Klis Fortress (Meereen), Lokrum and the Minceta Tower (Qarth and the House of the Undying, respectively), or admire the landscapes of western Westeros at Krka National Park (below).
Find flights to Dubrovnik from London for as little as £49 and wander the streets of King’s Landing!
The bulk of the show’s production takes place in Northern Ireland, where most of the studio filming occurs, but which has also provided the locales of many memorable places in Westeros. Visit Castle Black and Hardhome at Magheramorne Quarry, the Stormlands at Larrybane Quarry (below) and the Cushendun Caves, the Dothraki Sea in Ballymoney and the Glens of Antrim, or go on an expedition to the harsh and striking landscapes of the Iron Islands at Murlough Bay.
The magnificent Kingsroad – which runs from the Wall, at the very north of the Seven Kingdoms, down to King’s Landing – also comes to life in Northern Ireland at a place called The Dark Hedges, a mysterious but mesmerizingly beautiful road flanked by centuries-old beech trees.
Visit Belfast from the United States and admire Northern Ireland’s spectacular countryside. Flights from Boston can set you back just $475.
The fantasy world in the Game of Thrones saga goes beyond Westeros, however. The eastern cities on the continent of Essos have featured prominently, recreated largely in Morocco’s incredible desert landscapes. Astapor was animated in the coastal town of Essaouira, while Aït-Ben-Haddou (pictured below) was chosen as the location for both Yunkai and Pentos.
For the scenes depicting the harsh frozen landscapes north of the Wall, there was never really much doubt as to where filming should occur. The geological uniqueness and almost otherworldly scenery of Iceland perfectly capture the lands of the Wildlings beyond the bounds of the Seven Kingdoms.
Thingvellir National Park and the magnificent Vatnajökull glacier (above), among others, have embodied the icy north of Westeros throughout the years, and die-hard fans might recognize the spellbinding Grjótagjá cave (below) as the place where Jon Snow and Ygritte became intimate.
Travel north to Reykjavik from London for under £70.
Spain has become an increasingly important filming location throughout the series’ long run, representing locations as diverse as Braavos, Dorne, Dragonstone and the Dothraki Sea (manifested in the hypnotic Bardenas Reales, below).
Some might recognize Castillo de Zafra (below) as the Tower of Joy from season 6 (the birthplace of a certain rightful heir to the Iron Throne), and others might confuse the streets of Oldtown with those of Girona, just north of Barcelona.
Seville’s spectacular Alcázar (above) was famously the location of Dorne’s Water Gardens, while Almodóbar del Río (below) was briefly introduced to us this last season as Highgarden, the seat of House Tyrell.
The Basque Country brought us Dragonstone, from the rocky Itzurun beach in Zumaia to the dizzying steps of San Juan de Gaztelugatxe (below).
Catch the last rays of summer sun in beautiful Spain. Copenhagen to Madrid is just €39!