Valar Morghulis Westerosi and Wildlings, welcome to yet another article that will transport you to your favorite fictional destinations. In this article, we will talk about the top 10 best Game of Thrones locations that you can and should visit. The HBO series applauded for its heart-wrenching plot twists and stunning filming locations, has millions of devoted fans all around the world.
When Game of Thrones aired its eighth and final season in the year 2019, many fans were left distraught and had to bid goodbye to their favorite characters. However, there is a way for Game of Thrones fans to relive the joy they felt when watching the series. How you ask. The answer to the question our dearest reader is, drumroll please, Game of Thrones filming locations.
Even though some scenes were shot on studio sets in Belfast, Northern Ireland, many were filmed in real landscapes and medieval fortresses. Some of the Game of Thrones locations are national parks and UNESCO World Heritage sites. So, to all the GOT fans out there, even though the season has come to an end, that doesn’t mean that you should bid farewell to your favourite series. Visit the top 10 Game of Thrones locations given below, act out scenes, take pictures, and satiate the insatiable love you have for the series.
“The Westeros of Aegon’s youth was divided into seven quarrelsome kingdoms, and there was hardly a time when two or three of these kingdoms were not at war with one another. The vast, cold, stony North was ruled by the Starks of Winterfell. In the deserts of Dorne, the Martell princes held sway. The gold-rich westerlands were ruled by the Lannisters of Casterly Rock, the fertile Reach by the Gardeners of Highgarden. The Vale, the Fingers, and the Mountains of the Moon belonged to House Arryn … but the most belligerent kings of Aegon’s time were the two whose realms lay closest to Dragonstone, Harren the Black and Argilac the Arrogant.”
George R. R Martin
Top 10 Best Game of Thrones Locations – A Quick Glance
Top 10 Best Game of Thrones Locations – An Overview
1. Old Town Dubrovnik, Croatia
Game of Thrones locations – King’s Landing
During the second season of Game of Thrones, Dubrovnik’s Old Town graced our screen as King’s Landing. Ever since the episode aired, showcasing the beauty of the medieval walled city, many Game of Thrones fans started frequenting the place, skyrocketing its tourism. Fans of the series can meander through the capital of the Seven Kingdoms on a Game of Thrones-themed walking tour.
You can witness the steps of the Old Town’s magnificent St. Ignatius of Loyola Church, where Cersei Lannister’s brutal walk of shame was filmed, and can also tour the Fort Lovrijenac, the real-life fortress where the epic Battle of Blackwater was shot. About three hours north of Dubrovnik lies the largest city in Croatia’s Dalmatia region, Split, where several King’s Landing exteriors were filmed.
2. Fort Manoel, Malta
Game of Thrones locations – King’s Landing
(SPOILER ALERT) Let’s admit one thing, we all thought Ned Stark was going to become the king of the seven kingdoms in the end. Oh, how wrong we were. If you want to pay your respects to the man who stole our hearts from the first episode of the series and left us distraught by the end, visit Fort Manoelin Malta. The square in King’s Landing, where Ned Stark was beheaded is actually Fort Manoel which was constructed in the 18th century under the rule of Portuguese Grand Master Manoel de Vilhena.
In its heyday, the star-shaped fort could hold up to 500 soldiers and saw its fair share of action in 1798, during Napoleon’s invasion of Malta and also during World War II.
3. Vatnajökull National Park, Iceland
Game of Thrones locations – Beyond the Wall
Remember the unchartered territories, beyond Castle Black and North of the Wall where the wildlings and the White Walkers dwelled, that vast tundra was the Vatnajökull National Park, a protected wilderness that lies east of Reykjavík. Although the “Land of Always Winter” that Game of Thrones fans saw on their screens took a fair amount of CGI to create, the ice caves, massive glaciers, and active geothermal areas used for filming several scenes in the series are places that you can actually visit in Vatnajökull National Park. Near the Vatnajökull National Park, you will find several other Game of Thrones Locations like the Hverfjall volcano, Grjótagjá geothermal hot spring, and the Myrdalsjokull glacier.
4. Alcázar of Seville, Spain
Game of Thrones locations – Water Gardens of Dorne
During the fifth season of Game of Thrones, this 700-year-old Andalusian palace graced our TV screens as the Water Gardens of Dorne, the seat of the House Martell of Sunspear. In real life, this place is known as the Royal Alcázar of Seville and is a UNESCO World Heritage site, recognized as Europe’s Oldest still-in-use royal palace. The building is also considered one of the best-preserved examples of Mudejar architecture and is open to the public for guided tours.
5. Bardenas Reales, Spain
Game of Thrones locations – Dothraki Sea
During Game of Thrones’ sixth season, the expansive Essos grasslands that were referred to as the Dothraki Sea in the series, where Daenerys Targaryen was held captive by the nomadic horse tribes is a place in northern Spain. The cast and crew members traveled all the way to the Mars-like landscape called Bardenas Reales Natural Park to film the scenes. These arid badlands border the Basque Country and stretch about 100,000 acres across the Navarre region. You can explore them via car, foot, or bike.
6. Denluce Castle, Ireland
Game of Thrones locations – Iron Islands
The harbor in Iron Islands where Theon Greyjoy returned from Winterfell lies in Ireland’s moody, rugged coasts. Some of the pivotal Iron Islands scenes in season two were filmed at Dunluce Castle in County Antrim that lies two hours north of Dublin. Although, don’t expect to see an exact replica of House Greyjoy’s towering castle as the structure was heavily embellished before it appeared on GOT.
7. Meteora, Greece
Game of Thrones locations – The Eyrie in the Vale of Arryn
Meteora is a UNESCO World Heritage site and although its famed mountain-top monasteries appeared in the show, the cast and crew did not actually shoot scenes there. Instead, the monasteries were digitally mastered into GOT’s first season and were the backdrop for the Sky Castle where Tyrion Lannister was imprisoned. Game of Thrones fans can catch the remarkable views of these natural pinnacles by either biking, hiking, or rafting through the northern Greece Valley.
8. Castle Ward in County Down, Northern Ireland
Game of Thrones Locations – Winterfell
Castel Ward is a beautiful 18th-century mansion located in Northern Ireland. Even though some episodes of GOT used Doune Castle in Scotland as the initial location for Winterfell Castle, they shifted to Castle Ward soon after. This beautifully magical castle was a perfect choice for the fantasy series. Tourists are free to wander the mansion hallways, as they take in the distinct type of architecture of the building. They can also explore its famous historic gardens.
9. Castle of Zafra, Spain
Game of Thrones locations – Tower of Joy
One of the most revolutionary moments in the GOT’s history was filmed in the Castle of Zafra. When Bran sees a vision of his father, Ned Stark, and learns a game-changing detail about a certain character, the castle, called the Tower of Joy in which he saw Ned Stark was the Castle of Zafra in Spain. It is located in the Sierra de Caldereros, which is about two hours east of Madrid, and can be reached by vehicle or by hiking.
10. Šibenik, Croatia
Game of Thrones locations – The Free City of Braavos
In the fifth season of Game of Thrones, our favorite Arya Stark begins training to become a Faceless Man in the city of Braavos. In the series Braavos is the most powerful and richest Free City in Essos. The real-life city that played Braavos in the series is the historical Croatian city of Šibenik which lies on the Adriatic Coast and harbors beautiful stone-walled alleys, buildings, and plazas. Šibenik also harbors the Cathedral of St. James, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that was built in the 15th century and served as the Iron Bank, the most influential financial institution, in the Game of Thrones Series.
If you are a George R. R Martin fan then there is no doubt in our minds that you are also a fan of J.R.R Tolkien. If you want to see the hobbit world in its full glory, then consult our article on the Hobbiton tours that will tell you everything you need to know about visiting the iconic location.