First of all we have to say ”spoiler alert” because we don’t want to ruin your Game of Thrones experience, but if you are up-to-date with the series you’ll be all right to continue reading.
In the world of CGI its easy for productions to build up wolds in studios and keep the filming out from the public, this is not the case for the Game of Thrones production. Naturally, in the world of dragons there is some computer generating but you’ll be happy to hear that they have chosen real life locations to create the kingdoms of Westeros and beyond.
The filming has taken place in Croatia, Morocco, Iceland and Northern Ireland, among others and the Game of Thrones production has incorporated not only the different buildings and scenery but also sometimes the locals have been cast as extras too. It’s safe to say that the Game of Thrones franchise has helped give a boost to tourism in all these places and we doubt that is going to change any time soon.
Some of the chosen locations are harder to visit and some are very easy to see and relive your favorite Game of Thrones scene, whether it’s a dramatic fight scene, feeling like you’ll see a Wildling or shout ”where are my dragons” at the top of your lungs, though you might get some looks.
We are so fortunate that the Game of Thrones production has opened our eyes to what the world has to offer and that most of the places are easy to visit in real life.
25 25. Itzurun Beach, Zumaia, Spain (Dragonstone)
The beautiful beach with its impressive rock formations was chosen to be featured in season 7 of Game of Thrones (2017). Not only is it a unique spot in the Basque country it also one of the locations in Game of Thrones that is really easy to visit!
The beach of Itzurun has it characteristic rocky beach and it’s perfect for the scenery of Dragonstone. In real life the beach is situated beside a seaside town called Zumaia which without a doubt has seen a great influx of tourists since the series first aired.
24 24. Kirkjufell, Iceland (Arrowhead Mountain)
Another easy to visit location from the Game of Thrones is the Kirkjufell, a famous waterfall and mountain combination in Iceland. Not far from the airport you can easily check off this location of your Game of Thrones bucket-list.The mountain looks like an arrowhead that was mentioned in the first episode of season 7, where the Hound envisions it, and fast forward to episode 6, the character is seen heading beyond the wall to find the arrowhead mountain. The Icelandic location has a somewhat significant part in the show and it is pretty stunning.
23 23. Old Town, Dubrovnik, Croatia (King's Landing)
One of the many iconic places of Game of Thrones must be King’s Landing. Though some parts are built through CGI the medieval city of Dubrovnik in Croatia is the place where the streets of King’s Landing is filmed. The old town in Dubrovnik, which is known as the Pearl of the Adriatic, is the main street which is completely made of white marble and tourism has boomed with all the Game of Thrones fans wanting to visit. Iconic and important scenes have been filmed here such as the Jesuit Staircase for Cerseis walk of shame and the setting for the steps of the Great Sept of Baelor was filmed on the Jesuit Staircase of Dubrovnik.
22 22. Vatnajökull, Iceland (Beyond the Wall)
The landscapes beyond the Wall could easily pass as being fake but in fact, they are just a three hour flight from London! The Vatnajökull glacier is just as beautiful as it is impossible to pronounce and it’s surprisingly easy to visit, if you want to get even closer to where they filmed you can go on multiple tours that is organized for all tourists even if you aren’t a Game of Thrones fan.
The location can be seen in season 2 and 3, located north of the wall with the Wildlings. Be a little wild(ling) and go on an adventure to see this incredible location.
21 21. Castillo de Almodóvar del Río, Spain (Highgarden)
The Castle of Almodóvar del Río is a castle of Muslim origin and the Moorish architecture speaks for itself. Built in the year 760 it is brought to life once again through the 7th series of Game of Thrones where it depicts primarily the house Tyrell’s home High Garden but also some other parts of the series. We are happy to tell you that this gorgeous castle in the Andalusian province of Cordoba, Spain, is open for the public and visitors can explore the towers, dungeons and naturally the different locations from the series.
20 20. Alcázar of Seville, Spain (Dorne's Sunspear)
The Alcázar of Seville is the set of Dorne and is one of those places where fictional world doesn’t succeed the real world. The former royal palace dates back to 913 and was built by the Moors, and it’s truly captivating with its strong colors as a contrast to the oftentimes grey setting of Game of Thrones. The palace may be the setting of one of the least liked plot lines but we bet you and many other Game of Thrones fans will appreciate the stunning architecture. From the strong castle walls, luscious gardens and incredible courtyard you will be mesmerized by this place.
19 19. Bardenas Reales, Spain (Dothraki Sea)
Another Spanish location for the Game of Thrones is the desert region of Bardenas Reales in southeast Spain. The stunning place is the setting for Daenery’s journey with the Dothraki soldiers. Though it may look out of this world the Bardenas Reales has been molded by the natural forces of water and wind. The steppe has little vegetation since its made up of clay, chalk and sandstone - the perfect setting where you could almost imagine a dragon flying over or a hoard of Dothraki soldiers. Though the place is reasonably easy to visit, you should be cautious because right in the middle of it is one of the largest military zone in western Europe.
18 18. Thingvellir National Park, Iceland
About 40 kilometers from the Icelandic capital of Reykjavik is the national park of Thingvellir. Due to its location and natural beauty it's one of the most popular tourist destinations in Iceland due to its historical, cultural and geological significance.
Used for various Game of Thrones settings, such as the path leading to the Eyrie and the location for Arya’s and Sandor Clegane’s journey, it is no wonder why the Game of Thrones production chose this place to film. If you have your sights set to visit the national park, you will be glad to hear that it is very easy to visit and you are spoilt for options of what tours to take.
17 17. The Azure Window, Malta (Daenerys and Khal Drogo’s Wedding)
One of the most iconic and popular destinations for Game of Thrones fans is the Azure Window in the small Mediterranean country Malta. The location was chosen for the Dothraki wedding scene between Daenerys and Khal Drogo and unfortunately the limestone arch was destroyed in 2017 by a heavy storm. It was a great loss for the Maltese people and nation since it was not only something that came to represent Malta itself, it was also a popular tourist attraction. People came to look at the naturally created wonder or dive from the cliff. A great loss but what’s left is still worth visiting.
16 16. Dark Hedges, Ballymoney, Northern Ireland (King's Road)
The Dark Hedges in Ballymoney, Northern Island is the picture perfect filming location for the King’s Road. It’s an incredible collection of beech trees that dramatically line a road near Stranocum creating that eerie feeling that is perfect for Game of Thrones. Planted over two hundred years ago by a family that wanted a compelling entrance to their mansion, its safe to say that their intentions were made true and is still to this day mesmerizing people. In fact the magnificent sight is one of the most photographed natural phenomena in Northern Ireland. Perfect for any Game of Thrones fan wanting to take a road trip in gorgeous Northern Ireland.
15 15. Osuna, Spain (Daznak's Pit)
Close to Seville and Malaga is the city of Osuna which has kept its old parts of the city to perfection and is declared a historic artistic site by Unesco. The city is also the home to one of the largest bullrings in Spain. The bullring is where the Game of Thrones production chose to film one of the most dramatic scenes of season five.
Though the arena is capable of holding 6,500 viewers a lot of CGI was used to make it even more impressive to represent a Daznak’s pit and add more effects to the epic fight scene.
14 14. Krka National Park (Westeros Riverlands)
Another national park on our list is the Croatian national park Krka which is the backdrop for different scenes in the fifth series of Game of Thrones and no wonder why the production choose the park for filming, it is home to an amazing waterfall and has luscious greenery. If you want to enjoy the gorgeous park and enjoy some of the countryside sceneries from Game of Thrones you will be glad to hear that it's very accommodating for visitors. There is a monastery to visit, mills made into restaurants and you can, unlike other national parks, swim in the water.
13 13. Doune Castle,Scotland (Winterfell)
Used first in the pilot of Game of Thrones, the Scottish Dune Castle is the setting of Winterfell. Built in the 14th century, this courtyard castle has plenty to offer, with its impressive 100 ft high gatehouse, preserved great hall and stunning features. The home of House Bolton is located in central Scotland and pretty easy to visit when you want that Winterfell fix. The medieval castle is used in other productions, such as Ivanhoe and Monty Python, and it attracts over 25,000 visitors each year. We bet a lot of them are Game of Thrones fans.
12 12. Minčeta Tower, Dubrovnik, Croatia (House of the Undying)
If we say, ”Where are my dragons” you will instantly remember the epic scene in season 2 where Danaerys gets back to find that her dragons have been stolen and runs to the House of Undying. This scene has been shot around the Minčeta tower, one of the four fortresses of Dubrovnik City Walls.
Now we can't guarantee you will magically access the tower like Danaerys did, but we bet you will get that iconic shot and a perfect view of the city of Dubrovnik. And it’s ok if you feel the urge to scream ”Where are my dragons!”
11 11. Ballintoy Harbor, Northern Ireland (Iron Islands)
In the picturesque village of Ballintoy you will discover the Ballintoy harbour, which is known as a ”raised beach”. This stunning location has been used in Game of Thrones for the exterior Pyke shots and as the Iron Islands. The village itself is a very picturesque with charming houses, a quaint white church and accommodating restaurants for tourists, a far cry from the harsh settings in the Game of Thrones.
Even prior to the series the dockland town was a popular tourist spot, and with only 165 people living here its safe to say that they must have seen an increase since the show has aired.
10 10. Los Barruecos, Spain (Loot Train Attack)
The natural monument of Los Barruecos captured the eye of the Game of Thrones filmmakers and there is no wonder why. Located in the center of the surrounding plains in southern Spain the great granite stones on the edge of the ponds dramatically stand out in the landscape. Not only do Game of Thrones fans finds this place worth visiting, but a great bird population lures birdwatchers as well. The rock formation was featured in season seven with the Loot Train Attack and added another layer of drama to the already intense scene. Fans are lucky to have such a spectacular place to visit where little CGI was needed.
9 9. Itálica, Spain (King's Landing Dragonpit)
The small town of Itálica is a perfect day trip from Seville, just about 20 minutes away from Southern Spanish City which was founded by the Romans. The coliseum-type arena was the main entertainment area back then and the ruins was the perfect setting for the Dragonpit of King’s Landing as seen in the season seven episode ”The Dragon and the Wolf” where we saw the largest gathering of characters of the series. The roman amphitheater once housed 25,000 spectators but will for us fans be known for hosting three Lannisters, two Targaryens, two Cleganes, two Greyjoys, two dragons, a few friends, a few foes, and a dead man walking.
8 8. Castillo de Zafra, Spain (Tower of Joy)
When the Game of Thrones production was looking for the perfect location for the ”Tower of Joy” that is shown throughout season 6 they were on the lookout for a remote site, away from any buildings. And the 12th century castle of ”Castillo de Zafra” was the perfect fit to reveal the secret of Ned Stark's past. The castle itself is dramatically situated on top of a large rock at an altitude of 1,400 meters. It was at the time of its construction considered strategic since it was pretty much impregnable and located on the border between two fighting territory. Today the castle is privately owned and can be visited with permission from the owners.
7 7. Šibenik, Croatia (Braavos)
The Croatian city of Šibenik was chosen for season 5 to be the location of the most powerfulful of the free cities in Essos: Bravoos. The city’s cathedral was staged as The Iron Bank, the most power financial institution in the Free Word. The gorgeous Šibenik cityscape is shown as Arya arrives by boat. There is no wonder why the Game of Thrones production chose the photogenic city with its ancient stone walls, narrow streets and magnificent buildings to bring life to the kingdom. As with any city in Croatia it’s easy to visit and without a doubt you’ll feel like you’re in Bravos.
6 6. Trsteno Arboretum, Croatia (King's Landing Palace Gardens)
20 minutes north of Dubrovnik you’ll find Trsteno Arboretum which is the filming location of the Red Keep palace gardens of King’s Landing. Showcased in the third season it was one of the primary gardens of King’s Landing and it’s easy for any fan to visit.
In real life the exotic garden is from the early 15th century, known for its rare and beautiful flora and has been a popular travel destination even prior to the HBO mega series chose this as a filming location. Not only is it a gorgeous garden, it has sculptures and fountains all from over 500 years ago.