Visiting Game of Thrones Filming Locations
Updated: Sep 26, 2019
Are you already feeling the disappointment of never seeing another new episode of Game of Thrones? This epic show has dominated television for a decade and I do personally feel a tad forlorn knowing I will never feel the anticipation of a new season or a new episode. Game of Thrones may be over but we can still experience the magic of the show by visiting the spectacular locations where is was filmed. Four years ago I visited several filming locations for Game of Thrones in and around Dubrovnik, and it was fascinating to see the locations they used and to hear the stories from locals who contributed to the show as extras or drivers. Take a look below at some of my top choices for places to visit from Game of Thrones:
Croatia. This one is pretty obvious since Dubrovnik served as King's Landing, but did you know that there are also a great number of other destinations that were used? The island of Lokrum's Botanical Gardens and Benedictine Monastery served as Qarth, where Daenerys visited in Season 2. Lokrum is only a 10 minute ferry ride from Dubrovnik's harbor and the entire island is a nature preserve. Fantastic snorkeling locations and a resident population of peacocks make Lokrum the perfect day out from the city. Visit the beautiful Rector's Palace to see where Daenerys asked the Spice King to supply ships for her army. Monceta Tower, part of the Dubrovnik city wall, also served as a location in Qarth - the House of the Undying. As you walk around Dubrovnik you will also recognize the famous Jesuit Stairs, which featured in the show as the stairs to the Great Sept of Baelor, where Cersei began her walk of shame through the city.
Croatia also features a number of other filming locations for the show. Travel north to Split where you can see Klis Fortress which was used to film the exotic city of Meereen. The town of Sibenik served as Braavos while many exotic outdoor locations were filmed in stunning Krka National Park.
Northern Ireland. Game of Thrones has arguably single handedly put the film industry in Northern Ireland on the map. There are locations from the show all around the country, but the most famous is probably the Dark Hedges which were used to film the Kingsroad where Arya makes her escape from King's Landing. Northern Ireland is known for its rugged landscapes, so it should come as no surprise that Murlough Bay served as the filming locations for the Iron Islands. To experience The Stormlands, ruled by House Baratheon, visit the Cushendun Caves and Larrybane Quarry. Glenariff Forest Park, in County Antrim, is the setting of Rune Stone in the Vale of Arryn. It was here that Bronn offered to be Tyrion's champion in the Trial by Combat to determine whether Tyrion had conspired to kill Bran and Lord Arryn.
Spain. There are several spectacular locations in Spain that were used in Game of Thrones. I visited a number of these places just last year. Scenes in the Royal Palace of Dorne were filmed in the Real Alcazar Palace and Gardens of Seville, home of House Martell and the Sand Snakes. The Alcazar's beautiful Courtyard of the Maidens is where the scenes in the Water Gardens were filmed. Not too far from Seville is Cordoba, whose famous Roman bridge across the Guadalquivir River doubled as the Long Bridge of Volantis. Up in the Basque country to the north and extending into the Bay of Biscay you can visit the Targaryen's ancestral home of Dragonstone (or at least its spectacular approach and outdoor scenes) at Gaztelugatxe. Beautiful Girona in Catalonia served as the Free City of Essos and parts of its cathedral doubled as the Great Sept of Baelor.
An area where I spent about a week last year is Almeria, in Spain's far southeast. This dry and beautiful region has long been a favorite for filmmakers and is worth a visit to see where many of the movie sets for famous films like The Good, The Bad, an The Ugly have been preserved. This region can be seen in Game of Thrones as the Dothraki Sea and Vaes Dothrak. Almeria's beautiful Cabo de Gata National Park (where I spent long, lazy days snorkeling last year), was the setting for part of Meereen as well.
While these are some of the biggest and most famous sites, there are also a number of filming locations in Iceland, Morocco, Malta, and Scotland.