Game of Thrones is one of the most lavishly ambitious TV productions ever created. This fantasy blockbuster has deservedly ruled our screens for over 8 years now. There are a lot of factors that contribute to it being the best TV series ever (yes we went there!) but a huge part of it is the incredible filming locations that help bring it to life.
From King’s Landing to the Wall, it’s hard to believe that many of the magical settings are actual places that really exist in real life. These locations are some of the most breathtaking in the world and they’re out there waiting to be visited. If you want to make your fellow GOT geeks jealous and set your Insta feed on fire at the same time, here are the very best travel destinations for the GOT fan in you. And no spoilers here, just pure inspiration.
1. Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland is where a huge chunk of the filming for each season has taken place, so it’s naturally packed full of awesome landscapes. There are so many here that various tours have sprung up which will cart you around the most recognisable locations in a day, and some even provide you with outfits to play dress up. But if that’s all a bit much for you then perhaps just hire a car and spend a few days driving yourself around.
The Dark Hedges in County Antrim mark the eerie Kingsroad, with beech trees either side meeting above to form a tunnel. Castle Ward in County Down doubles up as the doomed Winterfell which is featured heavily in season 1. County Down is also where you’ll find the Tollymore Forest Park which transformed into the Haunted Forest, and where the Starks found their young direwolf pups. You’ll definitely have great craic discovering the dozens of enticing landscapes Northern Ireland has to offer.
“Winter is coming” is one of the most famous lines to come out of GOT. Admit it, as a fan you’ve uttered them many a time when it starts to get a little chilly in the evenings. Well in Iceland, winter is pretty much an ever present, with temperatures constantly flirting with freezing. When it came to finding a suitable place for portraying the frozen landscapes where the free folk roam, Iceland must have been a pretty obvious choice.
Imagine yourself as part of the Night’s Watch with a visit to the real life locations that provide the backdrop to the dramatic scenes that take place beyond The Wall. There are tours that will take you to Grjótagjá, the cave where John Snow and Ygritte first get it on, and Dimmuborgir where the White Walkers attack Samwell Tarly in the haunted forest. You’ll also venture through various other sites that aren’t individually famous, but provide some of the most imposing GOT scenery.
The epic, walled port city of Dubrovnik will be instantly recognisable to GOT fans as King’s Landing. And it’s every bit as stunning and awe-inspiring in real life as it looks on screen. Jutting out far into the surrounding sea with its quaint red-roofed buildings, just witnessing this medieval stronghold will instantly make you feel like a character from the show.
About 20 minutes away from the city of Split, you’re able to hike up to the spectacular Klis fortress. Of course, you’ll know it better as Meereen, the slaving city where Daenerys Targaryen nailed the slave owners to crosses after overthrowing them. Also in Split is Diocletian’s Palace, whose tunnels and basements became Daenarys’ throne room where she began to train up her young dragons. Croatia’s ancient architecture plays host to many of the most important city scenes and just wandering around the backstreets will put you in fantasy land.
If you’re feeling inspired, why not get your GOT on and go discover some of these majestic locations. Check out how you can save on travel here
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