Unless you’re one of those rare people who isn’t a Game of Thrones fan, you know that Sunday nights are for warring houses fighting for control of the fictional lands of Westeros and Essos. While you might not want to control dragons or try your luck at a winner-take-all battle for the throne, you’ve probably wondered about the real-world locations that double as the Game of Thrones set. Well, wonder no more, because it turns out that you really can visit these lands. GoT is filmed on location around the world. As long as you have a passport, you can visit these real-life places and walk the very same grounds as your favorite characters.
King’s Landing: Dubrovnik, Croatia
King’s Landing was originally shot in Malta during season one. But after local officials complained that film crews caused damage to natural habitats, GoT moved this fictional location to the historic town of Dubrovnik in Croatia. This seaside town is often used for establishing overhead shots for King’s Landing thanks to the memorable red roofs. There are also several buildings throughout the city that double as important locations within the GoT universe.
In particular, stop by the city museum, which serves as Littlefinger’s brothel. Or visit the Trsteno Arboretum, where Olenna Tyrell stays when she visits King’s Landing. When you’ve had enough GoT sightseeing, you can immerse yourself in this historic medieval town. If you visit Dubrovnik in the summer, you can enjoy the nation’s largest festival, the Dubrovnik Summer Festival.
Royal Palace of Dorne: Seville, Spain
Would you be surprised to find out that the Royal Palace of Dorne really is a royal palace? The fictitious royal home is actually the 700-year-old Alcázar of Seville in Spain. GoT began filming here during their fifth season and dubbed it the Water Gardens for the House of Martell. Of course, the show didn’t call the town Seville. Instead, fans know this fabled region as Sunspear, the capital of Dorne. In real life, the Royal Alcázar Palace is a UNESCO World Heritage site and the oldest palace in Europe that is still in use. Today the Spanish royal family uses it as their official Seville residence. This architectural wonder was built in the 12th century and serves as the perfect example of Moorish design influence in Spain.
The Kingsroad: Dark Hedges, Northern Ireland
If you’re obsessed with fairytales and mystical landscapes, then a trip to Northern Ireland is in order. The ominous Dark Hedges and its twisting trees double as the Road from King’s Landing on GoT. But the backstory on this road is far more lighthearted than that. Bregagh Road of Ballymoney in County Antrim has been an iconic tourist attraction in Northern Ireland long before GoT decided to use this backdrop. The beech trees lining this road were planted by the Stuart family in the 18th century and were meant to evoke wonder as guests traveled toward their Georgian home. Since GoT is such a popular show, there are plenty of themed and interactive tours visitors can take to immerse themselves in the GoT universe.
North of Westeros: Thingvellir, Iceland
These days, Iceland has become a popular travel destination. It could be because plenty of airlines are offering incentives for travelers who opt for a layover in the small nation. But the fact that GoT also chose the beautiful Thingvellir National Park as a backdrop for their show has also increased this region’s appeal. Thingvellir is of geological importance because it is the only place in the world where two major tectonic plates meet above sea level. You can walk between the North American and Eurasian plates in Thingvellir National Park’s Almannagjá gorge. And this gorge serves as a backdrop for GoT in season one. You might know it as the Gates of the Moon where Lady Lysa resides. Other spaces in the park have also been transformed into locations for important battles and pivotal moments on the show.
Pentos: Ouarzazate, Morocco
Serious film buffs should already have Ouarzazate on their radar because this desert-adjacent city has been featured in a number of Oscar-winning movies throughout the years. The ancient city is home to Atlas Studios, which is why the town is a major draw for film crews. If you enjoyed the landscapes in Lawrence of Arabia, Babel, or Gladiator to name a few, you’ll like Ouarzazate. But if you’re a GoT fan, this city should be familiar because it doubles as coastal Pentos, one of the three Free Cities. The character Daenerys Targaryen calls this city home during her exile. In real life, Ouarzazate is a popular destination because it sits at the edge of the desert where travelers can connect with caravans and desert excursions.
Game of Thrones is a show that continues to thrill and delight. But it’s also created a major boon for tourist destinations around the world. Whether you pick these iconic locales or other spots that didn’t make this list, you’re sure to find a number of attractions and guided tours geared toward fans of the show no matter where you go. Whether you decide to sightsee on your own or book official activities, you can create your own world tour based on Game of Thrones filming locations.