Do you consider yourself a “Game of Thrones” fan?
If so, then you probably watched every episode of the famed HBO series or read all of the books (or both). Whatever the case, hardcore fans and casual viewers alike streamed the show’s final season last June, 2019 with baited breath to see the ultimate outcomes of their favorite characters. The season finale itself drew in a whopping 19.3 million viewers!
Despite the hype surrounding the concluding episode, however, it received mixed reviews from spectators around the world. Some die-hard fans were pleased with the ending while others expressed their dissatisfaction online.
Whether or not the ending met your expectations, one thing is certain: People still can’t get enough of “Game of Thrones” — and after eight long years of debating fan theories while patiently awaiting season after season, who can blame them?
If this is you, then there’s another way to continue your journey into the heart of Essos and Westeros, and that’s to visit the “Game of Thrones” filming locations in real life. Filming for the show took place in several countries, so this could be your chance to travel the world!
From the fighting pits in Meereen to the age-old towers of Winterfell in the North, we’ve highlighted 16 famous “Game of Thrones” filming locations and how you can plan the perfect road trip to reach them. Feel free to read through our extensive road trip guide or skip to the infographic below.
NOTE: Spoilers ahead!
1. Winterfell: Castle Doune, Scotland
Winterfell, the home of House Stark, was actually filmed in two locations: Doune Castle in Scotland and Castle Ward in Northern Ireland. The first season of “Game of Thrones” features Doune Castle, while the later seasons took place at Castle Ward. If Doune Castle looks familiar, it’s because that’s where they filmed the Kingslayer pushing Bran out of the tower window, but it’s also where “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” was filmed.
Getting to the castle is simple: It’s only a short 30-minute drive from Glasgow Airport. Upon arrival, you’ll be happy to notice the castle grounds are now considered a territory of Westeros.
2. Illyrio Mopatis’s House: Verdala Palace Grounds, Malta
The Verdala Palace in Malta is where we’re first introduced to Daenerys Targaryan and her power-hungry brother, Viserys. Built in 1586, the palace was the home of Illyrio Mopatis, a merchant in the Free City of Pentos, who marries off Dany to the Khal Drogo and presents her with three dragon eggs as her wedding gift. To get there, rent a car and head to the palace from the Malta International Airport; you should arrive in under 30 minutes.
3. Daenerys and Khal Drogo’s Wedding: The Azure Window, Gozo, Malta
Filmed in yet another Maltese location, the rather bloody (and bohemian) wedding of Daenerys and Khal Drogo took place in front of the Azure Window. Unfortunately, the 28-meter limestone arch collapsed in 2017 due to inclement weather. Either way, it’s still a beautiful destination to visit and an absolute must if you want to see all the “Game of Thrones” locations in real life. Getting there takes a bit more time (nearly two hours one way), as you’ll need to cross the Gozo Channel first via a car ferry.
4. The Kingsroad: Dark Hedges, Northern Ireland
The Kingsroad is the longest road in Westeros. It extends from King’s Landing in the South all the way to Castle Black in the North. Given its length, many of our favorite characters, including Arya, the Hound and even Ned Stark, traversed this road several times throughout the series. The most famous segment of the Kingsroad, though, was filmed on a road known as the Dark Hedges in Northern Ireland.
Reaching Dark Hedges is not difficult if you’re traveling from the Belfast International Airport. Upon arrival, you just head north for about 40 minutes. Though driving on the road is forbidden, you can still walk along it and take as many photos as you’d like!
5. Gardens of King’s Landing: Trsteno Arboretum, Croatia
Lots of scheming and intrigue took place in the gardens of King’s Landing. Most notably, Lady Sansa met with Lady Olenna Martell and her daughter, Margaery, and confided her true feelings about King Joffrey. It’s also where Sansa encountered Ser Dontos Hollard, who was important in helping her escape from King’s Landing after Joffrey’s assassination.
Beautiful and timeless, the gardens were filmed in Trsteno Arboretum in Dubrovnik, Croatia. Erected in the 15th century by the noble Gozze family, the arboretum has survived both a war and a forest fire. Reaching the arboretum takes a little more than 40 minutes by car if you’re coming from the Dubrovnik airport.
6. Jon and Ygritte’s Love Nest: Grjótagjá Cave, Iceland
During his first tour of the Wildling territory beyond the Wall, Jon was captured by a beautiful Wilding warrior named Ygritte. During his captivity, the two fell in love and confirmed their feelings for one another in a hot spring enclosed in a cave. Undoubtedly one the show’s most tender moments, fans from all over the world have sought out the cave.
Located in Iceland, the now-famous Grjotagja Cave is an hour’s drive east of Akureyri Airport. Unfortunately, it’s privately owned and therefore not accessible for swimmers, but onlookers can explore the interior of the tiny lava cave all they want.
7. The Red Wedding: Audley’s Castle, Northern Ireland
The Red Wedding will forever go down in “Game of Thrones” history as one of the most unforgiving and shocking scenes ever filmed. While the details are too gruesome to discuss here, suffice it to say that the event put a quick end to the Stark rebellion in the North.
In the show, Walder Frey’s castle is referred to as the “Twins” or the “Crossing,” as it provided the only convenient passing over the northern riverlands. In real life, there is only one tower (the other tower was created with CGI) called Audley’s Castle located in Northern Ireland. Getting there takes about an hour if you’re driving from Belfast International Airport.
8. The Purple Wedding: Gradac Park, Dubrovnik, Croatia
When King Joffrey died at his own wedding ceremony, viewers considered it due justice for the atrocities he committed in his short reign as king of Westeros. Despite the brutality of his death, the setting surrounding his wedding was nothing short of luxurious and beautiful.
Filmed in the beautiful city of Dubrovnik, you can access the location by driving to Gradac Park located just outside of Dubrovnik. If you’re coming from Dubrovnik International Airport, it’s only a half hour drive up the coast.
9. Entrance to the Eyrie: Thingvellir National Park, Iceland
The Eyrie is a mountainous region located in the Northeast of Westeros. In the show, the castle is built atop mountain peaks. There is also a circular door called the “Moon Door” situated in the middle of the courtroom from which criminals were thrown to their deaths as ordered by Lady Arryn’s son, Robert.
In real life, the location of the Eyrie is something to behold. Located in Thingvellir National Park in Iceland, visitors can drive through the scenic region and explore the rocky landscape. To get there, simply head northeast from Keflavik International Airport for a little over an hour.
10. Castle Black: Magheramorne Quarry, Northern Ireland
Castle Black was situated at the foot of the famous ice wall in the North, and was guarded by the men of the Night’s Watch. As the only barrier keeping creatures and Wildlings at bay, some of the show’s most crucial events happened here.
In real life, though, the famous ice wall is nothing more than a giant grey rock called Magheramorne Quarry. While shooting, the film crew covered it in a massive green screen to create the effect. To get to the wall, head east from Belfast International Airport until you reach the small village of Magheramorne; you’ll find the quarry just outside of it.
11. Water Palace of Dorne: Alcazar de Seville, Seville, Spain
The water palace of Dorne is in the South of Westeros, a region known for its sweet vintage reds and hot climate. This is also the home of several key characters; namely, the three bastard sisters known as the Sand Snakes, Oberyn Martell and Prince Doran himself.
The water palace was filmed in Alcazar de Seville, a small palace located in the heart of Seville, Spain. The simplest way to reach it is to fly into the Seville airport, which is roughly a 30-minute drive southeast by car.
12. Fighting Pits of Meereen: Plaza de Toros de Osuna, Seville, Spain
Meereen was the largest of the three “slaver cities” in Essos, making it a prime target for Daenerys during her crusade to end slavery in the East. In a famous scene in the fighting pits of Meereen, an insurgency group known as the Sons of the Harpy waylayed Dany and her men. Fortunately, Dany’s dragon, Drogon, rescued her from the massacre.
To visit the famed fighting pit, you just need to head east of Seville Airport for about an hour to the Plaza de Toros de Osuna. If you do decide to make the trip, keep in mind it’s only open on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.
13. The Great Sept of Baelor: Fort Manoel, Malta
The Great Sept of Baelor is the main temple of King’s Landing and sanctuary of the Seven-Faced god; it’s also the site where Ned Stark was executed by King Joffrey. In season seven, Cersei Lannister exacted her revenge on all her enemies by blowing the entire sept up from afar with wildfire, eliminating all immediate threats to her reign.
The Great Sept of Baelor is located in Fort Manoel, Malta, and can be accessed by driving northeast of the Malta International Airport for 20 minutes.
14. Horn Hill: Santa Florentina Castle, Barcelona, Spain
Horn Hill is the seat of House Tarly. Samuel Tarly, Jon Snow’s close friend at Castle Black, was the rightful heir to the throne before his father forced him to take up the black and serve in the Night’s Watch. In the end, both Samuel’s father and brother were burnt to a crisp by Dany, who executed them for not submitting to her rule after landing in Westeros.
Horn Hill is located in Santa Florentina Castle, a beautiful medieval castle in the Catalonia region of Spain. The quickest way to reach it is to drive there from the Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat Airport outside of Barcelona. It’s only an hour drive, and you get to view the scenic coastline along the way.
15. Eastwatch by the Sea: Reynisfjara Beach, Iceland
Eastwatch by the Sea is the eastern-most fortress of Castle Black. Positioned on the edge of the wall by the ocean, Jon Snow and company fled from a horde of undead while encamped there.
The real location is Reynisfjara Beach on the coast of Iceland. To reach it, you’ll need to drive three hours east from Keflavik International Airport.
16. The Red Keep: Lovrijenac Fortress, Croatia
The Red Keep is where the majority of scenes featuring Cersei Lannister were shot. Located in Lovrijenac Fortress, Croatia, the Keep itself was generated via CGI atop the main base of the fortress walls. To get here, simply drive north of Dubrovnik International Airport for 25 minutes.