Based on George R.R. Martin’s medieval fantasy book series, Game of Thrones has no shortage of fascinating mythical locations. However, these landmarks are shot in real towns and cities all over the world. Some of these locales, like Dubrovnik, Croatia, have become major tourist attractions since the show began in 2011. But these places are well worth visiting even if you’re not a historical fiction fan. To find out why, check out the following 5 amazing places featured in Game of Thrones.
This National Trust property is the home of Castle Ward, which has been owned by the Earls of Kildare starting from the late Middle Ages. But since 2011, it’s been known as Winterfell, the ancestral home of House Stark. Superfans, however, may be aware that Castle Ward wasn’t the original shooting location for Winterfell. That honor goes to Doune Castle in Scotland, which was only featured in the first few episodes of Season 1. After that, it was Castle Ward’s historic farmyard that served as the backdrop for memorable scenes, including the Baelor Battle and the confrontation between Brienne and the Stark men. As a result of the show, the castle has become the site of numerous GOT-themed tours, including attractions like a replica of the Winterfell Castle Archery Range.
With its beautiful beaches and picturesque villages, Croatia is already one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations. However, the city of Dubrovnik holds a special place in the heart of GOT fans as the site of King’s Landing. With its Gothic churches and palaces dating back to the Renaissance, this coastal city is the ideal location for the capital of the Seven Kingdoms. For a truly medieval experience, take a walk along the Dubrovnik Walls, which date back to the 12th century.
Game of Thrones creators use several locations throughout Spain, like the town of Zumaia, which you may recognize as Dragonstone in Season 7. However, the city of Guadalajara was chosen as the birthplace of Jon Snow for two reasons. First, it’s the home of the Castle of Zafra, a stark and imposing defensive structure that dates back to the 12th century. Second, the castle is located in one of the most remote, isolated locations throughout Spain, making it ideal as a shooting location.
Located southeast of Westeros and the Free Cities is the Bay of Dragons, formerly known as Slave’s Bay. This mythical region is comprised of 3 cities, including Yunkai, also known as the Yellow City. The setting for this corrupt and nefarious locale is the village of Aït Benhaddou. With earthen clay structures dating back to the 17th century, this pre-Saharan habitat is a classic example of Southern Moroccan architecture. Along with Game of Thrones, Aït Benhaddou has been the shooting location for many famous films, including The Mummy, Gladiator, and Alexander.
Tall, gaunt, and pale as the driven snow, the White Walkers are a supernatural threat to those who live north of The Wall of Westeros. Vatnajökull, Europe’s second largest glacier, is the chosen location for “Beyond the Wall,” where the White Walkers live and roam. Even if you’re not a GOT fan, this spectacular glacier is a sight to behold with its series of icebergs, volcanoes, and volcanic lakes.
As you can see, the truth can be just as, if not more interesting, than fiction. We hope these stunning locations will inspire your travel plans!