HomeOur ObsessionsJourney to Westeros and beyond with the ‘Game of Thrones’ travel guide

Journey to Westeros and beyond with the ‘Game of Thrones’ travel guide

Here’s our ultimate 'Game of Thrones' travel guide of places every fan needs to check out on their Westeros pilgrimage.

Journey to Westeros and beyond with the ‘Game of Thrones’ travel guide

If you’re a dedicated member of the Brotherhood without Banners, you’ll likely be on the edge of your blood-soaked throne in anticipation for the eighth season of HBO M.V.P. Game of Thrones.

The new season drops on HBO on Sunday, April 14th for the eighth and final season. Send a Raven, folks – we’ll be returning to Westeros once more, but once the season ends, there’s no more GoT. We’ve got a few ideas for how you might heal the gaping hole in your bingewatching schedule with some elaborate travel plans.

Over the course of its previous seven seasons, Game of Thrones has taken us to some fantastical realms, from the balmy free city of Pentos to the frozen lands beyond The Wall.

But while the landscapes of GoT are fictional, their locations are real and dozens of the scenes were filmed in actual medieval castles, wild forests, and craggy mountain sides across Europe, Africa, and Iceland.

So if you consider yourself a bit of a traveller or the show has provided you with enough wanderlust to pack up ship for a few weeks and explore foreign lands, a Game of Thrones vacation is actually more feasible than you think.

Thanks to the period settings of the show, the scenes of which are filmed in either rich natural landscapes or historical sites, a GoT-themed trip would certainly make for one of the most aesthetically breathtaking trips.

If we’ve tickled your travel bug, then perhaps it’s time to awaken the Khaleesi within you and grab your Valyrian steel sword (don’t actually bring a sword – airport security would have a meltdown) and embark on the fantastical journey of a lifetime.

Here’s our ultimate Game of Thrones travel guide of places every fan needs to check out on their Westeros pilgrimage.

Splash your cash at the Seven Kingdoms’ sunny capital

Dubrovnik, Croatia

As the site of the Iron Throne and the Red Keep and the largest city of the Seven Kingdoms, King’s Landing enjoys a warm climate and is beautiful place of luxury for those who can afford it.

The seaside areas of Dubrovnik in Croatia proved the perfect place to set King’s Landing, with its sunny weather and old-timey city walls. Although they might remind you of Cersei’s Walk of Atonement in S5, there’ll be no shame for you and your travel buddy as you discover the beautiful nooks and crannies of the city.

Bonus tip: Dubrovnik’s Ethnographic Museum was used as the setting for a brothel in GoT season four.

Experience a gruesome reenactment at the scaffold of King’s Landing

Fort Manoel, Manoel Island, Malta

While you’re in Malta, be sure to stop by the Fort Manoel on Manoel Island in Gżira, Malta, where the scaffold of King’s Landing is set. This is an ideal spot for anyone interested in the more gruesome locations of Game of Thrones (of which there are many), as it’s where Ned Stark met his end on King Joffrey’s orders.

Have your own GoT-inspired wedding at the stunning Azure Window in Malta

Azure Window, Gozo, Malta

Grab your partner (or your bestie if you’re single) and have yourself a Game of Thrones-style wedding in the same venue as Daenerys and Khal Drogo did in season one, which was filmed at the stunning site of Azure Window in Malta.

Although if you don’t want to dedicate yourself to a lifetime of marriage, you can just enjoy the stunning site of the island of Gozo, famed for its crystal clear waters and historical ruins.

Endure the harsh conditions of the Iron Islands at Ballintoy Harbour

Ballintoy Harbour, Ballintoy, Northern Ireland

The scenes set in Pyke, the Iron Islands capital – just off the west coast of Westeros and home to the Greyjoys – were in fact filmed at the harbor of the small town of Ballintoy, close to Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland.

While the Iron Islands in Game of Thrones are portrayed to have harsh weather conditions and limited natural resources, IRL Ballintoy Harbour is set in a picturesque village that boasts blissful ocean views and lush cliffside walking spots.

Bask in the glory of the ancestral home of House Stark

Castle Ward, County Down, Northern Ireland

For the pilot episode of Game of Thrones, Doune Castle in Scotland was used for some exterior shots of Winterfell. However, the remaining episodes were filmed at the National Trust location of Castle Ward in Northern Ireland, including scenes of sparring in the castle yard and the arrival of Robert’s party at Winterfell’s gates.

March into the realm of men at the Haunted Forest

Tollymore Forest Park, Bryansford, Northern Ireland

If you’re looking for a truly authentic Game of Thrones experience, why not visit the stunning woodland locations of the Haunted Forest by booking yourself in for a special Game of Thrones walking tour.

Not only can you trek through the natural settings of Tollymore Forest Park where these scenes were filmed, but visitors are given a Stark wool cloak to wear so you can fully immerse yourself in the world of GoT. Heck, why not go the whole hog and put on a dodgy British accent while you’re at it?

Who knows – maybe you’ll even find some direwolves puppies! (Side note: You definitely won’t, don’t be silly now.)

Travel beyond The Wall (and remember to bring a coat)

Svínafellsjökull glacier, Skaftafell, Iceland

While the GoT producers had to make do with fake snow in season one, by season two their budget allowed them to venture to Iceland for snowy scenes beyond The Wall.

Overall, Iceland is a great destination to visit, having been the home to some of the world’s most breathtaking sites. If you do wind up here, be sure to visit the breathtaking Svínafellsjökull glacier, which features prominently throughout the show.

Get steamy with your very own Jon Snow inside a lava cave

Grjótagjá, Mývatn, Iceland

It’s not all frosty snowscapes in Iceland. Grjótagjá is a small lava cave near lake Mývatn boasting a thermal spring inside. As such, it’s one of the country’s most popular tourist destinations and was used as the filming location for when Jon Snow and Ygritte sleep together in season three.

Feel free to get steamy with your loved one as you bathe in the warm waters, but maybe don’t go all the way – you don’t want to run the risk of traumatising some fellow travellers.

Liberate yourself at the Bay of Dragons

Aït-Ben-Haddou and Essaouira, Morocco

Bay of Dragons – formerly known as Slaver’s Bay before Queen Daenerys Targaryen finally put an end to slavery in the region – is the area on the southern coast of Essos, located to the southeast of Westeros..

Scenes for the Bay’s city Astapor were shot in the serene and peaceful Moroccan port city of Essaouira. Meanwhile, the village of Aït-Ben-Haddou – where visitors can explore the clay houses that make up this traditional pre-Saharan habitat – provides the backdrop for scenes filmed in the region’s cities Yunkai and Pentos.

Watch a fight go down at the great pit of Daznak’s

Osuna Bull Ring, Osuna, Spain

Did you know Daznak’s Pit is a place IRL? You can visit the exact site where Ser Jorah takes part in a battle to fight for the Queen’s honor by heading on down to the Osuna Bull Ring, located an hour’s drive from Seville in Spain.

Oh yeah, and if you’re not into the idea of seeing an actual bull fight while you’re there, you can just visit the ring when it’s not in use and gawk at its immense splendor.

Bonus tip: While you’re in the area, be sure to visit the Water Gardens of the Palaces of Dorne, which were filmed at the Alcázar of Seville.

We’ll leave you with one of our favorite-ever scenes from the show.

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Daisy Webb is an outspoken, opinionated writer with a passion for all things horror and cult comedy. When she's not watching films, she likes listening to music, cooking too much food, and writing short stories with unhappy endings.

daisyp@filmdaily.co