Like a lot of people, I also have been completely caught up in the world of Westeros with the Game Of Thrones Series, Along with the amazing story, gory death scenes and of course dragons. The thing that always blows me away the most are the amazing Game of thrones set locations. So if you are like me and often sat thinking “where is Game of thrones filmed?” Then this post is for you.
DISCLAIMER: There are many references to scene’s in Game Of Thrones, As a result this post does contain a few Game of Thrones Spoilers. so if you are not at least up to the latest season of Game of Thrones read with care.
Join me on a journey from George R.R Martin’s fantasy world of Westeros to the stunning real-life travel locations of ice and fire that helped make Game Of thrones HBO series so popular.
First and most popular on the list is Northern Ireland which is home to many Game of Thrones set locations, And you can understand why with its beautiful craggy coastlines, Medieval castles and beautiful greenery, it’s a perfect game of thrones set location for many Westeros locations.
1. The Dark Hedges ( The Road from King’s Landing)
Image Flickr: Horslip5
Located just an hour drive by car (49.2 Miles) The Dark hedges is quite possibly one of the most picturesque and photographed natural phenomena in the country, and most recognizable game of thrones locations in Ireland. In the show, this stunning road lined with beech tree’s is the Kingsroad, North of King’s landing. Where in season 2 episode 1 Arya Stark escapes the city with other people to join the night’s watch.
Arya Stark escapes King’s landing with people sent to night’s watch.
2. Castle Ward (Winterfell)
Castle Ward Image Flickr
Located less than 30 minutes drive by car (27 miles) from Belfast on the east coast is Castle Ward, this beautiful castle and courtyard will be familiar to Game Of Thrones fan’s as Winterfell and was used in Season 1 when King Robert Baratheon arrived on horseback into Winterfell.
Robert Baratheon rides into Winterfell (Castle Ward) in season 1
Castle ward is a great place to visit and even offer’s a Game Of Thrones Archery Movie Set Experience. So if you’re feeling adventurous you can pick up a bow and arrow.
3. Downhill Beach (Dragonstone)
Downhill beach Image credit FS-Phil
Next up in Northern Ireland we head 1 hour and 30 minutes north of Belfast (63 miles) to Downhill beach. This beautiful 7 mile stretch of beach offer’s it’s visitor’s many great opportunities for nature walks to waterfalls, and dunes, water sports the Mussendon Temple is one of the most photographed building’s in Northern Ireland.
In the Game of Thrones universe, this beach was transformed into Dragonstone, Where the Seven Idol’s of Westeros where burned by Melisandre and Stanis Baratheon wielded the flaming sword.
4. Murlough Bay (The Iron Islands)
Our last stop on our game of thrones tour Northern Ireland is in the beautiful county of Antrim, Murlough Bay, with enchanting view’s out to sea and over to Mull of Kintyre in Scotland. To Game of Thrones lover’s this place is better known as the Iron Island’s and was used in season 3 when Theon Greyjoy rode with his sister Yara. It was also used for the scene where Davos Seaworth got shipwrecked after the battle of BlackWaterBay
Next off we head over to the coastel Eastern European country of Croatia. With it’s many medieval town’s and gothic an renasiance buildings. It’s easy to see why it would make the perfect location for Game Of Thrones.
5. Dubrovnik (King’s Landing)
First stop on our Game of Thrones tour Croatia is the walled city of Dubrovnik. With it’s 16th-century walls, paved limestone street’s and dramatic cliffsides. Dubrovnik is home to the show’s King’s Landing scenes.
Dubrovnik is also home to the Minceta Tower or House of the undying. This defence tower located high above the walls of Dubrovnik is where in Season 2 Daenerys has to face visions of her future and rescue her dragon’s.
6. Lovrijenac Fortress (The Red Keep)
Thing’s just keep getting better in Dubrovnik for Game Of Thrones fan’s with Lovrijenac fortress or The Red Keep, the centre of king’s landing as we know it from the show. Located just outside of Dubrovnik high atop a 37m high rock sit’s this fortress. It is also worth noting that scene’s for the red keep in season 1 where shot in Malta (we will get to that later) however it was moved to Lovrijenac Fortress from season 2 onwards so they could take more exterior shots.
8. Lokrum (Quarth)
Located just a short 10 minute boat ride from the old port of Dubrovnik lies the lush green island of Lokrum. In the show Lokrum was transformed into Quarth, the “Queen of Cities, It was also used to shoot some of the scene’s that where used with the “House of the undying”
9. Sibenik (Braavos)
Our last stop in Croatia is just a 3 hour drive up north from Dubrovnik to the small medieval town of Sibenik. This Medival town made it’s debut in the fifth season of Game of Thrones as the free city across the sea of Braavos. Home to the Iron Bank, Houses of Black and white, and of course the temple of the god of Many Faces.
Next up we head to the Archipelago located in the central Mediterranean, Malta. Famous for it’s historic sites, Fortress’s, Temples and beautiful coast line.
10. Azure Window (Daenerys and Drogo’s Wedding)
Located in the maltese island of Gozo This 50 metre high limestone arch is known as the Azure window, In the Game of thrones universe this is the backdrop for Daenerys Targaryen and Khal Drogo’s wedding.
Apart from Game of thrones this location has also been used in a few other popular movies such as The Count of Monte Cristo and Clash of the Titans.
11. Fort Manoel (Great Sept of Baelor)
Next on our Game of thrones malta locations list is Fort Manoel, Located on Manoel Island in Marsamxett Harbour. Originally built by the knights of Malta between 1723 and 1755. This location was used in Game Of Thrones for king’s landing in season 1 before they switched to using Dubrovnik. This location is most famous for being the Great Sept of Baelor where Joffrey Execute’s Ned Stark in front of everyone at the end of season 1.
12. Mdina Gate (Gate of King’s Landing)
Located in the captial of Malta, Mdina is a walled medival city on a hill in the centre of the island. In Game of Thrones, this location was used in season one where Catelyn and Sir Rodrik Cassel arrive to King’s landing through the gate to investigate further the incident with Bran.
If we head south into Northern Africa we enter Morroco. with it’s Berber, European and Arabian influences. It makes the perfect location for many Game Of Thrones locations.
13. Atlas Corporation Studios, Ouarzazate
Located in the Moroccan desert outside the city of Ouarzazate is Atlas Studios, famous for being one of the world’s largest film studios in terms of size. This amazing game of thrones set location is used for many scenes in Game of Thrones, Gladiator and Cleopatra.
14. Aït-Ben-Haddou (Yunkai and Pentos)
Located 62 Miles South-east of Marrakech sitting high atop a hill is the fortified city of Aït-Ben-Haddou. In Game of Thrones, Is used as Yunkai and Pentos in the kingdom of Essos. however this location has a long history as a film location, having been used for other popular movies such as Gladiator, Alexander and Prince of Persia.
You can even pick up a souvenir or two when visiting as there are even many of locals selling handicrafts on the street within the walled city.
15. Essaouira (Astapor)
Next we head over to the Atlantic Coast of Morocco to the city of Essaouira, located around 60 miles west of Marrakech, One of the most stand-out features of this ancient city is the fortified wall that surrounds it. This made it the perfect location for the city of Astapor, As seen in season 3 of Game of Thrones where Daenerys encounters the unsullied.
Essaouira also being a fishing town has pretty amazing seafood and a relaxed vibe. Unlike Astapor.
The final country on our game of thrones tour is my personal favorite, Iceland. with its volcano landscape, geysers,g laciers, hot springs and waterfalls and Viking history it’s easy to see why this make’s a great place for Game Of Thrones. Iceland is also the place where you can find real dragon glass (pieces of cooled lava)
16. Vatnajökull (North of the Wall)
First stop is Vatnajokull, Located in the south-east of Iceland making up Europe’s largest glacier. This stunning snowy mountainous landscape is used in Westeros as the frozen land beyond the wall. But be on the lookout for white walkers.
17. Höfðabrekka (Frostfangs Mountains)
Höfðabrekka is located in the far south near the city of Vik, Located at the base of a glacier Mýrdalsjökull right next to volcano Katla, How friggan fantasy is that. In Game of Thrones this location was used for scenes in the Frostfangs.
18. Thingvellir National Park
Our final stop on this Game of Thrones Tour is Thingvellir National Park. This UNESCO heritage site. In Game of Thrones it makes it’s debut appearance in season 4 where Arya and Sandor Clegane’s (The hound) journey from village to village.
Thanks for sharing this on Pinterest
What’s your favorite Game of Thrones based film location? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below 🙂