Are you bummed that Game of Thrones is over? So are we… The good news is you don’t have to travel to Westeros to see where all the magic happened. You can potentially check out many of the GoT filming locations on a week-long trip through Western Europe!
Regardless of what you thought about the finale (which is a topic for another day), Game of Thrones was a once in a lifetime show that may never be topped. The locations and breathtaking views played a monumental role in making the eight-season run so awesome.
Without further ado, here are six GoT filming locations you can potentially see in the same expedition.
1. Road to King’s Landing: The Dark Hedges in Northern Ireland
The “Dark Hedges” (or Bregagh Road) went from an eerily-beautiful tunnel in Northern Ireland to a full blown tourist magnet shortly after Season 2 aired. If you can remember back to 2012, this enchanting avenue got its big HBO moment as Arya disguised herself as a boy to escape Kings Landing.
The Dark Hedges road has a history dating back to the 18th century. These days, it is one of the most photographed places in the country – and perhaps on the entire Game of Thrones locations map.
Unfortunately, this is not seen as a good thing to many people – especially the locals. In fact, the country recently banned vehicle traffic on the road due to an extreme increase in tourists. The Northern Ireland Greenways even went as far as referring to the influx of cars on the prestigious road as a “national disgrace slowly killing a national treasure.”
So, if you don’t want to piss off the local authorities to get your Instagram picture, just have an Uber drop you off and hike your way in.
In terms of accommodations, The Fullerton Arms is a super affordable hostel less than eight miles away. The recent redesign gives you the feeling that you are in a remote spot, but in reality, you’re in a bustling area around Ballycastle with plenty to do!
2. The Stormlands: Cushendun Caves, Northern Ireland
The Stormlands, home to House Baratheon in the land of Westeros, earned its name for the frequent and powerful storms that passed through. The Stormlands were known as a region nearly impossible to conquer, and defending it didn’t require a massive army or pocketbook. Warriors in the Stormlands, while lacked big numbers, were renowned for their fighting ability and ruthlessness.
Thankfully, you won’t have to fight any of these soldiers or worry about the wrath of House Baratheon if you want to visit this GoT filming location in real life!
The Cushendun Caves are located in Northern Ireland about an hour from Belfast on the coast. Finding the caves isn’t super complicated. If you start at The Corner House, follow the road south and the caves are located just a couple minutes’ walk!
The cave itself is pretty small. But the experience is fascinating – especially when you hear the sound of the waves crashing! You’ll quickly see why the producers chose the Cushendun Caves for the Stormlands!
3. The Great Castle of Pyke: Dunluce Castle, Northern Ireland
Of all the cool-looking castles in Westeros, the Great Castle of Pyke was probably my favorite! Built on top of a badass rock formation next to the sea, the home of the Ironborn, House Greyjoy, and the Salt King had its fair share of big moments in the Game of Thrones series.
On Earth, this place is called Dunluce Castle. Like many other GoT filming locations, it is nestled in Northern Ireland and packed full of history dating back centuries.
Originally built by Richard Og de Burgh, the first detailed records of life in the castle was in the hands of the McQuillan family in the 1500s. Towards the middle of the century, the castle was seized by the MacDonnell clan and fell under leadership of Sorley Boy MacDonnell – a famous warrior chieftain known for violence and rebellion.
These days, the remains of Dunluce Castle is one of the most intriguing landmarks in Western Europe! The Bushmills Inn Hotel is less than a mile away from the ruins.
Or, if you really want to get the medieval effect, the Yippee Tents Campground will take you back in time in the most glamorous way possible!
So, when comparing the fabled stories of Dunluce Castle and the Great Castle of Pyke, which is cooler? You be the judge!
4. Winterfell: Doune Castle, Central Scotland
Throughout all eight seasons of Game of Thrones, Winterfell definitely felt the most like home to us viewers. It’s where our beloved Starks grew up, where they developed their noble characteristics, and was the host to several of the series’ most epic battle sequences!
When the creators and producers of the show were planning out the real destinations, they surely knew that they needed an illustrious landmark to portray the ancestral home of House Stark. Doune Castle in Central Scotland filled that role perfectly!
Of all the GoT filming locations, Doune Castle has one of the most interesting histories of the bunch! Constructed in the 13th Century, this stronghold survived the Scottish Wars of Independence, before it was rebuilt in the late 14th century by Robert Stewart, Duke of Albany.
Located about five miles from Stirling Castle (one of the most important castles in Scotland), the strategic location of Doune is naturally defended on three sides by steep slopes, and by two rivers on the east and west sides. In many ways, Doune Castle set the tone for how royal castles should be built!
If you are in Scotland, visiting this historic landmark is a must! Once you set foot inside the walls, you’ll know why Game of Thrones picked this spot for Winterfell.
In terms of accommodations, the Red Lion Inn is about as close as you can get. The old style feel of the inn will definitely match the vibe of your castle visits!
5. The Palace of Dorne: Alcázar of Seville, Spain
Ok, so we’re going to leave the United Kingdom for this next entry.
The Palace of Dorne, home to House Martell, was a key location in southern Westeros. You probably remember Prince Oberyn Martell, you know, the guy who got his skull crushed by The Mountain. Ouch!
Of all the GoT filming locations, the Palace of Dorne was one of the most beautiful and soothing places in the show. Everything about the destination oozed of luxury and class. As what should come as no huge surprise, the elegance of Seville, Spain was chosen to take on the role of the Kingdom of Dorne!
More specifically, Alcázar of Seville (or Real Alcázar), the extravagant royal palace in the middle of the city, played home to the members of House Martell.
This spot is one of Seville’s primary tourist attractions. Interesting enough, the cast and crew of Game of Thrones was permitted to use half of this prestigious palace as the southernmost location in Westeros!
If you visit the Alcázar of Seville, there are two things you need to brace yourself for. One, prepare for a crowd scene. Two, the sheer allure of the palace was not solely a product of HBO’s fancy camera work. The beauty and grandeur is the real deal!
There is no shortage of hotels near the Alcázar of Seville. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly option, La Alcoba de Palacia is just steps away from the palace and shouldn’t empty your bank account.
If you want to class it up and feel more like the Martells, Legado Alcázar is a smaller, more elegant hotel that overlooks the prestigious gardens of Real Alcázar.
6. King’s Landing: Dubrovnik, Croatia
Honestly, would any list of the Game of Thrones filming locations be complete without mentioning King’s Landing?
King’s Landing, home to the Iron Throne and ruler of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros, was the capital location in the series. Moreover, it probably had some of the coolest views in the entire show!
Now, unfortunately, if you are hoping for a Game of Thrones tour of the Red Keep, it will pain you to know the building was entirely CGI…
The good news is you can still see some of the interior locations where some of the notable King’s Landing scenes were shot! Many of which took place inside the Fort of St. Lawrence Dubrokvnik.
There are tons of choices for hotels in Dubrovnik. Valamar Argosy is one of the best value options (in terms of price and scenery).
If you want to live large and feel like a Lannister, definitely open up your wallet and stay at the Villa Dubrovnik!
Visiting this lovely Croatian city (which isn’t in any danger of fire-breathing dragons) is a must for all those who call themselves true Game of Thrones fans!
The ending of Game of Thrones was a bittersweet affair. To some, it was definitely more bitter than sweet…
If you loved the show as much as I did, turning your fandom into a trip through Europe to see the actual Game of Thrones filming locations is a perfect way to cap everything off. Hopefully, the ending of your trip leaves a better taste in your mouth than the end of the show!