Game of Thrones Sites in Europe
There are many Game of Thrones sites in Europe. Maybe you were left screaming at the TV during the Red Wedding. Maybe you’ve taken one of those online quizzes and certified yourself a Lannister or Targaryen. Perhaps you worship at the altar of Daenerys, maybe you still think Jon Snow knows nothing, and maybe you find yourself thinking that literature fictionalizing the real-world wars of great houses of families seems a bit familiar (Shakespeare’s History Plays, anyone?)
But whatever your personal view may be of the worldwide phenomenon that is Game of Thrones, one thing is for certain – the real-world locations used for shooting the hot TV show based on George R.R. Martin’s already-popular Song of Ice and Fire book series are huge tourist destinations today.
Discovering King’s Landing
Let’s start with somewhere nice and straightforward. King’s Landing serves as the capital of the Seven Kingdoms in the show, and something of a London analogue in terms of its status as both capital and center of trade. However, for the actual physical filming locations which made King’s Landing a reality, you’ll be traveling to the other side of Europe and a far less well-known international city – at least until now. Dubrovnik, Croatia served as the shooting location for King’s Landing, with the city’s walls in particular becoming a huge tourist destination for fans of the show. The city itself has seen all manner of different battles and sieges over the years, and the Old City portion of Dubrovnik – along with a major portion of those walls – has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. As such, visiting Dubrovnik is a great opportunity to give Croatia the attention it deserves, discover one of the Balkans’ hidden treasures, and see a great Game of Thrones site while you’re at it.
Winter Comes to Winterfell
You’ll be making a double trip for this one. To see the location used for Winterfell in the pilot – and thus discover where this whole bloody saga began – you’ll be taking a trip to Doune Castle in Scotland. However, for the rest of the series, a series of other locations in Northern Ireland were used instead, including several in Belfast. The region has introduced tours of the Stark Family’s different haunts around the region, including real-life Castle Ward.
Beyond the Wall
If you plan on venturing out beyond The Wall – and don’t mind a bit of real-world cold – a trip to Iceland is in order. You’ll find the incredible caves and caverns that characterized this location in real-world Lake Myvatn. Adding to the frozen tundra feel of the area – both in real life and Game of Thrones – is Vatnajokull, the largest glacier in Europe.
Ending in Essos
After that excursion beyond The Wall and into the cold, you’ll be able to warm up again with a trip to the most southerly of the Seven Kingdoms, Dorne – or rather, real-world Spain. While Spain has always been a popular tourist destination (just ask Ernest Hemingway and Orson Welles) if you’re a Game of Thrones fan, there are several sites to check out. For example, while Hemingway and Welles may have loved real-world bullfighting, you’ll instead want to flock to the bullring in Osuna as Meereen fighting pits. What’s more, the Alcazar of Seville in Southern Spain – the site for Sunspear in the show – is a real-world castle with a fascinating multicultural history.
A Game of Thrones European tour can thus help you discover some of Europe’s real historical and cultural treasures.