'Game of Thrones' Sites to Visit
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26 Stunning 'Game of Thrones' Filming Locations Worth Visiting

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'Game of Thrones' Sites to Visit
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FAN-TASTIC

People who first learned about the world of Westeros from the HBO series "Game of Thrones" have waited to learn how the story ends since the first season premiered eight years ago — and are anxiously awaiting the premiere of Season 8 on April 14. After the series finishes this summer, you can still get a "Game of Thrones" fix by visiting various real-world locations where famous scenes from the series were shot. Though the location of Darnerys and Khal Drogo's marriage, Malta's famous Azure Window rock arch, washed away in an intense storm in 2017, there are 26 filming locations you can still visit.

Itzurun Beach, Spain
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ITZURUN BEACH, SPAIN


You May Know It As: Dragonstone Beach
Not until Season 7 did Daenerys and her followers finally cross the Narrow Sea and land on the beach at Dragonstone, which is actually Itzurun Beach in Spain's Basque region. The beach is easy to reach from the nearby town of Zumaia, or you can see it as part of a specialized 'Game of Thrones' tour.

San Juan De Gaztelugatxe, Spain
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SAN JUAN DE GAZTELUGATXE, SPAIN


You May Know It As: The Dragonstone stairs
Once Dany and her coterie landed in Westeros, she had several impromptu conferences with her advisers on Dragonstone's spectacular outdoor stairway. Those scenes were filmed at another bit of Spanish Basque scenery, the famous staircase leading to the church of San Juan de Gaztelugatxe, built over 10 centuries ago to honor John the Baptist. Public transport in the nearby city of Bilbao provides regular service to San Juan de Gaztelugatxe (which was a popular tourist attraction centuries before "Game of Thrones"), but be prepared for a three-mile hike including many very steep stairs.

Castle of Trujillo, Spain
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CASTLE OF TRUJILLO, SPAIN


You May Know It As: Casterly Rock
The exterior shots of House Lannister's imposing home at Casterly Rock were mainly filmed at the Castle of Trujillo in Spain. Two-hour tours of the castle and the surrounding village that combineThan real-world history with Westerosi lore can be taken for as little as $15 per person.

Alcázar, Spain
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ALCÁZAR, SPAIN


You May Know It As: The royal palace of Dorne
Most scenes of the lush royal palace in Dorne were actually shot at the Alcázar, a spectacular palace in Seville. Jaime, Prince Doran, and Ellaria Sand met in the palace's Ambassador's Hall, while the Alcazar's Moorish baths were where Ellaria and the Sand Snakes plotted to murder Princess Myrcella. Guided tours of the castle start at $16 per person if booked in advance. Advance bookings are recommended because the palace only has room to allow a limited number of visitors each day.

Castillo De Almodóvar, Spain
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CASTILLO DE ALMODÓVAR, SPAIN


You May Know It As: Highgarden and Casterly Rock
Not until Season 7 did fans catch their first glimpse of House Tyrell's home at Highgarden. The exterior shots of the castle were filmed at Spain's Castillo de Almodóvar, and a couple parts of Casterly Rock were Almodovar's dungeons. A guided Game of Thrones tour of the castle costs 9 euros (about 10 dollars).

Doune Castle, Scotland
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DOUNE CASTLE, SCOTLAND


You May Know It As: Winterfell
House Stark's stronghold of Winterfell is a combination of real-world spots, most notably Doune Castle, a medieval fortress in central Scotland. The castle was also the main filming location for the movie "Monty Python and the Holy Grail." Though the outside of the castle bears little resemblance to Winterfell, "Game of Thrones" fans will recognize Doune's courtyard and Great Hall from the Starks' residence. Castle day tours leaving from the city of Edinburgh can be found for less than $50 if booked in advance.

Castle Ward, Northern Ireland
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CASTLE WARD, NORTHERN IRELAND


You May Know It As: Winterfell
While Scotland's Doune Castle provided interior and courtyard settings for Winterfell, the exterior shots of the Stark fortress were filmed outside Northern Ireland's Castle Ward and then heavily enhanced by computer graphics. You won't see Winterfell's circular towers at Castle Ward (or anyplace else in our world), but sharp-eyed "Game of Thrones" fans will recognize the castle as the square guard tower framing Winterfell's gate. The castle can be seen on its own, or as part of any of the many guided tours of "Game of Thrones" locations available in Northern Ireland.

Fort Manoel, Malta
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FORT MANOEL, MALTA


You May Know It As: Sept of Baelor
For devout worshipers of the Seven, the great Sept of Baelor in the city of Kings' Landing was the holiest spot in all of Westeros until Cersei blew it up in the Season 6 finale. Though the sept is gone, its real-world counterpart remains: the magnificent Fort Manoel in Malta. Day tours of multiple Maltese "Game of Thrones" film locations including the fort can be booked for as little as $68.

Mdina, Malta
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MDINA, MALTA


You May Know It As: Littlefinger's brothel, the Red Keep, and more
Many notable scenes from Season 1 were filmed in the Pjazza Mesquita, a scenic plaza in the Maltese city of Mdina. Littlefinger's brothel is here, the square is also where Ned and Catelyn first reunited in King's Landing, and where Jamie Lannister and his men later captured Ned Stark. Other "Game of Thrones" locations in or near Mdina include the city gate (which doubles as one of the gates to King's Landing), the San Anton Palace (hallway of the Red Keep), and Fort St. Angelo (dungeon of the Red Keep) and other King's Landing sites.

St. Dominic Convent, Malta
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ST. DOMINIC CONVENT, MALTA


You May Know It As: Red Keep garden
In Season 1, the Ned Stark assured his doom by meeting Cersei in the gardens of the Red Keep and urging her to flee Westeros before he revealed their true parentage to King Robert. Those gardens are actually in Malta at the convent of St. Dominic.

Verdala Palace Grounds, Malta
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VERDALA PALACE GROUNDS, MALTA


You May Know It As: Illyrio's house in Pentos
The "Game of Thrones" pilot episode introduces Daenerys and Viserys living in the palace of Illyrio Mopatis and preparing for Dany's first meeting with Khal Drogo. The spectacular garden scenes were shot on the grounds of the Verdala Palace, a 400-year-old mansion that's served as the official Maltese presidential summer residence since the late 1980s.

Thingvellir National Park, Iceland
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THINGVELLIR NATIONAL PARK, ICELAND


You May Know It As: Bloody Gate, Thenn visit and more
Iceland's Thingvellir National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and arguably the birthplace of the Icelandic nation, being where the first-ever Viking parliament (or "Thing") was established. It also provides the backdrop for a wide variety of Westerosi landmarks. When Sansa and Littlefinger passed through the Bloody Gate to visit Lysa Arryn in Season 4, they were actually at Thingvellir's Stekkjargjá fault. The park's nearby Hvannagjá rift is where Ygritte whittled spears in a canyon while Thenns visited the Wildling camp. "Game of Thrones"-themed daylong bus tours of the park (departing from Reykjavik) can be found from $115. However, not every tour runs every day, so it's wise to book in advance if possible.

Thjóðveldisbærinn Stöng, Iceland
Thjóðveldisbærinn Stöng, Iceland by Thomas Ormston (CC BY)

THJÓÐVELDISBÆRINN STÖNG, ICELAND


You May Know It As: Olly's village
If you leave Thingvellir National Park and head east along Iceland's route 32, you'll eventually reach Thjóðveldisbærinn Stöng, a reproduction Viking-era village. In "Game of Thrones" it appears as the nameless village attacked by Wildling raiders who killed everybody except a little boy named Olly. The little Viking village is located in the larger Thjórsárdalur Valley, where Arya practiced swordplay with the Hound. Like most Icelandic "Game of Thrones" spots, this can be seen on your own or as part of a guided tour.

Svinafell Glacier, Iceland
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SVINAFELL GLACIER, ICELAND


You May Know It As: Ygritte's capture
Jon Snow and the Night's Watch captured Ygritte by this stunning blue glacier in Season 2, only a few yards away from the real-life parking lot for tourists visiting the site. Looking at the glacier can safely be done by yourself, but climbing on the ice itself can be very dangerous and should never be done alone. To get onto the glacier, it's safer to go with a group led by an experienced guide; three-hour "glacier walk" tours start at $88 when booked in advance.

Kirkjufell, Iceland
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KIRKJUFELL, ICELAND


You May Know It As: The arrowhead mountain beyond the Wall
In Season 7's premiere, when the fire-fearing Hound finally agreed to look into the flames, he said he saw a mountain shaped like an arrowhead. A few episodes later he saw that mountain in person. The arrowhead mountain is actually Iceland's Kirkjufell, a spectacular waterfall/mountain combination located next to Iceland's route 54 about an hour's drive from Reykjavik. You can visit on your own, or as part of a day-tour package with prices starting from $110.

Lake Mývatn, Iceland
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LAKE MÝVATN, ICELAND


You May Know It As: Free Folk camp, Jon and Ygritte's cave and other spots north of the Wall
When Jon Snow pretended to cast his lot with the Free Folk early in Season 3, much of the wild scenery of the Wildlings' homes was shot in the vicinity of Iceland's stunning volcanic Lake Myvatn. That's also where the White Walkers attacked Samwell and others from the Night's Watch. Most of these spots are safely accessible on your own, though guided daylong tours departing from the city of Akureyi can be had starting at $200 (which includes the entrance fee to the Myvatn Nature Baths). Nearby is the Grjotagja lava cave, where Jon and Ygritte had their first romantic experience in Season 3.

Magheramorne Quarry, Northern Ireland
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MAGHERAMORNE QUARRY, NORTHERN IRELAND


You May Know It As: Castle Black and the Wall
There's an abandoned quarry near the little village of Magheramorne in Northern Ireland, and that quarry (heavily implemented with green-screen computer graphics) stands in for Castle Black and the Wall. While you can't enter the abandoned quarry itself, you can with a little imagination recognize parts of the Wall and the home of the Night's Watch from outside the grounds.

Tollymore Forest Park, Northern Ireland
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TOLLYMORE FOREST PARK, NORTHERN IRELAND


You May Know It As: Haunted Forest
Tollymore Forest was designated the first state forest park in Northern Ireland, back in 1955. It's also where "Game of Thrones" had its opening scene — the attack of the white walkers on the Night's Watchmen was filmed here. A later scene in that episode, when Ned Stark found the orphaned litter of direwolves, was also filmed at Tollymore. Ramsay Bolton chased his escaped prisoner Theon through these woods in Season 3.

Ballintoy Harbor, Northern Ireland
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BALLINTOY HARBOR, NORTHERN IRELAND


You May Know It As: Pyke, Iron Islands
When Theon Greyjoy returned home to the Iron Islands in Season 2, the harbor where he landed was actually Ballintoy in Northern Ireland.

Gracehill House, Northern Ireland
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GRACEHILL HOUSE, NORTHERN IRELAND


You May Know It As: King's Road
The gloomy King's Road where Arya disguised herself as a boy during her travels with Yoren is actually the famous Dark Hedges, a row of over 150 beech trees planted in the 1700s to frame the entrance to Gracehill House, the Stuart family estate. Free visitor parking is available at Gracehill House though visitors are encouraged to donate to the Dark Hedges Preservation Trust set up to maintain the trees. The Dark Hedges can also be seen as part of of "Game of Thrones" spots in the area.

Mourne Mountains, Northern Ireland
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MOURNE MOUNTAINS, NORTHERN IRELAND


You May Know It As: Vaes Dothrak
The harsh granite peaks of the Mourne Mountains in County Down also served as the entrance to the sacred Dothraki city of Vaes Dothrak. Fans of other fantasy series may be interested to know that the Mourne Mountains are what inspired C. S. Lewis to create the realm of Narnia. These mountains are not far from Castle Ward, where some outer scenes of Winterfell were shot.

Cushendun Caves, Northern Ireland
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CUSHENDUN CAVES, NORTHERN IRELAND


You May Know It As: Melisandre's cave and Storm's End
Near the little coastal Irish town of Cushendun is a series of caves where Davos and Melisandre traveled so Melisandre could give birth in Season 2. The caves are easy to visit on your own, but are also a popular stop on many "Game of Thrones"-themed tours of Northern Ireland.

Essaouira, Morocco
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ESSAOUIRA, MOROCCO


You May Know It As: Astapor
When Daenerys went to Astapor to get her Unsullied army, the Moroccan city of Essaouira (on the Atlantic coast) filled in as Astapor's seaside wall and cannon. Though there are no organized "Game of Thrones" tours of Moroccan spots, Essaouira was popular with tourists even before the show and self-guided walking tours are easy to arrange.

Ait Benhaddou, Morocco
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AIT BENHADDOU, MOROCCO


You May Know It As: Yunkai
Essaouira is not the only Moroccan site seen as a city in Slaver's Bay. The ancient fort of Ait Benhaddou is the city of Yunkai, where Daenerys and the Unsullied went in Season 3 to give the slaves the weapons they needed to overthrow their masters. The outer walls of the fort dominate the background when the newly freed slaves praised Daenerys as Mhysa.

Dubrovnik, Croatia
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DUBROVNIK, CROATIA


You May Know It As: multiple King's Landing sites
The Croatian city of Dubrovnik has undergone a tourism boom since "Game of Thrones" began, since so many of its streets and landmarks stand in for equivalents in the Westerosi capital of King's Landing. St. Dominic Street (named for the Dominican monastery it passes) first appeared in Season 1 when the Gold Cloaks murdered one of King Robert's bastard sons, and most notoriously appeared at the start of Cersei's nude walk of atonement in Season 5. Even Dubrovnik's city walls have roles to play: when Tommen talks to Cersei about returning to Casterly Rock, the walls of the Red Keep were actually Dubrovnik's West Wall. Thrifty "Game of Thrones" fans can take self-guided tours, but fans willing to splurge can find formal Game of Thrones"-themed tours of the city ranging from simple walking tours for 190 Croatian kuna (about $29) to deluxe luxury packages from 850 kuna (roughly $129).

Lokrum Island Monastery, Croatia
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LOKRUM ISLAND MONASTERY, CROATIA


You May Know It As: Qarth
Just off the coast of Dubrovnik (and easily accessible by ferry) is Lokrum Island, whose monastery filled in for the city of Qarth when Daenerys went there in Season 2. Like most Croatian Game of Thrones spots, the monastery can be seen on its own or as part of a guided tour.