Game of Thrones Season 8 is coming back on April 14th and any superfan out there is already beyond excited to see how the series will end. In a series marred by blood and gore, one of the few visual reprieves (at least in the earlier seasons) are the sweeping shots of incredible landscapes around the world. Incredibly, many of these sights aren’t CGI but actual places you can visit. Here are some travel destinations worth visiting, especially if you’re a Game of Thrones fan.
[WARNING: Some spoilers ahead]
Our quest for the Iron Throne lands us in Dubrovnik, the picturesque Mediterranean town that also serves as the capital of the Seven Kingdoms, as well as the city of Qarth. Walk up the Jesuit Staircase, known as the steps of the Great Sept of Baelor. Take a stroll through St. Dominic Street, scene of the infamous Walk of Shame. Dubrovnik’s Old Town is a UNESCO heritage site, so history buffs and GoT fans alike will find plenty of treasures in this gorgeous seaside town.
Personally, House Martell was my favorite clan on the show and the scenes in Dorne were some of the most spectacular. What may come to you as a surprise is that considering the characters’ accents, outfits and palace architecture, the kingdom is actually filmed in Spain. The Alcazar, a 1,000-year-old palace in Seville, is the real-life stand-in for the magnificent Palace of Dorne.
Tower of Joy
Seville isn’t the only city in Spain that hosted scenes from Game of Thrones. One of the most revealing scenes of the show (storywise) was actually filmed in Castillo De Zafra, in Guadalajara, Spain. It didn’t make many appearances on the show, but it was central to the origin story of Jon Snow. The castle, which is privately owned, can actually be toured with permission from the owners.
Winterfell, King’s Road, Iron Islands
Northern Ireland acts as the location of many scenes from Game of Thrones. Whether you’re looking to see the Stark’s home in Winterfell (Castle Ward in County Down), journey through the beautiful tree-lined streets of King’s Road (Dark Hedges) or sail to the Iron Islands (Ballintoy), a trip to Northern Ireland is in order. Even scenes of the Dothraki Grasslands were filmed in Londonderry.
Morocco boasts an impressive list of cities that were used to film Game of Thrones. Most of them include everyone’s favorite dragon wrangler, Daenerys Targaryen. The place where Daenerys freed the slaves, gained an army of Unsullied and made it clear she was not one to be underestimated? The city of Essaouira, aka Astapor. The ancient city of Ait Benhaddou served as filming locations for both Yunkai and Pentos. Most notably, the somewhat controversial scene where the Mother of Dragons crowd surfs among the captive people she freed was filmed in Ait Benhaddou.
So the next time you’re in Morocco, Northern Ireland or Spain, be sure to visit some of the gorgeous cities that helped bring Game of Thrones to life. Whether you’re traveling to these destinations because of Game of Thrones or not, they contain incredible historical value and are worth touring in their own right. If you’ve traveled to any of the cities on this list because of their roles in Game of Thrones, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section.
Which of these cities would you visit or have you visited?
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