Game of Thrones Filming Locations You Can Visit in Real Life
Where was Game of Thrones filmed you ask? We’ve got the answers. Dave and I have been to many Game of Thrones filming locations around the world and we’ve rounded up the not to miss GOT sets that you can visit right too!
Once a travel destination became a part of the Game of Thrones scenery, tourists flocked to see it.
These are the top Game of Thrones locations we’ve visited in real life. Updated from our original post that only included Ireland.
Where Was Game of Thrones Filmed?
Contrary to popular belief, Game of Thrones was not filmed in New Zealand. That would be Lord of the Rings, but GoT was filmed in other incredible destinations around Europe, Africa, and North America.
Filming locations spanned three continents and 10 different countries with the main locations being Northern Ireland, Iceland, Croatia, and Spain.
Producers chose wisely when picking Game of Thrones scenery around the world. The backdrop of each episode is as important as the plot.
If you love adding an element of entertainment into your travels you must. add these Game of Thrones settings to your bucket list.
Game of Thrones Filming Locations in Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland has the most extensive Game of Thrones scenery to explore. The main studio was in Belfast and several exterior scenes were shot around the country.
When traveling Ireland, you can pick up a Game of Thrones filming locations map at one of the tourist information offices downtown Belfast and set out on your own, or take one of the many organized tours.
1. Belfast – Titanic Studios
The magic happened in Belfast at Titanic Studios. The production offices were here and most off the studio production team was based in Belfast.
The Titanic Museum is one of the greatest attractions to Northern Ireland, and while you are there, venture a little further down the road to see the sound stages where most in-studio scenes were shot.
2. Dark Hedges – Kings Road
The first Game of Thrones scenery that really took off on social media was The Dark Hedges of Northern Ireland.
It was a short scene, but when it comes to travel, it attracted a lot of buzz. This was the scene where Arya Stark was put on a wagon and sent away to make her escape from Kings Landing in season 2.
Disguised as a boy, it is on this road where she sits gazing back while life as she knows it slips away. We can see the beautiful Dark Hedges hovering ominously overhead.
- Game of Thrones from Belfast – This tour not only takes you to iconic GoT locations, it also stops at the legendary Giant’s Causeway, Dark Hedges, Glens of Antrim, Cushenden Caves, Ballintoy Harbour and more!
3. Castle Ward – Westeros
Castle Ward has the most organized tours of all Game of Thrones filming locations.
Everything is dedicated to enjoying your day in Westeros.
You can even dress in a fur cape and learn to shoot a bow and arrow just like Bran did when John Snow taught him in the courtyard of Season 1.
Then spend the day exploring the castle grounds to see other iconic filming locations like the Hanging Tree, The Twins, and more.
- Book a Game of Thrones Day Tour to Castle Ward – A day tour from Belfast takes you to 20 Game of Thrones filming locations: featuring, Tollymore forest park where the dire wolf pups were discovered, Castle Ward Estate, and Inch Abbey where Rob Stark was crowned King of the North.
4. Ballintoy Harbour – Pyke Harbour
Ballantoy Harbour is a Game of Thrones setting where Theon first arrived home to the Iron Islands and meets his sister. The crew transformed setting harbour into a bustling harbour filled with boats and dock workers.
It’s not only a beautiful setting for the series, it’s a fantastic place to visit in its own right.
5. Mussenden Temple – Dragonstone Castle
Another extraordinary Game of Thrones setting sits high on a cliff overlooking the coast.
Here is Dragonstone Castle stands where Melisandre, aka The Red Woman, burns the Statues of “The Seven” to make Stannis convert to her religion.
Although you won’t see it (because the castle is all built by a computer in post-production CGI) it is still a beautiful location to visit.
6. The Glens of Antrim – Beheading of Deserter
We’re going way back into the vault for this one. It was at the beginning of season 1, we saw the Glens of Antrim.
Remember when Ned Stark beheaded a Night’s Watch deserter in front of his sons? This is the place.
7. Murlough Bay – Theon and Yara Riding
While driving along the Causeway Coastal Route, in Northern Ireland we took a detour to Murlough Bay to view the Scottish Isles and more of the stunning coast.
It is so picturesque here, that it was used as the rolling countryside where Theon and his sister Yara, rode their horses toward their father’s castle.
8. Marble Arch Caves – The Hound
I love the character The Hound. A pivotal scene took place with him when he encounters Beric Dondarrion in season three.
Beric and the Hound fight each other in the cave right here at marble Arches. The Hound wins, but Beric is resurrected and we discover that he can’t die. ooooh.
Game of Thrones Filming Locations in Iceland
Iceland was made for movies. Its landscape is out of this world and it feels like you are visiting a fantasy land when driving around the Ring Road.
We all love John Snow and the Knight’s watch. The majority of these scenes are filmed in Iceland.
9. Dimmuborgir – Wildling Camp
Driving through the lava fields Dimmuborgir took our breath away.
Located along Highway 1, The Ring Road, you can see where the Wildlings had their camp north of the dreaded wall.
It was also where Mance Rayder led the Free Folk in the Haunted Forest where Sam and Lord Commander were attacked by white walkers in season 3.
10. Þingvellir Gorge – Wildling’s Homeland
This is not far from Reykjavik so even if you only have a short time in Iceland, you may be able to see this Game of Thrones set.
Located in South West Iceland along the Ring Road, Þingvel is where the White Walkers come from.
And be sure to stop at Grjótagjá, the cave where Jon Snow and Ygritte sneak away for some frisky business.
11. Arrowhead Mountain – White Walker Stand off North of the Wall
I would have to say this is the most memorable of the Game of Thrones filming locations season 7.
It’s covered in snow and ice in the movie but you cannot mistake Arrowhead Mountain’s peak.
Remember when John Snow and the gang were surrounded by the night king and his undead army as they were trapped on ice?
This is the place where the big standoff happened. The glaciers of Iceland make for the perfect backdrop for winter.
12. Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon
While staying at a hotel near Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon, we were told that the cast and crew stayed in our very room while working during the short filming days.
There’s a lot going on beyond the wall in season 7 of Game of Thrones, so it only makes sense that they shoot at one of Iceland’s top attractions. Jokulsarlon Glacier is the perfect setting for beyond the wall.
We always wondered why Vik wasn’t highlighted more in Game of Thrones, but it really picked up in seasons 5 to 7.
The black beaches and beautiful rock formations of Reynisfjara beach is so picturesque, how could they not feature it? Well now they have.
The great thing about the film sets in Iceland, is most can be reached from the Ring Road. That is the main highway that goes around the country and hits all the top sites of Iceland.
More Game of Thrones Scenery in Iceland
- Höfðabrekka located near Vík the southernmost city of Iceland
- The Vatnajökull glacier, (Europe’s largest ice cap)
- Lake Myvatn, and the lava field near the town of Húsavik.
- SÞjorsárdalur and the “Settlement Era Viking Lodge.
HAVE LIMITED TIME? CHECK OUT THIS FULL DAY GOT TOUR WITH GET YOUR GUIDE THAT HAS IT ALL!
Where is Game of Thrones Filmed in Spain?
Game of Thrones started filming in Spain for season six. The cast and crew really got around Spain traveling up and down the country.
14. Girona – Kings Landing and Braavos
We have spent a lot of time in Girona it makes for the perfect fantasy setting.
Make sure to spend a day or two in this town located 40 minutes from Barcelona. And then make your way to the Girona Cathedral to see the Game of Thrones set for The Great Sept of Baelor.
Getting lost in the narrow streets of the Old Quarter of Girona will take you through what you know on Game of Thrones as The Free City of Braavos in Essos.
You can book a Game of Thrones walking tour in Girona
15. Basque Country – Dragon Stone Castle
When we ran with the bulls in Pamplona, we spent some time traveling through Basque Country.
I do wish we knew about a few of the places that show up in Game of Thrones Season 7 then. But it also gives us a reason to go back!
Make sure you go to San Juan de Gaztelugatxe just 40 km from Bilbao to see the incredible snaking staircase that many a scene of Dragonstone was shot.
Seville is one of Spain’s most beautiful cities. Several scenes were shot at the Roman ruins of Italica and the Seville Stockyards.
The Palaza de Torres was used for the fighting pit in Mareen, and the Alcázarseveral locations in Dorne
You’ll find the Tower of Joy in Dorne at the Castillo de Zafra. These were the flashback scenes of a young Ned Stark.
Bran’s vision reveals a pivotal moment in the GoT plot with regards to who is John Snow’s father?
- Other Game of Thrones locations in Spain include Valencia, Alhamila mountains, and Andalusia
- Cordoba: The Long Bridge.
- Barcelona,was where the House of Tarly scenes are shot
Croatia is where much of the Daenerys and Kings Landing storyline takes place.
Dubrovnik’s old city has been used extensively for Kings Landing since season two and there are plenty of places that you will recognize.
The walls have been used for the battle of Blackwater, for tournaments, for walking shots and market.
Dubrovnik Private GoT Tour – The stunning setting for Kings Landing where Cersei, Tyrion, Jamie and King Joffrey, spent many days wandering the streets, palaces and walls.
Dubrovnik Game of Thrones Tour – This group tour takes you through Dubrovnik showcasing scenes from Game of Thrones like Cersei’s walk of shame, and her daughter’s departure to Dorne.
19. Sibenik and Split
Walk through the land of the Unsullied where Khaleesi plots her revenge.
Split is where much of the dragons and Khaleesi storyline takes place and you’ll feel as if you’ve been transported to the 7 Kingdoms.
Croatia is an amazing country to visit. It reminded us of Italy with fewer crowds. And a more affordable budget. But with Game of Thrones making it so popular, I’m not sure how long that lower budget that will last.
The cast and crew didn’t exactly shoot on location in Meteora, but second unit was sent out to shoot plates of the magnificent Meteora Monasteries.
It was used as its backdrop for the Eyrie castle in the sky, the castle above the clouds where Tyrion had his cell in the sky.
Meteora was digitally mastered into the series because of it’s protected environment, the series could not officially shoot here. However, it is the most striking Game of Thrones scenery you’ll never forget.
We highly suggest visiting because it is one of the most epic places we’ve ever visited on earth.
Watch our video: The Awe-Inspiring Views of Meteora
Game of Thrones in Morocco
The Daenerys Targaryen storyline has some of the best filming locations for Game of Thrones. They also went to Morocco.
21. Ait Benhaddou
The ancient fortified city of Ait Benhaddou was used to represent Yunkai. This UNESCO World Heritage Site was the perfect setting for The Mother of Dragons to destroy.
The port city of Essaouira was also used in season 3 doubling as Astapor. Remember the scene beside the sea when she has rounded up the unsullied and given them a choice to fight for her?
Morocco was used for filming in seasons 1 through 3 for most of Khaleesi’s storyline but from season 4 on they moved to Croatia. It’s still cool to visit the locations from the early days though.
The Game of Thrones films in some of the most exotic locations on earth.
Besides the locations and film sets mentioned above, Game of Thrones has also been filmed in Los Angeles, Calgary, Alberta, and Scotland.
Game of Thrones Filming Locations Scotland
Since we first wrote this post, we have been to even more Game of Thrones filming locations and have updated it to include Scotland!
23. Isle of Skye
We hear that the producers of the Game of Thrones prequel have been scouting the Isle of Skye as a filming location.
After doing a road trip through Scotland and driving the North Coast 500 to see the beauty of the landscape ourselves, we can understand why they have chosen to make Scotland a big part of the next chapter.
The Isle of Sky is rugged and beautiful and will make an amazing backdrop for the early Seven Kingdoms.
24. Doune Castle
In season 1, Game of Thrones had a short stint in Scotland using Doune Castle as a part of Winterfell, but they haven’t been back since.
It was only used in the pilot of Game of Thrones as the exterior of Winterfell, but Doune Castle’s facade cannot be mistaken as the Stark family’s home setting the stage for the rest of the Game of Thrones seasons.
Doune Castle is located an hour from Edinburgh in the village of Doune and is one of the best preserved Medieval castles in Scotland.
Where was Game of Thrones Filmed in Canada?
Okay, we are from Canada, so when we heard that the series came to Canada to shoot several scenes we were thrilled. Especially to learn that Alberta became a huge part of the Game of Thrones family of locations.
25. Banff and Calgary
Shot throughout Banff and Calgary, GOT took advantage of our Canada’s giant wolves, (Dire wolves are provided by Instinct Animals out of Calgary) and our award-winning production crews.
Banff looks exactly like Winterfell in winter.
Check out Banff National Park to see it for yourself and walk in the footsteps of Arya Stark as you search for wolves.
26. Los Angeles
I remember going to the Royal Winter Fair at Toronto’s CNE as a kid to see Bart the Bear (the star of the movie “The Bear“)
His bloodline has continued in showbusiness and Bart Jr. has been in a slew of Hollywood blockbusters including Game of Thrones. Remember in Season 3 when Brienne took on a bear to save herself and Jaime?
Well, they traveled all the way to Los Angeles to film that scene.
Apparently, the bear had its own air-conditioned trailer.
Game of Thrones Setting in Malta
Malta was only used as a Game of Thrones filming location in Season 1 but it set the stage for the seasons to come.
We have yet to visit Malta, but our friends at Maptrotting lived there and wrote about it for us in this very informative post.
It was used mostly for Kings Landing, the Daenerys storyline and Pentos.
The fortified city of Mdina was the perfect setting with stone walls and an ancient setting.
Notable filming locations in Malta
- Fort St. Angela – Dungeons of the Red Keep
- Rabat’s St. Dominic Monastery
- Manikata was a town raided by the Dothraki
- The Island of Gozo housed the wedding of Daenerys and Drogo.
There are so many GOT settings to visit, we barely scratched the surface. But if you find yourselves in one of the countries mentioned above, be sure to check out the scenery that you might recognize from the series.
It’s a great way to make your travels more fun!
Enjoy our Game of Thrones Movie Locations? Pin it for reference when you travel next!
Game of Thrones main studio was in Belfast, Northern Ireland at Titanic Studios. It also shot a lot of scenes in Iceland, Croatia, and Spain plus five other countries.
The scenes for Winterfell were shot at Castle Ward in Northern Ireland. The exterior setting for the pilot was shot at Castle Dourne in Scotland.
Game of Thrones made its way to Alberta to film scenes with wolves in Banff National park.