Game of Thrones season finale is upon us! This season has been gut- wrenchingly good so far, with some brutal deaths, some much needed wizardry to bring back the dead, loads of girl power, and some EPIC battle scenes that will go down in television history. But in between all the drama and bloodshed lie the surreal locations which create the stark (pun intended) and beautiful medieval setting for this visually stunning show. I got hooked onto the show last year and can’t get enough of it! From Tyrion Lanister’s cheeky one liners, Daenery’s fire breathing dragons, to Jon Snow’s ridiculous good looks…I love it all and if you are a GOT fan like me you are going to love this post!
The show captures some of Europe’s most beautiful scenery, and it definitely inspired us while planning a trip last year. Here are some of the real life Game of Thrones locations we have been to.
1. King’s Landing – Dubrovnik, Croatia
King’s landing, the capitol of the seven kingdoms and home of the Iron throne is a stunning medieval city on the east coast of Westeros by blackwater bay, and what better location to depict this city than Dubrovnik. Some of the most memorable scenes were shot in old town of Dubrovnik Croatia.
Unforgettable King’s Landing Views – Dubrovnik City
Shae looking out at her new home – Kings Landing. Unfortunately she ran out of breath and didn’t get a chance to explore as much 😛 If only she didn’t betray Tyrion – What a love story that would have been!
This is the view from the Dubrovnik city walls. The beautiful city of Dubrovnik also called the pearl of the Adriatic is completely enclosed in beautiful white stone defensive walls and ancient forts. The view from these walls is nothing short of spectacular. Pick a bright sunny morning to walk along the city walls and soak in all the old world charm of the old city aka King’s Landing.
Medieval Walls and Forts – Ancient City Walls of Dubrovnik
Varys and Tyrion strategizing for Stannis Barratheon’s attack on Kings Landing in Season 2. The CGI effects transform the walls of Dubrovnik into the medieval wonderland of Kings Landing – The Red Keep on the cliffs is all CGI…Pretty neat!
A similar view captured by us when walking the walls of Dubrovnik. The view of the white limestone cliffs against the Azur Adriatic sea are as refreshing as the cool ocean breeze on a warm Mediterranean day.
Cerci’s Walk of Atonement (shaming scene) – Baroque Stairs in Dubrovnik’s old town
Cersei walking upto the Great Sept of Baelor before her walk of shame. This famous scenes from Season 5 was shot at the Baroque staircase in Dubrovnik’s old town.
That’s me walking up the Baroque staircase from the Gundulic square which converts into a delectable farmers market. We recommend spending a day walking around old town and exploring the churches, plazas and narrow alleyways. Travel Tip- Old town is a major tourist attraction and stopover for cruises, so beware of crowds and try and plan your trip around the cruise ships. We highly recommend looking at the cruise ship schedule before planning your trip to Dubrovnik.
View from the top of the stairs.
Outside the city walls of Kings Landing – Dubrovnik pier and Fort Lovrijenac
Old world charm depicted in the show with sepia tones and wooden merchant boats outside the walls of Kings Landing.
The reality – Bright blue skies and ocean where wooden boats are replaced by kayaks and some enthusiastic swimmers.
Trsteno Arboretum – Gardens of the Red Keep
The scene where Sansa talks to Margaery and Olenna Tyrell and reveals that Jeoffery is a MONSTER – that’s an understatement!
The Trsteno Arboretum is located 20 mins from Dubrovnik and is one of the oldest Arboretums in Europe. Spend a few hours strolling around this little oasis with pretty fountains, Lilly ponds and dramatic bay views.
Oberyn/Mountain Epic Battle Scene – Hotel Belvedere
The epic skull crushing scene from GOT is hard to forget. It’s probably the worst way an actor has died on the show. The scene was shot at an abandoned hotel in Dubrovnik just a few miles from old town. We didn’t go there as it didn’t seem worth our time, but you may think otherwise, so I’ve added it to this list
2. City Of Meereen Scenes – Split, Croatia
Split is a medieval coastal city north of Dubrovnik. Doesn’t it look straight out of Game of Thrones.
City of Meereen – Klis Fortress, Split
The city of Meereen is the largest of the slavers city of slavers bay. It was built using the Kliss fortress as a skeleton. The Pyramid and other structures are all brilliant CGI wizardry by the exceptionally talented GOT team….Insane isn’t it!
The Kliss fortress is 13 km north of Split nested between the mountains. This fortress dates back to the Ottoman wars of the 7th Century. A few hours of exploration around the fort and its museum is a good way to spend a morning.
Daneyres Dragon Chamber and Throne rooms – Diocletian’s Palace, Split, Croatia
The dramatic scenes of the Dragon chamber take place in the basement of the Diocletian’s Palace – A Unesco world Heritage site.
Plan a day to stroll around the palace and explore its charming plazas and courtyards while immersing in its rich history. Diocletian’s Palace is in the heart of the city of Split, and is bustling with restaurants and cute cozy cafes.
3. Dorne and The House of Martell – Seville, Spain
Dorne is the Southern most of the 7 kingdoms where Prince Martell spends most of his time admiring the water gardens from his palace- The Sunspear
Old Palace of Dorne or Sunspear – Alcazar de Seville
The lavishly decorated rooms of the palace of Dorne is where Jamie Lanister comes to meet with the Prince and discuss terms to escort his daughter back to King’s Landing.
Alcazar de Seville is one of the prettiest palaces in the world and a Unesco World Heritage site. The palace boasts elegant Moorish architectural details with colorful Spanish mosaics. A real gem in Andalucia, Spain and a must visit.
Water Gardens – Gardens of Alcazar de Seville
The gardens are an extension of the palace where you’ll find pretty peacocks and ducks frolicking around. Plan to spend a day to explore the palace and relax by the fountains to soak in all the beauty around you.
4. Beyond the wall – Iceland
The dramatic landscapes of Iceland were used for filming the cold icy beyond the wall scenery. Lake Myvatn in Northern Iceland is a primary shooting location as it exudes an otherwordly feel with steaming geothermal caves, hissing sulphur springs, charred black volcanic craters and lava rock gardens.
Wildling Camp – Dimmuborgir, Lake Myvatn
Jon Snow and Ygritte arrive at the main Wildling camp where Jon is introduced to Mance Rayder – King beyond the wall.
Dimmuborgir is a lava field with dramatic rock formations that create twisted arches and towering pillars. Walk the trails for a few hours and explore this beautiful area.
Arya and Hounds Journey, Bloody Gates and Riverlands – Thingvellir National Park
Arya and the Hound arrive in Vale and are stopped by guards at the Bloody Gate where they learn of Lady Arran’s death. Most of their journey is filmed at the Thingvellir National Park.
Thingvellir National Park is a Unesco World Heritage site and a must visit in Iceland. In the picture above, I’m standing in between the continental plates of Europe and North America. You can also scuba dive between the tectonic plates – See our post on Iceland for more info.
Jon Snow and Ygrittes Love Nest – Grjotagja Geothermal cave
Who can forget this hot steamy love scene where Jon Snow and the Ygritte “get naughty” for the first time. We are glad he broke his vows and made sweet love to this Wildling. “You do know something Jon Snow.”
The Grjotagja geothermal cave is located in the Lake Myvatn area. Unfortunately it’s not allowed to swim in this cave anymore as the water can get really hot but it’s still worth checking out.
Jon Snow and Ygritte’s Journey – Vatnajokull and Skaftafell National Park
Ygritte and Jon Snow’s romance develops as they journey through frozen lakes and fractured icy glaciers of Iceland. The scene where Ygritte teases, seduces and tricks Jon Snow is one of the many scenes shot on these glaciers.
Hope we succeeded in transporting you into the magical world of Game of Thrones. Like our Facebook page and subscribe to our blog for more exciting travel posts and stories.
Disclaimer* – All images and screenshots from the show belong to their rightful owner. We do not own any of the images from the show.