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4 places all ‘Game of Thrones’ fans need to visit

By Rowan Kaiser, Contributor From Business Insider

Aside from jaw-dropping costumes , elaborate plotlines, and intriguing characters , “Game of Thrones” offers some amazing travel inspiration.
To better live out your ” Game of Throne’s ” fantasies, travel to Dubrovnik, Croatia and see where the majority of the show is filmed.
Northern Ireland, Spain, and Morocco also offer backdrops for the popular show.
The following is an adapted excerpt from ” 100 Things Game of Thrones Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die ” by Rowan Kaiser:

The heart of “Game of Thrones” shooting and tourism industry is the city of Dubrovnik, Croatia. Dubrovnik has been used as the setting for King’s Landing since the start of the second season (Malta was used in the first), and has also stood in for the Free Cities of Braavos and Pentos.

Dubrovnik has several major advantages for filming. The old medieval core of the city, with narrow, winding streets, old walls, and several forts seems perfect for “Game of Thrones.” The coast of the Adriatic is also a famous vacation and holiday locale. Locations like Illyrio’s mansion (Villa Sheherezade) are Eastern European resorts. And Croatia has become understandably proud of their role on the hit series, sending their culture minister to filming dates in the city.

The coast of the Adriatic is a famous vacation locale. Gaspar Janos/Shutterstock
The other major filming location where tours can be found is Northern Ireland, particularly around Belfast. Most of the indoor sets for “Game of Thrones” are in Belfast, although clearly, these are off-limits. Around the city, however, are several outdoor locations used for the North, the Riverlands, and the Crownlands.

One of the most famous of these is the “Dark Hedges,” a road flanked by two rows of trees that give it both an elegant and ominous look. This path is used by the show to represent the Kingsroad just outside of King’s Landing, with both Arya (Season 2) and Brienne (Season 4) traveling down it. While many of the sets in Belfast are off-limits, enough like the Dark Hedges are available that you can find “Game of Thrones” tours in Belfast.

From the fifth season, on a new country became an essential part of “Thrones” filming, and is possibly worth looking into as a tourist. That’s Spain, which was used in Season 5 to represent Dorne, but has also started to be used for major set pieces. The Water Gardens of Dorne, where most of that kingdom’s plot has taken place, are filmed in the Alcazar de Sevilla, a palace that’s already a major tourist attraction on its own.

The palace is already a major tourist attraction. HBO

A few other key scenes have been filmed in Spain: the sixth season’s Tower of Joy, also in Dorne, is the castle of Zafra in Spain, while the great bullring outside of Osuna became the location for the battle at Daznak’s Pit at the end of Season 5. Major battle scenes in Season 7 are also being filmed in Spain.

There are a few other countries that have played host to “Game of Thrones” for filming but may be less effective for tourism purposes. Iceland has been used for the North and especially for the Beyond-the-Wall scenes of Season 2, but it’s hard to get excited about walking along a largely blank glacier. Slaver’s Bay was initially filmed in Morocco in Season 3, but shifted to Croatia for future seasons.

Slaver’s Bay was initially filmed in Morocco. Helen Sloan/HBO
If you’re in Europe, or thinking of visiting, checking out “Game of Thrones” locations may not be a full vacation in and of itself. But so many of these locales are connected to fascinating regions with an impressive history that they’re a great supplement to a European tour, and worth researching further.


Croatia_Dubrovnik_Medieval walls of Dubrovnik Old City on the Adriatic Sea
Dubrovnik, Croatia provides the backdrop for most of “GoT.” Shutterstock
Slavers Game of Thrones Helen Sloan HBO
This path is used by the show to represent the Kingsroad just outside of King’s Landing. Shutterstock/HBO
Dubrovnik Croatia King’s Landing Gaspar Janos Shutterstock

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