Game of Thrones hotspot locations in Europe
Perhaps the most popular series in TV history, and certainly the most epic one in scope, Game of Thrones has swept the world to become a worldwide phenomenon.
Throughout seven seasons, the show has not only managed to introduce us to dozens of complex characters that we love or love to hate and provided us with an impressive story full of twists and turns, but it has also managed to build one of the most intricate and globe spanning fantasy worlds ever portrayed in film.
With that show’s immense popularity and the fact that it easily handpicked some of the most beautiful locations on earth to portray the world of Westeros, it’s no wonder that millions of tourists have been flocking to visit the Game of Thrones filming locations across the world.
Last year, I wrote about the great James Bond and Harry Potter filming locations that you can visit in Scotland. While Game of Thrones has not filmed Scotland to date, they have filmed extensively in other parts of UK and Europe.
For those interested in checking out these scenic locations, I’ve come up with a list of some of the best places to with a link to the Game of Thrones.
The small Mediterranean island of Malta known to many as a top holiday destination and also the headquarters of the world’s largest online casinos, thanks to their low taxes and gaming regulation.
Malta has also been used as one of the main filming locations for Game of Thrones’ first season 1, doubling as both King’s Landing and as Pentos, where Daenerys’ story begins.
The fortified city of Mdina, the “Silent City” as it is known, was a perfect medieval setting for numerous scenes set in Westeros’ capital city, as were Fort St. Angelo in Birgu, and St. Dominic Monastery in Rabat. The president’s summer residence, the Verdala Palace, also served as the home where the Targeryans live in exile, including the lush Buskett gardens, where Daenerys and Karl Drogo meet for the first time.
The sister island of Gozo was the iconic location for the wedding between the two, though unfortunately the beautiful natural landmark where it was shot was destroyed during a storm last year.
Northern Ireland offers one of the most extensive Game of Thrones experiences for fans, as Belfast serves as the main headquarters for the production.
Near the Titanic Museum you will find the Titanic Studios, which house the sound stages containing nearly all of the interior sets of Game of Thrones, including the Red Keep, the Iron Throne, and the Great Sept of Baelor.
Meanwhile, when it comes to real world locations, a few miles from Belfast you can visit the set of Castle Black, which was built in an abandoned quarry. Also, since the very first episode of GoT, County Down has served as home to Winterfell, the citadel of House Stark.
Other notable Game of Thrones locations in Northern Ireland are the Dark Hedges, County Antrim, Mussenden Temple, and Ballintoy Harbour.
I loved my time in Iceland and it’s easy to see why the fantastic and other-wordly landscape would suit Game of Thrones. Since the second season, Game of Thrones has ventured to the expansive frozen landscapes in Iceland to capture the lands that lie beyond the wall. Exotic Icelandic locations have been used to portray many of the most important locations of this frozen wasteland leaving viewers in awe at their sheer beauty.
The Svínafellsjökull Glacier has doubled as Fist of the First Men where the dragonglass that can defeat the white walkers is first discovered, while the gorgeous black sand beaches in Vik doubled last season as Eastwatch-by-the-Sea. Most importantly perhaps, in Grjótagjá you will find the cave where Jon and Ygritte sneak off to make some sweet, sweet love.
Not all locations are related to beyond the wall, as Þingvellir also serves as the narrow pathway leading to the Bloody gate of the Eyrie. Other notable locations include the lava fields of Dimmuborgir, Lake Myvatn, Höfðabrekka, the Vatnajökull glacier, and the lava field near the town of Húsavik.
Ever since the second season, Dubrovnik’s old city has been the new location for King’s Landing. Within its maze of terracotta roofed houses and stoned cathedrals, you will recognize many familiar settings from the show, including the Mineeta Tower, the Lovrijenac Fortress, St Dominika Street and the beautiful Trsteno Arboretum, where most garden scenes take place.
Only 600m off the coast of Dubrovnik you will find Lokrum Island, a fascinating isle dating back to 1023 and the filming location for the ancient city of Qarth, where Daenerys famously loses her dragons.
Meanwhile, in Split you will find Klis Fortress, where Daenerys arrives to overthrow the masters of Meereen and crucify them along the paths. The over 1700 year old Diocletian’s Palace serves as Daenarys’ throne room.
Ever since the fifth season, Game of Thrones has included Spain into its vast filming locations. From the medieval city of Girona doubling as parts of King’s Landing and Bravos, to the Trujillo castle in Cáceres, to the Roman ruins of Italica and the Plaza de Torres in Seville, which was used as the Meereen fighting pit, Spain allowed GoT to expand their universe greatly.
In Guadalajara at the Castillo de Zafra you will find the hugely important Tower of Joy, where we learn the truth about Jon Snow’s lineage. Other top Game of Thrones locations in Spain include Barcelona, Cordoba, Valencia, Bardenas Reales, Alhamila mountains, and Andalusia.