Every few years, there comes a show that’s set to be forever remembered in the annals of television history. Game of Thrones is one such title which, Rolling Stone states, is among the greatest TV shows of all time.
In fact, we shared in the post ‘Catch Up on Game of Thrones’ how the global adoration for the phenomenon prompted Tourism Ireland to create their very own giant medieval tapestry project. It then culminated in an exhibit in Belfast’s Ulster Museum. As original and creative as the program is though, it’s just one way for organizations and companies to try to tap into the massive fanbase that GoT has accumulated.
Among other common projects, it’s become commonplace to see toy makers and artisans creating action figures and miniature versions of the show’s characters. While game developers have released Game of Thrones mobile games and other PC titles in order to draw fans in, who are looking for their next GoT fix. But undeniably, the greatest impact of the show’s popularity is seen in the places featured in the series.
Today, most – or perhaps all – of the countries where the show has been filmed are seeing an influx of GoT fans and regular tourists who want to get a glimpse of the real world counterparts showcased in the series. There are dozens of these wonderful locations, but here are 5 of the most popular.
Dubrovnik, Croatia (AKA King’s Landing)
As the seat of power in Westeros, King’s Landing is featured as majestic and modern (relative to the show’s time period). The coastal city of Dubrovnik embodies such qualities and it still retains a medieval vibe, which made it the perfect stand-in for the fictional Westeros capital.
Due to its cultural significance, Dubrovnik was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site almost 40 years ago, hence, it’s one of the top tourist spots in the Mediterranean region. You have to plan your visit though because Elle relayed that the city now limits its tourists to 4,000 per day to preserve the quality of the location as it has become overcrowded with travelers in recent years – a direct result of GoT’s popularity.
Alcazar of Seville, Spain (AKA Sunspear)
Another UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Alcazar of Seville is the oldest inhabited royal palace in Europe, and it was chosen as the home of the Martells in GoT. Built sometime in the 8th century and expanded multiple times throughout generations, Seville Traveller specified that the complex showcases a combination of various architectural styles.
The palace features intricate detailing on its walls, arches, pillars, floors, and ceilings. One of the highlights is the Ambassador Hall with its exquisitely designed cupola.
Castle Ward, Northern Ireland (AKA Winterfell)
Castle Ward is an 18th century estate managed by the National Trust. It has been the setting for many scenes in GoT, most notably its farmyard which served as Winterfell – a familiar place for viewers considering it was the place where everything began.
Castle Ward even has a customized tour for visitors which takes you through 20 filming spots within the 1,000-acre property. Moreover, it has become so well-known that Northern Ireland now holds an annual Winterfell Festival in the complex.
Dark Hedges, Northern Ireland (AKA Kingsroad)
The Dark Hedges is another Northern Ireland hotspot which gained popularity due to it being one of the most famous thoroughfares in GoT: Kingsroad. Lined with beech trees with branches arched from both sides, it is scenic enough that no digital enhancement of any kind was necessary when it was used for the show.
Grjótagjá Cave, Iceland (AKA Ygritte and Jon Snow’s Love Nest)
Although Iceland filled in for numerous locations ‘Beyond the Wall’ none is more significant than the cave where Jon Snow and his wildling love interest Ygritte professed their love for each other.
Grjótagjá Cave is the result of a fissure, with a natural hot spring as a by-product due to subterranean volcanic activity. Slate claims that it’s even more stunning in person and you can bathe in the waters.
Have you been to one of the destinations above or even another GoT filming spot? Share your experiences in the comments section below.
Image Licenses - Dubrovnik, Dark Hedges, Grjótagjá Cave