What’s a better way to celebrate the eighth season of Game of Thrones *finally* releasing than by planning a trip to see some GoT locations in real life? The series has been filmed all across Europe, but primarily in Ireland, Iceland, Spain and Croatia. (All incredible places to visit in their own right, btw.)
Whether you’re an avid GoT fan or if you’ve only seen one episode three years ago, these incredible castles, fortresses and filming scenes across Europe are stunning must-sees for pretty much everyone.
1. King’s Landing.
You’ll recognize the iconic capital city of the Seven Kingdoms in real life as Dubrovnik, Croatia. Dubrovnik is one of Croatia’s most beautiful cities, and while it’s not the only place in Croatia where some epic Game of Thrones scenes were filmed, it’s definitely one of the most famous. No Game of Thrones tour is complete with a stop here, especially for walking the city walls and checking out the Western Harbor.
The islet of San Juan de Gaztelugatxe used to be pretty undiscovered, but it’s gotten a lot more attention in recent years after it’s cameo as Dragonstone on GoT. It’s not the only famous landmark in Spain, though. Seville, a super beautiful and historic city in Spain, is filled with castles, palaces and plazas that have made cameos on the show.
3. Belfast, Ireland.
Ok, so Belfast is pretty much the home base for all things Game of Thrones filming-wise. Many of the sets and indoor scenes were filmed here, as well as tons of the outdoor stuff. Die-hard GoT fans, Belfast is your place to see everything from the Forest in the North (Northern Ireland Tollymore Forest Park) to Iron Island (Murlough Bay) to the Kingsroad (The Dark Hedges). You might find the whole city looking a little bit familiar.
“The mountain that looks like an arrowhead” aka the birthplace of the White Walkers is actually the Icelandic mountain Kirkjufell. The town surrounding Kirkjufell is pretty tiny, but it’s worth a visit because it’s totally stunning. In fact, it’s been named one of the top 10 most beautiful mountains in the world!
5. The Royal Palace of Dorne.
Remember Seville? Here’s another castle that’s even more beautiful in real life. The Royal Alcazar of Seville is a must-visit. Channel your inner royalty and enjoy exploring the royal palace grounds of the Dornish royal family.
It makes sense that this giant castle in the northernmost province in GoT would be filmed (at least partially) at another huge castle in Northern Europe—Doune Castle in Scotland. Bonus: Doune Castle is open to visitors, so you can explore banquet rooms, castle courtyards and more.
7. North of the Wall.
Get off the grid a bit with a trip to an actual glacier which set the scene as the filming location for pretty much anything north of the wall. Vatnajolull Glacier is one of the largest in Iceland. If you’re not sure you’re ready to head there by yourself, there’s plenty of tours you can take and even go glacier hiking! Or check out Þingvellir, a national park just 25 miles from Reykjavik, which also makes a cameo in GoT. (Recognize it?)
Dying to see more castles throughout Europe?
You might be surprised to learn that Wales, England has hundreds of castles. It’s the perfect place for a castle tour! Of course, Germany, France and the Czech Republic are also famous for their castles. Wherever you’re hoping to go, SAS is a classy way to travel to and throughout Europe on a student budget.
Ready for your trip to Westeros, er, um—Europe? We’ve got cheap flights for you so you can get there as soon as you’re finished watching who takes the throne.