5 Trips to Take If You're Having 'Game of Thrones' Withdrawals
Still reeling from the season finale weeks later? Get your GoT fix until the show returns with these can't-miss trips and tours.
After an intense season finale, Game of Thrones fans are settling in for the long wait until the show returns for its eighth (and final) season. Already wondering what you’ll do without your weekly dose of Westeros? Yeah, me too. Besides the obvious solutions of rewatching the entire series and rereading all of the books, there are several places you can visit to immerse yourself in the world of ice and fire until the season eight premiere. Check out these five must-take trips for Game of Thrones fans.
Game of Thrones: The Touring Exhibition
This fall, HBO and event management company GES are teaming up to launch a touring Game of Thrones exhibit featuring props, costumes, set decorations and more from the show. The 10,000-square-foot interactive experience will feature exhibition spaces inspired by the wintry landscapes of the North and the regal settings of King’s Landing, among others, with the iconic Iron Throne Room as the centerpiece. The tour will kick off Oct. 28, 2017, at the historic Museu Marítim in Barcelona, Spain. Tickets are on sale now at gameofthronesexhibition.com; watch the video below for a sneak peek at what you can look forward to.
Con of Thrones
For a weekend of nonstop Game of Thrones-inspired fun, head to Con of Thrones. Held for the first time ever this July in Nashville, the event brings fans together for panels, discussions, games, cosplay contests, autograph sessions and more. A few notable guests from this year’s convention included Iwan Rheon (the actor who portrayed Ramsay Bolton), David J. Peterson (the creator of the Dothraki and Valyrian languages) and Paula Fairfield (the sound designer behind those formidable dragon screams). Con of Thrones will return in 2018, this time taking place at the Hyatt Regency Dallas. Tickets go on sale Sept. 25; visit the official website for more information.
Northern Ireland Winterfell Locations Trek
If you want to see some of the real filming locations featured in the show, you can’t go wrong with a trip to Northern Ireland. Many places in Westeros, including Winterfell, Castle Black and Dragonstone, have been filmed in various spots across the country.
Starting from either Dublin or Belfast, you can take a coach tour to the historic Castle Ward Estate, home to nine GoT filming locations including a 16th-century castle and stable yard that served as the location for most of the Winterfell exteriors. The tour also visits Tollymore Forest Park, where the Stark family finds their direwolf pups in the very first episode, and Inch Abbey, where Robb Stark is proclaimed “the King in the North.”
King’s Landing Walking Tour
With its distinctive red roofs and ancient stone walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia, is instantly recognizable as the setting for King’s Landing. Visit this seaside city and take a Game of Thrones-inspired walking tour to see the exterior locations for the Red Keep, the Sept of Baelor, Littlefinger’s brothel and more. You’ll also get a look at Lokrum Island, where scenes set in the Essos city of Qarth were filmed.
Reykjavik Filming Locations Tour
Many of the snowy landscapes beyond the Wall have been filmed in scenic Iceland. Starting from the capital city of Reykjavik, you can see some of these spots on a six-hour coach tour. Start at Thingvellir National Park, where many White Walker scenes have been shot, and end at Thjorsardalur Valley, where wildlings raided a small farming village.
Welcome to King's Landing!
King’s Landing, or as it’s known in real life, Dubrovnik, a Croatian city nested on the shore of the Adriatic Sea. Durbovnik’s stone walls, dramatic cliffs and amazing views make it the perfect seat for the king(s) of Westeros.
Duncan Muggoch, line producer for scenes shot in Spain and Croatia, says it is sometimes hard to film around tourists in Dubrovnik. Sherpas were used to help the production crew haul equipment through the narrow and often steep streets to specific locations throughout the city. Fans will see Croatia in the first few episodes of the fifth season. A soup kitchen scene with Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) visiting High Sparrow (Jonathan Pryce) was filmed in Dubrovnik.
The Alcazar, Seville, Spain
In Seville, the upper levels of the Alcazar are home to the royal family, but the palatial estate’s lush gardens are transformed into the Water Gardens of Dorne in the Game of Thrones’ fourth and fifth seasons. The Alcazar’s staircases are so narrow that the production crew had to use cranes to transport equipment up to a few of the palace’s balconies. More than 8,000 visitors converge on the Alcazar each day, making it one of the most-visited attractions in Seville.
Plaza de Toros, Osuna, Spain
Located in southern Spain, the Plaza de Toros is an old bullring and national monument that was transformed into a gladiator arena for a scene in the fifth season of Game of Thrones. Producers picked the popular attraction because the arena’s stone structure is similar to those found in Croatia, another place where scenes were filmed for the medieval-era drama.
Magheramorne Quarry, County Antrim, Northern Ireland
While 1 crew was shooting scenes in Spain and Croatia, a second production crew filmed scenes at the quarry in Magheramorne, which is located on the shores of Loch Larne. This small town of 75 residents was transformed into a fishing village called Hardhome. In previous Game of Thrones episodes, the location was also used to film scenes of Castle Black (first season) and the Battle of Blackwater (second season).
Mourne Mountains, Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland’s Mourne Mountains provided the scenery for Dany’s entrance into the Dothraki holy land. Of course, the Dothraki fighting horse statues are missing, so you’ll just have to imagine the iconic gate when you visit these breathtaking mountains.
Doune Castle, Scotland
The Lord's Tower and East Wall of Doune Castle in Scotland should look familiar to Game of Thrones fans. Poor little Bran fell (was pushed) out one of its windows in the first season, when he saw something he shouldn’t have. Originally built in the 13th century, Doune Castle features a nature walk through the grounds for visitors.
The Dark Hedges, Northern Ireland
The Dark Hedges in Northern Ireland have played a major role in the Game of Thrones story, serving as the setting for the Kingsroad. But the area that surrounds the Dark Hedges should be a must-see for any fan, since it has been used to film Winterfell, Castle Black and the Stark family war encampment.
Downhill Beach and Mussenden Temple, Northern Ireland
If you happen to be rooting for Stannis Baratheon, Downhill Beach and Mussenden Temple in Northern Ireland are your spots. Serving as the backdrop for Dragonstone Castle and Blackwater Bay, Downhill Beach was where Melisandre burned the old gods, issuing a new religion for Stannis’ followers.
This historic bastion in Essaouira, Morocco, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It also happens to have played the part of Astapor, the slave-trading city where Daenerys freed the Unsullied, including everyone’s favorite: Grey Worm.
Ouarzazate, a town in Morocco, is famous for the Atlas Film Corporation Studios, open to tourists for tours of the many sets left from movies like Babel and Kingdom of Heaven. Sets at this Morrocco studio stood in for the Free City of Pentos, and also served as the venue for Dany and Khal Drogo’s memorable wedding.
Skaftafell National Park, Iceland
Skaftafell National Park in Iceland was the setting of Jon Snow and Ygritte’s love story, from Jon Snow and Qhorin Halfhand’s sneak attack on the Wildlings to the near beheading of our favorite red-head. The park is open year round for GoT devotees or visitors just looking for a glacier hike.