The world is a stage: fly to real GoT cities
It’s not a secret that the Game of Thrones TV series is one of the largest productions in television history, with each season filming on-location in multiple countries simultaneously. Being huge GoT fan, have you ever dreamed flying to Winterfell, Dorne, Mereen, Astapore or Yunkai? We say… Dracaris! And some spoilers ahead.
The capital of Seven Kingdoms (now de jure ruled by Lannister’s but de facto managed by Sparrow), a sad place of never-ending deaths and failed reigns, was filmed in Dubrovnik (Croatia) through second to fourth season. The city’s walls served as the backdrop for season two’s Battle of the Blackwater, where Stannis Baratheon was defeated by the wild fire. A small bay by the stone walls of Dubrovnik is also reminiscent of place where Cersei saw her dead daughter Myrcella, and where Sansa Stark was dreaming of her escape under Baelish supervision. We said it’s a sad place - Belvedere Hotel in Dubrovnik is also a place where Tyrion Lannister’s trial for the murder of King Joffrey culminated in a fight to the death between Oberyn Martell and Gregor “The Mountain” Clegane.
Flying to King’s Landing is easy – choose EasyJet, Norwegian or Monarch direct flights and you’ll be there just in two hours off London. By the way, special Game of Thrones tours are now extremely popular in Dubrovnik.
The home Keeper of the North, Starks place, which was rigorously taken back from Bolton’s bastard in the last episode, was filmed at the Stangford Castle Ward in Scotland. The castle towers and stable yard are the real-world counterparts of Winterfell. Much of the castle’s stonework remains from a reconstruction in the 14th century after the Scottish Wars of Independence. The exterior of Winterfell comes from Doune Castle, also found in Scotland. The Doune Castle was used for a great feast held when King Robert Baratheon and his party arrived.
If you decide to travel to Winterfell, first take a flight to Glasgow with Ryanair or EasyJet and then take a car to visit the Ward and Doune Castles.
Dorne is the southernmost place of the Seven Kingdoms in the series, and is the hottest and most exotic, famous for its excellent wine and licentious natives. Built across centuries by a succession of monarchs, both Muslim and Christian, the palace Los Reales Alcazares of Seville (Spain) served as a location for the Royal Palace of Dorne. The glimpse of Los Reales Alcazares was shown in season 5, when Prince Doran of Martell was talking to Ellaria Sand about his late brother, Oberyn. Doran was sitting on a terrace in his Water Gardens palace, near the Dornish capital of Sunspear, watching his son Trystane play with his betrothed Myrcella, who dies later after Ellaria's poisonous kiss. The staging of the Alcazar in Seville for the Game of Thrones is a truly spectacular attempt to use this World Heritage site and showcase the splendors of this magnificent palace and complex.
Once you decide to visit the nest of Sand and Martell families, take Ryanair, Vuelling or easyJet flight to Seville.
Meereen is the largest of the three great Slaver Cities of Slaver's Bay. Meereen was historically ruled by the Great Masters, the heads of Meereen's slaving families and its wealthiest of citizens lived in stepped pyramids - until Daenerys came in and abolished slavery within the city. A resistance movement against Daenerys's rule called the Sons of the Harpy to rise. When a particular attack ends with the murder of Ser Barristan Selmy and the near-death of Grey Worm, Sons of the Harpy performed a planned assault on Daenerys at the Daznak fighting pit - but her dragon Drogon descends, burning and killing several of the Sons. The Sons of Harpy retaliate by hurling spears at Drogon. To save Drogon, Dany climbs onto his back and they fly away. The disappearance of Daenerys has led to a breakdown of Meereen's society and economy. In the last episode, Daenerys returns with Dothrakies, defends the city from the Great Masters of other Slaver Cities eager to take over Meereen and return slavery practice.
For visiting Meereen get back to Croatia - Split fortress in particular, and the Daznak pit takes us back to Spain - Osuna city with an actual bullring over 100 years old. Meereen's fellow slave cities of Astapor and Yunkai were represented not far away from Spain in Morocco.
Beyond the Wall
The northernmost area of Westeros, that cover the lands north of the Wall, is primarily wild, untamed and uncharted. To capture the hauntingly isolated world beyond the Wall, GoT makers chose the Svínafellsjökull glacier tongue, which extends from the massive Vatnajökull glacier, the largest in Iceland. The icy crater of the Hverfjall volcano has made several appearances in the show, with many other Iceland backdrops used for the scenes with the White Walkers. Take to the road east of Reykjavik, past the bluish ice and distant mountaintops, and you may well start to believe in giants and White Walkers yourself. By the way, Grjótagjá is not only a small lava cave near Lake Mývatn in north-east Iceland but also Jon and Ygritte's love nest.
This is your chance to visit the "Land beyond the Wall" and travel to Iceland. By the way, the capital of Iceland Reykjavik was also listed in our 10 best destinations this summer.