Everyone sets goals before they travel abroad. Some want to climb the Eiffel Tower and take loads of selfies, others want to wine and dine themselves across Tuscany. But maybe your goals are a little more specific? Like conquering the seven kingdoms and claiming the iron throne, perhaps?
Well, unless you have a legion of unsullied and a couple of dragons to back you up, crossing the Lannisters may not be the best idea at the moment. Fortunately, you can still take your time in Europe and North Africa to witness where all the action of HBO’s adaptation of George R. R. Martin’s story took place. If you’re as excited about House of the Dragon’s recent release as we are and want to take an immersive trip down memory lane, then check out this list of our favorite real-world Westeros destinations.
Just because we care, let this be your spoiler warning before you move on.
Astapor (Essaouira, Morocco)
The only location on this list not in Europe is the coastal Moroccan city of Essaouira, which served as the location for Astapor. Just in case the names of all these cities are mixed-up in your head, this is the city in Slaver’s Bay where Daenerys got her badass army of unsullied and killed the Good Masters.
Should you find yourself in this gorgeous city, you can follow the footsteps of the Mother of Dragons herself and walk along the old fortress walls, which just so happens to provide one of the most breathtaking sunsets in all of North Africa – perfect for enjoying a glass of Moroccan mint tea and planning your invasion of Westeros.
The Kingsroad (Northern Ireland, UK)
Whether you’re in the mood for a pleasant, relaxing stroll, or you’re trying to escape the Lannisters and sneak back to Winterfell, the Dark Hedges Road in Northern Ireland’s County Antrim is worth the while of any Game of Thrones fan. This moody, enchanting setting was one of the major filming locations along the Kingsroad in season 2 and was where a bulk of the scenes with Arya Stark and Sandor “The Hound” Clegane were filmed.
If you make the journey to Northern Ireland, this tiny country in the UK also provides the locations for Winterfell, the Sept, the Iron Islands, and more, and loads of companies run tours to all these places. In fact, you can even take the trek to Winterfell yourself, dress like a Stark for the day, and meet extras from the show on this tour that leaves from Dublin. A similar tour is offered by the same company that leaves from Belfast. Both experiences include stops at multiple filming locations, including the Giant’s Causeway, where your guides will use footage and VFX breakdowns to show how each scene was made on location.
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Dorne (Seville, Spain)
As a city already famous for its otherworldly beauty, Seville was a natural choice for the setting of the unconquerable kingdom of Dorne. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to hang out with Oberyn because of his little run-in with the Mountain a few years back, but that doesn’t make the location any less incredible. Be sure to stop at the Alcázar of Seville (skip the line with these tickets), one of the primary filming locations depecting Dorne. This is one of the only places on the list that didn’t have any enhancement or CGI work done during production, so you’ll feel like you’re being tossed right into the world’s favorite show. Just try not to bump into any of those sand snakes while you’re there.
Just like Dorne in Game of Thrones, Seville and its home region are famous for their delicious and robust wines. So, once you’re done sightseeing, a wine, tapas and flamenco tour could be the perfect way to end your afternoon.
RELATED: More Incredible Things to Do around Seville Spain
King’s Landing Gardens (Trsteno, Croatia)
Trsteno is a terrific place to enjoy the nice Croatian sea breeze, eavesdrop on Varys’ latest gossip, and plot how to take down the Starks (sorry, too soon?). Fans of the show will quickly recognize this stunning location as the King’s Landing gardens. The Trsteno Arboretum – now informally referred to as the Tyrell Garden – boasts some of the rarest plants from all over the world, a pristine view of the sea, and an opulent fountain fit for the protector of the realm.
After a morning of photoshoots and scheming with your friends, you also may want to head over to Split. In addition to being a bustling seaside city with some of Europe’s best nightlife, it was also one of the filming locations for Mareen – specifically the dungeon where Daenerys kept her dragons.
RELATED: 10 Things To Do in Dubrovnik Croatia: Medieval Wine Tasting and More
Kings Landing (Dubrovnik, Croatia)
This the crown-jewel of our list and is another amazing Croatian spot called Dubrovnik in real life, but you’d probably know it as Kings Landing. While the yachts docked outside the city might be a little out of character for your Game of Thrones tour, the medieval walls and quaint, narrow corridors will have you humming the Rains of Castamere all day long.
Littlefinger’s brothel, the staircase from Cersei’s infamous “walk of shame,” and the imposing Red Keep are all in walking distance of each other in Croatia’s tourism capital. So, get those amazing pictures early on and take the afternoon to relax and enjoy the rest of what this Mediterranean gem has to offer. Travel at your own pace with this private tour, which includes hotel pickup/dropoff, personalized attention and private airconditioned transportation.
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