Westeros in real life: The Game of Thrones filming locations

Based on the best-selling book series A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin, the TV-series Game of Thrones is a huge success. Fans seeking a more immersive experience in the world of Westeros now have another option: "Game of Thrones" tourism. From Iceland to Malta and Croatia to Morocco, we check out the "Game of Thrones" filming locations.

Hint: Open a new tab showing Google Maps next to this page. Copy/paste the given Lat/Long coordinates in Google map's searchbox to see the Game of Thrones locations on a map.

game of thrones filming in Iceland
The crew filming in Iceland

Dragonstone

Lat/Long coordinates 55.167801, -6.815096

Daenerys Stormborn's birthouse is located on an island at the entrance of Blackwater Bay in Westeros. In reality the location was filmed at Downhill Strand in County Derry, Ireland. An impressive seven miles long, it’s one of the longest beaches in Northern Ireland and it located between the villages Downhill and Mussenden Temple.

dragonstone game of thrones
Downhill Strand

Stairs to Dragonstone
Lat/Long coordinates 43.445637, -2.784249
In the series you see Daenerys climb the 241 steps leading to the castle. These steps are not located in Ireland, but in Spain! The steep and twisting staircase can be found in San Juan de Gaztelugatxe leading to the peak of an islet, located in Spain’s Basque Country.

dragonstone game of thrones
San Juan de Gaztelugatxe

dragonstone game of thrones
San Juan de Gaztelugatxe

King’s Landing: Croatia and Malta

The medieval towns along Croatia's Adriatic coast, with their historic walls and a red-tiles roofs, were often used as the backdrop to the scenes in the South of Westeros.

King's Landing
Lat/Long coordinates 42.639752,18.110189

King's Landing, the kingdom's capital city and home of the Iron Throne, has been filmed in the Croatian city of Dubrovnik, a fitting choice with its seaside locale and imposing walls. Dubrovnik also doubled as the location of Qarth, an ancient port city featured in the second season of "Game of Thrones."

king’s landing dubrovnik

The Red Keep
Lat/Long coordinates 35.896447,14.446442

Before it found its seaside home in Dubrovnik, King's Landing was originally shot on the island of Malta. It's well-preserved capital, Mdina, was used as the the capital of Westeros throughout the series' first season. Being an inland city, this posed a slight problem for film crews, who were forced to stick to the city's winding interior streets as King’s Landing is a seaside town. When it came time to film the Red Keep, King's Landing's royal residence, HBO used real buildings within Malta's capital, including San Anton Palace, the residence of Malta's president.

red keep san Anton palace

Azure Window
Lat/Long coordinates 36.053601,14.188242

Malta's Azure Window, located on the island of Gozo, was also featured in the series as the setting for the wedding between Danaerys Targaryan and Khal Drogo.

 wedding  Danaerys Targaryan and Khal Drogo azure window malta

Essos: Morocco

In the third season, Daenerys Targaryen, the exiled daughter of the targaryen dynasty, travels throughout the world of Essos in search of an army. Most of these scenes were filmed in Morocco, from the historic city of Ait Benhaddou, which served as the setting for Yunkai, to Essaouira, which became the slave-trading city of Astapor. Both towns are listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Yunkai
Lat/Long coordinates 31.046642,-7.129532

Astapor
Lat/Long coordinates 31.50974,-9.774249

Yunkai
Ait Benhaddou aka Yunkai

The North and other forest locations: Northern Ireland

Much of the series filming took place on a soundstage in Titanic Studios in Belfast, but the production also ventured outside to recreate some of Westeros' sweeping vistas. The Stark's castle at Winterfell was shot at Castle Ward, an 18th-century fortified property located near the village of Strangford. In the first season, the entrance to Vaes Dothrak, the only permanent city of the Dothraki people, was filmed at Sandy Brae in the Mourne Mountains.

Winterfell
Lat/Long coordinates 54.368321,-5.581312

Vaes Dothrak
Lat/Long coordinates 54.16776,-6.096125

castle ward winterfell
Castle Ward

Beyond the Wall: Iceland

On the Wall, the men of the Night's Watch protect Westeros' northern border against marauding Wildlings and White Walkers, frozen zombie-like figures that come riding resurrected horses, mammoths or ice-spiders. To create a cold, barren world capable of housing such supernatural creatures, HBO shot many of these scenes in Iceland.

Beyond the wall
Lat/Long coordinates 64.265473,-21.094093

Shooting for the fourth season in the Thingvellir National Park. The show’s production company had to request a special permit in order to film in the park, which includes Iceland’s largest natural lake, rare geological wonders and scenic mountain ranges.

Thingvellir National Park game of thrones
Thingvellir National Park

North Iceland is where the “beyond the wall” scenes are filmed. One of the biggest highlights of the area is Goðafoss, one of the most spectacular waterfalls in Iceland. The water from the Skjálfandafljót river falls from a height of 12 meters over a width of 30 meters.

iceland game of thrones
Goðafoss

In addition, we also feature a large world map of Westeros and Essos. Clik the map to enlarge.

game of thrones map

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location, europe, movie