HBO's Game of Thrones is arguably one of the most memorable and epic TV series of all time. Its intricate plot, mesmerizing action, and stunning scenery make it easy to understand why it has garnered so many fans. While a lot of the places and scenery are achieved with sets or CGI, there are an equal number of locations that use actual sites. You can visit some of these locations that make you feel like you're in the world of Westeros.
Where Was Game of Thrones Filmed?
While scenes were filmed in Ireland, Croatia, and Iceland, Spain also had a large share of the spotlight, especially when filming the Kingdom of Dorne. Recently while planning a trip, I found several sites that every GoT and House of the Dragon fan should add to their tour itineraries.
Located in the south of Spain, Seville is a picturesque city filled with history and various architecture from various civilizations that once called the city home. These include Roman, Moorish, and Spanish. As a result, some of the places made ideal backdrops to bring Game of Thrones to life.
1. Alcázar of Seville
The Alcázar of Seville is a UNESCO World Heritage site. This stunning palace complex blends Mudejar, Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque architecture. As you explore its intricate courtyards and lush gardens, you'll be transported back to the eras that shaped Seville. This is where Game of Thrones fans can imagine themselves wandering the exotic halls and gardens of the Kingdom of Dorne or putting themselves in the shoes of Pedro Pascal, who played Prince Oberyn Martell.
Located on the outskirts of Seville, Italica is an ancient Roman city with a fascinating history dating back to 206 BC. Its well-preserved ruins were the backdrop for some iconic scenes in Game of Thrones. Notably, Italica was transformed into the city of Dragonstone, the ancestral seat of House Targaryen. The arena and intricate architecture of Italica lent an authentic and dramatic atmosphere to the series, making it a memorable location for fans of both history and fantasy.
3. The Seville Shipyard
Also known as the Real Atarazanas, it has a rich history dating back to the 13th century. Originally constructed as a royal medieval shipyard, it played a crucial role in the maritime history of Spain. Over the centuries, it witnessed the construction of numerous vessels that contributed to Spain's naval power during the Age of Exploration. In a fascinating twist of fate, this historical gem became entwined with the world of fantasy as it served as a prominent filming location for Game of Thrones. The shipyard's medieval architecture and timeless aura made it a perfect choice to portray the Red Keep Crypts.
4. The Osuna Bullring
This magnificent structure, located in the heart of the picturesque town of Osuna in the province of Seville, has a history that dates back to the 19th century. With its grand architecture and distinctive circular design, this historical bullring has long been a prominent cultural and entertainment venue in the region, hosting bullfighting events and other festivities. However, it gained international fame when selected as a filming location for Game of Thrones. The Osuna Bullring was transformed into the Pit of Daznak in Meereen in the series. In this iconic arena, pivotal scenes unfolded, including Daenerys Targaryen's dramatic escape on the back of a dragon.
5. Roman Bridge of Córdoba
This bridge dates back to the 1st century BC and is a remarkable testament to Roman engineering and architecture. Originally constructed as a vital river crossing on the Via Augusta, it has gracefully spanned the Guadalquivir River for centuries. During season five of Game of Thrones, it was the Long Bridge in Volantis. The bridge is located about an hour outside of Seville.
6. Castillo Almodovar Del Rio
Castillo Almodóvar del Río, a stunning fortress perched atop a hill near the town of Almodóvar del Río in Andalusia, Spain, is a captivating historical landmark. Originating from the 8th century, it's a vivid testament to the region's Moorish heritage. Its formidable walls and towers offer breathtaking views of the countryside and the Guadalquivir River. You may recognize it from Game of Thrones season seven, as some scenes represent Highgarden.
Barcelona, the vibrant capital of Catalonia on Spain's east coast, is renowned for its rich artistic and architectural heritage. There are so many things to see and do in Barcelona that it warrants a more extended trip than just a few days. Game of Thrones fans need to add the following locations to their itinerary.
Girona is located about an hour north of Barcelona, requiring an entire day to explore the many Game of Thrones location scenes filmed here. The Girona Cathedral starred as the Sept of Baelor while the rest of the city masqueraded as different parts of Braavos where Arya Stark spends much of her time attempting to become a Faceless Man. This includes Bishop José Cartañà Street as the streets of Braavos and Ferran el Catòlic Street, which stands for Braavos Port Market. The Braavos Baths were, in fact, The Arab Baths, and Plaça dels Jurats was where Arya watched and followed a member of the acting crew performing a play.
8. Castell de Santa Florentina
The Castle of Santa Florentina, an 11th-century medieval marvel located in Canet de Mar—about an hour by train north from Barcelona on the coast of Spain—holds a rich history that dates back to its construction on the foundations of an Ancient Roman villa by Guadimir de Canet. Beyond its historical significance, this majestic castle also gained fame as the setting for Horn Hill, the esteemed seat of House Tarly, in season six of the popular TV series.
The Basque Country, nestled in the northern region of Spain and southwestern France, is renowned for its unique cultural identity, distinct language, Euskara, and a rich history of traditions. Its picturesque landscapes, including rugged coastlines and lush green mountains, made it the perfect destination for several Game of Thrones locations.
Perched atop an island is an ancient hermitage known as Juan de Gaztelugatxe, and it has a remarkable history dating back to the 10th century. Visitors must ascend 241 winding stone steps from the Basque mainland to the windswept islet to reach this sacred site. Game of Thrones transformed this winding staircase into Dragonstone, the ancestral stronghold of the iconic Mother of Dragons, Daenerys Targaryen. As a result, tourists from around the world now flock to this spot, eager to experience the place where Daenerys makes her triumphant return to Westeros, her three mighty dragons soaring overhead.
10. Itzurun Beach
Located in the Basque Country of Spain, Itzurun Beach played a significant role in Game of Thrones as the setting for Dragonstone's shores. This stunning beach, with its dramatic rock formations and rugged coastline, provided the ideal backdrop for scenes involving the arrival of Daenerys Targaryen to Westeros. Itzurun Beach captured the essence of the show's epic fantasy world, with the waves crashing against the iconic Dragonstone cliffs.
11. Muriola Beach
Just to the west of Gaztelugatxe, this stunning beach served as the backdrop for scenes in season seven when Gold Cloaks attempt to stop Tyrion from leaving King's Landing.