Command your army of unsullied as a Khaleesi, brutally crush the skull of a Dornish prince, get slapped by a dwarf – the land of HBO’s Game Of Thrones is waiting for you in Europe! I never thought that I would be in the exact spot where Tyrion slapped the Hodor out of Joffery for unjustly killing some peasants in season two, but there I was in Dubrovnik where it was filmed. With the following five places you too can get slapped in the face exploring Westeros and Essos. SPOILER ALERT!
Dubrovnik, for King’s Landing and more!
Dubrovnik is located on the most southern part of Croatia’s coast, and is known for its old lanes and dust red rooftops – the perfect location for filming King’s Landing. Dubrovnik’s old town was used for filming scene of the House of the Undying in Qarth – a man-witch dungeon, where Daenerys Targaryen saw a weird vision and burned all the old mystical men alive with dragon fire in the blazing violence we all love. This is a must for Thrones’ fans of any level since this is where the Joffrey slap, the Red Viper vs the Mountain, the Battle of Blackwater Bay, and much more were filmed, not to mention at the very least the “SHAME! SHAME! ” scene as well.
Split, for Meereen
Know that throne room where Daenerys sits, and every time a guest arrives she has to say her whole damn name? That throne room sits in Split, where an ancient palace was built one thousand seven-hundred years ago by Roman emperor Diocletian. As you walk through the winding little laneways of old town you’ll notice the streets look familiar; this is where the slaves rose against their masters in Meereen, that sandy city with the big pyramid on Essos. These streets were used for scenes including the attempted assassination of unsullied leader Grey Worm, and the dungeon where Daenerys chained her dragons under the great pyramid. That infamous scene where a great master of Meereen was relentlessly stabbed by a hundred slaves was also filmed in the stone-laid lanes.
Seville, for Sunspear
Have you ever noticed that the family from House of Martell has sunkissed skin and are sort of feisty? Must be because they film most of the scenes of Sunspear in Seville, at the Alcázar. The Alcázar of Seville is considered one of the most beautiful palaces in Spain, showing off beautiful Moorish architecture. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, think back to the first episode of season six. Prince Doran was just chilling in his wheelchair, having a chat with his sister-in-law Ellaria, widow of Oberyn Martell, chatting about how good Doran is as leader… then BAM! She stabs him out of nowhere just as she was giving him some praise. Ah, nothing like backstabbing your own family! Best not to reenact this one, friends.
HOW TO GET THERE? Seville is one of the stops on our Iberian Adventure tour that goes to Spain, Portugal and Morocco.
Girona, for Braavos
Arya Stark, all alone in the world, most of her family murdered, the girl with no name; such a sad story, right? Even sadder when she went blind failing the trials of the Many-Faced God and shunned by her mentor in Braavos across the Narrow Sea. Forced to the streets of Braavos she was tormented and beaten up by another trainee called the Waif, but eventually Arya traps her and cuts her face off. This crazy part of the series was filmed in Girona. The northern Catalonian city is seen as the smaller brother of Barcelona but is a place of wonder for its colourful houses upon the river and its narrow medieval streets used as the streets of Braavos. Only about over an hour train out from Barcelona.
HOW TO GET THERE? Girona can be easily accessed from Barcelona, one of the 46 stops on our Hop-on Hop-off network.
Aït Benhaddou, for Yunkai
Alright I know, Morocco isn’t in Europe, but then again Essos isn’t Westeros either – think of this as a bonus stop. If you don’t remember Yunkai in the Game of Thrones world, don’t worry, it’s one of the first slaver cities that the great Khaleesi freed from the slave masters in season three – breaker of chains! When she arrived she managed to get one of the generals of the Second Sons mercenary group to kill his own soldier friends and help her take over the city. Think red sand walls and right-angled geometric houses cascading upon hot rocky hills in the desert, that’s Aït Benhaddou for you. This amazing city of mud and clay was built to be a fortress of impenetrable defence, but not from Daenerys!
HOW TO GET THERE? Aït Benhaddou can be visited on our Morocco Highlights tour.
Ready to create your own adventure? Check the website for more details!