Game of Thrones’s Westeros is, yes, a fictional kingdom. But the filming locations are very much real—and often only a plane ride away. Want to see the walls of King‘s Landing? The ravines of the Vale? The rugged coastline of Dragonstone? It’s all in the realm of possibility.
So, this summer, add these five fabulous real-life locations to your travel list.
Dubrovnik’s Old City, a UNESCO World Heritage site, stands in for Kings Landing on the show. Pace the medieval walls like Tyrion or Varys, gaze upon Fort Lovrijenac (which overlooks the fictional Blackwater Bay), or, if you dare, take the shame-stairs of Cersei Lannister (bell-ringing septa not included).
But prepare for crowds: Dubrovnik has seen an explosive growth in tourism over the past few years thanks to the show's exposure. So explosive, in fact, it’s taking steps to limit visitors.
See Vogue’s full Game of Thrones inspired guide to Dubrovnik here.
The tiny Nordic nation is the backdrop for multiple locations in Westeros. Vast glaciers, like Sn?fellsj?kull and Svínafellsj?ku, double as the desolate winter world north of the wall. The actual rock sculpture of Kirkjufell is the stand-in for “mountain shaped like an arrowhead," a landmark frequently touted in the series.
Meanwhile, the craggy, moss-covered canyons of Hengill and Thingvellir National Park acted as the mountainous, cloud-covered lands of the Vale.
This rocky island off the coast of Borneo, Spain, is the real-life setting for Dragonstone. Although the Targaryen’s ancestral castle is a result of some serious CGI, the treacherous and winding staircase actually does exist.
Like Dubronik, Gaztelugatxe has also seen a massive influx in foot traffic. In 2017, El Pais reported that 75,000 tourists visited in July alone, and information requests about the site were up 21 percent from the year before.
With over 25 filming sites, including the Titanic Studios soundstage in Belfast, Northern Ireland is the unofficial “Home of Thrones.”
One of the most well-known is Castle Ward, a.k.a. the Stark compound of Winterfell. This historical property, which is part of the National Trust, offers guided theme tours, archery classes and, last year, held a “Winterfell Festival” in September.
Belfast also has its fair share of experiences for set-jetters. This week, an official Game of Thrones exhibit, which includes costumes, interior sets, and the Iron Throne itself, opens at TEC Belfast. Then there’s a 253 foot linen tapestry embroidered with every episode and every season of the show (dragons are the hardest to depict).
The Alcázar of Seville is the stand-in for Sunspear, the sun-kissed Dornish home of the House Martell and the Sand Snakes. Even if you aren’t a fan of the HBO show, the palace’s Mudéjar architecture and surrounding gardens are a stunning sight to behold.