The 10 Most Instagrammed Real-Life Game of Thrones Locations
By Emily Petsko
Croatia's tourism industry is booming, and Game of Thrones is largely to thank—or blame. The old town of Dubrovnik has received so many tourists since scenes from the TV show were shot there that local officials announced a plan in 2017 to limit the number of travelers who arrive via cruise ship each day.
The most Instagrammed Game of Thrones location isn’t in Dubrovnik, but it is in Croatia. Using hashtag data from Instagram, Buzz Bingo mapped out the film locations that are most popular among social media-savvy travelers. Of the 54 locations analyzed, here are the top 10.
1. Krka National Park, Croatia
Known for its stunning waterfalls and access to the Krka River, this park in southern Croatia is a tourist destination in its own right. Several Game of Thrones scenes were shot there, including the one where Arya Stark and The Hound cross the Riverlands in season 4, episode 3 ("Breaker of Chains").
2. Aït Benhaddou, Morocco
After a stop in Marrakech, visitors often take a day trip to this fortified 17th-century city and UNESCO World Heritage site. Game of Thrones fans probably know it better as Yunkai, a second slaving city that Daenerys Targaryen liberated.
3. Dark Hedges, Northern Ireland
This enchanting corridor of beech trees was planted in Ballymoney, Northern Ireland, in the 18th century. Of course, in the show, it’s the Kings Road. Rewatch season 2, episode 1 (“The North Remembers”) and you’ll see it.
4. Carrick-a-Rede, Northern Ireland
Travel a little further north from The Dark Hedges and you’ll reach the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge. In the show, this bridge connects the two towers of Pyke on the Iron Islands, and can be seen in the season 6 episode (warning: spoiler alert) where Balon Greyjoy meets a grisly end.
5. San Juan de Gaztelugatxe, Spain
This Spanish island served as the setting for Dragonstone Island, which can be seen in season 7. The name San Juan de Gaztelugatxe means “castle rock” in Basque.
6. Bardenas Reales, Spain
Daenerys and the Dothraki cross these plains on their way to The Narrow Sea. In reality, the Bardenas Reales is a desert region in southern Spain.
7. Vatnajökull, Iceland
For cooler climes, Game of Thrones location scouts turned to Vatnajökull, Iceland’s largest glacier. Using CGI, shots of the glacier were used to create The Wall in season 2 of the show.
8. Þingvellir National Park, Iceland
Another Icelandic location, this mountainous region near the real-life Hengill volcano serves as the backdrop for the duel between Brienne and The Hound.
9. Itálica, Spain
The ancient Roman city of Itálica, located in Spain near Seville, was founded in 206 BCE. The Dragonpit in season 7 of Game of Thrones was filmed here.
10. Doune Castle, Scotland
This 14th century courtyard castle was the first place used to depict Winterfell in Game of Thrones. The feast scene in the pilot episode was also shot here.