13 Game of Thrones-Themed Tours You Can Take Around the World

Helen Sloan, HBO
Helen Sloan, HBO

If you lived in the world of Game of Thrones, chances are you'd be killed by either a dragon or a White Walker ... or maybe just by a plain old beheading. Luckily for all of you Thrones fans who are fond of being not-dead, plenty of travel companies offer guided tours that will let you feel like you’re inside the world of the HBO juggernaut, minus all the danger that the characters face.

Below are 13 great guided tours that you can take of Game of Thrones filming locations around the world. Note: You'll want to book before the final season premieres on April 14 to get ahead of the rush.

1. Brendan’s Road to Winterfell // Northern Ireland

Ballintoy Harbor in Northern Ireland served as a filming location for several Iron Island scenes.iStock.com/Slongy

Brendan Vacations offers a customizable tour through key Game of Thrones locations in Northern Ireland. The seven-day tour is on the pricier side—$4200 per person—but it’s worth it if you want to really geek out. In addition to sites of general historical interest, like museums and cathedrals, you’ll get to visit multiple Thrones filming locations, like the 18th-century mansion Castle Ward, the grounds of which were used extensively for Winterfell location shooting. The Stark kids frolicked there (relatively) happy and free of care early in season 1; later, Robb Stark’s army camped there. The tour will also take you to Ballintoy Harbor, which served as the filming location for several of the Iron Island scenes. It was at Ballintoy that Theon Greyjoy returned to the home he’d been taken from as a hostage by the Starks and re-met his sister Yara. (It was all downhill from there for poor Theon, but we hope your vacation will end on a brighter note.)

Book tickets on Brendan Vacations from $4200.

2. Game of Thrones Walking Tour of Dubrovnik // Croatia

Blackwater Bay’s real-life counterpart outside of Old Town DubrovnikiStock.com/NanoStockk

Put on your comfy shoes for this three-hour walking tour of Dubrovnik, Croatia, the filming location for many of Game of Thrones’s King’s Landing scenes. You can climb the city walls near Lovrijenac Fortress and look out at the sea—if the view looks familiar, that’s because it served as the location for Westeros’s Blackwater Bay, the site of season 2's unforgettable Battle of the Blackwater.

An upgrade to the tour will also get you a visit to the Trsteno Arboretum, which is often used as the filming location for King’s Landing's palace gardens. (Visit and let the spirit of Olenna Tyrell flow through you.)

Book tickets on Viator from $69.

3. Belfast Winterfell Trek // Northern Ireland

Castle Ward in Northern Ireland was used as a filming location for Winterfell.Amanda Slater, Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0

On this daylong tour of Castle Ward (a.k.a. Winterfell) in Northern Ireland, you can see where the late King in the North was born, was crowned, and was murdered. A further stop at Tollymore Forest Park in Newcastle lets you see where the Starks first found their direwolf pups and where the Night’s Watch first found the White Walkers. Guides who worked as extras on Game of Thrones are on hand to break down the visual effects that transformed the real-life environs of Northern Ireland into Westeros. Plus, the tour is designed to be immersive, so Stark banners, cloaks, and swords are available for guests to use throughout the day.

Book tickets on TripAdvisor from $66.

4. Game of Thrones Filming Locations Tour From Reykjavik // Iceland

Thingvellir National ParkiStock.com/mantaphoto

Watch out for White Walkers on this eight-hour-long tour of Game of Thrones landmarks around Reykjavik, Iceland. Sites include Thingvellir National Park, which stands in for some of the show’s North-of-the-Wall content. (Don’t worry—there are no zombie bears.) You'll get to see Almannagjá Gorge in Thingvellir, which served as the shooting location for the Eyrie’s Bloody Gate—the site of Arya Stark’s season 4 giggle fit upon finding out yet another one of her relatives had died. Another stop on the itinerary is Thjorsárdalur Valley, site of the Wildling massacre of Olly’s village in season 4. (Olly, you’ll remember, gets his revenge.)

Book tickets on Viator from $110.

5. Seville and Osuna Guided Game of Thrones Tour // Spain

The Alcazar of Seville served as the location for Prince Doran Martell’s castle and its surrounding gardens.
iStock.com/SeanPavonePhoto

Among avid fans, Game of Thrones’s Dorne plotline was … well, let’s just say, not the most popular. But that doesn’t make Seville, Spain, where many of the Dorne scenes were shot, any less beautiful. The key site of this tour is the Alcázar of Seville, the palace that served as the shooting location for Prince Doran Martell’s castle and its surrounding gardens. On the bloodier side of things, this tour also includes an optional trip by train to the Spanish town of Osuna, where the Meereen fighting pit scenes were filmed.

Book tickets on Viator from $69.

6. The Narrow Sea Boat Voyage // Northern Ireland

Audley’s Castle—located on the grounds of Castle Ward—was used as the basis for one of The Twins, where the Red Wedding took place. (The second tower was CGI.)iStock.com/moosh

Have a little Greyjoy blood in you? Then you may lean towards Winterfell Tours’ Narrow Sea Boat Voyage. Lasting approximately 90 minutes, the private boat tour takes you past the shores of Northern Ireland’s Strangford Lough. You'll sail past Audley's Castle—which served as one of The Twins—located along the shore on the grounds of Castle Ward. You’ll also get a view of the filming locations for House Bolton’s Dreadfort Castle, Hoster Tully’s Viking-inspired funeral pyre, and more.

Book tickets with Winterfell Tours from $522 for a private tour of up to 10 people.

7. Game of Thrones Tour in Split // Croatia

You’ll recognize Diocletian's Palace in Split, Croatia from Game of Thrones Meereen scenes.iStock.com/majaiva

If you need more Meereen content, take a 3.5-hour guided tour of Split, Croatia, where the mountain fortress of Klis was a filming location for the city conquered by Daenerys. After the fortress, the next stop on the walking tour is Diocletian’s Palace, built for the Roman Emperor Diocletian in the 4th century, which has also been used as a Meereen shooting location. It’s also the site of Daenerys’s throne room as well as where she keeps her dragons locked up so they can't eat anybody they shouldn’t.

Book tickets on Viator from $78.

8. Game of Thrones Filming Locations Tour // Northern Ireland

The Dark Hedges stood in for King’s Road in Game of Thrones.iStock.com/DieterMeyrl

Brienne of Tarth fans, step up. The Game of Thrones Filming Locations Tour from Irish Tour Tickets will take you to Larrybane Quarry, where viewers were first introduced to the fan-favorite knight in season 2. Other stops on this daylong trip include the Cushenden Caves, where Melisandre gave birth to the shadow baby that killed Renly; Dunlunce Castle, used as House Greyjoy; and the picturesque Dark Hedges, which stand in for the Kingsroad. Another stop is Carnlough Harbor, which stood in for Braavos in season 6—it’s where Arya Stark just narrowly avoided getting stabbed to death by the Waif.

Book tickets on Expedia from $51.

9. Game of Thrones Filming Locations Tour // Malta

Mdina, Malta is where the final goodbye between Ned and Catelyn Stark was filmed.iStock.com/Zheka-Boss

Along with Dubrovnik, Croatia, the island of Malta was a filming location for many of the King’s Landing scenes in Game of Thrones. Stops on this tour include the city of Mdina, site of Ned and Catelyn’s final farewell, along with the season 1 fight between Jaime Lannister and Ned Stark that ended in the latter’s capture. You’ll see Malta’s Mtahleb Cliffs, which stood in for the Shadow Cliffs, the location of Khal Drogo’s funeral pyre and the birth of Daenerys's dragons. And you’ll see St. Dominic’s Convent in Rabat, Malta, which served as one of the locations for the Red Keep, the castle that contains the Iron Throne.

Book tickets on Viator from $67.

10. Archery Movie Set Experience // Northern Ireland

iStock.com/South_agency

Ah, season 1, episode 1 … when the Stark children were practicing their archery instead of living under the constant threat of murder. (OK, there was still a little threat of murder.) At Castle Ward, Winterfell Tours offers the Archery Set Movie Experience, where Game of Thrones fans can practice their archery in the "Winterfell" courtyard. Both visitors and instructors—some of whom trained members of the cast—get costumes to wear.

A bundle deal gets you the Winterfell Cycle Tour (where you’ll see, among other places, the tower from which Jaime Lannister pushed Bran) and a meet and greet with the Northern Inuit dogs who played direwolves Summer and Grey Wind.

Book tickets with Winterfell Tours from $39.

11. Game of Thrones Tour in Girona // Spain

Sant Pere de Galligants, a monastery in Girona, Spain, stood in for Oldtown’s Citadel.iStock.com/JackF

Girona, Spain, is yet another city that’s served as an ersatz King’s Landing over Game of Thrones’s run. Explore Catalunya’s tour takes you through the medieval town, home to the monastery Sant Pere de Galligants, the real-life stand-in for Oldtown’s Citadel. The tour also features the Plaza del Jurats, site of a memorable season 6 scene where Arya watched a theatrical version of her family’s troubles. Many of season 6's Braavos market and training scenes (when Arya was learning to be a master assassin) were filmed here, as were scenes surrounding King’s Landing’s Sept of Baelor—also known as the Girona Cathedral.

Book tickets on Viator from $113.

12. GoT to Escape // Northern Ireland

iStock.com/MuamerO

Say you’re in Northern Ireland and you’ve already seen all the Game of Thrones filming locations. Or maybe you’re just looking for something a little different. GoT to Escape in Belfast boasts three Game of Thrones-inspired escape rooms and one mystery room. Your mission? Save King’s Landing. Each room takes an hour to complete and is designed for between two and six players. (The website notes that you don’t actually need any special knowledge of Game of Thrones to participate, so feel free to drag your non-fan friends and family members along.)

Book tickets on GoT to Escape from $53.

13. Westeros and Beyond // Iceland, Ireland, Spain, and Croatia

Dubrovnik, CroatiaiStock.com/stocklapse

Or maybe you just want to do everything. STA Travel offers multi-stop trips geared toward younger travelers and students (though they sell flights to people of all ages, their website notes that “some of our airfare is available just to full-time students, [t]eachers at accredited schools, and youth travelers under the age of 26”). If the price is right, you can start in New York City and travel across the world to several of the key cities where Game of Thrones is filmed—Reykjavik, Dublin, Barcelona, and Dubrovnik. Once there, STA provides day tours like the ones mentioned above.

Contact STA Travel for booking information.

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8 of Amazon's Bestselling Home Office Desks

JOISCOPE/Amazon
JOISCOPE/Amazon

If you've been working from home for the past six months (or longer), you're overdue for a high-quality office desk. And not just any old one, but a desk designed specifically for comfort and purpose, so you can organize everything you need for your 9-to-5 without having to worry about losing track of that important folder or planner.

The problem, though, is that there are so many options out there to choose from. That’s why we've stepped in to make the process a bit easier for you by compiling a list of the bestselling home office desks from Amazon. Check them out below.

1. Furinno Simplistic A-Frame Computer Desk; $237

Furinno/Amazon

This Furinno A-Frame desk is Amazon’s top home office desk at the moment. Though it may seem simple, sometimes that's all you need to make your space more efficient. The small desk hutch on top creates little cubbies for you to store papers, notebooks, or tools you may need throughout the day. There's even a bench on the bottom for you to put your feet up during the last few hours of the workday.

Buy it: Amazon

2. CubiCubi 40-inch Home Office Table; $95

CubiCubi/Amazon

For those looking for a sleek, modern desk that doesn't skimp on function, go for the CubiCubi. The metal frame, combined with the black wood surface, gives this table a sturdy, reliable feel. There's also a built-in side pocket to store all your papers out of eyesight but within arm’s reach. And according to the company, the whole thing should only take 10 minutes to assemble.

Buy it: Amazon

3. Coleshome 31-inch Computer Desk; $84

Coleshome/Amazon

This 31-inch desk from Coleshome is the perfect option for a small home office. Complete with adjustable leg pads for added stability, this desk can fit in any nook and is designed with simplicity in mind.

Buy it: Amazon

4. Mr. Ironstone Black L-Shaped Desk; $130

Mr. IRONSTONE/Amazon

This unique L-shaped desk is perfect for anyone looking to fit their workstation into the corner of a room. Measuring at 50.8 inches on both sides, you’ll get the most out of your surface by adding multiple monitors, a printer, and books all around.

Buy it: Amazon

5. Furinno Efficient Home Desk with Side Shelves; $53

Furinno/Amazon

If you want to make your office feel more like a study, then you’ll need somewhere to store all your tomes. This Furinno desk can help you make space to work and house all your favorite books nearby to grab whenever you need them. The multilevel shelves help make this desk feel more modern, while also creating plenty of storage space.

Buy it: Amazon

6. JOISCOPE 40-inch Computer Desk; $110

JOISCOPE/Amazon

This desk comes packed with plenty of storage space for your things while also providing a large, sleek worktop for you to spread out all day long. The oak finish on top also adds a bit of sophistication to your workday, even if you spend your lunch break perusing the latest cat memes.

Buy it: Amazon

7. Seville Classics Ergonomic Mobile Desk Cart; $44

Seville/Amazon

Standing desks have become more popular in recent years as people look for more ways to improve their posture and overall health. The Seville Ergonomic Mobile Desk can help you achieve your physical goals while assisting you with your work. The desk's height can be adjusted from 20.5 inches to 33 inches, and it has four swivel wheels, two of which lock in case you want to stay in one spot.

Buy it: Amazon

8. ComHoma Black Writing Computer Desk Office Folding Table; $100

ComHoma/Amazon

For a modern design, there's the ComHoma writing desk. The sleek metal bars on the sides and back of the desk add style, not clutter, and the 39-inch tabletop will give you ample space to work on whatever projects come your way.

Buy it: Amazon

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

Just How Clean Is the Air On an Airplane?

Air quality in airplane cabins has become a growing concern during the coronavirus pandemic.
Air quality in airplane cabins has become a growing concern during the coronavirus pandemic.
Leylanr/iStock via Getty Images

For millions of Americans and millions more abroad, the excitement of booking a flight has turned into concern. Being stuffed into an airplane cabin with hundreds of other people for hours at a time seems like a risk in light of the coronavirus continuing to be a threat to public health.

According to experts, plane travel is indeed a risk, and much of that risk has to do with social proximity. But the air itself might be cleaner than you think.

In a piece for Condé Nast Traveler, author William J. McGee writes that many airplanes have highly effective air cleaning systems that use high-efficiency particulate air, or HEPA, filtration to remove 99.97 percent of airborne contaminants, including viruses. (But not all. Some regional airlines may not have HEPA devices.) The clean air is pumped in through the ceiling and leaves below the window seats. The air is roughly 60 percent fresh and 40 percent filtered and recirculated constantly.

Would this impact how coronavirus or other germs may spread? Theoretically, yes. But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other health organizations caution that no air filtration system can make up for being seated within a few feet of an infected person. It’s entirely possible that their germs will make their way to you before the circulating air removes them. And filtration isn’t a factor when travelers are standing near each other in line to board the aircraft.

Viruses aren’t the only air quality concern onboard a plane. Fumes from engine oil, hydraulic fluid, exhaust, and other sources can travel into the cabin. Pesticide applications may also leave a lingering odor.

The bottom line? If you have to be stuck in an enclosed space with several strangers, an airplane cabin might be the safest way to go about it. But variables like infected passengers, mask habits, and proximity make it impossible for anyone to offer assurances about safety. If you have a desire or need to fly, wearing a mask and keeping as much distance as possible between yourself and other passengers is the best way to approach it.

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