5 Vacations Where You Can Pretend You Are On “Game of Thrones”
Thanks to the cult hit HBO show “Game of Thrones”, now in its third season, tourism is way up in the various exotic locations around the world where the show films. Here, five locales around the world where you easily pretend you are Daenerys or Jaime (you might want to pack period costumes for your trip for optimal effect).
1. Ouarzazate, Morocco
Hotel bookings in the desert town of Ouarzazate, Morocco, have experienced a 100 percent spike since the season premiere of “Game of Thrones.” It’s an area that has long been popular for filmmakers, and has been the setting for iconic movies including the 1962 version of “Lawrence of Arabia” with Peter O’Toole, “The Mummy,” and Russell Crowe’s “Gladiator.” We recommend making a stop at UNESCO World Heritage site Ksar of Ait-Ben-Haddou, a pre-Saharan habitat that will have you feeling like your living in the Middle Ages in no time.
2. Dubrovnik, Croatia
Dubrovnik in Croatia saw a 28 percent in tourism in 2012. “Game of Thrones” uses Dubrovnik as the backdrop for Kings Landing. Make sure to visit Sponza Palace which dates from the 16th century and is currently used to house the National Archives.
3. Reykjavik, Iceland
Iceland saw a 13 percent spike in bookings in 2012. “Game of Thrones” was filming the show in November of last year in Iceland, and scouts have been combing the country for locations to shoot season four already. You don’t want to miss a trip to the lava fields if you make the voyage yourself.
4. Belfast, Ireland
Just south of Belfast in Ireland is Castle Ward. The exterior of the castle was converted to Winterfell’s courtyard in the very first scene of the show. It is in the courtyard where viewers are introduced to all the Starks, the Lanisters, and the King Robert Baretheon. Luckily the castle is open to the public and is home to landscaped gardens, a theater, restaurant, gift shop, as well as a working corn mill.
5. Mdina, Malta
Mdina was the location for the capital city of King’s Landing in the first season, before being replace by Dubrovnik. The town, frequently called the “Silent City”, is worth a visit so you can wind through the narrow medieval streets and visit the historic St. Paul’s Cathedral.