It should be no surprise that Game of Thrones—a Dark Ages fantasy drama with all the sex, blood, and political intrigue befitting an HBO hit—is attracting real-life travelers to the otherworldly destinations depicted in its episodes.
In a recent TripAdvisor report, the show’s filming locations have seen a huge jump in tourist interest: a 120 percent increase, on average.
After all, Game of Thrones has transformed countless cities and towns into veritable tourist destinations. Take Doune Castle, for example. While this 14th-century Scottish castle gained celebrity status as the set location for Monty Python and the Holy Grail in 1975, it wasn’t until it became Winterfell, the seat of House Stark, that the destination became a can’t-miss attraction.
And then there’s Osuna, a small Spanish town in southern Seville. The sleepy village was revived when Game of Thrones came to film. Who wouldn’t want to see the 3,000-year-old town standing in for Meereen? It's here, after all, that Daenerys Targaryen watches people kill each other in the "fighting pits." She leaves that party on a dragon, of course.
At the top of TripAdvisor’s list is Klis, Croatia (a village safeguarded by the namesake medieval fortress). TripAdvisor has seen a staggering 579 percent increase in search traffic for this historic citadel. Also gaining popularity are the filming locations of Krka National Park (46 percent) and Trsteno, which saw a considerable 18 percent increase in search.
Other destinations include Vík, in southern Iceland (78 percent), which is famous for its lava formations, black sand beaches, and caves carved by the sea.
As our comprehensive Game of Thrones Travel Guide notes, the HBO series is loved as much for its epic battles as it is for its striking landscapes. And TripAdvisor’s data simply proves people are willing to travel to great lengths to see the backdrops of their favorite shows in person. Below, the 10 filming locations that have seen the greatest boost in tourism interest.