Are you looking for the perfect Game Of Thrones locations Ireland itinerary but not sure where to start? We are huge Game Of Thrones fans, so the thought of going to Game Of Thrones filming locations in Ireland sounded totally epic to us! Thankfully, Northern Ireland has made it quite easy to see many different Game Of Thrones filming locations in just a few days.
The reason Game Of Thrones chose to set up film headquarters in Belfast was because fantastic landscapes are all less than 2 hours away from this vibrant city. That means that although Northern Ireland is small, there are lots of Game Of Thrones filming locations in Ireland packed close together.
So pack your bags and get ready to visit real-life Westeros with this 5 day Game Of Thrones locations Ireland itinerary!
The Best 5 Day “Game Of Thrones Locations” Ireland Itinerary
Table of Contents
Where To Fly Into To Begin Your Game Of Thrones Itinerary
You have two choices of where to begin your Game Of Thrones locations Ireland itinerary. You can either fly into Dublin or Belfast. Depending on where you are coming from, one may be cheaper than the other so make sure to take that into consideration. If you fly into Belfast, you will be landing right in the heart of Game Of Thrones territory in Northern Ireland, which means you get to start off your journey immediately.
If you fly into Dublin, often the more affordable option for international travelers, you will have to drive 2 hours to Belfast to begin your Game Of Thrones locations Ireland itinerary. Don’t worry, every time we have visited Northern Ireland we have flown in and out of Dublin. The entire drive is interstate so it is quick and easy to zip up to real life Westeros.
Renting A Car For Your Self-Drive Game Of Thrones Tour
It is essential to rent a car for this self-drive Game Of Thrones tour. Whether you fly into Dublin or Belfast, you can easily rent a car at either airport. Renting a car is the best way to complete this Game Of Thrones Ireland itinerary and we highly recommend getting one from the airport for affordability.
Driving on the “wrong” side of the road really isn’t as difficult as it looks and if us Americans can do it multiple times, we have faith that you can too! Our tips are to take it slow and to always make sure you are driving on the correct side of the road before pulling out into oncoming traffic!
Map Of Game Of Thrones Filming Locations
We created this custom Game Of Thrones locations map just for you! Download this map of Game Of Thrones filming locations in Northern Ireland and keep it on your phone as inspiration while you plan your trip. It gives you a good idea of where the filming locations are located throughout Northern Ireland and makes for a really pretty computer background to inspire you to plan your Game Of Thrones Northern Ireland itinerary!
Getting To Know The Game Of Thrones App
To make your Game Of Thrones locations Ireland itinerary easier and more enjoyable, the Northern Ireland tourism board created an app just for you! We highly recommend downloading the “Game Of Thrones Filming Locations Northern Ireland App.” It is completely FREE and helps you visit these accessible filming locations around the country.
The Game Of Thrones Northern Ireland app is free to download on IOS and Android and is very user-friendly. We love the interactive map included in the app and if you click on a location to expand it, you will see more information about that filming location. If you are planning a Game Of Thrones trip to Northern Ireland, you must download the app! It is so user-friendly and you don’t need internet to access all the features! You won’t regret it and it really adds to your trip and provides you with tidbits of information you would never think of otherwise.
Day 1: Explore Belfast To Begin Your Game Of Thrones Locations Ireland Itinerary
The first day of your Game Of Thrones Ireland itinerary will be more relaxing and laid back than other days. If you are flying a long distance to get to Ireland, you will most likely be tired and will want time to get over your jet lag before your self-drive Game Of Thrones tour begins.
Belfast is the heart and soul of Northern Ireland’s Game Of Thrones territory. The main filming studio is located in Belfast and in the past, people have spotted many actors walking around the local pubs and grocery stores.
Stop 1: Explore The Titanic Quarter In Belfast
Titanic Studios, where Game Of Thrones is filmed, is located in Belfast’s Titanic Quarter. You are not able to get into see or tour the studio, but you can see the green screen from the outside and you can walk around and explore the area.
If you have time, we highly recommend visiting the Titanic Museum! Although it isn’t exactly Game Of Thrones focused, The Titanic was actually built in Belfast and the museum is so wonderful and a great way to learn a little something extra.
Stop 2: Visit The Game Of Thrones Door In Belfast
There are 10 Game Of Thrones doors around Northern Ireland and you will see your first one in Belfast. Read more about the Game Of Thrones Doors here. We won’t go into great detail about the doors and what they are as we wrote this in-depth blog post about it, but you can see your first Game Of Thrones door at The Dark Horse” in Belfast. Make sure to get your “Doors Of Thrones” passport as you will be using it throughout your Game Of Thrones locations Ireland itinerary.
Where To Stay In Belfast: Titanic Hotel
We highly recommend spending the night at the Titanic Hotel in Belfast. We spent two fantastic nights here and for what the hotel has to offer, it is actually quite affordable. It is well located and right in the heart of the Titanic Quarter! Check Prices Here!
Day 2: Head To County Down Where It All Began For Game Of Thrones In Ireland
County Down is located to the south of Belfast by about an hour and a half. It is also home to the stunning Morne Mountains and wonderful coast that will take your breath away! This is such a wonderful day on your Game Of Thrones locations Ireland itinerary and you will want to get a relatively early start as it is packed with fun things to do!
Stop 1: Explore Tollymore Forest And The Game Of Thrones Filming Locations
Multiple Filming Locations From Season 1
Tollymore Forest is one of the most magical places we have ever been! It is no wonder it is home to many Game Of Thrones filming locations in Ireland! The park is quite huge and there is a lot to see and do, which is why we suggest a Game Of Thrones walking tour like this one.
Tollymore Forest is home to multiple locations, but they are all spread out. Walking tours are affordable and a great way to learn fun lesser-known facts about the show. Many of the tour guides are even former Game Of Thrones extras!
At Tollymore Forest, you will be able to see where The Starks found the Direwolves, where one of the opening scenes of Game Of Thrones was filmed with white walkers and wildlings, where Jon Snow rested on his way up to the wall and more. These Game Of Thrones locations in Ireland are marked with signs showing the location and the scene that was filmed there.
We recommend budgeting at least 2-3 hours to explore Tollymore Forest as it is one of the most magical places on your Game Of Thrones locations Ireland itinerary.
Stop 2: Visit The Inch Abbey Ruins
Robb Stark’s Camp, Riverrun Season 1 Episode 10: Fire and Blood
Inch Abbey is an abbey ruins dating back from the year 1180! It is located nearby Tollymore Forest and is the next stop on your Game Of Thrones locations Ireland itinerary. Inch Abbey is home to where Robb Stark’s camp was set up in Season 1.
This is also where Lady Catelyn Stark tells Robb about his son’s death. As usual, there are interpretive panels around the parking lot where you can see this Game Of Thrones location in Ireland in action. Inch Abbey is quite beautiful to walk around and you will enjoy exploring the ruins.
We recommend budgeting 15-20 minutes to experience Inch Abbey on your Game Of Thrones locations Ireland itinerary.
Stop 3: Tour Castle Ward, AKA The Winterfell Game Of Thrones Filming Location
Season 1 and Season 8 filming Game Of Thrones Ireland location for Winterfell
Address: Downpatrick Road, Strangford, Co Down BT30 7BA
Castle Ward is located in County Down and is real life Winterfell! This Game Of Thrones filming location in Ireland is where it all began for the HBO show! There are multiple former actors and crew that worked on Game Of Thrones that now work at Castle Ward. Talking with them and hearing their first-hand account of working with the Game Of Thrones actors is really quite amazing!
When visiting Castle Ward, AKA Winterfell, you have the opportunity to try on costumes actually used on Game Of Thrones, learn archery on the archery set actually used during filming, and watch behind the scenes clips and videos that can only be seen at this Game Of Thrones location in Ireland!
We recommend spending 1.5-2.5 hours exploring the Winterfell Game Of Thrones Ireland filming location.
Stop 4: Meet The Actual Game Of Thrones Direwolves
Do you know what is better than any Game Of Thrones Ireland filming locations? Meeting the actual dogs who acted as the Direwolves in the series! Check out more information about how to meet them here! If you are already at Castle Ward and other nearby Game Of Thrones Ireland locations, make sure to try and meet the Direwolves.
This was truly one of our favorite Game Of Thrones experiences because who doesn’t love adorable dogs? The family who owns the dogs actually works on Game Of Thrones as actors and crew and they have special behind the scenes information that they share with guests when you visit the Direwolves.
We recommend spending as much time as possible with the cute Direwolves because why not?
Stop 5: Enjoy A Game Of Thrones Banquet At The Cuan
The Cuan is an adorable restaurant and inn located in Strangford. Strangford is just a few minutes away from the Winterfell Game Of Thrones filming location and is home to a delicious Game Of Thrones banquet.
What we loved about the Game Of Thrones banquet at The Cuan is that the entire menu is taken word for word from the Game Of Thrones books! Each dish is carefully crafted using actual excerpts from the book. These excerpts are included on your menu with the exact part of the series that they came from.
The food was delicious and The Cuan did a great job catering to vegetarians so there is truly something for everyone.
The Cuan is also home to another Game Of Thrones door so make sure to stop and get your “Doors Of Thrones” passport stamped!
Where To Stay In County Down: The Cuan
We highly recommend spending one night at The Cuan. Why? Because this is where all of your favorite actors and actresses from Game Of Thrones stayed when filming the show. The best part? You can actually book a room that your favorite actor stayed in. No, we won’t blame you if you stay in the Jon Snow room because Kit Harrington is a total hottie and everyone knows it! Check out their website here!
Day 3: Visit The Antrim Coast’s Game Of Thrones Locations
On day 3 of your Game Of Thrones locations Ireland itinerary, you are going to head to Northern Ireland’s lovely Antrim Coast. There are multiple filming locations in this area and the drive up is quite nice. Compared to day two, this day is a bit more restful to give you time to relax and enjoy the stunning Irish countryside.
Stop 1: Explore Carincastle Where The First Game Of Thrones Episode Begins
Carincastle is home to where Episode 1 begins and where Ned Stark and his children are introduced. This is where the Night’s Watchmen gets his head chopped off by Ned. Fun stuff, right? This is also where Lady Catelyn Stark captures Tyrion when he suspects he had something to do with Ned’s death in Season 1.
Carincastle is located near the town of Ballygally and offers wonderful sweeping views!
We recommend spending 20-30 minutes exploring Carincastle
Stop 2: Go Souvenir Shopping At Steensons Jewelry
One of the best parts about this Game Of Thrones locations Ireland itinerary is getting to meet all the people who actually worked on the show. Steensons Jewellery is a family owned company located along the Antrim Coast that was instrumental in making pieces of jewelry for Game Of Thrones.
Steensons Jewelry has made everything from the “hand of the king” pin, Joffery’s crown, Lannister lion pins and more. One of their most popular items is the dragon pin that Danerys wore in the show. This is the only place you can purchase items from Steensons Jewelry as they do not sell online!
If you are looking for a unique gift to commemorate your Game Of Thrones locations Ireland itinerary, this is the perfect thing to take home. Make sure to check store hours to ensure the shop is open when you arrive.
We recommend spending as long as you wish to browse the shop and to talk to the owners. 15-20 minutes should suffice otherwise.
Stop 3: Continue Your Self-Drive Game Of Thrones Tour By Visiting The First Dothraki Camp
The Shillanavogy Valley located in the beautiful Glens of Antrim is home to the very first Dothraki camp featured in Game Of Thrones. This Game Of Thrones filming location in Ireland is quite stunning and offers wonderful views. The drive around this part of Northern Ireland can be quite narrow, so be careful during your self-drive Game Of Thrones tour.
This is also where Saint Patrick was enslaved way-back-when when he was brought over to Ireland. This is a unique part of your Game Of Thrones Ireland itinerary because it hits two birds with one stone! You get movie history and real history all wrapped into one spot!
Stop 4: Visit The Game Of Thrones Door And Have A GOT Banquet At Ballygally Castle Hotel
Ballygally Castle Hotel is home to the ninth Game Of Thrones door and it depicts the famous Battle Of The Bastards. While you are visiting this door, make sure to visit the “haunted room” at Ballygally Castle which is actually haunted. Again, two birds with one stone on your Ireland itinerary!
Ballygally Castle also hosts both Game Of Thrones Afternoon Tea and a Game Of Thrones banquet. After a long day exploring the nearby Game Of Thrones locations in Ireland, why not kick back and relax with a hearty Game Of Thrones banquet? The food is delicious and themed to different characters in the series.
Where To Stay Along The Antrim Coast: Ballygally Castle
We recommend spending the night at Ballygally Castle Hotel. You can stay in a real-life castle hotel in Ireland and it is also haunted too! If you don’t like haunted things, that is okay! Simply request a room in the new part of the hotel and you will be safe. We stayed in the new part of Ballygally Castle hotel so we wouldn’t be haunted! Check prices here!
Day 4: Discover Coastal Ireland Game Of Thrones Filming Locations
The third day of your Game Of Thrones locations Ireland itinerary will keep you out by the Northern Irish coast. Tons of scenes were filmed along the coast, resulting in the entire coast being shut down for weeks at a time. This part of your Ireland itinerary will have you taking tours with locals who worked on the show and walking on the natural set for Game Of Thrones.
Stop 1: Cushendun Caves
Season 2 Episode 4: Garden of Bones
Cushendun Caves is less than 30 minutes away from Ballygally Castle Hotel which makes it an easy first Game Of Thrones Ireland location to visit. Cushendun Caves is where Game Of Thrones filmed Millesandre giving birth to the shadow baby with Davos.
Cushendun Caves were also used for filming in Season 8 but shhhh we didn’t tell you about that here! When you watch Season 8, make sure to keep your eyes peeled for the Cushendun Caves scene and if you visit before then you can think that you were there!
We recommend spending about 20 minutes exploring the Cushendun Caves.
Stop 2: Visit Door 8 At Mary McBride’s
The 8th Door Of Thrones is just a walk away from the Cushendun Caves. Mary McBride’s was once the smallest pub in all of Ireland and is still quaint and cute! It is home to the 8th Game Of Thrones door and a quick and easy stop after exploring the caves.
Depending on what time you explore the caves, you may want to stop in Mary McBride’s for a pint and some lunch. The 8th door focuses on the Faceless Man and Arya’s journey and is a cool one to photograph and see in person.
Stop 3: Take A Sea Safari To Visit Coastal Filming Locations
One of the more unique things to do on your Game Of Thrones Ireland itinerary is to take a sea safari to visit multiple Game Of Thrones filming locations all at once. Some of these locations can be driven to, but seeing them from the water is better and that is the exact view filmmakers had when filming Game Of Thrones in Northern Ireland.
We recommend booking your Game Of Thrones tour with Aquaholics in the town of Ballycastle. The owner of Aquaholics actually worked with the Game Of Thrones film crew multiple times to help them scout out the perfect locations for many scenes and then used his boat to help set up filming rigs and more. If you want a true first-hand Game Of Thrones tour, we highly recommend this one! This is a unique thing to do on your Game Of Thrones locations Ireland itinerary and an unforgettable experience.
Locations you will see on this Game Of Thrones tour:
- Murlough Bay (Slavers Bay) used in Season 5 Episode 6: Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken. Also in Season 2: Episode 4 and Season 5: Episode 6
- Fair Head (Dragonstone Cliffs)
- Downhill Beach (Dragonstone Cliffs) used in Season 2: Episode 1
- Larrybane (The Stormlands & Nagga’s Hill, Old Wyk) used in Season 2 Episode 3: What is Dead May Never Die and Season 6 Episode 5: The Door
Stop 4: Visit The Iron Islands In Ballintoy
Season 2 Episode 2: The Night Lands, Season 2 Episode 3: What is Dead May Never Die
Ballintoy Harbor is home to the Iron Islands and where Theon Greyjoy arrives when he goes back to the Iron Islands in Game Of Thrones. The harbor is located down a steep hill and is quite beautiful at sunset.
There are interpretive panels set up that show you exactly where this Game Of Thrones location in Ireland was filmed so you can set up your photo to look exactly the same as the one HBO did! Okay, well not exactly the same but you get the idea!
We recommend spending about 15-20 minutes exploring Ballintoy Harbor. It is a Game Of Thrones Ireland filming location that can be seen and absorbed quickly.
Stop 5: Drop In On Game Of Thrones Door 6
Game Of Thrones Door #6 is located nearby the “Iron Islands” at a cute little inn called Fullerton Arms. This door was created in honor of the Targaryen and features hand-carved dragons and more. It is a stunning piece of work and we highly recommend stopping here on your Game Of Thrones locations Ireland itinerary!
We recommend just stopping by for 5 minutes to see this door on your Game Of Thrones locations Ireland itinerary.
Where to spend the night: Fullerton Arms
We actually drove 30 minutes back to Ballycastle and spent the night at a hotel there, but we recommend staying the night at the adorable Fullerton Arms. The hotel is small and the Game Of Thrones cast actually hung out at the bar during filming in the surrounding area. We wish we had stayed there and will next time and have no problems recommending it to you!
Day 5: End Your Game Of Thrones Ireland Itinerary By Visiting Dorne And The King’s Road
On the last day of your Game Of Thrones locations Ireland itinerary, you will get to explore some of the more famous and well-known Game Of Thrones filming locations in Northern Ireland. As far as spending the night goes, you can choose to stay out along the coast or drive the 2 hours back to Belfast or even further to Dublin.
Stop 1: Walk Along The Kingsroad At The Dark Hedges
Season 2 Episode 1: The North Remembers
Before Game Of Thrones filmed at the Dark Hedges, they were relatively unknown! Now they are packed with Game Of Thrones tours and visitors such as yourselves and are no longer a hidden gem. That being said, we recommend going to visit the Dark Hedges Game Of Thrones location very early in the morning if you want the whole place to yourself.
We arrived at 8:45am and it was already packed with at least 50+ people. If you just want to visit this Game Of Thrones location in Ireland and don’t care about the people, then go at any time. If you are a photographer looking to grab that perfect shot, you will want to go very early at sunrise. This is one of the stops on your Game Of Thrones locations Ireland itinerary where you are going to want to make the most out of your time in Northern Ireland!
We recommend spending an hour walking along the Dark Hedges.
Stop 2: See Game Of Thrones Door 7 At Gracehill House
When you are finished exploring the Dark Hedges, head across the street to the nearby Gracehill House. Before they were a Game Of Thrones filming location in Ireland, the Dark Hedges were actually planted to lead up to Gracehill House!
Gracehill House is home to Door 7 which features a stunning direwolf carving so make time to drop by during your Ireland itinerary.
We recommend spending about 5 minutes at Gracehill House before moving on to your next stop on your Game Of Thrones locations Ireland itinerary.
Stop 3: Explore The Dorne Filming Location
Season 5 Episode 4: Sons of the Harpy
You probably think that the coast of Dorne was shot somewhere like Spain or Croatia and you would be wrong! The coast of Dorne was actually filmed at a beach called Portstewart Strand. This is where Jamie Lannister and Bron landed when they went to rescue Myrcella and where they fought the sand serpent sisters.
You can drive on Portstewart Strand and it is a lovely beach, especially if the weather is nice out! Like all of the other Game Of Thrones locations in Ireland, this one has a panel to explain the scenes that were filmed here.
We recommend spending about 20-30 minutes walking along the beach at this stunning Game Of Thrones filming location in Northern Ireland.
Stop 4: Visit The Iron Islands At Dunluce Castle
Dunluce Castle is one of our favorite locations in all of Ireland! It is also a Game Of Thrones filming location in Ireland used for the Iron Islands. It was used as a background mock-up to create the Iron Islands in Game Of Thrones but no scenes featuring people were filmed there.
Dunluce Castle offers so much to explore and it is such a neat place to visit on your Ireland itinerary. You can pay to go inside or you can walk around the grounds for free! We have never paid to go inside and have always done it on our own.
We recommend spending 1-2 hours at Dunluce Castle.
Stop 5: Make Like Millisandre And Visit The Mussenden Temple
Season 2 Episode 1
Nearby Dunluce Castle is yet another stunning stop for your Game Of Thrones filming locations Ireland itinerary. Mussenden Temple is where Melisandre burnt the effigies of the Seven Gods of Westeros. This is a stunning place to watch the sunset and a favorite for people hoping to do their own self-drive Game Of Thrones tour.
From Mussenden Temple area, you will also be able to see the Northern Ireland Game Of Thrones filming location called Binevenagh which was used in Season 5Episodee 10 when the Dothraki horde surround Daenerys after her escape from the Meereen fighting pits on the back of Drogon, and again in Season 6 Episode 1 when Daario and Jorah discover Daenerys’ ring whilst searching for her.
We recommend spending 30 minutes to 1 hour exploring these Northern Ireland Game Of Thrones locations.
Stop 6: Take A Game Of Thrones Helicopter Tour
If you can afford it, the ultimate way to end your Game Of Thrones locations Ireland itinerary is to take a Game Of Thrones-themed helicopter tour. You know all of those places you just saw? They all look quite different from the sky! This Game Of Thrones tour takes you over the Dark Hedges, over all of the Iron Islands filming locations as well as everything on the coast from Slavers Bay to Dragonstone Cliffs.
Cutting Edge Helicopters runs this Game Of Thrones tour and it is a wonderful way to cap off your Game Of Thrones locations Ireland itinerary with something totally unique and memorable.
Where To Spend The Night
On this last day of your Game Of Thrones Ireland itinerary, we are not going to recommend a place to stay as we do not know your onward travel plans. You may choose to extend your Ireland itinerary to stay in Northern Ireland for longer or you may choose to head back to Belfast or Dublin to fly home.
This Game Of Thrones locations Ireland itinerary shows you the best and most popular Northern Ireland Game Of Thrones locations. We are confident that if you love Game Of Thrones you will love this Ireland itinerary that will show you the best of the HBO classic series!
Please note: This itinerary has been created in partnership with Tourism Ireland and Discover Northern Ireland. All opinions are our own and none of this content is affiliated with HBO in any way.