5 Must-Visit Game Of Thrones Locations In Malta
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With an architectural heritage spanning 6 millennia and a vast variety of cultural influences, it's little wonder that HBO's location scouts chose Malta as the setting for numerous iconic scenes in Game of Thrones. If you're a fan of the series, but don't intend to take a guided tour, then we'd at least recommend checking out these 5 definitive spots. Most are within easy reach of the flexible City Sightseeing Malta bus tour, making them ideal for the self-guided traveller.
Wreathed in iconic medieval/renaissance walls and with a history spanning approximately 4000 years, 'The Silent City' was the first capital of Malta. Game of Thrones fans who are nostalgic for the original hero Ned Stark should recognise the city gate as the setting of Ned and Catelyn's moving farewell as he sends her away from King's Landing. Once they enter the city, eagle-eyed fans should be careful enough not to miss Mesquita Square, as this was the setting of one of the most important scenes of the first season, the fight between Jamie Lannister and Ned's men, which ends with the latter's unfortunate capture.
Getting There: Stop 22 on the blue route.
2) Fort Manoel:
Fort Manoel is a military fortification built in the 18th century by The Order of Saint John which is situated on the Manoel Island in Gzira. There's talk of it being haunted by a Black Knight who wakes up when the place is attacked or vandalised. Game of Thrones fans will be haunted by a different and even fairer character, as they painfully recall season 1's defining moment. Standing in as the exterior of the Sept of Baelor, Fort Manoel is the place where Ned Start lost his head in the first truly shocking moment of the series.
Getting There: Stop 18 on the blue route.
3) St. Dominic Convent, Rabat, Malta:
If witnessing the location of Ned Stark's beheading wasn't enough for fans they can walk through the gardens where he essentially sealed his fate by confronting Cersei with threats to publicly reveal the true parentage of her children. This beautiful garden won't take too long to explore and you will also have time to see the nearby St. Agatha Catacombs, which were used in Roman times to bury the dead as it was considered unhygienic to bury them in the city Mdina.
Getting There: Stop 23 on the blue route.
4) Verdala Palace Grounds:
Situated in the Buskett Gardens, one of Malta's few woodland areas, the Verdala Palace has been the official summer residence of the president of Malta since 1987. This beautiful palace was built 400 years prior on the site of a former hunting lodge. It was used in the first episode of Game of Thrones as Illyrio Mopatis' house, the place where we meet Daenerys and Viserys Targaryan as they are introduced to Khal Drogo. Fans should note that the ensuing marriage between Daenerys and The Great Khal also took place in Malta, as they will see from our next filming location.
Getting There: Take a pubic bus from Mdina (see route planner).
5) The Azure Window, Gozo:
Gozo is the second largest island in the Maltese archipelago and represents the more rural side of Malta. Game of Thrones fans who got hooked from the first season will remember the spectacular natural stone arch that hosted the wedding between Khal Drogo and Daenarys Targaryan.
You can catch a sunset just as beautiful as that on the show if you visit The Azure Window at the right time. It's one of Malta's most iconic landmarks but one that unfortunately will not live forever; the area is very windy and together with the constant whipping of the sea they are eroding the Azure Window. It will be gone in time, so make this a top priority during your Game of Thrones tour of Malta.
Getting There: Stop 6 on the City Sightseeing Gozo tour.