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According to me and the other 19 million viewers, Game of Thrones is the best TV drama ever made. If you are a Game of Thrones fan, THIS BLOG IS FOR YOU! I planned to visit Northern Ireland in the month of April, especially for the Game of Thrones tour. My excitement levels were skyrocketing as I was flying on Monday morning, right after I watched the premiere of the very first episode of the last season.

I live and study in Newcastle in UK, so for me it was a 1 hour flight to Belfast. After checking in at a backpackers' hostel, I headed straight to the newly opened Game of Thrones exhibition.

For those who are unaware of this infamous Game of Thrones exhibition, it is located in the TEC (Titanic Exhibition Centre) at Belfast next to the legendary Titanic Studios. It is the perfect location for true GoT fans to experience the mythical lands of Westeros and witness the real props and costumes used during the show. There is an entry fee that you need to pay and that's 15 to 18 pounds depending on the time of your visit.

After ignoring the massive titanic museum, I reached the GOT exhibition. I had pre purchased the tickets and I was all set to dive in the world of Westeros. Upon entrance, I was shown a quick Game of Thrones recap and some additional clips of famous scenes and then the actual tour began!

During the tour you will see and get the opportunity to hold the famous swords used in the show, Ice, Long claw, Needle, Oath keeper etc. Throughout the tour there will be several photo opportunities, so don’t hesitate to strike your best pose.

Moreover, you will witness the actual costumes worn by your favourite characters. FYI, you will find all the different costumes worn by Kit Harrington AKA John Snow during the show. HE IS LITERALLY EVERYWHERE IN THE EXHIBITION. At the end of the tour will find a souvenir shop where you can purchase your favourite GoT merchandise.

QUICK TIP: Do not miss the opportunity to see your face in the House of Black and White! There is a camera that clicks your photo and you can see it amongst other GoT characters in the house of Black and White.

After this I visited the Titanic Museum. To be honest I didn't really like it because the exhibition doesn't really contain any special props/tools/machinery used in the Titanic. The exhibition just displays facts about the famous Titanic which you can find on the internet. However, if you are a massive titanic lover and want to visit the place it was made, the titanic museum is for you!

QUICK TIP: You can get amazing photos outside the TEC. The architecture is fabulous and offers the perfect picturesque view.

Later that evening, I set out to explore the city and get a taste of the famous Irish Beer: Guinness. You can leave without trying Guinness, you will need to develop a taste for it but I am sure you will like it.

northern Ireland game of thrones

1. Tollymore Forest - County Down

Next morning, I woke up at 6 for the official Game of Thrones Winterfell tour. We reached in a black GoT bus, while watching the first episode of the series. The tour guide explained what we were going to visit throughout the day and introduced us to the punishment for late comers.

The tour is strictly time planned and each passenger has to be seated in the bus right on time. Failure to do so will result in a WALK OF SHAME. Your fellow passengers will shout SHAME! SHAME! SHAME! Till the time you are seated in the bus. Exactly what happened to Cersei, interesting right!

Our first stop was Winterfell. Despite the fact that it doesn't look exactly what you see on screen, trust me it feels amazing to enter the magical land of Winterfell. There are many buildings that the tour guide will show you that look exactly like you see on the show but some look like an entire work of high precision CGI.

You will witness the tower where Bran fell from and there will be a wooden board with the iconic dialogue: 'Things I do for love'.

During the day we visited several other GoT shooting locations used to film the first 2-3 seasons. We stopped for lunch and guess what? We met the 'Real Direwolves of GoT: Summer and Ghost' Meeting the Dire wolves, completely depends on your luck and your lunch timings, that's why this activity is not mentioned in your tour itinerary and the tour guide won't even tell you about it.

QUICK TIP: Before you start your tour, ask your tour guide to try to arrange your lunch timings with the show schedule of the Direwolves.

We ended the tour with a visit to one of Robert Stark's camping spots and we were provided with replicas of some famous GoT swords and other amazing props too. Trust me the photos were hell of a kind and the spectacular beauty of the place added extra touch to our pics.

northern Ireland game of thrones

2. Cushendun Caves - County Antrim

Next morning, I went on another guided tour to Melisandre's cave and also the place where a few scenes from Iron Islands were shot. This tour wasn’t an official GoT tour and neither was it affiliated with HBO. Apart from the GOT locations, we also witnessed the Giant's Causeway and few other popular locations in Northern Ireland.

I would suggest you not to take this tour if you are want to visit top GOT shooting locations, the tour guide and tour facilities were way better in the official tour than in the second one.

My best travel tip for getting the most of Northern Ireland is to pre-book GoT official tours at least 2-3 weeks in advance, these tours cost more or less the same but offer much higher standards as compared to the other ones. I hope you have an amazing time in Northern Ireland, VALAR MORGULIS!
Kalyan Panja Kalyan Panja Author

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