Hi all. We're Farrah and Chris. As two very enthusiastic Game of Thrones fans who happened to be in Northern Ireland, we jumped at the opportunity to purchase seats on a Game of Thrones filming locations tour, and it ended up being a spectacular way to see a lot of beautiful Northern Ireland while getting a behind-the-scenes look at the show. If either of these things seem up your alley, here's what you need to know!
Since Game of Thrones, tourism in Northern Ireland brings in about 36 million dollars each year. Game of Thrones Tours isn't the only company that does tours based on the show, but it does offer a cool perk: tours are led by actors who were extras in the show.
The vehicle we traveled on wasn't a coach, but a small bus. There are both pros and cons to this. The upside is that you're in a more intimate setting with less people. The downside is that if you get carsick, you might want to sit toward the front of the bus — since you'll be traveling for 10 hours and feel lotsa bumps in the narrow roads.
Here are a few things to keep in mind if you're considering this 10-hour tour:
- You'll be doing a lot of walking, sometimes on uneven surfaces, so be prepared. The health app on our phone tracked us walking 7 miles (~17,000 steps) by the end of the day.
- There's not a bathroom stop in every location you'll see, so be mindful of how much coffee you plan on consuming. I think the shortest stop between locations was twenty minutes while the longest was an hour and forty-ish minutes.
- Pack snacks like a banana, nuts, or a protein bar! You'll stop once for lunch, but that's it. Food will help your energy levels stay high throughout the long day.
- Sit toward the front of the bus, especially if you get carsick. You'll also be able to see the TV screen better, as they play many clips from the show after refreshing your memory on what you'll be seeing. Plus, you'll be able to ask your guide questions more easily and you'll always be one of the first people to get off the bus.
- PACK. FOR. UNSTABLE. WEATHER. Ireland can be sunny one second and be raining five minutes later. We both forgot our rain jackets on the bus during one of the shorter stops (you'll see as you read below). Because it was so sunny, we thought SURELY it wouldn't rain. And it poured.