From Game of Thrones to The Fall, Ireland is the backdrop for some really great shows

Movies have always been big in Ireland but now TV is king! From the HBO blockbuster, The Game of Thrones, to the compelling dark Victorian drama, Ripper Street, Ireland is the backdrop for some really great shows!

Here’s a rundown of the shows and their locations as featured on

Game of Thrones, Northern Ireland

Endless backstabbing and the who-will-die-next suspense aside, it’s the incredible real-world locations on HBO’s record-breaking behemoth that make Game of Thrones such an addictive watch. Northern Ireland's been one of the main filming locations since season one and continues to provide the backdrop to some of the show’s most memorable moments.

Like when Sansa and Baelish cross the Riverlands (Glens of Antrim), Jamie and Bronn arrive at Dorne (Portstewart Strand) and the Boltons settle in Winterfell’s burned-out ruins (Castle Ward).

Read more: Travel through the land of Game of Thrones in Northern Ireland

Vikings, County Wicklow

This hit series is based on Norse legends and traces the exploits of Viking ruler Ragnar Lothbrok. Almost the entire show is filmed deep in the Wicklow Mountains, where the heather-strewn slopes, meandering rivers and dense woodlands bear a striking resemblance to Scandinavian landscapes.

Standout scenes include the longboat expeditions and raids shot at Lough Tay and Powerscourt Demesne. Season one even starred Dublin’s own Gabriel Byrne as a local chieftain, so bonus points for that!

Lough Tay, County Wicklow.

Lough Tay, County Wicklow.

Penny Dreadful, Dublin

Dublin morphs into Victorian London when Penny Dreadful comes to town. The fair city's unspoiled architecture is in keeping with the era and places the sensational Gothic drama in the real world – impressive when characters include vampires and witches.

Temple Bar’s cobbled lanes, Dublin Castle and Merrion Square have all made appearances. As has the Kings Inns, a historic school of law founded in 1541, which doubles as the Explorers’ Club. 

Crown Alley, Temple Bar, Dublin.

Crown Alley, Temple Bar, Dublin.

The Fall, Belfast

Police dramas aren’t supposed to look THIS good. The Fall centers around a serial killer (Down man and 50 Shades star, Jamie Dornan) and the detective (award-winning actress with Irish roots Gillian Anderson) pursuing him in Belfast, which has never looked better on screen. Filmed in and around Northern Ireland's capital, the game of cat-and-mouse weaves past some of Belfast’s best-known landmarks, like the Botanic Gardens, Merchant Hotel and the Cathedral Quarter. You’ll be as hooked on the locations as you are Jamie Dornan.

The Merchant Hotel, Belfast.

The Merchant Hotel, Belfast.

Ripper Street, Dublin

It can be hard to take your eyes off the dapper checked suits, pocket watches and bowler hats on Ripper Street. But when you do, it’s the authentic locations that make the period crime drama so captivating. Set in 1889, the streets of Dublin were called upon to recreate Jack the Ripper era London.

Locations include Kilmainham Gaol, Phoenix Park and Clancy Barracks, while Mulligan’s pub is Detective Inspector Edmund Reid’s local on the show.

Kilmainham Gaol, Dublin.

Kilmainham Gaol, Dublin.


Still from Season 7 of Game of Thrones, filmed in Northern Ireland. HBO