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The Shadow and Bone filming locations are sophisticated, elegant, and downright regal

Budapest, Hungary

Shadow and Bone’s Grishaverse has taken both the literary and cinematic worlds by storm with a tale of light vs. darkness, literally. Made up of Leigh Bardugo’s series Shadow and Bone and Six of Crows, the show has just returned to Netflix for a second season and what better time than any to tell you all about its gorgeous filming locations?

The show is a saving grace for the YA fantasy scene which has been in dire need of a revival (do we all remember the dystopian era and mourn it equally?) and is full of the genre classics: love triangles, broody men, ancient deities, and elemental powers to make anyone envious. But to top it all off, the Shadow and Bone filming locations are stunningly grandiose, and all open to the public. Shall we check them out?


Primarily set in the made up nation of Ravka, inspired by Tsarian Russia, producers of the show had lots of creative freedom and the Shadow and Bone filming locations were hand-picked to really make this world come alive and bring the magic to life. 

The chosen destination? Hungary’s beautiful capital city, Budapest, of course. Often regarded as the ‘Pearl of the Danube’, the city has the advantage of being home to some classic and gilded architecture that perfectly represents the importance and imposition of Ravka as the main setting of the show. 

Festetics Palace

Most of the first season of Shadow and Bone takes place within the Little Palace: a place of luxury where the Grishas are invited to live and train. It makes sense that a place of such importance would be filmed in Festetics Palace, a large baroque palace with a court-yard of french-manicured gardens. 

The spires are as impressive as they are intimidating (four of which were digitally created) and the moody dark oak interiors create that chic yet oppressing atmosphere. Perfect for the Darkling and his nefarious plans… Gold trimmings are a main feature here and really add to the regal image the Little Palace is known for.

Budapest Main Square

If you’re travelling to Budapest (as you should) you’re sure to stumble upon Budapest’s Main Square at some time or another. Located in District 3, this area is big for culture and tourism, dotted with adorable coffee shops and stores open to the public and close to some remnants of ancient Roman baths and amphitheatres. Psst, some of the spas are open to the public, and we’ll take you there to relax with all your new friends…

This Shadow and Bone filming location is used for all the scenes that take place in West Ravka, populated by the pack of mischievous Crows. Most notably, Budapest Main Square is where Kaz carries around a goat in a surprising out-of-character moment, and while Kaz certainly knows his way around, we definitely don’t want him as a Contiki Trip Manager… a little too on the stabby stabby side for us…

Royal Palace of Gödöllő

The grand ball given in Alina’s honour – a most majestic affair – was filmed in the grand reception hall of the Royal Palace of Gödöllő. As you can imagine, the hall lives up to its name and is ornamented in cream-coloured walls with swirling golden rococo vines and illustrious chandeliers. With this description it’s no surprise that this palace was once Empress Elisabeth’s favourite residence. 

Filmed here are also two scenes from the Six of Crows plot: one featuring Jesper and a stable-boy in the cleanest and most beautiful stables ever, and another in a church that bears witness to violence from Inej’s hands. 

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Palace of Justice

Is it me or are there a lot of palaces on this list? Guess that’s what happens when your filming locations are shot in such a historic city. The Palace of Justice is only used in one scene as the Grand Palace of Os Alta but it’s such a stunning location it just had to be included.

Featured in a scene when General Kirigan introduces Alina to Ravka’s king, this location features pristine marble floors with deep blue patterns and an eagle crest in the centre. In reality, this building used to be a museum which housed a great deal of Hungarian folk artefacts and intricate architecture. The grand staircase is of course an asset and reason enough for any wannabe princes and princesses to visit and make their dreams come true for an afternoon.

The Royal Palace of Budapest, aka Buda Palace

This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a historic building and absolutely unavoidable for anyone visiting Hungary. It’s impossible to miss visually. Elevated above the rest of the city like the crown jewel it is, it overlooks the Danube and carves quite a picture over the river come night time when it’s lit up from all angles. Take our River Tour on the Danube to catch views of Budapest’s most impressive landmarks.

The Royal Palace served as one of the main Shadow and Bone filming locations, hosting many scenes from the Grand Palace, and a few from the Little Palace, as well as the heist scenes taking place within the Royal Archives of Ravka. Built in 1265, the rusted copper domes have faded into that beautiful turquoise of old buildings which helps the Palace stand out among the rest – a must see. 

Origo Studios

Netflix seems to have quite a thing for Origo Studios as on top of it being one of Shadow and Bone’s filming locations, it’s also a shooting location for The Witcher. In fact, the fictional town of Ketterdam where the crows’ plotline commences is an updated version of the former show’s set, both sharing that mediaeval style. 

All the scenes set aboard ships weathering tough storms are also shot in this studio, as well as the icy landscapes of Fjerda. Budapest just couldn’t accommodate any mass flooding or snowstorms for the show’s purposes unfortunately. Though, we understand, it’s too elegant to be ruffled in the slightest.

Have we piqued your interest? Thinking a trip to Budapest would be just the thing for you. Well, we’ll happily take you there, all you have to do is book in a few clicks. 

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