The Shadow and Bone Netflix series is widely based on the first novel of Leigh Bardugo‘s trilogy, where it got its name and her Six of Crows duology. The Grishaverse is vast and intricate, but the first season of the show is primarily set in the country of Ravka and specifically the Little Palace. The Six of Crows subplot is set in the rundown port of Ketterdam, filled with unsavories, and we meet Nina Zenik (Danielle Galligan) and Matthias Helvar (Calahan Skogman) in the icy nation of Fjerda. Although Ravka was largely based on Tsarist Russia, the filming of this Netflix series was all located in Budapest, the capital of Hungary and were primarily in and around national museums, palaces, and gardens. Fortunately, many of the filming locations are open to the public, so the next time you find yourself in Budapest, feel free to visit.
Located in Kezsthely, the Festetics Palace was the primary filming location for the exterior and interior of the Little Palace. The Little Palace is where Alina Starkov (Jessie Mai Lee) trained to become a fully fledged Grisha and where Ravka’s Second Army was stationed. Baroque architecture and elegant gardens (Kastelypark Keszthely) make the Festetics Palace the perfect location, but four of the turrets around the central one were digitally added to create a more Tsarist Russian view. The interior included the oak-paneled staircases on screen, which were located in the Hall of Stairs in the Festetics Palace, and the grand library that was featured in the show. The Darkling’s (Ben Barnes) war room was also filmed in the palace, with its gloomy interior and gold detailing creating the perfect atmosphere for the Darkling’s character. The Festetics Palace is currently open for tours, where you may be able to recognize some of the dimly lit corridors from the show.
Royal Palace of Godollo
The stables of the Little Palace are situated in the Royal Palace of Godollo, also known as Grassalkovich Palace. They are located in the Royal Palace itself, leading out into a corridor connecting to the Baroque theater. Consequently, it is far from a rustic barn and is surprisingly clean and stately for a stable. We see it in the fifth episode of Season 1, where Jesper Fahey (Kit Young) meet s young stableboy, resulting in a small tryst among the sage green wooden stalls. It is also suggested that the extravagant ballroom is none other than the Royal Palace’s own ballroom.
The Baroque Church of the Palace also serves as the location for the Palace Church where Inej Ghafa (Amita Suman) lodges a knife in an Inferni’s neck in Episode 5. Adorned in engravings and vibrant mosaic, the chapel is difficult to miss in the action sequence.
Although a couple of the scenes of the Grand Palace of Os Alta consisted of the Buda Castle, the castle primarily served as the location for the Royal Archives. Kaz Brekker (Freddy Carter) and his troupe conducted a heist into the Royal Archives to retrieve blueprints for the Little Palace. The medieval and looming structures in the inner courtyard of the castle was depicted as the exterior part of the Royal Archives, including the dome Inej climbed around to break in. However, the Lion’s Court and the Hungarian National Gallery are also familiar locations in the show as rooms in the Grand Palace. The old city wall of Pest which is on the edge of Budapest’s District 5 also served as the Os Alta Palace walls.
Palace of Justice
The Palace of Justice, formerly known as the Museum of Ethnography, is also used for the Grand Palace of Os Alta. The museum has relocated to another building since the first season was filmed, but it held a large collection of Hungarian folk artifacts and intricate architecture, making the hall a prime contender for the throne room in the Grand Palace. This room is used in Episode 3, where Alina is introduced to the King for the first time, surrounded by marble stairs and gold carvings.
Budapest Stock Exchange Palace
The Royal Archive’s interior was shot at the Budapest Stock Exchange Palace in Liberty Square that hasn’t been in use since 2009. As Inej drops into the rotunda, she lands on marble floors that span throughout the monumental complex, though only one room was used in filming. The palace is a popular filming location and has been used in films like Blade Runner 2049 as an abandoned casino in Las Vegas.
Origo Studios was home to the medieval set of the Netflix series The Witcher. Shadow and Bone‘s Ketterdam, the port town where the Six of Crows subplot began in, is essentially an updated version of the former show’s set. Since Nina and Matthias’ journey was set on a ship and in Fjerda, the Baroque architecture of Hungary wasn’t a suitable location to film in. As such, Origa Studios was also used to mimic the stormy sea voyage and icy topography of Fjerda.
Budapest Main Square
In Episode 3 we see Kaz carrying a goat through Novokribirsk Town Square in West Ravka, where rallies against East Ravka are occurring. This was filmed in the Budapest Main Square, located in District 3, which is actually lined with numerous cafés and shops that are open to the public. Nearby there is rich evidence of the main square’s history, including remnants of ancient Roman baths and amphitheaters.
Alina’s escape into West Ravka is set in the narrow alleyways and cobblestone lanes of Szentendre. The scenes illustrate the pastel walls of houses with flakes of paint worn off, completely contrasting the rest of the picturesque and vibrant neighborhood. The Hungarian Open Air Museum is also situated in Szentendre and is the filming location for the village and windmill ruins in Episode 4. Mal (Archie Renaux) and a group of First Army (non-Grisha) troops are sent to an outpost north of Chernast, near the Fjerdan border. The dilapidated windmill is a familiar landmark; it was also used in The Witcher. Apart from Origa Studios, this is the only other filming location in which these two shows overlap, due to the marked difference in their aesthetic.
Amade Bajzath-Pappenheim Castle
The orphanage in Keramzin, where Alina and Mal were raised, was filmed in the Amade Bajzath-Pappenheim Castle. In the scene where Alina and Mal hide to avoid the Grisha assessment, the unmistakable hexagonal entranced of the castle can be viewed, usually relishing in its grandeur and elegance when shadowy effects aren’t added. This location can be visited if you book a group tour in advance, or there is also an opportunity to spend 10 days there during the summer as part of an artist’s retreat.
The second season of Shadow and Bone is out on Netflix now.