Witcher 3 takes place in the Northern Kingdoms of the Witcher universe. They are bordered by the Nilfgaardian Empire to the south, which invades the Northern Kingdoms shortly before the game starts.
More specifically, the game’s main zones include White Orchard, the Royal Palace in Vizima, Velen and Novigrad, the Skellige Isles, Kaer Morhen, and the duchy of Toussaint (Blood and Wine expansion). Here’s a quick look at each zone and its map.
Note: all of these zones (except the Royal Palace) contain places of power.
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White Orchard Map
White Orchard is a small village in the Northern Kingdom of Temeria which is under NIlfgaardian control.
Royal Palace in Vizima Map
Vizima is the capital of Temeria, the Northern Kingdom that is conquered fairly quickly by the Nilfgaardian Empire before the Witcher 3 starts.
The Nilfgaardian Emperor Emhyr var Emreis takes over Vizima’s Royal Palace as his command center for the duration of the war, so you’ll spend quite a lot of time here to progress the game’s main story.
Vizima also happens to be the main setting of the first Witcher game.
Velen, also known as No Man’s Land, is a province of northern Temeria that was conquered by Nilfgaard. It’s one of the game’s main areas, and certainly the biggest by sheer size. The Redanian cities of Novigrad and Oxenfurt are located on the edges of the Velen zone, to the north and northeast.
Novigrad is the main city in Witcher 3. Although it’s located in the Northern Kingdom of Redania, It’s a free city, which means it’s not actually under the control of the kingdom. Novigrad is a massive port city home to two brothels: Passiflora and Crippled Kate’s.
The Skellige Isles Map
The Skellige Isles is a group of islands off the eastern coast of the Northern Kingdoms. This is the second major zone in the game, alongside Velen. The six islands are considered a nation united by a single King. They are at war with Nilfgaard.
Kaer Morhen Map
Located in the Northern Kingdom of Kaedwen, Kaer Morhen is the site of the Witcher School of the Wolf. This is the first zone of Witcher 3, and the main questline will have you return here many times, especially at important points in the story.
The Duchy of Toussaint Map
Toussaint is a beautiful duchy under the control of Nilfgaard, which is located in the far south of the Witcher world map. This area and its city of Beauclair (home to the Belles of Beauclair brothel) serve as the setting for the game’s second expansion — Blood and Wine.
Toussaint is famous for its wine, and certainly feels a lot like medieval France.