Dubrovnik is affectionately known as the Pearl of the Adriatic. It is an enchanting city on the southern region of Croatia boasting glistening views of the Dalmatian coast. Regarded for its walled-in Old Town dating back to the 16th century, as well as remarkably preserved buildings, this bewitching city is as spellbinding as they come. Take a step back in time as you stroll down the cold limestone streets, or walk into a realm that is entirely fictional – of course, the choice is yours. If you are a Game of Thrones fan then you will be excited to learn all the filming locations on one of the Game of Thrones Tour Dubrovnik.
*By: Sarah Harris*
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Game of Thrones Dubrovnik
Many fans of George R. R. Martin’s series, Game of Thrones know that much of the HBO series is filmed throughout various Mediterranean corners, medieval castles and craggy mountainsides. While it might be hard to wrap your head around visiting a city to marvel at fictitious history through a guided walking tour, you can take in actual history as you stroll through these historical relics including the Dubrovnik Castle to name a few.
Game of Thrones Tour Dubrovnik
It’s, of course, recommended to sign up for a traditional Dubrovnik walking tour before exploring the various King’s Landing filming locations. What you will come to discover while learning about Croatia’s past, and Dubrovnik in particular, is that it’s incredibly storied. With Venetian influences that can be found in architecture to pasta, to Balkan touches throughout, this city’s historic sites are becoming increasingly appreciated and visited thanks to Game of Thrones. Once you turn on your social media and start geotagging your photos, you will quickly learn that Dubrovnik is now lovingly – and more often than not – referred to as King’s Landing.
When you’re ready to unearth the betrayals looming within the world of Westeros, you can sign up for a guided Game of Thrones tour around Dubrovnik or follow this counsel and navigate King’s Landing solo. We will say that the tours are usually hosted by extras on the show, and they carry with them pictures from the set. With that, they also have some salacious gossip and even teasers in their back pocket if you ask the right questions.
Your guided or self-navigated tour of the Game of Thrones locations around Dubrovnik can begin at a handful of sites, but the Pile Gate Entrance to Old Town is a great place to start. This important filming location has been used to shoot a number of scenes, most notably in Seasons two and three. From there, you’re within walking distance to most sites including Lovrijenac Fortress also known as the Red Keep. For views of this rugged location, be sure to make dinner reservations at Nautika, a fine dining establishment dishing out glistening views of both the Red Keep and another shooting location, Dubrovnik West Harbour or Blackwater Bay. If you’re feeling adventurous after your meal, you can climb to the top and take in the twinkling sites.
Dubrovnik City Walls
Next, spend time exploring Fort Bokar, which also forms part of the Dubrovnik City Wall. This location was used to shoot sea wall shots of King’s Landing – Dubrovnik. You can also catch stellar views from Fort Lovrijenac from within the City Walls, as you’re able to walk along those as well. Your Game of Thrones tour may only be able to walk you through a portion of the walls, but if you explore them on your own, you’ve successfully uncovered another filming location. This UNESCO World Heritage site since 1979 attracts tourists from around the world in their own right but is also one of the more popular shooting locations from the show. As you tour along, you will have a beautiful vantage point of the famous red rooftops of Dubrovnik.
The east entrance to the Old Town Dubrovnik, Ploče Gate was built in Romanesque style at the end of 14th century and is the east entrance to the Old Town Dubrovnik. Cersei Lannister passing over this bridge and enters to the Red Keep after her walk of shame at the end of season five.
For uninterrupted views of the Adriatic Sea, be sure to visit the commanding Minčeta Tower, also shown as the House of the Undying in Qarth. To get to the top of this real-life 14th-century fortress, you will need to climb 750 steps, but navigating that winding staircase will be worth the sweat once you get to the top, as proves true with most things in life. Next, take a walk to the Ethnographic Museum. Once a granary, this 16th-century building now houses cultural exhibits and was also used as a filming location in Season four.
Of course, a Game of Thrones tour around Dubrovnik would not be complete without a trip to the Jesuit Stairs, just off the Gundulićeva Poljana. These beautiful Baroque wonders that descend from St. Ignatius Church also doubled as the filming location of one of the most notorious and apparently expensive scenes in the show’s history. These now infamous steps of the Great Sept of Baelor in King’s Landing, played host to Cersei’s walk of shame in Season five. Her walk of atonement – in the buff – stretched throughout Old Town, but it’s at the top of the steps that the scene started. Once you’re through with yelling “Shame” as your significant other walks down, you can take a leisurely stroll through pristine gardens at Gradac Park, located next to Old Town. This location was the site of King Joffrey’s wedding and ultimate demise, in typical Westeros fashion.
St. Dominic Street Game of Thrones Dubrovnik
St. Dominic Street is a significant street as several scenes from The Game of Thrones were filmed here. It is the connection between Ploče gate and Stradun and goes past the Dominican monastery.
One of the most famous Game of Thrones scenes filmed here is where the Gold Cloaks kill one of King Robert’s illegitimate sons. Tyrion and Bronn, in Season 2, here witness a protest speech, and Cersei Lannister as a sign of penance walks naked here in the scene that begins on the Jesuit staircase.
For time spent outside of Dubrovnik, take the local ferry to a curious little island called Lokrum just 15-minute away. Inhabited solely by peacocks and rabbits, and home to the Franciscan monastery, lush botanical gardens and ample rocks for sunbathing, locals have been flocking to this island for years for a quiet reprieve. Thanks to a replica Iron Throne located in a tiny museum, fans from around the world can take the hot seat in the fictional city of Qarth. From there, you can hike about 40-minutes or so to Pigeon’s cave for uninterrupted views of the Adriatic, which truly does glimmer at all hours of the day.
Game of Thrones Split, Croatia
There are a few other noteworthy Game of Thrones locations around Croatia, including in Split, just 230 km north of Old Town. The second largest city in Croatia is also home to Diocletian’s Palace, a stately building that was erected in the 4th century AD. This UNESCO World Heritage site doubled as the basement where Daenerys Targaryen kept her dragons. And just a short 20-minutes from there is the Fortress of Klis, former home of Croatian kings and dukes during the Ottoman Empire. For fans, this 3rd century BC build is better known as Meereen, a city in the Bay of Dragons.
Hotel Excelsior Dubrovnik
When in Dubrovnik, you will have the chance to sleep in the hotel where many actors of Game of Thrones slept in the final season. The Hotel Excelsior, a 104-year-old UNESCO-protected property boasts some of the best views of the sea and Old Town. While this stay might put some stress on your wallet, your experience will feel all the more authentic. A member of the Adriatic Luxury Hotel collection, this property offers 19 luxury suites inside the original structure, a former royal villa. The more modern building which slept the likes of Emilia Clarke and Kit Harrington between filming features all of the modern amenities any discerning traveller could hope for.
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If you’re looking to explore these locations while in Dubrovnik, you can purchase your tickets in advance via tour sites including Get Your Guide or simply sign up for a tour as you walk through Old Town.
Are you a Game of Thrones fan? This is the ultimate guide to the Game of Thrones Filming locations in Dubrovnik Croatia
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