In case you hadn’t heard (because you’re a backpacker living off the road in the backwaters of Siberia for the past few years perhaps) but HBO’s fantasy series Game of Thrones is not only a massive telly success, but has also been a huge tourism boost for the countries in which it has been filmed.
One such location is the Croatian city of Dubrovnik, which doubles for GoT’s sun soaked King’s Landing – the capital of the Seven Kingdom and home to the much desired Iron Throne. In fact, while CGI may have helped to transform some of the sites used for the show into something a touch more medieval/fantasy, the city really is just one big location in itself.
If you’re visiting beautiful coastal Dubrovnik, there are several companies offering GoT location tours – you can check some of them out on Viator.com here. However, if you want to save your hard earned moolah and make your own way, here is our guide to some of the locations you may want to drop by.
- The Baroque style Jesuit Staircase, located on the south side of Gundulic Square, double as the steps of the Great Sept of Baelor in King’s Landing. Perhaps one of the most memorable scenes in season five, this is where the steely Cersei Lannister begins her walk of atonement by disrobing.
- Snaking through the old town from Ploče Gate to Stradun, the cobble stoned St. Dominika Street appears on numerous occasions, including many market and City Watch scenes. Most notably this narrow street, flanked by the high city walls, are where the Gold Cloaks kill one of King Robert’s illegitimate sons in season one, where Tyrion and Bronn witness a protest speech in season two and where Cersei’s walk of atonement takes place in season five
- Lovrijenac Fort, or St. Lawrence Fortress, is a fortress and theatre outside the western wall of the city. This magnificent structure features as the Red Keep itself, sitting atop an imposing rock 120 feet above the sea (you will have to climb 175 steps to reach it). Another filming hotspot, this is where scenes including Joffrey’s Nameday Tournament, Tyrion slapping Joffrey and the “Power is power“ dialogue (Little Finger and Cersei locking horns) where filmed.
- The beautiful, 15th century Rector’s Palace (which today operates as the Cultural History Museum) serves as the home of the Spice King in Qarth. In season two external parts of Rector’s Palace were used to film the scene where Daenerys Targaryen asks the Spice King for ships to take her army across the Narrow Sea.
- The east entrance to the Old Town, Ploče Gate doubles as the gateway to the Red Keep, the castle which is home to the famous Iron Throne and, of course, the seat of the king himself. The gate has an inner and outer section with a stone bridge in between. Cersei returned to the the Red Keep via this route after her walk of atonement.
- The island of Lokrum (pictured), a short taxi-boat journey from Dubrovnik, offers more locations for the ancient port city of Qarth, ruled by pureborn. Scenes include where Daenerys Targaryen met the rather frosty Spice King and asked for his help, and where Xaro Xhoan Daxos, overturned the decision of the council and hosted a welcome party for Daenerys and her dragons.
- Pile Bay – This rather pretty spot doubles as Blackwater Bay, where the Lannisters bids goodbye to Myrcella before she sails to Dorne. where Shae and Sansa Stark watch the ships before Littlefinger discusses escape plans with Sansa and, perhaps more disturbingly, where one of Robert Baratheon’s illegitimate sons meets his end.
- The pine-filled Gradac Park, located above the Old Town of Dubrovnik, is where the sumptuous, royal wedding feast to celebrate the union of the (ill fated) King Joffrey Baratheon and his new queen, Margaery Tyrell, was filmed.
- A 20-minute drive along the coast will bring you to the 15th-century villa, Trsteno Arboretum. The stunning gardens here, including a belvedere pavilion overlooking the sea, are where many King’s Landing garden scenes were shot, including Olena Tyrell and Varys plotting against LIttle FInger, and where Olena and Margaery Tyrell hear Sansa Stark’s sad story.
That, of course, is just a flavour of some of the bigger GoT locations the city is home to. As an Interrailer you will already know, of course, there is nothing quite like just going off track, on a bit of an explore, and you never know, you might just start to feel somewhere is a little bit familiar….
The Interrailing Packages team