Welcome to King’s Landing, Westeros… I mean, Dubrovnik, Croatia!
For this hardcore Game of Thrones fangirl—read the books, watch the series, know the theories, even cook the food—our trip to Dubrovnik, Croatia was all about GoT.
The walled old town of Dubrovnik is one of the key filming locations for Game of Thrones. Several Game of Thrones themed tours are available, but with a bit of Google magic it’s easy to map out your own for free. Brands & Films gives a great roundup of GoT locations in Dubrovnik, while the Game of Thrones Wiki has a map with nine locations.
I was overjoyed to be there. I hummed the GoT theme music as our ferry pulled into the port of Dubrovnik, and at countless other times during our stay. I referred to real places by their fictional names, as in “After breakfast, let’s walk down to Blackwater Bay.”
I was overcome by one geekgasm after another whenever I would look around and recognize places from one of my favorite series of all time. I may have even gotten weepy more than once.
I pretended to get naked on the steps leading up to Saint Ignatius Church, where Cersei Lannister began her infamous Walk of
Shame Atonement in season six.
I must have looked weird, but I ignored the curious stares. “They don’t get it, they just don’t get it!” I said to myself, pulling my best Lannister bitchface.
I got goosebumps picturing the knights of the Kingsguard marching through the city streets…
and the people of King’s Landing booing naked Cersei. I could almost hear that damned nun declaring “Shame! Shame! Shame!” behind me as I walked.
I channeled my inner Daenerys, holding my shrieking baby dragon in my arms for a photo op at Minceta Tower, or the House of the Undying in season two.
I climbed a couple of hundred stairs to Fort Lovrijenac, the setting for many palace scenes in the Red Keep. The fort offers sweeping views of the old town and nearby Lokrum Island, which doubles for the cities of King’s Landing and Qarth.
If you’re not a GoT fan and you’ve made it this far, thanks for indulging my geekery! There’s lots here for you as well. The old town of Dubrovnik is a compact and walkable with lots to see and do, whether or not you follow the series.
The one thing you must absolutely do? Climb the Dubrovnik city walls.
Be prepared for lots of stairs and human traffic jams, particularly during peak tourist season. But it’s more than worth it for stunning views of Dubrovnik.
Once you’ve done that, explore the narrow streets of the old town. Fortify yourself for even more stairs… and watch out, the worn stone steps can be slippery!
At the top of all those steps and tucked into tiny alleys, you’ll be rewarded with little gems. Like Lady Pi-Pi, a tiny restaurant with city views and the biggest tuna steaks you’ll ever see…
… or D’Vino, a cozy little wine bar where you can get a friendly introduction to the delights of Croatian wine. This was our favorite Dubrovnik hangout, and we ended up hoarding a few bottles to bring home. Book in advance for their tasting flights, which are super popular.
With or without a raging Game of Thrones obsession, the old town of Dubrovnik is a beautiful place for a unique city break. It’s also a great point of departure for my last and favorite stop on our Croatian trip—and that is the breathtakingly lovely island of Hvar. Coming up next!