48 hours of Game of Thrones: Visit Dubrovnik, Croatia

Want to walk the paths of dragons? Visit Croatia’s well-preserved Dubrovnik to see the fantastical world of Game of Thrones come to life.
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Dubrovnik is a scenic city located in the Adriatic Sea in southern Croatia. Hailed as one of the world’s most beautiful walled cities overlooking the emerald blue sea, the destination has also become wildly popular because of a show you might have heard of: Game of Thrones.

Dubrovnik is notable for its filming location as King’s Landing, the fictional city in the most-awarded series in Emmy Award history. We’ve located some of the most notable Game of Thrones scenes in the city of Dubrovnik as well as on the island of Lokrum, a 15-minute ferry ride away from the city.

48 hours in Dubrovnik, Croatia
Image by GRÆS Magazine via Unsplash

Croatia is open to tourists! The wearing of face masks is mandatory in Croatia. For a convenient way to keep updated on ever-changing travel restrictions due to COVID-19, check out our free COVID-19 travel restrictions guide before embarking on your Croatian Game of Thrones adventure. Be safe and have fun!

Get ready to be immersed in the fantastical world of Game of Thrones as we spend 48 hours in King’s Landing and Qarth!

Day One:

Begin your journey into the world of King’s Landing by starting at the Pile Gate entrance to Old Town Dubrovnik. Explore the nooks and crannies scattered across the old town and see how history comes alive through historical relics and incredible stories.

Pile Gate

The Pile Gate is a stone entrance to Dubrovnik Old Town which dates back to 1537. This gate is exceptionally beautiful at nightfall as the lights illuminate the intricate renaissance arches of the gate. The Pile Gate is never closed except for rare occasions such as the filming of Game of Thrones.

This iconic gate is featured in two instances across the show. In season 2, episode 6, someone throws manure at Joffrey Lannister’s face after sending Myrcella off to Dorne. Joffrey orders to kill everyone in the crowd and a chaotic riot begins at the outer walls.

The gate is also featured in season 3, episode 10, where Jamie Lannister returns to King’s Landing after being captured by Robb Stark.

Pile Gate at Dubrovnik, Croatia
Image via Kings Landing Dubrovnik

Walls of Dubrovnik

Step foot on this legendary monument of Croatian history! The Dubrovnik City Walls, built between the 12th and 17th centuries, encircle the Old Town of Dubrovnik. These walls protected the seaside city from pirates and other unwelcome guests. It is a legendary symbol of liberty and impenetrable defense, still standing tall and proud today. The city walls connect the Pile Gate, Fort Lovrijenac, and the Minčeta Tower which are also featured in this itinerary.

These walls were featured many times in Game of Thrones. From the battle of Blackwater Bay to the memorable conversation between Tyrion and Lord Varys as they planned their defense to King’s Landing, these walls definitely played an important role in both Dubrovnik’s and King’s Landing’s histories.

Minčeta Tower

Finish your trek around Dubrovnik’s Old Walls at Minčeta Tower. Apart from its prominence in Game of Thrones, the Minčeta Tower is Dubrovnik’s highest point of the city’s defense system. Originally built in 1319, the Minčeta Tower served as a strong four-sided fort after the fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Empire. The tower was named after the Mencetic family that owned the ground that this Tower is built upon.

This tower offers incredible panoramic views of the Old Port and remains a true icon of Dubrovnik that must not be missed!

This tower is best recognized as the exterior of the House of Undying in the town of Qarth. In season 2, Daenerys Targaryen pays a visit to this house in her search for her two dragons.

Minčeta Tower at Dubrovnik, Croatia
Image via King’s Landing Dubrovnik

Fort Lovrijenac

Often called “The Gibraltar of Dubrovnik”, this phenomenal fort is located along Dubrovnik’s Walls. Standing at 37 meters above sea level, Fort Lovrijenac was built to protect the city from the impending invasion by the Venetian. Today, such protection is no longer needed and the fort is transformed into a venue that stages beautiful plays during the summer.

Remember to look up at the inscription above the door when you enter — “Non Bene Pro Toto Libertas Venditur Auro“. This translates to “freedom cannot be sold for all the gold of the world”, a haunting reminder of the past.

This fort is where Game of Thrones meets real life. Fort Lovrijenac is recognizable as the Red Keep in the Seven Kingdoms capital of King’s Landing. In a moment of whimsy, you might even be able to spot the likes of Tyrion, Podrick, and Bronn walking along these walls.

Fort Lovrijenac at Dubrovnik, Croatia
Image via Hello Jetlag

Jesuit Staircase by the Saint Ignatius Church

Venture further into Dubrovnik Old Town to discover the Jesuit Staircase by the Saint Ignatius Church. This iconic staircase is indicative of the fine Baroque architecture peppered through the historic streets of Dubrovnik. Some even say that these stairs are similar to the Spanish Steps in Rome.

As you scale these stairs, feast your eyes on the breathtaking Church of Saint Ignatius. This 18th-century church is framed by its striking exterior depicting the life of St. Ignatius Loyola, the founder of the Jesuit Religious Order. When you enter, don’t forget to look up at the colorful fresco that adorns the semi-dome.

If you haven’t already noticed, you should be shamed! The Jesuit Staircase is the filming location of one of the most famous scenes in Game of Thrones: the “Walk of Shame” in season 5. Check out Cersei Lannister’s emotionally-gripping scene in the video below.

Day Two:

Lokurm Island

A trip to Dubrovnik is not without a visit to the island paradise of Lokrum. Spend the second half of your trip on this gorgeous forested island, just a ferry ride away from the city of Dubrovnik.

Take one of the ferries from Porporela, Dubrovnik’s Old Port. The trip lasts about 15 minutes and costs 40 kuna (5 euro). The island is amazing to visit in the summer as the waters that lap along its rocky beaches make for a popular swimming spot. Love island-hopping? Check out our guide here.

This is the perfect place for relaxation after spending the day in the historical Dubrovnik city. Here are some destinations you can visit when you pay a visit Lokrum:

Benedictine Monastery of St Mary

The center of the island’s attraction is the Benedictine monastery of Saint Mary. Built in 1023, a scary legend looms over this historic building. It was said that when a massive fire broke out in the city of Dubrovnik, the inhabitants of the city made a vow to Saint Benedict promising that they would build a monastery in his name to stop the raging fires. Miraculously, the fires were extinguished with the construction of what is known today as the Benedictine monastery of Saint Mary.

After its construction, many have attempted to conquer the monastery. These include Dubrovnik aristocrats who died mysteriously through means of drowning, murder, and suicide. Unfazed? It’s your turn to visit Lokrum Island to see if the curse still exists today!

The great city of Qarth is set in the beauty of the Benedictine monastery. Today, the monastery has been converted to a small Game of Thrones museum where fans can see clips of the cast and crew. There is also a replica of the Iron Throne to take pictures with. Apart from popular culture memorabilia, it’s worth admiring the Neo-gothic high arches of the monastery, aesthetically framed by luscious greenery.

Keep an eye out for free-roaming peacocks. These extravagant birds inspired the opulence and majesty of the great city of Qarth.

Qarth on the Island of Lokrum,  Dubrovnik, Croatia
Image via Kings Landing Dubrovnik

A Private Dead Sea

“The Dead Sea” is a tiny but gorgeous beach on Lokrum Island. Located on the southern point of the island, this 10-meter deep crystal clear lake is a popular location for swimmers to come splash about. This tiny salt-filled lake is the result of erosional depression over millions of years, and its likeness to the original Dead Sea coined its name. If you are feeling adventurous, head left from the ferry and follow the signs marked FKK. You may or may not stumble upon a nudist beach!

Though no Game of Thrones scenes were filmed here, this tranquil and idyllic location is one that must not be missed.

We hope that you’ve enjoyed your journey through Dubrovnik with us. Know of more Game of Thrones filming locations worth visiting? Do share!

If you’re planning to travel elsewhere, remember to bookmark our handy resource, The Ultimate Guide to COVID-19 Travel Restrictions, to remain up-to-date with regulations across the globe!

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