While the stunning lowlands, rugged coastline, and green hills of Northern Ireland were the main locations for filming the eight seasons of Game Of Thrones, other European destinations, including Spain, Malta, Scotland and Bulgaria provided the perfect medieval settings for the show’s fictional cities in Westeros. King’s Landing, capital of the Seven Kingdoms, was recreated in Dubrovnik, a charming city located in southern Croatia, right in front of the Adriatic Sea.
Known for its postcard-worthy Old Town dotted with well-preserved ancient constructions, Dubrovnik played host to more than 10 Game Of Thrones filming locations. So, when exploring the city, the show’s fans will immediately be transported to the fictional realm of King’s Landing, the stronghold of the Lannister family where the coveted Iron Thrones sits.
To help you make the most out of your Game of Thrones deep-dive in Dubrovnik, we’ve rounded up 10 filming locations that are worth visiting in the city. After checking Dubrovnik off your bucket list, you can also explore the Game Of Thrones filming locations in Spain.
And in case you’re still watching the show: this post might contain spoilers!
Note: Make sure to double-check COVID 19 precautions, protocols, and operating hours before you visit any of these sites.
About Dubrovnik, Croatia
“If you want to see heaven on earth, come to Dubrovnik.” These were the words of Bernard Shaw, a prominent Irish playwright Bernard Shaw, after visiting Dubrovnik, in 1929. Located within a six-hour drive from Zagreb, the city is one of the most desired Mediterranean destinations, especially during the summer. With a rich historical background that dates back to the 7th century, Dubrovnik is filled with ancient buildings, including the Arboretum Trsteno, the oldest arboretum in the world, built around 1492. The city also boasts a showcase of Renaissance-style buildings that survived the earthquake of 1667, as well as Gothic, and Romanesque-style architectural gems.
Dubrovnik is also applauded for its Old Town, which was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979. Placed in the heart of the city, the Old Town is a late-medieval area, home to a variety of Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque buildings — from churches to palaces —, and quaint narrow cobbled streets. The Old Town is encircled by Dubrovnik’s iconic stone walls, which run almost 2 km around the city, and were built from the 11th to the 17th century to protect the city.
Fun fact: adorned with historic jewels and offering sweeping views of the turquoise sea, Dubrovnik was nicknamed “Pearl of The Adriatic”.
What Is The Best Time To Visit Dubrovnik?
Dubrovnik has a Mediterranean climate, with hot summers and mild winters. In July and August, temperatures can reach 30°C, which is perfect for those who want to soak up the sun and uncover the city’s turquoise-water beaches. During this time of year, however, Dubrovnik gets crowded, as it’s high season. So, in case you want to visit the city during the off-peak season, we recommend September and October, which is when the summer is transitioning into mild autumn, offering pleasant temperatures, and less crowded attractions (even though there’s still a reasonable amount of tourists in the city).
Game Of Thrones Locations in Dubrovnik, Croatia
Fort Lovrijenac | The Red Keep
Also known as St. Lawrence Fortress and “Dubrovnik’s Gibraltar”, Fort Lovrijenac is a fortress placed on the western side of the Old Town, on top of a 37 meters-high cliff above sea level. Overlooking the turquoise waters of the Adriatic, Fort Lovrijenac has a triangular shape and three terraces.
Fort Lovrijenac was the location for the filming of Game Of Thrones in Dubrovnik. In the show, Fort Lovrijenac doubles as the Red Keep in King’s Landing, and one of the most well-known scenes shot in the fortress is the one where a tournament is held in honor of King Joffrey (season 2).
Curious fact: Fort Lovrijenac is also being a theater, where plays like Midsummer Nights Dream and Hamlet are presented.
Minčeta Tower | The House Of The Undying
In case you want to visit one of the Game Of Thrones filming locations in Dubrovnik, and enjoying the most sweeping views of the city, head over to the Minčeta Tower. Locally known as Tvrđava Minčeta, the tower is placed at the highest point of Dubrovnik’s defense system, and consists of a large round fortress with an enormous base. Originally built in 1319 as a four-sided fort, Minčeta Tower was named after the Menčetić family, who owned the ground where the tower was built upon.
Part of the Minčeta Tower can be seen in the last episode of Season 2 of Game Of Thrones. The base was used as the exterior of the House of Undying, an ancient stone ruin located in the fictional town of Qarth. In the episode, Daenerys Targaryen goes to the House of the Undying with Jorah Mormont and Kovarro to retrieve her stolen dragons.
The Rector’s Palace | Game of Thrones’ Qarth
Aside from King’s Landing, Dubrovnik was the filming location of Qart, which is another fictional city in Game Of Thrones. Located on the southern coast of Essos, Qart is ancient port city also referred to as the Queen of Cities.
One of the most prominent Dubrovnik buildings that is featured in Game Of Thrones is the Rector’s Palace, the residence of the Spice King, in Qarth. In season 2, Daenerys Targaryen visits the building to ask the king for ships where she could take her army across the Narrow sea.
Build in the 13th-century and rebuilt twice later, the Rectors Palace perfectly combines elements of the Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque style. Nowadays home to the Museum of Dubrovnik, which displays artifacts from Dubrovnik’s history, the Rector’s Palace features a Baroque staircase leading to a mezzanine gallery, a monument designed by Piero Paolo Giacometti, and an atrium space that hosts classical music concerts. If either you’re a Game of Thrones fan or not, the Rector’s Palace is totally worth the visit.
Lokrum Island | Party in Qarth
Do you know what the Minčeta Tower, Rector’s Palace and Lokrum Island all have in common? These three Game Of Thrones filming locations played host to scenes that take place in the fictional city of Qart.
Placed in the Adriatic Sea, 600 meters from Dubrovnik, Lokrum Island is a 72 hectares forested sanctuary inhabited by abundant flora and fauna, including families of peacocks that we brought to the island in the 19th century.
Thanks to immense natural beauty — Lokrum Island is a Nature Reserve and a Special Forest Vegetation Reserve—, the island appears in a few across Game Of Thrones that are set in Qarth, such as the party where Daenerys meets the city’s elite, in season 2.
St. Dominic Street | Cersei’s Walk Of Shame
Framed by the Dominican Monastery, St. Dominic Street was the setting for several Game Of Thrones scenes. This narrow street connects the Ploče Gate with Stradun, and because of the show, it became one of the most photographed spots in Dubrovnik.
Curious to know which scenes were shot in St. Dominic Street? We can name a few, but the most iconic is Cersei’s “Walk Of Shame”, in which she walks naked through the street, as a sign of penance, accompanied by Septa Unella that repeatedly screams out “Shame!”.
Jesuit Stairs | Walk Of Shame Stairs
The Jesuit Stairs are not only one of the most famous Game Of Thrones filming locations in Dubrovnik, but also representative samples of the Baroque architecture in Dubrovnik. Designed by Pietro Passalacqua, a Roman architect, the stairs leads up to the Boškovićeva Poljana, or Bošković Square, which is home to the Jesuit church of St. Ignatius.
On Game Of Thrones season 5, the staircase is also part of Queen Cersei’s walk of shame. After being imprisoned by the Faith of the Seven, the queen confessed adultery, incest, and regicide, and was forced to walk completely naked as a sign of penitence.
Ploče Gate | The Red Keep Gate
Ploče Gate is the final stop of Cersei’s walk of shame, and it’s used as the entrance to the Red Keep after the queen completes her penance in season 5, episode 10. Build in the 14th-century, the outer Ploče Gate is connected to a stone bridge, while the inner Ploče Gate features really small doors built in Romanesque style.
Bokar Fortress | King’s Landing
Built in the 15th-century to protect Pile Gate, the main entrance to the Old Town, the Bokar Fortress is placed at the top of a cliff overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. The fortress, which is a semicircular two-story building, was designed by the architect Michelozzo di Bartolomeo Michelozzi, one of the great Renaissance pioneers.
The Bokar Fortress is one of the filming locations of Game Of Thrones, and it’s featured in seasons 2 and 3. One of the most prominent scenes shot in the fortress is the one where Tyrion Lannister and Lord Varys look at the sea while planning the defense of King’s Landing against Stannis Baratheon.
Gradac Park | The Purple Wedding
Placed within a walking distance from the Old Town, above Danče beach, and overlooking the Lovrijenac Fortress, Gradac Park dates back to the 19th century, when it was established as a retreat for people to enjoy some time around nature.
Gradac Park is also where the Purple Wedding (Game Of Thrones season 4, episode 2) was filmed. One of the most iconic moments of the episode is when, after the wedding ceremony, King Joffrey is poisoned and dies, and Tyrion Lannister, Joffrey’s uncle, is arrested for murder.
Ethnographic Museum Rupe | Littlefinger’s Brothel
Orininaly a four-storey building, the Etnographic Museum Rupe was erected in 1590, but after the 1667 earthquake, it had to be rebuilt and it turned into the three-storey building that it is to this present day. The museum houses around 6.500 objects that are a heritage of the Dubrovnik region, and the Croatian people.
One of the best-known Game Of Thrones filming locations in Dubrovnik, the Ethnographic Museum doubles in the show as the exterior of Littlefinger’s brothel, where Tyrion Lannister meets Oberyn Martell in season 4.
Tips For A Game Of Thrones Tour in Dubrovnik, Croatia
- A great idea is to opt for a guided walking tour through the Game Of Thrones filming locations in Dubrovnik. There are several options of guided walking tours, and they’re an amazing option for travelers who don’t want to worry about creating an itinerary in advance. In Dubrovnik, there are Game Of Thrones walking tours that take guests to Lokrum Island, and to the Trsteno Arboretum, placed about 24 km from Dubrovnik;
- Another pro tip is to purchase a Dubrovnik Card in advance, so you can save on sightseeing. There are three different cards: 1 day, 3 days, and 7 days, and each of them allows entrances to different historical monuments. With the cards, you can have access to prominent Game Of Thrones filming locations in Dubrovnik, such as the Ethnographic Museum, Ploče Gate, and Rectors Palace;
- Go early. Especially during the high season, the city gets crowded with tourists, which causes huge lines for the attractions. If you get up a little earlier, you might be able to enjoy seeing Game Of Thrones filming locations in Dubrovnik a bit more.
Where To Stay In Dubrovnik, Croatia
While you may love staying in the wild Croatian mountains, we suggest booking your Dubrovnik stay as close to the city center as possible. That way, you’ll be able to immerse yourself in the architecture of the city, which is one of the oldest towns in Croatia and the Eastern Mediterranean.
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