The incredibly popular HBO series Game of Thrones, based on the book series A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin, is known not just for its graphic sex and violence but also for its stunning scenery. Get your Game of Thrones fix in between seasons by visiting the film locations in Croatia, home of King’s Landing and parts of Qarth.
Old Dubrovnik City
Located on the Adriatic Sea lies Dubrovnik, one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Mediterranean area. The city has a rich history and is home to Europe’s oldest operating pharmacy—nearly 700 years old! Its picturesque seaside location and bright orange roof tiles make this old town the perfect stand-in for the fictional King’s Landing, where the king of Westeros resides. The city has a 2km-long wall around it, which offers some of the incredible views just like those in the television show.
Also known as the “St. Lawrence Fortress” and “Dubrovnik’s Gibraltar,” this impressive seaside fortress played a key role in protecting the city from Venetian rule in the 11th century. The fortress was originally built in just three months, but has been remodeled extensively ever since. It has served not just as a fortress, but also as a hospital and a stage for plays, most notably Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet.’ Climb the steps for an incredible view of the city and sea. Joffrey’s name day festivities were filmed here.
Fort Bokar can be easy to miss as it’s built into the wall, but it has an unusual rounded shape and a cannon on top that make it easier to spot. The fortress is partially built on a large detached piece of rock, and the arched supports connecting the rock to land allow the sea to flow underneath. This is a great place to take photos of Fort Lovrijenac.
This tower is the highest part of Dubrovnik’s defense system, and its view of the city is unforgettable. The tower was the stand-in for the fictional House of the Undying in Qarth, where Daenerys Targaryen’s dragons were kept captive.
Another television stand-in for Qarth, you’ll recognize the steps and courtyard immediately. Daenerys ran up these steps just before realizing her dragons had been abducted. The palace has a museum that has been operating for over a hundred years. The palace was built about 800 years ago, and the rector had a term of just one month in order to prevent one man from gaining too much power.
This island was used to film several scenes, most notably some recognizable Qarth scenes filmed at the island’s 15th-century Franciscan monestary. The little island also offers uncrowded beaches, a small saltwater lake, and a botanical garden. It’s just a 15-minute ferry ride from the mainland.
Several scenes in the third season were filmed in this gorgeous seaside arboretum. Scenes of the Tyrell women and Sansa talking, eating, and plotting were filmed here. This was also the site of Sansa and Loras’s “date” and Varys and Olenna Tyrell’s conspiring. The arboretum was built in the 1400’s by a wealthy family, and is home to the only two specimens of the Oriental Plane tree, both of which are over 500 years old. Trsteno is about 30 minutes away from the city of Dubrovnik by bus.