Dubrovnik is Game of Thrones’ King’s Landing
So, what’s the connection between Dubrovnik and Game of Thrones? In case you didn’t know, Dubrovnik was used during filming to represent the central Game of Thrones location King’s Landing. In fact, it’s the capital Westeros.
Undeniably, everyone’s talking about Game of Thrones at the moment. Like many people I loved the books and I’m not at all surprised that it’s now the most popular TV drama in the world. With this in mind, it’s a great time to visit Dubrovnik and see the filming locations for yourself.
What are the key Game of Thrones locations in Dubrovnik?
So what are the places Game of Thrones fans should look out for as you wander the streets of Dubrovnik? There’s a lot of different places to see so I’ve put together a list. Use it as a DIY walking tour of the city or just as an informal checklist so that you don’t miss any of the filming locations of your favourite show.
Should you take a Game of Thrones-themed tour of Dubrovnik?
If it all looks a bit complicated or you’d just prefer someone to guide you around then head for Pile Gate when you arrive in Dubrovnik. Of course, you’ll find plenty of Game of Thrones tours on offer here and it’s a good introduction to the city as well. Generally, I prefer to make my own way around a city to get a feel for it on my own. However, when you’re doing something as themed as a Game of Thrones tour it can make sense to start with a guided tour and then later you can wander around on your own. As I have said repeatedly. Your trip, your choice!
Dubrovnik Game of Thrones Locations
So, here’s a list of all the Dubrovnik Game of Thrones locations. I’ve tried to group them by location so you don’t end up crisscrossing the city. However, feel free to mix them up to suit you or you might prefer to sprinkle them throughout your Dubrovnik sightseeing.
- Lovrijenac Fort
- Dubrovnik West Pier
- Pile Harbour
- Bokar Fortress
- Gradac Park
- Pile Gate
- Minčeta tower
- Jesuit Staircase
- The Rector’s Palace
- St Dominic Street
- Ploce Gate
- Ethnographic Museum Rupe
- Lokrum Island
Certainly, no tour of the Game of Thrones locations in Dubrovnik would be complete without a visit to the Lovrijenac Fort. In other words, the Red Keep. Home of the King of Andals and First Men and capital of the Seven Kingdoms, the Red Keep, at least in the series, holds the coveted Iron Throne. Indeed, many scenes were filmed here including the tournament for Joffrey’s name day. Before you leave here, climb up to the fort walls for fabulous views over Dubrovnik.
Dubrovnik West Pier
Afterwards, head over to the West Pier where you can stand on the site of the Battle of Blackwater Bay. Significantly, this narrow inlet is where Tyrion Lannister destroys Stannis Baratheon’s armada with wild fire. Without doubt, it makes spectacular viewing on film and the picturesque West Pier is quite stunning in its own right.
At nearby Pile Harbour, you can see King’s Landing’s Harbour. Whenever boats are shown arriving or departing the city it is filmed here. You’ll particularly remember the poignant episodes involving Princess Myrcella. Firstly when Tyrion sends her to Dorne as a young girl and later when her father brings her body back home.
Next, walk across to Fort Bokar, part of Dubrovnik’s famous city walls. A tourist attraction long before Game of Thrones. This part of Dubrovnik famously features just before the Blackwater Bay battle when Lord Varys and Tyrion Lannister are shown talking on the walls. In reality, the fortress dates back to 1461 when it was built to defend the western part of the city. It was constructed over a number of years until it was finally completed around 1570. In short, it is designed as a structure from which guns are fired and is a significant part of Dubrovnik’s history.
One of my favourite Game of Thrones scenes was filmed in Gradac Park, the death of Joffrey Baratheon. His cruel but thankfully short reign came to an end during the wedding feast after his marriage to Margaery. Joffrey dies “clawing at [his] neck, foam and bile spilling from [his] mouth, eyes blood red, skin purple” (Olenna Tyrell speaking to Jaime Lannister). All in all, It’s a great piece of tv drama and sets the stage for many of the events to come in the series. A pivotal location in Game of Thrones happenings, I’m sure you’ll agree.
A good example as to why I hated Joffrey Baratheon so much takes place at Pile Gate. Cersei, Joffrey and a long entourage of people from the royal court go down to the harbour to watch Myrcella depart for Dorne. On the way back they walk past this area and someone in the crowd throws dirt at Joffrey. Furious he orders the guards to slaughter everyone. The already unruly crowd breaks into a riot and although Joffrey runs away and escapes Sansa Stark is nearly raped and killed. You can walk through the archway yourself and up the stairs to retrace their path.
Danaerys Targaryen is one of my favourite Game of Thrones characters. In season 2 her dragons are stolen during her visit to Qarth. Danaerys and Jorah Mormont walk around a tower looking for a door into the House of the Undying. That scene is filmed here at Minčeta tower. Of course, the House of the Undying is in Qarth, not King’s Landing which makes it different from many of the places filmed in Dubrovnik. I love it when Danaerys dragons breathe fire for the first time to enable her to escape from inside the tower.
St Dominic Street
Back to Kings Landing again as you head to St Dominic Street. This street is often featured in market scenes and it’s one of the streets Cersei walks through on her infamous walk of shame. There are also some circular steps near here which you might recognise as the location of a protest speech in season 2.
The gateway here is used as one of the entrances to the Red Keep and is another location featured on Cersei’s walk of shame.
The Rector’s Palace
Another location in Dubrovnik which is used to represent Qarth is the Rector’s Palace. It’s not a key location but if you remember when Daenerys asks the Spice King for ships to carry her Dothraki followers to Westeros this is where it was filmed.
Who can forget the scene in season 5 when Cersei Lannister walks naked through the streets of King’s Landing to chants of ‘Shame’. You can see where her walk began when you visit the Jesuit Staircase near Gundulic Square. The attractive Baroque stairs start from the south side of Gundulic Square and descend towards St Ignatius Church. After that, take time to visit the very pretty church.
In fact, the stairs feature in several episodes of season 5 of Game of Thrones. What’s more, these scenes involve Cersei, perhaps in some form of foreshadowing of her eventual humiliation there. Cersei is much more in control when she sweeps up the stairs in episode 1 for her father, Tywin Lannister’s funeral. Later Cersei arrives at the steps again, this time for Tommen’s wedding.
Ethnographic Museum Rupe
You might recognise the outside of the Ethnographic Museum as a brothel from season 4 although it was only used for external shots. This is where Petyr Baelish and Tyrion Lannister meet Oberyn Martell in season four. It features again in season 5 when the ultra-religious Sparrows force the High Septon to walk naked through the streets.
If you don’t mind travelling a bit outside of Dubrovnik you can visit another of the locations used in filming Qarth. You’ll find Lokrum Island just off the coast of Dubrovnik. Catch a ferry from the harbour. It’ll take you about 15 minutes to sail across and you’ll also get to see Dubrovnik from a different perspective as well. When you arrive at the island head into the visitor centre where you’ll be able to view the Game of Thrones exhibit. You can even take a seat on the Iron throne yourself but don’t get too comfortable.
Before you leave the island visit its Benedictine Monastery. Walk through the cloisters and you’ll recognise another scene from Qarth, the garden party.
Where to next?
We visited Dubrovnik during our driving tour of the Balkans. I’d recommend it without reservation. It was a fabulous road trip. By all means, follow our plan to create your own tour. Find out all about the other parts of our trip by visiting some of the pages shown below.