Dubrovnik, Croatia: the real King’s Landing

Molly Griffiths explores Game of Thrones‘ Dubrovnik as a city rich in history.

The first thing you notice about Dubrovnik is that it seems like a fantastical city. On the sea, surrounded by lush green islands – it looks idyllic. And, if you’re like me, the second thing you notice is that the Red Keep is missing from the landscape.

Photograph: Wikipedia Commons
Photograph: Wikipedia Commons

A city known for its walled old town, it became more widely known as a tourist destination when HBO chose it as the filming location for Game of Thrones’ King’s Landing in 2011. As a Game of Thrones fan, I am ashamed it took me a while to comprehend I was going to an actual filming location. Putting that aside, I can say that I wish I had spent more time there, if only to learn more about its history and people.

Walking the walls of the old city is a must, made all the more poignant by the realization that these stately walls had to be rebuilt after the Croatian War of Independence, and that they are now one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites. Although walking down the town’s main shopping street doing the (clothed!) Walk of Punishment was fun too.

Being a city built on a hill, driving into it, and away from it, the panorama is beautiful, which simply adds to its otherworldly feeling. A place not just for fans of the fantasy show but also for those who love history, ancient architecture, gorgeous beaches and clear blue sea, and even mesmerizing boat rides, Dubrovnik is a city that deserves to be discovered and talked about.

If that doesn’t convince you, it’s also where they filmed parts of Star Wars Episode VIII – so you could also spend time in a galaxy far, far away!