If you’re a Game of Thrones fan, then you’ve probably fantasized about taking a trip to the magic-tinged medieval world of Westeros. But while dragons and white walkers are sadly fictional, many of the backdrops for the show are very much real and even accessible.
If you visit Croatia, you can discover a range of locations from the series. The historic city of Dubrovnik serves a recurring presence on the show, especially its extensive medieval walls. The ancient defense system offers a variety of wonders that have made the walls of Dubrovnik one of the most desirable tourist destinations in the world.
The Walls of Dubrovnik
History of the walls of Dubrovnik
The construction of fortresses around the city began in the Early Middle Ages, when Dubrovnik was a growing seaport known as Ragusa. As the city became more prosperous, the need for defenses against enemies grew. The ‘walls’ originally consisted of wooden barricades until they were replaced by the stone fortifications that still stand today.
The walls have been carefully preserved over generations, resisting centuries of invasion attempts. They even withstood a major earthquake which otherwise decimated the city. In 1979, the walls were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, alongside the entirety of the historic Dubrovnik Old Town.
Game of Thrones Locations on the Walls
An ever greater number of tourists visit Dubrovnik every year, largely thanks to its status as a key Game of Thrones location. The series most often uses the Croatian city to represent the exteriors of King’s Landing, the ancestral home of the morally challenged Lannister family, but it has also served as the slavers city of Qarth. To take a walk along the battlements is to follow in the footsteps of characters such as Tyrion Lannister or Daenerys Targaryen.
Tickets to Visit the Walls of Dubrovnik
Admission to the walls is not free, but city wall tickets only cost around 150 kuna each (just over $20). The attraction is only growing in popularity, so it’s advisable to buy tickets first thing in the morning to beat the crowds. Tickets are available from the office outside the Pile Gates, the original entrance to the walls and old city.
The Fortresses of Dubrovnik
The impressive medieval architecture in Dubrovnik also extends to its imposing fortresses. Some forts are part of the wall, others detached, but all are worth visiting.
Forts Within the Walls
Built into the wall and adjacent to the Pile Gates, Fort Bokar is recognizable as the stand-in for many scenes set on the battlements of King’s Landing. Another imposing structure on the wall is the Minceta Tower, which offers the highest viewpoint in the city. The striking tower served as the exterior of the House of the Undying, the home of the warlocks who stole Daenerys’ dragons.
External Forts in Dubrovnik
One of the most recognizable pieces of Dubrovnik architecture to have been featured on Game of Thrones is Fort Lovrijenac, which on the series serves as Queen Cersei’s home, the Red Keep. Another impressive Dubrovnik landmark, the Revelin Fortress, has also served as a stand-in for scenes set at the castle gates.
Other Places of Interest in Dubrovnik
If you’re coming for the Game of Thrones tourism in Dubrovnik, there a few other locations outside of the walls you’ll want to take in.
Remember the harrowing duel between Prince Oberyn of Dorne and the Mountain? You can visit the scene of the crime for yourself at the abandoned Hotel Belvedere, just outside of the city.
And if you’re one of the many fans who loved to hate Joffrey during his reign of terror on the show, then a visit to Gradac Park is a must. This green space, located in Dubrovnik’s Old Town, was the shooting location for the Purple Wedding where the obnoxious boy-king finally got his comeuppance.
So if you travel to Dubrovnik, Croatia, don’t miss the chance to visit the walls, take in the sights and enjoy the filming locations for one of the greatest television series ever made!