Game of Thrones Self-Guided Tour In Dubrovnik

Knights in shining armor, bringing medieval times to life through a film that brought millions of people around the globe together to celebrate each episode - until.....they lost the plot at the very end. For my fellow die-hard Game of Thrones fans, let me take you on a tour of Dubrovnik, show you the famous spots where Game of Thrones had been filmed, as well as the real history behind each of the locations as well. 

Banje Beach

Banje Beach is where Jamie learns to fight one handed with Bron and gets his ass kicked multiple times. This is also where you can find a beach with crystal clear waters near Dubrovnik, then Banje beach is your best bet. The beaches here are quite pebbly and can be rough on the feet - so bring some water socks to help with that. From Banje Beach you can jet-ski, go parasailing, or play some volleyball. There are also plenty of bars close by if you want a drink and to doze off in the sun for awhile (just don't forget sunscreen & your sword ;)

Gradac Park

This is where the purple wedding happened where Geoffrey Chokes to death on poison. If you wander the park you can imagine where the tents were set up, the different tables for trade and such in celebration. You can also find some steps near the ocean where Sansa would run off to mourn her different family members as they died one by one. 

To get here you would exit Pile gate and head to Lovrijenac fortress where you will turn to Ulica Dante Alighieri street, pass the Sesame restaurant and then head left on Ulica Don Frana Bulica which will lead you to the park. The walk should take you only about 5 minutes to complete on foot. 

This is a park established in 1898 as a way for people to get out of the sometimes stuffy old town and enjoy a little bit of nature in peace and quiet. There is plenty of shade, places for a picnic, and benches to sit and enjoy the ocean views or just read a good book. 

City Walls

Several scenes of Kings landing were shot along the walls or parts of it, especially the Battle of Blackwater Bay scenes. It is also where you can see the Red Keep with CGI on top of Loverjinac fortress. 

Make sure to check out my guide to Dubrovnik City Walls to see all the details of the reason Dubrovnik is named a UNESCO site. 

Klis Fortress

This was the setting for when Daenerys seized the city of Meereen and they are celebrating her arrival. It is also where Khaleesi punishes the rulers of Meereen by nailing them to the crosses for the slaves to see. This fortress is actually NOT in Dubrovnik but is near Split Croatia, but wanted to mention it here in case you decide to do a day trip to Split and want to mention it to your guide to be able to go and see. 

Fort Bokar

The most memorable scene here is when Tyrion and Varis are talking about defending Kings Landing before the Blackwater Bay Battle. 

This is considered to be in the south-western side of the city walls. It was Fort Bokar and Minceta tower that were the key points for defense against the armies from the land that wanted to overtake Dubrovnik. 

The fortress was built by Michelozzo de Bartololmeo (Italian) to defend Pile Gate. There was quite a bit of debate as to weather the fortress was to be finished, but eventually was finished in 1570. It was often called 'Zvjezdan' a Serbo-Croat word meaning 'starry' as you can get fabulous views of the stars from this tower. 

Part of the tower is built on a detached rock from the rest of the city, and arches were used to bridge the gap and provide stability. The water still passes underneath the fortress today. 

Fort Bokar is also used as the location for summer festivals because of the ease of use and platform in creates for festival goers. It is fascinating to me to see the medieval meet modern in a way that despite thousands of years and advancement - the structures are still functional. 

Minčeta Fortress

Minčeta Tower is where Danaerys goes to find her dragons at the house of the undying. This Is where she starts circling the tower to find the entrance, and Sir Jorah loses her and she disappears into the magical tower. 

If you come down from the wall into the town portion, there is a wooden door with an entrance into the Ancient Foundry Museum at the base of Minčeta Tower. Head towards the basketball court, there is an unassuming green door you can enter and see the excavated area where you can learn about the secretive and powerful firepower that defended Dubrovnik for centuries. Inside you will learn about the economic and metallurgic powerhouse that Dubrovnik was.

Inside you will see a 15th-century forge, the mold-casting section, water basins, a sedimentation channel, and a sand depository. This is where gunpowder was prepared, bronze was cast, and church bells were made. You also see how cannons were made, as well as bullets. This metal foundry was used until the 17th century when it was buried during the earthquake. It costs about 30 Kuna to get in and is separate from the City Walls tour.

Fort Lovrijenac

You can see Kings Landing Port where John walks the pier to go off into exile pretty clearly. It is also where they take off for Kayaking to head out to Lokrum Island (I recommend the sunset Kayaking with wine). 

Inside the fort is where the long dialogs between Littlefinger and Cersei happened. It is also where Geoffry's name day battles were and where he nearly drowned the knight til Sansa came to his rescue and made him the King's Fool instead. 

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Rector's Palace

The scene in Qarth where Daenerys asks ____ where her dragons are and when she can talk to them about when she can ask the seven for aid. 

Built-in the late 15th century for the elected rector who governed Dubrovnik, this Gothic-Renaissance palace contains the Rector’s office and private chambers, public halls, administrative offices, and a dungeon.

During his one-month term, the rector was unable to leave the building without the permission of the senate. Today the palace has been turned into the Cultural History Museum, with artfully restored rooms, portraits, coats of arms, private hand carried carriages, and coins all showcasing the glorious history of Ragusa.

In the atrium is a statue of Miho Pracat, who gave his wealth to the Republic and was the only commoner (rich fisherman) in the 1000 years of the Republic’s existence to be honored with a statue (1638).

Saint Ignatius Church & Jesuit Stairs

Where Cersi had her walk of shame with the church in the background as a CGI backdrop. The locals said that they had to rent out every single shop along the alley here and down the road AND pay them for lost wages from what they would have sold each day in order to get this shot. Probably the most expensive shot they had (or I assume so). 

Visit BEFORE 9 am or after 5 pm or the entire thing is going to be filled with people, and it will be hard to get a photo even with long exposure. 

These stairs were designed by Ruder Boskovic Field, and are compared to the Pizza di Spagna in Rome. It leads to Gundulic Square (where the Jesuit College is), the Gundulic family financed all the buildings, but eventually had a falling out with many of the teachers at the college. 

While you are here, right across from the stairs is the Dubrovnik Natural History Museum as well which is worth a visit. 

Pile Gate

This is the main entrance into Dubrovnik, where the old wooden (now stone) drawbridge was that was over the moat that helped guard the city. In Game of Thrones it was the entrance to Kings Landing and also where Geoffery was attacked by the city mob after he told the guards to kill them all. You can also briefly see it when Jamie returns to King's Landing after being captured by Robb Stark. 

Pile gate (Greek for pjlaj or gate) is the main gate into the city of Dubrovnik. Prior to the 15th century a wooden drawbridge was raised at night to prevent people from entering. Those unwanted guests were often the Ottomans and the Hungarians who were stationed just on the other side of Mount Srd. 

Right above the gate you will find the Patron Saint of Dubrovnik, Saint Blaise. Next to the entrance you will also find a UNESCO sign as well as a map of the city and etiquette when visiting as the streets are narrow, and this is home to many people who take great pride in their city. 

Once you go through the outer Gothic gate, you enter the city through a smaller second gate (1460) that spits you out onto the main thoroughfare for Dubrovnik, the Stradun, or main walkway. This placa, or main walkway was once a channel the separated the city of Ragusa (aka Dubrovnik) from the mainland which is how it was protected from the Slavs originally. As the city expanded in the 13th and 14th century, the channel was filled in and the walls were built. 

It is just adjacent to Pile gate and the visitors center that you can buy your tickets if you choose to not use the Dubrovnik Pass, as well where you will enter the city wall walk via a steep staircase to the top. Then make your way around the walls in a counterclockwise fashion. 

Lokrum Island

This is where the veiled lady gave a message to Ser Jorah about protecting Daenerys in the gardens in Qarth. Yes I know we totally lost the plot on that character, but still, it is part of the show that was shot in Dubrovnik. 

If you want a quick adventure from Dubrovnik, you can hop over to Lokrum Island on a quick 10 to 15-minute ferry ride from the Old Port. To visit it costs about 5 Euros and the ferry travels back and forth about four times in an hour. 

It is said that Richard the Lion-Heart was cast ashore on Lokrum island after his shipwreck in 1192 when he was attempting to return from the crusades. In gratitude to the Lord he built a church in thanks here. Thus was born the 12th century Benedictine monastery here that provides a fascinating look into the history of the islands. 

It is said that Napoleon built a fort on this island, it has its own lake, a few hiking trails and is a great spot to both Kayak and snorkel at. The intertidal zone on Lokrum islands gives a home to some unique creatures such as: the rock sea urchin, Mediterranean red sea star, mermaid's wine glass algae, Neptune grass, damselfish, along with eels, lobsters, octopus and crabs. 

There is a legend of the Imperial pearls here as well, a Bavarian duchess named Elisabeth, put her 'old tired pearls' in a shoe to help them regain their life. Unfortunately she died before being able to retrieve them, and the island still watches them for her glittering at night, and protected by the sea foam during the day. 

If you are a scuba diver, there are a few shipwrecks out here as well you can explore.

Dubrovnik Harbor

This harbor is where the beach was used as King landing beach and any boat departing Kings landing left from. You can also see it when Marcella leaves for Dorn, and when she returns dead from the long farewell kiss. The nearby pier is also where you see Illaria Sand give Marcella the long farewell kiss. 

They had to rent out all the kayaks for the days they wanted to shoot here and pay to have them moved. Again, the amount of money that goes into making movies and TV series is just AMAZING to me - but also can see that it was highly effective in setting the scene for sure. 

Ethnographic Museum

Entrance to Little Fingers brothel when Tyrion goes looking for Illaria sands husband. It is a very short clip but really only shows Tyrion climbing up the stairs to go inside. 

Since 1991 the Dubrovnik Republic’s granary, popularly known as Rupe/The Holes, which derives from the name for the underground grain storage areas carved out of bedrock or tufa has been open to the public for touring. Built in 1590, this is a three story structure with 15 food storage pits on the ground floor, and the upper floors were used for drying food and herbs. 

The Ethnographic Museum of Dubrovnik have 6,500 artifacts from the Dubrovnik and Croatian poeople that lived in the area. You can see traditional clothing from Dubrovačko primorje, the Elaphite islands, Konavle, Mljet, Lastovo, Pelješac, Korčula, Rijeka Dubrovačka and Župa Dubrovačka.

The ground floor shows the way grain was stored, while on the first and second floors the traditional economic activities.

Sveti Sebastijan Street

Where scenes of Kings Landing and the citizens are angry about something as Tyrion walks by. It is also where Tyrion meets with Lancel Lannister about Cersi on several occasions. 

My Takeaway of Visiting Dubrovnik

No matter why you decide to visit Dubrovnik, Game of Thrones definitely made I popular and it is fun to imagine the actors being there, the film crew etc... but the history of this town is just as fascinating so don't forget to learn a bit about real life while you are here to remember the good ole days when Game of Thrones was still a popular TV show.

Guided Tours of Dubrovnik

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