Do you watch Game of Thrones? Are you as hooked to it as The Spider is on gossip? Does the sight of dragon's scales sent a tingle up your spine or are you jonesing for a little Snow this summer? Well I have some fun information for you! It is possible to visit the sites where they filmed many scenes from GoT!
Dubrovnik, in Croatia, is one of the most beautiful places I've ever visited, hands down! I recently went for a long weekend for a friends hen party and I am going back next year. You'll literally have to lock me in the Eyrie sky cells to stop me.
Dubrovnik itself is a beautiful city. It benefits from Mediterranean weather and food and is also surrounded by islands you can visit by boat where you can partake in amazingly fresh seafood and relax on some lovely beaches where crystal blue water laps at the shore.
But enough of that; let's get to the real deal here, guys, if you're a fan of the fantasy drama I recommend going ASAP!
From season 2 up until now HBO have been visiting the city to film Kings Landing as well as scenes from High Garden and Quarth. The walled city is just as you see it on TV; the architecture doesn’t disappoint and the locations are mostly easy to scout if you wander around the Old Town to take in the sights and shops. That being said, however, I would recommend a guided tour for a more in depth experience if you ever find yourself on the shores of the capital of the Seven Kingdoms.
The guided tour I went on was a walking tour [and there is a lot of walking and a LOT of stairs to climb – I'm still aching two days later] but if you're up for the challenge you won't regret it.
There are a fair few companies who can take you around the city so you have your pick of prices but they all do the same thing; lead you through the history of the town and show you the exact locations where particular scenes were filmed. When you are standing in the city it's surreal; the show is so big and the locations are so grand it's hard to believe they exist but standing in the spot where Jamie Lannister returns to Kings Landing sans a hand is just as magical as it sounds (that's not weird, is it?!) - every inch of the place is seeped with history but also with Game of Thrones magic; you can't contain your excitement when you know the Queen of Dragons (along with all her other titles) stood in the same spot talking to the spice king or when you walk down the street Cersi completed her walk of shame. Every moment is recreated in your mind's eye. What's nice is how true to the city HBO have been. There are only certain things that are added in post production (a turret here, a fountain there) and, in my opinion, it makes the tour all that more special.
The funny things is that whilst walking around you notice two things; the first is the city is teaming with tourists either walking around or being led from the cruise ships which dock at the harbour (sadly there is no royal family to greet them). I've been to many places and Croatia has to be the cleanest, safest feeling tourist destination. The second thing is the people who live there are so laid back and polite you can't help but feel welcome. They have a sense of pride for the city that not many other places has – my tour guide, in particular, was a young girl and she happily pointed out where she went to high school (overlooking the Old Town) and delighted in how beautiful the views were. Along with the fact she was a massive fan of the show, as well, meant we got a really great experience.
I've never visited a place where the entire town is a set (and not built for purpose). The experience was different and, dare I say, damn cool. To really enjoy the beauty you want to see it from height. Take the cable car to the top of the mountain and back. Not only is it super cheap it only takes 3 minutes and you get the best views of the rooftops, city walls and expanding ocean. From high up it's easy to imagine the characters walking around and trying to survive in the cut throat world they live in, watch out for dragons, though.
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