The time we have all awaited has come! Season 7 of Game of Thrones has begun! And if you are a die hard hard devotee, then, by the grace of the Seven, do I have the perfect vacation destination and tour for you – Dubrovnik, Croatia!
Take it from executive producer D. B. Weiss, who said “To find a full on, immaculately preserved medieval walled city that actually looks uncannily like Kings Landing, where the bulk of our show is set, that was in and of itself such an amazing find.
Dubrovnik is simply one of the most beautiful cities I have ever seen! Surrounded by a crystal clear blue sea, this jaw-droppingly spectacular walled fortress city is so perfectly preserved that it feels like you’re stepping back in time to the day it was finished! Walking through the thick medieval gates, once inside, everything including the streets are built of solid white stone so that it looks as though everything is gleaming and clean. They even have a cleaning crew that comes out at 3 AM every morning to hose down the streets so that the city is returned to it spotless glory for the next day’s visitors! LA and NY could take a lesson here!
Game of Thrones is shot in several locations throughout Europe, but Dubrovnik with its walls and fortresses, is the most recognizable as Kings Landing, the capital of the realms Seven Kingdoms.
Taking a 1.5 hour GOT walking tour of the city is a must!
Journey through time to the “War of Five Kings”, Trace Ayra Starks footsteps to see were she hid from the Lannisters on the streets, walk up the city walls that were attacked by the Baratheons. Relive the battle of Blackwater Bay, and check out Fort Lovrijinac (the show’s Red Keep), an 11th century castle perched high above the sea with stunning, birds-eye views of the city walls and the sparkling bay, and walk in Joffrey’s footsteps on his Naming Day. Just inside Pile Gate, see where they shot Joffrey-gets-a-cow-pie-in-the face street riot. On to The House of the Undying, where Daenerys enters after her dragons are stolen (Minceta Tower), and see Gradac Park for the site of the murderous Purple Wedding reception.
We loved walking down Queen Cersei’s naked walk of shame – fully clothed of course (the Stradun), and hearing the behind the scenes stories of how the city’s inhabitants were originally very reluctant to allow that scene to be shot because of it’s shocking content! There’s even a crazy app you can buy for ambient background sound that has a clanging bell and a voice yelling “Shame”!
If you’re a true diehard you may choose the extra long tour that will take you outside the city to Trsteno, to see the gardens of Kings Landing where Margarey and Sansa Stark became friends. Or take a short boat ride to Lokrum Island. The GOT production team used this island as a stand-in for the city of Quarth near the Jade Sea, which is visited by Daenerys in season two. I think this is one of the most important parts of the trip because legend has it that production built seven Iron Thrones, and one of them is still housed on the island of Lokrum for your photo taking pleasure!
Where to stay: The best 5 Star choice is Villa Dubrovnik, with its outstanding location and views of the city. And if you want to feel steeped in the history of the city stay inside the city walls at the lovely Pucic’ Palace or the romantic and intimate Hotel Kazbek.
Even if you’re not a GOT fan, there is so much to do and see in Dubrovnik and the beautiful country of Croatia- phenomenal wineries, beautiful national parks, fascinating history, stunning, safe and sparkling clean World UNESCO site protected cities, gorgeous coastlines, jet set beach clubs, and secret blue grotto caves for swimming and exploring. It is my favorite new spot!
And now that I’m back stateside I’ve got bragging rights at my next GOT viewing party- ” I have journeyed to Kings Landing, and Behold, the splendor of my Iron Throne selfie!”