Although every corner of Dubrovnik and Split smells of Game of Thrones, there are some places that are more attractive to visit than others. Prior to series five Radio Times gives you a guide for easy exploration of the real King’s Landing in Dubrovnik, Split and Klis. Read it in its entirety.
St Dominika Street
Inside Dubrovnik’s untouched walled old city, tiny lanes and stone houses snake throughout the city. Many Game of Thrones market scenes and City Watch or ‘Gold Cloaks’ scenes take place here, plus the murders of King Richard’s illegitimate sons. In season five, Queen Cersei will walk through the town naked, as a sign of penance.
A site to look out for in the small streets of the old town is this impressive building dating back to the 16th century. Once a granary, it doubles for the brothel where Tyrion Lannister meets Oberyn Martell in season four. Tyrion welcomes ‘the Red Viper’ to the capital, after he stabs a rude Lannister soldier in the hand.
One of the prettiest spots in the old town doubles for Blackwater Bay in the series. This calm spot was once an important transport hub for seafarers arriving in the western part of the city. It has views of both Bokar and Lovrijenac Fort, and Game of Thrones scenes have taken place from all angles of the cove. In series three, we see Shae and Sansa Stark watch the ships before Littlefinger discusses escape plans with Sansa at the end of the jetty.
Used to represent King’s Landing in Game of Thrones, this fairytale-like building featured in seasons two and three, and is particularly visible when Varys tells Tyrion that he’s ‘quite good’ at being the hand of the king. They discuss battle-strategies to defeat Stannis Baratheon’s army while looking out to sea.
Six hundred metres off Croatia’s mainland, tourists will find the city of Qarth, ruled by the ‘pureborn’. Otherwise known as Lokrum Island, this is where Daenerys Targaryen gets a frosty welcome from the Spice King. In reality, it’s just as mysterious, this fascinating place dates back to 1023 and legend holds that Richard the Lionheart sheltered here, after his ship was wrecked when he was returning from the Crusades.
Upon hearing that Venetians might invade them, and being unequipped to fight such an invasion, the Croatians came up with a clever idea. They built one 12-metre thick wall of the gigantic Lovrijenac Fortress 37 metres above sea level, to create the illusion that there was a huge citadel to protect the city. They cleverly managed to escape invasion, and completed the building later. Visitors to the city can climb the 175 stone steps to this imposing beacon on the city’s skyline and see where the tournament thrown in honour of King Joffrey’s name day took place, as well as where Cersei Lannister speaks with Petyr Baelish in season two.
At highest point of Dubrovnik stands an imposing tower with magnificent views across the city. This very spot represents the walls of the House of the Undying, where Khaleesi walks around the exterior wall trying to find the entrance. Fans can walk along a high wall above the city and look out over the orange rooftops of King’s Landing, before they reach this prominent defense tower.
Built in the late 15th century, this lush garden with spectacular viewing platforms overlooking the Adriatic Sea is just 20 minutes from Dubrovnik, and is where all the palace garden scenes from King’s Landing take place. It’s here, in season three, that we see Sansa dish the dirt on King Joffrey, with some persuasion from the formidable Lady Olenna, Queen of Thorns. It is also here that we see Lord Varys and Olenna become allies as they talk about the wellbeing of Sansa, and stroll through the garden and under an ancient archway. Other impressive sites include a Neptune statue, and water fountain with a pool of coy carp beneath.
Dioklecian’s Palace (Split)
Split, Croatia’s second-largest city is the location of many Daenerys scenes. The 1700-year-old Dioklecian’s Palace was constructed by Emperor Dioklecian in the 3rd century and remains the city’s most famous site. It’s here that we see Daenarys in her throne room, where she trained her dragons and where the ‘kill the masters’ scene in season four takes place, when dozens of slaves sit around a fire discussing whether they should fight for her. While the upper levels of the palace did not survive, the underground tunnels remain fully intact, thanks to years of being used to store rubbish. Over the years they were filled from floor to ceiling with waste, sent down via shoots from the palace above, when built the ceilings and floors would have had mosaic tiling and marble on the walls. Excavated in 1952, visitors can now walk around these eerie tunnels and basement rooms.
Klis Fortress (Solin)
Daenerys overthrows the Meereen, the largest of the three great Slaver Cities, in season four, in this absolutely spectacular location, 20 minutes north of Split. With panoramic views across a valley and the city beneath, this imposing fort has guarded the seat for many a Croatian king. Today, it’s a peaceful but dramatic place. Hikers can climb to the top to see where Khalisi answered ‘injustice with justice’ by nailing the city’s former rulers to crosses for hundreds to see.