Dubrovnik, the home of Game of Thrones' King's Landing

Croatia has become more popular as a tourist destination over the last few years, partially thanks to the HBO television show Game of Thrones.  Tourists have flocked in to see the show’s filming locations including King’s Landing, the capital of the Seven Kingdoms in Game of Thrones.

The itinerary will take you up the Dalmatian Coast from Dubrovnik to Split. There’s no set season for this trip to be taken as Croatian weather makes it a suitable destination all year round.

To get the most out of your experience I’d recommend travelling between May and October. Although be prepared for a lot of walking, you’ll easily get your 10,000 steps in each day!

The itinerary will feature three days in Dubrovnik and one day in Split before you fly home. For guidance on what to bring with you, check out my post on travel essentials.

Day 0 – Arrive in Dubrovnik

There are direct flights from Manchester, Leeds, London, Newcastle and Belfast in the UK to Dubrovnik, with a flight time of just under three hours. There’s a shuttle bus that transports you from the airport to the Old Town.

A great walk to do on your first night is along the Gruž Port, where you can see sensational views of the Old Town walls. They will give you a familiar view of King’s Landing to get you in the mood for the rest of your trip. There are also plenty of places to eat along the port. 

Currency: Although the Euro is accepted in some parts of Croatia, they do have their own currency: the Croatian Kuna (HKR). One Kuna equates to about 12p, although do double check before you fly. 

Shuttle bus: The shuttle bus takes about 40 minutes from the airport and the journey costs 45HKR (£5). It is recommended that you get on the shuttle no less than 90 minutes before your flight. The shuttle does make more than one stop so you might want to check for your nearest.

Day 1 – Dubrovnik Old Town & Trsteno Arboretum

AM – Old Town

Throughout the Old Town it’s possible to spot many filming locations for Game of Thrones so it’s worth checking it out thoroughly. It’s amazing to see how many different scenes across the eight seasons were filmed here.

A bird's eye view of Dubrovnik Old Town.
A bird’s eye view of Dubrovnik Old Town.

I’d definitely recommend getting a guide for a Game of Thrones tour inside the Old Town to guarantee you won’t miss anything. They can be expensive and you can do whole day tours, but if you’re only going to get one, get one for the Old Town. Depending on where you’re staying you may decide to do this in reverse order or create your own route through the Old Town.

Pile Gate

The entrance to the Old Town Pile Gate has been used across several seasons of Game of Thrones. It is most famous for King Joffrey’s return in season two, episode six The Old Gods and the New where angry mobs gathered in the entrance of the gate screaming for Joffrey to be killed. 

Pile Gate, the entrance to the Dubrovnik Old Town.
Pile Gate, the entrance to the Dubrovnik Old Town.

Ethnographic Museum

Inside the Old Town walls the Ethnographic Museum can be best remembered for the location of Littlefinger’s brothel in King’s Landing. The exterior can be seen in season four when Tyrion Lannister meets Oberyn Martell. The museum itself contains textile exhibits and folk costumes.

Jesuit Staircase

The Jesuit Staircase is right next to the museum and is where Cersei started her walk of shame in season five. It stretches across four other locations: Od Margarite, St Dominika Street, The Stradun and Ploce Gate.

The Stradun is the Main Street inside the Dubrovnik Old Town.
The Stradun is the Main Street inside the Dubrovnik Old Town.

The staircase was also seen again in season five when crowds paid their respects to Tywin Lannister after his death. The Stradun is the main street in the Old Town, which is located between the cathedral and Sponza Palace.

St Dominika Street

St Dominika Street was a filming location for Cersei’s walk of shame. The street was used regularly throughout Game of Thrones in the market scenes. The street is rather narrow and full of stone houses and gives visitors a feel of what it would have been like filming King’s Landing scenes.

The Dominican Monastery on St Dominka Street.
The Dominican Monastery on St Dominka Street.

It was also the location of the murder of King Robert’s illegitimate sons. St Dominka Street is also the home to the Dominican Monastery. It’s on the steps leading up to the monetary that the protest speech against the Lannisters was read out in season two.

The Rector’s Palace

The Rector’s Palace is a 15thcentury palace in the city of Dubrovnik. It now serves as a museum to tourists. It is featured in season two of Game of Thrones where Daenerys visits the Spice King Qarth to request ships to carry her army across the Narrow Sea. 

Rector's Palace, in the Old Town, features in season two of Game of Thrones.
Rector’s Palace, in the Old Town, features in season two of Game of Thrones.

Ploče Gate

This is the east entrance of the Old Town and featured in season two and season five of Game of Thrones. It’s the location where Cersei enters the Red Keep after her walk of shame.


Ploče Gate is the east entrance to the Old Town.
Ploče Gate is the east entrance to the Old Town.

PM – Trsteno Arboretum

There are plenty of places near the east entrance of the Old Town to go for a lovely Croatian lunch. However, they can be quite costly in the tourist areas. I would definitely recommend having a proper lunch instead of a small bite as you will have a long afternoon ahead. 

The High Garden is filmed at Trsteno Arboretum near Dubrovnik.
The High Garden is filmed at Trsteno Arboretum near Dubrovnik.

Trsteno Arboretum

Trsteno Arboretum is located 20 minutes away from Dubrovnik and is well known as the location of High Garden in Game of Thrones. The arboretum is open until 7pm and so there’s no need to be in any rush.

If you haven’t booked yourself onto a tour and you don’t have access to a hire car then you can either get a taxi or a local bus. Buses 12, 15, 21, 22 and 35 all travel to Trsteno from Dubrovnik. Tickets cost between 20 to 30HKR. In Dubrovnik the bus station is located at Port Gruz, the same place as the airport shuttle bus. 

The recognisable fountain seen in High Garden in Game of Thrones is located at Trsteno Arboretum
The recognisable fountain seen in High Garden in Game of Thrones is located at Trsteno Arboretum.

The arboretum is where all the beautiful garden scenes in King’s Landing take place. Throughout the seasons it has featured some vital scenes including the moment Lord Varys and Olenna become allies as they raise concerns over Sansa Stark. You may recognise the water fountain and Neptune statue.

Day 2 – Lokrum Island & Hotel Belvedere

AM – Lokrum Island

Lokrum Island is famously the location of the city of Qarth and is just 15 minutes by ferry off the coast of Dubrovnik. It was once used as a quarantine area but is now a popular tourist destination. It costs just 40HKR with ferries approximately two to four times an hour.

The island features in series two when Daenerys Targaryen pays a visit. 

The view of Lokrum Island from Dubrovnik.
The view of Lokrum Island from Dubrovnik.

It’s worth spending half a day on the island, which provides a lot of shade in the hot months. On the island it’s worth seeing the beautiful botanical gardens. For those who like history, the island is home to the ruins of the Benedictine Monastery. 

There are plenty of places to have lunch on the island and it provides some down time opportunities for visitors to swim in the sea, go snorkelling or even just sunbathe. 

There are secluded areas of Lokrum Island to just relax.
There are secluded areas of Lokrum Island to just relax.

PM – Hotel Belvedere

Once you’re back on the mainland in Dubrovnik it’s worth taking the short trip to Hotel Belvedere. Although you can’t enter the hotel, access to a set of steps near the hotel provides fantastic views. Here is the location of the fight scene between Prince Oberyn and the Mountain in season four. 

Hotel Belvedere is the location of a major trial by combat in Game of Thrones.
Hotel Belvedere is the location of a major trial by combat in Game of Thrones.

If you don’t fancy the 15 minute drive over then you can just stay on Lokrum Island for the whole day. But, if you want the full Game of Thrones experience it’s worth visiting. You can see where the fight scene took place and there are fantastic photo opportunities. To get there you can either take a taxi, hire a car or take the number five or eight bus from Dubrovnik. 

Day 3 – Pile Harbour & Split

AM – Pile Harbour: Bokar Fortress and Fort Lovrijenac

You will see some spectacular and recognisable views on your way to Fort Lovrijenac. The first stop is Bokar Fortress, which features in season two of Game of Thrones.

The view from Bokar Fortress towards Fort Lovrijenac.
The view from Bokar Fortress towards Fort Lovrijenac.

It was built in the 15thcentury and was featured in the background when Tyrion and Lord Varys planned the defence of King’s Landing while looking out to sea.

From here it’s just a short walk to Pile Harbour, a small fishing village. It features as the setting for King’s Landing Harbour.  It also represents the entrance and beaches of King’s Landing. 

The view of Fort Lovrjenac.
The view of Fort Lovrjenac.

Just another short walk away is Fort Lovrijenac. It’s a beautiful fortress to the west of Dubrovnik Old Town. It’s one of the most recognisable places on the tour. In Game of Thrones it is featured as the Red Keep in King’s Landing and is frequented in seasons two and three. 

PM – Gradac Park & Split

I’d recommend having lunch somewhere on your route from Bokar Fortress to Gradac Park, depending on how you’re doing for time. The park will be the last thing you’ll see in Dubrovnik as part of the Game of Thrones tour.

Spectacular views from Gradac Park
Spectacular views from Gradac Park.

Gradac Park

Gradac Park is just a stone’s throw away from Fort Lovrijenac. Located west of the Old Town, the park features in season four during the purple wedding (no spoilers, but it’s kind of a big deal so you won’t want to miss it out.)

Gradac Park is the location for the purple wedding in Game of Thrones.
Gradac Park is the location for the purple wedding in Game of Thrones.

Split

Unless you’re hiring a car or wanting to fork out a lot of money for taxi, your only option for travel is by bus. It takes around four-and-a-half hours to get from Dubrovnik to Split.

Buses between the two cities run every one to two hours and cost an average of 120HKR. 

A view of Split
A view of Split.

The morning Dubrovnik tour and journey to Split is likely to tire you out. The rest of the day is down time. One day is plenty of time to complete the last of the Game of Thrones Croatia itinerary. 

Day 4 – Diocletian’s Palace & Klis Fortress

AM – Diocletian’s Palace

Split is the home of many of Daenerys’ scenes. The 1700-year-old Diocletian Palace was constructed in the third century and is a famous site in Croatia. It’s also the home of Daenerys’ throne room where she trained her dragons. 

It’s very easy to get to as it sits right in the heart of Split. Visitors can walk around the tunnels and basement rooms of the palace. The upper levels didn’t survive, but it still makes for a good photo.

In the background you can see the entrance to the Diocletian's Palace.
In the background you can see the entrance to the Diocletian’s Palace.

After visiting the palace, it’s recommended that you take a walk around Split’s Old Town and find a place for lunch. There’s much to see here and is a popular tourist destination.

PM – Klis Fortress

Klis Fortress is located 20 minutes away from the centre of Split. You can either get there by taxi or the number 22 bus. It costs 40HKR for adults and 20HKR for children to enter the fortress. 

The fortress is the filming location for where Daenerys overthrows the Meereen, the largest slave city. It has panoramic views which are perfect for taking photos. If you fancy the climb, you can go all the way to the top, whch is where Daenerys nailed the city’s former rulers to crosses.

An aerial view of Klis Fortress.
An aerial view of Klis Fortress.

Day 5 – Flying home

Depending on your flight time, you may have part of the day to explore Split and enjoy the beautiful surroundings. You may even decide to go on from here to another place. 

The airport in Split is half-an-hour outside of the city. The 37 bus will take you from the centre to the airport and runs every 20 minutes. It costs 20HKR for a single journey.

For those wanting to fly from Split, you can fly to a whole host of locations across the UK.

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