In 2011, the entire world was awakened to the wonders of Westeros. The fictional world that had existed for decades among the pages of George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire. While the books had garnered international fame, they were never widely known until the HBO television show took the media by storm.
In only one single season, the world had fallen in love with Jon Snow, Daenerys Targaryen, and Lord Ned Stark. But it wasn’t just the characters of Game of Thrones that enamored fans… It was the location as well.
The capital city of the Seven Kingdoms is King’s Landing. It is a sprawling seaside metropolis that is oozing medieval wonder. But did you know that it is actually a real city? A city that you can visit for yourself? Let’s dive into the real-life King’s Landing… Dubrovnik, Croatia.
The small city of Dubrovnik is located in the south of Croatia along the Dalmatian coast, on the Adriatic Sea. This 6th-century Roman port city was established as an important destination for trading goods and moving soldiers and cargo. It has weathered centuries of history and remains to this day in much the same condition it was nearly 15 centuries ago.
The city is considered to be one of the most beautiful in all of Croatia. In fact, it in itself is entirely protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. From the towering outside walls to the slim cobblestone streets, this is a city that appears locked in time. And sitting along the crystal-clear waters of the Adriatic Sea, it couldn’t be more awe-inspiring!
What to Do...
In Dubrovnik you will find no shortage of exciting experiences and delicious eats throughout the city. While the local population is only around 50,000 total, there is still plenty of space to spread your wings and explore the medieval city streets. But, there are a few sights and experiences that you simply cannot miss.
Walk the City Walls
Dubrovnik is a fortified city that was designed to withstand invasions from enemy forces. As such, it is surrounded completely by towering walls. These walls are the single most popular attraction for visitors in the city. And it’s easy to see why!
When walking the city walls you will get the chance to see the sprawling red-roofed city beneath you, as well as the dramatic sea views off of the sheer cliffs below. The view is unlike anything you have ever seen, and the walk around the walls is an easy 2-3 hours of blissful enjoyment. You cannot visit Dubrovnik without walking the city walls at least once.
Take a Kayaking Tour
The people of Dubrovnik are used to the sea. That means that you should take the chance to experience the city from the seaside. In Dubrovnik, you can book a kayaking tour that will take you around the small islands and underneath the walls surrounding the city.
The view of the city from the surface of the sea is something that cannot be explained. You will seem so small viewing the towering battlements above, and you will truly feel like you are approaching a city from a fantasy story. This is one experience that you will never forget. A kayaking tour around the city is a must!
Explore the Rector’s Palace
The Rector’s Palace was once the seat of politics in the city for centuries. It is a sprawling palace complex that fans of Game of Thrones will instantly recognize from Season 2. This was the famed location of the scenes depicting the port city of Qarth. This palace complex is both striking and eerie and will inspire even the most stoic of visitors.
The Rector’s Palace is a must-see spot in Dubrovnik and will leave you feeling like you have been transported back in time entirely. Much of the city itself feels ancient, but this palace is even more so.
Take a Game of Thrones Tour!
While it may seem tacky, the experience is unbelievably fun. There are some amazing tours designed to showcase every area of the city that was used to film the series. You can explore some of the most iconic scenes from Game of Thrones and spend time with other fans of the show.
The Game of Thrones tours allows you to truly experience the city through the eyes of the showmakers. This is one experience that you won’t regret, even if you don’t typically enjoy guided tours! Even those who aren’t fans of the show will get a cheap and easy chance to experience the most famous spots in the city, all in a single day.
Dubrovnik is one of the most beautiful cities in the entire world. I fell in love with you and I am sure you will to!
It was lovely enough to inspire the creators of Game of Thrones to use it as the show’s most iconic location. So, it’s no wonder why so many flocks to see this breathtaking city each year. You should be one of them!