The Croatian city of Dubrovnik is a hugely popular tourist destination and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Set on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, it is a mixture of old architecture and new, brimming with influences from across the ages. It offers stunning views out to sea and is rich with local culture and tradition, stretching back to the seventh century. In 1979, UNESCO confirmed ‘The Pearl of the Adriatic’ as a site of significant historical and cultural importance.
Today, it has a population of just 43,000 but attracts up to 8,000 visitors per day. It has got so popular that the authorities have capped the number of people who can come to the city, and much of that is due to its appearance in the HBO fantasy drama, Game of Thrones. It was a cultural phenomenon, a drama that had the world on tenterhooks for a short time.
Much of the action focused on the city of King’s Landing in the fictional land of Westeros; Dubrovnik was used for that city. Game of Thrones became more than just a TV show; it has spawned a spin-off series, which Indie Wire reveals will be called House of Dragon, due to land this year. It has also featured in video games, with an episodic release on PlayStation and Xbox.
The imagery has remained popular after the show finished; an online slot on Gala Bingo uses the branding called Game of Thrones Power Stacks, which draws from the television series, whilst Game of Thrones conquest is on iOS and Android. It is still a major figure in pop culture, and that makes Dubrovnik as popular as ever.
If you do visit and wish to see some of the popular locations, here are some you can see in a single day.
One of the first locations to visit in Dubrovnik is the impressive Lovrijenac Fort, which was used as the location for the Red Keep. It has some of the best views in the city, standing 37m high on a rocky outcrop.
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It was originally built as a fortress to guard the entrance to Pile Cover but be warned; it is not an easy place to visit. You’ll find 175 stone steps to climb before you reach the fort itself, so make sure you have a bottle of water with you.
The City Walls are worth a visit, not because you’ll recall them for a specific scene in Game of Thrones, but because they give superb views out to sea and across the old town, which featured heavily in King’s Landing.
Fort Bokar is part of those walls, and it sits proud of the walls, looking out to sea. It’s a nice place to stop and admire the view if walking around the walls.
Saint Ignatius Church
There’s a wonderful staircase leading down from the church to street level, which fans of the series will find very photographable. However, to ignore the magnificent structure itself would be a fallacy.
The design is a single nave, with side chapels, decorated with magnificent Baroque frescoes painted by Gaetano Garcia. It is a wonderful reminder that this delightful city has far more to offer than merely being the setting for a television series, and visitors who do travel for their Game of Thrones fix come away with much, much more.
If you enjoyed this article, you might also want to check out our piece stating why Hungary is one of the worst places to visit.
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