What an amazing day – best way to put it! Ever since we have decided to come to Croatia, of course, Dubrovnik has been on our list to visit. Not only is Game of Thrones filmed there, but the entire town itself looks absolutely beautiful.
The weather every time we check since being here, has shown rain and thunderstorms – who wants to go to such an amazing town with rain. So after checking the forecast and seeing rain for only about an hour instead of all day, we decided just to go; at least it will be just cloudy the rest of the day. The drive to get from our apartment to Dubrovnik was a three hour drive – almost two of which are through the mountains (stunning btw). I keep an eye on the weather the entire drive, and as we get closer, I am starting to wonder where the all day of clouds, and hour of rain is going to come from – we have not seen one cloud in the sky, besides the few we drive through from in the mountains. I am getting very hopeful as we drive into town that we will actually have a beautiful sunny day.
I was told to get to Dubrovnik early because tourists getting off the cruise ships usually get to town around 1:00, and it gets very busy. Turns out today there was a cruise ship which docked at 8:00, so it was already pretty packed when we got there.
October is low season in most of Croatia, so I wasn’t expecting it to be hard to find parking – but it wasn’t easy. Ended up finding an indoors parking area, close to all the action so it worked out well. Ended up being 190kuna for about 4/5hrs, so about 25€ – quite expensive.
Our main thing was to find a Game of Thrones tour, where a tour guide brings you to places the tv show has been filmed. We found one within two minutes of walking into town. It was 150kuna a person, plus an extra 30kuna to enter the fortress (24€), so not too bad Bonus? The kids were free!!
So while we had time to kill before the tour starts, we decided to tour around a little bit. Walk in through a beautiful entrance getting into the town walls, walk on beautiful white cobblestones, see such nice architecture; the town already had me mezmorized! I read online that the town bought the Iron Throne from Game of Thrones, which was in a gift shop called Dubrovnik City Shop, so we went on a search. It didn’t take long to find. Turns out it’s just a replica, but that’s fine. If you buy something in the shop you get free pictures on the throne, so we of course bought something (which would have been bought anyways – this store ended up being cheaper than others on the main strip!).
After each of us taking a picture, we headed towards our tour. Gotta admit, this tour is probably going to be one of the highlights of our trip! Our tour guide brought us to twelve different Game of Thrones filing locations. She had a photo book with a still shots of each location she brought us to so we could see exactly what scene we were looking at. We saw where Sansa Stark ran off in fear of getting raped – and then where she was saved by Sandor Clegane (btw – two totally different areas of Dubrovnik makes that one scene in the show!!). We stood in the place where the riot of King’s Landing took place (remember I mentioned the beautiful entrance to get into the town walls – named Pile Gate – this was it!!). We stood in Pile Harbour where Sansa and Shae watched the boats. This is also where Lord Baelish discusses with Sansa about her escape. Also, where Mercylla was sent off in her boat, and same area, is where Robert Baratheon’s bastard children were drowned.
We walked about 5 minutes away to where The Walk of Shame scene was filmed. Since the townspeople had businesses to run, and this scene took about three days to film, the movie production paid the businesses for shutting down for three days, and paid the people who live in the houses above to keep their shutters closed and outside of their houses clean. Literally getting paid to do nothing.
Fort Lovrijenac (Fort of St. Lawrence) is what our extra 30kunas was for. This Fort doubles as Red Keep in the shows, residence of the King of Andals. Many scenes were filmed here also. This is where Sandor Clegane saved Sansa from being raped. The tournament thrown in King Joffrey’s name was filmed here. Also where Cersei and Lord Baelish discuss where Sansa disappeared to was filmed here – before Cersei changed her mind about having him killed.
I haven’t been on a movie tour since Disney World when I was 8 (which I barely remember), but this tour I would 100% recommend! During the summer there is another tour in which you can take a boat ride on a real boat from Game of Thrones, as well of the walking tour we’d just completed – being “off season” this tour wasn’t operating.
Our tour guide explained a bit about the actors as well. King Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) who most people cannot stand, was one of the sweetest, most loved people in real life. Whereas, his wife, Margaery Tyrell (Natalie Dormer), in real life was very arrogant – so the local people say. Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) was very much like his character – drinking into the wee hours of the morning, and even one night passing out in his hostel lobby. The lobby now has a sign saying “Tyrion Lannister slept in out lobby”.
There are so many more locations in and around Dubrovnik we just didn’t have time for. We are not big fans of returning to places we have already been, but I see a return trip to Dubrovnik in the works if we have a long weekend eventually over the next two years. I have come to realize how fun it is to do a movie tour – of a show I have especially come to enjoy!
For the last 10 months my absolute favorite area has been Prague – been to tons of cities since, and not one has been competition until Dubrovnik. As I was telling my husband, the attraction isn’t even only Game of Thrones related – the entire city is just beyond beautiful. To get into a city by walking through what looks like castle walls is always a huge huge bonus for me – I always fall in love. To sit on a terrace overlooking extremely clear water is an amazing thing – we had ice cream and watched the waves crash against the rocks.
As I am writing this, it has been 7 days since being in Dubrovnik, and two days since we have been back home Germany, and I can honestly say I left a piece of my heart in Dubrovnik. My heart is missing a small piece – which only makes going back more of a plan!!!