Game of Thrones fans: Get ready for the vacation of your life.
In Croatia, Dubrovnik’s Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage that’s perfectly preserved from its founding in the 14th century. The towering Baroque churches, looming fortresses, tiny alleyways of worn stone, and dreamy, red tiled roofs make it one of the prettiest and most transporting towns in the world.
Lately, it’s one of the hottest places to visit thanks to the show, which filmed parts of seasons two through six in the historic center. Fans of the show now know Dubrovnik as King's Landing, the capital of the Seven Kingdoms in the mythical continent of Westeros.
“In the last year, my company, Dubrovnik Tourist Guides, has given more than 1,000 tours of the city to fans,” offers tour guide Ivan Vukovic. “We like to think we are the most popular because we combine filming locations with actual facts and histories of the city.”
If you’re among the millions of die-hard fans, here’s how to make the most of your time in King’s Landing.
First of all, stay at...
1. Villa Orsula
This hotel was originally the private home of a noble family, built in 1939. In 2012, it was converted into a boutique villa property with 13 rooms. The crown jewel is the Royal Apartment Suite, which includes 800 square feet and a private stone balcony dripping in both grapevines and romance. The hotel’s Victoria restaurant is the city’s first and only Peruvian menu and sitting out on the terrace rewards you with the best views of King’s Landing across the Adriatic Sea.
2. Villa Sheherezade
Want to truly live like a Lannister? The price here is a whopping $7,000 per night, but you get this entire stone mansion — from the blue domed roof to the matching cliff-side blue pool — all to yourself. It’s so exclusive, the rental comes with a contract. If any renter’s name is publicized in any way, the operators must pay a hefty fine. Both Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton have stayed here while filming. The 12,000-square-foot palace also doubles as a museum, housing bespoke furnishings and rare artifacts from around the globe.
And while you're visiting, you must...
3. Book a Private Tour
Dubrovnik has incredible history all its own and Dubrovnik Tourist Guides offers a one-of-a-kind, two-hour private walking tour of Old Town. The unique aspect is, your guides mix in the show’s filming locations with actual historical facts. You’ll visit dozens of filming locations like Jesuit Steps, which served for Cersei’s famous Walk of Shame scene, as well as the scene of the Purple Wedding filmed in Gradac Park.
4. Relax Like the Cast
During filming, the cast stays exclusively at the UNESCO hotel, Hotel Excelsior. They are all particularly fond of the hotel’s elite treatments at the Energy Clinic Spa. It’s one of only a handful of spas of its kind in the world, and if you’re dying to actually bump into a cast member — well, this might be the best place to stay too. Filming begins again in the fall.
5. Visit Lokrum Island
The beauty of the Botanical Gardens here is reason enough to visit the tropical island 15 minutes by water taxi from Old Town. However, fans will recognize Lokrum as the city of Qarth on the show. The island featured prominently in season two, and scenes were filmed in both the gardens and the former Benedictine Monastery here.
6. Trek to Trsteno Arboretum
It’s an easy half-hour drive to gorgeous Trsteno, also known as High Garden and home of the Tyrell Family on Game of Thrones. The gardens are an incredible 70 acres, with nearly 500 different plant varieties. The ancient statuary, crumbling stones, reflection pond and the central gazebo make for an instantly transporting setting unlike any other you’ll find on Earth. Multiple tour outfits offer excursions here from the city.
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