The Game of Thrones television show is one of the largest productions the small screen has seen. Each season is filmed on-location in multiple countries simultaneously including Northern Ireland, Malta, Iceland, Morocco and many other enchanting places.
For years, however, the production team and cast have spent the vast majority;of their time shooting in Croatia. Set on the Adriatic Sea to the East of Italy, this dreamy country has incredibly scenic places from ancient coastal towns, to pristine beach islands and lush forests. And the GoT production team have used many of these settings as the backdrop to some of the series’ most grandiose scenes.
So if you’re a GoT fan, or if you are simply curious, we’ve put together a list of our five favorite filming locations for one of TV’s biggest hits.
1. King’s Landing (Dubrovnik)
As the main setting for the majority of the show, King’s Landing (a stronghold of the Lannisters) is a prominently featured location throughout the GoT series and most of its scenes are filmed in the Old Town of Dubrovnik. A tiny (and stunningly intact) ancient walled city, Dubrovnik is actually garnished as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is located on Croatia’s southernmost tip.
Noteworthy locations within and around the fortified city include: Pile Harbour, where the killing of Robert Baratheon’s bastards occurred; Fort Lovrijenac (i.e. Red Keep); the Baroque Staircase (i.e. the stairs to the Great Sept of Baelor); and Miceta Tower (i.e. the House of the Undying).
2. Mereen (Klis Fortress)
This medieval fortress located just 20 minutes from the city of Split has been the seat for many Croatian kings since the 7th century and the setting for many scenes in season 4 of GoT. Specifically, it is here that we see Daenarys conquer Mereen, free all of the slaves and answer “injustice with justice” by nailing the city’s former rulers to crosses for hundreds to see.
3. Qarth (Island of Lokrum):
This small and peaceful island just a 10-minute ferry boat ride away from is where the GoT production team chose to shoot its season 2 and 3 scenes for the city of Qarth. Its 11th century Benedictine monastery with dramatic archways and evocative cloister set the perfect scene for the show’s lavish garden parties. It now houses a small museum dedicated to the filming of GoT in Croatia.
4. Daenarys’ Throne Room (Split)
Many of Daenary’s scenes take place in Split, Croatia’s second largest city. And the 3rd century Diocletian’s Palace is the chosen lair for the Mother of Dragons for her throne room and, of course, her dragons. It is also here that we see the “Kill the Masters” scene (Season 4) where dozens of slaves sit around a fire and decide whether to fight for her. In the nearby street of Papaliceva is also where the “Slave Rebellion” scene (Season 4529 was shot.
While the upper levels of this 1700-year-old palace did not survive, the underground tunnels remain and they are one of the city’s most popular sites. It is open to visitors daily.
5. Gardens of Kind’s Landing (Trsteno Arboretum)
Kyng’s Landing always seems to feature such beautiful gardens and now you can wander through them in true royal fashion as well. The gorgeous scenes shot in the palace gardens are actually filmed at Trsteno Arborertum, a 15th century garden just 20 minutes from Dubrovnik with incredible views of the Adriatic Sea. It is here that the protagonists of the show choose to weave their intricate plots and exchange dangerous secrets.
Confirming some rumors that had already been circulating in internet forums, HBO recently released a statement informing fans that “based on story and location needs, Game of Thrones will not be shooting in Croatia in season 6”. This doesn’t mean production won’t return to the idyllic scenery of Croatia in the future, but, for now, they will be using other locations. That means now is the perfect time to plan your trip to this incredibly country full of history, beautiful scenery and original Game of Thrones filming locations.