Medieval cities are intriguing to me, which is why Dubrovnik Croatia hit my sights and enticed me just enough to visit over the 4th of July 2014. One of the biggest perks was that Dubrovnik hit the map a couple of years back when the TV show Game of Thrones started using the medieval city as their set for King’s Landing after season 1 in 2012.
The coolest part is that the medieval city is a perfect location. It’s rustic, and when you see it you can just feel Old Town seeping from Dubrovnik’s pores as if the Game of Thrones set was meant to be here. In most scenes only a little CGI and a few plants are all that is required leaving many of the town’s building’s in the forefront of the picture.
Let me back track for just a moment and say that yes I am an avid fan of Game of Thrones, yes I read all of the books before the show came out, and I am impatiently awaiting book 6. So to be able to sign up and go on the Game of Thrones Tour for King’s landing, well that was an exciting moment.
The first set tour I got to do was actually for “The Shire” in New Zealand, Previous to this tour I hadn’t really thought much about the making of films and TV shows, or cared about who directed them . But after the Shire Tour, my sister and I also went on the Weta Cave tour (Peter Jackson’s production company used for Lord of the Rings) in Wellington New Zealand and let me tell you, that was eye opening.
I’m very fascinated in the full scale capacities those guys go through to make awesome movies. Just designing the armor could take weeks. Its another one of those things that I aspire to do one day alongside design video games (the two are actually quite similar if you work in graphic design).
At any rate the tour cost $80 and I actually thought this was a bit much but if I’m in Dubrovnik Croatia and I’m at the set of King’s Landing then I’m going on that tour and that’s just a fact. So 2 days before I signed M and I up and all the information we had was to meet in Pile Square at 1000.
When we arrived we didn’t see anyone but about 15 minutes before the tour began 2 women showed up wearing blue shirts with “Game of Thrones Walking Tours” written on them and binders. The groups were relatively small with only about 12-15 people in them. I like smaller group tours much better.
After the introductions were made we did not walk right into the city which I had assumed. Instead we took a few side alleys (I would have never noticed otherwise) and steady climbed up to Lovrijenac, a fort across from Dubrovnik.
Although the tour costs $80, it costs $20 for a tour of Lovrijenac and $20 for the ramparts ticket, which factors in to the higher cost. It was definitely worth it doing both of these things.
At the fort we got to see a great view of Dubrovnik and where they filmed a couple of the scenes for Game of Thrones. We also got to look out across the water to the area where they filmed the Royal Wedding, you know, the one where King Jeffory takes his last breath. How cool is that?
After touring the fort we headed down towards the Old Town stopping by the famous pier where Sansa stands to contemplate her horrible life, you know when she talks to Shae and also when her and Peter Baelish talk about what she needs to do to get away from King’s Landing.
Afterwards it was time to head into the city. Before entering we walked down to a garden area and saw Saint Blaise a figure that is carved all over the city and is considered to be the Protector of the City.
It is said that St. Blaise revealed himself to Stojko a priest, so that he could be warned of an impending attack on the city. He saw him as an old man with with a long beard and a bishop’s mitre and staff. This is the image projected throughout the city.
Once inside the city we stopped at a few places a major one being Dubrovnik’s requiem where a scene between Queen Cersi and Lord Varys takes place. A downside to the tour is the other tourists. There’s nothing that separates us from them and since the Dubrovnik Summer Festival is set to begin 11 Jul until August, there were many tourists.
While walking through the city it was hard to hear our guide and it wasn’t until we started climbing on the path less travelled, that I enjoyed it.
At one of the junctures we walked down and saw what was used as the tower for the Undying when Khaleesi is running around trying to find the entrance, that was extremely cool. One of the coolest things about the tour is that its also a Dubrovnik city tour alongside the Game of Thrones so you get to learn about the city as you learn about King’s Landing.
After we finished touring the ramparts it was time for some lunch. Thank the lord, Food!
First time trying Ratatoullie! SOOO GOOD!
One Thing I would fix About the Tour:
There is only one set of tours a day, which is at 1000. Here’s why I have a problem with this. In the summer months it is blazingly hot in Europe, and Croatia is no exception.
If there is only one tour a day then it should start at 0800 because of the heat and for tourist mitigation. The tour roughly runs for 3 hours and it ends halfway through walking the ramparts which is a must see if you visit Dubrovnik.
As part of the tour you receive a ticket for the ramparts and once you use it that’s all you get so if you leave the ramparts early then you don’t get to come back later to finish.
Our plan originally was to walk the ramparts in the early morning or at sunset. We did not realize that the Game of Thrones Tour included a ticket for this until we were already in the middle of the tour.
The tour ends at approximately 1300. In the heat and with no protection from the sun, I was pretty hungry for lunch by 1300. But I really wanted to walk the South part of the rampart. M and I decided to push on and then get lunch afterwards. I’m glad we did this because not seeing it would have been a shame since the South part of the city faces the water and it is quite gorgeous from up there.
This article appeared first on The Cassey Excursion.