When In Europe: Follow in the Footsteps of Game of Thrones and Star Wars with a Visit to Dubrovnik

When it comes to beautiful European cities, things don’t get much more stunning than Dubrovnik. The Croatian town on the Adriatic Sea looks back on a long history, but more recent events are what brings thousands of tourists to it these days.

game-of-thrones-dubrovnik-kings-landing-04Dubrovnik, a stunning city from every angle

If you feel that the pictures on this page look strangely familiar, then that’s probably because you have seen Dubrovnik before, albeit under a different name: King’s Landing. The city has featured heavily in the Game of Thrones series, with many scenes taking place in and around this stunning settlement by the sea.

game-of-thrones-dubrovnik-kings-landing-01Many Game of Thrones scenes were filmed in the old part of town

Another movie that is rumoured to have been shot here recently is the new Star Wars Episode VIII. Although not officially confirmed by anyone, a production called “Space Bear” was busy filming in old town Dubrovnik this year and movie buffs generally agree that this is the production code-name for the next part of the Star Wars saga.

game-of-thrones-dubrovnik-kings-landing-03Fans of the GoT series will recognize many parts of this stunning city

Croatia is part of the EU, so you can visit the country with a Schengen visa. We chose to travel to Dubrovnik by bus from neighbouring Montenegro, but there is also an airport nearby and a bus shuttle will get you into town for around PHP 250 once landed. Be careful when it comes to taxis, though, as this mode of transport can be rather pricey: We ended up paying around PHP 500 for a four minute cab ride from the bus station to the entrance of old town.

game-of-thrones-dubrovnik-kings-landing-06Look out for the city making an appearance in Star Wars Episode VIII next year

While Croatia is in the European Union, the country has not yet adopted the Euro as currency, so you’ll need to get yourself some Kuna to pay for things. Most shops and restaurants do accept Euros as well but you will quite likely get a worse exchange rate this way. Luckily, there are plenty of currency exchange shops in the city to help with this.

game-of-thrones-dubrovnik-kings-landing-05Old Town Dubrovnik forms the backdrop of King’s Landing

We visited the city during early December and stayed at a small self catering place in the middle of old town Dubrovnik. The studio-type apartment placed us right in the heart of the action and came in at around PHP 3000 per night. Additional expenses you may need to calculate for are entrance tickets for a walk around the city wall (HRK 120, or around PHP 900 each) and your usual souvenirs, some of which seemed very pricey. Especially for Game of Thrones merchandise it’s worth shopping around, as we found shops that charged as much as PHP 1700 for a simple t-shirt, while others had similar goods at half that price.

game-of-thrones-dubrovnik-kings-landing-02Walking around the city walls gives you the best views of the place

Just as mentioned in my previous feature about Santorini, the best time to visit pretty much any world famous tourist hotspot is outside of the main season and this also holds true for Dubrovnik. Not only will things be much cheaper, but you also won’t have to compete with hordes of tourists for the best photo opportunities, and as added bonus, there will be fewer cruise ships spoiling the fantastic sea views.

game-of-thrones-dubrovnik-kings-landing-07

If you are planning a trip to Europe in the near future, then Dubrovnik is definitely a worthy addition to your list of must-see destinations. You can check out some more images from the city in my gallery here, but this place is really best seen in person. If you go between October and March, then it’s even possible to do it on a budget and without having to fight off too many tourists along the way.

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