Middle Age Miles

When You Play the Game of Thrones, You Win or You Die – A Fun Sea-and-Land GoT Tour in Dubrovnik

game of thrones tour dubrovnik boat tour cruise walking tour king's landing daenerys targaryen cersei lannister
Middle Age Miles sister Cymber’s dramatic portrayal of Daenerys Targaryen from GoT

This article is part of our Trip Report – Our Summer Holiday in Dubrovnik and Beyond

Confession: Middle Age Miles has never watched Game of Thrones. I know, sometimes you’d think we live under a rock.

But Middle Age Miles sister Cymber is a huge GoT fan. When we decided on Dubrovnik for our summer 2019 holiday, she immediately knew that she wanted to book us on a GoT-themed tour. Dubrovnik serves as King’s Landing in the show, and many scenes for the show have been filmed there.

We chose a guided tour that included a short cruise on a period-themed boat actually used on the show, an opportunity to dress in costume, and a walking tour of Dubrovnik complete with GoT insider commentary and a GoT shopping opportunity.

The boat ride and GoT tour made for an interesting and quite scenic evening activity, even for those of us who don’t watch the show. For GoT diehards, though, this type of tour is an absolute must for any visit to Dubrovnik!

Booking the Tour

We booked this tour through Viator. The price was quite reasonable, we thought, at a little over $50 per person. Other less expensive options are available if you forego the boat portion and just do a walking tour.

Here’s a current link on Viator to the tour we took:

Remember, be sure to click through from a shopping portal if you book through Viator or another tour company such as Expedia (see here and here for Viator; here for Expedia). Note that Viator and Expedia should code as travel and earn 3x Ultimate Rewards (UR) points when you pay with the Chase Sapphire Reserve or Chase Ink Preferred Business card. These vendors also earn 3x ThankYou Points as online retail/travel if you use your Citi AT&T Access More card.

Another option would be to book through the IHG “Tours and Activities” portal (powered by Viator, and purchases are processed through Viator (Hat Tip: Frequent Miler)) to earn 1,000 IHG points for your booking.

We also noticed that Airbnb Experiences advertises several GoT-themed tours, although we didn’t see one with a boat ride. We explored ways to save money and earn points and miles through Airbnb in an article earlier this week – How to Save Money on Airbnb Plus Earn Points and Miles. One of the tips was for new users to sign up with Airbnb through a referral link (ours), which would include $15 off an Airbnb Experience (as well as $40 off a home booking of $75 or more).

Our Game of Thrones Tour

Our GoT tour was scheduled for 6:30 pm. The boat portion was first, and we set sail from Gruz Port. It’s important to know that Gruz Port is about 3 km (more than 1.5 miles) from Old Town Dubrovnik. You’ll want to be sure to give yourself plenty of time to get out to Gruz Port if you take this tour.

There was an option for a 11:00 am departure for this tour, but we’d highly recommend the 6:30 pm departure if you’ll be taking the tour in the summer like we did. An 11:00 am start would put the walking part of the tour with the sun high in a very hot part of the day. The 6:30 pm departure put the walking part of the tour into the evening with the sun low – a much more pleasant experience.

Our ride for the Game of Thrones tour, the “Karaka”
Another shot of the “Karaka” docked at Old Port Dubrovnik

Once we boarded the boat, two important things were available for those who wanted to partake – costumes to try on and take pictures, and a tasty-and-refreshing alcoholic drink, Dragon’s Blood.

Our resident GoT fanatic, Middle Age Miles sister Cymber, made quite the scene, dressing as Daenerys Targaryen and posing for some dramatic-looking photos.

Many different GoT costumes set out for dressing up on the Karaka
A little assistance from the King to get dressed up
Cymber consulting with Philly to make sure her look was just right
Posing for a selfie with a random stranger on the tour
Daenerys Targaryen dramatically gazing upon the vast Adriatic Sea

The rest of us used our pre-departure time for some nice photos on the boat, after we finished drinking our Dragon’s Blood.

Middle Age Miles son Andrew and daughter KB on the Karaka with me
Middle Age Miles on the Karaka
My favorite shot, with Middle Age Miles daughter KB and the Croatian flag, with a pretty nice scenic backdrop

Once we departed Gruz Port, we had a very scenic cruise in calm waters around Lapad Peninsula to Old Port Dubrovnik. We passed by the impressive Franjo Tudman Bridge, the Otocic Grebeni islands, and the cliffs of Lapad Peninsula. Then, we passed around the perimeter of Old Town Dubrovnik before docking at Old Port Dubrovnik on the eastern edge of Old Town. During the entire cruise, a guide gave us GoT-related information and other tidbits about the area over the boat’s sound system.

Here are a few pictures from the cruise portion of the tour:

Franjo Tudman Bridge, Dubrovnik
Franjo Tudman Bridge, with the Croatian flag
Middle Age Miles, backed by the Croatian flag, Franjo Tudman Bridge, and a fantastic view
Otocic Grebeni, with Grebeni Lighthouse (believe it or not, Lighthouse Grebeni includes a nice-looking villa that can be rented through Booking.com!)
Church dramatically perched atop a cliff on Lapad Peninsula
Middle Age Miles at sea
Fort of St. Lawrence (Lovrijenac) and Dubrovnik Old Town city walls
Dubrovnik west harbor – the largest building, just right of center, is the Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik
Entering Old Port Dubrovnik

Once we docked at Old Port Dubrovnik, we began the walking part of our tour. Our tour guide was very good and told interesting stories about GoT sites and filming, such as the fact that HBO actually paid residents of Dubrovnik a healthy amount of money to keep their shutters closed during filming, to make sure the shots for the show were perfect.

Much of the GoT-related tour tidbits flew past those of us who don’t watch the show (note: I should have had Cymber write this portion of the article!), but two things stood out – the Jesuit Stairs, which were the scene for Cersei Lannister’s famed “Walk of Shame” (this drew by far the most ooh’s and aah’s from our tour group) and the store where we could buy some GoT souvenirs and sit on the Iron Throne.

The Jesuit Stairs in Old Town Dubrovnik were the site of Cersei Lannister’s famous “Walk of Shame” in Game of Thrones
Middle Age Miles at the top of the Jesuit Stairs
Random cat photo from the GoT walking tour
Middle Age Miles sister Cymber commands the Kingdom from the Iron Throne

Our walking tour ended at dusk, after about 2.5 hours, on the west side of Old Town Dubrovnik. We took a few dusk-time photos at Dubrovnik west harbor, and we were off and away to a late dinner after a fun and interesting tour.

Dubrovnik west harbor, with a time-period ship passing by (not the Karaka, though she looked quite similar)
Fort of St. Lawrence (Lovrijenac) at dusk
Fort Bokar at dusk
Sveti Durad chapel at dusk

Have you been on a Game of Thrones-themed tour in Dubrovnik? What can you add to our review that would help other Middle Age Miles readers? Please share in the Comments!

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2 thoughts on “When You Play the Game of Thrones, You Win or You Die – A Fun Sea-and-Land GoT Tour in Dubrovnik

  1. Cymber, aka, Dany for a Day

    You’re correct, big brother — definitely my favorite MAM article!! LOL!! For the GoT fans who want to make the most of their experience on the tour, I would recommend getting to the boat and boarding as early as possible to take advantage of the cosplay opportunity. That way you will get first choice of costumes, and you can wrap up your photo ops before the tour starts. I feel like I missed some of the commentary on the boat because I was still playing dress-up (and making the MAM “kids” dress up with me…LOL!), and taking pics. The behind-the-scenes info about the physical logistics of the city hosting HBO was as interesting as the facts about the scenes and their locations. I liked the story of how HBO chose to “agitate” the citizens of Dubrovnik who were extras in the Walk of Shame scene so that their expressions of anger in the scene were genuine. Also — wear comfortable shoes because the walking portion of the tour included A LOT of walking, and of course the ever-present stairs around each corner. It’s a mystery how we always seemed to be going UP the stairs, never DOWN…

    1. Craig at Middle Age Miles Post author

      Hey Sis – Thanks for the extra commentary and especially the good tip on wearing walking shoes. Definitely a must! I knew you would like an article where you are the star of the show 🙂 That was a very fun evening, even as a non-fanatic of GoT!

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