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8 Films & TV Shows you won’t believe were filmed in Croatia

8 Films & TV Shows you won’t believe were filmed in Croatia
Lights, Camera, Action! Croatia has been in the spotlight on the big and little screen for decades. Why not step into your favourite films and shows?
Hollywood and television networks choose Croatia time and again as a filming location because it’s a simply stunning destination. Naturally, the incentives the country provides the film industry helps their decision, but more than anything, it's the striking landscapes and the historic and distinct cities that make it a director’s dream. The love affair videographers have for Croatia stems as far back as the 1960s. However, it’s becoming increasingly likely to stumble across movie star royalty while they’re out filming the next big hit. Are you ready to enter memorable fictional worlds during your next luxury holiday in Croatia?
A view of the coastline of Croatia showing the coast and sea

Game of Thrones (2011-2019)

Let’s start with an obvious one. You probably already know that the world’s favourite fantasy-drama was filmed in Croatia. The truth is that the majority of the show’s most spectacular fictional cities are real places in Croatia.
The capital of Westeros, Kings Landing, is in fact the medieval walled city of Dubrovnik, with its labyrinth of narrow alleyways and red rooftops. Dubrovnik’s Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is the setting of many notorious scenes, including Cersei’s horrendous Walk of Shame, which took place on the Baroque Jesuit staircase that leads up to the Church of St. Ignatius.
The brothel that Tyrion Lannister frequented was actually Dubrovnik’s Ethnographic Museum, while Blackwater Bay was Pile Gate, where the city’s own fairytale-esque Bokar Fortress dominates over the sparkling blue of the Adriatic Sea.
The imposing Mineeta Tower, which is the highest point in the city, was the show’s mythical and indelible House of the Undying. Lovrijenac Fortress is home of the imaginary castle, the Red Keep (which, incidentally, was also featured in the climatic end scene of the 1990 Marvel film flop, Captain America).
Close to Dubrovnik lies the 15th century Arboretum in Trsteno that, with its fish-laden fountains and mythological statues, was used as the ornate palace gardens of Kings Landing. And, if you head to Lokrum Island, you’ll get to visit the fictional city of Qarth, where you can sit in a replica of the renowned Iron Throne.
In Split, Croatia’s second largest city, you’ll find the 18th century Diocletian’s Palace with its amazing network of eerie underground rooms and tunnels. These acted as Daenerys' Throne Room and were where her precious dragons were held.
A 20-minute drive north of Split and you’ll reach the tranquil yet dramatic Klis Fortress, which embodied the slave city of Mereen. The picturesque village of Zrnovnica located east of Split was once the epicentre of a buzzing grain mill industry, also frequently featured in scenes.
Image of the skyline of the town of Split in Croatia

Doctor Who, Series 5 (2010)

Two episodes of the world’s favourite travelling Time Lord, as portrayed by Matt Smith as the Doctor, were filmed in perfectly preserved Trogir. This historic coastal town is in fact a small island connected by several bridges to mainland Croatia.
In episode six, The Vampires of Venice, Trogir postured as 16th century Venice. During episode 10, Vincent and the Doctor, which was written by Richard Curtis and had a cameo appearance from actor Bill Nighy, parts of Trogir were revamped into the postimpressionist paintings of Vincent Van Gogh.
Image of the town and harbour of Trogir in Croatia

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (2018)

The sequel to the original Abba jukebox romantic comedy film was not shot as you’d expect on a Greek island. The star-studded cast - from Meryl Streep and Julie Walters to Pierce Brosnan and Cher - descended on the Croatian island of Vis, right in the midst of the Adriatic Sea.
This little island used to be a naval base entirely closed off to visitors, but today is a great place for an off-the-beaten-path day trip. In this homage to Abba, you’ll be able to spot the harbour of Komiza and several courtyards that are located in Vis Town. You can reach Vis Island by catamaran or ferry from Split or Hvar. We dare you not to start singing Dancing Queen on the way!
Image of the town of Komiza in Croatia

Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017)

Dubrovnik featured in Episode VIII of the one and only epic space opera. In order to invoke the futuristic impression of Planet Cantonica’s fictitious coastal casino town, Canto Bight, the city’s beautiful 16th century Old Town underwent a transformation. Oval windows were lit up and a giant puppet - the non-sentient quadrupeds - was ridden through the streets. Oh, how we wished we’d been there to see that!
Image of the coastline of the city of Dubrovnik in Croatia

Robin Hood (2018)

Robin Hood saw Dubrovnik featured, this time as the medieval town of Nottingham. The Gothic-style Church of St. Dominic, which used to be a part of the city’s walls, was used to portray Nottingham Palace, while a former granary took on the role of Loxley Manor. Actor Jamie Foxx did a shout-out to Dubrovnik on Instagram during filming, saying the city had ‘mind-blowing’ beauty.
Image of Dubrovnik Church in the town of Dubrovnik in Croatia

The Hitman Wife’s Bodyguard (2021)

The sequel to the film that sees Ryan Reynolds play a fictional bodyguard-cum-hitman Michael Bryce, alongside fellow stars Samuel L. Jackson and Salma Hayek, was filmed in Rovinj. The Old Town of this Croatian fishing port, which is located on the west coast of the Istrian Peninsula, was acting as a stand-in for Italy. It makes sense, as Rovinj does have a distinctly Venetian vibe to it, having been governed by the Republic of Venice for centuries. During filming, Reynolds took to his Instagram and said, “If you’re gonna be repeatedly punched in the face anywhere… I recommend Croatia. I love this place.” So do we Ryan. So do we.
Image of the town of Rovinj in Croatia

McMafia (2018)

The elegant BBC crime drama that had James Norton as the son of a mafia crime boss appeared to take us on a global journey that gripped us to our seats. However, Croatia was actually the destination double for a resounding nine different countries. The Dalmatian Coast was made to resemble Turkey, Split stood in for Tel Aviv, and several towns including Rovinj stood in for stylish Southern France. Who would have known?
Image of the coastline on the dalmation coast

Succession (2018 - present)

The fictional deeply dysfunctional and media powerhouse Roy family, portrayed in this black-comedy drama, were seen in their luxury yacht in an undefined Mediterranean location in the second season finale. What they failed to mention in the show is that they were in waters off the coast of Croatia. If it’s good enough for billionaires, it’s good enough for us.
Image of boats on the sea and with an island on the coast of Croatia

Add a Touch of Luxury with Sovereign

Are you ready to explore Croatia? At Sovereign Luxury Travel we have over 50 years’ experience in tailormade luxury holidays. We take care of all the finer details, so you don’t have to. Our Personal Travel Planners are on hand every step of the way to ensure your luxury holiday is memorable and enjoyable.                                      
Visit sovereign.com to start planning your next luxury escape today!
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