It’s no surprise that due to its many picturesque, beautiful regions – from the islands, to the coastline, to the interior to its larger cities – Croatia has been used as a filming location for many films and TV shows in recent years. Undoubtedly, the biggest of these is a little show (that you may have heard of) called Game of Thrones. Besides this bit hitter, there are many more TV shows or programmes and filmed besides filmed in the country! Here, we’ll round up all the filming locations in Croatia used on-screen – both small and large.
Game of Thrones – Dubrovnik, Split, Sibenik
Let’s start with the main one, then! We know that the Croatian filming locations of Game of Thrones have brought visitors to the country, eager to see these places in real life. And whilst there’s a certain amount of digital trickery involved, you will recognise many of the locations as the Croatia you’ve experienced yourself.
Most famously, since series two, it’s Dubrovnik that stands in for King’s Landing, the capital of Westeros. You’ll certainly be able to spot Dubrovnik Old Town’s beautiful red rooftops and narrow alleyways in many of the King’s Landing scenes; you will also be able to see Lovrijenac (as the Red Keep), Bokar and Minceta Fortresses. The Jesuit Stairs in Dubrovnik also feature very famously in Cersei Lannister’s ‘walk of shame’ scene. Nearby to Dubrovnik, the Arboretum in Trsteno and Lokrum island also saw GoT scenes shot there; Lokrum’s visitor centre features a replica of the Iron Throne that you can sit in!
Further up the coast, the basement parts of Split‘s Diocletian’s Palace were used to play Daenerys’s throne room. Nearby to Split is Klis Fortress which stands in for Meereen in series four onwards.
Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again – Vis
This 2018 film was largely shot on the gorgeous island of Vis, which stood in for a Greek island. Starring a whole heap of stars (Amanda Seyfried, Meryl Streep, Julie Walters, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, Christine Baranski, Stellan Skarsgard, Dominic Cooper and, of course, Cher), quite a few filming locations on the island were used.
Most noticeably, when watching, you will see the harbour in Komiza (in the scenes featuring Omid Djalili as a border guard). Anyone who’s stayed in Pansion Dionis in Vis Town will also have recognised the courtyard outside the local Greek bar in the film where some of the stars perform an energetic song and dance number!
Spot the island of Vis in the trailer below…and try to stop singing along to Abba!
It’s Dubrovnik that again stands in for an imaginary location (as in Game of Thrones); in Star Wars it plays the casino planet of Canto Bight in the 2017 film Star Wars The Last Jedi. You’ll spot Dubrovnik’s main thoroughfare Stradun in the film, as well as the famed Old Town walls.
The Hitman Wife’s Bodyguard – Rovinj and other locations
Released in 2021 and starring Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson and Salma Hayek, this is the follow-up to The Hitman’s Bodyguard. Many of the film’s scenes were filmed in Rovinj (which stood in for Italy, but also played Croatia!) and additional scenes were shot in towns and cities such as Karlovac, Zagreb and Rijeka, plus Buje and Vodnjan in inland Istria.
Doctor Who – Trogir
Two series five episodes of Doctor Who (episode 6 – ‘The Vampires of Venice’ and episode 10 – ‘Vincent and the Doctor’ – to be precise) were filmed in the pretty coastal town of Trogir. Both episodes were filmed in November 2009 and broadcast in 2010, and this series stars Matt Smith as the Doctor with Karen Gillan as his assistant Amy.
In Episode 6, Trogir does a very good job ‘playing’ 16th century Venice – which, in the episode, is home to apparent vampires who are really aliens in disguise.
Episode 10 sees the Doctor and Amy travel back in time to help Vincent Van Gogh battle the invisible creature (although visible to Van Gogh), the Krafayis; the episode also features an uncredited cameo from Bill Nighy and was written by Richard Curtis. Parts of Trogir were made up to look like famous Van Gogh paintings.
Bliss – Split and Lopud
This 2021 film (available to stream on Amazon Prime) stars Salma Hayek and Owen Wilson who find themselves in a drug-induced fantasy world. Dubrovnik and Split were used as filming locations – you’ll recognise Split’s famed Riva promenade – as was the island of Lopud.
See what parts of Croatia you can spot in the trailer for Bliss below:
McMafia – Various locations
The super-stylish BBC drama McMafia was a big hit when it was broadcast in 2018, starring James Norton as the son of a mafia crime boss. Locations in Croatia stood in for no less than nine different countries – from Zagreb as Prague and Moscow, to the Dalmatian coast as Turkey, to Split as Tel Aviv and the island of Prvic as Egypt. Various towns stood in for the South of France as well – including Lovran and Rovinj in Istria.
In the clip below you can, this luxury villa in Primosten stands in for a villa in Israel. (You can even stay at the real property! It’s the Golden Rays Luxury Villas and Apartments.)
Succession – Various Locations
The second series of the incredibly popular, award-winning HBO show used various locations in Croatia to depict a holiday destination for the Roy family. As well as Zagreb and Rijeka being used for filming, locations in and around southern Dalmatia destinations such as Cavtat, Korcula, Mljet and Sipan were used.
Other TV programmes and films shot in Croatia
The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, starring Nicolas Cage and Pedro Pascal, shot some of its scenes in Croatia in October 2020. Locations in and around Dubrovnik were “stand-ins” for the island of Majorca, where most of the film is set. As well as watching to catch glimpses of Croatia, we’d recommend this film as it’s really rather bonkers but incredibly entertaining.
ITV production The Ipcress File, starring Tom Hollander, was filmed in Zagreb in April 2021.
More info on Filming Locations in Croatia
You can learn more about some of the filming locations in Croatia – as well as the incentives offered to productions to film in the country – on the Filming in Croatia website.
The Croatian Audiovisual Centre website offers more information on Croatian films if you’d like to explore more on this subject.