You Can Visit the Real-Life King's Landing, but Locals Don't Want You To

The mayor of Dubrovnik, Croatia is limiting how many people can visit this Game of Thrones location.

Now that there's probably more than a year until the next (and final) season of Game of Thrones (opens in new tab) comes out, you have time to check out some of the real-life locations (opens in new tab) for yourself. But if you want to visit the real-life King's Landing, be wary, because every other Game of Thrones fan has had the same idea. Insane overcrowding has led the city of Dubrovnik, Croatia, to crack down on the number of tourists who can visit the area Cersei Lannister calls home.

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According to the Telegraph (opens in new tab), Dubrovnik Mayor Mato Franković is set to cap the number of people who can visit each day at just 4,000, which is half of UNESCO's recommendation. That's because the pedestrian-only medieval section gets overcrowded with visitors.

Quartz (opens in new tab) notes that ever since Game of Thrones started filming in Dubrovnik, locals have started Thrones-themed tours around the city, and the show has contributed to around half of the tourist growth the city has seen recently. Part of the rest is due to cruise ships stopping by the city and letting visitors off to explore. And tourism has helped the local economy during a recession.

"I am not here to make people happy but to make the quality of life [in the city] better," Franković told the Telegraph. "Some of the cruise lines will disagree with what I'm saying but my main goal is to ensure quality for tourists and I cannot do it by keeping the situation as it is."

And while the restriction could mean decreasing tourist revenue for Dubrovnik, that might be the best solution for the long term. "We will lose money in the next two years—a million euros maybe—by cutting the number of tourists," the mayor told the newspaper, "but in the future we will gain much more. We deserve to be a top quality destination."

Scene from GOT

(Image credit: HBO)

In the meantime, Franković told Money (opens in new tab) that he's hoping tourists don't completely go away, but instead discover other parts of the area like its islands or its wine region. And if you simply must check out where Cersei did her "shame" walk, do so in the fall or the winter—not in the crazy-busy summer—or just check it out after all the cruise ships leave.

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Megan Friedman
Megan Friedman

Megan Friedman is the former managing editor of the Newsroom at Hearst. She's worked at NBC and Time, and is a graduate of Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism.