If you plan on spending your maybe two year long wait for the next season of Game of Thrones vacationing to the real-life Westerosi locations, you might want to be wary of visiting Dubrovnik, Croatia, or King’s Landing as fans know it.
Due to overcrowding as a result of constant tourism, Dubrovnik Mayor Mato Franković has limited the amount of people who can visit the town each day to 4,000. This is particularly due to Dubrovnik’s pedestrian-only medieval section, which gets so over-saturated with tourists that it becomes extremely difficult to navigate.
Since Game of Thrones started filming in Dubrovnik, the show has contributed about half of the increase in tourist activity, with locals setting up tours themed after the show. Another major contributor is the fact that cruise ships have started stop at the city to let passengers visitors go out and explore. In fact, tourism has been so prominent that it helped the city out of an economic recession.
Despite this, Mayor Franković is sticking by his desire to limit tourist activity, stating to the Telegraph, “I am not here to make people happy but to make the quality of life [in the city] better. 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.”
Franković is willing to sacrifice revenue in order to improve the quality of tourists’ visits to Dubrovnik, as well as the general quality of life of the city’s locals. He doesn’t want to discourage tourism as a whole by any means, suggesting that visitors also check out the area’s wine region and islands.
However, if you’re dead set on checking out the Red Keep locale, try to make it during the winter or the fall when it’s less hectic than the summer.