Croatia's 10 best spots for Game of Thrones fans

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From sweeping coastal cliffs and raw-hewn islands to waterfalls, ruins, and ancient Roman palaces, Croatia is absolutely stunning. So, it’s no surprise that this small Mediterranean country is one of Game of Thrones’ key filming locations. We set out with our ZenFone 3 to find and photograph some of the show’s best spots, from the most-frequented to the little-known.

10. Papalićeva Street (Split) — Meereen Uprising

Make a medieval alleyway moodier with Manual mode’s EV (exposure value) bumped down to -.3, -.6, or even -1.

Wander the worn cobblestones of Split’s beautiful old town and be transported to the ivy-strewn alleys of Meereen. In season five, Daenerys Targaryen leads a slave revolt through these streets, including this recognizable archway on Papalićeva—just steps away from Diocletian’s palace.

9. Minčeta Tower (Dubrovnik) — Qarth’s House of the Undying

Use Super Resolution mode to capture all the details of textural scenes like these medieval fortress walls.

14th-century Minčeta Tower has rich, real-life history as the Dubrovnik medieval walls’ highest point; this fort was an important defensive position when the bellicose Ottoman Empire threatened many surrounding kingdoms. But head down the stairs to the tower’s angular base, and you’ll discover where the building becomes the House of the Undying. This powerful warlocks’ home is where the Khaleesi desperately searches for her stolen dragons in season two.

8. Benedictine Monastery gardens (Lokrum Island) — Qarth Castle

Auto camera mode plus the “HDR Auto” setting is excellent for capturing quick shots.

Lokrum island is a quick 15 minute ferry from Dubrovnik’s old town. Peacocks and rabbits roam wild and a small garden is tucked within an ancient Benedictine monastery’s courtyard. The small hedge maze, crumbling stone walls, secret nooks, and cracked colonnades all feature into season two’s beautiful Qartheen garden and castle scenes.

7. Little-known Iron Throne (Lokrum Island)

No tripod? No problem. Low Light mode boosts the ZenFone 3’s low light capabilities and decreases noise. The camera sensor uses a technique called “pixel binning” to increase sensor light sensitivity by up to 4x.

Duck inside Lokrum’s monastery to discover a Game of Thrones exhibit, including a short documentary and full-size Iron Throne replica. Barely mentioned in any guidebooks or online, this is a hidden gem that shouldn’t be missed.

6. Baroque staircase (Dubrovnik) — Cersei’s infamous “shame” scene

People walking through your shot? Use Smart Remove mode to automatically capture a five-photo sequence and intelligently remove moving objects.

Just below Saint Ignatius Church is Dubrovnik’s beautiful Baroque staircase. These stairs achieved infamy in season five when Cersei Lannister is marched naked through the streets, pelted with food and other unmentionables as punishment for her sins. Because the scene takes place outside a church, special filming permission was required. In fact, it cost $50,000 per day to film the scene. If you visit, pause to appreciate just how much CGI was required to turn the city and stairs into King’s Landing.

5. Trsteno Arboretum (Dubrovnik) — The Red Keep and Highgarden

Try HDR Pro mode in harsh lighting situations like overly-bright days. The ZenFone 3 automatically combines photos with multiple exposure levels into one well-exposed photo.

Not only is Trsteno one of the world’s oldest arboretums, but in seasons three and four it becomes the Red Keep’s palace gardens and House Tyrell’s seat of power, Highgarden. While there are many familiar filming locations to discover here, one of the most recognizable is this pagoda, where Sansa Stark warns Lady Olenna Tyrell and Margaery Tyrell about King Joffrey.

4. Krka National Park (Lozovac) — Westeros’ natural beauty

Combine Super Resolution and 4.0x digital zoom to capture landscapes without compromising on detail.

One hour outside Split is Krka National Park: home to seven stunning waterfalls, a beautiful Franciscan monastery, Roman catacombs, and stunning nature trails. Perhaps that’s why this gorgeous park forms many of Westeros’ verdant landscapes.

3. City, harbor, and monastery (Trogir) — Qarth City

Manual mode’s on-screen level “locks on” and turns green for an even horizon every time.

Forty minutes outside Split, immerse yourself in Trogir’s Renaissance- and Baroque-style buildings. In the show, this UNESCO world heritage site becomes Qarth, the “greatest city that ever was or will be.” Head to the harbor, the busy Qartheen hub for sea trade, as well as St. Dominic Monastery, where many scenes were shot.

2. Diocletian’s Palace (Split) — Khaleesi’s Throne Room

The ZenFone 3’s optional rule-of-thirds guidelines ensure perfect composition—especially important for symmetrical architectural shots.

Diocletian’s Palace is the largest and best-preserved Roman palace ruin in the world. It’s also completely open to the public. Descend into the basement and explore the extensive cellars, otherwise known as the Khaleesi’s throne room and the location where locks up her beloved dragons in season four.

1. Lovrijenac Fortress (Dubrovnik) — The Red Keep

Super Resolution captures sweeping landscapes in stunning, 64-megapixel detail. The camera app automatically takes multiple images and combines them into one high-resolution image.

Top of the list has to be this incredible fortress. Dating back to the 11th century, Lovrijenac perches on a high rock beyond the Dubrovnik city walls. Once upon a time, it defended the city from attack. Today, it’s the Red Keep, home to the Iron Throne. And, as you’re walking the city walls to find it, you’ll surely recognize many other sights from King’s Landing.

ZenFone 3: perfect for life’s epic moments

Whether you’re searching for dragons in breathtaking Game of Thrones locations or finding beauty in the everyday, the ZenFone 3 is built for photography. Learn more about how its camera will capture awe-inspiring and true-to-life photos on your next epic quest.