Croatia’s fascinating history in films and popular TV shows

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Zagreb, Croatia
Zagreb, Croatia [Image by Jorge Franganillo on Flickr]



Croatia is a wonderfully scenic country with many attractions. Whether looking for historic locations or gorgeous sandy beaches, this is definitely an upcoming destination. However, it is interesting to note the country has also been a popular filming locations for a number of films and television series in the past, some of which you may have seen and which might surprise you.

Meryl Streep in Sophie's Choice
Meryl Streep in Sophie’s Choice [Image via Wikimedia Commons]

1. Meryl Streep and “Sophie’s Choice”

Meryl Streep is an Academy Award-winning actress, popular with many fans. However, when she was just starting out she starred in a heart-wrenching 1982 film called “Sophie’s Choice.”

The award-winning movie is about a Polish immigrant in the USA during World War II. She is trying to balance her life after spending a horrendous time in Auschwitz, one of the worst Nazi concentration camps.

While her character was then living in the USA, the flashback scenes in the movie were filmed in eastern Zagreb, at a Croatian film studio.

While you won’t see scenes of Streep in Croatia in the film, this is an interesting point about a movie that brought her a well-deserved, second Academy Award.

2. HBO’s “Game of Thrones” and Croatia

Croatia has been one of the more popular countries to appear in the popular HBO series. Of particular note, the historic city of Dubrovnik has been a filming location since season three. The historic center of Dubrovnik was used to represent the city of King’s Landing in “Game of Thrones,” the home of the dastardly House Lannister.

Dubrovnik, Croatia
Aerial view of the historic quarter of Dubrovnik [Image by Ivan Bagić from Pixabay]
At first authorities in Dubrovnik were thrilled to welcome more tourists, due to the city’s fame in the series. However, since then, reportedly, the mayor has now had to impose a tourist limit to protect the ancient quarter of the city.

3. Trogir as a filming location for “Doctor Who”

“Doctor Who” is a cult-classic sci-fi show that has been running for many years. While the actor playing the title role might change, the series continues to draw viewers from around the world.

Trogir, Croatia
Trogir, Croatia [Image by Hotice Hsu on Flickr]
Producers and management take special care when choosing filming locations for the show, to add to its authenticity. Fans of the time-traveling doctor will be interested to note that one of the many wonderful locations used for the show is in Trogir in Croatia.

This happened in 2009 when the Doctor Who of the time was spotted in Trogir while filming scenes for season five, titled “The Vampires of Venice” and “Vincent and the Doctor.”

4. Filming set for “Mamma Mia 2”

It seems Meryl Streep enjoys filming in Croatia, as the recent sequel to “Mamma Mia!” was filmed in the country. “Mamma Mia 2” did surprisingly well at the box office and the ABBA-inspired movie actually outperformed the original film.

Vis, Croatia
The island of Vis in Croatia was used as a filming location for “Mamma Mia 2” [Image by Filip Filipović from Pixabay]
The first movie was filmed in Greece, however the sequel used the popular Croatian island of Vis as its shooting location.

Visit Croatia this coming year to view the iconic and beautiful cities, spend time in the pretty countryside and on the beach. Along the way, watch out for some of the most popular filming locations of recent years.