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10 TV & movie locations in New York City

Without a doubt, New York is a city of movies. If you want to know the corners that were used as a filming set for the most famous films and TV series in history, read on

Isabel Catalán

Isabel Catalán

19 min read

10 TV & movie locations in New York City

King Kong's Empire State Building | ©Hellotickets

Hollywood has captured it like no one else on screen but seeing some of these locations in person is a blast. Are you ready? 3, 2, 1... and action!

1. The Friends apartment in the West Village

The famous Friends apartment | ©Hellotickets
The famous Friends apartment | ©Hellotickets

Since its premiere in 1994, the legendary series Friends has never stopped adding new fans to its ranks who are totally hooked on the adventures of this group of friends in their twenties to whom all kinds of funny situations happen as they try to find their place in New York.

It's been almost twenty years since the series ended but it managed to find a place in the hearts of viewers and we fans have not forgotten Chandler, Monica, Ross, Rachel, Joey, and Phoebe.

While we can always rewatch the fantastic episodes of Friends, we also have the opportunity to see in New York some of the locations where it was filmed.

This is the case of the building where Monica, Rachel, Chandler, and Joey lived where most of the action takes place in the series.

Where is it?

It is located in the Greenwich Village neighborhood, specifically on the corner of Grove Street and Bedford Street. As you will see, the exterior appearance of the real building differs slightly from the fictional one, as it does not have the terraces from which the group spied on their famous nudist neighbor.

Unfortunately, the apartment can't be seen from the inside as Friends was filmed in Los Angeles studios.

Other Friends locations in New York City

  • Greenwich Village: If you recall, Ross lived in a building across the street from his friends so his house would be located on the opposite corner of Groove Street. On the other hand, very close by is also Phoebe's apartment, precisely at 5 Morton Street.

  • Museum of Natural History: This is where Ross worked as a paleontologist and where he had his first date with Rachel. It is one of the must-see museums in New York that I recommend you visit. It is located at 200 Central Park West, on the Upper West Side and I tell you more about it in this post.

  • Bloomingdale's: Rachel left her job as a waitress at Central Perk to become a shopping assistant at this huge mall. You'll find it in the middle of the Upper East Side at 1000 Third Avenue, corner of 59th Street and Lexington Avenue - take the opportunity to do some shopping!

  • Madison Square Garden: The stadium appears in several episodes as the guys from Friends were fans of the New York Knicks. It's also where Mike tries to propose to Phoebe during a game and where Monica's rich boyfriend fights to become the "ultimate wrestling" champion. To get an inside look you can take a tour of MSG or buy tickets for the Knicks or the Rangers.

  • Washington Square Park: A square with a fountain and a large triumphal arch dedicated to George Washington often appears between scenes in the series. It is Washington Square Park in Manhattan's Greenwich Village, the same neighborhood where the characters live. It is one of the most charming parks in New York so I recommend you pay him a visit.

2. The Ghostbusters fire station in Tribeca

The Ghostbusters Fire Station | ©Wikimedia
The Ghostbusters Fire Station | ©Wikimedia

Ghostbusters is one of those '80s movies that never goes out of style. We all remember the team of parapsychologists who roamed the streets of New York looking for pesky ectoplasms that got trapped in this world and went on a rampage.

Over time Ghostbusters became a cult movie and has so many fans that in fact in 2016 a remake was made with an all-female cast.

In New York, you can relive the nostalgia of this movie by visiting some of its locations. The most iconic of them is the Ghostbusters headquarters in Tribeca.

Where is it?

It is located at 14 N Moore Street, in one of New York's trendiest neighborhoods known for its old industrial buildings that have been converted into residential lofts and trendy cafes and boutiques.

The famous Ghostbusters firehouse is a building that has served as the Tribeca Hook & Ladder Company 8 firehouse since 1903. You'll identify it with its distinctive red door.

The offices featured in the movie were a filming set so the interior of the building cannot be visited. However, the firemen who work in the Hook & Ladder Park are aware of the fame of the place so they are used to the flashes of fans who come here to take a souvenir photo.

You can take advantage of your visit to Tribeca to get lost in the neighborhood and explore its designer stores, art galleries, restaurants, and bars.

Other Ghostbusters locations in New York City

  • New York Public Library: In the middle of Fifth Avenue, between 41st and 52nd Streets, is this beautiful neoclassical building where the film's story begins in the Rose Reading Room, the library's main reading room. A librarian is seen placing books on the shelves while strange paranormal phenomena begin to happen...

  • Lincoln Center: In the film, Dana leaves the building where she works as a professional musician and runs into Venkman who is waiting for her in the large plaza of Lincoln Center where a beautiful fountain is located. This cultural center is in Manhattan, 70 Lincoln Center Plaza.

  • Columbia University: This is where we first meet Dr. Venkman, a researcher in Paranormal Studies at this university. It is one of the most prestigious and oldest in the country. The campus is a great place to walk around, very green, and was designed in the style of the Athenian agora. It is located at 116th Street & Broadway.

3. Carrie Bradshaw's Sex and the City apartment on the Upper East Side

Carrie's house on the Upper East Side | ©Wikimedia
Carrie's house on the Upper East Side | ©Wikimedia

Between 1998 and 2004, Sex and the City, the unforgettable comedy that, with a fresh and funny look, showed the universe of dating in New York through a group of friends in their thirties to whom all kinds of uncertainties happened in their quest to find love.

Such was its success that a few years after the end of the series, fans missed it so much that two more movies were filmed. Such is the nostalgia for Sex and the City that a sequel to the series, titled And Just Like That..., explores the reality of life and friendship for these women past their fifties.

This miniseries promises to add new settings to the original series' roster of locations to the delight of fans with the most iconic of them all being Carrie Bradshaw's Upper East Side apartment. However, in real life, her apartment is located in a different neighborhood.

Where is it?

In truth Carrie's apartment is located at 66 Perry Street in the West Village. In the series, the main character lives on a much less photogenic street on the Upper East Side, at E73rd Street. No wonder they chose the West Village to shoot!

You'll recognize it by its façade, the typical brownstone, and the little staircase Carrie Bradshaw used to climb to enter her house. If you were a Sex and the City fan, you will surely want to have a souvenir photo at the iconic entrance. However, the influx of curious onlookers is such that the neighbors had to put a chain to prevent the passage.

Other Sex and the City locations

  • Magnolia Bakery: Don't leave the West Village just yet as 401 Bleecker Street is home to this bakery that appeared in the series when Carrie was telling Miranda about her new fling, Aidan, as they devoured cupcakes.

  • The Loeb Boathouse: On the shores of The Lake, in Central Park, is located this elegant restaurant where, in one of the scenes of the series, Carrie and Mr. Big meet in this place and end up falling into the water when he tries to kiss her.

  • Manolo Blahnik boutique: This is Carrie's favorite shoe store where she bought her fabulous Manolos. It is next door to MoMA at 31 West 54th Street.

  • Tiffany & Co.: The famous jewelry store where Trey proposes to Charlotte after she asked him to marry her. (727 5th avenue).

  • Church of the Transfiguration: This is the church where Samantha becomes infatuated with a priest. It is located at 1 East 29th Street.

  • Fifth Avenue: One of the most important shopping streets in New York where the friends used to go shopping in stores like Armani or Cartier.

  • New York Public Library: Carrie went to look for the book "Love Letters of Great Men" and fell in love with this place for her wedding to Mr. Big. Although it was in the movie and not in the series it is another important plot location. You'll find it at 476 5th Avenue.

Isabel's Traveller Tip

Friends' apartment is located just a few minutes walk from Carrie's apartment, so you can take advantage of visiting both on the same day.

4. The famous Tiffany & CO jewelry store, from Breakfast at Tiffany's, on Fifth Avenue

Scene from the movie Breakfast at Tiffany's
Scene from the movie Breakfast at Tiffany's

It is a loose adaptation of the story of Holly Golightly (Audrey Hepburn), a somewhat eccentric young woman who dreams of success and an idealized world that does not exist.

She eats breakfast every day in front of an impressive jewelry store and her life takes a turn when Paul Varjack, a failed writer who also craves success, arrives in her building. When their paths cross, nothing is ever the same again.

Where is she?

The first time we see Holly Golightly is dressed in her iconic Givenchy black dress and pearl necklace having a coffee and croissant for breakfast in front of the window of the famous Tiffany&Co jewelry store at 727 5th Avenue.

During your trip to New York, you can recreate the scene with one of Midtown's most delicious croissants nearby at Eclair Bakery on 53rd Street.

Other locations for Breakfast at Tiffany's in New York

  • Holly's Apartment: Although the movie claims Holly lives at 167 71st Street, it's actually number 169 in this building located on the Upper East Side. You will recognize it from the scene in which the protagonist calls a cab with a loud whistle.

  • Central Park: New York's most famous park is featured in the film when Holly's old husband travels to the city to see her and has a conversation with Paul about her and how he met her. The scene was shot at The Bandshell gazebo and Conservatory Water Lake. Central Park is located between 5th and 8th Avenue and 59th and 110th Streets.

  • Seagram Building: This office tower designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe is the setting where Holly tells Paul that she loves New York sitting in front of the fountain of this 1950s building. You'll find it at 375 Park Avenue, between 52nd and 53rd Streets, not far from the Tiffany jewelry store.

5. On the trail of Kevin, from Home Alone 2, at the Plaza Hotel

The Plaza Hotel on the right | ©Hellotickets
The Plaza Hotel on the right | ©Hellotickets

One of the movies of our childhood and a Christmas classic, who doesn't remember the mischievous Kevin McCallister? Two years have passed since he defeated with his wit two clumsy thieves who tried to rob his house in Chicago. This time, the boy is again separated from his family during the holidays and ends up in New York where he is reunited with the thieves.

From this point on, the film introduces us to the Big Apple on the eve of December 25th, so it looks spectacular. I recommend that you do the Home Alone 2 route at Christmas when it looks just like in the movie.

Where is it?

Kevin stays at the luxurious New York Plaza Hotel, located next to Central Park and Fifth Avenue. A symbol of the city with more than a century of history. With his father's credit card, Kevin books a suite where he marathons movies while gorging on ice cream and frolicking in the hotel pool.

Other Home Alone 2 locations in New York

  • Liberty Statue: The symbol of American freedom and New York's most famous monument. In the movie, the scene where the statue appears is very significant because it represents Kevin's independence from his family and his will to have a good time. It is on Liberty Island, southwest of Manhattan.

  • Wollman Rink: Central Park's ice rink, which is located in the southeast corner of the park near 59th Street. Here the thieves Marv and Harry plan their next heist on Christmas Eve.

  • Duncan's Toy Chest: Although this store is featured in the movie, it doesn't exist as such in New York. If you are looking for a toy store of this style it is FAO Schwarz, at 767 5th Avenue the one that most resembles it. In Home Alone 2 it is at this location that Kevin and the robbers are reunited... and the chase begins.

  • Times Square: It has become the best-known image of the city thanks to its billboards and flashy lights. In the film, when the McAllisters arrive in New York, the mother desperately runs to Times Square to try to locate her son. It is located at the intersection of Broadway and 7th Avenue.

  • Rockefeller Center: Every year New York inaugurates Christmas with the lighting of the huge Rockefeller Center tree. A tradition that dates back to the '30s. In Home Alone 2 here takes place the emotional reunion of Kevin and his mother after so many days apart. One of the most tender scenes of the movie. It is located between Fifth and Sixth avenues and 49th and 50th streets.

6. The Avengers at Grand Central Terminal, Midtown Manhattan

Grand Central Terminal | ©Hellotickets
Grand Central Terminal | ©Hellotickets

New York has served as inspiration for the recreation of Metropolis or Gotham City, fictional cities where the adventures of superheroes like Batman or Superman took place. The streets of the city have served as the great set of many films of this genre so that we can say that New York is a city of superheroes.

If you love Marvel or DC comics, you can't miss the locations of some of the most famous superhero movies in New York. For example the Grand Central Terminal, one of the largest train stations in the United States that appeared in the first part of The Avengers.

Where is it?

Grand Central Terminal is the most important train station to see in Manhattan and one of the architectural gems of the 19th century. It is located at 15 Vanderbilt Avenue and you will recognize it by its exterior facade designed as a Greco-Roman triumphal arch and its main concourse called the Main Concourse decorated with frescoes of constellations, three large arched windows, and its iconic clock.

In The Avengers movie, the team of Thor, Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk, Hawkeye, and Black Widow defend New York from an attack by the Chitauri fleet, and Grand Central Terminal is razed to the ground.

Grand Central Terminal also served as the lair of Superman's enemy, Lex Luthor, in the first film with Christopher Reeve. The building also appears in the Gotham series.

Other locations of superhero movies and series in New York

  • Midtown Comics: Although not a movie location, it is the temple of the comic book world. Since 1997 this store near Times Square has been a reference for fans of this media and a source of inspiration so if you are a superhero buff you have to go to Midtown Comics at 200 W. 40th Street (corner of 7th Avenue).

  • Times Square: It has been the scene of several superhero battles. For example Spiderman against the Green Goblin in the Tobey Maguire movie or against Electro in the version with Andrew Garfield. This square also appeared in Captain America with Chris Evans.

  • Flatiron Building: One of the most emblematic buildings in New York was used to recreate the editorial office of the Daily Bugle, the newspaper where Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) works as a photographer in the first Spiderman movie.

  • Brooklyn Bridge: Appears in Fantastic Four when the Thing tries to prevent a suicide and leads to a major accident that destroys part of the famous bridge that crosses the East River connecting Manhattan and Brooklyn.

  • Financial District: In this neighborhood takes place one of the most amazing pitched battles that close the trilogy of The Dark Knight. At the foot of the stairs of Federal Hall, on Wall Street, Batman and Bane fist fight.

7. Night at the Museum, New York Museum of Natural History, next to Central Park

The Museum of Natural History | ©Time Out
The Museum of Natural History | ©Time Out

I'm sure you can remember the movie Night at the Museum, where a night watchman named Larry Daley (Ben Stiller) had to deal with the creatures and objects inside the Museum of Natural History when they came to life each night because of a magical Egyptian artifact.

Although in real life its collection does not come to life at nightfall, it is worth seeing because it is considered the largest on the planet and is an essential visit to make in New York.

Where is it?

The Museum of Natural History is located on 79th Street west of Central Park. Here you can visit its ten permanent exhibits spread across more than forty rooms, some of which are featured in the film.

Night at the Museum New York Locations

  • Theodore Roosevelt Memorial: This room at the museum's most famous entrance, Central Park West, houses the official memorial to Theodore Roosevelt, Governor of New York State and President of the United States. In addition, it also exhibits the giant skeleton of a Barosaurus.

  • Mammal Halls: The exhibition dedicated to mammals is carefully mounted and covers the characteristics of small mammals, Asian mammals, African mammals, North American mammals, New York mammals, and the primate hall. His dioramas are among the most celebrated on the planet.

  • Human Origins and Cultural Halls: This exhibit explores the history of human evolution as well as the different cultures of peoples in Africa, Asia, North and South America, and the Pacific.

8. Columbia University, the birthplace of Spiderman, in the Morningside Heights neighborhood.

Columbia University | ©Cheny Guan
Columbia University | ©Cheny Guan

The Spider-Man franchise has spawned several movies over a couple of decades that have New York as their setting.

The story begins when student Peter Parker takes a field trip to the genetics lab at Columbia University, where he is bitten by a genetically modified spider and accidentally acquires superhuman powers that will help him fight crime.

Where is it?

Columbia University is located at 116th Street & Broadway, in the Morningside Heights neighborhood that borders Harlem to the north. It is one of the most prestigious in the United States and the fifth oldest in the country.

It was born in the eighteenth century as King's College but after independence changed its name to Columbia College. At the beginning of the 20th century this university was a pioneer in scientific and medical research and today it is one of the most important research centers on the continent.

Other Spiderman locations in New York

  • Midtown Comics: While not a location in the movies, it is the sanctuary of comics. This store near Times Square has been a source of inspiration and a reference for fans of this genre since 1997 so if you love comics you have to go to 200 W. 40th Street (corner of 7th Avenue).

  • Flatiron Building: This iconic New York building was used to recreate the headquarters of the Daily Bugle newspaper, where Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) works as the superhero's photographer in the first Spiderman movie.

  • Joe's Pizza: This is the pizzeria where Peter works as a delivery boy in Spiderman 2. It is located at 233 Bleecker Street but is now actually three doors down at 7 Carmine Street. According to Woody Allen, the best pizza place in New York.

  • New York Public Library: The place where a thief kills Uncle Ben. The tragic event changes Peter's life forever. It is located on Fifth Avenue, between 41st and 52nd Streets.

  • Staten Island Ferry: In this scene, Spiderman (played by Tom Holland) tries to fight Vulture and breaks the Staten Island Ferry in half. Things get ugly but thanks to Iron Man's intervention everyone is saved.

  • Brooklyn Bridge: In The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Peter proposes to Gwen with a big spider web on the bridge that says 'I love you' and she sees him from a cab.

9. The New York Stock Exchange in The Wolf of Wall Street, in the Financial District

The New York Stock Exchange | ©Hellotickets
The New York Stock Exchange | ©Hellotickets

With its distinctive skyscrapers and suit-wearing executives, Wall Street and the New York Stock Exchange Building is the heart of the Financial District. Precisely, everything that happens on that trading floor has been used to tell stories in the movies, such as Scorsese's The Wolf of Wall Street.

Based on a true story, The Wolf of Wall Street tells the story of the rise of broker Jordan Belfort, who fraudulently makes his fortune in the 1980s by buying and selling shares on the U.S. investment market. His extravagant life, marked by excess, marked a before and after in the history of Wall Street.

Where is it?

This narrow street in lower Manhattan is one of the most famous in New York and the most important in the Financial District. If you want to see the atmosphere of Federal Hall and the Stock Exchange Building, the most important buildings in the area, I advise you to visit Wall Street during business hours from Monday to Friday. On weekends the scenery is completely different.

Other locations of The Wolf of Wall Street in New York

  • Equitable Building: This building houses the offices of the New York State Attorney General's Office but in the film represents the offices of the LF Rothschild bank. It is located at 120 Broadway.

  • World Financial Center: Belfort had his yacht Naomi moored near the World Financial Center when it is taken into police custody and is visited by agent Patrick Denham.

  • West 30th St Heliport: The location where Agent Denham arrests Belfort in the middle of filming his TV commercial.

  • Milan Building: After achieving success, Belfort and his wife Naomi move into a luxury apartment complex at 300 E 55th Street, between First and Second Avenues.

10. Serena's return at Gossip Girl's Grand Central Terminal in Midtown Manhattan

The interior of Grand Central Terminal | ©Hellotickets
The interior of Grand Central Terminal | ©Hellotickets

Gossip Girl ended long ago but we fans have not been able to forget this series that left its mark on both the fashion and television worlds. In fact, there's a reboot adapted to the new times featuring once again the voice of Kristen Bell as the show's narrator to the delight of fans.

The plot revolves around the lives of a group of wealthy teenagers from the Upper East Side whose love affairs, betrayals, and secrets are exposed on the Internet by a blogger named Gossip Girl. All with the most ostentatious luxury of New York as a backdrop.

The first episode premiered in 2007 and begins with the unexpected return to the city of the queen of the Upper East Side, Serena van der Woodsen, from a boarding school in Cornwall. Her reappearance surprises her former friends and not everyone will be happy to see her.

Where is she?

The first scene of the series shows Serena arriving at a busy train station after a long and mysterious absence, something Gossip Girl is sure to spread to its fans. It's Grand Central Terminal, one of the most famous train stations in the United States because of its impressive hall called Main Concourse.

Take advantage of your visit to Grand Central Terminal to take a few souvenir photos and have a snack in one of its cafes or restaurants. The most famous and oldest of them is the Oyster Bar which dates back to 1913. It is located at 15 Vanderbilt Avenue.

Other Gossip Girl locations in New York

  • The MET: The stairs of this museum were one of Blair, Serena, and their friends' favorite places to sit after class. This is where the tension can be cut with a knife when Blair doesn't invite Serena to her party after her homecoming. Located at 82nd Street and Fifth Avenue.

  • Museum of the City of New York: The facade of this building was used to recreate the Constance Billard School of Girls. The museum takes a look at the history of the city, its present, and its future. You'll find it at 1220 Fifth Avenue and 103rd Street.

  • Bethesda Terrace: The place where Blair and Chuck got married! It is considered the heart of Central Park. The ensemble is presided over by the Bethesda Fountain but the upper part of the terrace and the beautiful lower passageway decorated with tiles and arches is a highly recommended place to see as well.

  • Dan Humphrey's House: Unlike his peers, Dan did not live in the exclusive Upper East Side but in the Brooklyn neighborhood of DUMBO, which was not bad either. It is said that his house was at 455 Water Street.

  • Serena's House: The Van der Woodsen family lived in the Milan Building, a luxury apartment complex at 300 E 55th Street. In the series, they were said to live on the Upper East Side but in reality, the skyscraper is located in another area of New York.

  • Bass Family Residence: The residence of Bart Bass, Chuck's father, is the Lotte New York Palace Hotel, where every Christmas one of the most beautiful trees in the city is set up. It is located at 455 Madison Avenue.

  • Columbia College: This private university is one of the most illustrious in the United States. Serena and Nate are enrolled here and as a fun fact, it was also where Barack Obama studied. It is located in the Morningside Heights neighborhood, at 116th Street & Broadway.

11. Take the Tour of movies and series in New York City

If you are passionate about movies and series, this tour is one of the most fun you can have in the Big Apple. You will have a blast following the trail of your favorite characters through the streets of the city and getting to know in person the locations where these movies were filmed.

Doing this tour on your own allows you to visit each place at your own pace but the experience is much cooler with the tour of movies and series in New York, since at all times you will be accompanied by a local guide/actor who knows a lot about this topic and about curiosities that happen behind the scenes.

At the end of this ** 3-hour tour** you will see New York with different eyes and you will learn many curiosities about movies and series, which is what it is all about: Friends, Ghostbusters, Girls, Seinfeld, Spiderman, I Am Legend, Glee or How I Met Your Mother, among many others. It is, without a doubt, one of the best tours you can do in New York during your trip. You will love it!

Frequently asked questions

  • What movie and TV locations can I find in New York?

    On average over 150 movies alone are filmed in New York, every year! Some of the most notable locations include the Rockefeller Center, the Friends Apartment Building found in West Village and Home Alone 2's Plaza Hotel.

  • How long does a TV & Movie Tour last?

    Most TV & Movie Tours last between 1 hr to 3 hrs 30 min, the most popular tours such as the Sex and the City Hotspots Tour and the New York TV and Movie Tour last around 3 hours.

  • What is the most famous movie location in New York?

    Times Square is perhaps New York's most easily recognisable movie location due to its distinctive screens and lights. It has featured in films including Vanilla Sky, Closer, Spiderman 3, Captain America: The First Avenger and Breakfast at Tiffany's.