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10 TV & movie locations in New York City

No one doubts that New York is a city of movies. If you want to know the corners that served as a set for the most famous films, 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 as they try to find their place in New York.

It's been almost twenty years since the series ended but it managed to make a place in the hearts of viewers and we fans have not forgotten Chandler, Monica, Ross, Rachel, Joey and Phoebe. In fact, it is still very topical as many of us are hoping for a reunion of the main characters in the near future, either in film or television.

Until that long-awaited day arrives, we will always have the fantastic episodes of Friends to revisit and the opportunity to see some of the locations where it was filmed in New York.

This is the case of the building where Monica, Rachel, Chandler and Joey lived and 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 and Bedford streets. 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 protas' apartments cannot be seen from the inside as Friends was filmed in studios in Los Angeles.

Other Friends locations in New York

  • Greenwich Village: If you remember, 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 to 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 in this huge mall. You'll find it in the heart 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 arena appears in several episodes as the guys from Friends were New York Knicks fans. It is 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 Knicks or Rangers tickets.
  • 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 it a visit.

Book a TV and movie tour of New York City

2. Ghostbusters Firehouse in Tribeca

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

Ghostbusters is one of those 80's movies that never goes out of style. We all remember the team of parapsychologists who roamed the streets of New York in search of pesky ectoplasms that were trapped in this world and engaged in misdeeds.

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 emblematic of them is the headquarters of Ghostbusters 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 by its distinctive red door.

The offices featured in the movie were a set so the inside 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 live with the flashes of the curious 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 occur...
  • 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, researcher of 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.

Book a movie location tour by bus

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

Carrie's Upper East Side home| ©Wikimedia
Carrie's Upper East Side home| ©Wikimedia

Between 1998 and 2004, Sex and the City aired, 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 vicissitudes 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. There is so much nostalgia for Sex and the City that a sequel to the series has recently been released, And Just Like That..., which will explore the reality of life and friendship of these women past the age of fifty.

This miniseries promises to add new locations to the Sex and the City location tour to the delight of fans, the most iconic of which is Carrie Bradshaw's Upper East Side apartment. However, in real life her apartment is located in a different neighborhood.

Where is it?

Carrie's apartment is actually located at 66 Perry Street, in the West Village. In the series the protagonist lives on a much less photogenic Upper East Side street, at E73rd Street. No wonder they chose the West Village for filming!

You'll recognize it by its façade, the typical brownstone 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 mythical 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 because at 401 Bleecker Street you'll find this bakery that appeared in the series when Carrie was talking to Miranda about her new flirt Aidan while they were eating 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 to MoMA at 31 West 54th Street.
  • Tiffany & Co.: Famous and mythical 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 location in the plot. You will find it at 476 5th Avenue.

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

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

Based on journalist Truman Capote's homonymous novel, Breakfast at T iffany Capote became an immediate critical and box-office success upon its release in 1961 and a cult film ever since. 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, an unsuccessful writer who also craves success, arrives in her building. When their paths cross, nothing is ever the same again.

Where is it?

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 of Breakfast at Tiffany's in New York City

  • Holly's Apartment: Although the movie claims that Holly lives at 167 71st Street, it is actually number 169 of 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 frank 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 Avenues 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 in 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, alone in Casa 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 wits two clumsy burglars who were trying to rob his Chicago home. 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 25, so it looks spectacular. I recommend you go the Home Alone 2 route at Christmas, when it looks just like the movie.

Where is he?

Kevin stays at the luxurious Plaza Hotel in New York, 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 having fun in the hotel pool making bombs.

Other locations of Home Alone 2 in New York City

  • Statue of Liberty: The symbol of American freedom and the most famous monument in New York. In the movie the scene where the statue appears is very significant because it represents Kevin's independence from his family willing to have a good time. It is on Liberty Island, southwest of Manhattan.
  • Wollman Rink: This is Central Park's ice rink, which is located in the southeast corner of the park very close to 59th St. Here thieves Marv and Harry plan to pull off 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're looking for a toy store of this style it's FAO Schwarz at 767 5th Avenue that most resembles it. In Home Alone 2 it is in this place where Kevin and the robbers meet again 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 lights on the huge tree at Rockefeller Center. A tradition that dates back to the 30's. 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 in 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 not miss the locations of some of the most famous superhero movies in New York. For example 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 railway 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 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. Likewise, this building also appears in the Gotham series.

Other locations of superhero movies and series in New York City

  • Midtown Comics: Although it is 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 genre and a source of inspiration so if you're excited about the subject 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 of 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: It appears in The 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 battles that closes the trilogy of The Dark Knight. At the foot of the stairs of Federal Hall, on Wall Street, Batman and Bane face each other with fists.

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

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

I'm sure the little ones 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 Natural History Museum as they came to life each night because of a magical Egyptian artifact.

Although in real life his 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 over more than forty rooms, some of which appear in the film.

Night at the Museum locations in New York City

  • Theodore Roosevelt Memorial: This room at the museum's most famous entrance, Central Park West, houses the official monument to Theodore Roosevelt, governor of the state of New York 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 a carefully mounted display of 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, where Spiderman was born, in the Morningside Heights neighborhood

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

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

The story begins when student Peter Parker takes a field trip to Columbia University's genetics lab, 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 bordering Harlem to the north. It is one of the most prestigious universities 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: Although it is not a movie location, it is the sanctuary of the 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: It is the pizzeria where Peter works as a delivery boy in the second movie. It is located at 233 Bleecker Street but is now actually three doors down at 7 Carmine Street. According to Woody Allen, the best pizzeria in New York.
  • New York Public Library: It is the place where a robber 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 tries to fight Vulture and breaks in half the Staten Island ferry. Things get ugly but thanks to the intervention of Iron Man everyone is saved.
  • Brooklyn Bridge: In The Amazing Spiderman 2, Peter proposes to Gwen with a big spider web on the bridge where it says 'I love you' and she sees it from a cab.

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

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

With its characteristic skyscrapers and suits, Wall Street and the New York Stock Exchange building is the heart of the Financial District. Indeed, everything that happens on the trading floor has been used to tell stories in films such as 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 landscape is completely different.

Other locations of The Wolf of Wall Street in New York City

  • Equitable Building: This building houses the offices of the New York State Attorney General's Office but in the film it 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 the police take it into custody and he 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

It's been almost a decade since Gossip Girl ended 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 that once again features 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 Upper East Side teens whose affairs, betrayals and secrets are exposed on the Internet by a blogger named Gossip Girl. All set against the backdrop of New York's swankiest luxury.

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 it?

The first scene of the series shows Serena arriving at a busy train station after a long and mysterious absence, something that Gossip Girl is responsible for spreading among its followers. It is Grand Central Terminal, one of the most famous train stations in the United States because of its impressive hall called Main Concourse.

You can take advantage of your trip to take a guided tour of Grand Central Terminal and take a few souvenir photos and some snacks 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 City

If you want to see all the locations where the Gossip Girl Queen did her thing, you can join a Gossip Girl location tour. On this bus tour you will be able to take pictures in some of the scenes of the series.

  • The MET: The stairs of this museum were a favorite place for Blair, Serena and her friends to sit after class. This is where the tension chews when Blair doesn't invite Serena to her party after her homecoming. It is 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 mounted. 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 curiosity it was also where Barack Obama studied. It is located in the Morningside Heights neighborhood, at 116th Street & Broadway.

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'll 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 those 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 movies and series tour in New York, since you will be accompanied at all times 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 places can I find in New York that have been featured in movies or TV series?

    More than 150 movies are filmed in New York City, every year! Some of the most memorable locations that have appeared in movies include Rockefeller Center, the Friends apartment block in the West Village and the Plaza Hotel in Home Alone 2.

  • How long does a TV and Movie Tour last?

    Most TV and movie tours last between 1 hour and 3.5 hours, the most popular being the Sex and the City iconic locations and the TV and Movie Tour of New York. In the case of the latter two, both last about 3 hours.

  • What is the most famous place in New York that has been in a movie?

    Times Square is perhaps the most easily recognizable movie location in New York because of its distinctive screens and lights. It has been featured in films such as Vanilla Sky, Closer, Spiderman 3, Captain America: The First Avenger and Breakfast at Tiffany's Diamond.