New York City is known as “The City That Never Sleeps” and that’s probably because there is just simple SO much to do! Not only that, but NYC is constantly the backdrop for films and TV. You can walk all around the city and see different spots where famous movies and scenes have been filmed. If you are lucky, you can even watch filming as it is taking place! As you plan your route around NYC, check out these famous New York City filming locations that you’ll recognize from movies and tv!
The Steps of the MET: Gossip Girl
Spotted on the steps of the MET: Blaire Waldorf and Serena Vanderwoodsen. Sound familiar? If you grew up during the Gossip Girl era then you know exactly what I am talking about. In the show Gossip Girl, the unbelievably wealthy teenagers and Upper East siders would eat their lunches on the steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The MET is easily one of the most famous New York CIty filming locations that exists.
The MET itself is famous in its own regard. Every year the most sought after event in the United States: The MET Gala is hosted there by Vogue. The MET is an art and history museum located in the central east side of Central Park. This massive museum holds hundreds of art pieces including famous pieces by Van Gogh, Picasso, and Serat.
If art isn’t your thing, it is still worth visiting to get your “steps of the MET” shot or to see the actual Egyptian tomb that is located inside. The story behind the tomb is that the United States offered to help pay for the excavation of the tomb if they could have a piece of it. So now that piece resides in the MET and is super cool to see.
Make sure to stop here on your way to living the New York dream- XOXO Gossip Girl.
The Friends Apartment
The outer facade of this building at the corner of 90 Bedford Street and Grove Street became famous for appearing in the opening title sequence of the uber-successful television show Friends. If you are a fan of the show, it is a fun photo-op. Even though the show was not filmed here aside from exterior shots, the building is quite popular!
The building is very unassuming, but you will know you are in the right spot with all the photos happening around you. You will find the building in what today is called the West Village of the greater Greenwich Village.
To find the building, it is easiest to arrive at West 4th Street Station, which can be accessed by many subway lines: A, B, C, D, E, F, and M. You can also use the Christopher Street station, however, it is only used by a local train.
There is no cost to visit the building for a photo. However, it is also included in various NYC walking tour options.
Contributed by Debbie Fettback from World Adventurists.
Veselka: Ocean’s 8
In the movie Ocean’s 8, Sandra Bullock and Cate Blanchett eat lunch at the East Village diner, Veselka, while initially discussing the possibility of a heist. The restaurant is easily identifiable in both the trailer and the movie—Veselka is painted on the window behind them.
We see Debbie Ocean (Sandra Bullock) enjoying her meal as she explains her elaborate plan. Eventually she offers Lou (Cate Blanchett) a bite. Lou says it’s good and takes another bite.
We don’t need the movie to know it’s good food, the Ukrainian diner has been going strong since 1954. Think stuffed cabbage, pierogis, potatoes, and borscht.
The food is not only tasty, but Veselka has earned a reputation for serving hearty meals at an affordable price. So, if you are going to eat in NYC try this famous filming location! You may even get a seat at Sandra and Cate’s table.
Of course, if you just want to gawk, there’s no cost to view the restaurant from the street at 144 2nd Avenue.
Contributed by Denise of Chef Denise
Ghostbusters Fire Station
For real movie fans, New York City is the perfect place to visit numerous movie locations. With a vast selection, you can add some exciting places to your New York itinerary.
One of the most iconic filming locations to discover in New York is the Fire station from Ghostbusters. Ever since the first Ghostbusters movie came out in the 80s, numerous movie fans have been drawn to Fire station every year, which, by the way, is located very close to Central Park.
Even though you, unfortunately, can’t enter it, the gate still looks exactly like you know it from the cult movies. Therefore, you can shoot some cool photos here.
Since the building is a freestanding building (fun fact: it was really used as a fire station in the past), you can visit it for free.
You can find the building at this address: 55 Central Park W, New York City, NY 10023-6076
Contributed by Vicki of Vicki Viaja
Carrie Bradshaw’s Stoop
Carrie Bradshaw’s stoop is one of the most recognition locations from the show “Sex and the City”. There are many iconic scenes from the show that have taken place here, such as the flirty meeting between Carrie and the politician, and many late night conversations between the girls.
In the TV show, Carrie Bradshaw is portrayed as living on the Upper East Side of New York City, however, the actual filming location of this recognizable stoop is in the West Village at 64 Perry Street. 64 Perry Street is a residential address that sold for over 13 million dollars in 2013. You are able to snap a few quick pictures in front of the building, but be considerate of the residents and do not make too much noise.
After visiting Carrie Bradshaw’s stoop, be sure to stop by Magnolia Bakery for a cupcake. Magnolia Bakery is located around the corner and is another famous filming location from Sex and the City.
Contributed by Shannon of Traveling Teacher Girl
Empire State Building: Sleepless in Seattle
The Empire State Building has been part of New York’s skyline since 1931. The Art Deco building is a great tourist attraction not only because of its history and city views but also because of the numerous movies and TV shows that it has been featured in.
One of the most popular romantic comedies of the 90s is Sleepless in Seattle starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. At the time it came out, both actors were at the top of their game for their star power and the great storylines of the movies they appeared in. This movie is about a widower, Sam, and how his son, Jonah, adorably meddles in his romantic life. Most of the film is about getting Sam and Annie (Meg Ryan) to somehow meet at the Empire State Building.
It’s a game of will they or won’t they right up until the last minutes of the movie. And then it closes with them leaving the observation deck, and we just have to assume that it all ends happily ever after. Nonetheless, the film inspires many to visit the rooftop and imagine their own love stories while gazing out over New York City.
Tickets to visit the Empire State Building begin at $42 upwards depending on the type of experience visitors would like to take part in.
Contributed by Bernadette of Book Retreats
Empire State Building: King Kong
The Empire State building is probably the most iconic of New York City symbols. As such it can be seen in many movies, West Side Story, Sleepless in Seattle, Superman II, Home alone in NY, Watchmen, and many others. But everyone remembers it from the movie King Kong. When it was filmed in 1933 the Empire State Building was the highest building in the world with a height of 1,250 feet (381 m), and with an antenna included 1,454 feet (443.2 m).
In this famous scene, a giant ape climbs on top of the building where he fights against the plains until he falls down to his death. A similar scene is in the movie’s remake by Peter Jackson in 2005. Empire State Building is located in Manhattan, on Fifth Avenue between West 33rd and 34th Streets. Entrance to this building will cost you at least 43 $, but it is worth it for the great view of Manhattan and the rest of New York.
Contributed by Dr. Jam Travels
The Statue of Liberty: Titanic
Based on the real story of the Titanic ship, the movie ‘Titanic’ has been a cult movie, especially among the Millennials. The fictional characters of Jack Dawson and Rose Dawson (originally DeWitt Bukater) won many hearts. The magic of their love story was such that the audience still finds it difficult to hold back their tears during the climax.
Towards the end of the movie, Rose, barely alive, is saved by a returning lifeboat while Jack succumbs to hypothermia.
Rose arrives at the New York harbor along with the other survivors and looks at the Statue of Liberty. Lady Liberty was perhaps the symbol to the incoming immigrants that they have finally reached the New World.
While Rose stares at Lady Liberty, a volunteer comes and asks her name to which she replies Rose Dawson. Yes, she changes her last name in remembrance of Jack.
Most importantly, the statue of liberty symbolized the endurance of the ship crash survivors.
Contributed by Bulbul On the Wing
The Museum of Natural History: Night at the Museum
One of the famous New York City filming locations that you might recognize is the Museum of Natural History. This museum is the main filming location for the famous Ben Stiller movie “Night at the Museum.” “Night at the Museum” is a movie about a museum that come to life at night, and many of the things that come to life are the actual displays in the Museum of Natural History!
For example, you see Teddy Roosevelt, the cavemen, and the monkeys come to life in the movie. In real life, all of those displays are visible in the museum. It feels like you have stepped directly onto the set of the movie! The Museum of Natural History is centrally located on the Upper West side of Central Park. There is a $23 entrance fee for adults, but it is completely worth it. The museum itself is super interesting and worth exploring. Plus you get to see the famous and REAL T-Rex skeleton that comes to life in the movie.
For those in the know, filming locations are never too hard to find in New York, particularly in more iconic city locations, such as Central Park. Bethesda Terrace can be found on the on the Southern shore of the Lake of Central Park and boasts a stunning fountain, steps, and covered walkway which is tiled with over 16000 Minton tiles.
Though it’s just a thoroughfare today, in times gone by, Bethesda Terrace has seen plenty of uses, including as an outdoor luncheon spot during the 1960s.
Fans of hit TV shows and movie such as Gossip Girl, Made of Honor, the Other Woman, and more recently Netflix’s Dash & Lily will all likely recognise the prominent Central Park steps.
The most iconic scene in TV history to have been filmed at the steps is the scene in Gossip Girl where Blair and Chuck get married. Today, it’s free to visit Bethesda Terrace and it’s most likely one of the most photogenic and ‘Instagrammable’ spots in the park. If you want to take a photo there for yourself, be sure to visit earlier in the day and mid-week if possible to as to avoid the rest of the crowds!
Contributed by Sophia of the New York Travel Guide
What other famous New York City filming locations do you know of? Comment below so we can add them to the list!