Visit the most iconic film locations in New York City

Travel advisor Tammy Kiefer smiling in a restaurant.
Curated By

Tammy Kiefer

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  • New York City

  • Bachelor Party Destinations

  • City Travel

  • Digital Nomad Travel

  • Sightseeing

  • Entertainment

  • Bucket List-Worthy

Aerial view of New York City during day time.
Curator’s statement

New York City has been a popular filming location for decades, with its iconic landmarks and bustling streets serving as the perfect backdrop for numerous television shows and movies. From beloved sitcoms to blockbuster films, the Big Apple has played a starring role in some of the most iconic moments in entertainment history. Here are just some of the must see locations for cinema lovers.

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Where to stay in New York City

The Plaza

Iconic landmark in the heart of NYC, offering timeless elegance, luxurious accommodations, and exceptional service for an unforgettable stay experience.

Fora Perks
  • $100 hotel / resort credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

Waldorf Astoria New York

Luxe property in Midtown with grand rooms and suites offering city views.

Fora Perks
  • $100 hotel / resort credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade, based on availability.

Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown

Four Seasons polish and a cool downtown address is a winning combo at this staycation favorite with a Wolfgang Puck restaurant.

Fora Perks
  • When you book Four Seasons through Fora, you will enjoy exclusive Four Seasons Preferred Partner benefits. Your advisor will be pleased to give you more details.

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Things to do in New York City

Sunset among the buildings as seen from a the Brooklyn Bridge.

The Empire State Building

Nothing says New York City quite like the Empire State Building. It has served as the perfect backdrop for several films including Sleepless in Seattle, An Affair to Remember and Escape From New York.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

If you were a fan of the teen drama Gossip Girl, then you'll recognize the steps of The Met as the scene of many of Blair and Serena's epic meltdowns. Other notable films include Ocean's Eight, Hitch and I Am Legend.

Times Square

The famous landmark has been featured in countless films, but for comic book fans, it will forever be associated with Spider-Man as the site of his epic battles with villains. You might also remember scenes from Captain America: The First Avenger, Vanilla Sky and Big filmed here.

The Waldorf Astoria

If you're a fan of The Godfather, then you'll recognize the opulent Waldorf Astoria Hotel as the setting for the notorious horse head scene. Catch Me If You Can, The Great Gatsby and Coming To America also have scenes in this world famous Hotel.

The Brooklyn Bridge

The famous bridge has been featured in countless scenes throughout Sex and the City and even has its own episode dedicated to it. Enchanted, Kate and Leopold and Sophie's Choice are other famous films that have scenes on this iconic bridge.

The Plaza Hotel

This world renowned hotel served as the setting for Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, Eloise, Barefoot in the Park and Bride Wars.

Grand Central Terminal

Alfred Hitchcock's classic thriller North by Northwest, Men in Black I and II, The Cotton Club and Midnight Run all feature memorable scenes that takes place in the bustling Grand Central Terminal.

The American Museum of Natural History

The American Museum of Natural History was already a popular tourist attraction before the release of Night at the Museum, but the film definitely took its popularity to the next level. Now, you can visit the museum and imagine all of the exhibits coming to life after dark. You can also envision scenes from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows and Sharknado 3.

Lincoln Center

Lincoln Center is synonymous with the arts, and it served as the perfect setting for the classic musical West Side Story. Other films set in this location are Black Swan, Wonder, and Ghostbusters.

Rockefeller Center

Rockefeller Center transforms into a winter wonderland during the holiday season and it's the perfect setting for the Christmas classic Elf. Annie, Mad About You and 30 Rock have all filmed in this world famous location.

New York Public Library Main Branch

The New York Public Library is a must-visit for any film lover. In the movie Ghostbusters, this stunning building served as the setting for the scenes where the Ghostbusters first encounter the iconic ghost, the librarian. Located at 476 5th Avenue, this library is an architectural gem and is a beautiful place to visit even if you're not a fan of the film. If you are also fans of The Thomas Crown Affair, Prizzi's Honor, or Smallville then you are at the right place.

Tiffany and Company

When it comes to iconic film locations in NYC, it's impossible not to mention Tiffany and Company. This upscale jewelry store has been featured in numerous films and TV shows, but its most famous appearance was in the classic movie Breakfast at Tiffany's. The exterior of the store, located at 727 5th Avenue, has become synonymous with the film and is a must-visit for any Audrey Hepburn fan. Sweet Home Alabama, Glee and Rosemary's Baby also have scenes at this prestigious location.

Central Park

This expansive green space has been featured in countless films and TV shows including Friends, Serendipity, Wall Street and The Avengers.

Carrie Bradshaw Brownstone

Known for its grand steps and beautiful architecture, this Greenwich Village townhouse was the fictional home of Carrie Bradshaw in the hit show Sex and the City. Located at 66 Perry Street, this brownstone has become a pilgrimage site for fans of the show, and it's not uncommon to see tourists snapping pictures on the famous steps.

DNY LADDER 8 - Ghostbusters

The iconic New York City firehouse from the beloved movie Ghostbusters. In the film, this firehouse serves as the headquarters for the Ghostbusters team and has become a must-see spot for fans. Located at 14 North Moore Street, DNY Ladder 8 is a functioning firehouse, so make sure to be respectful if you visit, but don't miss the opportunity to take a photo or two and relive the movie's unforgettable moments.

The High Line

Marvel fans will recognize the High Line, an elevated park in Chelsea, as the site of the epic battle between the Avengers and the Chitauri in the first Avengers film.

31 Mercer Street

Fans of The Devil Wears Prada will remember this address as the location of the infamous Runway magazine offices. Although the interior scenes were shot on a soundstage, this Soho building is still a must-see for fans of the movie.

Katz's Delicatessen

At Katz's Deli you can sit at the same table where the famous scene between Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks was filmed in the movie When Harry Met Sally.

The Magnolia

The brick building known as The Magnolia was used for the exterior shots of Monica's apartment building in the hit tv show Friends. It is an actual apartment complex located at 90 Bedford Street in New York City's Greenwich Village.

Tom's Restaurant

The diner from the hit TV show Seinfeld. Located at 2880 Broadway, Tom's Restaurant was featured in the show's opening credits and serves as the exterior of Monk's Cafe, where Jerry, George, Elaine and Kramer spent countless hours chatting and enjoying a cup of coffee.

Places to eat & drink in New York City

People outside a restaurant during daytime.
  • The Little Owl (Located in the Magnolia Building-Friends)

  • Katz Delicatessen (When Harry Met Sally)

  • The Plaza Hotel-Palm Court (Home Alone 2: Lost in New York , Eloise, Barefoot in the Park and Bride Wars)

  • Tom's Restaurant (Seinfeld)

  • The Waldorf Astoria-Peacock Alley (The Godfather, Catch Me If You Can, The Great Gatsby and Coming To America)

Need to Know

Looking for more travel inspiration? Check out my guide, A Spring Adventure on the Tulip Time River Cruise in the Netherlands and Belgium.

Travel advisor Tammy Kiefer smiling in a restaurant.

Travel Advisor

Tammy Kiefer

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to New York City.