The Top 10 Movie Locations in New York City


WALKING TOUR OF  New York's top movie sets 


New York City has been the setting for countless iconic films, making it a must-visit destination for movie buffs. While you're exploring the city's famous landmarks, why not also check out some of the top movie locations?

From the bustling streets of Times Square to the iconic steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, these spots offer a glimpse into the city's rich movie history and cultural significance. Whether you're a fan of classic black-and-white films, TV series, romantic comedies, or thrillers, there's something for everyone on this unofficial guide to the top 10 movie locations in New York City.

So grab your camera and get ready to experience the magic of the Big Apple on foot! Don't miss out on visiting the locations of Ghostbusters and When Harry Met Sally, among many others.

EDITOR'S NOTE:Some of these locations also appear in the beloved TV series Gossip Girl.

1) The MET

The MET (Metropolitan Museum of Art), one of the world's largest museums, is the ideal starting point for the movie locations walking tour in New York City. It's located on Fifth Avenue, just ten minutes from the subway.

At least three films feature the MET as their backdrop: The Thomas Crown Affair (the 1999 version), When Harry Met Sally (especially the stroll in the Egyptian Room scene), and the third spin-off of Ocean’s Eleven (the Gala scene).

From the Met, we suggest continuing along Fifth Avenue towards the South-East corner of Central Park (a bit over a mile) to encounter one of the city's most glamorous hotels and the next stop on the itinerary.

2) The Plaza Hotel

A luxurious 21-floor building with an architectural style reminiscent of Loire castles, the Plaza Hotel was inaugurated in 1907 and named after the square it's located in. The Hotel is one of the most iconic and luxurious in the Big Apple (and also one of the most expensive).

Numerous films are set at the Plaza in New York. In addition to Crocodile Dundee and The Great Gatsby, surely no viewer has ever forgotten the hilarious scenes from Home Alone 2 when the young protagonist attempts to secure a 5-star stay all alone in the Big Apple.

Having checked the Plaza off the list, the walking tour continues with a short stroll down Fifth Avenue, toward one of New York's most beloved movie locations: Tiffany's Window.

3) Tiffany’s

The best way to remember the iconic 1961 movie Breakfast at Tiffany's could indeed be … having breakfast at Tiffany's! The Blue Box Café is reopening next week (May 22nd, 2023) after an extensive renovation to welcome visitors and enthusiasts into the iconic turquoise space.

Not only Audrey Hepburn: amongst the movie featuring one scene inside this iconic jewelry store, there's at least one more worth mentioning. It's the romantic scene from Sweet Home Alabama (2002) where Patrick Dempsey proposes to the stunning Reese Witherspoon.

Leaving Tiffany's behind, the itinerary of the most beautiful movie locations in New York City continues down along the same Fifth Avenue heading towards the imposing Rockefeller Center and then turning right onto Sixth Avenue for our next stop.

4) Radio City Music Hall

Indeed, Radio City Music Hall is part of the Rockefeller Center: an Art Deco concert hall that has played a major role in the cultural, artistic, and hedonistic life of the Big Apple (in the 1930s and 40s).

Among the most beloved films set in New York of all time is undoubtedly The Godfather (1972), it's here where Michael and his wife first hear of Don Corleone's shooting, masterfully portrayed by Marlon Brando.

The backdrop of this historic variety theater is shown in other films such as the family musical Annie (1982), featuring Shawnee Smith, and the aforementioned Home Alone 2.

After Radio City Music Hall, the walking tour of Manhattan's movie locations continues for half a mile along another stretch of Sixth Avenue and part of 45th Street, to reach the dazzling intersection of Times Square.

5) Times Square

The square famous for its iconic billboard signs and shops is likely one of the most depicted movie locations in New York City. For example, how can we forget these two great classics, respectively from 1969 and 1976: Midnight Cowboy and Taxi Driver?

More recently, Times Square is immortalized in Spielberg's film, Deep Impact (1998), in which it is annihilated by a tidal wave. Also, the post-apocalyptic I Am Legend (2007) starring Will Smith depicts the intersection quite differently from its day-to-day: completely abandoned.

Deserted is also Tom Cruise's Times Square in the film Vanilla Sky (2001), while a more electrifying scenario is captured in the fight sequence between Electro and Spider-Man in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 - Electro's Power (2014).

To continue our adventure exploring the New York City of the movies, you must leave this lively scene behind walking down Seventh Avenue towards 43rd Street and then back east to reach Grand Central Terminal (about half a mile).



6) Grand Central Terminal

The historic station, part of the Big Apple's landscape since the early 1900s, is also a very popular New York cinematic location. So much so that in this case, we need to list (although not exhaustive) some of the most famous films, including:

  • One Fine Day (1996),
  • Men in Black (1997),
  • I Am Legend (2008),
  • Friends with Benefit (2011),
  • The Avengers (2012).

Exiting the imposing Grand Central Station and heading west along 42nd Street, within just two blocks (less than a quarter of a mile), you encounter the New York Public Library's Schwarzman building, our next stop.

7) New York Public Library

The library is undoubtedly one of the city's most spectacular buildings: marble columns, dramatic staircases, French-style chandeliers, and fresco-decorated ceilings make it for a rather grandiose movie set.

Among the abundance of movie scenes set here, the standout is from Sex and the City (2008), where the effervescent Carrie Bradshaw convinces "her" Mr. Big that it will be the library in question that will serve as the backdrop to their wedding vows, followed by the unfortunate staircase scene when Carrie is left "at the altar."

It's also worth mentioning at least two titles we've already included in our list: Ghostbusters and The Thomas Crown Affair both have scenes shot here. And last but not least, 2004 The Day After Tomorrow with the unforgettable book-burning scene.

8) Empire State Building

Just 0.4 miles (600 meters) from the Public Library, along 34th Street, you encounter the quintessential New York cinematic location: the Empire State Building, used in over 250 films and TV series.

Forever immortalized in 1933 thanks to King Kong, it's where Deborah Kerr and the charming Cary Grant rendezvoused in the historic romantic film of 1957, An Affair to Remember.

Just to mention some of the other masterpieces linked to the Empire State Building, we have Superman II (1980) and Sleepless in Seattle (1993), starring Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks.

The itinerary presented here of famous films set in New York City ends with two places (perhaps less touristy) but equally iconic.

Since both stops are further downtown (Katz's Deli and FDNY Ladder 8) we suggest hopping on the subway (B/D/F/M lines) to continue.

9) Katz’s Deli

The historic deli, founded in 1888, is famous for thier pastrami sandwich and cheescake. If it doesn't already ring a bell, here's the mystery unveiled: it's the location of the hilarious fake orgasm in When Harry Met Sally (1989) – "I'll have what she's having" sign hangs atop the table featured in this classic New York movie

Just over a mile away on foot, in the direction of West Broadway, you come across our last stop: FDNY Ladder 8.

10) FDNY Ladder 8

The famous New York City fire station is a scene of numerous films (such as the popular movie Hitch from 2005 and various episodes of the shows Seinfeld and How I Met Your Mother). However, it's especially known to our young and old audiences for being associated with the family classic Ghostbusters (1984).

The tour of New York City's movie locations is nearing its conclusion here.

After the tour, why not enjoy a well-deserved break in one of the famous restaurants around Tribeca? Alternatively, you can take the subway at Franklin Street or Canal Street stations to head back to your hotel.
















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