Navigation Menu

What do the films Vanilla Sky, Captain America, Glee, Friends with Benefits & New Years Eve all have in common? What about Sleepless in SeattleKing KongHow I Met Your Mother, Elf, Independence Day Gossip Girl?  The first all featured famous scenes in New York City’s Times Square. The second set shot scenes on location at the Empire State Building (Fifth Avenue). And I was right there, on location at both!

New York City is the most filmed city in the world. Some of the most iconic films in history have been set in New York, and the city is used as a backdrop for everything from major blockbusters, to smash hit television series’ like Sex in the City and Friends. Over 30 major projects a month base themselves across the big apple, making NYC the best destination to follow in the footsteps of some of your favorite TV &  movie characters.

Spider-Man fan? Catch a glimpse of the Daily Bugle offices. How I Met Your Mother fanatic? Visit McGee’s Pub – inspiration for MacLarens. Can you recite every scene from Ghost Busters?  Walk right up to the door of Hook & Ladder 8 on North Moore Street – the famous fire station also featured in both Hitch Seinfeld. 

Wondering how to visit all of these sites in one day? The New York Movies & TV Sights Tour with On Location Tours.

Outside the famous Hook & Ladder 8 featured in Ghost Busters, Hitch & Seinfeld.

Outside the famous Hook & Ladder 8 featured in Ghost Busters, Hitch & Seinfeld.

Inside the Hook & Ladder 8 - the functioning fire station proudly displays the Ghost Busters logo!

Inside the Hook & Ladder 8 – the functioning fire station proudly displays the Ghost Busters logo!

Our New York Movies & TV Sites Tour was a fantastic way to see New York. Jumping onto our big red bus, our guided tour took us to some of the most filmed locations in the city, and these just happened to be some of the city’s biggest landmarks and attractions. From Times Square to Fifth Avenue and the Pulitzer Fountain, to the Plaza, Wall Street and the Empire State Building – our tour covered the whole of New York City, but with the added bonus of being movie themed!

Starting in Times Square, where Jamie (Mila Kunis) introduced Dylan (Justin Timberlake) to the word “Flash Mob” in Friends with Benefits, and the streets that Tom Cruise ran through in Vanilla Sky, we continued our tour through Central Park and down to the fabulous Fifth Avenue where the bus played clips from Breakfast at Tiffany’s – the only film in the history of cinema to be actually filmed inside Tiffany’s. Because of the sheer amount of wealth inside, film crews are no longer granted access, and anything you watch featuring the store is filmed on a set.

Continuing along Fifth Avenue, we hit locations like the Pulitzer Fountain which was replicated in the opening credits of Friends; The St Regis Hotel as featured in The Devil Wear Prada and Miss Congeniality; St Patrick’s Cathedral from Spider-Man and I am Legend; and the New York Public Library, a filming location used in Ghost Busters, Spider-Man13 Going 30, and the Sex in the City Movie. Though it’s amusing to note that in all of the above movies, you see characters walking out of the library with books, when in reality is the library is for research only.

We also hit up off the beaten path neighborhoods like SoHo, the Meatpacking District, Greenwich Village, Tribeca and the Upper East Side, driving past Beyonce and JZ’s New York home, and taking in sights featured in everything from Elf, Law & Order, Mad Men, to Bride Wars, Men in Black I, II & III, Home Alone 2 and The Cosby Show. 

With so many major films & TV shows packed into the one tour, this was a pretty epic way to see New York. And as a die-hard Friends fan, the highlight of the tour for me was obviously jumping off the bus once we reached Greenwich Village. Our guide Elise lead us to the perfect photo-op outside the apartment building which was home to Monica, Chandler, Joey, and Rachel.

While the hit TV series was actually filmed on set in Los Angeles, all of the establishing shots were filmed in New York City to give it a West Village feel.

It's the apartment building from Friends!

It’s the apartment building from Friends!

As epically awesome as the tour was, taking us past some of the most filmed destinations in the city, what made it truly fantastic was our tour guide Elise. An actress and comedian who performs on Saturday Night Live, she had an intimate knowledge of the city, and was able to share stories with us along the way of actors she had personally worked with throughout her career, like Tom Cruise!

Did you know that Times Square was shut down during the filming of Vanilla Sky, however despite filming incredibly early in the morning, the filming caused so much traffic and congestion that Times Square will never be shut down for another feature film again.

Or that Bill Murray is currently running around the city, sneaking up behind people and putting his hands over their eyes, only to run away and say “no-one will ever believe you!” after they turn around?!

Crazy little facts like this throughout our tour kept us absolutely captivated, and it was so incredibly cool to see first hand where all of the TV and movie-magic has happened.



Want to experience the movie-magic of New York City for yourself? Enter our giveaway below for the chance to win a New York TV & Movie Sites Tour for Two!!

Raffle ends at 12am on August 18 2014, and one winner will be chosen at random and notified via email. See Terms and Conditions below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. This is awesome Meg! Would really love to win these tickets especially given that we are heading to NYC in a couple of weeks, they would come in really handy! Imagine that this is an awesome experience.

    • Loved NYC in the summer – you’ll have a blast! Good luck!

  2. It sounds awesome! I’d love to do it when I next get back to NYC. Thanks for sharing this Meg – with great photos too

    • Best of luck!! It’s a great tour :)

  3. Thanks for the opportunity!

    • Best of luck!

  4. Hi I think that’s a great idea n would really like to join

    • Best of luck!

  5. Love visiting movie locations! Thanks for sharing your experience and offering the giveaway . . . .

    • Good luck! Really love movie theme tours! Lol I’m a die-hard film fanatic!

  6. My favorite film is “You’ve Got Mail”. Since the movie is filmed in NYC, there are many of locations I’ve been which makes the movie special for me.

    • I LOVE that film!! Best of luck!

  7. Awesome giveaway Meg! can’t wait to see the winner!

    • Watch this space!

  8. What a cool prize, my husband is a huge movie buff and this tour is something I’d love to surprise him with.

    • Will keep our fingers crossed for you!

  9. Wow! What an awesome sounding tour. Sounds like you guys had a blast. I just LOVE NYC! Would love to go back again … maybe if I win the comp ;)

    • It was a really fun way to see NYC!

  10. I cannot possibly pick one favorite film, but one of my favorites is Breakfast at Tiffany’s -filmed in NYC :-)

    • Good pick! It’s a classic!

  11. Great overview! This is something Dutch people would love when visiting NYC. I’ll be sharing this :-)

    • Thanks Esther! So glad you enjoyed the post – it was one of my favorite activities during our time in New York – really was fun!

  12. Great post! Who yuh gonna call? Mapping Meg?!? Sorry couldn’t resist! This reminds me I need to watch Vanilla Sky again!

    • Lol glad you enjoyed the post :D! Ghost busters is one of my favorite movies of all time! Have fun re-watching Vanilla Sky!

  13. Great write-up! The thing I love most about New York is pretty much the whole city feels like a movie set. Because so many movies and TV shows have been set there, it feels familiar all the time.

    • Glad you enjoyed it Simon! You’re so right, the whole city truly does feel like a movie set! I think because it’s the most filmed location in the world it’s permanently got that Hollywood/TV glitz associated with pretty much every corner!

Post a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *