Have you been searching for a guide to famous filming locations in NYC that’ll offer a serious hit Hollywood magic?
Join us as we run through the most iconic filming locations in NYC that have appeared in films over the years!
If you’re visiting the Big Apple for the first time, you might be hunting for movie locations in NYC that you’ll recognize from the big screen.
And that’s why we’ve rounded up a list of the best that are as well-known as the city itself!
From starring roles in Avengers flicks to Christmas favorites like Home Alone, this list of the best NYC filming locations has got it all.
Please note: When I refer to ‘movie sets’ I really mean ‘movie locations’. These are famous locations that have been used as movie locations in NYC in the past. They won’t be active movie sets currently!
So let’s do this!
My favorite NYC filming locations …
NYC filming locations: The Plaza Hotel
To kick off our list of different filming locations in NYC, we have the iconic Plaza Hotel!
This place opened its doors in 1907 and is designed to look like a beautiful French Renaissance building that’s oh-so-luxurious.
Although you can step in and explore the lobby area, booking a room here will set you back tens of thousands of dollars!
And that’s why it’s one of the most popular movie locations in NYC for filming everything from weddings to upscale meetings.
Not only has this movie set appeared in the comedy Bride Wars, but you’ll spot it in North by Northwest and The Great Gatsby!
Oh, and you’ll also spot it in the incredible Home Alone 2 (which is fitting if you’re visiting around Christmastime!). A classic pick for NYC filming locations .
Read more about visiting NYC: Where to find the Friends apartment, plus other Friends filming locations!
Next on my list of the best NYC filming locations , it’s the iconic Katz’s Deli. This is one of the most well-known movie locations in NYC, hands down!
You’ll know this place first and foremost from the iconic romantic comedy: When Harry Met Sally.
You know that dinner scene where Sally fakes the BIG-O, well, that was filmed right here! In fact, you can sit in that exact booth if you’re lucky!
Lots of foodie TV shows have also been filmed here for various travel and food TV shows, which makes this a super important and famous filming location in NYC.
Oh, and Disney movie Enchanted also filmed here too! Another reason to visit this NYC filming locations!
Read NYC food ideas: Top 21 best diners in NYC!
NYC filming locations: Times Square
Our next suggestion for movie locations in NYC that you need to visit is the bright and beautiful Times Square.
Now, this is one of the movie locations in NYC that’s famous for a reason – it’s up there with the city’s most recognizable locations!
Not only is Times Square one of the most iconic landmarks in the city, it’s also one of the top movie locations in NYC.
From a short appearance in Captain America: The First Avenger to Big, Spider-Man 3, and Date Night, this location is ideal for showcasing NYC’s busy side.
Times Square is super central too, so you’d be well-placed to take in a show after visiting one of the most beloved NYC filming locations.
Read more NYC tips: Top 20 famous streets in NYC!
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
If you’re on the hunt for movie locations in NYC that are also great for getting a cultural education, you can’t beat The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Otherwise known as The Met, this amazing building is a mainstay on Fifth Avenue and houses everything from Picasso to ancient Greek art.
As a result, this is one of the NYC filming locations that is usually used for heist movies, upscale events, and meet-cutes.
Yup – it’s that versatile!
You might spot the Egyptian collection in When Harry Met Sally or see Pierce Brosnan trying to rob the place in The Thomas Crown Affair.
Because this is one of the movie sets in NYC that’s so centrally located, you can easily tick it off your list while sightseeing! It’s such a classic choice for movie locations in NYC!
Read more about NYC: 60 free and cheap things to do in NYC
90 Bedford St, Greenwich Village
Next on my list of famous filming locations in NYC, it’s 90 Bedford St, in the heart of Greenwich Village.
What makes this location super famous? Well, you’ll recognize this building from one of the most famous sitcoms in history: FRIENDS.
Yes, it’s the FRIENDS apartment building!
Iconic, and one of the best TV locations in NYC hands down. This isn’t technically one of the best movie locations in NYC, because it’s from a TV show… But we wanted to include it anyway!
Empire State Building
Next up on my list of the best movie locations in NYC, it’s the Empire State Building.
Who hasn’t heard of the Empire State Building (AKA: one of the most popular filming locations in NYC?!).
This incredible Art Deco building has been dominating NYC’s skyline since it was built back in 1930.
And can you believe that it’s appeared in approximately 250 movies over the years?
Using this as one of the filming locations in NYC began with the release of King Kong in 1933, but it’s appeared in so much more.
Not only can you catch this location in Elf, but you can also catch it in Sleepless in Seattle, Independence Day, and An Affair to Remember!
Just remember to purchase a ticket for the top level for those iconic New York City views.
Read more NYC tips: What is the best observation deck in NYC?
Grand Central Terminal
Next on our list of the best movie locations in NYC that you need to visit is Grand Central Terminal!
Despite being a fully-functioning train station, Grand Central Terminal has been one of the go-to NYC filming locations for years.
It’s best known for Revolutionary Road, Men in Black, and even the iconic Gossip Girl series! Oh, and don’t forget its appearances in The Avengers and John Wick 3!
Some more specific examples (there’s so many to mention here!)…
Beneath the bustling concourse lies the Oyster Bar, a timeless establishment featured in the 1996 film “One Fine Day,” where George Clooney enjoyed lunch with his on-screen daughter.
It’s a classic pick for NYC filming locations, and an icon in the city itself, right?
Read more about NYC: 25 fun museums in NYC!
Grand Central Terminal has been a favorite backdrop for Hollywood as well, with appearances in two films starring Will Smith.
In “I Am Legend” (2007), the terminal’s exterior served as a post-apocalyptic setting, while “Men in Black” (1997) saw the discovery of otherworldly aliens in its locker room.
Although you might be visiting this place to try and spot some movie magic, the place itself is truly beautiful.
From its famous four-faced clock to its beautiful Beaux-Arts design, this is one of the movie locations in NYC that you need to see.
American Museum of Natural History
If you’ve seen A Night at the Museum, then you’re probably familiar with the ultra-popular American Museum of Natural History.
It’s another one of the most classic NYC filming locations that’s appeared in more than just those hilarious Ben Stiller flicks.
You’ll also spot this famous building in Malcolm X, Men in Black II, and even The Devil Wears Prada!
You probably won’t be lucky enough to run into Meryl Streep here, but you’ll be able to follow in the footsteps of Miranda Priestly herself.
While you’re at the museum, you’ll want to take a look at the prehistoric exhibits, meteorites, and gemstones littered around the place!
It’s one of the movie locations in NYC that’ll take at least a few hours to explore completely.
Statue of Liberty
If you’re looking for movie locations in NYC that completely encapsulate what the Big Apple is all about, head to the Statue of Liberty.
This New York icon has long been seen as a symbol of freedom for foreign travelers.
And that’s because it was the first thing they saw when heading to the USA to realize their American Dream.
The Statue of Liberty has appeared in films like Cloverfield, Ghostbusters II, The Immigrant, and The Day After Tomorrow!
Although it often appears in disaster movies as its destruction seems so significant, it’s often in the background of shots too.
If you want to catch the Statue of Liberty in more films, why not check out Spider-Man: No Way Home and Planet of the Apes?
Hey, you’ve got to tick off that list of iconic movie sets in NYC by including Lady Liberty! A classic choice for NYC filming locations.
Read more NYC tips: What is the best way to see the Statue of Liberty?
NYC filming locations: New York Public Library
Next on our list of the best movie filming locations in NYC, it’s the New York Public Library.
Now, the architecture of this place alone makes it worth visiting (seriously, just look at those stone statues and columns!).
But to keep things on topic, it’s also one of the most popular movie locations in NYC that has appeared in several blockbusters over the years.
You’ll spot its grand staircases and hanging chandeliers in Ghostbusters, The Thomas Crown Affair, and The Day After Tomorrow!
And if you’re a Carrie Bradshaw fan, you might recognize this as the spot she chose for her doomed wedding to Mr. Big in 2008’s Sexy and the City: The Movie.
It’s a great pick for movie locations in NYC.
Tiffany’s is the pinnacle of the Big Apple’s glamorous reputation, which explains why it’s one of the best movie locations in NYC!
You’ll recognize this spot from the Audrey Hepburn classic Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
But you can also catch this set in Sweet Home Alabama where Patrick Dempsey proposes to Reese Witherspoon!
Aside from the movie magic, you can also grab breakfast at the Blue Box Café or just walk around and admire the engagement rings.
Hey, it’s a great way to push a proposal, and it’s a beautiful option for movie locations in NYC.
If you’ve been to the Big Apple, you’re probably familiar with one of the most famous filming locations in NYC – the Rockefeller Center!
Although this spot is renowned for its enormous Christmas tree and ice-skating opportunities, it’s also the famous film set!
Not only was part of the 2003 flick Elf filmed here, but it’s seen in Home Alone 2, Mr. Deeds, and the 2021 film Respect!
If you’re more of a Marvel nerd, this is one of the movie sets in NYC that’s also seen in Hawkeye.
Whether you’re here to enjoy the gorgeous scenery or want to go film-spotting, this is among the filming locations in NYC that never disappoints.
Bethesda Terrace & Fountain
Bethesda Terrace & Fountain is next on my list of famous movie locations in NYC.
Bethesda Terrace & Fountain is located inside Central Park, but because so many movies have been filmed in this specific location, it deserves it’s own special mention.
So, what has been filmed here? Let’s list some of them… Ransom, Home Alone 2, Staying Alive, Uptown Girl, 27 Dresses, When in Rome, The Avengers, and so many more!
It’s such an epic choice for filming locations in NYC, and we promise you’ll recognize it from so many movies!
Read more about Central Park: 35 unmissable things to do in Central Park
Radio City Music Hall
If you’re already stopping by the Rockefeller Center, it’s worth heading to the Radio City Music Hall as well.
And that’s because it’s one of the filming locations in NYC that’s tucked inside the Rockefeller Center!
It was built back in the 1930s and is the place to watch the famous Rockettes doing immense high kicks in perfect unison.
But if you’re here to spot movie filming locations in NYC, you’ll want to keep an eye out for the Music Hall in The Godfather and Home Alone 2!
Oh, and 1982’s original Annie of course.
Interestingly, this is also one of the movie locations in NYC that actually screens movies (including the iconic King Kong back in 1933!).
The Loeb Boathouse
Are you planning to visit Central Park during your adventure to New York City?
If so, you need to check out the next spot on our list of awesome movie filming locations in NYC.
The Loeb Boathouse has been used for romantic movies for years as it’s romantic, relatively secluded, and just bougie.
And hey, you just can’t beat the general magical atmosphere you find in Central Park (it’s one of our favorite places!).
If you’re wondering what was filmed here, the most prolific flicks are When Harry Met Sally and 27 Dresses.
Oh, and don’t forget that famous “How Does She Know” scene from Enchanted with Amy Adams and Patrick Dempsey!
Washington Square Park
Next on my list of the best movie filming locations in NYC to check out on your vacation, we have the iconic Washington Square Park.
This place can be found in the Greenwich Village Neighborhood and is home to the Washington Square Arch.
And the park’s beautiful fountain, of course!
Although you might recognize this location from Ghostbusters II and I Am Legend, its most famous appearance was in Avengers: Infinity War.
Hook and Ladder 8 firehouse
Next up on my list of famous filming locations in NYC, it’s a timeless edifice erected in 1903.
Now, you’re gonna know this place from the amazing movie… Ghostbusters! It is the iconic headquarters of the Ghostbusters, as prominently featured in both the original 1984 film (and its 2016 remake).
While the film showcased many of the firehouse’s exteriors, it’s worth noting that several interior scenes were ingeniously crafted within the confines of a Los Angeles studio.
Nonetheless, the indelible Ghostbusters logo, a symbol of paranormal heroism, proudly hangs outside the station today.
Its resurrection was made possible through a successful crowdfunding campaign that rallied fans and enthusiasts.
Beyond its spectral associations, the Hook and Ladder 8 firehouse has also made notable appearances in the 2005 film “Hitch” and episodes of beloved television series such as “Seinfeld” and “How I Met Your Mother.”
Such an important filming location in NYC, we love it.
Coney Island is next on my list of famous movie locations in NYC.
Coney Island is an absolutely iconic part of New York, and it’s also been a famous filming location in NYC for years and years!
Some of the movies and TV shows that have been filmed here, include… Spiderman Homecoming, Men in Black 3, Wonder Wheel, The Warriers, and ‘And Just Like That’.
Don’t just come here for the filming locations though, because there’s so so much to see and enjoy here too, like foods, rides and attractions.
It’s such a great choice for NYC filming locations.
66 Perry Street
Next up on our list of famous filming locations in NYC, it’s 66 Perry Street.
This is the home to Carrie’s apartment in Sex and the CIty, and it’s a spot that lives in the hearts of any SATC fan!
We love that this location has had a little resurgence recently too – with the new ‘And Just Like That’ TV show!
It’s a great choice for famous filming locations in NYC! It has featured in the movies and TV shows too – so it’s a well-rounded choice for NYC filming locations.
Next up on my list of famous movie locations in NYC, it’s Ray’s Pizza!
This understated pizza location has actually been featured or mentioned in a few different movies, including Elf and Iron Man.
It was also a regular snack for characters on Sienfeld and Sex and The City too! It may not be one of the most well-known NYC filming locations, but it’s a great pick!
Read more about NYC pizza: Top 10 best pizza places in Times Square
Next on my list of famous filming locations in NYC, it’s the Bellnord Building on the Upper West Side.
Where will you recognize this building from? Well, it has been the filming location for ‘Only Murders in the Building’ the fantastic crime / comedy on Netflix!
If you haven’t watched the show yet, I really recommend it!
Smith & Wollensky
Smith & Wollensky is next up on my list of famous NYC filming locations.
This place is actually a well-known steakhouse, and one of the most iconic steakhouses in the city – however, it’s allure extends far beyond its culinary prowess.
The restaurant’s classic ambiance and prime location in Midtown Manhattan have made it a popular choice for filmmakers looking to capture the essence of New York City on camera.
As a result, Smith & Wollensky has made appearances in several notable films.
The most famous (I think) is American Psycho. In this cult classic film starring Christian Bale, Smith & Wollensky serves as the backdrop for a memorable dinner scene where the characters engage in witty, darkly humorous banter.
The Devil’s Advocate is another well-known movies that has been filmed here. This legal thriller, starring Keanu Reeves and Al Pacino, features Smith & Wollensky as a setting for one of the film’s pivotal scenes, adding to the restaurant’s cinematic legacy.
These films have showcased Smith & Wollensky as more than just a dining establishment; they have highlighted its status as an iconic New York City landmark, and an iconic pick for NYC filming locations.
It’s a great choice for movie locations in NYC to check out!
Read more NYC tips: Where to find the best afternoon tea in NYC!
I hope this list of the best movie locations in NYC has given you lots of inspiration and ideas for where to visit!
Which of these NYC filming locations are you most excited?
Do you think we’ve missed an crucial NYC filming locations off our list? If so, let us know!
We love getting suggestions for extra NYC filming locations!