House of Travel logo

Where to find New York's most iconic movie scenes


Where to find New York's most iconic movie scenes

story by: Anna Sarjeant

New York City enjoys one of the most celebrated skylines in the world. Instantly recognisable even if you’ve never been.

But really you have. You’ve jumped skyscrapers with Spiderman, climbed the Empire State Building with King Kong and solved every NYC crime with the cast of CSI.

For the best ‘ah-hah’ moments in the history of city exploration, seek out these top TV and movie locations in the Big Apple.

1. A Seven Year Itch
In what may have been one of the most timely executed publicity stunts of the 1950s, The Seven Year Itch boasts the now iconic scene in which Marilyn Monroe stands over a grated air vent and has her skirt blasted by an underground subway. The scene took a colossal three-hours to film, with Marilyn repeatedly forgetting her lines.

Marilyn's windy air vent 
You can re-create the infamous movie scene by heading to the corner of 52nd Street and Lexington - the grate still exists even if Marilyn, sadly doesn’t.

2. Crocodile Dundee
A surprise 1986 hit, Mick's handling of a chaotic New York City provides an amusing foundation for this classic rom-com. It’s the 80s too, so along with muggers, pimps and high-powered city slickers, Dundee also has to deal with history’s worst perms and shoulder pads. Ouch.

Manhattan streets
Venture to Manhattan and seek out 5th Avenue (between East 52nd and 53rd Streets). This is where Mick straddles a lamppost to see above the city hoards, or stay as Dundee did, at The Plaza Hotel. Located at 750 5th Avenue and Central Park South and also in Manhattan, The Plaza is a testament to bygone hotel elegance; maintaining a level of luxury that mostly existed during the golden years of hotel splendour. With a grand façade, opulent décor and white glove butler service on every floor.

That REALLY famous hotel
Die-hard movie buffs will also recognise The Plaza Hotel from Home Alone 2, where Macaulay Culkin once raised havoc - and a hotel bill that would alarm even the most frequent of Plaza guests.  

3. Friends
OK, not technically a movie (although the will they/won’t they teaser is still being thrown around) no trip to New York is complete without finding the Friends’ apartment block.

Greenwich Village 
Head to Greenwich Village and the corner of Grove and Bedford Streets. Located in the western half of the greater Greenwich Village and commonly referred to as the West Village, this is also the locale of Carrie Bradshaw and her gaggle of gal-pals from Sex and the City.

Central Perk 
We wish we could say Central Perk existed too, but it 's as fictional as the characters it served. In its place there’s a nice restaurant called The Little Owl which is said to be good, but you won’t be buying a super skinny double shot chocolate mocha latte from Gunther, sorry.

Free Friends' walking tours
Instead, take one of the popular – and free – city walking tours and you will be led to all the hot Friends’ spots with interesting facts to boot. Like the one about 99% of the series being shot in Los Angeles …but we refuse to believe that.

4. Breakfast at Tiffany’s
Who could forget the image of Audrey Hepburn standing affront Tiffany’s - with a French pastry to hand, a cup of sidewalk coffee and the same black dress from the night before? Even if you haven’t seen the movie, you’ll recognise the scene – as one of the most referenced examples of popular culture, you'll find Hepburn and her big black sunglasses on more collectibles than Che Guevara.

Tiffany & Co
The world-renowned flagship Tiffany & Co. store can be found on the corner of 5th Avenue and 57th Street. Built from huge slabs of granite and limestone, the imposing masonry and classic nine-foot figure of Atlas are as NY iconic as Audrey herself. An art-deco style building with huge steel doors, you may not leave with a diamond - or even a signature teal bag - but you’ll have experienced the same awe as the young and impressionable Holly Golightly.

5. Batman: The Dark Knight Rises
Vigilantes. They sure love The Big Apple.

Trump Tower
With past and present tenants including Bruce Willis, Beyoncé and Jay-Z, Donald Trump's aptly named Trump Tower is as synonymous with New York’s inner-city landscape as hot dog carts and bright yellow cabs. FYI, it’s the 57-floor skyscraper with mirrored brass panels, a wide entrance and gleaming-gold Trump signage. 

725 Fifth Avenue
It’s also the same building Bruce Wayne (AKA Batman) departs after losing Wayne Enterprises in The Dark Knight Rises and the same doors Leonardo DiCaprio enters while playing Jordan Belfort in the Wolf of Wall Street. If you’d like to give that same revolving entrance a whirl yourself, head to 725 Fifth Avenue, Manhattan.

You may not see Trump, Bruce or Queen Bee (or even a man wearing a pleather black bat suit) but in New York City, where everyone's got somewhere to be, someone to see and a fat dollar to make, there's always something eventful unfolding... Better than watching a movie perhaps? 

That’s all, folks!... Almost
If you’re strapped for time and would prefer to round the NY movie scene up in less than three hours, ask our HOT consultants about the New York TV and Movie Sites Tour. A 2.5 hour guided coach tour led by an aspiring New York actor, you’ll be led from one movie destination to the next, taking in all the best sites, including set locations for Friends, Girls, American Hustle and When Harry Met Sally, amongst many others. 

Click here for all our USA holiday deals. 

Enquire Now


HOT Privacy Statement

* required fields

Sign up for House of Travel emails: