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Friends New York Tours and Locations

Updated: April 4, 2023

This post provides information about tours of various New York locations shown in the hit television show Friends.

We include tips on where to find the cafe and information about the apartment where the characters would have lived.


Guided Tours of Friends Locations in New York

There is currently at least one tour in New York that covers the most notable sites related to the popular sitcom Friends.

If you’re a fan of the show, this is one of the best ways to discover attractions like the apartment building, the fountain from the intro, and more.


On Location Tours

This company actually offers a wide variety of entertainment-themed tours in New York City.

Their Friends Tour covers a total of 18 locations from the television series, including details about where the cafe Central Perk would have been if it existed.

Clocking in at just 40 minutes, this is a fairly short tour to take.

Currently, they’re only offering this outing as a virtual tour, but there’s always a chance they’ll make it a full tour in the future.

If you’re looking for a fully-guided tour, this company also offers an NYC TV & Movie Tour which includes stops at locations related to Friends and many other shows.

This is a great alternative to the virtual outing because it’s in-person and covers some of the same attractions.

NOTE: If you’re planning to use a tourist pass, it’s worth noting that the NYC TV & Movie Tour is included with both the New York Pass and the New York Sightseeing Pass.


The Friends Experience

If you want to actually visit Monica & Rachel's apartment or Joey & Chandler's apartment, this exhibit is the closest you'll get in all of New York City.

Spread across 2 floors, this attraction recreates the two most notable apartments from the show and even Central Perk.

Visitors will have an opportunity to take photos throughout the attraction, including on the orange couch, in the comfy chairs, and at the kitchen table.

For more details, make sure to read our post covering how to get tickets to the Friends Experience and what you can expect while you're there.


List of Friends TV Show Locations in New York

This tour includes details about Phoebe’s apartment, the museum where Ross worked, the fountain from the intro, and many other notable sites.

The best part about this option is it’s entirely free to use and you can access the tour at your own leisure by using your smartphone. This is a great way to save some money on a fun activity!

TIP: Both our All-in-One Downtown Tour and Greenwich Village Tour include a stop at the Friends building in New York.


The Friends Apartment

You'll find this iconic building at 90 Bedford Street at the corner of Grove Street.

This is just the building where they made exterior shots, and the interior sets were not on location. That said, you can spend some time amidst those interiors on the Friends Experience!

The apartment building from the television show Friends. Image Source: Wikimedia user Ajay Suresh under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.
The apartment building from the television show Friends.

There are two major subway stops within a 10 minute walk from this attraction, making it pretty easy to get there from almost anywhere in the city.

For full directions, make sure to read our post covering how to get to the Friends Apartment building.


Phoebe’s Apartment

As you know, Phoebe lived on her own but of course, was always over at Monica and Rachel's apartment.

Map to Phoebe's building

Fortunately for Phoebe, she was just a 4-minute walk from her pals.

If you want to check out her pad, follow the below route to 5 Morton Street, Apt. 14.

The address is referenced in an episode called "The One With Joey's New Brain". 

The same question pops up - how did Monica and Rachel, a barista at Central Perk, afford to live on one of the most coveted blocks in the West Village?

It's all about who you know. In this case, it's Monica's grandmother. Read the explanation of rent-stabilized apartments below.


The Lucille Lortel Theatre

In Season 3, episode 22, this is the theater where Joey stars in a show and invites his friends to come and see him perform.

Rachel brings a date named Tommy (Ben Stiller) who ends up being a total psycho.

Lucille Lortel Theatre. Image source: Wikimedia user WTMuploader under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.
Lucille Lortel Theatre.

The Lortel is featured in our pay-what-you-wish Greenwich Village walking tour. You may even want to see a show in this historic off-Broadway theater.

Our post on getting cheap theater tickets might come in handy!


Friends Fountain Central Park

The fountain, in which the cast is frolicking around in the opening credits, is not the fountain in Central Park.

As stated above, the show was rarely filmed in New York City. That fountain was on the studio set.  

The fountain in Central Park is called the Bethesda Fountain and has been in countless movies and TV shows.

However, according to OnLocation Tours, the Pulitzer Fountain in front of the Plaza Hotel and adjacent to Central Park was the inspiration for the fictional fountain.


New York Museum of Prehistoric History

Ross works at the New York Museum of Prehistoric History, which is clearly modeled on the American Museum of Natural History.

Several key moments in the entire series occur here, including the first night that Ross and Rachel spend together, in an intimate way.

The American Museum of Natural History. Image source: Pixabay user WikimediaImages.
The American Museum of Natural History.

The American Museum of Natural History is one of New York’s best museums and you should consider visiting it.

It is located off of Central Park West between 77th and 78th Streets.

You can save money on tickets and even get free entry and we explain how in our post, American Museum of Natural History Discounts and Coupons.


The Plaza Hotel

In the first episode of Season 7, the gang plan to celebrate Monica and Chandler's engagement by going for a champagne toast at the Plaza Hotel.

Due to unexpected plot twists, they never make it to the Plaza Hotel.

Plaza Hotel in front with the building where Chandler works in the background. Image source: Pixabay user zopliac.
Plaza Hotel in front of the building where Chandler works in the background.

You can enjoy a drink at The Champagne Bar next to the hotel lobby.

The Plaza is located at 768 5th Avenue at 59th Street, just across the street from our pay-what-you-wish Central Park walking tour.

We also have a pay-what-you-wish Midtown Manhattan walking tour which explores the neighborhood where the Plaza is located.


Chandler’s Office

Chandler works in IT and his office is located at 9 West 57th St., near the Plaza Hotel.

This building also appears in scenes in Sex and the City. If you are a SATC fan, check out our Self-Guided Sex and the City Tour.

Image of Park Plaza in Manhattan. Source: Pixabay user PublicDomainPictures.
In this photo, you'll find the building of Chandler's Office behind Plaza Hotel on the right. The entrance to this building has a giant 9 in front, so you can't miss it!

The Moondance Diner

This is where Monica was a waitress and the diner was decked out in a 1950s theme. At work, Monica had to wear a horrendous blonde wig. 

This diner was located at 80 Sixth Avenue, between Grand Street and Canal Street. It closed down in 2012, and in its place, The James Hotel was built. 

Moondance Diner

The Moondance was also featured in Spider-Man, where Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst) worked.

If you are a Spidey fan, check out our Self-Guided New York Super Hero Tour.


Bloomingdale's

In Season 3, Rachel works at this iconic NY department store as an assistant buyer. It is definitely worth a visit to get a Bloomie’s Little Brown Bag.

It is one of the stops in our self-guided tour of Midtown Manhattan.

bloomingdales

Bloomingdale’s is at the intersection of 59th Street and Lexington Avenue, near the Roosevelt Island Aerial Tram which offers one of the most spectacular views of NYC.


Madison Square Garden

This arena is the home to the New York Knicks basketball team. It’s not easy or cheap to get season tickets.

Yet in Season 4, Episode 19, Monica and Rachel offer Joey and Chandler their season tickets if they can move back into their apartment, having swapped with the guys previously.

Sigh for Madison Square Garden

If you want to see the inside of this historic arena, you can take a tour of the Garden.

Our post, Madison Square Garden All-Access Tour will help you find the best prices for this popular tour.


Where is the Friends Cafe?

Also known as Central Perk, this particular location was never actually a real location in New York City, so you won’t find the Friends cafe while visiting the big city.

How to Find the Friends Apartment

That said, you might want to consider planning your next vacation in Los Angeles because the set of Central Perk does still exist at the Warner Bros. Studio!

Their Studio tour actually ends at Central Perk, and you can grab a bite to eat or a cup of coffee while you’re there!

For more details, make sure to read our full post about the Warner Bros. Studio Tour.


OTHER THINGS IN THE AREA

Fans of Sex and the City may also be interested in visiting Carrie's stoop and Magnolia Bakery, both just a 6-minute walk away.

Be sure to check out our free tour of Sex and the City sights.

directions from Friends apartment to sex and the city apartment

The quickest route is to walk west on Grove Street and turn left (north) on Bleeker Street.

Magnolia Bakery is on Bleeker Street and Carrie's apartment building is at 66 Perry Street (see red circle below).

Be warned. Some of the residents on Perry Street are not huge Sex and the City fans, so please be respectful of their privacy and limit your photography to one photo.

Be sure to check out our free tour of Sex and the City sights.


Fans of The Cosby Show might be interested in visiting the house used as the home of Dr. Huxstable and his family.

The Huxstables did not live in Greenwich Village, but rather in the equally historic district of Brooklyn Heights.  

To reach the house from the Friends Apartment Building, it's best to head south on Bedford St until you make a slight right onto 7th Ave.

Then, you will make your first right onto St. Luke's Place (which is also Leroy St.) until you reach 10 St. Lukes's Place. The house sits just across from a city park.  

Like the Friends Apartment Building, 10 St. Lukes's Pl. allowed the show's producers a lot of light for filming.

About The Author

Lori Pickhardt

Updated: April 4th, 2023
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