From the early days of the movies through the present, some places in New York City appear over and over in movies.
These iconic film locations are so recognizable, that if they appear in a scene, you know the movie takes place in the Big Apple.
We’ve put together this list of the top NYC locales you are likely to visit and which have more than one movie filmed there.
Many of these places are stops on our pay-what-you-wish walking tours, like Central Park, Grand Central, and the Brooklyn Bridge.
Now, Lights, Camera, Action!
Thanks to the movies filmed here, people everywhere recognize Central Park. Many tourists have this glorious green oasis on their list of must-see places.
So what movies have scenes shot here that so many of you will recognize? There are way too many to list here!
Here are two places in the park that we stop at during our pay-what-you-like Central Park walking tours and where some great movies were filmed there.
In the video below, tour guide Katie, visits these two spots, the Mall and Bethesda Terrace.
Oscar-winner, Kramer vs. Kramer is one of the most memorable films shot here.
In a touching scene at the Mall, Ted Kramer (Dustin Hoffman), going through a bitter custody battle, teaches his son Billy how to ride a bike.
Maid in Manhattan sees single mother and maid, Maria Ventura (Jennifer Lopez), have an intimate conversation with Chris Marshall (Ralph Fiennes), about a possible future together.
Other movies filmed at the Mall: Serendipity (2001), Stuart Little 2 (2002), Friends with Benefits (2011), and Big Daddy (1999).
Bethesda Terrace & Fountain
A most unusual scene takes place at this stunning location that is more than a century old.
In Marvel’s The Avengers, Captain America, Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, Black Widow, and Hawkeye gather here to decide the fate of evil Loki after he attacks the city.
Other movies filmed here: Hair (1979), Home Alone 2 (1992), John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017), Uptown Girl (2003), Stuart Little II (2002), and so many more!
Nothing upsets New Yorkers more than seeing our city destroyed by natural disasters, aliens, and giant apes!
In the 1933 Hollywood classic, King Kong, a misunderstood giant gorilla climbs to the top of the Empire State Building - only two years after the real one was constructed!
He wants only to be with his one true love but is shot down. Though Kong was no more, the skyscraper was etched permanently in the public’s imagination.
Another love story, Sleepless in Seattle (1993), starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, has a scene on the observation deck of the building. This time there’s a happy ending. It was inspired by the 1957 romance An Affair to Remember.
Other movies filmed here: Superman II (1980), Independence Day (1994), Elf (2003), On the Town (1949), The Producers (1967), and so many more!
Find out how to get tickets to the Empire State Building.
This NYC landmark opened to the public in 1886 and within 31 years, it made its first appearance in Charlie Chaplin's 1917 comedy film The Immigrant.
Since her movie debut, the Statue of Liberty has appeared in dozens of films, both in person and in a character role.
One splash-hit comedy where the actual statue and Liberty Island are seen is Splash (1984) where Madison the mermaid (Darryl Hannah) makes a nude appearance.
Not all movies with the statue are funny. Yet another landmark is the target of evil forces and natural disasters.
In The Day After Tomorrow (2004) Lady Liberty is the victim of a massive storm and freezes over. She’s destroyed completely in Independence Day (1996)
In Deep Impact (1998) she’s toppled by a mega-tsunami and she’s decapitated in Cloverfield (2008).
Be sure to visit the Statue of Liberty before some disaster strikes again!
Other movies filmed here: Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021), Men in Black II (2002), The Godfather Part II (1974), Superman (1978), Home Alone 2: Lost In New York (1992), Escape from New York (1981), Planet of the Apes (1968) and more.
The number of films with scenes that take place in the gorgeous and historic Grand Central Terminal is way too long to list them all here.
One especially memorable and magical scene is from The Fisher King (1991) in which two troubled men go on a mission to find the Holy Grail.
Parry (Robin Williams), a homeless man is in Grand Central, and in his mind, the main hall is turned into a huge ballroom where people dance.
How was it possible to film this scene in one of the busiest places in New York City?
The city allowed the director (Terry Gilliam) just one night to shoot, from 11 pm when the trains stopped until 5:30 am when trains started running again. next morning
You definitely will not see anything like this when you are in the station!
If you take our pay-what-you-wish tour of Grand Central Terminal, you’ll see the locations where scenes from so many amazing films took place.
Other movies filmed here: Carlito’s Way (1993), North By Northwest (1959), Men in Black II (2002), Armageddon (1998), Friends With Benefits (2011), Midnight Run (1988), Superman: The Movie (1978), Duplicity (2009), Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004), and more.
So many things about the majestic Brooklyn Bridge make it a great location for movies.
It is by far one of the most recognizable sites in NYC and the minute it appears on screen, you know where the characters are!
The bridge can be a romantic setting, like in Annie Hall (1977) where Alvie (Woody Allen) and Annie (Diane Keaton) share an affectionate moment with the Brooklyn Bridge in the background.
In the Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2004), Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) professes his love for Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) by spelling out, in webbing of course, “I LOVE YOU” across the bridge.
Read more about Spiderman NYC locations.
The bridge can be an escape route from Manhattan, like in I Am Legend (2007) when swarms of people gather at the base of the bridge trying to get on it to get out of Manhattan before a quarantine starts.
In Saturday Night Fever (1977) Tony (John Travolta) helps love interest Stephanie (Karen Lynn Gorney) ‘escape’ Brooklyn by driving her to her new apartment in Manhattan.
Other movies filmed here: Kate & Leopold (2001), John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017), Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009), The Siege (1998), Analyze This (1999), Mo’ Better Blues (1990), and so many more!
Some excellent movies about money and greed have taken advantage of Wall Street, the New York Stock Exchange, and the streets of the Financial District to set the stage for the plot.
In The Dark Night Rises (2012), evil-doer Bane infiltrates the “Gotham Stock Exchange” to empty Bruce Wayne’s portfolio, leaving him with no money.
The huge battle against Bane and his brothers takes place on the streets around the actual Stock Exchange at Wall Street and Broad Street.
Inside Man (2006), the bank robbery film with Denzel Washington, Clive Owen and Jodie Foster made extensive use of the area around Wall Street and Lower Manhattan as did Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street (2013).
You’ll see sights from other movies as well on our Lower Manhattan and Financial District Walking Tours.
Or explore on your own with our free, self-guided Wall Street Walking Tour.
The stunning Beaux-Arts New York Public Library opened in 1911 with over one million books and 75 miles of shelving.
With its grand staircase leading to the entry and two marble lions, this building is recognizable to millions of people. No wonder many movies have filmed scenes both inside and out.
Its massive Reading Room is where the gang from Ghostbusters (1984) meets their first ghost.
Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker) is left at the altar by Mr. Big (Chris Noth) in Sex and the City: The Movie (2008).
Fans of SATC would check out our self-guided tour of Sex and The City series locations in NYC).
In The Wiz (1978), the modern adaptation of The Wizard of Oz, one of the stone lions on the grand staircase comes to life as the Cowardly Lion.
The New York Public Library is included in our pay-what-you-wish Midtown Manhattan Walking Tour.
Other movies filmed here: Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961), Network (1976), Prizzi’s Honor (1985), Regarding Henry (1991), The Thomas Crown Affair (1999), 13 Going on 30 (2004), and many more.
Firehouse, Hook & Ladder Company 8
Another Ghostbusters location is this little fire station at 14 N. Moore Street and Varick Street in the Tribeca neighborhood.
It served as ghostbusting central in both Ghostbusters (1984) and Ghostbusters II (1989) starring Bill Murray, Dan Akroyd, and Ivan Reitman. It also appeared in the reboot in 2016.
No scenes were shot inside Hook & Ladder Company 8. It was used only for the exterior scenes.
The interior scenes were filmed on a Los Angeles movie set and in a decommissioned L.A. firehouse.
Read our detailed post about the firehouse and other Ghostbusters Film Locations.
While not an official New York City landmark, Katz’s Deli on the Lower East Side of Manhattan has earned its place on the map!
Not only is the food incredible, but one of the most memorable rom-com scenes was filmed here -- THAT scene in When Harry Met Sally (1989).
While eating huge pastrami sandwiches, Sally (Meg Ryan) proves to Harry (Billy Crystal) that a woman can convincingly fake the climactic moment in the bedroom.
Pastrami makes a movie appearance again in the 2001 comedy-drama, Sidewalks of New York, when Benjamin (David Krumholtz) shares a meal with a friend.
Read our post about Katz’s to see why it’s so famous.
Our pay-what-you-wish Lower East Side Food Tour stops outside of Katz, where your guide will share with you slime hysterical anecdotes about the deli.
Other movies filmed here: Donnie Brasco (1997), We Own the Night (2007), Enchanted (2007), Across the Universe (2007), Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, (2008), Looking for Kitty (2004) and others.
All Over New York City
The opening credits to Woody Allen’s Manhattan (1979), are perhaps the greatest homage a film director ever paid to New York City.
It is New York City at its most mesmerizing, most gritty, and most real.
Set to Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue”, this 3-minute and 37-second montage has dozens of live scenes in Manhattan.
In under 4 minutes, you’ll see all these places:
- Radio City Music Hall
- Staten Island Ferry
- Times Square
- Greenwich Village
- Washington Square Park
- Lower East Side
- Brooklyn Heights skyline
- Metropolitan Museum of Art
- Upper East Side
- Upper West Side
- Lincoln Center
- Midtown Manhattan
- JFK Airport
- Roosevelt Island Tram
- United Nations
- Central Park
- Guggenheim Museum
- Fifth Avenue
- Park Avenue
- Plaza Hotel
- and many more.
Many of our pay-what-you-wish walking tours stop at or pass by the locations in this post.
Let us show you the New York City you know from the movies!