New York Super Hero Tour

This post lists all the various ways you can visit the sites where Superhero movies and tv shows were filmed including locations from Spider-man, Superman, Batman, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, X-Men, Ghostbusters and more!

 

 


More than any other city in the world, New York City has more sites that show up in superhero movies, tv shows, and comic books. Just to name a few, there are Spider-man slinging webs between Manhattan skyscrapers, the Fantastic Four’s headquarters in Midtown, and the Ghostbusters Firehouse in Lower Manhattan. Marvel superheroes’ comic books are often based in NYC as well.

Since you can’t sling your way across the city like Spider-man, you will have to make do with using the subway. Read our posts on Navigating the Subway and Which MetroCard is Right for You.

You might want to consider getting around the city by a hop-on, hop-off bus tour, as these tours stop at or near most of the locations included in this self-guided tour.


DO-IT-YOURSELF TOUR

 

Map of NYC Superhero Locations

 
 

UPTOWN MANHATTAN

A – Low Memorial Library at Columbia University

One of the most important events ever in the fictional world of superheroes happened here. Well, not at the Low Library, but rather at the Empire State University Science Lab. Spider-man’s Peter Parker goes with his high school to see the genetics lab here and it is where he is bitten by a radioactive spider, changing his life forever.

 

 

Though the lab interior scenes were filmed in Los Angeles on a set the exterior shots of the lab took place on the on the steps of Columbia University‘s Low Memorial Library (map).

Columbia’s campus also features often in Ghostbusters. While you are at Columbia University, take a short walk over to the colorful neighborhood of Harlem, using our Harlem Visitor’s Guide.


B – Central Park Bethesda Fountain

So many movies and tv shows have been filmed in this picturesque park, and the world of superheroes is no exception. In The Avengers, the famed Bethesda Fountain was used as the setting for the final scene when The Avengers bid farewell to each other.

 

 
In Jessica Jones, Season 1, Episode 12, Jessica follows a courier through Central Park toward Bethesda Terrace. As they near the fountain, the courier impales himself on garden shears lying around and Jessica is too late to stop him.

Use our guide to Central Park to see all the many wonderful things in this iconic park.  You may want to join us on one of many pay-what-you-like Central Park Tours or use our GPS-enhanced Central Park Audio Tour to discover the park. 


C – The Frick Museum 

The museum, located at 1 E. 70th St., was the inspiration for The Avengers mansion. The legendary Stan Lee (who passed away in November 2018 at the superheroic age of 95!) was admired the elegant Frick Museum which he walked past during his commute to Marvel Comics offices.

You can visit the Frick for free on certain days of the week (map). To find out more, visit their website.

 


MIDTOWN MANHATTAN

Many of these locations are included in our pay-what-you-like tours of Midtown Manhattan. If you want to complement your self-guided Superhero tour, you might like our GPS-enhanced Audio Tour of Midtown Manhattan.

See our Guide to Midtown Manhattan as well. 


D – Roosevelt Island Aerial Tram

In the first Spider-man movie with Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, and Willem Dafoe, this is where the Green Goblin held people hostage and threw Mary Jane to the water near the end of the movie (video below).

 

 

You can ride the Roosevelt Island Tram and you will get breathtaking views of NYC. And once you are on Roosevelt Island it is a lovely place to spend an hour or so. See our Self-Guided Roosevelt Island Tour for information on what to do on the island.


E – United Nations Headquarters

This iconic NYC rectangular building is a mainstay in many Marvel Comics.  In the original Batman movie from the 1960’s the Joker, Penguin, and Riddler try to kidnap the members of the United World Organization’s security or the United Nations.

In Superman IV, Superman addresses the General Assembly at the U.N. to voice his wishes to rid the world of all nuclear weapons.

 

 

Our Self-Guided Midtown Manhattan Tour includes the United Nations, and if you’d like you can take a tour of the UN building. Find out how here.


F – Tudor City Place

In the Spider-man movies, the top floors of stylish 5 Tudor City Place (mapwere used as the exterior of Norman Osborn’s rooftop mansion. The interior shots were filmed in L.A. As a side note, non-superhero Katherine Hepburn lived in Tudor City for many years.


G – NY Daily News Building 

In the first Superman movie starring Christopher Reeves as Superman and Gene Hackman as Lex Luthor, this building’s lobby serves as the lobby of the Daily Planet, the newspaper that Clark Kent, Superman’s alter ego works at. 

 

 

This building, located at 220 East 42nd Street between 2nd and 3rd Ave. (map), is also where other Superman characters like editor-in-chief Perry White, reporter, and love interest Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen also work.  


H – Overlook Bar

This bar, as 225 E. 44th St. (map) was formerly Costello’s, a bar that attracted authors, newspapermen, and cartoonists.

In the early 1970s, the bar’s owner asked Bill Gallo, who was the president of the National Cartoonists Society at the time, to create a mural to go along with already existing cartoons by the famous humorist James Thurber. According to legend, Thurber drew on the walls of the bar to pay for his drinks during the Great Depression.

 

 

In, 1976, Bill Gallo agreed to make the mural on the wall at Costello’s in exchange for free food and drink for all the cartoonists who joined in. That May, 40 cartoonists spent 20 minutes doodling on a 4’ x 20’ wall.

Some of the characters you’ll see on the mural are Popeye, the Phantom, Bullwinkle, Beetle Bailey, Archie, Little Orphan Annie, Betty Boop, Fred Flintstone, and Felix the Cat.  


I – Chrysler Building  

In the movie, Percy Jackson the Lighting Thief, Percy has a battle on top of the beautiful spire of the Chrysler Building. In The Avengers, Thor uses the spire of the building to bring down an even bigger than usual lightning bolt.

 

 

In Spider-man, when Peter Parker’s Uncle Ben is shot by a robber, Peter slings webs across the skyscrapers of the city to get revenge. When the robber accidentally kills himself, Peter leaves and ends up sulking on top of one of the gargoyles perched on the top of the Chrysler Building.

See our post to learn more about visiting the Chrysler Building


J- Grand Central Terminal 

In the original X-Men movie, the X-Men and the Brotherhood of Mutants have a big fight scene in the Great Hall inside the terminal.  

In The Avengers there is the largest battle scene in which we see all of the Avengers, Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Black Widow, Hawkeye, and the Hulk come together to hold off the Chitauri Alien invasion.

 

 

In the first Superman, Lex Luthor’s lair is directly below the train tracks of Grand Central. In fact, someone tries to sneak into his hidden lair and steps into a trap involving the train lines!

Use our Self-Guided Grand Central Tour or our Audio Tour to see what else is inside this incredible and historic sight.


K – Metlife Building

This is Stark Tower, the headquarters for Tony Stark (Iron Man) in The Avengers. In real life, it’s the Metlife Building located at 200 Park Ave. and E. 45th Street, adjacent to Grand Central Terminal.


L – Intersection of 42nd Street and Madison Avenue

This is where the Fantastic 4’s Baxter Building is supposed to be (map). In the comics, the landlord originally wanted the team there, because of the publicity. In both Fantastic 4 live action movies, the building comes under attack.


M – New York Public Library

In the Spider-man movie, it was outside this prestigious institution at 42nd St. and 5th Ave. (map), that Peter Parker’s Uncle Ben, gives some important advice to Peter who has just discovered he is a superhero. Uncle Ben tells him, “with great power, comes great responsibility.”

 

 

Words of wisdom spoken in front of one of the most significant and also stunning institutions in New York City history. You can take a free tour of the inside of the New York Public Library (where a scene from Ghostbusters was also filmed!)


N – Times Square at 42nd Street and Broadway

In the original Spider-man, the Green Goblin and Spider-man battle each other in Times Square. In Amazing Spider-man 2, there is a giant battle scene between Spider-man and Electro.

In Captain America, Steve Rogers comes out of his coma, runs away from the soldiers and arrives in a modern Times Square which is a secret Shield compound. In Superman 2, Superman battles Zod and his crew in Times Square and throughout NYC.

You can find out everything about this electrifying location from our post Things to do in Times Square


O – Marvel Comics Headquarters at 135 West 50th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues

While you can’t take a tour of Marvel’s headquarters, the video below shows Marvel mastermind Stan Lee taking a tour through their offices.

 

 

For more Marvel madness, you can go to Madame Tussauds and see their popular Marvel Super Heroes 4D Experience. Find out about this exhibit and more from our Madame Tussauds post. We also include ways to get discounted tickets.  

Another way to save on seeing your Marvel pals at Madame Tussauds is to purchase a tourist pass which includes free entry to this attraction. Find out more from our post comparing New York tourist passes.


P – Hell’s Kitchen

This neighborhood runs from West 34th Street to West 57th Street, and from 8th Avenue across to the Hudson River. Decades ago, the area was known for being crime-ridden and run down. This made it perfect to be Daredevil’s stomping ground.

 

 

You won’t find Josie’s Bar here, where Daredevil and his friends hang out. The exterior shots of Josie’s were filmed at Turkey’s Nest Tavern in Williamsburg in Brooklyn.

To get a feel for the old neighborhood visit a few of the gritty bars still around 42nd Street and 9th Avenue. To explore the neighborhood, use our Self-Guided tour of Hell’s Kitchen.  

 


LOWER MANHATTAN

We have several pay-what-you-wish tours that cover most of these locations. You might also like our self-guided tour of Lower Manhattan Film and TV Locations


Q – Flatiron Building

In the Spider-man movies, this building, at 23rd St. and Broadway (map), serves as the Daily Bugle where Parker worked as a photographer. Read all about this famous and much-photographed triangular building at our post about the Flatiron Building.


R – Joe’s Pizza

The building at 117A Bleecker Street served as the locale for the Sanctum Sanctorum of Dr. Strange, the Sorcerer Supreme for Marvel.

Joe’s Pizza was the pizzeria with 29-minute delivery service in Spider-man 2. Go inside to see pictures of Tobey Maguire shooting the scene.

 

 

Our pay-what-you-like tours of Greenwich Village pass by Joe’s Pizza and also walk along Bleecker Street. Take a look at our Guide to Greenwich Village as well.  


S – Intersection of Delancey and Essex Streets

You may have heard The Thing of the Fantastic Four refer to Yancy Street. That’s a combination of Delancey and Essex Streets, the big intersection in the Lower East Side where the co-creator of the Fantastic Four, Jack Kirby, grew up.

The Lower East Side is one of the most interesting and fun neighborhoods to visit in NYC. In addition to the Fantastic Four, you can find fantastic food there. You might consider taking our Lower East Side Food Tour.  Check out our Guide to the Lower East Side to find out the hot spots.  


T – Nom Wah Tea Parlor

In Spider-man 2, Peter Parker dines here with Gwen’s family. Outside on the street (map), Gwen breaks up (for the first time) with Peter.

Though not a superhero, Justin Timberlake filmed his video, Take Back the Night on Doyers Street.

Nom Wah is one of our favorite places to eat in Chinatown, as the food is good and the history is quite interesting. Our Chinatown Food Tour walks along Doyers Street and past this restaurant.


U – JP Morgan Building

In The Dark Knight Rises, this building is used as the Gotham Stock Exchange. It is diagonally across the street from the actual New York Stock Exchange.

 

 

In the movie, Bane storms the Gotham Stock Exchange and drains Bruce Wayne’s bank account. This is also where the final battle between Bane and Batman takes place. 

This intersection is included in our Lower Manhattan tours. In addition, to seeing the JP Morgan building, we also show you the New York Stock Exchange and Federal Hall.  


V – Staten Island Ferry  

Spider-man: Homecoming, features the Staten Island Ferry in a battle scene between Spidey and the Vulture. 

 

 

You can ride the Staten Island Ferry for free and see pretty stunning views of New York City. Our post, Riding the Staten Island Ferry can help you plan your ride. 


W – Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island  

In the first X-Men film, the climactic battle against Magneto takes place on Liberty Island. Ellis Island was also used as a location in the film. It served as the event venue for the gathering of the world’s leaders whom Magneto planned to mutate using a machine hidden in the Lady Liberty’s torch. Thus, it made perfect sense then that the New York premiere of X-Men was held on Ellis Island.

If you plan on visiting the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, our post, How to Visit the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island has all the information you need to plan a smooth visit.


BROOKLYN

All these locations are in the neighborhood of DUMBO. There is a lot to see in this trendy and historic neighborhood, where many other films have been filmed.

To see more of DUMBO, you should check out our pay-what-you-like walking tour of Brooklyn Bridge, Brooklyn Heights, and DUMBO. We also have a useful Guide to DUMBO sights to see and suggestions of where to eat and shop.


X – Brooklyn Bridge 

In Amazing Spider-man 2, the Brooklyn Bridge is where Spiderman professes his love for Gwen Stacey by writing “I LOVE YOU” in webbing across the bridge. In The Dark Knight Rises, this was one of the two bridges you saw having a surgical demolition to prevent people from leaving Gotham.

 

 

A walk over the Brooklyn Bridge is one of the best things to do in NYC and you should fit in into your itinerary. You can join one of our pay-what-you-wish tours that include the Brooklyn Bridge.  These include our Brooklyn Bridge, Brooklyn Heights and DUMBO Tour or our 9/11 Memorial and Brooklyn Bridge Night Tour that runs seasonally. We also have an in-depth GPS-Enhanced Audio Tour of the Brooklyn Bridge and Self-Guided Brooklyn Bridge Tour.


Y – Empire-Fulton Ferry State Park

This park in DUMBO is the location in Amazing Spider-man 2 where Peter Parker and his friend Harry skip stones on the water as they catch up with each other.  

This Brooklyn waterfront park offers a stunning view of downtown Manhattan and both the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges. 


Z – Power Plant at John Street & Pearl Street along the East River

This power plant, which can be seen from both the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges, is the setting for the climactic final battle between Electro and Spider-man in Amazing Spider-man 2.

While in Brooklyn, use our post Things To Do In Brooklyn, to see what else there is to do in NYC’s most populated borough.

 


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GUIDED TOURS

Super Hero Bus Tour by On Locations NY

This 3-hour guided bus tour takes you to 40 superhero and comics-related locations in NYC. This is a family-friendly tour for all ages. When your bus arrives at the locations, you will watch short clips from the specific movie and television shows filmed at that spot. This helps you connect the movie scenes and the place you are seeing with your own eyes.

 

 

This tour is highly rated by reviewers on TripAdvisor. Guests say that guides are incredibly enthusiastic and have a vast knowledge of the world of superheroes and comics. The buses are comfortable and the tour is suitable for all ages. Admittedly, this tour is a bit pricey but guests comment that it is worth the money.  

One way to save on this tour is to purchase a Smart Destinations Build Your Own tourist pass includes this bus tour as an attraction you can choose. Learn more from our post about New York City Attraction Passes


Superheroes Walking Tour by Top Dog Tours

This two-hour superhero and comic book-themed walking tour visits the city’s most famous superhero movie locations as well as sites that inspired the writers and artists who developed so many of the superheroes you know and love.  

This tour is highly rated by Get Your Guide and Trip Advisor. Tour guests say the guides are both knowledgeable and funny, making the tour well-rounded. Guides also share lesser-known facts and stories about the world of the creators of superhero characters. Some guests were not even superhero fans yet loved the tour.  


Free Tours By Foot

These pay-what-you-wish walking tours include many of the locations included in the self-guided tour:

Several of these tours are also available as self-guided tours and GPS-enhanced Audio Tours.

 


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OTHER FILM AND MOVIE LOCATIONS

 


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