New York City is the most filmed loction in the world, with thousands and thousands of TV shows and movies being made every single year. It’s a $5 billion a year business with 100,000 employees annually, with the power of TV and movie entertaining and changes people’s lives daily.
On Location Tours takes you on a journey around the City to over 60 locations that have been featured in many of your favourite binge-worthy shows and blockbuster hits.
A 3 hour tour running daily, you’ll see everything from the iconic Friends apartment building to the Spider–Man and The Amazing Spider–Man Oscorp and Daily bugle offices. Each tour takes place from the comfort of a bus kitted out with heat in the winter and AC in the Summer, with plenty of stops for photo opportunities.
I was kindly invited along on a tour during my time in NYC and as it was a (really) rainy day at the end of December, spending the morning on a comfy coach seeing some of the most spectacular sights in the City was most welcomed.
The tour started near Broadway and 51st Street, just a short walk from Times Square. The tour begins at 10am daily, whatever the weather- well, maybe not in 6 foot deep snow, but our tour guide did tell us a tale about one tour that took place during Wintery weather, with guests wading through snow for the perfect photos!
Arriving around 15 minutes early at the meeting point, which is specified upon purchase, we were greeted by our tour guide Jerry who checked us in quickly and easily.
Jerry explained that all On Location Tours guides are working actors, meaning they know the business like the back of their hands and you might even get some cheeky insider stories at the same time.
Once we were all settled in, the tour began with a quick introductory video explaining all about On Location Tours and the company.
Beginning in the heart of Times Square, we saw where Jamie introduced Dylan to the word ‘flash mob’ in Friends With Benefits and the infamous steps which have been featured in many hits such as Glee and The Amazing Spider–Man.
With each locaction, we were also shown a clip of the most iconic scenes, putting everything into context and not having to worry if you haven’t seen a certain show or movie.
The next stop on the tour is Columbus Circle, home to some of the most expensive buildings in the Country, including Trump International and The Time Warner Center. Featured in movies such as Ghostbusters and Enchanted, it’s an extremely popular landmark.
Venturing down to Central Park South, we saw The Plaza Hotel, the most filmed building in the WORLD! You’ll recognise this grand building from some of Hollywood’s greatest, including Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, Bride Wars and American Hustle.
At the front of the hotel is Pulitzer Fountain, the inspiration for the opening credits of Friends and where Blair and Serena dance in Gossip Girl.
We got to see how the other half live while passing through the luxurious Upper East Side, which was a basis for Gossip Girl. Barney’s is where Elaine from Seinfeld buys a dress and realises she doesn’t like how it looks and The Pierre Hotel is where Chandler and Monica tie the knot in Friends.
Continuing onto Fifth Avenue, we caught a glimps of the famous stores that have been featured in many big hits, like Tiffany’s and Co. which can be seen in Glee, New Year’s Eve and of course, Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
Passing the Hearst building that was the home of Runway magazine in The Devil Wears Prada, I whispered to myself “I’m going to work there one day”. A girl can dream, eh?!
More hot spots in this area include the New York Public Library, a filming location for 13 Going on 30, Ted 2, Sex and The City and many more.
Our journey continued to the Flatiron District and Washington Square Park. The Flatiron building, the most photographed building in New York, can be recognised from Spider–Man and Teentage Mutant Ninja Turtles while across the street, Madison Sqaure Park has been home to scenes from Anchorman 2, Something Borrowed and I Am Legend.
Washington Square Park is the location of Will Smith’s apartment in I Am Legend and the first stop of the tour. We all braved it off the coach into the pouring rain for a photo op.
Moving onto Tribeca, we had another photo opportunity, this time at the FDNY Hook & Ladder 8, known as the Ghostbuster’s Firehouse.
Greenwich village was the part of the tour I was looking forward to the most. It’s a picture perfect maze of cobblestone streets and townhouses…and also happens to be the home to the Friend’s apartment building.
Passing through Chelsea, we saw a few of the famous diners from Men in Black II and Broad City. Through Midtown, we saw the Macy’s in Herald Square, used in holiday classics such as Elf and Miracle on 34th Street.
The tour came to an end at McGee’s Pub, the inspiration for MacLaren’s Pub in How I Met Your Mother. On Location Tours customers can even recieve a discount in the pub, the perfect end to your NYC TV & Movie tour.
Costing $51 for adults and $35 for children aged 6-9, the tour is the perfect way to spend a morning in the City. It’s a great way to explore thriving Manhattan while following in the footsteps of your favourite stars.
The tour is available in various different languages and private and corporate tours are available. In an effort to stay current, On Location Tours constantly update their tours with brand new locations.