Visiting New York City Attractions That You Know From Film and Television

New York City is very famous for being a popular location for movies and television shows. Here are some of the local locations that you may have seen on camera.


Krittika Chowdhury

Here are the famous MET Museum steps where tourists from all over the world come to relax after seeing art. It is also the location where Blair Waldorf and her friends had lunch.

New York City is known for a lot of things. From  historical landmarks such as the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty to the impact it has on the world’s financial and architectural  realms, it’s no secret that New York City scenery is a favorite of movie and television show writers. Hundreds of shows across the years have been based in New York City — whether it is at a small bar in Queens or an apartment complex in Manhattan, these film attractions have become their own type of tourist attractions. 

Gossip Girl

Gossip Girl is based in New York City, specifically the Upper East Side. Five rich teens take on the city and the challenges of their adolescent lives in attractions such as the MET, Central Park, and even France!


Blair Waldorf and her minions couldn’t go one lunch period without making a trip to the MET steps. Iconic for plotting revenge on Serena for trying to steal Nateor making Jenny her new minion, the MET steps are a must visit place.

The MET, short for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, has a lot of history behind it. as the largest art museum in America and the eighth most visited museum in the world. The museum first opened its doors in 1872, but not where the MET is currently located today. The MET is known for its iconic location on Fifth Ave bordering Central Park on the Upper East Side. By the end of the 19th century, there were 174 pieces of art, but the collections were mostly from Europe. In the 1960s, because of the Robert Lehman Foundation, the museum was able to expand and have around 3,000 pieces of art from all over the world. Now the MET is split into 17 large sections presenting everything from Greek Art to Japanese Art. The MET holds historical paintings from different eras and sculptures from all over the world.

Although in the show the inside of the MET is not shown, there have been many dramatic plot twists that occurred on the steps. Fans of the show may remember when Blair Waldorf rejected Serena’s invitation to rejoin the friend group in the first episode while giving the last invite to “little Jenny.” Another instance is when Serena screams at Blair that she is not pregnant and when Jenny starts standing up for herself against Blair’s outrageous demands. In Season 5, Blair almost got married to the prince of her dreams, but Dan came in and saved the day. How? Once again, the MET steps remain crucial to Blair’s identity. Grounded, Dan helped bring Blair back to who she was. Finally, the show came full circle when the iconic friend group — Blair, Chuck, Serena, Dan and Nate — came to the steps  to find out about Blair and Chuck  in the last episode.   

The MET is not only a tourist destination for art lovers around the world but also for the Gossip Girl fans who desire to be just like Blair Waldorf. 

Bethesda Terrace

The Bethesda terrace is another iconic New York City attraction that was featured in Gossip Girl. Although it is not featured as much as the MET steps or the entrance of The Palace Hotel, the Bethesda Terrace is where significant moments between the five friends occurred. 

The Bethesda Terrace is a historical landmark in Central Park between 72nd and 73rd Street in Manhattan. Starting  its construction in 1858, the plan was to make a terrace to overlook the Bethesda Fountain. The Angel of the Waters, later renamed the Bethesda Fountain, refers to a story from the Gospel of John, where a disabled man at Bethesda sought healing. This fountain was designed by Emma Stebbins who was the first woman to receive a public commission for a major art work in the city. 

The Bethesda Terrace is part of the memorable introduction and finale of the show. In Season 1, Episode 3, after the countless fights Blair and Serena have gotten into, upon Serena’s reappearance, Blair talks about the sadness and depression that she faced after Serena ran off to Connecticut. Blair would then read the letter she always wanted to send to Serena but never did, “Dear S.” In the finale, while Blair and Chuck were running away from the police, they wanted to tie the knot to not only avoid being arrested, but to be together forever. While running around the city and making last minute wedding plans, Blair and Chuck were sidetracked by the sudden reveal scene of Gossip Girl’s identity. In the most memorable scene, Blair and Chuck said “3 words, 8 letters”(their special way of saying I love you) to each other in the Bethesda Terrace while the police were chasing them. Just as they had their first kiss, the police arrested them, and although this was the last episode of the show, it makes the Bethesda Terrace a significant location for the show.


Every child’s dream is to climb from building to building in New York to fight off bad guys. Peter Parker took over New York City and left his spidey senses at places like Joe’s Pizza. 

Joe’s Pizza

The most noticeable and visited place from Spider-Man 2 with Tobey Maguire is Joe’s Pizza. Peter Parker, played by Maguire, works at Joe’s as a delivery boy. On this particular day, Peter is always late; however, upon arrival, he quickly notices he’s the only delivery boy there. Mr. Aziz, the manager, gives him a task to deliver eight deep dish pizzas at the Woolworth building in seven-and-a-half minutes or else he isn’t paid. Peter didn’t make it on time. Not only that, but the pizzas were delivered late and upside down. Coming back to a disappointed Mr. Aziz, Peter left with no money and no job.  

Joe’s Pizza has been a New York staple since 1975, especially in Greenwich Village — anyone can get an authentic slice of New York-style pizza there. In Spider-Man 2, Joe’s Pizza is notably located on Bleecker Street, a street that can easily remind anyone about Spider-man. The original address of this particular Joe’s Pizza was at 233 Bleecker Street, but it moved to 7 Carmine Street. Joe’s Pizza is a popular pizzeria in the city, but inside you’ll also find quite a few Spider-man fans enjoying a slice! 

The Oscorp Tower

Many may remember how Gwen from The Amazing Spider-Man 2 died from the clock tower, but it was her work at Oscorp to sacrifice her life and save Peter. Gwen Stacy worked at Oscorp Towers as a research assistant under Dr. Curtis Conor. It was at Oscorp, Gwen discovered Dr. Conor injecting lizard DNA in him to regenerate his arm and found out his secret plan to spray the entire city with the serum to turn everyone into lizards. Because Gwen found out about this information, Peter Parker was able to jump in and take control. However in the process, Gwen died. 

The Oscorp Tower in real life is the Hearst Tower located in Midtown. Although CGI was used for the upper half of the building the lower half is the same as seen in the movie. The Hearst Tower holds the headquarters of Hearst Communications which houses many communication and publication communities. The base of the building was designed by Joseph Urban and is now a designated New York City landmark. 

Fun Fact: In the Spiderman movies featuring Tom Holland, Peter Parker is a nerdy high school kid who loves science and is in a science-based school. Although the school is called Midtown High School and is filmed at Franklin K. Lane high school; it is actually based on Bronx Science! As many of you may know, Tom Holland even visited the Bronx Science back in 2016 to feel what an average day of a high school student at a science-based school feels like. 


Friends, one of the most famous shows in the 1990s, was based in New York City, and a lot of their monumental moments happened in New York City’s West Village. The show was about six friends in their early 20s trying to figure out life together and becoming who they want to be. 

The Little Owl

The Friends apartment building sits on top of “Central Perk” in Greenwich Village between Bedford and Grove Street. The exterior shot of the building featured in every episode of Friends makes it an iconic and visit worthy site for Friends fans all over the world. 

In real life, unfortunately the Central Perk coffee shop does not exist; rather it is the Little Owl restaurant sitting under the apartment building. Although many fans are upset that Central Perk is not real, Little Owl offers great food and a sort of real experience as to what the Friends characters may have felt. Little Owl opened their doors in May of 2006, after the show aired its finale, and it currently serves delicious new American and Italian cuisine. 


“Who you gonna call? Ghostbusters!” This famous jingle captivated Ghostbusters fans around the world, and it is yet another amazing movie based in New York City. It is a supernatural comedy film about professors at Columbia University who encounters a ghost at the New York Public Library. The trio formed the Ghostbusters and their “headquarters” was at a fire station in downtown Manhattan.  

Hook and Ladder Company 8

In TriBeCa sits the fire station used in Ghostbusters both in the original 1989 movie and the 2016 reboot movie. With the iconic white ghost in a red crossed circle logo on the outside, it’s hard to miss it. It is located 14 North Moore Street and was originally built in 1903. Hook and Ladder 8 was one of the first responders to the September 11, 2001 attacks not only making it heroic in the city but also in the movie world with its red brick exterior.

Fun Fact: If you try calling 555-2368 you will automatically be directed to the Ghostbusters answering machine!

Overall, if you haven’t yet visited New York City these shows should be a good reason to go, and if you’re a native New Yorker, I suggest that you be a tourist for a day and explore what your favorite characters did for fun in the city. Not only are there endless amounts of activities to do such as go to the Friends Experience Exhibit,  but you can have your own meaningful moments in these iconic places.

 Mr. Aziz, the manager, gives him a task to deliver eight deep dish pizzas at the Woolworth building in seven-and-a-half minutes or else he isn’t paid. Peter didn’t make it on time. Not only that, the pizzas were delivered late and upside down. Coming back to a disappointed Mr. Aziz, Peter left with no money and no job.