A Weekend Itinerary in New York for Film Fans

There are so many itineraries knocking about of what to see and do in New York for any length of time. Just FYI, my absolutely favourite is this super detailed weekend itinerary for your first time in New York. So, I thought I could do an itinerary of a weekend in New York for film fans. Everyone’s favourite film locations, eateries, hotels and tourist attractions immortalized on film.

New York for Film Fans

Courtesy of Niall Kennedy
Courtesy of Niall Kennedy

Friday Evening

You’ve arrived in New York after work. Maybe you’ve taken half a day off work to get there and it’s time to relax a little before dinner. There are so many great hotels that you could choose for your stay in NYC.

Perhaps the The Roosevelt Hotel (45 East 45th Street) where Gordon Gecko gives his ‘Greed is Good’ speech in Wall Street (1987).

Or perhaps The Carlyle (5 East 76th Street), which is popular with US Presidents and Woody Allen and has appeared in Hollywood Ending (2002) and Hannah and her Sisters (1986).

However, I’m going to choose The Plaza (768 5th Avenue). Firstly for it’s classic Hollywood movie feel, but also because it was in the 2013 film adaptation of The Great Gatsby, and F. Scott Fitzgerald used to drink there himself. 

Courtesy of Erik Jaegar
Courtesy of Erik Jaegar

Since you’re probably really hungry,  Smith & Wollensky’s is the perfect place on 767 3rd Avenue. This is where Patrick Bateman ordered a Steak with no hash browns in American Psycho (2000). If you’re so inclined, you might order the same.

Then, after you’ve had your fill, you can jump on the subway all the way down to Coyote Ugly Saloon on 153 First Avenue from the film Coyote Ugly (2000). This is the joint where the all female staff are famous for being barely clothed and dancing on the bar. So, don’t be disappointed when it’s much seedier than you imagined.

Courtesy of La chica
Courtesy of La chica

Saturday Morning Breakfast

It’s time to get some breakfast! You could head up to 5th Avenue and 57th Street which is the flagship store of Tiffany’s and therefore have Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961). But they don’t open until 10am and their range of breakfast foods is pretty sub par.

How about heading towards Empire Diner. This place recently reopened after a short closure and has appeared in several films and TV shows including Manhattan (1979) and Men in Black II (2002). It’s open from 7:30am on 210 10th Avenue.

Courtesy of Ciro Miguel
Courtesy of Ciro Miguel

Saturday morning activities

Now your day really begins! We’re going to focus on exploring downtown Manhattan. After you’ve finished at the Diner, this will sound illogical, but continue down to 401 Bleecker Street. This is the home of the original Magnolia Bakery, and the one made famous in Sex and the City. Yes, you may not be hungry yet, but it’s a good idea to grab them now to enjoy as a mid-morning snack.

We’re sticking with the Sex and the City theme, because just around the corner 66 Perry Street is the exterior of Carrie Bradshaw’s apartment. It has a rope across the front so you won’t be able to make it to the door, but it’s an excellent photo op.

And also just a few blocks away is the corner of Bedford Street and Grove Street, the exterior to Monica’s apartment on FriendsYours truly also didn’t miss an opportunity to bag this shot.

Outside Monica's Apartment on my weekend in New York for film fans | almostginger.com

Friendly neighbourhood Ghostbusters. Oh wait…

7 Carmine Street is the home to Joe’s Pizza. A chain of pizza places all around the city, but this particular one is where Peter Parker is employed in Spiderman (2002). And it’s SO close to the Friends location.

This would be an excellent opportunity to hop over to Washington Square Park to eat those sweet treats you picked up earlier at Magnolia Bakery. This park is where an absolute plethora of TV shows and films have located a scene or two. Including my personal faves, Inside Llewyn Davis (2013) and When Harry Met Sally (1989).

You might want to hop on the subway as this ones a few blocks south, but is surely not to be missed as one of the most famous movie locations in New York. 12 North Moore Street is the home of the famous fire house from Ghostbusters (1984) and another excellent photo opportunity. The great thing about movie locations is that, not only can they be an exciting thing to hunt out, it costs nothing to look!

Courtesy of Cyclonecy
Courtesy of Cyclonecy

Saturday Afternoon Lunch

After all of this walking you’re bound to be getting pretty hungry. There’s only one film-famous deli that will probably serve sandwiches big enough to suppress your appetite, and that’s Katz Deli on 205 East Houston Street. You’ve probably already heard of this place as it was made famous by one of my all time favourite movies When Harry Met Sally. It’s the place Sally proves to Harry just how easy it is to fake orgasms. Right in the middle of the Deli. The ‘I’ll have what she’s having’ quote is written on a sign which hangs glaringly obvious over their table if you want to have a go at recreating the scene.

Courtesy of Bob Jagendorf
Courtesy of Bob Jagendorf

Saturday Afternoon Activities

After lunch, now this wouldn’t be everyone’s choice, but being a huge Girls fan I’d want to head over the Williamsburg bridge and up to India Street/Green point in Brooklyn. Then sit on Hannah’s stoop and have a mini quarter life crisis in her honour. Not too far away is Cafe Grumpy, where Ray and Hannah work for a short while at 193 Meserole Avenue in Greenpoint. Apparently, this cafe is the best out of the city’s 4 locations of Cafe Grumpy’s. However, this would be a bit of a detour if you’re not particularly bothered by Girls. 

If you wanted to stay in the area and weren’t feeling quite hungry enough this morning to partake in any delicious cupcakes in Magnolia Bakery  and want something sweet after lunch, then maybe hit up BabyCakes NYC. Its a a bakery on Broome Street which has gluten free and vegan delights and not a million miles away from Katz Deli. This is another Girls addition You can spy Hannah eating one of those cupcakes in the bath. And it’s also in the background when Shoshanna runs into an old camp counsellor friend.

Courtesy of Eden, Janine and Jim
Courtesy of Eden, Janine and Jim

Not too far away in the East Village is East 6th Street. On this street, you can see a young Vito Corleone in Godfather Part II (1974) walking up and down. A large part of the neighbourhood was transformed into Little Italy for 6 months. After that, you can continue going north until you get to 226 East 13th Street. Otherwise known as the location of the final shoot out in Taxi Driver (1976)

Saturday Evening

After walking/subway-ing your little socks off all around downtown Manhattan, it’s time to relax and enjoy some very fine dining. Since it’s on the way to the final stop, I’m gonna choose The Rose Bar at Gramercy Park Hotel on 2 Lexington Avenue. It’s featured in Almost Famous (2000) and what an awesome film.

View from Rockafeller centre #15

Plus, it’s on the way to the Empire State Building on 350 5th Avenue. This building has  been in many films. But you know the one I’m going to mention is the beautiful love story of Sleepless in Seattle (1993) which ends on the observation deck. And what better way to see the city by night!

Sunday morning Breakfast

Not far away from The Plaza hotel is a really beautiful cafe called Pershing Square Cafe on 90 East 42nd Street. This is where Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake’s characters have their first official date on Friends with Benefits (2011). The cafe also has an extensive breakfast menu.

After that, what’s a trip to New York without Times Square! Only around 5am would this advertising mecca be anything like it was in Vanilla Sky (2001) which was I-kid-you-not closed to the public for 3 hours one Sunday morning. It was filmed completely empty to avoid CGI.

Courtesy of LWYang
Courtesy of LWYang

Sunday morning activities

The next stop on the agenda is, of course, 30 Rockefeller Plaza! The home of NBC, Saturday Night Live and for a few years 30 Rock and I’m sure countless other TV shows. I think you can tour the NBC Studios if you like and they had a costume exhibit recently which sounded pretty good.

A short walk away is the corner of 52nd Street and Lexington Avenue. You’ll get to the very same spot where a steam grate blew up around Marilyn’s legs on Seven Year Itch (1954). And if you’re feeling keen maybe you might give it a go yourself!

If I had to pick my most picturesque New York film location, it would have to be Sutton Square at the very end of 58th Street. There you can recreate the scene from Manhattan (1979) where Woody Allen and Diane Keaton look across the Queensboro Bridge. I imagine at sunrise or sunset this would be absolutely beautiful.

Courtesy of Steph Matthews
Courtesy of Steph Matthews

Sunday lunch

To finish off your film trip to New York and about 1/876 of its film locations, what better than a walk through Central Park just as hundreds of of film characters have done before. You might end up at the Loeb Boathouse on 72nd Street in Central Park which has featured in countless film and TV Shows. Not to mention that quintessential of New York films, When Harry Met Sally. 

I know I have touched on only a small handful of locations. When I was in the middle of piecing this together, I realised every street, every door and every insignificant patch of grass has probably been immortalised on the silver screen at one time or another. So whatever trip you may ever have to New York will no doubt be one that was captured long before you on film.

Have you ever been to New York? Did you scout out any of your favourite film locations whilst you were there?

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A Weekend in New York for Film Fans | almostginger.com


I'm the human and hair behind Almost Ginger. I'm a cinephile travel obsessive vegetarian currently residing in Manchester.

8 thoughts on “A Weekend Itinerary in New York for Film Fans

  • 28/01/2016 at 10:52 pm

    Good feature, nice comprehensive guide for us film fans. I remember when I went to New York with my Dad and brother in 2010, saw quite a few of these. The only ones I saw that you didn’t include were the Gozer building (not it’s real name) used for exterior shots for quite a lot of scenes in Ghostbusters, and Trinity Church where the ending of National Treasure took place. I have to say though, I was more conscious of filming locations when I went to Washington DC with my Dad in 2013, my map of the city was based around locations where scenes from The West Wing were filmed (mainly because I’m a die hard Aaron Sorkin fan and I’ve watched the entire run of The West Wing around 3 times, at least enough times to get a list of my top 15 episodes done on my blog)

    • 29/01/2016 at 1:24 pm

      The thing I found about New York though like I said in the blog is that there’s just SO many locations from SOOOO many films, there’s no way I could include all of them which is why I just picked what i would see (I’m sure there are many, many people who couldn’t give two hoots about visiting Carrie Bradshaw’s apartment from Sex and the City haha). Ahhh well if you had a special film locations map then you’re bound to be more conscious of them! I like Aaron Sorkin too, though never ever seen The West Wing, maybe it’s time I started watching them through.

  • 29/01/2016 at 2:02 am

    Great post! What a fun way to make your way around New York! I’m flagging this for my next trip there!:)

    • 29/01/2016 at 1:25 pm

      Thanks Jenny! 🙂 I thought I’d try planning a trip I’d like to take myself around New York… I bet there are loads more locations that you could think of too!

  • 16/02/2016 at 3:01 pm

    Thank you Rebecca for help us to find our favorites series/movies locations!
    Be there soon.

    • 16/02/2016 at 5:53 pm

      You’re very welcome! 🙂 have a great trip!

  • 09/08/2016 at 12:16 pm

    Jealous… me… Yep! This is on the bucket list and it seems like a dream that might never happen right now. Wonderful trip! It’s such a photogenic city and its life in cinema gives it that extra allure that’s indefinable. It’s the magic of New York I guess.

    • 09/08/2016 at 12:17 pm

      Well, if you write it off completely then it definitely never will, but if you keep dreaming then there’s still a chance 🙂 It is a place like no other, literally a film location on every corner.

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