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Review: On Location Tours in New York City


January 30, 2013 by Amanda

I don’t know if I can think of any city in the world that has starred in more films than New York.

Go ahead and think about it, too. Can you think of a city more iconic than NYC?

I’ll bet you can’t.


It’s because of this fact that I was especially eager to join On Location Tours for a New York TV & Movie Sites tour the last time I found myself in the Big Apple. I’ve seen this city in so many films and television shows that I knew it would be fun to explore it from that perspective.


Our tour began at the corner of Broadway and 51st, where we were picked up by our tour bus and an enthusiastic guide. We spent the next 3.5 hours traversing the streets of New York City, watching clips on the bus, and stopping at some especially recognizable spots.

Stops on the tour included:

Washington Square Park

We hopped off the bus in Greenwich Village to take a quick stroll through Washington Square Park. The large arch here is instantly recognizable, and just across the street is the apartment building where Will Smith’s character lived in “I Am Legend.”

NY TV and Movie Tour

NY TV and Movie Tour


We had a short shopping/lunch break in SoHo (the neighborhood “South of Houston Street), and were given a little map with a variety of locations marked on it that could be interesting for film/TV fans. Locations like the building that Heath Ledger lived in, the tattoo shop featured on “New York Ink,” and even the Kardashians’ store Dash.


This NYC neighborhood was actually made famous by an actor (Robert DiNiro) and an annual film festival that he founded. Our tour stopped here for us to visit Hook and Ladder 8 — the firehouse made famous in the “Ghostbuster” films. There was even a family in full costume posing outside when we walked up!

NY TV and Movie Tour

Greenwich Village (again)

We made a second stop in Greenwich to walk down some pretty residential blocks and see the apartment building that was used in establishing shots in “Friends.” Even though the sitcom was filmed in LA, it was supposedly in this building that Monica, Chandler, Joey, and Rachel lived in the show.

NY TV and Movie Tour

McGee’s Pub

The tour came to an end at McGee’s Pub on W. 55th St. Why this pub, you ask? Well it just so happens to be the pub that inspired MacLaren’s Pub in “How I Met Your Mother.” The pub serves decent food, and there are posters and photos of Barney and the rest of the HIMYM all over the walls.


All in all, we saw over 40 filming locations all around the city on this tour, along with most of the city’s iconic places and spaces (like Times Square, the Empire State Building, the New York Public Library, the Flatiron Building, Wall Street, Macy’s, the Plaza Hotel, Radio City Music Hall, and more).

Flatiron building


So would I recommend this tour?

Essentially, yes. I liked this tour because, even though we drove past all the “major” sites in New York City, our time off the bus was spent in neighborhoods that I may not have explored very much on my own. In fact, while walking through the leafy streets of Greenwich Village, I for the first time felt like New York was a place I could maybe live for a while someday.


If you’re looking for a basic sightseeing tour of the city, this might not be it. But if you love movies and TV and want a different glimpse into the Big Apple, then this tour is for you.

If You Go:

Tour: New York TV & Movie Sites

Price: $40 per adult

Time: Most tours begin at 11 a.m.

Length: 3.5 hours

Pick-up: The tour does not do hotel pick-ups, but rather sets a meeting spot that is easy to find. This specific tour meets outside the Stardust Diner at the corner of Broadway and 51st in Midtown Manhattan.

NY TV and Movie Tour



*Note: I received a complimentary tour from On Location Tours. But, as always, all opinions are my own.


  1. I find It’s sometimes fun to ‘be a tourist’ and of all the tours I’ve been on this one sounds like pretty good value for money. When we finally get to NYC I think we’ll investigate a tour such as this. Being a movie buff myself I’d love to see some real life set locations, and of course have my picture taken in front of them!! Great review!

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    • Amanda says:

      I agree – sometimes I really LIKE going to all the touristy spots. And this tour definitely is good value for money if you’re a movie fan! Be sure to look into it when you’re in NYC.

  2. Janet says:

    New York City is truly iconic. You never really think about how often the beautiful city appears in the movies we watch. Thanks for sharing! This list is definitely helpful to movie buffs who are visiting NYC.

    • Amanda says:

      Yes, New York shows up in SO many films and TV shows. And this tour gives you a nice taste of some popular locations.

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