Could you be anymore excited for the Friends: The Reunion special on HBO Max? As a Friends fan, you’ve watched the entire series from start to finish too many times to count, and constantly quote your favorite characters. It almost feels like you’re actually friends with Monica, Phoebe, Rachel, Chandler, Joey, and Ross in real life. So it’s about time to live out your very own episode by visiting some of Friends’ New York City filming locations, along with some of the places that inspired the sitcom.
While most of the series was filmed at the Warner Bros. Studio in Burbank, California, there are some iconic NYC landmarks used as establishing shots, or as references for the group’s places of work. Ross’ job at the Museum of Prehistoric History? Not a real place. The opening credits fountain? That was in California — but there are a couple of NYC fountains that will totally remind you of it, so you can still make it look like you’re living in the beloved world of Friends on your next trip to the Big Apple. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it’s safe for anyone who is fully vaccinated to travel domestically, so you can start planning your Friends-inspired adventure ASAP. Keep in mind you’ll need to wear a mask on all forms of public transportation on your journey through Manhattan, but you’ll barely notice it as you take in the sights from the Upper West Side down to Greenwich Village.
Since the OG cast of Friends reunited for their HBO Max special, it only makes sense you and your besties also get together in an epic way soon. So, pivot any potential plans you and your crew, or maybe your lobster, made for the summer if they didn’t involve a Friends-themed vacation, and be sure to stop at these 11 NYC locations.
Your first stop on a Friends NYC tour should be this apartment building in Greenwich Village. While the interior shots of Monica and Rachel’s apartment (as well as Joey and Chandler’s apartment) were filmed on a soundstage in California, this building was used for all the exterior shots.
As you walk through Greenwich Village, stop by Magnolia Bakery on Bleecker Street for a cupcake Monica would approve of, or grab a bite to eat at the Little Owl restaurant below the apartment. It may not be Central Perk, but the eatery offers plenty of options for food, cocktails, and — of course — coffee.
The CDC recommends traveling only after you’re fully vaccinated and your vaccine has become fully effective. If you’re not fully vaccinated and must travel, check the CDC guidelines before you book. Check your destination’s vaccination and testing requirements before you depart.