Our Bucket Lists

25 Most Iconic and Instagrammable Movie Locations in NYC

August 19, 2019 | BTSNYC
Our Bucket Lists showing the 25 Most Iconic and Instagrammable Movie Locations in NYC

Can you name right away 3 movies that were filmed in New York City? I’m positive you can, since there is an infinite list for you to remember from. So, take a look at the 25 most iconic and Instagrammable movie locations in NYC for you to visit!

Myself and so many other people call New York “one of the best cities in the world”, and I think Hollywood thinks the same! Hahaha!

Besides, countless people come to NY in search of these places to take pictures at and share on their Instagram, right? At least, I get many messages of people asking for them!

So, with that in mind, I decided to start with a small list of the 25 most iconic and Instagrammable movie locations in NYC.

Take a look at video above to check some out. As well as the description of each below!


#1 Coyote Ugly – Coyote Ugly (2000)

Our Bucket Lists showing the 25 Most Iconic and Instagrammable Movie Locations in NYC Coyote Ugly
Piper Perabo (right), as Violet sings on the bar with Maria Bell, as Lil. Photo Credit: Coyote Ugly (2000)

Inspired by a famous Lower East Side bar, Coyote Ugly Saloon that opened it’s doors in January of 1993, the bar is where Violet Sanford (played by Piper Perabo) starts working when moving to NYC.

Closer to the end of the movie, Piper stand on top of the bar and starts singing to stop a massive fight that took over the entire place, because of her jealous boyfriend. What a mess!

The music she sings is “One Way or Another” by Blondie.

A bit more about its story:

On January 27th, 1993, the Coyote Ugly Saloon first opened its doors to the public.

A few years later, I had perfected my bar and Coyote Ugly Saloon quickly established itself in the hearts of New Yorkers as their preeminent drinking establishment. It gained national attention in early 1997 when a story called “The Muse of the Coyote Ugly Saloon” written by former Coyote bartender Elizabeth Gilbert for GQ magazine: shined a spotlight on the little bar in the East Village.

Shortly after that, Hollywood came knocking and the movie rights to Lil’s story were sold. “Coyote Ugly” opened in August 2000, starring Piper Perabo and Maria Bello. It has grossed over $100 million and a worldwide audience quickly learned what the phrase “We don’t serve water here!” meant.

Location: 153 1st Avenue


#2 Grand Central Terminal – Friends with Benefits (2011)

Our-Bucket-Lists-25-Most-Iconic-and-Instagrammable-Movie-Locations-in-NYC-Grand-Central-Terminal
Grand Central Terminal ©Behind the Scenes NYC

There are countless films featuring Grand Central Terminal. Popular films like Men in Black are well known.

As well as the romantic comedy, Friends with Benefits (2011), where Justin Timberlake sings, as an apology, for Mila Kunis with a huge flash mob. They also shoot at a window table at Pershing Square, just across the street, underneath the Pershing Bridge | Park Avenue Viaduct, on East 42nd Street.

Other movies date back to the 1940’s like the Alfred Hitchcock’s psychological thriller, Spellbound (1945).

Location: 89 East 42nd Street


#3 New York Public Library – Sex & The City (2008)

Our Bucket Lists showing the 25 Most Iconic and Instagrammable Movie Locations in NYC New York Public Library
New York Public Library ©Behind the Scenes NYC

Probably one of my favorite spots in the city!

The New York Public Library was the background of epic movies like Ghostbusters (1984) and even the Sex and the City (2008) scene, where Carrie Bradshaw (a.k.a. Sarah Jessica Parker) is left practically at the altar by Big. What a *beep*!

Location: 476 5th Avenue


#4 The Plaza Hotel – Home Alone 2 (1992)

Our Bucket Lists showing the 25 Most Iconic and Instagrammable Movie Locations in NYC The Plaza Hotel
The Plaza Hotel ©Behind the Scenes NYC

The Plaza Hotel is one of the most gorgeous and traditional hotels in New York City. It’s been featured in, for example, the 2nd Season of Sex and the City.

But, was surely highlighted on the 1992 film, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York.

Who doesn’t remember of Macaulay Culkin walking into the hotel…and bumping to Donald Trump. Yikes!

A bit of history now:

Did you know that the hotel has a “first version” that started construction in 1883, the owners ran out of money, new ones took over the hotel opened in 1890.

BUT, the curious thing is: in 1905 other owners demolished the entire building to start a bigger project costing back then $12.5 million dollars.

In less that 2 years, The Plaza, as we know today, was ready! The hotel formally opened to guests in 1907 and boasted with almost 20 super luxurious floors with 282 breathtaking rooms.

Location: 768 5th Avenue


#5 Queensboro Bridge – Manhattan (1979)

Our Bucket Lists showing the 25 Most Iconic and Instagrammable Movie Locations in NYC Manhattan Woody Allen Queensboro Bridge
Mary, played by Diane Keaton, and Woody Allen, as Isaac. ©Manhattan (1979)

This is surely a classic!

Woody Allen made this secluded spot almost under the Queensboro Bridge, called Sutton Place Park North, one of the most romantic spots in town.

This memorable scene was shot with Mary (played by the talented Diane Keaton) and Woody Allen himself, as Isaac – on the waterfront of the East River, at a very late hour.

As Woody said: “Boy, this is really a great city. I don’t care what anyone says. It’s really a knockout, you know?”

And, don’t you agree!? We do!

Location: 12 Sutton Square


#6 Lexington Avenue – The Seven Year Itch (1955)

Our Bucket Lists showing the 25 Most Iconic and Instagrammable Movie Locations in NYC Seven Year Itch

One of the most photographed corners in Manhattan, is located on Lexington Avenue with 52nd Street. Why?

Well, here the beautiful Marilyn Monroe wow’ed the world, with that famous skirt-blowing scene! Remember? She’s walking on the subway grates, when….tchan tchan tchan, the air blew it up for the delight of every men around.

This memorable scene was shot in front of a current restaurant called Le Relais de Venise l’Entrecote.

Location: Lexington Avenue with 52nd Street


And still, SO many other famous, blockbuster movies and series have been filmed in our beautiful New York City!

  • Feast of San Genaro – The Godfather Part II (1974)
  • Grand Central Terminal | Chrysler Building | Midtown – The Avengers (2012)
  • Café Lalo | Zabar’s | Riverside Park – You’ve got Mail (1998)
  • Verrazano Narrows Bridge | Bay Ridge, BK – Saturday Night Fever (1977)
  • Central Park | Tavern on the Green | The Dakota – New York, I Love You (2008)
  • Times Square – Birdman (2014)
  • Katz’s Delicatessen – When Harry met Sally (1989)
  • American Museum of Natural History | Central Park – Night at the Museum (2006)
  • The walking piano at FAO Schwarz (now with a new location) – Big (1988)
  • Tiffany 5th Avenue – Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)
  • Park Slope, BK | Boathouse at Prospect Park – The Age of Innocence (1993)
  • Current Lincoln Center on Upper West Side – West Side Story (1961)

Phiuf! And the list goes on, and on!

If you know more movies, share with us on the comments below! We’d love to know!

Lastly, if you enjoyed this post about the 25 most iconic and Instagrammable movie locations in NYC, you might also want to take a look at “10 Top Secrets Of New York City That You Probably Don’t Know“.


Photo Credits: ©Behind the Scenes NYC
VideographyRenata Meirelles
BeautyLeila Soldeira
StylingCamilla Adão

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