Friends is an American TV series shot in New York City between 1994 and 2004. Even today the story about the six friends – Rachel, Monica, Phoebe, Joey, Chandler, and Ross, excites the audience. The series has a huge number of fans. In the past few years, the interest in the show raised again. Many brands released commercial products with quotes from the show or just with its title.
The show’s scenario takes place in New York, more specifically in the cozy cafe named Central Perk and in Monica’s apartment. But do these locations really exist in New York and is it possible to visit them? Let’s find out:
Friends is a sitcom entirely shot at the Warner Brothers Ranch in Los Angeles. So, unfortunately, Central Perk is not a real cafe. Even the fountain from the opening credits is situated in the studio.
Although Central Perk exists only in the studio in LA, you can visit its real-life version at 199 Lafayette Street, NYC. The coffee shop opened to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the sitcom. All fans can visit it and have a cup of coffee sitting on the emblematic orange couch. They can also enjoy a live performance of Phoebe’s song “Smelly Cat”.
The block where Rachel, Monica, Chandler, and Joey live exists in New York. Its address is 90 Bedford Street, at the corner of Grove Street in Greenwich Village. But you can only see the exterior because the apartment is not in the building – it is in the LA studio.
What does Chandler works continue to be an enigma, but the building where his office is is an actual location in NYC. The Solow Building is a 50-story skyscraper located on 9 West 57th Street. Other famous productions shot in the building are Sex and the City and Superman.
Bloomingdale’s is the store where Rachel starts to work as a personal shopper in season 3. The store exists on Third Avenue in Manhattan. The most important scene shot there is the one when Rachel meets Joshua. If you want to visit one of the real “Friends” locations, you should go shopping at Bloomingdale’s.
Natural History Museum
One of the main characters in the sitcom – Ross Geller, is a paleontologist and works in the Natural History Museum in New York. Ross also works as a professor at New York University.
The Natural History Museum was never used as a filming location for the series. Ross just mentions several times that this is his workplace. Although it is only a fictional place in “Friends”, the museum is very impressive and it worths visiting it.
The Plaza Hotel
Plaza becomes a “Friends” filming location in season 7. In the first episode, the six friends gather together to celebrate the engagement of Monica and Chandler there. Plaza is not only an emblematic filming location, it is a symbol of New York. The hotel became renowned mostly after the “Home Alone 2” movie was released in 1992.
Washington Square Park
Washington Square Park is located in the Greenwich Village neighborhood, NYC. It is a must-visit place for all fans of “Friends”. The park appears several times in the series. All of the friends live in Greenwich Village so you can go see Monica’s block at 90 Bedford Street and then go for a walk in the park.
Do remember that “Friends” is just one of the shows just set in New York. There are many, many more! And here’s where the actors go to school!
“Friends” is just one of the reasons to visit New York City. Others can be (but are not limited to) the global capital of musical theater – Broadway, and the most popular park in the world – Central Park.