Thirteen years have gone (yes, it’s been that long!) and we’re still not quite over the loss of our favorite TV show, Friends. But there’s one way to fill that gigantic Joey-Rach-Phoebs-Monica-Ross-and-Chandler-sized hole: head over to NYC and relive the good ol’ days with a tour of the gang’s favorite hangouts. Although the show wasn’t actually filmed in the city (say whaaa?!), there are still plenty of the gang’s alleged hangouts that are real-life places in New York. Go visit them and pretend the dream is still real! Here’s BUCKiTDREAM’s ultimate Friends guide to NYC.
- Prance Around Pulitzer FountainLike You’re in the Opening CreditsLots of people have taken selfies outside various NYC fountains thinking they’re the real thing, but little do they know that the ACTUAL Friends fountain is located on the Warner Bros. ranch in California – boo! However, Grand Army Plaza at 59th Street and Fifth Avenue is a great little replica and is said to be what inspired the famous Friends fountain – so head here and take some snaps. The guys at home will never know!
- Have a Peek at Monica’s Pricey Manhattan ApartmentThere was always great speculation about how on earth the gang could afford their huge apartments in such an astronomically expensive city. (Monica’s two-bedroom place with sparkling city skyline view has today been valued at an eye-watering $4 million.) Go and ponder this while having an ogle at the buildings in Greenwich Village. Monica’s pad was on the fifth floor of 90 Bedford Street, and Ross’s place was on 19-21 Grove Street (Ugly Naked Guy’s old apartment). You’ll find Phoebe’s digs just up the road at 5 Morton Street.
- Grab a Coffee in the Nearest Replica to Central PerkDownstairs at 90 Bedford Street you won’t find Central Perk (sadly, the place was entirely fictional), but instead, there’s a restaurant called Little Owl, which actually is NOTHING like the gang’s favorite hangout. There are colorful Mediterranean plates in place of cappuccinos, and smart tables and chairs instead of huge comfy sofas. You can either head over to Warner Bros. Studio in California to grab a selfie outside a replica Central Perk, or you can make do with Sir D’s Lounge in New York City – it’s fairly spacious with Central Perk-style comfy furniture, plus they hold open-mic nights, so you can kick back and pretend Phoebe’s up next.
- Check out Ross’s Second Home at the American Museum of Natural HistoryRoss worked at the fictional ‘Museum of Prehistoric History’, but it was without a doubt alluding to this place: the legendary American Museum of Natural History. Relive that oh-so-romantic date Ross and Rachel had at the planetarium (in real life it’s the Hayden Planetarium). Then wander around and check out the cavemen while reminiscing about that cringey scene when a very naked Ross and Rachel wake up covered in animal skin and discover a shocked group of school children staring at them through the glass.
- Go and Check out Rachel’s Old Work Haunt at Bloomingdale’sRach used to work at the Third Avenue ‘Bloomies’ branch as a glamorous assistant buyer. Wander around and stare longingly at Louis Vuitton bags and Jimmy Choo shoes you can in no way afford, and be jealous at how Rachel got to buy this stuff for a living.
- Pretend You’ve Got a Meeting with Chandler at West 57th StreetWhat did Chandler do again?! Whatever it was, you can check out his workplace – well, the building filmed in the exterior scenes, anyway. It’s at the Solow Building in Manhattan, which also featured in Sex And The City and Zoolander. Triple whammy!
- Go Cheer on the Knicks at Madison Square GardenThe gang came here on various jaunts to cheer on New York team the Knicks. In the fourth season, Rachel and Monica famously try to win back their lost apartment from Joey and Chandler by trying to buy them over with a pair of season tickets. Then there’s the one where Rachel tries to woo hunky customer Joshua with a pair of tickets to the Knicks game, but he gets the wrong idea and takes both tickets, thinking she’d offered them both up.
- Catch a Play Where Joey Used to Perform at the Lucille Lortel Theatre This is where Joey falls for his co-star in Season Three, after finding out she’s dating the director. Then in the following episode, the gang go to see Joey in the premiere, where Rachel’s seemingly normal date (Ben Stiller) turns out to be an angry, aggressive guy who can’t help but spend the night screaming at people. You can relive these memorable times in the actual theatre itself, hopefully minus the stressy date!
- Raise a Toast to Chandler and Monica at The Plaza Hotel Head to this opulent chateau-style building, decked with gold, marble, and crystal. It’s where the guys celebrated Chandler and Monica’s engagement in the beginning of Season Seven. Popular with the rich and famous, the place has also featured in The Great Gatsby, Sleepless in Seattle and Home Alone 2.