Sex and The City features New York as a main character along with the lives and loves of Carrie Bradshaw and her 3 friends. If you love the show, this is our guide to some of the top locations used for filming both the TV series and the movies…
1. Carrie Bradshaw’s Apartment – The frontage and grand sweeping stairs outside No 1866, Perry Street, Greenwich Village were seen as Carrie’s apartment through most of the TV series and the movies. You’ll find that this street is one of the most attractive in “The Village”. This is a private house, so please respect the privacy of those who live there when visiting. You can’t stand on the steps, but if you take a photo, you’re asked to leave a charity donation in the box outside.
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2. The Wedding That Wasn’t A Wedding – In the first movie, Carrie and Big decide to tie the knot at New York Public Library at the junction of 42nd Street and 5th Avenue. It’s free to enter and once inside you’ll see the stairs Carrie runs down to leave and the area at the top where she’s told Big isn’t there. W 40th Street, at the side of the library, is also featured in the film as Big gets out of his car and tries to explain his absence to Carrie. The library has featured in the TV series too. In one episode, Miranda is lunching on the steps and tells two strangers “he’s just not that into you”.
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3. Saying Goodbye – It’s at New York’s picturesque Columbus Circle water fountains that Carrie and Aidan decide for a second time to go their separate ways. Carrie admits that she doesn’t really want to marry him and it’s a real tear-jerker. In the TV series, they were the only people there, but in real life the circle is busy day and night with tourists and New Yorkers just passing the time. You can get to the circle from 3 pedestrian crossings, but don’t attempt to cross the busy road without them or you probably won’t get to number 4 on our list! Columbus Circle is on W 59th Street at the junction with 8th Avenue and Broadway.
4. Re-united Half Way – In the first Sex and the City movie, Steve and Miranda agree to meet in the middle of the Brooklyn Bridge walkway if they decide to give their relationship another go. There are emotional scenes when they see each other too! On a nice day, the walkway is a great way to see the skyline of Manhattan, but bear in mind it’s quite a walk from one side to the other – especially if you’ve got to come back again afterwards. Access to the bridge is at City Hall on Centre Street.
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5. Anyone for Cupcakes? – Magnolia Bakery in Greenwich Village specialises in huge but delicious cupcakes and the bakery featured in a TV episode of Sex and The City. Carrie and Miranda are seen eating the cakes while discussing Carrie’s crush on Aidan. The bakery is often busy but we only had to wait around 5 minutes and at least there’s a small park across the street where you can sit and eat your cupcake. The bakery is on Bleecker Street at the junction with W 11th Street.
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6. Eating or Swimming? – The Boathouse is one of New York’s best known restaurants and it sits on the edge of Central Park Lake with a view of the beautiful Bow Bridge. It’s here that Carrie and Big meet for lunch one day and end up in the water! You can call in for food too with the fancy restaurant on one side of the building (booking advised) and the cheaper fast food department on the other (swimming is optional). The restaurant is on Park Drive North near E 72nd Street.
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7. Sex and The Park - Although the actual New York Fashion Week has now moved to Lincoln Center, the producers of the first Sex and The City movie recreated the event in Bryant Park by erecting a huge tent. Also in the park, look out for the Carousel which Charlotte and Harry take Lily on. W 40th Street, which runs along the side of the park was used in the movie too when Big gets out of his car to explain to Carrie why he wasn’t at the wedding. The park is also the location for the New York Public Library – see above. The park has featured in a number of TV episodes too, most notably when Carrie and Big meet at 3 in the morning to “stand still” with each other.
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8. A Wedding in the Garden - On Greenwich Avenue, between 6th Avenue and W 10th Street in Greenwich Village, you’ll find Jefferson Market Garden. It’s a little community garden looked after by volunteers, but it featured in Sex and the City as the location for Miranda and Steve’s wedding. In the TV series, the couple stumbled upon the garden and Miranda decided it was the perfect place to tie the knot. In reality, many couples have now followed in Miranda and Steve’s footsteps and there’s a thriving business in weddings there. We thought the garden was lovely – really peaceful. We spent quite some time sitting on the bench near the water feature!
9. Lunch with a View – In the first Sex and the City movie, Carrie and Miranda have lunch in this lovely Victorian pavillion in Central Park. It’s made from cast iron and dates back to 1871 when it was used as a shelter for people waiting for the trolley at 8th Ave and 59th Street. The view from the pavillion over Central Park Lake is fantastic but if you can’t get in to have your lunch, try sitting on the nearby rocks instead. The Ladies Pavillion is near W 75th Street.
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10. Fabulous Ferry – In the TV series at the beginning of Season 3, Charlotte yells from the back of the Staten Island Ferry that she’s getting married this year. The four girls are on the way back from a Firefighter’s Calander contest on Staten Island. The ferry is a great way to see the lower Manhattan skyline and takes you fairly close the the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island too. Best of all it’s free! The entrance to the ferry is next to Battery Park on the southern tip of Manhattan.
See many of these locations on the Sex And The City Hotspots coach tour which consistently gets great reviews from travellers. Alternatively, try the New York TV and Movie Sites Tour which includes locations used in Ugly Betty, Gossip Girl, Friends, Will and Grace, I Am Legend and Spiderman amongst others.
SEX AND THE CITY EATERIES
Pete’s Tavern where Miranda asks Steve to marry her (129 E 18th Street).
The Modern Restaurant at the Museum of Modern Art where Carrie announces she’s getting married to Big.
Eleven Madison Park where Big tells Carrie that he’s engaged (11 Madison Ave)
City Bakery where Carrie and Samantha have lunch and discuss “the face girl” (3 W 18th Street)
Lumi Italian Restaurant where Charlotte bumps into Big after he fails to show up at the wedding (Lexington Ave at E 70th Street)