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  • Friends Locations: Central Perk and Beyond

    If you’re a fan of Friends, you’ll be familiar with some of the iconic New York locations.

    Everyone wishes they could chill out and have a coffee in Central Perk, or lounge on the sofa in Monica’s apartment. Well you can, kind of.

    Some of these spots are real places that you can visit, others are artificial sets, built specially for filming. 

    1. The apartment building 

    The exterior shots of the apartment show a real building.

    It’s located on the Corner of Grove St and Bedford St, in New York’s West Village, and people actually live there! 

    The interior rooms that we know and love however, were built in a studio in LA. 

    2. Central Perk 

    The iconic coffee shop. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not actually a real café. 

    There was a pop-up replica built in 2014, to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Friends. It was located on Lafayette St in Soho, and fitted out to look exactly the same.

    Fans could go there and sit on the big orange couch, sip cappuccinos and meet Gunther.

    It also showcased costumes, scripts and memorabilia from the show. Sadly, however, the attraction was only open for a month. 

    3. The New York Museum of Prehistoric History

    Also known as Ross’s workplace, where he had a nervous breakdown and slept with Rachel for the first time (on separate occasions). 

    It’s a fictional institution.

    However, it’s modelled off New York's American Museum of Natural History, which is in fact real, located near Central Park West.

    4. The fountain 

    This is where we met our Friends for the first time. The opening credits of the show see the six of them frolicking around in the fountain, a scene that we're very familiar with now. 

    Unfortunately, this too was shot in a studio. However, there are several other fountains in the area that are remarkably similar. 

    The Pulizter Fountain and the Cherry Hill Fountain in Central Park are very popular spots for fans to replicate the scene. Some tour guides even trick tourists into believing it’s the real deal! 

    5. Chandler’s office

    Nobody really knows what Chandler does for a job, but he works at a big office on 57th Street.

    The façade of the building is quite popular. It appears in establishing shots for fellow New York sitcom Sex and the City, as well as blockbuster films Zoolander and Superman.

    6. Bloomingdale’s 

    Rachel snagged herself a job here, for a short time in Season 3. 

    The prestigious department store has branches all over the States, but the original still stands on Manhattan's Third Avenue. 

    It’s a massive Art Deco style building, selling mostly designer clothing and accessories. 

    7. Moondance Diner 

    You may remember this as the diner where Monica worked as a waitress. She had to wear a full 1950s getup, including roller skates, to fit with the diner’s theme.  

    This was a real diner, located in Soho. However, in 2012 it was demolished to make room for a new hotel. RIP.

    8. The Plaza Hotel

    The Plaza set the scene for Season 7, where the gang were celebrating Monica and Chandler’s engagement. 

    Built in 1907, the glorious building was originally constructed to house New York’s wealthiest.

    Soon after, it transitioned into a premiere hotel. You can book a room there for around $800 a night.

    The hotel was also part of the set for the original Great Gatsby movie, Home Alone 2 and Sleepless in Seattle.  

    9. Leo Carillo State Park 

    This beachside park in Malibu is where “The One With the Jellyfish” was filmed. 

    You can go there for a day of sun, sea and sand… just make sure you don’t get stung like Monica.

    10. London! 

    The Friends trip to London actually happened, and all the landmarks you see are real. 

    Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, the Thames and Trinity Square all appear in the background.

    Joey and Chandler also have an argument outside the gates of Westminster Abbey. 

     

    If you’re looking for a fully-immersive fan experience, you can book a guided studio tour, on the Warner Brothers lot in California.

    You’ll get up close to all of the sets including Central Perk, plus the soundstage, the props department and the official store. 

    Or you can just stream every episode of Friends right here from Friday 1 December.

     

    The Friends apartment building.
    The iconic Friends meeting spot.
    The Cherry Hill Fountain, in Central Park.
    Street view of New York's Bloomingdale's store.
    The original Plaza Hotel.
    London's Tower Bridge.
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