Friends Filming Locations You Can Visit In Real-Life

The hustle and bustle of the Big Apple, the heart of "Friends" — except it wasn't really. The antics of our beloved six were mostly conjured up within the walls of Warner Bros. Studios in California. But there were plenty of establishing shots in New York City to set the scene, even as the actors delivered their punchlines on the opposite coast.

However, the gang did pack up and jet-set to "London, baby!" for Ross and Emily's wedding. They filmed at many of London's top attractions. These are experiences even Joey wouldn't want to trade for a meatball sub.

London wasn't the show's only trip outside the studio. When the storylines beckoned for a change of scenery, our friends didn't hesitate to step out into the real world. Like that beach trip where Monica got stung by a jellyfish (ouch). Or Joey's big break to star in a movie shooting in the desert ("Shutter Speed" coming to a theater near you?). Enjoy a trip through "Friends" filming locations that promises more fun than a ride in Phoebe's grandma's cab. Contains spoilers and fond memories.

Warner Bros. Studios in California

Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood throws open the doors to the most iconic hangouts from "Friends." Get up close and personal with the very couch that cushioned the derrieres of our beloved sixsome. Visit the fountain where they frolicked in the opening credits of every season. With daily tours that are part expertly guided adventures and part "Oh ... my ... God!" (Janice-style) free exploration, you're in for a treat that's sweeter than Monica's homemade holiday candy.

See costumes and props straight from the set and enjoy the new Friends Boutique and Café. Explore recreated sets from the show, including the cozy confines of Central Perk, Monica's apartment where cleanliness rules supreme, and Joey and Chandler's bachelor pad — complete with the infamous foosball table. After a friendly match or two, pivot over to the store for some exclusive merch. Snag some cozy "Friends"-themed socks to warm your tootsies as you binge-watch the show (for the millionth time).

London Marriott Hotel Grosvenor Square

In the whirlwind of Season 4, "Friends" takes a grand leap across the pond, with the gang descending upon the vibrant streets of London to film the unforgettable "The One With Ross's Wedding." As the storyline unfolds, Phoebe Buffay is grounded in the Big Apple, hilariously heavy with a trio of babies on the way for her brother. Mirroring this, Lisa Kudrow was also expecting — not with her brother's triplets, but she still stayed stateside. As the rest of the cast set foot on foreign turf, they were met with an overwhelming wave of international adoration.

The crew films Joey and Chandler emerging from the lavish London Marriott Hotel Grosvenor Square, a 5-star hotel in the upscale Mayfair neighborhood. The area boasts elegant architecture, historic buildings, plenty of restaurants, and intriguing art galleries. If you have Rachel's father's credit cards, you could truly relish the splendor of the surrounding high-end boutiques and array of shops boasting the crème de la crème of luxury labels. As an alternative to retail therapy, find solace in nearby Hyde Park, with hundreds of acres of lush greenery, meandering paths, and Serpentine Lake.

The hotel is conveniently located near the London Underground, but we see Joey and Chandler trying to figure out how to navigate the city on foot. Cue the classic moment right outside of the hotel: Joey, bamboozled by the complexity of London's streets, studies a three-dimensional map. The shenanigans ensue as he tries to step into his paper world to find Westminster Abbey. Could we be any more lost?

Westminster Abbey, London

Picture this: Joey Tribbiani, with that unmistakable wide-eyed wonder, standing amidst the awe-inspiring grandeur of Westminster Abbey. His verdict? "Hands down, best abbey I've ever seen." Chandler didn't share in the enthusiasm, earning him the nickname "Westminster Crabby."

It's hard to know why Chandler is so crabby standing in front of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. With its grand Gothic architecture, Westminster Abbey is one of the most significant religious structures in the United Kingdom. It has thousands of years of history, with 40 monarchs crowned on site. It has (so far) hosted 16 royal "I dos," including the global spectacle of Prince William and Catherine Middleton's nuptials in 2011. Westminster Abbey serves as the final resting place for 30 monarchs and many notable figures, such as Sir Isaac Newton and Charles Dickens.

Not just a filming site for "Friends," a visit to Westminster Abbey is a dive into the heart of the U.K.'s royal and cultural heritage. The Lady Chapel's majesty, the coronation chair's storied seat, royal tombs, and the Poets' Corner — where hundreds of literary legends rest or are commemorated— await you. But this architectural jewel isn't just for show — it's an active place of worship, with Sunday services open to all. Monday through Saturday reveals the abbey in full splendor to ticket holders. 

Wapping High Street and St. John's Church, London

A frazzled Emily — channeling peak "My sandwich?!" Ross-level stress — walks through London's East End with Ross and Monica. They're on their way to scope out the beautiful venue for Ross and Emily's wedding. The real-life setting for this walk is Wapping High Street. As they traverse this street, we learn that the morning's already been a disaster — the caterer has to serve the wrong chicken, the florist is out of tulips, and the cellist could give Ross's keyboard skills a run for their money thanks to a bout of carpal tunnel.

Despite the disasters, Emily is excited to show off the perfect "I do" spot, which is packed with family nostalgia because it's also where her parents tied the knot. She expresses disbelief that the building is scheduled for demolition. And, as they round the corner, her morning gets worse — the demolition crew's jumped the gun, and the place is already half rubble! The exterior shown is St. Johns Church, Wapping. The National Heritage List for England designates St. Johns Church as a Grade II Listed Building, meaning it's recognized as one of the country's "most significant historic buildings" and "protected by law."

Buckingham Palace, London

Joey and Chandler are bumbling their way through the streets of London. Their escapade takes a turn when Chandler — red-faced and unable to endure another minute of Joey's flamboyant tourist antics — parts ways with his buddy. As you may recall, Joey had decked himself out in an over-the-top Union Jack top hat. Undeterred by Chandler's exit and proudly donning his colorful headgear, Joey marches on solo. However, his sense of direction proves to be as outlandish as his hat, as he's having trouble finding Buckingham Palace. But with luck as good as his looks, Joey bumps into Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York herself. In true Joey style, he doesn't just get a royal anecdote to brag about. He convinces Fergie to shoot a cheeky video, where she tells Chandler that she thinks Joey's hat is "kinda dashing."

What's really dashing is Buckingham Palace. It's a working royal palace serving as the King's official London residence. Visitors enjoy watching the Changing of the Guard, a spectacle of pomp and ceremony, complete with a military band. In the summer and select dates in other seasons, the palace opens its doors, inviting visitors to tread the grand staircase and wander through 19 opulent State Rooms. While you likely won't bump into Joey, you'll still be able to gaze upon walls graced with masterpieces by Rembrandt and Canaletto. Visit the Throne Room, admire the collection of Sèvres Porcelain, and so much more.

Tower Bridge, London

Tower Bridge, which crosses the River Thames, is a suspension bridge with bascules that open up to allow ships to pass through. Join Joey and Chandler on a refreshing escapade across this iconic landmark, as seen in the closing credits of "The One With Ross's Wedding." Imagine cruising the open skies of London atop a breezy double-decker, with Joey's exuberance for the city's splendors only matched by Chandler's wry vexation. Or, to really appreciate one of the most amazing bridges in the world, it's worth visiting on foot.

Tower Bridge is open for visitors daily. Start at the North Tower, where you can watch films about the bridge's history and monumental construction. Ascend to the lofty walkways, which span the North and South Towers. Panoramic views of London open up all around you. And be sure to look down! The glass floors provide a thrill, inviting you to peer down to the bridge and water far beneath your feet.

Meander along both the East and West Walkways — they offer different views and exhibits. Once you reach the South Tower, see the original tools used to build the bridge and learn the secrets of its enduring upkeep. You can even visit the Engine Rooms to see the original Victorian steam engines used to power the lifting of the bascules. And before you depart, head to the Tower Bridge Shop — there's bound to be something there that would embarrass Chandler.

Friends apartments, New York City

The friends moved around a bit, but at one time or another, they all lived in Monica's apartment — the one with the yellow peephole frame. During college, Ross lived with his grandmother in the apartment, hoping to dance his way to stardom. And imagine the melodies that filled the apartment when Phoebe lived there before Rachel swooped in with her runaway bride drama. Joey and Chandler snagged the keys to the apartment when they won an ill-conceived bet during a game of trivia. By the end of the show, Monica and Chandler turned the place into a love nest, complete with twins. As they bid farewell to the apartment during the final episode, Chandler tells the twins the place was a "friggin' steal" because of rent control.

In the heart of Greenwich Village, the real-life building stands at 90 Bedford Street. It debuted in the pilot and continued its starring role through all 10 seasons. Just before the series draws to a close with the final scene in Monica's apartment, an intimate establishing shot lingers on street signs at the corner of Bedford St. and Grove St. The six-story, tan brick building watches over Greenwich Village with round-arched windows on the third and sixth floors. It's an old building, built in the 1800s — centuries worth of real-life laughs.

Given the location of Monica's apartment, fans hypothesize that Ugly Naked Guy, and later Ross, lived across the street at either 17 or 19 Grove Street. As for Phoebe, she reveals her address as 5 Morton Street, just a five-minute walk from Monica's apartment.

Chandler's office, New York City

A lot of mystery surrounds Chandler's job. What does he even do? During that high-stakes trivia game, the one where Monica and Rachel's apartment is on the line, Rachel throws out a guess: Chandler's a "transponster!" But as Monica points out, that's not even a word. Who knows what's in Chandler's briefcase — he claims he forgot the combination and just carries it around. And given what we've seen of his interviewing skills — "Duties? Doodies? Poo?" — it's a mystery how he ever managed to land a job in the first place!

Amidst the cloud of mystery, there's at least one detail we've pinpointed: Chandler's office building is the Solow Building in Midtown Manhattan. You can find this skyscraper at 9 West 57th Street, near Central Park. It towers above the city with its bold black and white façade that soars into the sky for 49 stories.

After slogging away in a cubicle for years, Chandler earns a promotion, landing him in an office with a window. It's a moment of celebration, which he can't wait to share with Phoebe. Instead of admiring the grandeur of Manhattan, she promptly notices a guy peeing on the street. But if you can avert your eyes from strangers taking liberties outside, in real life, the Solow Building offers spectacular views of Manhattan, Central Park, and the Plaza Hotel, which is just across the street.

Lucille Lortel Theatre, New York City

Before his success as a soap opera star, Joey endured an eclectic career. He modeled for a poster about venereal disease, played a clumsy guy who couldn't pour milk on an infomercial, and starred in the musical "Freud!" In Season 3, he lands a leading role in the play "Boxing Day," with performances at The Lucille Lortel Theatre. The theater is shown on screen numerous times and is also mentioned by name when the director reads the play's less-than-stellar reviews.

The Lucille Lortel Theatre is a real playhouse in New York City's West Village neighborhood of Manhattan and one of the best places in the country for theater lovers. Located at 121 Christopher Street, it's a cornerstone of Off-Broadway heritage. Step just outside the theater, and you'll find yourself on the Playwrights' Sidewalk, a homage to the writers who have penned Off-Broadway shows. Echoing the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the tribute etches the legacy of theatrical greats into stars along the sidewalk.

And here's a peculiar twist about the real-life Lucille Lortel Theatre: Matthew Perry, who played Chandler, performed there in 2017. He wrote and starred in "The End of Longing," a dark comedy about a self-destructive alcoholic. After a successful run in London, the play made its U.S. debut at none other than the Lucille Lortel Theatre. Unfortunately, as with Joey's "Boxing Day" performance, "The End of Longing" met the sting of critics' pens. But these creative journeys underscore the rich, unpredictable life of an actor — from the first spotlight to the final curtain call.

Washington Square Park, New York City

Washington Square Park frequently serves as a visual anchor to immerse "Friends" viewers into the heart of New York City. As the camera pans to the park's iconic marble arch, we're swept into the friends' lives in Greenwich Village. Adjacent to New York University, the park becomes a backdrop for new beginnings when Ross lands a teaching position there. In a memorable Thanksgiving episode, Chandler alerts the group that the runaway Underdog balloon from the parade is soaring over Washington Square Park. The group's comical dash to catch a glimpse ends in a locked-out fiasco, leaving their holiday turkey to its overcooked fate inside the apartment.

While the skies above Washington Square Park may not host the errant flights of cartoon balloons in everyday life, the park is a whirlwind of activity that could mirror our favorite show. It's the de facto town square for Greenwich Village, where you'll find students who could be potential Rosses, quirky performers who could give Phoebe a run for her money, and chess hustlers who might be more competitive than Monica. Dogs love it, too — just ask the pups in the dog run, no doubt descendants of the Geller family dog Chi Chi and Rachel's dog LaPooh. Children enjoy the playgrounds, and kids of all ages enjoy cooling off in the spray showers during the summer.

Vasquez Rocks Natural Area Park in California plays the Las Vegas desert

When Joey thinks he's finally landed his big break with a role in "Shutter Speed," he heads to Las Vegas, where the movie is being filmed. He pulls up to the set in the desert, only to learn that the movie is folding under financial strain. As the crew drives away, Joey's left standing alone in the desert, clutching a giant bouquet of balloons Chandler had sent him to celebrate his big break.

In real life, this scene was filmed in the Vasquez Rocks Natural Area in the Sierra Pelona Mountains of California. Less than 50 miles from Los Angeles, the unique landscape is a popular filming spot for television, movies, and commercials. It's especially well-known for its connection to "Star Trek" — the jagged terrain and extraterrestrial visage provided the perfect alien landscape for the show's voyages. Beyond its star-studded resume, the park welcomes hikers, equestrians, and rock climbers. Enjoy the park's geological wonders and views that are as dramatic as Ross and Rachel's on-again-off-again relationship.

Leo Carrillo State Park in California stands in for Montauk

The friends head off for a weekend trip to a beach house in Montauk. It's an eventful trip. Phoebe meets her birth mom. Ross and Rachel get back together for a moment as fleeting as the ocean breeze. And Chandler emerges as the knight in shining armor for Monica, albeit in a most unconventional manner involving a jellyfish sting and a heroic act that would forever redefine chivalry.

If the beach from the friends' weekend looks familiar, that might be because it's a famous movie beach in Malibu. Scenes from "Grease" and "Karate Kid" were filmed on the same coastline. Rather than traveling to a Montauk beach on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, "Friends" filmed at California's Leo Carrillo State Park.

If you want to combine Hollywood history with warm sand, Leo Carrillo State Park beckons with 1.5 miles of beach. Swim, surf, or follow Joey's lead and dig a big hole. If the timing is right, explore tide pools and coastal caves. If you need a break from the California sun, seek a breezy shade under the park's sycamore trees. When you're ready to get back in the water, take comfort from the assurances of the County of Los Angeles Fire Department: The local jellyfish tend to be small, with a sting as mild as the ocean is vast.

Central Perk, Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood

Central Perk came to life from a blend of inspirations. Production designer John Shaffner spilled the beans to HuffPost — show creators wanted "to do a little corner door" just like a restaurant they frequented called Arnold's Turtle. Sadly, Arnold's Turtle is no longer in business, but you might still be able to find its corner door at 51 Bank Street in New York City. All the way across the country, on the sun-drenched streets of Los Angeles, another source of inspiration was brewing. 

Near the Warner Bros. studio, Insomnia Café at 7286 Beverly Blvd. was the go-to spot with its eclectic mix of furniture and the all-important couch that screamed "home away from home." It was this unique blend of warmth and character that breathed life into what would become one of television's most memorable hangouts. And although "Friends" was not physically filmed at Insomnia Café, it inspired the iconic Central Perk. 

If your heart now yearns for a whiff of Central Perk's coffee-scented embrace, fear not! Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood rolls out the red carpet to the real-life Central Perk Café. It's no mere set — it's a taste bud-tantalizing reality. Munch on a New York deli-inspired menu that'll make you feel like you're right there with Phoebe belting out a tune. Sip on beverages that are nods to each of the "Friends" characters. And, for better or worse, they even have Rachel's Thanksgiving trifle on the menu — to Joey's disappointment, it doesn't include the layer of beef sautéed with peas and onions. Find your spot on the cozy orange couch and grab a spoon — no one told you life could taste this good!

The fountain

Every quirky quip, every coffee cup at Central Perk, every "How you doin'?" — they all began with that iconic twirl around the fountain in the opening credits. From "The One Where It All Began" to "The Last One," our six favorite pals splashed their way into our hearts with that legendary fountain as their backdrop.

For years, the fountain was as elusive as Chandler's job description. Trying to find the fountain, fans of the show wandered through Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village. They scoured the paths of Central Park — could it be the Cherry Hill Fountain? Or maybe Central Park's Pulitzer Fountain? The actual location deserves no fanfare — the fountain was tucked away at Warner Bros. Ranch, inaccessible to the public.

But that's all changed! Back in 2019, a big move was planned for the fountain — and unlike trying to pivot Ross's couch up the stairs, the relocation was successful. Now, the fountain is ready for its close-up as part of the Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood. Grab your besties, your oversized mugs, and maybe even your favorite Thanksgiving turkey hat because it's time to lounge on that couch, pop open an umbrella (even if it's not raining), and snap the ultimate "Friends" tribute photo.