Was ‘Sex and the City’ Actually Filmed in NYC?

Sex and the City was an iconic contribution to television history. The racy series, which ran on HBO from 1988 to 2004 and spawned two theatrical movies and a spinoff, featured the lives of four single women in New York City. The friends lived their lives in Manhattan: both professional lives and personal dating lives.

But did the show actually film in New York City? Not only did Sex and the City actually shoot in New York City, but it also shot its interiors there. That’s rare because shooting in New York is very expensive, so the city usually features in location shots while other shows confine the interiors to a studio in Hollywood.

Sometimes Canadian cities even substitute for the Big Apple because it’s cheaper to shoot there than in New York. Not Sex and the City

Where did ‘Sex and the City’ film?

Sex and the City
Cynthia Nixon, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kristin Davis and Kim Cattrall (l. to r.) | Richard Corkery/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images

IMDB and Newsweek list several filming locations. For instance, Carrie’s apartment was at 66 Perry Street in Greenwich Village. That’s where the exteriors of Carrie’s stoop were shot. 

Samantha’s apartment was at Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking district. Located on the far west side of Manhattan, that district is home to part of  The High Line, an elevated, public park. The series also shot in Bryant Park in midtown Manhattan, not far from the Empire State building. 

It’s practically a requirement for a New York-set show to shoot in Central Park. Sex and the City’s particular location is the Loeb Central Park boathouse where Carrie and Mr. Big meet for lunch. Another Sex and the City shooting staple is in the historic Plaza Hotel off of Central Park, where Carrie ran into Big after celebrating his engagement to Natasha.

The Sex and the City interiors were not in Manhattan but in Silvercup Studios East in Queens. Other movies and shows that shot there include Gossip Girl, You and When Harry Met Sally.

Fans can take the ‘Sex and the City’ tour

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New York City boasts so many tours, it can be difficult to pick just one, unless you’re a Sex and the City fan. 

The city offers many tours devoted to movies and TV shows, and On Location Tours offers a trip devoted specifically to Sex and the City locations starting at $56. If you prefer, you can also create your own itinerary by taking one of the many hop-on, hop-off tours around the city, stopping at the above-mentioned locations or at landmarks like the Chrysler Building or Columbus Circle, where the show filmed by the fountains. 

If you need help finding the locations, you can also check out this map by Curbed that lists 20 locations, mostly in Manhattan, though it also takes a detour to Yankee Stadium in the Bronx. And, if you’re really dedicated, you can also take tours of the locations in the two movies released in 2008 and 2010, or the prequel series The Carrie Diaries, which ran from 2013 to 2014 and starred AnnaSophia Robb in the title role. 

Don’t count on another ‘Sex and the City’

The Sex and the City movies made enough money that there were plans for a trilogy, but that fell through after a bitter falling out between Sarah Jessica Parker and Kim Cattrall. The stars denied there was any beef in 2010 during the promotion of the second movie, but it got ugly after plans to make a third movie fell through.

Cattrall was emphatic about refusing to make the third. It came to a head last year when Cattrall’s brother died unexpectedly. Parker offered condolences on social media, but Cattrall bitterly responded on Instagram: 

“Let me make this VERY clear. (If I haven’t already) You are not my family. You are not my friend. So I’m writing to tell you one last time to stop exploiting our tragedy in order to restore your ‘nice girl’ persona.”

Nevertheless, Parker downplayed the feud in an interview with Vulture saying: “We are enormously proud of what we got to do and I don’t want someone sharing thoughts publicly, which is Kim’s right to do and that is what it is, but we spent 10, 12 years of our life doing something that I really loved and I feel privileged to be part of and I don’t want this to eclipse it or change its experience for that audience that was so good to us for so long.”