Sex and the City Tour Sights (Free, Self-guided)
This post is a tour of Sex and the City locations around NYC with video clips. We offer a free, self-guided tour as well as tips on fining Carrie’s Apartment and Magnolia Bakery. TIP: If taking on our self-guided tour sounds too daunting, you may consider taking the official guided Sex and the City Bus Tour.
Sex and the City was centered around Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte, and Samantha, but it could be argued that New York City itself was the fifth major character in the well-loved television series and subsequent movies. Dozens of shows have been set in NYC, but Sex in the City is a show that could ONLY be set in NYC, which cannot be said for many. If you (like many) are a fan of SATC, then you should check out some of its iconic locations during your trip to the city and just do self-guided sights of Sex and the City tour!
Many of these spots can be pointed out on our guided walking tours. We list the tours that cover these tours below. Vie our full tour calendar for tour times and availability. Click here for our full list of free, self-guided New York tours as well as our post on finding the Friends Apartment. TIP: If taking on our self-guided tour sounds too daunting, you may consider taking a guided Sex and the City Bus Tour.
WEST SIDE/ UPTOWN/ MIDTOWN – 1010 Fifth Avenue (1) (map)
aka “Real Estate Heaven.” In the Sex and the City film, this is the building where Carrie and Big find the penthouse of their dreams. After seeing a truly grim apartment elsewhere in the building, they are shown an amazing, airy apartment up on the top floor of 1010 Fifth Ave. Just when Carrie starts to think that it is perfect, she realizes that the master bedroom closet does not match the rest of the apartment for spaciousness. Big promises to build her a better closet, but doesn’t get a chance to do so before their wedding is called off. He goes ahead with the new closet, and this is where Carrie and Big reunite at the end of the film (over a pair of Manolo Blahniks, of course!
The Plaza Hotel (2) – Fifth Avenue and 59th St (map)
At the end of Season 2, Carrie runs into Mr. Big in front of this iconic NYC hotel after his engagement party has been held there. (He is engaged to Natasha, whom Carrie refers to as “the stick figure with no soul.”) She asks him why he didn’t want to marry her when they were dating. While he struggles for an answer, she leaves him with a line from “The Way We Were”- “Your girl is lovely Hubble,” and then walks away. We cover the Plaza Hotel on our Central Park Walking Tour.
Tiffany and Co. (3) – 727 Fifth Avenue, between 56th and 57th St. (map)
Charlotte gets a re-do of her engagement to Trey MacDougal in front of this famous jeweler. Their previous engagement consists of her suggesting casually that they get married and him responding “allrighty.” She frets about this terrible engagement story until he walks her to Tiffany one day and suggests that they go in and pick out “the most beautiful ring that they have.” She responds “Allrighty.” From then on she tells people that Trey proposed to her in front of Tiffany & Co.
New York City Public Library Main Branch (4) Fifth Avenue and 42nd St. (map)
This beautiful library is the place that Carrie chooses for her long-awaited wedding to Mr. Big (aka Jonathan James Preston). She thinks that it is fitting that they get married in the place “that houses all the world’s great love stories.” She and Anthony Marentino commence planning a spectacular New York wedding. The scene in the film when she gets the idea shows her going to the library to return a book. In reality, this would never happen, as NYPL Main Branch does not actually have a circulating collection. Read our blog post if you are planning a visit to the library. We stop at the library on our Midtown Manhattan Tour.
EAST SIDE/ UPTOWN/ MIDTOWN
Manolo Blahnik (5) – 31 W 54th St, between 5th and 6th Avenues (map)
Carrie Bradshaw makes the realization when she is trying to buy her apartment from Aidan in Season 4 that she has spent $40,000 on shoes, primarily Manolo Blahniks. SATC became synonymous with the sky-high stilettos and Sarah Jessica Parker got so comfortable wearing them over the course of six seasons and two films that she says she could run a marathon in them.
Russian Samovar (6) – 256 W 52nd St, between Broadway and 8th Ave. (map)
Carrie’s first date with “The Russian” takes place at this traditional Russian restaurant. They have dinner before they go and check in on a downtown performance artist. “The Russian,” Alexandr Petrovsky, is played by the world-renowned ballet dancer Mikhail Barishnykov. Barishnykov, in addition to being part owner of The Russian Samovar, is a composer. Some of his compositions can be heard during the episodes that he appears in.
Columbus Circle Fountain (7) – 59th Street and 8th Ave. (map)
Carrie and Aidan sit by this fountain when they decide to end their relationship for good, after two seasons of back and forth. A sad episode for all the SATC fans who were on Team Aidan.
Da Marino (8) – 220 W 49th St., between Broadway and 8th (map)
Avenue When Carrie and Big decide to give their relationship another try in Season 2, they go out for dinner to this intimate Italian restaurant. While they are there, Carrie discovers that not only is her boyfriend a regular but that he also regularly gets up to sing with the house band. Actor Chris Noth is also a real-life regular, just like his character.
The Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir (9) – (map)
This beautiful jogging track is seen several times throughout the SATC series and in the film. The Reservoir is a favorite spot for the runner in the group, Charlotte, but all of the girls run the track together in an episode as well. We cover the reservoir on our Central Park Middle Tour.
Loeb Boathouse (10) – (map)
Carrie and Big meet at this Central Park restaurant for lunch. Carrie goes to the lunch after fighting with Miranda, who says she doesn’t want to deal with Carrie’s emotional fallout after another go-round with Mr. Big. Carrie promises Miranda she will not kiss him at lunch. When they meet up at The Boathouse, Big goes in for a kiss. To keep her promise and avoid his kiss, Carrie ducks and they both fall into the water. If you are in Central Park around noon, consider lunch at the Loeb Boathouse.
Onieal’s (11) – 174 Grand St. (map)
After having their hearts broken by Miranda and Carrie, respectively, Steve Brady and Aidan Shaw partner up and open Scout, a bar on Mulberry St. (The bar is named after Steve’s dog, who he bought as a puppy while still with Miranda as a “practice baby.”) Onieal’s served as the bar Scout for the Sex and the City series.
Louis K. Meisel Gallery (12) – 141 Prince Street (map)
Before Charlotte marries Trey MacDougal, she is an art dealer at this SoHo gallery. Her dealings with the art community lead to her being a subject in multiple works of art during the series, including one where she is photographed dressed as a man.
Both Onieal’s and the Louis K. Meisel Gallery can be seen on our SoHo, Little Italy and Chinatown Tour.
St. Mark’s Comics (13) – 11 St. Mark’s Place (map)
While looking for her favorite shoe repair shop, Carrie stumbles upon this St. Mark’s Place shop. While there, she meets Wade. Wade is charming and carefree and fun…and lives with his parents. They keep seeing each other for awhile, and Carrie enjoys having his mother offer them cookies and lemonade and wait on them. Everything is fine until Wade blames Carrie for his stash of marijuana when his mother finds it. She leaves the apartment and takes the stash with her, smoking it with the girls later that night. East Village Food Tour
Patricia Field (14) – 302 Bowery (map)
Sex and the City was just as well known for its wild fashions as it was for its story-lines. Costume designer Patricia Field created dozens of fashion trends through her work on SATC, from tutu skirts to nameplate necklaces. Her New York City shop carries amazing clothes and accessories, and you can pick up your very own Carrie-style nameplate necklace.
Jefferson Market Garden (15) – Greenwich Village Tours
(Greenwich Ave between 6th Ave and W 10th St.) While planning her wedding to Steve, Miranda is having a hard time deciding on anything. She eschews anything traditional or cliché. She settles on this beautiful community garden, because it is “non-icky” and not traditionally romantic. She stumbles upon it when her plastic shopping bag bursts while she is walking by it.
Magnolia Bakery (16)
(401 Bleecker St.) The cupcakes from this NYC bakery became world famous when Carrie and Miranda snacked on them during an episode of SATC. They enjoy the buttercream-topped cupcakes while they discuss Carrie’s new crush, Aidan Shaw. Read our post on Magnolia Bakery.
The Pleasure Chest (17)
(156th 7th Ave S.) Sex and the City was groundbreaking because of its frank and open discussion of sex. In “The Turtle and the Hare” episode, Charlotte becomes “addicted” to The Rabbit vibrator, purchased from this store and stops leaving her apartment. Eventually, Carrie and Miranda stage an intervention and confiscate The Rabbit.
66 Perry Street (18)
Though Carrie Bradshaw is supposed to live at 245 E73rd St (in a rent-controlled apartment for $700 a month!!), the apartment that was used for the series is actually at 66 Perry Street. The building next door, 64 Perry, was actually used for the first three seasons and was then replaced in favor of the fancier-looking 66 Perry for the subsequent seasons. Though it is hard to imagine Carrie without her front steps, the setting for so many great moments in the show, there are none at 245 73rd St. Read our post on how to get to Carrie’s Apartment.
The Meatpacking District (19) – Chelsea and the High Line Tour
This trendy area is the setting of many of the girls’ nights out during the series. Also, when Samantha decides to leave her stuffy Upper East Side building (after they judge her for her wild lifestyle) she moves to this neighborhood. Though she tangles a bit with the local transvestite prostitute population, she eventually makes peace and comes to love her neighborhood. The final scene of the Sex and the City movies shows the girls heading out for a night in the Meatpacking District.
While you are in the Meatpacking District, be sure to head over to the High Line. Sex and the City ended before the High Line opened, but you can be sure that the girls would have been spending a lot of time on it.
Whether you check out a location or two while you are in a particular neighborhood or you decide to devote a day to a Sex and the City pilgrimage, don’t miss seeing where your favorite moments of this iconic New York series took place!
TIP: If taking on our self-guided tour sounds too daunting, you may consider the Sex and the City Bus Tour.