Central Park

A green swathe through Manhattan, Central Park is a marvel of urban planning and one of the most filmed locations in the world.

TravelCurious Tip

The park is busy at weekends, and calmer on weekday afternoons; for some peace and quiet head to more secluded spots above 72nd Street such as the Harlem Meer, and the North Meadow north of 97th Street.

Central to the city

Central Park is a quintessential part of the Big Apple's character, and beloved by New Yorkers and visitors alike. Its 843 acres of lush lawns, beautiful lakes and winding paths are immortalised in popular culture the world over; the park is home to 25,000 trees and dozens of bird species, and frequented by joggers, musicians, actors and tourists, all of whom come for an escape to tranquil nature amid the urban chaos. Automobile traffic is banned on weekends, when the looping 'drives' are particularly popular with cyclists and inline skaters.

Indeed, the development of the park in the 1860s and 70s was envisioned as a great social leveller, allowing everyone in New York a beautiful forested oasis for leisure and relaxation. The wide range of sculptures - there are 29 throughout the park - attests to the varied background of the city's inhabitants: there is an equestrian statue of Simón Bolívar, celebrating his contributions to Latin America; the imposing King Jagiello monument memorialises king of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania, Władysław II Jagiełło, who won the 1410 Battle of Grunwald; the Founding Father Alexander Hamilton is also commemorated, as are writers from Hans Christian Andersen to Shakespeare, and there's a huge bronze Alice in Wonderland next to the model boat pond Conservatory Water.

Proud history

It's not always been so rosy. Almost immediately after its initial completion, the park began to fall into disrepair due to lack of use, and was only rescued in 1934 by the clean-up efforts of Mayor Fiorello La Guardia. What is now the Great Lawn was at this point the wretched 'Hoover Village' shantytown, which the master urban planner Robert Moses removed; he also constructed playgrounds and sports pitches, aligning the park with the emerging desire for a place for sports recreation, rather than simply an idyllic retreat.

The 1960s and 70s saw the 'Events Era,' during which the park was used for rallies, demonstrations, festivals and happenings of all kinds, including the famous 'Love-ins' in protest against the Vietnam War; since 1962, the outdoor Delacorte Theater has played host to the free 'Shakespeare in the Park' summer festivals, which remain wildly popular to this day.The park is now meticulously managed by the Central Park Conservancy, who proudly keep it in perfect condition for all visitors to enjoy. The Conservancy also operate a variety of tours, highlighting different aspects of the park.

Nearby Attractions

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Trump Tower
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Tiffany & Co: Christmas
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Bergdorf Goodman: Christmas
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Related Tours

Iconic Central Park Filming Locations: Private New York City Tour
Explore New York City’s tranquil and iconic Central Park with an expert private guide. This tour will focus on all the many famous filming locations that have starred in much-loved TV series and movies from Breakfast At Tiffany’s to Home Alone, from Vanilla Sky to The Smurfs, and from Friends to Sex and the City and Gossip Girl.

On your private walking tour of Central Park, you will: 

  • Meet your guide at the Pulitzer Fountain in Grand Army Plaza, on the corner of E 59th Street and the famous 5th Avenue;
  • Stroll towards Central Park, a vast 843-acre green space in the heart of New York’s Manhattan filled with historic sites, memorials, and famous filming locations; 
  • Begin at the pretty, ornamental Gapstow Bridge where Kevin meets the Bird Lady in Home Alone 2, and enjoy views of the Plaza Hotel, made famous by Alfred Hitchcock’s movie North by Northwest, and many more since including The Great Gatsby
  • Walk a short distance to Wollman Rink the popular icerink that was opened in 1949 and has been featured in many movies and TV shows;
  • Stop at The Dairy Visitor Center and Gift Shop, a picturesque Hansel and Gretal-looking building in the neo-gothic style dating back to 1870 when it was used to provide milk to New York’s Children - and it makes a fantastic movie set;
  • Admire Central Park’s Carousel, dating from 1908 it has the largest hand-carved wooden horses of any carousel and oozes old-world charm - which movies have you seen it in?; 
  • Explore the flora and fauna in A Native Meadow, a thriving habitat for insects, bees, butterflies, and wildlife;
  • See the statue dedicated to Balto, the sledge dog which helped bring life-saving medicine to children in Alaska;
  • Walk down Central Park’s iconic Mall, lined with beautiful Elm trees and which includes the newly erected monument to the Women's Rights Pioneers Monument, and statues of global literary figures including Shakespeare and Robert Burns;
  • Hear about all the iconic movie scenes that were filmed here including Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Kramer vs. Kramer, and many more;
  • Stop at the Naumburg Bandshell which plays host to many concerts, where Martin Luther King gave a speech, and where a eulogy was read for John Lennon; 
  • Enjoy the beauty of Bethesda Terrace one of the most iconic landmarks in Central Park, and the Angel of the Waters Fountain - one of the most photographed fountains in the world - both have appeared in numerous shows and movies, including The Avengers;
  • Walk to nearby Bow Bridge - made of cast iron it is one of New York’s most famous and romantic landmarks - you may remember it as the place Peter Parker is ditched by Mary Jane in Spiderman 3;
  • Enjoy walking around pretty Cherry Hill with its lovely fountain, named for the Cherry trees overlooking the lake, and recognizable from so many movie scenes including Cruel Intentions and The Mirror Has Two Faces;
  • Admire views of the ornate Ladies Pavilion from Cherry Hill, built in 1871 to provide shade and peaceful views overlooking the lake; 
  • End at the beautiful and poignant Strawberry Fields, a 2.5-acre garden created for and dedicated to John Lennon and named after the Beatles' song “Strawberry Fields Forever”

New York's Central Park occupies a fond and iconic place in the global imagination. Larger than Monaco and Vatican City combined, it is 843 acres of rolling green fields, landscaped gardens, statues, monuments, ornate fountains, romantic bridges, and hidden pathways which provide a haven of peace and tranquillity in the heart of the city that famously never sleeps! 

With your expert private guide, you’ll walk around Central Park, stopping to admire the flora and fauna, and landmarks that are not only famous in their own right but have appeared in many iconic movies and TV series - as varied as Breakfast at Tiffany’s to Stuart Little! Your guide will talk you through the scenes that were filmed at each location, as well as fill you in on the history of the park itself. 

Beginning in the south of the park, you’ll wander through the park's many trails, learning the history of the city along the way, told through statues and monuments to famous events, each of which has uniquely shaped the face of New York City today.



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