They don’t know that we know they know we know 495 Grove Street is maybe not real. Wait, wait, I said maybe! Let’s fix that address and lead you to the iconic Friends Apartment in NYC. Just so you know what to expect, here’s a quick look at the Manhattan neighborhood, how to get there, and where to park.
Did you know? Though Monica, Rachel, Chandler, Joey, Phoebe, and Ross lived in New York, most of the scenes in the 90s sitcom scenes were filmed at Warner Studios, LA. But you can’t just give up. Is that what a dinosaur would do? Super fans of the show know that the exterior shots of the Friends apartment are very much real. But it’s not called 495 Grove Street, as revealed in Season 4.
So, where is the Friends apartment in New York City? Answer: Greenwich Village
Before you pivot the car to Greenwich Village, have you thought about the crazy garage rates and risky street parking situation in the busy neighborhood? Anyone who drives in New York City is familiar with the parking challenges. I’m not great at the advice. Can I interest you in an affordable recommendation? 375 King St Garage is less than a 10-minute walk from the Friends apartment and has hourly valet parking spots for as low as $13!
See: New York City Parking Guide: How to find parking in NYC
Now, back to your Friends apartment visit:
Is the apartment in Friends a real apartment?
No, the apartment itself is a set, but the exterior shots of the building are real. The iconic brownstone is in Manhattan’s West Village, the western half of the larger Greenwich Village neighborhood.
All the interior shots of the Friends apartment were shot on studio sets in Los Angeles, including the show-opening fountain sequence. The show was filmed in front of a live studio audience, so it’s impossible to set it up inside a real apartment. The show creators chose the 6-story residential building on Bedford Street for the exterior shots as one of the artistic directors resided there.
Is the Friends apartment above Central Perk?
Central Perk isn’t a real NYC café. Oh. My. God!
The fictional hangout spot for the Friends is fully shot on a studio set. But when you visit the Friends apartment building in New York City, check out Little Owl – the restaurant on the ground floor where you might expect to find Central Perk. It doesn’t look anything like the Friends favorite café but is great to grab a bite during or after your tour.
You’ll also notice that the building does not have Monica’s balcony. Nor will you find Ugly Naked Guy’s window or Ross’s apartment across the street.
Tip: If you were hoping for a selfie or two inside Monica’s and Rachel’s apartment or Central Perk, check out The Friends Experience instead. It’s an interactive exhibition space with recreated sets and props from the show.
Why was Monica’s apartment so cheap?
Once you see Monica’s apartment from Friends in real life, you’ll know it isn’t cheap – even in the 90s. Even the smallest studio in West Village will set you back by $3500 in rent. Well, if that is brand new information! – Monica’s 2-bedroom goes for over $8000 per month today.
The show writers had a few theories about how they could afford it. Monica’s cheap apartment in Greenwich Village is an illegal sublet. A rent-controlled apartment she took over from her grandmother for just $300 a month!
What area of NYC is Friends apartment?
If you are near Manhattan’s Greenwich Village, head straight to 90 Bedford Street. You’ll find the familiar building from Friends on the southeast corner of Grove Street.
90 Bedford Street is in West Village, a swanky neighborhood with trendy cafes and boutiques lining the quaint streets, among townhouses and public squares. So, you don’t have to plan a trip just to look at the Friends apartment; there’s more to explore nearby.
How to get there
The closest subway station is West 4th Street on 6th Avenue; take A, B, C, D, E, F, and M trains. It’s a 5-10-minute walk from the station to 90 Bedford Street. The Christopher Street PATH station is closer.
Bus stops closest to Friends apartment are Christopher St/Hudson St (M8) and Hudson St/Barrow St (M11 & M20).
Parking in West Village
If you are used to driving in New York or can’t avoid it, remember that the most challenging part of your Friends apartment visit will be finding parking nearby. It’s all okay if you are just going to drive by – but what fan does that? So, check out a few garages in the neighborhood before pulling up outside 90 Bedford Street.
As Chandler said, “So it seems like this Internet thing’s here to stay.” And it will help you find the best parking spots in West Village. Pre-booking a spot online is the best NYC parking hack you can learn. You’ll never have to pay the peak drive-up rates or go around the block looking for garage space. And no more parking tickets from risky street parking either.
How to book cheap parking near Friends apartment?
Just click here for a spot at 375 King St Garage within walking distance of the Friends apartment in West Village.
While street parking is plentiful in the neighborhood, there’s no guarantee you’ll find a spot outside the apartment. The closest metered spots will also cost you at least $4 an hour for a maximum of two hours. If you don’t want to risk it and drive into the nearest valet garage, be ready to shell out around $40! Off-street parking near Friends apartment is really expensive unless you have a reserved spot. And you’ll find deals as cheap as $11 an hour at garages on Charles, King, W 10th, and 11th streets using parking app like Way.
See: How to find the best West Village parking spots
Don’t let NYC parking leave you in a tight spot – the Way out is right here on your phone! Book the best parking spots anywhere in your city at unbelievably cheap rates.