There are so many stories set in New York that it’s almost impossible to follow them all. Romcom couples finally share their first kiss over a brownstone, best friends spend their girls’ night out at a hip bar, families attend whimsical Christmas parties at the Plaza. It’s like being transported to town without leaving your couch! One of our favorite TV shows of all time, Gossip Girlalso takes place in the Big Apple and takes place all over the city in a way that makes you feel like you’ve been there, even if you’ve never been there before.
If you want to check New York off your bucket list, there are plenty of fun tourist activities *and* more relaxed residential areas to visit (we promise not all areas of the city are as crowded as Times Square ). Emblematic places like all museumsthe Empire State Building and Macy’s on 34th Street might come to mind when planning a weekend in Manhattan, but there are plenty of restaurants and places with a Gossip Girl twist you can visit too.
To get you in the mood for your big city vacation, hit up your favorite season of Gossip Girl on HBO Max (Season 1 is our baseline) and keep scrolling to grab a virtual tour from New York.
Brit + Co’s “Gossip Girl” Guide to New York
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Since New York is one of the largest and most connected cities in the world, you’ll have no problem getting there – we’ve taken trains, planes and cars around the city! Once you get there, there are plenty of taxis, Ubers, and subway lines to point you in the right direction.
Where to stay in New York
If you’re unfamiliar with New York, let’s break it down; it’s actually a lot easier to understand than it looks. There are five different boroughs (Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, The Bronx, and Staten Island), and then these boroughs contain a variety of neighborhoods (Chelsea, Hell’s Kitchen, and Greenwich Village are all Manhattan neighborhoods). The locations are all so different from each other – you can stay somewhere different every night and feel like you’re on a whole new journey.
There are a number of hotels in the city to stay at, and all kinds of AirBnbs across NYC that will make you feel like a local. If you want to get a feel for the Upper East Side, where Blair and Serena live, try this Beautiful Manhattan Apt with private garden!
To have a view of the New York skyline that every Gossip Girl fan deserves, check this fancy studio near Hell’s Kitchen. Not only is the space staged by an interior design studio in the city. There’s also a marble so you can work in style…while looking out the floor-to-ceiling windows.
If you want a break from the hustle and bustle of Manhattan, head to DUMBO (which stands for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass), where Rufus, Dan, and Jenny live in Brooklyn. We are obsessed with this apartment it’s right next to the Brooklyn Bridge. It’s surrounded by a variety of restaurants, bars, and parks so you can grab a bite to eat before crossing the bridge.
What to do in New York
Image via David Vives/Unsplash
All Gossip Girl fan who takes a trip to town will want to see many locations from the series, and we’ve got you covered! Even though the show has changed the names of some of these places, they still offer great picture opportunities.
To see where Serena, Dan and the rest of the self-proclaimed “no judgment breakfast club” went to school, stop by the Museum of the City of New York on 5th Ave. Although it’s not really a school, you can stop to see cultural and historical exhibits, like Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya’s. Speak louder art installation and Stars light hanging grid.
We couldn’t talk about Gossip Girl not to mention the Met stages. Much of the show’s screen time (and power struggles) takes place on the iconic stairs outside the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Stop for a photo or to eat your Blair Yogurt Parfait before heading inside to admire the art.
Head to Central Park to stop at Fountain Bethseda. Not only does it offer a beautiful view of the park, but it is also found in more than one Gossip Girl stage. In season 1, episode 3, this is where Serena and Blair reconcile, and in the series finale, Blair and Chuck get married on the nearby terrace of Bethseda, with the fountain in the background.
The place is one of the most iconic hotels in the country, and as well as seeing the fun shops and nibbling on delicious treats, you can stop by the Pulitzer Fountain outside, where Blair and Serena take photos after stealing the dresses for one of Blair’s mother’s photo shoots in season 1, episode 4.
Whether you’re taking a train into town or want to peek inside to see what it’s like, chances are you’ll stop inside Grand Central Terminal. Serena returns to the city in the pilot here, and not only is it a beautiful building, but walking around makes us feel a bit mysterious.
Across the bridge at DUMBO, catch a glimpse of Rufus, Dan and Jenny’s loft at 455 Water Street before snapping a classic shot with the bridge in the background.
Where to eat and drink in New York
No trip to New York would be complete without delicious food. In Season 1 Episode 2, Serena brings cappuccinos and croissants to Blair’s apartment, and there are tons of places to get both around town. This and that and Mom are also great options for grabbing a tasty bite.
Blair loves all things French, including madeleines and macaroons, and likes to stop at The duration whenever she wants. Across the Brooklyn Bridge, Rufus cooks up some of the best waffles around. If you are not able to make them yourself, stop at Waffles and Dinges to Herald Square to stock up on waffles *and* a Manhattan food truck experience.
You must have brunch at least once during your trip. In addition to cappuccinos and croissants, Season 1, Episode 2 features tons of brunch inspiration, and while we don’t necessarily recommend fistfighting like Dan does, we do recommend avocado toast. refined. Some of our favorite brunch spots in town are egg store on Elizabeth Street and Jacob’s pickles on Amsterdam Avenue.
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Featured photo via David Vives/Unsplash
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