5 Greatest Christmas Movies Shot in NYC

Some things are  iconic when it comes to the holiday season: mistletoe, egg and New York City! While maybe not as popular as mistletoe and egg nog, one has to admit, from the skating rink at Rockefeller Center to the designer storefronts along Fifth Avenue, New York City and Christmas go together like catching mother kissing Santa under the mistletoe. Here are our selection of the top 5 Christmas movies set in the Big Apple. If you have planned a Christmas movie marathon today, make sure you include at least one of these in your list. Happy Holidays!

5. Elf


Enter the marvelous word of Christmas and follow the adventures of Buddy, an abandoned child adopted by Santa Claus to live with him in the sprite world. Growing up, Buddy realizes he doesn’t belong there and learns about his true parents living in New York City. Looking across town, Buddy will experience the magic atmosphere of NY during holidays and will finally end up finding his father and reunite with him at the Empire State Building. (Spoiler Alert) The movie ends on a marvelous scene of Santa arriving in a majestic Central Park covered in snow.


4. Trading Places


“A snobbish investor and a wily street con artist find their positions reversed as part of a bet by two callous millionaires” is the pitch of this excellent comedy as described by IMDB. Most of the story takes place in Philadelphia but has actually been shot downtown Manhattan around the bustling Financial District and Wall Street. 


3. Miracle on 34th Street


What if you had to replace Santa? This is the crazy story of Kris Kringle, who instead of preparing the Christmas Parade as initially planned, has to take on the role of Santa Claus to welcome children at the giant and iconic Macy’s department store on 34th Street. A tough mission that he will still complete with success, despite all obstacles. Miracle on 34th Street is an old classic that perfectly presents the unique beauty of Midtown during the holidays!


2. Home Alone 2



Exactly the kind of movie you can watch tirelessly and all over again at Christmas time. This exciting sequel to classic Home Alone reveals that everything can happen in life, even loose one’s child in the heart NYC. Alone in the Big Apple, young Macaulay Culkin explores the City to find his parents, going from Wall Street to the Empire State Building, while also hitting Central Park and the Statue of Liberty. A funny movie showing that an 8-year-old can sometimes prove to be as resourceful as an adult.


1. When Harry Met Sally


The story begins with Sally and Harry sharing a grueling drive to move from Chicago to New York after graduation. After parting ways, they will accidentally run into each other in the City every five year, first becoming friends, and eventually a couple. One of the best rom-com movies ever, displaying lovely visions of New York throughout the seasons and iconic places such as Washington Square, Central Park, the Metropolitan Museum of Arts or the now famous Katz Delicatessen. The story climaxes during the Holiday season when Harry and Sally first break up, and years later, finally end up together at New Year’s Eve.


Some other great movies such as You’ve Got Mail or Scrooged didn’t make it to the final list but are still worth it. And you, what is your favorite Christmas movie? If you want to know more about movies shot in NYC, also make sure to check our NYC TV & Movie Tour. If you are interested in finding more to do in New York City, search through our complete range of tours, attractions and activities. We can also tailor-make programs specifically to match your desires and budgets. Harlem Spirituals is the ideal one-stop-shop to simplify your planning! Find more information on www.harlemspirituals.com.