Set in New York City, How I Met Your Mother follows Ted Mosby (Josh Radnor) on his quest to find the love of his life and the adventures of his four best friends—Marshall Eriksen (Jason Segel), Lily Aldrin (Alyson Hannigan), Robin Scherbatsky (Cobie Smulders), and Barney Stinson (Neil Patrick Harris).
Premiering in 2005, the show’s creators Craig Thomas and Carter Bays were inspired to “write about our friends and the stupid stuff we did in New York.” Ted Mosby is actually based off of Carter, and Craig and his wife inspired the characters of Marshall and Lily. Craig’s wife was not too thrilled by the idea until Alyson Hannigan was cast to play her! For those wondering where How I Met Your Mother was filmed See the New York that inspired HIMYM (How I Met Your Mother) and some of your favorite How I Met Your Mother filming locations on the NYC TV & Movie Tour or the When Harry Met Seinfeld Tour.
How I Met Your Mother features authentic Big Apple filming locations, despite being filmed on a soundstage like other famous New York-based sitcoms like Friends and Seinfeld. Marshall mocks real-life New York burger joints like Corner Bistro and Paul’s Da Burger Joint in his eight-year long search for “The Best Burger in New York.” The quest finally leads him to 106th St and Manhattan Ave, which in reality is Ichie Japanese Restaurant. In this same episode, we visit Barney hard at work at Goliath National Bank, located on Fifth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan. In the episode “Woooo!” the gang visits a country-western style bar that resembles Cowgirl Hall of Fame on 519 Hudson Street. The bar was also featured on an episode of Sex and the City and can be seen on our Sex and the City Hotspots Tour. But the most famous hang-out spot of the How I Met Your Mother crew is without a doubt MacLaren’s.
One of the most recognizable filming locations from How I met Your Mother is the fictional MacLaren’s which was inspired by McGee’s Pub on West 55th Street. How I Met Your Mother creators Craig Thomas and Carter Bays were regulars at McGee’s when they were writers for The Late Show with David Letterman, and they loved the pub’s mural so much they wanted to incorporate it into the show. So where did the name “MacLaren’s” come from? Carter Bays’ assistant is named Carl MacLaren. The writers also named the show’s bartender Carl. McGee’s itself gets a shout-out when Marshall makes a pie chart of his favorite bars in the episode “Right Place, Right Time.” Tour goers are treated to a special discount to McGee’s pub when they take either of our New York TV and movie-themed tours.
* In an effort to stay current, we are constantly updating our tours with new locations and cannot guarantee the presence of locations mentioned on our site. If you have a particular interest in locations from a specific TV show or movie, please let your tour guide know and we will do our best to accommodate your request.