Calling All FRIENDS Fans: Visit the Real Central Perk

Updated: June 17, 2021

I’m a huge Friends fan. It’s just one of those shows that never gets old or stops being funny. I know, I know, the series has been over for well over a decade. I love it, and I know I’m not alone, right?

When Jorge and I got married, he watched the entire series to understand my Friends references better. If that’s not a keeper, I don’t know what is.

We were trying to decide where to go for our 6th wedding anniversary, and Los Angeles was high on the list. The main reason was that I knew the real Central Perk set was still up at the WB Studios and that you could hang out there!

Click here to book your own studio tour of Central Perk

*Please note the Warner Bros. Studio tours reopened on June 26, 2021. Keep in mind; there may be restrictions or temporary closings due to covid. Thankfully, GetYourGuide offers free cancellations up to 24 hours before the scheduled tour.

Visit the Central Perk set in California!

About the WB Studio Tour

Your ticket includes a tour of different parts of the WB studio, where you get to see how Hollywood is made. The studio is in Burbank, California, about a 20-minute drive up from downtown LA.

La La Land set temporarily up at the WB studiosLa La Land set only temporary.

I absolutely loved the tour, and it’s completely worth the money, especially if you’re a Friends fan. Here’s what $69 pp gets you:

  • Tour the exterior sets and locations that are used for some of your favorite shows and movies (including Friends locations besides Central Perk)
  • Visit various soundstages for shows still being taped
  • See the props department for shows and movies
  • See the original Batmobile
  • Explore Harry Potter and DC comic book stuff (not my thang)
  • Experience the Big Bang Theory set
  • Then you visit Studio 48, which is an interactive soundstage that lets you see the different phases of film and television
  • Last but not least, in Studio 48, you’ll find the Central Perk set, and right after the set, you can grab a cup of real coffee at the working replica of the Central Perk Café 

The original batmobiles at the WB Studios

See the Real Friends Central Perk Set

Of course, my favorite part of the entire tour was seeing the original Central Perk. The production soundstage is mostly as it was on the show, and it’s so cool to experience it and sit on the orange couch. It made a lot of my friends back home jealous, haha!

Not only that, but the entire tour, in general, takes you to different scenes from the show, including the Gellar house. More on that below.

Get your picture taken at on the real orange couch! you can buy your photo after the tour

Film Your Own Friends Episode

The best part, though? WB Studio made Central Perk into an interactive set. So now you can film a Friends clip during your tour. We did a scene from “The One with Phoebe’s Birthday Dinner.”

central perk from Friends Record your own episode on the Friends set in California!

If you get chosen, you can play a character in that scene. Jorge was selected to play Joey, and I was Gunther. I made a damn good barista. They go over the lines with the characters on the couch and do it *almost* like they would on a real show. It was such a fun activity!

I was instructed to serve fake coffee and make fake small talk with those at the counter. They cut the scene to make it look like Phoebe and Monica are really in the shot and are talking to you. I wish they let you buy the clip, but because of legal reasons, they can’t.

Tour the real Central Perk

More fake coffee in my huge mug, please.

visit the real central perk!

I didn’t want to leave the set.

Get your picture taken on the real orange couch from Friends

If you ever want to visit the Friends apartment building that’s located in NYC, you can find that at 90 Bedford St, New York, NY. The downstairs part of that building that’s supposed to be “Central Perk” is a restaurant with some great food!

I suggest you go for photos but stay for dinner or lunch. You can make a reservation on OpenTable ahead of time. If you’re in NYC and looking for more photo spots, check out my post HERE.

More Friends Locations

This is the Gellar’s house from Friends; it’s just one big ol’ fake house! Right down the block, you will find the Gilmore Girls house and also Pretty Little Liars — they point out a lot of locations for all of those shows. This also varies on the current shows, so you may see different sites.

The Gellar house from Friends!

This is inside the Gellar’s house. Remember “The One with the Prom Video,” Where Ross is coming down the stairs ready to ask Rachel to prom, but she leaves with her actual date? This is where it was shot:

Inside the Gellar house from Friends

This is where Monica and Rachel were hiding from Jean-Claude Van Damme in “The One After the Superbowl”:

Scenes from Friends

You’ll also see the tiny piece of a park used as “central park” in the show. Remember when Phoebe and Rachel went for a run and Rachel hit a horse? That “park” is also used in many other movies and shows.

More Sets: See the Full(er) House

One of the exterior sets you can visit during the tour is the Full(er) House. As you may know, the outside shot of the house was filmed in San Francisco (you can get a picture of that at 1709 Broderick Street), but they still needed a facade on set to do porch scenes.

I watched Full House growing up and now follow Fuller House, so it was cool to see the set (outside and inside). They don’t let you take photos when you go into the soundstage. Boo, I know.

Fuller House set at WB studios!

The Big Bang Theory Set 

I was so excited to see The Big Bang Theory soundstage! Unfortunately, I couldn’t take any pictures, but the apartments look a lot smaller in person.

I planned our tour strategically because I knew that usually, you could only visit certain soundstages when they’re not taping. I booked our tickets for Easter Sunday when no tapings were happening, so we had more flexibility on the tour.

You can also get free tickets to a live taping at the studio of either TBBT or Fuller House! If I had known sooner, I would’ve tried to get some before our trip. If you live near the area, it’s worth checking out. Find tickets to shows HERE.

*2021 UPDATE: Since these shows above are finished and no longer taping, you can still follow that link to book tickets to any show being taped at Warner Bros. Studios.

Another awesome update is that the Studio Tour now includes a visit to the Big Bang Theory set as part of the experience!

Moving on, this is Hennesy Street, where many movies and shows are filmed:

Hennessy Street at the WB Studios, where many movies and shows have been filmed.

After the tour is done, you can stop at the cafe, a replica of Central Perk. You can get coffee, buy Central Perk coffee bags, eat some Friends cupcakes, everything a crazy fan would love!

I had so much fun doing the tour and cannot recommend it enough. If you’re a fan, you won’t be disappointed. Click here to book your own studio tour of Central Perk.

End the tour with a coffee at Central Perks replica


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  • Reply Anonymous May 28, 2021 at 6:29 pm

    A family friend purchased the “Froends couch” from the production company in 2019 and still own it.

    • Reply TnT November 18, 2023 at 10:31 pm

      Ive heard wonderful things about this place. My family went for a visit and loved it…, unrelated..
      I’ve been streaming the show, back to back episodes and I notice the color orange features predominantly in the show… the couch, for one, of Course. But also a lot of the clothes and decor and accessories…. People don’t generally wear as much orange as the show puts on for a whole decade! Is it some kind of obsession for the cast or producers? Just about every episode for ten years has some orange splash somewhere in it.

      • Reply Lily November 19, 2023 at 1:33 pm

        Thanks for reading! And what a great observation, I never noticed it and will pay more attention next time I watch. I wonder if orange and purple were just their signature “friends” colors after finding the couch.

  • Reply Cecilie February 19, 2020 at 12:21 pm

    Hi there. I too is a HUGE FRIENDS fan and I’m going to see the friends set this fall. I was wondering if you could tell me, how it works with the tipping. I live I Denmark and we don’t tip here and I noticed on the website that it says tip not included in the price. How do we go about that?
    Ps. Love your writing

    • Reply Lily February 19, 2020 at 3:01 pm

      Hi Cecilie! With tipping on a tour it normally happens at the end and is given directly to the tour guide. So throughout the tour you’ll be on a little “tour cart” and he/she drives you around the sets etc. Then at the end (when you’re going in to see the friends set) people get off the cart and tip the tour guide cash as they’re exiting. It’s not mandatory, but it can be expected. You can tip anything from a few dollars up to 20% of the tour cost. Many do 10%, 15%. Hope this helps! And thanks so much for reading. 🙂 You’re going to love this tour!

      • Reply Millie May 1, 2021 at 2:17 am

        Omg! I wish I could go there one day but I live in England 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 which is very far away but hopefully one day 🤞🏼

        • Reply Lily May 1, 2021 at 9:31 pm

          It’s such a fun experience! Hopefully you can make it one day, too 🙂

    • Reply Anonymous January 8, 2021 at 9:08 pm

      Does this tour also include Monica a new Joey apartment

      • Reply Lily January 11, 2021 at 11:57 pm

        Hi there! This is the just the original central perk set in the studio where they used to film Friends. It’s not like the tours that go to different cities and put up a “Friends Experience” so you wouldn’t find Monica or Joey’s apartment here, but trust me this tour is better!

  • Reply Anonymous June 23, 2019 at 7:39 pm

    Thanks you guys are the best! I am flying out there just for my birthday cuz my hubby is the bestest. So I want to maximize my experience. You guys helped a ton!!!!

  • Reply Pinky June 20, 2019 at 12:07 am

    Was all of this included in the standard tour? And, how does the filming a scene thing work? I am a major friends fan! You have to get chosen – or can everyone participate? Thanks for your help!

    • Reply This Darling World June 20, 2019 at 12:26 am

      Yes, all of this was included in the standard tour! Pretty amazing.
      For the filming scene, once you get to the central perk set, there’ll be a small group of you. The people who film it introduce the set and ask for volunteers to do the scene as the main characters. Raise your hand if you’re not shy! Then they grab a few more from the group to play “extras”. I think only a few were left who didn’t take part (probably by choice) because there’s plenty of room to play an extra.
      After the scene, you can line up (short line because normally groups are kept very small) for photos on the orange couch or along the counter (as you saw in our photos). We lined up twice to get photos in each spot haha!
      Hope this helps 🙂

      • Reply Jakub Andrysiak June 20, 2019 at 6:25 am

        Here’s one good advice. Have your phone or camera ready. They play the recording on the TV’s right after you finish the scene. Then it gets automatically deleted. You can’t copy it as a file. There shouldn’t be a problem staying for another recording with a following group though.

        • Reply This Darling World June 20, 2019 at 9:15 am

          Jakub, great tip and reminder! I did also record the tv to have the taping on my phone for my own personal use. They had no issues with that whatsoever! And that’s so true that you can probably stay to do the scene with the next group in case you didn’t get to do it during your turn. Thanks for the comment!

          • Anonymous June 23, 2019 at 7:40 pm

            Thanks you guys are the best! I am flying out there just for my birthday cuz my hubby is the bestest. So I want to maximize my experience. You guys helped a ton!!!!

  • Reply Clazz - An Orcadian Abroad April 4, 2019 at 1:33 pm

    Wait, whaaaaat?! I didn’t get to do the “filming a scene” thing?! That sounds so cool. I wish I’d taken more photos haha, yours are amazing! That’s AWESOME that you got to see Big Bang Theory sets too, although a shame you can’t take photos. I guess you might be able to once it’s finished…? I love that you strategically booked it, too! Haha.

    • Reply This Darling World April 4, 2019 at 1:57 pm

      Oh man you must go back to do the scene! Haha it was so fun! I loved the whole tour. And thanks for the kind words 🙂 I loved being able to see other sets, but yeah I wish they let us take photos.

  • Reply Jacob November 1, 2018 at 9:16 am

    I’m gonna do the WB Studio tour next week. As a huge F*R*I*E*N*D*S fan, I’ve noticed one thing. The couch is just a replica 🙁 This is not the one they used in the show. The wooden supports on the sides are different. The original was probably sold couple of years ago. I don’t understand why 🙁

    • Reply This Darling World November 3, 2018 at 4:56 pm

      That’s so unfortunate and confusing! When you try to read up on it they mention the show having more than one couch on there. Like one from season 1-3 and one from season 4-10? Who really knows though. And I saw that they changed the wording on the studio tour! When I did it back in 2016 it said “original” and now it says replica. Why they would sell it is beyond me! Either way, the tour is tons of fun!!

  • Reply Christie May 10, 2017 at 10:12 am

    This is so cool!!! I’ve been to LA a ton but never to anything like this! I love that you are in the photos too 🙂 Is Fuller House good?! I haven’t watched it. I do love Friends, though!

    • Reply this darling world May 10, 2017 at 12:21 pm

      Thanks so much, Christie!!! I’m trying to work my way into photos more often. And the first few episodes of Fuller House are cheesy, actually there’s still some cheese throughout the seasons (it’s full house c’mon) but the story line gets better and funnier as it goes on.

  • Reply A Quick Weekend Guide to Los Angeles - This Darling World May 5, 2017 at 5:07 pm

    […] Book a WB Studio tour to see how Hollywood is made, especially if you’re a Friends fan. I raved about it in my last post, you can read about that HERE. […]

  • Reply Grace Silla April 28, 2017 at 10:42 pm

    That sounds like such a fun and unique experience! I know you’re going to be horrified but I only ever watched like 2 episodes of Friends. Crazy right? I did, however, watch Gilmore Girls in college (mainly because my roomie was obsessed with the show haha!).

  • Reply In Between Pictures April 28, 2017 at 6:03 pm

    I have never been to the studio lol but I’m a huge fan of Friends! I few months ago I binge watched the series again! Too bad you couldn’t take pics of TBBT set. I love that show!

    • Reply this darling world April 28, 2017 at 7:54 pm

      I know I was so disappointed that we couldn’t take pictures inside! But it was cool either way, I saw Howard and Bernadette’s minivan set up with the green screen on my way out lol.

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