50 cent and Chace Crawford in the NYC-based Twelve. Image Credit: Supplied picture

Joel Schumacher's Twelve might not paint the pretty picture of the New York City that Hollywood's grown accustomed to, but it does throw light on the edgier side of the city that never sleeps. And alongside Twelve, from King Kong and The Incredible Hulk, to Confessions of a Shopaholic, The Taking of Pelham 123 and Black Swan, there are over 800 movies that have told their tales on the mean streets, making it the apple of every filmmaker's eye!

In fact, NYC offers up a veritable cinematic map of where numerous movies were filmed, from the bookstore in You've Got Mail to the firehouse from Ghostbusters, every corner's steeped in celluloid history.

And the city is celeb-central, with the likes of Sarah Jessica Parker, Michelle Williams, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Beyonce and Jay-Z all setting up home here, with one of its most famous residents, Madonna, revealing, "I came here with $35. It was the bravest thing I'd ever done."

Hit the tourist trail

Thanks to its grid-like streets, getting around NYC is pretty straightforward, and we suggest you head there armed with a list of must-dos, including hopping in a yellow taxi cab, grabbing a hot-dog-to-go from a street vendor and indulging in some retail therapy on Fifth Avenue. Set aside a few hours to stroll through the famous Central Park, which has provided the backdrop for over 200 films, making it the most famous public park in the world. There's even a Central Park Movie Tour on offer every Friday and Saturday, if you want the real insider goss. Also, relive the Shah Rukh Khan-Rani Mukherjee romance in Kabhi Alvida Na Kehana at the imposing Grand Central Terminal, that's a bustling ode to New York's glam past.

After getting your movie fill, take the touristy path with a mandatory ferry ride across to the Statue of Liberty, before visiting the Empire State Building, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Broadway, and the Ground Zero Museum Workshop (also known as the "Biggest little museum in New York"), before heading to the newly opened Top of the Rock Observation Deck on the 67th, 69th and 70th floors of 30 Rockefeller Plaza (where Tina Fey's hit TV show, 30 Rock is based) to take in the breathtaking views across the city.

And it doesn't have to be New Year's Eve for you to enjoy a flit through the tacky but fun Times Square, at the heart of NYC, before heading to the city's famous department stores Macy's and Bloomingdale's, to ensure your homeward-bound suitcase is heavier than when you arrived.

And all that sightseeing will leave you hungry, so head to Grimaldi's pizzeria near the Brooklyn Bridge for a traditional slice, before a night spent dancing at the famous Bowery Ballroom.


New York City

Filmed there

The Godfather trilogy, The Devil Wears Prada, When Harry Met Sally, Catch Me If You Can, X-Men

Celeb fans

Jessica Simpson, Madonna, Julia Roberts, Uma Thurman, Bono

Fly there...

Emirates and Etihad airlines fly directly to New York City. For more information, visit www.emirates.com or www.etihadairways.com

Stars spreading the news...

"New York is an amazing place. My favourite thing to do is to have a glass of champagne at Grand Central Station."
Heidi Range

"You can't live in New York City and be the most important person in town, you just can't."
Sarah Jessica Parker

"I miss New York. I still love how people talk to you on the street - just assault you and tell you what they think of your jacket."