10 TOP TIPS FOR BUYING BROADWAY TICKETS IN NEW YORK CITY

Seeing a show on Broadway is like a right of passage for most tourists visiting the city. For me, it is always high on my list and I have been very fortunate to have a partner (who hates musicals) who still treats us to a show when we’re in NYC. However, one thing that can be tricky when visiting New York (especially in the busier seasons), is managing to get tickets at all and get tickets at a decent price. So as the thoughtful theatre lover that I am, I have shared some top tips for buying Broadway tickets in New York City.

1

Is it better to buy Broadway tickets in advance?

Yes – If there is a particular show you want to see or you are short on time, then try to book your tickets as far in advance as you can. Ticket prices rise the nearer to the show day.

If you don’t have long in NYC, it is also advised to book tickets in advance to save time waiting in the TKT queue or outside of the theatre. It can be notoriously long.

So, if you don’t have a tight budget, your short on time and you have a certain show you want to see, book online in advance.

For booking tickets in advance, Ticketmaster is the first website to check. You won’t get many great deals here but it can show the full availability of popular shows. For discounted tickets, try BroadwayBox, TheaterMania and GoldStar. For last minute online bookings, check out TodayTix or StubHub – you can often find some greatly reduced tickets on StubHub nearer the time of a show.

These are the best websites to buy Broadway tickets – personally, I price compare across them all for my given show and date but you can also subscribe for updates and discounted which can help to get a great deal!

2

Can I get Broadway tickets on the day? – Returns or RUSH tickets

If the show you desperately want to see is sold out, you can head to the theatre several hours before to see if there are any tickets available at the door. Some people may have returned their ticket if they are unable to make the show, meaning a small handful may be available at the box office. If a show hasn’t sold out then the theatre may also have RUSH tickets (which sometimes require a student card for purchase), these can sell for around $25. Theatres open around noon on most days so aim for 11.45am!

3

Buy Broadway tickets at TKT booths

If you’re not too fussed about what show you want to see, you can head to a TKT booth in Times Square for discounted theatre tickets for the same day. This booth is notorious for having very long queues so think about heading to the TKT booth on South Street Seaport (a few blocks up from Battery Park where you can depart for Statue of Liberty visits) or the booth at Lincoln Center – see the map above!

4

Theatre Box Office

To avoid service fees, you can buy tickets directly from the Theatre Box Office but they don’t always offer the best price. Box Offices are usually open between 12am and 8pm so visit the theatre of your chosen show directly but get there early, the earlier you arrive the better the deal you can find.

5

Broadway Box

To avoid heartbreak when your favourite show is sold out, you can book tickets in advance on BroadwayBox.com. They are known for offering the best prices on broadway tickets with some great discounts available!

6

Playbill 

The Playbill website has a whole section of discounts that are available for various shows. Browse the offers, print of the discount vouchers and use these at the Theatre Box Office to save money on your tickets.

7

Standing Room only

A more unusual option but if you are desperate to see a show, you can opt for a Standing Room only ticket. These are sold often when shows are already sold out but are literally a standing area. You may be able to sit in a spare seat that is unoccupied after the interval or intermission. These aren’t available for all shows.

You can visit the theatre during the day of a show and enquire about standing tickets.

8

Theatre Lottery

Some productions offer a ticket lottery for those looking for same day tickets. This means you can get discounted tickets but may not be guaranteed tickets until later in the day. Check the TodayTix app or the guide on playbill.com to see what your chosen production/theatre offers.

A full list of lotteries available can be found at the Broadway Direct Lottery website.

9

Off-Broadway and Off-Off-Broadway

You can opt to save a lot of money by seeing a show off Broadway, meaning the show may have a smaller budget or may be less popular but in my experience are still just as good.

10

Broadway Roulette

Broadway Roulette is a popular new option for those looking to see a show but who don’t mind which show you watch. You pay a set price (usually $49 or $59), choose a date you are available and then there are a few options such as family-friendly or any, musical or musical and plays. Then the roulette will choose which show you see.

Guide to the best Broadway shows

Not sure what to see? Here is our quick rundown of some of the best shows on Broadway! 

  • Child-friendly – Matilda, The Lion King, Frozen are all great shows to take young children to.
  • Comedy – For some crude comedy, check out Avenue Q or watch The Book of Mormon, Mean Girls or The play that goes wrong for some laughter and love.
  • Top rated – Hamilton, The Phantom of the Opera, Wicked, Chicago, Pretty Woman, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child are the most popular shows on Broadway this year (2019).
  • Newest shows – February 2019 saw the start of ‘Kiss me, Kate’, ‘King Lear’ and ‘Be More Chill’. March introduced ‘Ain’t Too Proud’ whilst ‘Moulin Rouge’ will open on the 25th of July.

Tips for watching a Broadway show

  • Broadway week – If you visit NYC during Broadway week, you can take advantage of the 2-for-1 tickets available for most shows.
  • Print your tickets – Not all theatres will accept an email confirmation or print of the tickets for you, so print them in advance before coming to NYC or ask your hotel to help you print them.
  • Food and Drink – Like most events around the world, expect to pay premium prices for food and drink at Broadway shows. If you’re on a budget, pick up some snacks (the less rustling needed the better) and a bottle of drink from a nearby convenience store to avoid the high prices. Equally, if you choose to purchase drinks in the Theatre, mixers are more expensive than wine and beer.
  • Avoid bringing extra bags – We all love to shop in New York City but leave the bags at the hotel. Seat space is tight with very little room for shopping.
  • Ticket pick up – If you have ordered tickets online at short notice, the chances are you will have to pick up tickets from the box office. Do this during the day to avoid long queues in the evening.
  • Arrive early – These shows can be super busy so check your show start time and arrive at least 30 minutes before the show starts.
  • Use your time before the show – Use the toilet, browse and buy your merchandise before the show starts. Queues are long during the intermission so always get what you want before.
  • Listen to the Ushers – Ushers will tell you which way your seat is, meet them at the stairway and follow their guidance; no one wants to walk for ages up the wrong flight of stairs.
  • Settle down – Take off your coat, put your bag under the chair, open your sweets, sit down and get all the rustling out the way BEFORE the show starts. You don’t want to be the person everyone gives grumpy glances towards during a performance.
  • Stagedoor – If you want to meet a performer, head to the stage door after the show. They will often sign your Playbill but can take a while to come out after the show.
  • Early dinner – Reserve dinner in advance and aim for 2 hours before the show starts. Nothing is worse than having to rush down your pre-theatre meal.

Well, I hope you can get some tickets for a Broadway show and please share your experiences in the comments below! Any awesome shows you would recommend?

Helpful Resources

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Buying Broadway tickets in New York City
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10 Top Tips for Getting Broadway Tickets in NYC – Pin This!
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Buying Broadway tickets in New York City
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Showing 34 comments
  • Sina Meyer
    Reply

    Great tips! I might be in New York City in April and always wanted to see a show at Broadway, so that helps a lot 🙂

  • Garth
    Reply

    Super tips! thanks for taking the time to write and share these. Will pin this for a future visit to NYC as we will want to buy tickets 🙂

  • Eva
    Reply

    Great tips Katie. I will sure be more prepared next time I’m in the big apple 🙂

  • Claire Summers
    Reply

    Some great tips here. If I ever have to que up I always go down to battery park booth or they even have one in Brooklyn. the bonus is you can sometimes get tickets from those two booths for the next day, which you can’t at the Time square one. They also have an app with is helpful so you know what they have available before you go and stand on line!

  • Carla
    Reply

    I’m planning to visit NY and would love to get tickets to a Broadway show. Thank you for the great tips that I’ll consider!

  • ThriftyTrails
    Reply

    I’ve never been to broadway! I didn’t know there were so many options when it came to buying tickets. Good to know!

  • thi
    Reply

    Wow, this is a great post! I’ve visited New York several times, but never got the chance to watch any broadway shows. This is definitely on my bucket list! Thank you for sharing! xoxo

  • Ariel
    Reply

    OMG! Thanks for the tips! I hope to visit NY for the first time this year with Hubby and I absolutely love watching plays and musicals. I’ve always wanted to watch one on Broadway so these tips were really helpful!

  • Jujevyle
    Reply

    I may not be able to visit NY but this post will help other travel enthusisasts be guided. I will surely share the tips. Thank you.

  • Amy
    Reply

    Great tips, and this is something on my wander-list! A friend is going, and I was amazed at how far in advance tickets sell out when she told me!

  • Harsh Gupta
    Reply

    Broadway show in NYC would be so much fun, I am bookmarking this so that can refer back once planning our trip this year.

  • Lisa
    Reply

    Some credit card companies allow you to get tickets through their card member specials too! Everyone wants to take in at least one show while in NYC, especially if it’s your first visit. Thanks for the tips.

    • Katie
      Reply

      Oh I didn’t know that! Thanks for sharing!!!

  • Courtney Jones
    Reply

    Ohhhh I love Broadway shows! I’ve been to a few in NYC, and would have loved to read this tips first!

  • neha
    Reply

    These seem to be great tips to avoid wasting to much time queued up for the tickets. Hope people adopt these as much as possible

  • Suma Jain
    Reply

    It would be a dream come true for me if ever get to go for a Broadway show in NYC! Some great tips here for all the Broadway lovers. Bookmarking it to refer while planning my New York trip :).

  • Maja Mexatia
    Reply

    I was considering to get some tickets years ago, but the line on TS discouraged me from doing so! Next time we will definitely book advance. Thanks for sharing the tips!

  • Hendrik
    Reply

    Really helpful, especially for our upcoming NYC stay in March! We actually did not plan a Broadway visit yet, since we are there only 3 days and see already so many other things. But your tip about return/rush tickets is very smart and helpful, maybe we will try this out. thank you for sharing!

  • Shaira Habon
    Reply

    Thanks for the super helpful tips. Seeing a broadway show is definitely part of my bucket list. I didn’t know getting a ticket would be that hard but again, thank you for sharing this post. Bookmarking this for future reference 🙂

  • Jean
    Reply

    Great tips. I wasn’t lucky enough to get tickets to any show when I was in NYC. Next time I’ll be prepared.

  • The Travel Ninjas
    Reply

    Love these tips on Broadway tickets. Getting them can be so difficult and expensive. These tips will make finding great ticket so much easier.

  • Ticking the Bucketlist
    Reply

    These are really great tips. I have never been to New York, but when I do, a show is surely on the cards. Will bookmark this for future reference.

  • Travel Lexx
    Reply

    Some top tips there – I have never been to a Broadway show and only a handful performances in London but would love to do it some day! Thanks for sharing

  • Barry
    Reply

    Haven’t been to Broadway or New York yet but it’s on my bucket list. Have pinned these tips for later and hopefully get to use them one day.

  • Angie (FeetDoTravel)
    Reply

    These are some cool tips! I really want to see a show on Broadway and I wouldn’t know half of this information if you wouldn’t have taken the time to share it so thank you, I have pinned it for future reference. #feetdotravel

  • James Smith
    Reply

    I’m now ready for Broadway. I think you just saved me some money! I’ll get my ticket ASAP! Thanks for sharing

  • Tracy
    Reply

    Great tips! You have to see a Broadway show when in NYC!

  • Trippin' Turpins (Kelly)
    Reply

    Great information. Thank you for sharing your tips!

  • Fiona Mai
    Reply

    Very useful tips! A friend of mine recently failed to purchase a broadway ticket for her favorite show, and later somehow managed to get a standing room only ticket. The theatre was all packed so she had to stand all the time, but it was well worth it in the end for her 🙂

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