Buying Broadway tickets can be stressful as there are so many options. We share the best place to buy Broadway tickets in this complete guide.
However, one thing that can be tricky when visiting New York (especially in the busier seasons), is buying Broadway tickets and getting 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.
Planning your Broadway visit
Buying Broadway tickets in Advance? Best time to buy Broadway tickets?
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 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.
So, if you don’t have a tight budget, you are short on time and you have a certain show you want to see, book online in advance.
Although buying Broadway tickets online may not always be as cheap at the TKT Booth, the queues can be notoriously long. If you have just 2 days in New York City, you don’t want to be spending up to 3 hours of that, buying Broadway tickets in person!
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.
These are the best websites for buying Broadway tickets – personally, I price compare across them all for my given show and date but you can also subscribe for updates and discounts which can help to get a great deal!
Best Place for Buying Broadway Tickets
Returns or Rush Tickets – Can I get Broadway tickets on the day?
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. This is often the cheapest way for buying Broadway tickets
Some people may have returned their tickets 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.
The theatres open around noon on most days so aim for 11.45 a.m., but you can head here for opening to get last-minute tickets; no theatre wants to have a semi-sold audience.
Buying 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.
Buying Broadway tickets at the 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 12 pm and 8 pm so visit the theatre of your chosen show directly but get there early, the earlier you arrive the better the deal you can find.
Broadway is a great place to stay in NYC, especially if you plan on seeing many Broadway shows. Plus, by staying near, you can get to the theatres for opening, no matter how much of a lay-in you may need!
To avoid heartbreak when your favorite 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!
Many shows are available on the website and there are various discounts available but for the best deals, check out the shows on the home page; these are the ones with the bigger discounts.
You can also sign up for their newsletter to receive offers and get awesome deals as soon as they are available. If you are based in NYC, this is one of the most popular option for buying Broadway tickets.
Buying Broadway tickets on the Playbill Website
The Playbill website has a whole section of discounts that are available for various shows.
Browse the offers, print the discount vouchers, and use these at the Theatre Box Office to save money on your tickets. Just note, that they don’t have discounts on all shows, so look out for the yellow “View Discount” label.
They also have opportunities to win free tickets for Broadway shows, so click the Win Free Tickets for a chance to win.
Standing room Only
Visiting New York City for the first time can be busy, so busy you can forget to book that very popular Broadway show.
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.
There are many pros and cons to living in New York City, but one massive pro is that you can take advantage of the 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.
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, they are still just as good.
You could also try and get Shakespeare in the Park tickets; there are a few ways you can get tickets and performances to run in the warmer months.
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 plays.
Then the roulette will choose which show you see.
Guide to the Best Broadway Shows
There are many incredible shows to enjoy on Broadway, it can be hard to work out which one is for you!
This guide should give you an idea of which to go for, depending on your preference and who you are visiting with (scroll below for kid-friendly Broadway shows).
Take note, when buying Broadway tickets, make sure to book tickets in advance when visiting with family; it can be harder to get more than 2 tickets last minute for these family-friendly Broadway shows.
Based on the founding father, Alexandra Hamilton, this incredible hip-hop musical is a must-see for anyone who loves musicals with a great storyline.
This follows the life of Hamilton as he joins the American Revolution but it is the music numbers and comedic lines that bring this show truly to life and will have you singing for the rest of your NYC trip.
MJ The Musical
Based on the life of Michael Jackson, the MJ Musical is a work of art. This is the show to see if you love dance and music; the choreography is IMPRESSIVE, as you would expect from a Michael Jackson performance.
The show moves through the life and memories of the King of Pop, perfect for fans of the legend.
Moulin Rouge The Musical
Based on Bay Luhrmann’s film of the same name, the Moulin Rouge show offers everything you can imagine. Full of glitz, grandeur, and a spectacular soundtrack, this is a great option for those who love amazing dance numbers.
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
The dark, bloody tale of Sweeny Todd is haunting Broadway and we love it! Currently starring Josh Groban, this show is full of amazing music, a haunting cast, and an interesting storyline.
Monty Python’s Spamalot
This quirky show is back! Previews begin October 31st, 2023 with the show officially opening on November 16th. This 2005 Tony Award winner is a comedy show, with a very cheesy, British sentence of humour (says the Brit).
This is a light-hearted show, which isn’t the best I have seen but is a great choice for those wanting something funny and fun.
Some like it Hot
Based on the 1959 comedy classic, the story of two musicians forced to flee Chicago after witnessing a mob hit creates an interesting, unique musical. This is a comedic show that pushes gender norms and raises questions about sexuality whilst also staying lighthearted and offering a great soundtrack.
Broadway with family?
Families.Broadway is a resource that offers special family offers and unique Broadway experiences for the whole family.
Broadway can be a magical place for the whole family and there are some amazing shows to choose from, that kids love:
For younger children (aged 6+)
Aladdin: This Disney show is open to children 4 or over but we recommend taking children to Broadway shows from the age of 6 upwards; younger than that, many children can’t sit still or quiet for the length of the show.
The Aladdin show follows the same storyline as the Aladdin movie, complete with the same well-known songs, incredible sets, and fun dance routines.
The show is 2 and a half hours, a slightly longer option for children.
The Lion King: You can’t go wrong with this classic show. The stage adaptation of the Disney movie is incredible, with bright colors, fantastic dance pieces, and familiar songs.
There is also well-choreography puppetry, making the audience see the animals rather than the people holding them.
Back to the Future: This 2-hour, 40-minute performance is based on another iconic film (with the same name). We recommend showing the film to kids before seeing the show as the storyline can be harder to follow at times; especially when the incredible lighting effects begin.
For children (aged 8+)
Wicked: Set as a prequel to The Wizard of Oz, this is my all-time favorite musical. With spectacular musical numbers, a powerful storyline, fun characters, and amazing costumes, this is a must for those children who love to dance.
Tip: Visit the Gershwin Theatre early to see the costume displays and enjoy the photo ops in the lobby.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Children under 5 are not admitted to this performance and it is a 3-hour, 30-minute show; much longer than usual.
Following on from the Harry Potter franchise, the show takes place several years after the ending of the final novel, with Harry, Ron, and Hermione children heading off to Hogwarts and finding their own magic and mystery.
& Juliet: Based on Romeo and Juliet’s story (with less death and heartache), this story focuses on a “what if” scenario, mainly, what if Juliet does not die.
Full of fun pop music and comedic lines, this is a unique interpretation of the popular Shakespeare play that many younger viewers enjoy.
For Children (ages 10+)
Shucked: Referred to as a farm-to-fable musical, this musical focuses on the themes of unity and open-mindedness. Complete with country music, corny jokes, and fun characters, this is a great show for children aged 10 and up.
SIX: The Musical: Based on the SIX ex-wives of King Henry VIII, this is a fun, interesting musical. The catch pop music resonates with tweens and teens, and the show is just 80 minutes with no intermission; ideal for those kids that can’t sit still for too long!
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. The 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.
- 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 toward during a performance.
- 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.
- 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.
Tips for first-timers on Broadway
- Avoid large backpacks and shopping bags, as rows in the theatres are generally close together, with limited legroom. Some theatres have a checked bag and coast area so you can take advantage of that, but it’s best to avoid bringing too much in with you.
- Arrive early. Head to the theatre at least 40 minutes before the show begins; this gives you time to have your ticket and bags checked, get yourself a drink, and find your seat. DO NOT BE LATE – most theatres do not allow late seating anymore; they used to allow latecomers in during a song but not now. You will be asked to watch the show on a monitor in the lobby and then enter during the intermission, meaning you miss the show.
- Read the Playbill. As you enter the theatre, you will be given a playbill, which includes some contextual information about the show. Give this a read if you have never seen the show you are about to watch and don’t know the storyline.
- Unwrap beforehand. We love taking a bag of sweets or mints into the theatre with us as well as a soft drink. However, open that fizzy bottle and unwrap the snacks before the show; you don’t want to be that person!
- Meet the actors. If there is a performer you want to meet, head to the state door outside the theatre after the show. This is where the actors and performers leave from and are generally happy to sign playbills and memorabilia.
- Bring layers. No matter what time of the year you are visiting, it is worth bringing a light cardigan, jumper, or hoodie. Theatres tend to have their air-con high during performances, so bringing an extra layer can make you a little more comfortable and cozy whilst watching the show.
NYC Broadway ticket tips
BUYING BROADWAY TICKETS FAQ
What is the cheapest way to buy Broadway tickets?
The cheapest way for buying Broadway tickets is by using the Ticket Lottery, the Broadway Roulette and the Student rush tickets.
Is it better to buy Broadway tickets in advance?
If you have a specific show in mind, then booking tickets in advance is a must. If you don’t mind which show you watch, getting discounted last-minute tickets is possible and can save you a lot of money.
What is the best site to buy Broadway Tickets?
Ticketmaster is the major ticket seller for buying Broadway tickets, so if you want the best seat for you, head there. Alternatively, save money by using Theatermania, BroadwayBox, or Playbill.
Is it better to buy Broadway Tickets online or at the box office?
It is much easier to buy tickets online, where you can compare the seats and prices in front of you. If you book in advance, you also have more options.
Best place to buy Broadway tickets?
If you are booking online, head to Ticketmaster, TheaterMania, BroadwayBox, and Goldstar. If you are buying in person, head to the Theatre Box office directly or use the TKT Booths around NYC.
How can I get Broadway tickets without fees?
Buy tickets in person from the Theatre Box Office to avoid ticket fees.
How much are Broadway tickets?
When buying Broadway tickets, the ticket prices range from $20 to $175 depending on which show you watch. Chicago, The Phantom of the Opera, and Kinky Boots are some of the cheapest Broadway shows you can watch whilst Hamilton, Frozen, The Lion King, Aladdin, and Wicked are some of the more expensive Broadway show tickets to buy.
How far in advance should you buy Broadway tickets?
If you want to watch a popular show or you are visiting in busy seasons in New York City (such as the summer or Christmas), then booking tickets at least 3 months before is essential. We recommend aiming for 6 months in advance if possible.
Where is the best place to sit in a Broadway Show?
The best seats in most theatres are the center of the orchestra seats and the front of the mezzanine seats; this is why these seats can be quite a bit more in price.
There is such a thing as sitting too near the stage itself and of course, sitting too far back can be a challenge to see all the facial expressions of the shows.
Does Ticketmaster sell Broadway tickets?
Yes, you can get yourself Broadway tickets on Ticketmaster but these aren’t always the cheapest. Also, avoid the “premium” Ticketmaster seats; this is a boost in price that Ticketmaster sets when there is a high demand.
What is the best day to see a Broadway Show?
Friday and Saturday nights are the most popular day to see shows, as this is obviously the weekend and many people aren’t rushing to work the next day. Also, New York is a bustling, fun place on the weekend.
However, to get the best seats for the best price, aim for a weekday, such as Monday to Wednesday. These tend to be the quieter days to see a show.
Is it worth sitting on the front row of Broadway?
It is up to the viewer if they want to sit front row, but many avoid doing so, especially for musicals. This is because you can’t see the entire cast during large ensembles and may miss some of the staging effects.
That being said, we have sat front row for Wicked as these are cheaper seats when you book last minute, and loved it!
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?
What to pack for NYC?
- We LOVE this camera for our travel photography.
- For a cheap, easy, and compact camera, we use this to vlog and take photographs.
- We use this microphone for all our Youtube voiceovers.
- We use this travel drone (but make sure to check drone laws in your chosen destination first).
- This is our favorite travel insurance because it covers so many activities and travel situations that could arise on longer trips but also offer year coverage.
What to pack
- No matter where we travel, I always take these trusty hand sanitizers and a mini first aid kit.
- We love these toiletry bags (especially great for smaller bathrooms) and choose a laptop bag like this as our hand luggage.
- We keep our devices charged on long travel days with these lightweight battery packs and bring these worldwide travel adaptors on all our trips.
- I still struggle not to overpack so stick to using an expandable suitcase like these and always take my trusty luggage scales to avoid being charged at the airport.