Here’s the thing—these days, it’s not easy to get cheap Broadway tickets last minute (often, it’s more luck than anything else). If you’re wondering how to get cheap Broadway tickets, you’ll have to put in some work and be prepared for disappointment. In this guide to where to get cheap Broadway tickets, I’m sharing some secrets for where to shop and how to get Broadway tickets for cheap.
Did You Get Travel Insurance Yet?
The Insurance companies I recommend are Hey Mondo and Safety Wing
Hey Mondo is great if you are looking for a great value flexible policy. They offer single-trip cover, annual multi-trip cover, and long-term travel cover. Safety Wing is great value, with monthly coverage starting at $39. It’s super easy to use, and it just renews each month. I currently use them as they offer me free cover for my son as part of my policy.
Read my full travel insurance post here, where I go into detail about all companies.
How to Get Discounted Broadway Tickets: Musement
Most big shows on Broadway (Hamilton, The Lion King, and Wicked) never offer discounted tickets. So, if you’re determined to catch one of these shows, you have two options: play the Broadway Lottery (more on this coming up) or pay full price for tickets but book through a third party, like Musement, that guarantees price matching. If you find the ticket cheaper elsewhere, the company will refund the difference, so you know you’re paying the lowest price possible. You can check Musement for the latest deals on Broadway shows and other attractions.
Tickets for Hamilton start at $279 and go up to almost $2000, which is quite frankly INSANE. So, if that’s entirely out of your budget, you’ll only get to see Hamilton by playing the Broadway lottery.
Quick Tip: Book accommodation, tours, and transport ahead of time online to save money and stress.
Best NYC Tours: Click here to check out the top NYC tours
Best NYC Accommodation: Click here to check out the best accommodation in NYC
Best NYC Transport: Click here to book a bus, ferry, or train in NYC
How to Buy Broadway Tickets Cheap: Broadway Lottery
I was hanging out in NYC one weekend with Roaming Nanny, and we decided to see a Broadway show last minute. We went to the TKTS booth downtown (the one most people don’t know about), but there was nothing under $60.
After that, we decided to try our luck—at 1:30 p.m. (before the 2:00 p.m. matinee shows), we ran to as many Broadway theaters as possible, begging for a discounted ticket under $50. Sadly, none of the five theaters we visited were willing to work with us on a discount.
Feeling defeated, we wandered into an Irish pub to drown our sorrows and make a backup plan for how to get discount Broadway tickets. We told our story to the two girls serving us our pints, and they informed us of the Broadway lottery. How had we never heard of this before?!
The concept of the Broadway lottery is simple—you enter for a chance to win cheap Broadway tickets last minute. There are some downsides, and the odds of scoring tickets are slim. The lottery can also take time to enter, which eats into your vacation time.
However, the lottery is an excellent option if you’re on a tight budget (and not seeing a show won’t ruin your vacation in New York) or you are local to the area and have plenty of time.
How to Get Cheap Broadway Tickets With the Broadway Lottery
Each show has a slightly different process for how to get cheap Broadway tickets with the lottery. For example, Wicked makes you enter the lottery in person at the theater. You write your name on a piece of paper and must be physically present for the ticket drawing with an ID and cash on hand (in case you win). I was lucky enough to win the Wicked lottery and got excellent seats for $20!
Most other show lotteries can be entered online, and you’ll receive an email notification if you win. You then pay for your tickets online and collect them at the box office. Many Broadway lotteries are managed through Broadway Direct, but there are several other platforms as well.
For all the latest information about how to get discounted Broadway tickets with the lottery, click here.
How to Get Discount Broadway Tickets: Broadway Roulette
Playing Broadway Roulette is the latest and greatest way to score Broadway tickets around $49 to $59. You pay money upfront and find out later what show you’ll see. You have no control over the tickets you get, so there’s a chance you spend money on a show you don’t want to see or have seen before. If you don’t mind what Broadway show you see, or it’s your first time watching a show, this method could be worth trying.
How to Buy Cheap Broadway Tickets: TKTS Booths
TKTS booths are the most popular option if you’re wondering where to get cheap Broadway tickets for same-day shows. Several booths are located throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn—most people only know about the main one in Times Square. This location always has long wait times, and you can only get tickets for the next show coming up. If you visit one of the other TKTS booths, there’s ordinarily little to no wait, and you can often get tickets further in advance.
I recommend going to the TKTS booth downtown on South Street Seaport, as you can get same-day and next-day matinee tickets. Plus, the line is always much shorter. The booth is open from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Check online to see what tickets the booth will offer first to ensure you’re interested in the shows.
How to Buy Broadway Tickets Cheap: TDF Membership
My last recommendation for how to get Broadway tickets for cheap is to become a Theatre Development Fund (TDF) member. The membership is $42 a year, but you can easily save more if you book tickets for a group, as the discount is up to 70%. Unfortunately, not everyone is eligible to join the TDF. You’ll need to fit into one of these categories to qualify for a membership:
- Full-time student
- Full-time teacher or school faculty
- Recent graduate (26 years of age and under)
- Full-time union member
- Retiree (no longer working and 62 years of age or older)
- Individuals on federal disability
- Full-time government employee/civil servant
- Full-time staff member of not-for-profit organization
- Full-time non-exempt employee (full-time and eligible for overtime pay)
- Full-time arts professional
- Member of the armed forces
- Full-time clergy
Travel Guide Planning
🚗 Where can I book bus or private transportation while I’m traveling?
I strongly recommend using Bookaway. You can book almost all transport in the major tourist destinations through them online. They don’t just cover buses they also cover shuttles, ferries, and private drivers.
🎫 Where can I buy tickets for museums, attractions, and tours?
👩⚕️ What is the best insurance to have while traveling?
I have also written a blog post covering all my recommended travel insurance here
✈️ Any flight recommendations?
📱What do you use for internet connection while traveling?
I’m a big fan of personal WiFi devices and they have saved my ass so many times when traveling. I wrote a full review of the top travel WiFi devices you can read here. I personally use GlocalMe as I can either pop in a physical sim card or use their local carrier.
With regards to my phone connection, I use e-sims while traveling, so rather than having to swap out my regular sim card I can download the app and buy a virtual sim card. I recommend using eitherAirhub or Alosim. Both have great coverage of multiple countries and are very easy to use.
🛏️ What is the best platform to use for booking accommodation?
🛅 Do you have any luggage recommendations for traveling?
How to Get Cheap Broadway Tickets: Final Thoughts
Budget travelers who don’t mind the risk of not seeing a show should play the Broadway lottery. If you want to see a show for the best price possible, book your ticket at Musement—those who don’t care about seeing a specific show or waiting in a potentially long line should try shopping at TKTS booths. I hope this guide on how to buy cheap Broadway tickets helps you experience the magic of a Broadway show during your next trip to New York!