Best Tips for Broadway

Whether forking over hundreds of dollars for a top seat or shoestringing it with a standing-room ticket, you'll have better Broadway experiences to brag about if you take our advice.

Do your homework. Remember—your friend’s must-see may not be yours. Subscribe to online newsletters ahead of your trip for access to show reviews, special ticket offers, and more. If it's a classic play or opera, you may enjoy it more if you've read a synopsis before you go.

Reserve and plan ahead. TKTS booth is a great resource if you're up for what the fates make available, but for must-sees, book early. While you're at it, ask whether the regular cast is expected. (An in-person stop at the box office is the most reliable way to score this information, but don't hold them to it unless it's the day of the performance. If there is a change then—and the replacement cast is not acceptable to you—you may get a refund.) For musicals, live music often adds a special zing; confirm when ticketing to avoid surprises on the rare occasion when recorded music is used.

Check theater seating charts. Front mezzanine is a great option; with seats that overhang the orchestra section, they can be better (though not always less expensive) than many orchestra seats. Book with a seating chart at hand (available online and at the box office). Check accessibility, especially at older theaters with multiple flights of stairs and few elevators.

Know when to go. Typically, Broadway shows give eight performances a week. There are nightly performances from Tuesday through Saturday night, and matinees at 2 pm on Wednesday and Saturday and at 3 pm on Sunday (on Monday most theaters are closed, or "dark"). Weekend shows, especially Saturday night, are the most difficult tickets to get. Tuesday is especially promising, and an earlier curtain—sometimes as early as 7 instead of the usual 8 pm—helps ensure a good night's sleep for your next day of touring.

Dress right.You can throw on jeans to go to the theater these days, but personally we feel shorts and sneakers have no place on Broadway (at least in the audience). Bring binoculars if your seats are up high, check bulky coats if a coat check is available, and drop bags and packages off at your hotel room in advance—theater seats tend to be narrow, with little leg room.

Travel smart. Trying to get to the show on time? Unless you don't mind watching the meter run up while you're stuck in traffic, avoid cabs into or out of Times Square. Walk, especially if you're within 10 blocks of the theater. Otherwise, take the subway; many train lines converge in the area. And you don't need to arrive 30 or 40 minutes ahead (15 will do).

Dine off Broadway. Dining well on a budget and doing Broadway right are not mutually exclusive. The key is to avoid eating in Times Square itself—even the national chains are overpriced. Consider eating earlier instead, in whatever neighborhood you're visiting that day. If you're already in Midtown, head west to 9th or 10th Avenue, where prix-fixe deals and good eateries are plentiful and many actors and theater folk live.

Previous Experience

World Trade Center Site

Next Experience

Best Tours in New York City

Find a Hotel


Fodor's New York City 2024

View Details