Things to do in Halifax

Things to do in  Halifax

The maritime machine

Nova Scotia’s largest city, Halifax is an ideal blend of urbanity and the maritime warmth for which the province is known. Historic homes lead into a glittering downtown, and things to do in Halifax include visiting local pubs to hear traditional Celtic music, kayaking the Halifax Harbour, and exploring Canadian history with a tour of the Halifax Citadel. Make sure you order lobster when eating out, and make time for a late-night donair—this pita sandwich stuffed with spit-roasted shaved beef and slathered with sauce is the official food of Halifax.

Top 15 attractions in Halifax

Halifax Citadel National Historic Site

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Overlooking Downtown Halifax, this strategically set hilltop fortification has presided over the capital of Nova Scotia since 1856, with earlier versions of the fort having stood here since 1749. Today, the former British citadel remembers the military history of Halifax, with exhibits focusing on life within the 19th-century fort.More

Fairview Lawn Cemetery

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Fairview Lawn Cemetery is a fascinating place to encounter some of the tragedies that have befallen Halifax, Nova Scotia. Most notably, Fairview is the final resting place of more than 100 people who were lost in the sinking of theTitanic, as well as many others who died in the 1917 Halifax Explosion that devastated the provincial capital.More

Halifax Public Gardens

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Open to the public since 1867—the year Canada achieved confederation—the Halifax Public Gardens is one of the oldest Victorian gardens in North America. This National Historic Site of Canada was built on two formerly adjacent gardens, and today the idyllic urban green space is home to a variety of trees, flowers, and even tropical plants.More

Peggy’s Cove

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Appearance-wise, little has changed in this picturesque Nova Scotia fishing village over the past century. Colorful, salt-weathered fishermen’s houses and the town’s iconic red-and-white lighthouse stand strong along the sea-splashed shore of St. Margaret’s Bay, and lobster traps, jetties, and fishing boats are still all over the place.More

St. Paul's Anglican Church

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Dating back to 1749, St. Paul’s Anglican Church is the oldest building in Halifax and the oldest standing Protestant church in Canada. As a National Historic Site of Canada, the church is noteworthy for its stained glass windows, pipe organ, subterranean crypt, and adjacent cemetery.More

Maritime Museum of the Atlantic

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Learn about the seafaring history of Nova Scotia—which comprises the Atlantic provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island—and its strong connection to the Atlantic Ocean at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. The museum traces the area’s maritime heritage, from the arrival of French, Irish, and Scottish immigrants by boat to the importance of the boatbuilding and fishing trades.More

Old Town Clock

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Halifax’s Old Town Clock has faithfully kept time for the city since its installation in 1803. The clock is manually wound twice a week, and you can hear its chimes throughout the downtown area. With its copper dome, Palladian symmetry, and bright white exterior, the beloved landmark is a fixture of downtown Halifax.More

Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21

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Now the Canadian Museum of Immigration, Pier 21 in Halifax, Nova Scotia served as the first glimpse of Canada for many people who came to make this country their home. Interactive exhibits offer visitors the chance to learn what these new residents faced as they left where they came from in hopes of finding something better.More

Alexander Keith's Brewery

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One of the oldest breweries in Canada, Alexander Keith’s Halifax brewery still operates from its original location, which dates back to 1820. A visit here will show you how the company’s popular beers are made—and give you the chance to have a taste.More

Halifax City Hall

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Halifax City Hall stands at the north end of the city’s historical Grand Parade, which dates back to when Halifax was founded in 1749. The building was constructed between 1887 and 1890 and is now one of the oldest public buildings in Nova Scotia. Using a combination of sandstone and granite, the building’s architecture stands out from other nearby buildings.More
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Oak Island

Oak Island

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This privately owned island is one of several hundred forested islands scattered around Nova Scotia’s Mahone Bay. According to local legend, Oak Island is the site of buried treasure—some speculate that loot was hidden by plundering pirates such as Captain Kidd and Blackbeard. Treasure hunters are still drawn here in search of booty.More

Point Pleasant Park

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The vast green space and wooded trails of Point Pleasant Park, on the southern tip of the Halifax peninsula, contains 185 acres (75 hectares) of oceanside parkland. Bustling with walkers, joggers, and visitors to the seaside city, this park is home to statues, events, and memorials including the Halifax Monument erected in 1969.More

Halifax Seaport Farmers' Market

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Head to the Halifax Seaport Farmers' Market for a great selection of locally grown and crafted items. Foodie travelers will be in their element here, as the market features 250 vendors selling everything from fresh seafood to local cheeses and handmade desserts.More

Province House

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The towering columns of Province House are fittingly impressive for the oldest legislative building in Canada. With classic Palladian symmetry and a sizable portrait collection, Province House is an ideal destination for history-lovers. Today, as a meeting place for the Nova Scotia legislative assembly, you can watch history in the making as you observe a House of Assembly sitting.More
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Halifax Cruise Port

Halifax Cruise Port

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Halifax Seaport in Nova Scotia is where you’ll land if you’re coming to the city on a cruise. The seaport has plenty to offer visitors, including a daily farmers market. Most attractions are a short walk from the town center.More

Top activities in Halifax

Halifax Harbour Hopper Tour

Halifax Harbour Hopper Tour

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$46.71
Tall Ship Silva Sailing Cruise

Tall Ship Silva Sailing Cruise

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$55.38
Halifax Segway City Spin

Halifax Segway City Spin

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$66.47
Halifax Hop On Hop Off Bus

Halifax Hop On Hop Off Bus

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$74.94
Halifax & Peggys Cove & Coastal

Halifax & Peggys Cove & Coastal

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$309.90
per group
Nova Scotia Day Tour - Visit Peggy's Cove, Lunenburg, and the Annapolis Valley.
Special Offer
Wine and Lunch Escape

Wine and Lunch Escape

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$174.30
Valley Wine Tour

Valley Wine Tour

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$159.27
Halifax Segway City Tour

Halifax Segway City Tour

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$84.19
Cruise Ship Shore Excursion

Cruise Ship Shore Excursion

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$141.24
Hidden Gems Tour Lunenburg
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out

Hidden Gems Tour Lunenburg

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$37.56
Peggy’s Cove

Peggy’s Cove

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$95.41
Halifax Now & Then

Halifax Now & Then

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$105.17
Adult Single Kayak Rental

Adult Single Kayak Rental

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$22.54

All about Halifax

When to visit

Halifax is at its busiest in July and August, as well as its most expensive. Little wonder, given that the coastal destination enjoys sunny weather, a packed festival calendar—including highlights like the Halifax Jazz Festival and Halifax Pride Week—and highs around 77°F (25° C), with spikes up to 90°F (32°C). For a slightly calmer experience, consider the September and October shoulder season, when fall foliage is on full display and events such as the Halifax Fringe Festival welcome visitors.

Getting around

Halifax is served by the Halifax Stanfield International Airport and the Halifax train station, while the Trans-Canada Highway links it to destinations across Canada. Public transportation options include dozens of bus routes that crisscross the region, as well as two ferry lines: the Alderney Ferry and Woodside Ferry. Taxis are available locally, while private car rentals and guided tours and day trips provide other ways to get around.

Traveler tips

Halifax’s coastal climate means that weather is unpredictable—indeed, it often changes several times in a single day. Take a page from the locals and dress comfortably, casually, and with lots of layers. Waterproof boots are wise to pack throughout much of the year, as are rain jackets, cozy sweaters, and scarves, though prepare to remove a layer or two if the sun comes out.

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People Also Ask

How do I spend a day in Halifax?

With one day to spend, you can glimpse Halifax’s maritime past with a wander along the historic waterfront, which is packed with cafés, shops, and galleries. Later, head to the Halifax Public Gardens for a prime example of a Victorian garden.

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Is Halifax worth visiting?

Yes, Nova Scotia’s largest city is the perfect blend of maritime warmth and urban cool. Explore arts and music festivals in summer and embrace the bustling winter nightlife that Halifax offers. Take a break from the city to discover nature and villages showcasing the beauty of Atlantic Canada.

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How do I spend 3 days in Halifax?

On your first day, step back in time at historic Halifax Public Gardens and marvel at the colorful Victorian homes in the South End. Day two can be spent at Halifax Citadel for views over the city, and day three takes you to visit the scenic lighthouse at Peggy’s Cove.

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Is Halifax fun in the winter?

Yes, it may be chilly in winter, but the locals know how to keep spirits high in Halifax. The nightlife stays merry with live music and cozy pubs, and the Emera Oval is a huge, outdoor ice rink that attracts hundreds of visitors every day.

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How many days should you spend in Halifax?

Take at least three days to appreciate the city’s restaurants, museums, and architecture. Full of history, Halifax is also a good home base to explore nearby spots—take a day trip to visit Nova Scotia’s scenic fishing villages or head to one of the nearby provincial parks.

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What is unique to Halifax?

Founded in 1750, the Halifax Seaport Farmers Market is one of the oldest farmers markets in North America. This unique spot is located on the waterfront so you can enjoy views of the harbor after sampling fresh pastries adnd coffee and picking up seasonal produce.

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Frequently Asked Questions
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