In Halifax, Nova Scotia—a global Canadian city in which you can go shopping, surfing, and pub-crawling all in one day—there are so many exciting things to do that it might be difficult to decide what to do.
We have given you the solution to what to do in Halifax in this guide.
The city of Halifax is crammed with some of the best restaurants, pubs, and energetic live music venues on Canada’s east coast, in addition to amazing recreational excursions on land and sea.
Whatever you choose to do, you’ll quickly see why Halifax is represented on our list of the greatest things to do throughout Nova Scotia in several positions.
What to do in Halifax?
Halifax, the capital of Nova Scotia, is home to many fun tourist attractions and exciting things to do.
Because of its significant military presence, it was given the moniker “Warden of the North” and is located in the center of Nova Scotia’s east coast.
Halifax has a very strong nautical heritage and culture, and on the city’s numerous beaches, pirates have been hanged. The huge port and the promise of excellent fishing attracted the British.
Despite being one of Canada’s less-visited cities, Halifax is a truly special place that shouldn’t be overlooked.
The nightlife and music scenes are both thriving, & Halifax has much more pubs per person than any other Canadian city.
There are several attractions and activities for people of all ages, from welcoming Haligonians to historical sites to the lovely waterfront to museums.
Whatever your interests, make a plan to use our list of things to do in Halifax, Nova Scotia, to create a fantastic schedule.
1. Walk the Halifax Waterfront Boardwalk
The city’s well-known three-story clock tower may be seen from there.
You can stroll along one of the world’s longest waterfront boardwalks as you make your way toward the shore along Halifax’s waterfront.
Keep an eye out for the colourful paintings and the well-known inebriated lampposts. Numerous stores, cafes, patios, restaurants, and beer gardens are along the boardwalk.
Later on in your journey, you will be able to locate something to see or do! All of downtown Halifax’s highlights are covered during the trip, which lasts about 60 minutes.
2. Visit the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic
The Marine Museum of the Atlantic, housed inside the Nova Scotia Museum, is Halifax’s most visited museum.
The museum is home to numerous model ships & portraits from various periods in nautical history. The Shipwreck Gems of Nova Scotia display is one of the more well-liked ones.
A significant portion of the dead that were recovered from the stricken ship came from Nova Scotia. Visit the Prospect Lawn Cemetery as well, which serves as a monument to the Titanic’s victims.
Got your answer to what to do in Halifax? This museum in Halifax’s downtown is unquestionably worthwhile to see if you enjoy history. The numerous exhibitions might keep you occupied for several hours.
You will learn about the maritime legacy of Nova Scotia and how the sea and historical events influenced this magnificent city’s culture!
3. Visit the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site
You will understand why the fort was erected here to defend the city once you ascend Citadel Hill and enter the Halifax Citadel.
Although it was never in a conflict, the fort still was strategically significant to the city as well as its inhabitants and is home to a wealth of Halifax history.
Visit at midday to see the guards change and hear the cannons fire. The Halifax Citadel National Heritage Site features a museum in addition to barracks, historic rooms, and viewing the 78th Highlanders in uniform!
4. Visit the Halifax Public Gardens
Enjoy the splendour of Halifax’s national historic Victorian Gardens while taking a breather from the boardwalk’s noise and activity.
The gardens, which are on Spring Garden Road, are a popular Halifax tourist destination. The gardens cover 16 acres amid the city and are surrounded by an elaborate wrought iron fence.
Wander among many trees, over stunning bridges, past ponds, and through vibrant, rich flowerbeds.
The Halifax Library, as well as the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site, are just a short distance away from one another.
5. Enjoy the Brewery Tour at Alexander Keith’s
Would you like some historical context with that beer when wondering what to do in Halifax? If so, make sure to stop by Alexander Keith’s Brewery in Halifax, Nova Scotia, for a drink!
Take part in a unique tour where you will learn about the company’s history & brewing process from a guide who will be dressed historically.
Along with hearing musical storytelling, you can expect to have a fantastic time in Nova Scotia. The Alexander Keith’s Brewery is unquestionably a popular Halifax attraction.
6. Browse the Farmers Market at Halifax Seaport
The Halifax Seaport Local Farmer’s market, the oldest farmer’s market in North America, is located right on the water.
A range of crafts, flowers, fish, meat and locally grown products are available at this market, which was first established as a meat & cattle market and currently has over 250 sellers.
Even festivals like Canada Kitchen Day and live music are held there! The Halifax Port Farmers Market is the best spot to find a cheap lunch when you’re in Halifax!
While perusing the various booths, grab some delectable regional delicacies like a donair or a delicious lobster roll.
7. Enjoy the Scenic Views of the City’s Waterfront
Take advantage of the longest-running saline ferry in North America to go from Halifax to Dartmouth.
With two distinct ferry routes and fares of only $2.50 roundtrip, taking the ferry is the most cost-effective method to view the harbour.
Take the bus to Dartmouth to the storied Fisherman’s Cove for free if you wish to continue exploring.
If you wish to go back, take a different ferry to go around the harbour completely. The most affordable way to view the Halifax waterfront is by public ferry!
8. Visit Pier 21’s Canadian Museum of Immigration
Pier 21 was previously the ocean liner port where more than one million immigrants went through, similar to New York’s well-known Ellis Island.
As soon as you enter the museum, you’ll embark on a journey through several halls and get a taste of what it was to experience to immigrate to Canada via Pier 21.
The Canadian Museum of Immigrants has hundreds of objects and narratives available for seeing and reading.
9. Ice Skating
One of the most enjoyable activities to do in Halifax, regardless of the season, is ice skating at the Emera Oval. It is free!
As big as three NHL hockey rinks, the oval is indeed an outdoor skating rink. In the summer, biking and rollerblading are both common pastimes.
Everything you might need, including helmets, bikes, skates, scooters, and even sleds, is included in the free rentals!
More information regarding events and skate times may be found on the Halifax Oval website.
10. St. Paul’s Church
St. Paul’s Church is unquestionably among Halifax’s top attractions. T
Additionally, it is Canada’s oldest Protestant church. Although it has a specific aspect, the church was designed after London’s St. Peter’s Church.
During your visit to the church, you’ll see some intriguing elements. A metal fragment lodged in one of the walls and a silhouette of a man visible in one of the tinted glass windows is both artifacts from the infamous Halifax Explosion.
Even though it’s unsettling, it’s worth seeing while exploring downtown Halifax.
11. Visit Point Pleasant Park
Looking to take in a nearby outdoor event? Next, take a chair or a blanket and proceed to Point Pleasant Park in the heart of Halifax, Nova Scotia.
In the summer, you can see a live performance of a Shakespeare play or another well-known classic every day (except Monday). After an early-morning trek in the park, sit in for a matinée performance that is sure to thrill you.
A non-profit company called Shakespeare by Sea Theatre Society was founded in 1994 with the intention of entertaining audiences within Point Pleasant Park with timeless Shakespearean works.
Additionally, they are devoted to the advancement of Canadian theatre performers.
12. Views from Peggy’s Cove
The distinctive red & white lighthouse that lies there is still in operation by the Canadian Coast Guard today, making it one of the most popular sites in Nova Scotia.
According to local mythology, a child shipwreck survivor who’d been raised by a family who’d already settled there gave the cove its name.
The family opted to call the tiny child Peggy because she was too young to recognize her name. “Peggy of the Cove” was her new moniker at that point.
The tiny fishing community is a must-see, from the colourful fishing vessels bobbing inside the harbour to the rustic homes and structures that flank the cove. And you have to stay to take the famous picture of Peggy’s Point Lighthouse!
13. Downtown Halifax Nightlife
Halifax’s nightlife center includes bustling Argyle Street, in Which the Carleton, one of the city’s oldest structures, has been converted into a welcoming, upscale establishment serving delectable cuisine and beverages.
The Old Triangle Public house or the Split Crow, which hosts live music, ceilidhs, & jam sessions many nights a week, is the best place to hear wonderful Celtic sounds.
14. The Halifax Boardwalk for a Stroll
An excellent approach to gain a sense of the city is to wander down the Halifax waterfront promenade, which is one of the city’s oldest and most significant linkages for tourists.
Historic Properties, the Maritime Museum of Atlantic, Bishop’s Landing, as well as the Stubborn Goat Beer Garden, are some of the attractions along the Halifax boardwalk.
15. Explore Halifax by Segway, Bicycle, or Canoe
Segway Nova Scotia offers a variety of excursions, including the well-liked 2-hour “Halifax City Spin,” to help you discover the city while on two wheels.
Nearby Bishop’s Landing, on the waterfront, is where they have their office. Check out all the 3-hour best of Halifax e-bike tours for some enjoyable two-wheeling.
Kayaking around Halifax harbour, as well as its islands, is another distinctive Halifax experience.
16. Embark on the Halifax-Dartmouth Ferry
The Haligonians will tell visitors: “You must ride the boat!” as one of the initial things they say to them. The Halifax-Dartmouth bridge is the second-oldest ferry in the world and the oldest saltwater bridge in North America.
The ferry voyage to Dartmouth costs the same as a bus fare and takes about 15 minutes.
On the way there, passengers can see Halifax, Dartmouth, the Bedford basin, its two bridges, and other sights. Discover Dartmouth, Halifax’s twin city
Dartmouth, also referred to as “Halifax’s Brooklyn,” is located across the water from Halifax and is worth a visit on your trip to Nova Scotia.
17. Discover your Ancestry
By using the museum’s collection of immigration documents, you may be able to discover your own family’s immigration history at the Canadian Memorial of Immigration at Pier 21.
There is a good chance that you will locate a record of the arrival at the Family History Centre if you are aware of someone who immigrated to Canada between and.
Similar to the Canadian Museum of Human Rights in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Pier 21 offers a thorough analysis of what it means to be a global citizen from the perspective of Canada.
18. Energize Yourself at Citadel Hill
Enlist in the army with the Soldier for a Day programme, a 3-hour Canadian Signature Experience that will immerse you in the life of a 19th-century soldier if you want to get close up and personal with certain Halifax gunpowder.
The Soldier’s Life experience, which is quite similar to Soldier for a Day, is available to kids.
It is a living museum with exhibits, live re-enactments, interactive activities, and even a lovely café that sells coffee and snacks.
19. Look for ghosts in Halifax’s Downtown
Beware! There are plenty of ghosts in Halifax, including those who prowl the Citadel. Since Halifax was the closest port and where the ships that collected both the survivors as well as the victims docked, Halifax has a very intimate connection to the tragic tale of the Titanic.
A permanent collection of Titanic artifacts is kept in the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. Fairview Lawn and Mount Olivet cemeteries both have artifacts and burials belonging to Titanic passengers.
At the Halifax Central Library, enjoy coffee while taking in the view.
Awarded for its architecture is the brand-new Halifax Central Library, located at the base of the well-known commercial area on Spring Garden Road.
Going for coffee at the library’s outdoor rooftop café, which offers a beautiful view of Spring Garden road, is one of the nicest options to do in Halifax for tourists.
20. The Halifax Ghost Walk
No reservations are necessary, simply show up at the Old City Clock at the foot of Citadel Hill on the appointed nights, and get ready to be frightened by tales of ghosts, pirates, and hidden treasure.
On Lower Water Street, Alexander Keith’s Brewery is another location to conduct a ghost investigation.
The good thing is that you can still savour Alexander Keith’s most enduring legacy—his beer—even if you don’t spot his ghost during your tour.
21. Africville Provides Information on Halifax’s Black History
The community of Africville was one of the 52 different historic black towns in Nova Scotia, and it was situated on a lovely plot of ground with a view of the water.
“Experts” labelled Africville a slum and forcibly relocated its residents to social housing. Later, it was determined that the choice violated human rights.
The next thing to do in Halifax is to go to the Africville Museum, which is located in a replica of the community’s destroyed church. Watch this intriguing short film that describes the Africville Story before you leave.
22. At the Public Gardens, try some Ice Cream Shops
The Halifax Public Gardens, a 16-acre Victorian urban garden with a rich diversity of flora and trees, a stunning cast iron bandstand, as well as a place to buy ice cream, is one of downtown Halifax’s most magnificent jewels.
When there is live music playing, the Public Gardens are at their most enjoyable. For listings and tours, consult the Halifax Botanical Gardens event calendar.
23. The Oval is a Great Place to Skate
A skating rink called the Halifax Oval was constructed for the Canada Winter Games.
You can borrow ice skates in the winter and roller skates, bikes, and scooters in the summer for free. Visit Dee Dee’s Ice Cream on Cornwallis Street after your skate, it is open all year.
Where to Stay in Halifax?
Now that you know what to do in Halifax, there are numerous hostels, motels, & bed & breakfasts that provide a variety of amenities, depending on the travel preferences, price, and style.
Halifax is one of the more affordable Canadian cities for lodging, but not being as inexpensive as travelling in a developing nation.
There are a few classic hostels in the neighbourhood for thrifty travellers, or you can always rent an unused dorm room at a nearby institution.
If you don’t mind spending more money, there are many options right in the heart of Halifax’s downtown or one with a grand harbour view.
These are a few of the top options available to you when you spend time sightseeing and exploring Halifax.
Halifax Heritage House Hostel is the best hostel to stay in a historic ancient house right in the heart of the city’s bustle!
Because of its close location to the bus and railway terminals and the fact that the best things to discover in Halifax are only a short stroll away, the HI-Halifax Historic House Hostel is among the best hostels to stay at.
HI, Halifax has both private and shared accommodations. Male/female and mixed dorms with a maximum of 6 beds are the available options for housing.
Top-notch amenities are provided, with the self-catered kitchen, free wifi, the spotless common room, coin-operated laundry, and secure lockers being particularly noteworthy.
HI-Halifax is the ideal hostel for the adventurous traveler seeking to be close to all that Halifax has to offer. It has received great marks for location, value, security, and cleanliness.
1. Halifax’s Atlantica Hotel
The Atlantica Hotel Halifax is a fantastic choice for any couple looking for both comfort & accessibility throughout their stay in Halifax because of its location and services and because it offers amazing value.
There is a wide range of lodging options, including premium king rooms and double beds. A breakfast buffet, free wifi in public areas and rooms, and an indoor pool and hot tub are available as amenities.
Furthermore, the hotel is pet-friendly, so if you’re travelling with your furry buddy, you don’t have to worry about sneaking them in.
You can walk to popular destinations, including the Halifax Public Gardens, the Citadel, as well as the Museum on Natural History while staying at the Atlantica.
To go to neighbouring attractions, you can also board a city bus, call a cab, or hail an Uber.
2. Barrington Inn
The Barrington Hotel has everything you could need or want if you’re seeking a fantastic deal while taking part in the top activities in Halifax.
There isn’t much more you could ask for than a hotel that consistently earns top marks for its historical charm, location, comfort, and friendly service.
Each room has free wifi, a flat-screen TV, a spacious bathroom, and comfortable beds. All rooms are spotless and nicely equipped.
The amenities include a buffet breakfast, free wifi in public areas & rooms, an indoor pool, and a hot tub.
Additionally, if you’re going with your furry companion, you won’t have to worry about sneaking them inside because the hotel is pet-friendly.
3. Hotel Prince George’s
The Prince George’s Hotel in Halifax offers you the chance to splurge a bit without going over budget if you want to experience living like royalty while visiting the city.
But if you want to unwind at the hotel, this is one of your greatest options. You may relax and take it easy throughout your visit thanks to the hotel’s hot tub and indoor heated pool.
Additionally, there is a fitness centre if you want to get in some workout. There is a fantastic restaurant and bar in the Prince George’s Hotel.
If you don’t feel like going out or just want to unwind in your room with some television after just a long day of exploring Halifax, there’s also room service available.
Top Dining Spots in Halifax
While you enjoy your visit to the city, Halifax has a wide variety of wonderful restaurants to choose from.
You may anticipate a variety of dining environments, from fast, casual meals to elegant fine dining. Of course, Halifax is renowned for its delectable seafood.
For a good cause, Stories Fine Dining has repeatedly been ranked as Halifax, Nova Scotia’s best restaurant.
With dishes like ahi tuna, sea scallops, duck, & beef striploin, you are entering the pinnacle of exquisite dining.
You will undoubtedly pay top cash for what you receive, however, if you want a delicious supper with outstanding service in a fun environment.
2. Eat and Dance at Hubbards’ Shore Club
The Shore Club is located just inside the boundaries of Halifax city, 40 minutes from the city centre in the Hubbards neighbourhood. However, you’ll think you’re somewhere else!
The Shore Club starts serving delectable lobster suppers with an unlimited salad and mussel bar in the late afternoon. Tables are taken away as the lights go out, and popular weekend artists take the stage.
The Shore Club’s nightlife atmosphere is a cross between a decent Irish wedding and a high school party.
Final Note: What to do in Halifax?
We have made this detailed guide on what to do in Halifax, comment which is your favourite thing to do in Halifax below!
Have fun exploring!
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is Halifax worth visiting?
There are many things to explore and do in Halifax, so it’s worthwhile to schedule at least a few days to tour Nova Scotia’s largest city.
2. What is Halifax best known for?
Halifax, the vibrant centre of Atlantic Canada and home to the second-largest natural port in the world, is renowned for its ancient charm, sense of community, delicious seafood, and stunning natural surroundings.
3. Is there a lot to do in Halifax?
There’s a lot of stuff to do like exploring many restaurants, shops, galleries, and beer gardens—everything you need to while away a sunny afternoon!