Province/Territory: Nova Scotia

Halifax

  • 2000 performers at the International Tattoo
  • 2 km harbour front walk
  • 17 Titanic related sites

Get friendly with locals in this city with more pubs and clubs per capita than almost anywhere else in the country. Settle in with a pint of locally brewed beer and some fish and chips or lobster. Take in the live bands at local pubs.

Step into history with the kilt-wearing soldiers—fully costumed and reenacting military maneuvers at the Halifax Citadel. Learn about a bigger explosion: the largest non-military, non-atomic blast that destroyed much of this harbour side city in 1917. Hear tales of the sinking of the Titanic: many of its lost souls are buried here. Explore the unique architecture and building elements of the gentrified Hydrostone neighbourhood.

Urban adventures

  • Take an amphibious tour through city streets and into the water.
  • Head uptown and shop like a local on Spring Street.
  • Visit the circa 1785 home of a Quaker barrel-maker in Dartmouth.
  • Explore the shops and restaurants of the Hydrostone neighbourhood, and learn about its unique architecture.
  • Explore the eateries and shops of the Historic Properties.

Arts & Culture

  • Get a close-up dose of military history at the Halifax Citadel—great views of the city, too.
  • Visit sites in Halifax and Dartmouth connected to the Titanic ship disaster—including cemeteries and museum exhibits.
  • Learn how Canada’s population grew during the 20th Century via this important immigration port at Pier 21.
  • Enjoy a free outdoor concert at the Halifax Public Gardens bandstand.

Events & Festivals

  • Be swept up in the excitement of the hugely popular Halifax International Tattoo; it brings together military pageantry with contemporary acts.
  • Tip a busker (that’s how they make money). Take your pick of talented buskers during a festival dedicated entirely to them.
  • Warm up with some hot music played on accoustic instruments at the In the Dead of Winter Music Festival.
  • Visit for Pride: Atlantic Canada's largest LGBTQ cultural festival.

Food & Drink

  • Go pub hopping—sample Canadian brews and maybe hear some great tunes.
  • Step back in time and learn how Alexander Keith’s legendary beer is made, complete with singing.
  • See how many mussels you can actually eat at the 5 Fishermen.
  • Seafood’s the thing—try a lobster roll, or order fresh lobster by the pound. Fish and chips are excellent here, too.
  • Rub shoulders with locals hunting for the best local produce at Halifax Farmer’s Market; use your finds to create a picnic to enjoy on the nearby harbourfront boardwalk or to take on a drive down the Lighthouse Route.
  • Try a “donair,” a Halifax tradition based on the Middle Eastern doner sandwich—a unique combination of beef, pita bread, and special sweet sauce.

Outdoor adventure

  • For sublime views of the area, take a long walk across the Macdonald bridge between Halifax and Dartmouth; ride the ferry back.
  • Enjoy the sea air on a tall ship cruise.
  • Stroll white-sand beaches 20 minutes from Halifax at Crystal Crescent Beach.
  • Spot humpbacks and other sea life on a whale watching tour.

Weather

  • Halifax weather tends to be warm and pleasant in summer, with temperatures generally in the 20°C's. It’s ideal for beach-going or a ride on an amphibious tour vehicle.
  • Winter can range from snow and ice to rainy conditions—perfect for tucking into one of the city’s many pubs for a pint of Keith’s beer.
  • Spring lasts from March until early June, bringing progressively warmer temperatures—you’ll see an increasing number of happy flowers at the Halifax Public Gardens, and locals enjoying a pint on a patio.
  • Fall, from late-September to November, sees progressively cooler temperatures, eventually freezing. The leaves change to vibrant colours, and many visitors come just to see this phenomenon. November is generally the month with the most precipitation.
  • Discover local weather information. Research local weather patterns at Environment Canada's Canadian Climate Website.
Quick facts

Area: 5,496 sq km (2,122 sq mi)
Population: 390,096
Status: The capital of Nova Scotia and a major Atlantic sea port
Landmark: The Old Town clock has been keeping time in Halifax since 1803

When to go
  • Halifax is vibrant year-round, but as a university town, pubs are especially busy during the school season.
  • Cruise ship season peaks in the fall.
  • Golf is best in summer and fall.
  • Wildlife viewing and whale watching is best in summer and fall.
  • Plan your vacation around Nova Scotia’s many festivals and events.
Getting Here
Getting around
  • Halifax is a great city to explore on foot as many popular sites are easily walkable. Ferries will take you across to Dartmouth. Taxis and public transit are easily accessible. Bike rental is also possible, but strong legs are required for this hilly city!