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Halifax, NS

The capital of the province of Nova Scotia is the primary urban hub of Atlantic Canada and the lively heart of the Maritimes. For years, Halifax was a gateway to North America for millions of weary immigrants from Europe and today, the city’s vast natural harbour still plays a vital role in trans-continental commerce and transport.

The Halifax Peninsula is a gorgeous span of Nova Scotia and provides the provincial capital with a spectacular backdrop. The Halifax Waterfront Boardwalk is a popular first stop for visitors, with wonderful views over the water and a superb array of shops, restaurants, bars and cafés. After a recent municipal merger with nearby Dartmouth and Bedford, the Halifax metropolitan area now totals some 400,000 people. The city is by far the most populous east of Quebec City in Canada and as such, is a peppy destination with a heavy dash of Maritime culture and charm. Important landmarks to consider in Halifax include the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, National Museum of Immigration and Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. With culinary, nightlife and festival scenes as well, Halifax is a worthwhile destination.

Halifax's Top 10

10. Halifax Commons is the oldest urban park in Canada.

5. Halifax Waterfront Boardwalk is open 24/7 and hosts a number of fine points of interest.

9. Point Pleasant Park is a scenic spot for stroll!

4. Pier 21/National Museum of Immigration is the Ellis Island of Canada.

8. Citadel Hill (Fort George) is a National Historic Site!

3. Spring Garden is the most prominent commercial and cultural artery in Halifax.

7. Long Lake Provincial Park is a major recreation ground 6 mi (10 km) outside the city.

2. Maritime Museum of the Atlantic graces a handsome parcel of downtown waterfront real estate.

6. Old Town Lunenburg is a UNESCO World Heritage Site 60 mi (100 km) southwest of Halifax.

1. Art Gallery of Nova Scotia is the most important fine arts museum in the Maritimes.

Halifax History

  • Citadel National Historic Site - Visit this historic fort built in the 18th century.
  • Maritime Museum of the Atlantic - Learn about maritime history by seeing the buoys, anchors, armaments and more.
  • Pier 21 - This is a monument to all the immigrants who have come to Canada.
  • H.M.C.S. Sackville - Explore this ship that was used as an escort to convoys in World War II.
  • Fairview Lawn Cemetery - Many of the victims of the Titanic are buried in this wonderful old Halifax cemetery.

Halifax Art & Culture

  • Art Gallery of Nova Scotia - This gallery is dedicated to the art of Nova Scotia.
  • Dalhousie University - You can explore this campus and enjoy the beautiful architecture.
  • Clay Cafe Pottery Studio - Paint pottery alone or plan to bring family and friends.
  • Cathedral Church of All Saints - View this lovely old church in Halifax.
  • MSVU Art Gallery - This gallery exhibits the works from the arts program at Mount Saint Vincent University and its surrounding community.

Halifax Shopping

  • Brewery Market - This farmer's market not only has a wide range of food but also sells artwork by local artists.
  • Christmas By the Sea - You can find a range of Christmas ornaments and decorations year round.
  • Junk & Foibles - This is a vintage boutique that sells just about everything, mostly antiques.
  • Blowers Street Paper Chase - This bookstore is known for its selections of newspapers and magazines.
  • Nova Scotian Crystal - This store sells local Halifax crystal that has been artistically blown and set into jewellery and works of art.

Gay & Lesbian Halifax

  • Menzbar - This is the local gay bar in Halifax that is for men only and also has drag competitions.
  • ReflectionsCabaret - This is a gay-friendly bar with a young crowd.
  • TheCompanyHouse - Another gay-friendly art and music venue.
  • Guerilla Gay Fare - This gay event happens on the last Friday of every month.
  • Halifax Front Runners - This running group meets on Saturday morning and Tuesday evenings at the Gardens.

Halifax Outdoor

  • Halifax Public Gardens - Spend the day wandering in this Victorian-style garden.
  • Halifax Harbor Ferry - For a very small fee, you can go from Halifax to Dartmouth and back, a wonderful way to view the skyline of Halifax.
  • McNab's Island - This uninhabited island is perfect for hiking, and you can visit the fort and the lighthouse.
  • Lawrencetown Beach - Play in the waves or just walk along the shore of this lovely beach.
  • Point Pleasant Park - This park is great for picnics, hiking or running.

Halifax Sport

  • Visit the Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame to see some of the great athletes that have come out of Nova Scotia.
  • Golf at either the Glen Arbour or Halifax Greensward course.
  • Swimming and tennis are available at the city parks.
  • Paddle and sail on Beaver Lake.
  • Watch college athletics, with three universities from which to choose.

Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

Halifax is the capital city of the province of Nova Scotia, Canada, and is located south of Prince Edward Island. With its rich maritime history and scenic waterfront, this city proves not only to be a relaxing vacation, but an exciting one as well. As one of the world's greatest natural harbours, visitors will enjoy boat tours, oceanic education and tasty seafood.

Halifax Attractions

  • Maritime Museum of the Atlantic
  • Pier 21
  • Sambro Island Lighthouse

Halifax Activities

  • See the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site
  • Explore the York Redoubt
  • Stroll the waterfront

Halifax Climate

With an eastern maritime climate, Halifax has short, warm summers and very cold winters. Summer, June through August, has pleasantly warm temperatures of about 73°F (23°C) and is the best time to visit. Winter temperatures of 32°F (0°C), along with vast amounts of snow, generally keep visitors away November through March.

Getting There & Around

The Halifax Robert L. Stanfield International Airport is less than an hour north of the city and has direct flights to and from many major cities in Canada and the United States.

The Acadian Lines and Metro Transit provide both local and regional bus services in Halifax. The Metro Transit fare includes access to buses and ferries in the municipality.

Halifax Events

Shakespeare by the Sea puts on works by the Bard every summer in Point Pleasant Park.

Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo is a venerable annual military procession held at Halifax Metro Centre.

Halifax International Busker Festival takes over the Boardwalk every August.

The Atlantic Film Festival takes place over ten days in September.

Halifax Pop Explosion is a dynamic independent music festival held in early October.

The Halifax World Trade and Convention Centre holds a number of important events throughout the year.

When To Go

Halifax has a humid continental climate with four distinct seasons. Cold, snowy winters bring temperatures in the 16°F (-9°C) to 39°F (4°C) range from December to March.

Mild summers feature pleasant conditions from June to September and temperatures between 52°F (11°C) and 73°F (23°C).

Halifax receives about 60 in (1,500 mm) of precipitation (rain and snow) throughout the year, with relatively even distribution from one month to the next.

More Info On Getting Around

As the only big city in Atlantic Canada, Halifax is a vital transport hub. Halifax Stanfield International Airport is the 7th busiest in the country and handles close to 4 million passengers per annum. International destinations on the docket include London-Heathrow, Frankfurt, Reykjavik, Boston, Atlanta, Washington, D.C., New York-JFK, Atlanta, Detroit and Chicago-O’Hare.

Via Rail Canada provides sleeper car service from Montreal to Halifax Railway Station. The journey takes about 22 hours.

The Metro Transit bus network serves the Halifax Regional Municipality at large and some 18.5 million passengers a year. The core area of the city is small enough to explore on foot, however.

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Hotels in Halifax

Recommended hotels

From US$94

1 Four Points by Sheraton Halifax

3 stars
4.7 / 5 3 reviews

1496 Hollis Street Map

Save 20% on your stay

Boasting a pleasant ambience and comfortable accommodation, this property is an ideal place for business as well as leisure travellers. GeneralGuests travelling on business purpose can make use of... More

Fantastic city center place
The (bath)room was clean and nice. The staff was very friendly and helpfull. Already before our visit, by explaining the best to get there from the airport. Would stay there again.
29 Oct 2013
From US$82

2 Atlantica Hotel Halifax

4 stars
4.0 / 5 4 reviews

1980 Robie St Map

Offering cosy accommodation and convenient facilities, Atlantica Hotel Halifax is a perfect place for both business and leisure travellers. GeneralThe hotel also offers a selection of... More

Almost Perfect!
Absolutely delighted with service received from all the Staff members I met. Location was perfect for my visit with all amenities easily accessible. Only slight negativity I had was after making...
27 Mar 2014
From US$128

3 Courtyard by Marriott Halifax Downtown

3 stars
4.3 / 5

5120 Salter Street Map

Rate includes breakfast

Placed at a prime location, offering comfortable accommodation and quality services, the Courtyard Halifax Downtown is an ideal venue for business and leisure travellers. GeneralThe hotel offers... More

From US$67

4 Days Inn - Dartmouth

2 stars
2.0 / 5 3 reviews

20 Highfield Park Drive Map

Stay 3, Save 20%

Days Inn Dartmouth features modern accommodation facilities for an enjoyable stay. Contemporarily built architecture offers a list of quality amenities for maximum comfort while staying. Ideally... More

Galloping Gran
The accommodation. Was further from Halifax than I had envisaged_ Mainly because of the hilly nature of the area. The staff made all the difference in finding the best way for me to go and s3e what...
8 Sep 2014
From US$110

5 BEST WESTERN PLUS Chocolate Lake Hotel

3 stars
4.5 / 5 4 reviews

20 Saint Margaret's Bay Road Map

Save 10% on your stay

Creating an ideal atmosphere for a relaxing stay, this property is the right choice of accommodation, while visiting Halifax. GeneralGuests on business can avail the on-site conference facilities... More

Quiet retreat but easy access to city.
Beautiful lakeside views.Enjoyed meals in the restaurant but thought the breakfast was disappointing.
25 Sep 2014
From US$136

6 The Hollis Halifax - a DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Hotel

3 stars
5.0 / 5 1 reviews

1649 Hollis Street Map

Offering the finest hospitality, impeccable service and comfortable accommodation, the Radisson Suite Hotel Halifax makes you to enjoy all the privileges for an unforgettable stay. GeneralThe... More

Short visit
Staff are extraordinarily friendly. A bit on the pricey side-particularly parking.
6 Apr 2015
From US$110

7 The Lord Nelson Hotel and Suites

4 stars
4.0 / 5 4 reviews

1515 South Park Street Map

Stay 3 Nights, Save 20%

The Lord Nelson Hotel & Suites Halifax offers comfortable accommodations right in the heart of downtown Halifax. Guests are just a kilometre from the Dalhousie Arts Centre, the One Light Theatre... More

Lovely Hotel
It's old but it's well maintained, comfortable, and the staff are all kind. I enjoyed this hotel, and if I ever venture to Halifax again, I would certainly stay here.
20 Sep 2014
From US$120

8 Delta Barrington

4 stars
3.5 / 5

1875 Barrington Street Map

Featuring a seamless blend of comfort and modern technology, this attractive property welcomes you for unforgettable stay at Halifax. GeneralThis hotel offers well-equipped meeting rooms that can... More

From US$120

9 Delta Halifax

4 stars
5.0 / 5 1 reviews

1990 Barrington Street Map

Assuring courteous service and quality amenities, the Delta Halifax Hotel Halifax prides itself as an ideal location for business and leisure travellers. GeneralThe hotel also offers 4... More

Best sleep ever !!
The bed was extremely comfortable I could have stayed in it all day long :) A+
8 Dec 2013
From US$87

10 Holiday Inn HALIFAX HARBOURVIEW

3 stars
5.0 / 5 1 reviews

101 Wyse Road Map

Offering comfortable accommodation and convenient facilities, the Holiday Inn Halifax Harbourview is an ideal place for both business and leisure guests. GeneralThe hotel also offers a selection... More

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