Halifax, Canada – capital of the province of Nova Scotia is also houses the largest population in Atlantic Canada. Besides being a major economic centre in Eastern Canada, Halifax offers visitors a multitude of experiences from its maritime history, Scottish and Celtic culture to the great outdoors.
Halifax’s tourism industry showcases Nova Scotia’s culture, scenery and coastline. The area has many museums reflecting its ethnic heritage, including the Black Cultural Centre for Nova Scotia. Others museums tell the story of its working history, such as the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. It is also home to several internationally renowned events such as the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo, the Atlantic Film Festival and the Atlantic Fringe Festival.
Halifax has numerous National Historic Sites, the most notable being Citadel Hill (Fort George) in Halifax and in recent years it has become a regular port of call for cruise ships. In 2013, the Port of Halifax welcomed 134 vessel calls with over a quarter of a million visitors.
Stunning Halifax offers many things to do for families, couples and singles. From the walkable city to charming rural communities, there is something for every traveler.
For a city with more pubs and clubs per capita than almost any city in Canada, it’s fitting that the most famous brew master was also the city’s mayor – three times! Alexander Keith’s original 1820 brewery welcomes visitors with costumed guides, stories and, of course, good ale. Then walk (don’t drive!) from Keith’s to the boardwalk that follows the water’s edge of the world’s second largest ice-free harbour. Stretching from Pier 21 – the gateway into Canada for one million immigrants – to Casino Nova Scotia, you’ll pass unique shops, restaurants, and in the warmer months, graceful tall ships.
Outdoor Adventure Experience Halifax through our pristine seacoast and Maritime landscapes. Halifax outdoor activities, trails, and off-the-beaten path adventures will awaken the explorer in you. A must visit: The Famous Peggy’s Cove – Peggy’s Cove is a small rural community located on the eastern shore of St. Margarets Bay in Nova Scotia’s, Halifax Regional Municipality, which is famous for the Peggy’s Point Lighthouse.
Arts and Culture Rich historic and contemporary art works are on display in Halifax, Nova Scotia, the heart of East Coast arts and culture. A must visit is to the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 – Over 1.5 million immigrants, war brides, displaced people, evacuee children and Canadian military personnel passed through this famous building between 1928 and 1971.
Maritime & Halifax’s History Maritime Museum of the Atlantic is located in the heart of the Halifax waterfront. There’s no better place to immerse yourself in Nova Scotia’s rich maritime heritage from small craft boatbuilding to World War convoys! Final resting place or the 121 victims of the RMS Titanic are interred at Fairview Cemetery in Halifax. Officially known as Fairview Lawn Cemetery, the non-denominational cemetery is run by the Parks Department of the Halifax Regional Municipality. The Halifax Citadel National Historic Site gives visitors the opportunity to explore the history of the fortress and the soldiers who were stationed there, walk within its walls – both inside and out – and literally touch a piece of Halifax’s military history. Tour the Citadel’s Army Museum, which showcases uniforms, weaponry and models of the fort and its soldiers throughout history. Watch the story of Halifax and the Citadel as told the through imagery, displays and sounds of the Tides of History exhibit. Take a private or guided tour of the Citadel grounds – just be sure to keep an eye out for the ghosts that are rumoured to lurk in its shadows!
Touring around the province of Nova Scotia With easy accessibility via rail network from eastern Canada, to major international airlines and coach tours; Halifax is the perfect base for touring around the province of Halifax and other Atlantic provinces of Canada.
Shopping When it comes to shopping in Nova Scotia, you can have the best of both worlds. Halifax is the largest shopping destination in Atlantic Canada, offering malls and big box stores as well as speciality shops. Halifax’s charming Spring Garden Road is lined with a wide assortment of restaurants, coffee houses, and more than 200 retail stores including many independently owned, specialty shops. The Spring Garden Road area consists of nine city blocks, a block of which borders on and includes the main entrance to the Historic Public Gardens. The Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History and the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site are located just minutes from this shopping district. In Halifax’s North End, the Hydrostone Market is a European-style, historic collection of shops, restaurants and services with local cuisine and unique boutiques. You will find everything from custom, hand-built furniture and hand crafted jewellery to artisan breads, flavoured oils and vinegars and cuisine from around the world. The Halifax waterfront also offers many unique shopping experiences.
Dining If there’s one thing every visitor to Nova Scotia enjoys, it’s the food. No matter where you go in the province – whether you’re a seafood lover or landlubber – you’ll find the makings of a delicious meal. From Atlantic lobster and Digby scallops, to Oxford blueberries and Annapolis Valley fiddleheads, if you’re a locavore – someone who enjoys locally sourced food – you’ll love what Nova Scotia has to offer. The thriving culinary scene in Halifax, Nova Scotia ranges from contemporary fine dining to traditional diners. Of course, many people visit Nova Scotia for its world-renowned seafood. Depending on the season, you can watch fishing boats head out in the early morning and return later in the day to unload catches of lobster, fish, scallops and many other types of seafood. The docks are not only the perfect place to seek out the freshest seafood but to also catch a glimpse of the work that goes into bringing that seafood to market.
Halifax festivals and events showcase creativity and inspire adventure year-round, offering a wide variety of things to do for every traveller. From festivals along our harbour front boardwalk to sandcastle competitions on stunning white sand beaches located just outside of the city, we have it all!
Scotia Festival of Music: Late May – Early June Scotia Festival of Music is an annual two-week chamber music festival held in Halifax, Nova Scotia, during the first two weeks of June, boasting over fifty public events. Featuring international talent of the highest caliber, the festival offers concerts, recitals, open rehearsals, master classes, coaching sessions, lectures, and more.
Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo: Early July One of the world’s premier cultural and entertainment events featuring over 2,000 world-class Canadian and international military and civilian performers, the two-and-a-half-hour show has something for everyone. There are bands, pipes and drums, highland dancers, and military traditions. For those seeking something more modern, the Tattoo also features innovative acrobatic acts, contemporary dancing, and trampoline routines. This spectacular event can be enjoyed by the entire family in the air-conditioned Halifax Metro Centre.
Halifax International Busker Festival: Early August For 6 days in August, the Halifax International Busker Festival explodes across Halifax’s beautiful and historic downtown. Featuring the hilarious, wacky, and breathtaking entertainment that can only be found at the annual Halifax International Busker Festival – crowds are treated to mind blowing shows from the world’s top street performance artists as they showcase their unique talents and skills with acrobatics, music, visual arts, comedy, fire shows, and so much more. With stages located along the Halifax Waterfront, the festival promises hundreds of jaw dropping shows. Un-gated and open to the public, the Halifax International Busker Festival promises something for everyone.
Atlantic Film Festival: Mid September The Atlantic Film Festival (AFF) is an eight-day celebration of film, media and music from around the world. It’s a festival that turns Halifax – a charming and historic coastal city – into an international Mecca for the arts, abuzz with filmmakers, industry types and film lovers. The Film Festival offers a first-look at the best international films of the festival season and is the platform in Atlantic Canada to showcase the regional filmmaking community.
Despite its coastal location, the climate of Halifax is humid continental, due to the prevailing westerly winds blowing from the mainland of the continent.
Halifax’s climate is, however, heavily influenced by its location on Nova Scotia’s Atlantic coast. The weather is usually milder or cooler than that of central Canada, with the temperature remaining between about −15 °C and 25 °C (5 °F to 77 °F) inland.