9 Things You Should Do on Your Next Trip to Halifax


Halifax is the biggest city in Atlantic Canada and is one of the country’s hidden gems. The city is known for its bustling nightlife, beautiful coastline, and small-town charm. The city is also heavily steeped in history and has a unique culture that makes it a top tourist destination for anyone who wants to see and feel what the Maritimes are all about. Let’s take a look at some of the best things to do next time you’re in the city. 

Visit the Citadel

Sitting right next to the Canadian coastline, Halifax has always been an important city for early settlers and has tons of military history. No trip to Halifax would be complete without visiting the Citadel, which remains one of the most visited sites in the city. But what’s great about the Citadel is that you’ll have the chance to truly immerse yourself into its history and go back in time. You’ll even get to wear a full soldier’s uniform during the visit and learn how to fire an old Snider-Enfield rifle while learning more about the Citadel’s and Nova Scotia’s history.

Check out the Waterfront

Halifax’s waterfront is another must see, and you can explore it by taking a stroll down the Harbour walk which extends for 4kms. It all starts with the Historic Properties, which are three blocks of old Victorian era buildings and warehouses that have been restored. While these buildings make for a great backdrop, you’ll also find some of the city’s top dining spots like Salty’s, COWS creamery, Gahan House and Lower Deck.

As you walk down the wharf, you’ll pass by an information centre before you reach the harbour. From there, you’ll be able to hop on one of the many whale watching excursions or boat tours that take place everyday. You can also check the Maritime Atlantic Museum where you’ll get the chance to see a few relics from the Titanic. Halifax has a close history with the famous ship since the closest harbour to where it sank was located right in the city.

The Harbour walk ends with Pier 21, which houses the Canadian Immigration Museum and the Farmers’ Market. So, you’ll get the chance to see a large portion of the city’s tourist spots all in one place.

Check Out One of the City’s Iconic Landmarks

There are tons of popular landmarks in and around the city and Halifax is a great place if you want to do some sightseeing. One landmark you absolutely have to see is Peggy’s Cove Lighthouse. The beautiful white and red lighthouse encapsulates the feeling of the Maritimes and is still being used to this day by the Coast Guards. While the lighthouse is located just outside the city, the 43km ride is well worth it. The lighthouse remains one of the most photographed landmarks in Nova Scotia and all of Atlantic Canada.

Take a Tour of the Alexander Keith’s Brewery

If you know anything about Haligonians, you’ll know that they love their beer. And no beer is more synonymous with Halifax and Nova Scotia than Alexander Keith’s.

The brewery was established in the early 1800s by Alexander Keith, who was once the mayor of the city for three terms. The brewery sits right next to the waterfront on Lower Street. While production of their famous pale ale was moved to an off-site location long ago, you can still take a historic tour with guides. They will take you around the property, walk you through the brewing process, and of course, allow you to sample some of their best beers. There’s also some music and entertainment in true east coast maritime style.

Take a Bite at King of Donair

King of Donair is a real institution in the city – a must for any food lover. As a matter of fact, the spot was a long time favourite of the late Anthony Bourdain and he made it a ritual to come back every time he came to the city. The King has elevated the Donair to an art form and has amassed a following all over the country. As a matter of fact, a pop-up shop they set up in Calgary was so crowded that the line circled the block for hours.

Visit Halifax’s Public Gardens

While the city is very laid back in general, some spots can get pretty busy in the summer months. If you’re looking for a little break from the action, then you should definitely check out the Public Gardens located on Spring Garden Road.

The gardens span over 16 acres and have been opened since 1867. It then became a National Historic Site and one of the most visited public gardens in the country. The garden is a nice retreat in the centre of the city and you’ll get to see over 140 different tree varieties, carpet beds, vibrant flowers and beautiful statues.

However, if you intend to come to the city in the summer, we suggest you book early since airfare tends to be higher in the high season. If you’re located on the east coast, you could also consider going with a regional airline like Porter Airlines if you want to book flights for less. Porter Airlines have comfortable leather seating, plenty of legroom and free snacks, so you can travel in style while also saving money.

Get Some Retail Therapy on Spring Garden Road

Since you’re already there, you can always take a walk down Spring Garden Road and check out some of the shopping options they have to offer. The street is where most of the city’s fashionistas get their shopping done and you’ll find tons of specialty boutiques as well as some popular Canadian retail chains like Lululemon. It’s also a great place to grab a pint or have a bite with friends.

Have a Drink at One of the City’s Outdoor Patios

The city really comes alive in the summer, and there’s nothing better than sitting on a patio on a hot summer afternoon with a nice cold brew while soaking up the sun. You’ll be able to find tons of pop up patios along the Harbour walk, and they stay open all through the summer. If you love handcrafted beers, then you should stop by The Gahan House and try one of their famous microbrews. Or you could go to Bicycle Thief where you’ll have the chance to enjoy a wonderful meal while sitting on one of the most beautiful terraces Halifax has to offer.

Eat Some Lobster

No trip to Atlantic Canada would be complete without trying some of their delicious lobster. Not only is it very cheap because of the prime location, but the Maritimes are known for having some of the best lobster in the world. And if you don’t want to go for a classic lobster diner, you can always grab a lobster roll at the farmers’ market or even eat some lobster mac and cheese at the Stubborn Goat Gastropub located right on Grafton Street.

Halifax is a great city with tons to offer, and a must if you want to get a glimpse of what true Canadian maritime life is all about. Whether you’re a foodie, history buff, or are just looking for somewhere nice to go with the family, Halifax is definitely the place to be.

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