Planning a trip to Nova Scotia and looking for what to do in Halifax? The capital of this maritime province is quaint, cute, affordable, scenic, and easy to get to! Halifax is the capital of Nova Scotia and is located right on the water. No matter what time of year you are looking for what to do in Halifax, there is something for everyone! From eating delicious food to heading outdoors for fun and entertainment, there is plenty to see and do in Halifax. Our easy guide will help you figure out what to do in Halifax during your trip!
Everything You Need To Know About What To Do In Halifax, Nova Scotia
How To Get To Halifax
There are multiple ways to get to Halifax! You can fly into the Halifax Stanfield International Airport, which is what we did. Flights are surprisingly affordable, especially from the Eastern part of the United States, and you can use Halifax as a gateway to visit other parts of Nova Scotia. You also have the option to take the ferry to visit Halifax. If you are looking for what to do in Halifax and you only have a short time, it may be because you came over by ferry for 1-2 days! Do not worry, there is still plenty to see and do! You can also arrive into Halifax via train into the Via Rail station. The train begins in Montreal and makes a lot of stops along the way and ends in Halifax. Finally, you can drive to Halifax, if you so choose!
How To Get Around Halifax
In all reality, Halifax is a truly walkable city! If you are staying in Downtown Halifax, you don’t even have to rent a car. If you are in good physical condition, there are plenty of things to do in Halifax that are easily within walking distance. That being said, we suggest renting a car for the easiest and cheapest way to get around Halifax and the surrounding areas. If you are looking for what to do in Halifax that is a bit less touristy, you will probably need a car so you can visit different locations more easily.
What To Do In Halifax
Visiting The Maritime Museum of the Atlantic Is One Of The Top Things To Do In Halifax
Discover the stories of the people that first came to Halifax! This museum is the perfect thing to do in Halifax on a rainy day as you learn about everything from small craft boatbuilding to the cities involved in the World Wars. If you are into history, this place is for you! It is located along Halifax’s historic waterfront and just walking distance from many shops and hotels.
You can even sit in an actual Titanic deck chair, which is a pretty impressive piece of history! The Titanic plays a large role in the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic so if you have been into learning about it or have kids who are studying it, make sure you add it to your list of what to do in Halifax. Find out more here!
Take A Sunrise Kayak Tour In Halifax
Even if you aren’t a morning person, you are going to want to wake up for this tour! Taking a kayak tour is one of the lesser known things to do in Halifax, but you will not be disappointed! If you are looking for what to do in Halifax without a lot of other tourists, this tour is for small groups only. You paddle around the Halifax Harbour and watch as the rest of the city wakes up! Keep an eye out for seals and Navy Seals. The best part? After you are done you will get to enjoy a rooftop breakfast overlooking the city!
Book here: Halifax Sunrise Kayaking Adventure
Get Cultured At The Art Gallery Of Nova Scotia
If you love art like we do, this is one of the coolest things to do in Halifax! The Art Gallery Of Nova Scotia is the largest art gallery in Atlantic Canada and the permanent collection houses over 17,000 works of art. The Art Gallery is also home to international traveling exhibitions and local art as well. If you are looking for what to do in Halifax, wandering the 90,000 square feet of art is wonderful! The Art Gallery Of Nova Scotia really focuses on highlighting local Nova Scotian and Canadian artists along with their international work, which we appreciate! What better way to get exposed to different up-and-coming artists than visiting a national art gallery?
Walk the Halifax Waterfront
Halifax’s waterfront has a simply magical maritime feel about it. If you are looking for what to do in Halifax that doesn’t cost any money and is fun for the whole family, you can’t go wrong with a waterfront walk! Whether you want to go for a quick bite, duck into some shops, or take some stunning night photos of the city, the waterfront has enough to keep you busy for hours. No matter what time you visit, the Halifax Waterfront has something unique to offer. During the summer it is bustling with people enjoying the weather and in the winter it is humming with the sound of people enjoying their time under the twinkling lights.
When we visited in winter, we were surprised how many people were out enjoying the Halifax Waterfront! In summer, it is no surprise that it is so busy! Many of the shops and restaurants are still open, even if you visit in winter, so there is always something to explore! This is what to do in Halifax for the whole family!
Learn About Immigration History At Pier 21 If You Are Looking For What To Do In Halifax For History Buffs
Pier 21 is located on the Halifax Waterfront and is the site where the earliest immigrants to Nova Scotia passed through. If you are looking for what to do in Halifax for history lovers or adults, pair your trip to Pier 21 with the Maritime Museum, they are within walking distance away and make for a nice day. Think of it as the Ellis Island to Atlantic Canada! Like America, Canada is a country of immigrants and each has a unique story just waiting to be discovered. One of the more interesting things to do in Halifax, Pier 21 allows us to peek into the past and learn about the first people who came to Canada!
Enjoy Fresh Fare At The Halifax Farmers Market
Right next to the immigration museum, you will find the Halifax Farmers Market. It has been around since 1750 and one is the oldest operating markets in North America. How super cool is that? We love fresh food and visiting this market gives you the best that Atlantic Canada has to offer! The Halifax Famers Market is indoors and covers two stories!
Unlike other farmers markets, this one is open every day of the week! It is one of the perfect things to do in Halifax because it allows you to taste so many different fresh fruits and veggies! The best part? There are some vendors that are there all the time and there are some vendors that rotate through! If you are a foodie searching for what to do in Halifax, the oldest farmers market in North America will not disappoint!
Take In The Views From The Halifax Citadel
If you are on the hunt for what to do in Halifax for the more active set, head up to the hilltop overlook known as the Halifax Citadel! The Citadel is actually built in a star shape and was constructed in 1749 in order to keep the city safe from invaders. Its hilltop location makes it the perfect fort and it is the perfect lookout location to enjoy sweeping views of Halifax today!
Citadel Hill, where the fort is located, is easily accessible from Halifax proper and the views make the journey up worth every minute! This is one of the most fun things to do in Halifax for families, as kids will love to explore the Citadel and will be intrigued by the daily firing of the guns.
Get Out Of Halifax And Visit Peggy’s Cove
If you are looking to escape the city for a bit, head to Peggy’s Cove! Although it isn’t technically in the city of Halifax, Peggy’s Cove is a popular day trip for those looking for what to do in Halifax that is more nature-based. The lighthouse is easily one of the most photographed places in Atlantic Canada and we recommend going during sunset for the most beautiful views! Even if you aren’t a photographer, walking along with rocks and enjoying the spray of the sea is a great way to explore Maritime Canada. It is a popular spot for locals to head to on the weekends, so if you want to beat the crowds, plan your visit during the weekday.
Wander Through The Halifax Public Gardens
We don’t know about you, but we love ourselves a public garden! The Halifax Public Gardens are one of the more relaxing things to do in Halifax! Located on Spring Garden Road, they are the perfect place to visit if you are looking for what to do in Halifax to beat the crowds and the summer heat. This 16 acre Victorian Garden is actually a National Historic site and is located in the heart of the city. If you love taking photos of unique and interesting things, the entrance to the Halifax Public Gardens is marked with an ornately wrought iron gate. It is the perfect place for photos if you are looking for what to do in Halifax for Instagram!
Where To Stay In Halifax
The Westin Nova Scotian
The Westin Nova Scotian features a prime location with sweeping views of Halifax and Halifax Harbour. If you are traveling to Halifax by train, the hotel is actually connected to the Via Rail train station! We actually left on our train trip across Canada after spending the night at the Westin and we highly recommend it! If you go during the winter, prices are more affordable if you decide you want to stay! The Westin is just steps away from the Halifax waterfront and downtown. The hotel is affordable despite its perfect location right on the water. Make sure you head down to breakfast during your stay because it can’t be beaten!
Check prices here: The Westin Nova Scotian
The Halliburton, Halifax
If you are on the hunt for cute boutique hotels in Halifax, the Halliburton is the perfect place to stay! There is free breakfast, free parking, and an awesome rooftop bar that you can visit! There are 29 guest rooms and the view from the hotel is perfect. If you are looking for what to do in Halifax that is walking distance from the Halliburton, you are in luck as it is located right on the Halifax Waterfront and there is a ton to see and do!
Check availability here: The Halliburton, Halifax
The Commons Inn, Halifax
Looking for a budget option in Halifax? The Commons Inn is clean and affordable and located on the outer edges of Downtown Halifax. This Inn, although a little out of the main drag, is still within easy walking distance to pretty much everything. Most things to do in Halifax are a 10-20 minute walk from The Commons Inn, but that means you get more time to enjoy the beautiful weather in Halifax!
Check pricing here: The Commons Inn, Halifax
What To Eat In Halifax
Try A Donair While In Halifax
Think of a Donair as a Gyro with beef instead of lamb. Donairs are a staple dish in Halifax and if you are looking for something tasty to try, this is the perfect thing for you! The Donair sauce is sweet and addictive and the meat will melt in your mouth. Kings Of Donair is a popular place to try the dish in Halifax. If you are looking for what to do in Halifax, head for a day out and finish the night off with a yummy Donair!
Feast On Garlic Fingers
Garling Fingers are a Maritime classic because they are often covered in Donair sauce! The blend of cheese, garlic, and Donair sauce is a combination you won’t want to miss! They make the perfect lunch or afternoon snack or pre-dinner appetizer.
Chow Down On A Fresh Lobster Roll
You are in Halifax, so it only makes sense to give a fresh lobster roll a try! If you are into seafood and are looking for what to do in Halifax, head out on a hunt for the best lobster rolls in town. Slather your roll in butter and walk along the Halifax Waterfront for a wonderful lunch or light dinner.
Are you looking for what to do in Halifax? Have you visited before? What are your favorite things to do? Let us know in the comments!
This post was created in conjunction with Destination Halifax. All opinions are our own and you just have to visit this beautiful Maritime city! Please note that there are affiliate links in this article which means we may make a portion of the profits if you make a purchase using our link.