14 Best Things To Do in Halifax, Canada

Exploring Halifax, Canada: 14 Must-Do Activities

Nestled on the southeastern coast of Nova Scotia, Canada, Halifax is a vibrant city with a rich maritime history, a lively cultural scene, and stunning natural beauty. Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, or an outdoor enthusiast, Halifax has something for everyone. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the top activities that make Halifax a must-visit destination for any traveler. From walking the ramparts of the Old Town to indulging in the city’s burgeoning food scene, here’s your checklist for getting the most out of Halifax.

Historical Sites and Landmarks

Citadel Hill

No visit to Halifax is complete without exploring the iconic star-shaped fortress, the Citadel. This National Historic Site offers breathtaking views of the city and harbor. Step back in time with a guided tour, witness soldiers in full historic regalia, and even fire a 19th-century rifle. Be sure to catch the daily noon cannon firing—the sound echoes through the city, a reminder of the Citadel’s storied past.

Pier 21

Known as the “Gateway to Canada”, Pier 21 is where nearly one million immigrants first set foot in Canada between 1928 and 1971. It’s now a museum that narrates the poignant stories of those who arrived seeking a new life. Interactive exhibits, historical photos, and personal artifacts bring the immigration experience to life, making it a moving and inspirational visit.

Historic Properties

The Historic Properties along the Halifax waterfront offer a picturesque route through the city’s past. This collection of restored warehouses, cobbled streets, and unique boutiques is quintessentially Nova Scotian. Take a guided walking tour to learn about the buildings’ origins and the craftspeople and traders who worked here, or simply wander the area and soak up the atmosphere.

Outdoor Adventures

Peggy’s Cove

A short drive from the city, the rugged beauty of Peggy’s Cove is a must-see. Canada’s most famous fishing village, with its iconic lighthouse perched on wave-worn boulders, has been the muse for many iconic paintings. Spend the day exploring the rocky shore, perhaps catching sight of a lobster fisherman hard at work, and remember to stay back from the water’s edge—those Atlantic swells are no joke.

Point Pleasant Park

A sprawling green oasis at the southern tip of the Halifax peninsula, Point Pleasant Park is the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle. Its network of trails, historical monuments, and spectacular views make it ideal for a leisurely stroll, a brisk jog, or a peaceful picnic beneath the park’s canopy of majestic trees. On a clear day, you can see across the harbor to Dartmouth.

Harbourfront Boardwalk

The Halifax waterfront boardwalk is the heartbeat of the city. This bustling promenade stretches for over three kilometers and offers stunning views of the harbor, as well as an array of attractions and entertainment. From local buskers to vibrant festivals, the boardwalk is always alive with activity. It’s also the launching point for boat tours, which provide a different perspective on the city’s coastal beauty.

Cultural Experiences

Cultural Experiences Halifax
Aerial view of Halifax Regional Municipality Nova Scotia Canada

For those who love art, a visit to the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia is a treat. The gallery is renowned for its collection of local and international works, with a focus on maritime artists and the Canadian Maud Lewis, an iconic figure who painted scenes of rural Nova Scotia. Rotating exhibits ensure that there’s always something new to discover, and the gift shop is the perfect place to pick up a unique, Canadian art-inspired souvenir.

Maritime Museum of the Atlantic

Canada’s oldest and largest maritime museum tells the story of the province’s maritime heritage through an array of exhibits, including the world’s largest collection of Titanic artifacts. Learn about the age of sail, the World Wars, and the development of Canada’s navy and shipping industry. Don’t miss the exhibit that honor Halifax’s role in the aftermath of the Titanic disaster, where victims’ grave markers can be seen throughout the city.

Alexander Keith’s Brewery

The Halifax brewery of Alexander Keith, a Scottish immigrant and local legend, has been brewing beer since 1820. His historic site, Alexander Keith’s Brewery, offers up an interactive and entertaining look at the heritage and traditions of beer-making. Tour the brewery, led by lively guides in period costume, and enjoy some live music and dancing. It’s a 19+ atmosphere, with a chance to taste some of the product at the end of your visit.

Culinary Delights

Local Seafood Specialties

Being a coastal city, Halifax is a paradise for seafood lovers. Whether it’s succulent lobster, tender scallops, or fish and chips made freshly from the catch of the day, local restaurants serve up some of the best seafood you’ll find anywhere. Make a reservation at The Five Fishermen, Salty’s, or McKelvie’s for a taste of Nova Scotia’s maritime bounty.

Farmers’ Market

The Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market holds the distinction of being the longest continuously running farmers’ market in North America. With over 250 vendors, the market is a cornucopia of fresh produce, baked goods, artisanal crafts, and local cuisine. Stroll through the stalls, sampling the wares and chatting with vendors, and enjoy a snack or a meal on-site. Be sure to join in the regular market events, such as the Friday Night Market.

Food Tours

Indecisive about where to eat or want to try as much as you can in one go? Take a food tour of Halifax’s culinary scene. These tours, often led by local guides, take you to a selection of the city’s best eateries, where you can sample a wide variety of dishes, beverages, and desserts. It’s a great way to learn about the local food culture and find your new favorite spot.

The Halifax Music Scene

Local Venues and Showcases

Halifax has a rich musical heritage, offering venues of all sizes where you can catch a live performance. From intimate acoustic sets in bars to larger acts at the Scotiabank Centre, the city provides a platform for local talents as well as hosting international headliners. Don’t miss out on the Halifax Pop Explosion in October or the east coast music scene at The Carleton Music Bar & Grill year-round.

Record and Music Shops

For music aficionados, Halifax has a diverse selection of record and music shops. Spend a day hunting for vinyl treasures at Taz Records, or peruse through albums, sheet music, and collectibles at Obsolete Records. These shops are not just about purchasing music; they’re an experience where you can discover new and old favorites alike.

Local Artisans and Craftsmen

Artisan Workshops

Halifax is a city proud of its artisans and their crafts. From jewelry to textiles, from pottery to sculptures, you can find local wares at workshops and galleries throughout the city. The Seaport Harbour has a particularly rich collection of artists; you can watch them at work and purchase one-of-a-kind items.

Craft Beer and Distilleries

In recent years, Halifax has also made a name for itself in the world of craft beer and spirits. Take a brewery or distillery tour, and taste unique creations made with local ingredients. Whether it’s a milk stout at Propeller Brewing Co. or a single-malt whisky at the Glen Breton Distillery, you’ll find something to quench your thirst and intrigue your palate.

Nova Scotian Adventures beyond Halifax

Day Trips

Venture beyond Halifax for day trips that showcase the beauty of Nova Scotia’s diverse landscapes. Drive along the Cabot Trail to view towering cliffs and the Atlantic Ocean, or explore the Bay of Fundy, where you can see the highest tides on the planet. The Annapolis Valley is also an excellent destination, with its vineyards, apple orchards, and the picturesque town of Wolfville.

Seasonal Activities

Depending on the time of year, participate in seasonal activities. In the warmer months, go whale watching, surf some of the world’s most powerful waves at Lawrencetown Beach, or hike the trails at Cape Split. In winter, enjoy outdoor skating at the Emera Oval, or hit the slopes for some skiing or snowboarding at Martock or Wentworth.

Sustainable Tourism in Halifax


Halifax is committed to sustainable practices and is an ideal destination for ecotourism. Participate in organized shore clean-ups to protect marine environments, or choose local eco-friendly accommodations that support environmental initiatives. Get involved in community gardens and sustainable food programs to get a hands-on experience with Halifax’s commitment to a greener future.

Responsible Tourism

When traveling to Halifax, be a responsible tourist. Respect the local culture and customs, and try to minimize your impact on the environment. Support locally owned businesses and buy products that are made in Nova Scotia to contribute to the local economy.

Accessibility in Halifax

Accessible Attractions

Many of Halifax’s attractions are accessible to visitors with disabilities. From the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, which features an accessible route and wheelchairs available for visitors, to the waterfront boardwalk, which has wide paths and ramp access, the city offers options to ensure that everyone can enjoy the sights.

Accessible Activities

Adaptive technology and equipment rentals are available for outdoor activities such as sailing with the Bluenose II experience accessible sailing. Local organizations offer accessible tours of the city and region, and there are several accessible parks and trails, including The Halifax Public Gardens and the Emera Oval.

Exploring Halifax with Kids

Family-friendly Attractions

There are plenty of family-friendly activities in Halifax that will keep kids entertained. Visit the Discovery Centre, a hands-on science museum, or the Halifax Central Library that houses a vast children’s section. The Museum of Natural History, home to the Hal ifax Explosion exhibit and Gus the Tortoise, is also a favorite among the young crowd.

Outdoor Fun

With playgrounds like Halifax Citadel and DeWolf Park, families can enjoy the city’s outdoor spaces with ease. During the warmer months, kids can cool off at the Halifax Common Splash Pad or Waverley Road Water Spray Park. In winter, ice skating at the Emera Oval is a popular pastime.

The Halifax Nightlife Scene

Bars and Restaurants

The city’s nightlife offers a range of experiences, from cozy pubs to high-energy nightclubs. Enjoy live music with a pint of local craft beer at The Lower Deck, or treat yourself to some oysters and champagne at The Press Gang Restaurant & Oyster Bar.

Cultural Events

Halifax’s cultural events ensure there’s always something to do after dark. Check out the Halifax ComedyFest for some laughs, the Atlantic Film Festival for a touch of glamour, or the Nocturne Art at Night for a city-wide art experience under the stars.

Educational Opportunities in Halifax

Universities and Colleges

Halifax is home to several world-class universities and colleges, making it a hub for education. Explore the campuses of Dalhousie University, Saint Mary’s University, and the University of King’s College, or engage with students and faculty on field trips, lectures, and public talks.

Learning Institutions

The city plays host to many learning institutions that offer workshops and classes. The Halifax Public Libraries, for example, offer an extensive program of events that cater to all ages and interests. The Halifax Citadel also hosts educational programs and events throughout the year.


Halifax’s allure stems not just from its historic past, but also from its vibrant culture and the warmth of its people. Whether you’re wandering the cobblestone streets of the Old Town or taking a hike along the coast. Every experience in Halifax is laced with the charm of this coastal city. From appreciating the arts and tasting local flavors to adventuring in the great outdoors, Halifax promises an enriching and diverse travel experience. It is a city where every corner speaks volumes of the confluence of tradition and modernity, making it a must-visit destination for all types of travelers. Safe travels and enjoy your explorations in Halifax, Canada!

Hot Topics


Related Articles