Peggy's Cove, Nova Scotia
Peggy's Cove, Nova Scotia (Photo credit: Shawna Mac)

Halifax Travel Guide

QUICK FACTS

  • Founded in 1749, Halifax is the capital of Nova Scotia and has a population of ~390,000.
  • An important seaport, it is the largest urban area in the Atlantic provinces of Canada.
  • A popular tourist destination, Halifax is known as the home of Alexander Keith’s Pale Ale.
  • Nickname: The City of Trees.

PRACTICAL INFORMATION

  • Currency: Canadian Dollar (CAD).
  • Spoken languages: predominantly English.
  • Best time to visit: from May to October. Summers are mild and not too humid, while winters are cold (though not nearly the coldest in Canada).
  • Arriving via airport: public transportation by bus costs $3.25 per ride. Taxis from the airport to downtown cost approximately $55.

WHERE TO STAY

Anywhere downtown would be convenient for a city trip. Great neighbourhoods include: Dartmouth, Bedford, and the Harbour area.

GETTING AROUND

  • Halifax operates MetroTransit, a public transportation system that includes buses and a ferry service. The cost for ferry services is $2.25 per ride and bus fare is $2.75 per ride. MetroX (express buses) cost $3.25 per ride.
  • Taxi companies operating in Halifax include: Casino Taxi (902) 425-6666, Yellow Cab (902) 420-0000 and Adams Taxi & Limousine Services (902) 880-2326. Fares start at approximately $3.00 and go up $1.50 per km.

HALIFAX NIGHTLIFE

  • Drinking age is 19 and last call is 3 AM to 4 AM, depending on the bar.
  • Note: Halifax has more pubs per capital than any other city in Canada!
  • Main nightlife areas: Sackville Street, Grafton Street, and Brunswick Street.
  • College scene: Argyle Street, Gottingen Street or Barrington Street.

UNIQUE LANDMARKS TO VISIT

  • Halifax Public Gardens – a Victorian inspired garden that has been open to the public since 1875. One of the city’s best nature walks.
  • Citadel National Historic Site – an 18th Century fort with fabulous views of Halifax – one of the most visited historical sites in Canada.
  • The Fairview Lawn Cemetery is best known as the final resting place for over 100 victims of the RMS Titanic. There is also a memorial for the victims of the Halifax explosion.
  • Lawrencetown Beach  A 1.5km long beach that has great surfing conditions but the water tends to be on the cold side here. This is a popular beach and is family friendly.

INTERESTING WALKS

  • Chain of Lakes Trail is a 7.25 km walk that takes visitors through the Bayers Lakes Industrial Park to the Lakeside Business Park.
  • Halifax Waterfront Boardwalk is a 3.8 km walk along Halifax’s famous and beautiful waterfront. Visitors can also take a carriage ride along the boardwalk and see incoming cruise and cargo ships.
  • Urban exploration: start from the steps of the Maritime Centre on Barrington Street and explore the surrounding areas.

LOCAL WISDOM

  • Halifax has a strong connection to the Titanic tragedy – many of the recovery ships came from the city. There is a permanent Titanic Museum at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic.
  • Where to find good cheap eats: there are plenty of cheap good eats in Halifax – check out the areas of Fenwick Street, Robie Street, Oxford Street, Spring Garden Road and Young Street.
  • Dangerous areas: Halifax is generally a safe city, but has a few troubled areas. At night, it is recommended that you avoid Highland Park, Preston, Cherrybrook, and Central Halifax (near the MacDonald Bridge). 

RECOMMENDED HALIFAX GUIDE BOOKS

We couldn’t find any amazing guidebooks specifically on Halifax. This is the top recommendation so far:

Recommended trip duration: 1-2 days


SEE ALSO:
Halifax Travel Guide was last modified: September 22nd, 2016 by Nick
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