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

Halifax Solo 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 far from 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 neighborhoods 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). 

The Best Halifax Guide Books:

Recommended trip duration: 1-2 days


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