Halifax, fully known as Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM), is the biggest municipality and the capital of the Canadian province of Nova Scotia. This administrative unit of the city of Halifax, the city of Dartmouth, the town of Bedford, and Halifax County Municipality occurred in 1996. Because of its large and deep ice-free harbor, it became one of the most important Canadian commercial ports from the Atlantic side.
Halifax Regional Municipality is in Nova Scotia, Canada. At the latitude of 44° N, it is almost halfway between the Equator and the North Pole. The nearest places are Cole Harbour, Dartmouth, and Lower Sackville.
If you’re driving from either New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, the rest of Canada, or the United States, you can reach Halifax through the Trans-Canada Highway.
There’s the award-winning Halifax Stanfield International Airport located only 30 minutes away from the Halifax downtown. It offers weekly flights from Toronto, Montreal, and Ottawa. There are daily flights operating from New York, Boston, and Newark.
VIA Rail Canada has a great connection with Western Canadian cities and several US destinations. You can reach Halifax from Montreal overnight!
Maritime Bus offers service across Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Edward Island, and Quebec.
Halifax has a cruise port that is open from late spring through summer and fall.
Halifax is situated within the traditional ancestral lands of the Mi’kmaq people who lived here before the arrival of European settlers. The first European settlements were recorded in the 1400s and 1500s. During the 16th century, North America’s eastern coast was a scene of numerous territorial unrests, mainly between Great Britain and France.
The main reason behind Halifax’s expansion wasn’t fishing and farming but military. The city grew as the British, and later Canadian, military forces grew. During the American Revolution, Halifax became a military anchor for the remaining British colonies in North America. Halifax held many loyalists after the United States was established.
The Halifax Citadel is the remaining testament to Halifax’s military past. The four forts were built in 1749 under the governance of British military officer Edward Cornwallis. The fort that stands there today dates back to 1856. You can wander through the Citadel’s corridors, learning about Halifax’s involvement in the biggest wars in history, such as the American Revolution, the American Civil War, or the World Wars.
A walk through the Public Gardens will take you back to the Victorian era. This 16-acre area, opened in 1867, is filled with quiet walkways, picnic spots, and manicured flower beds. It’s a perfect getaway from the urban noise in the center of the city.
The Halifax Seaport Farmers Market was established a year after the establishment of the city itself. Tourists and locals flow to this market to purchase a range of goods, like fish, baked treats, soaps, and even jewelry. When in Halifax, don’t miss a visit to this 300-year-old market!
Halifax Jazz Festival, formerly the Atlantic Jazz Festival, is the oldest jazz festival and largest summer event in Atlantic Canada. You can tell it’s a big deal with up to 65,000 visitors and over 350 local musicians participating every year.
Get ready to participate in the biggest keelboat regatta in the whole of Canada! Sail over the Chester coastline, or if you prefer onshore activities, there is also live music and vendors happening on the coast.
Halifax is a city full of nature, music, history, great food, and culture. No matter what your interests are, you’ll always find something to do or to see here. Even if you’re not so interested in city life, Halifax is the perfect base point to explore the rest of Nova Scotia.
The best time to visit Halifax is from May to October. Summer and fall months have the advantage of warm weather and many festivals and events. However, if you’re looking to avoid crowds and higher prices, we recommend visiting between November and February. Be prepared for icy winds and make sure to try out Nova Scotia’s ski slopes. March and April are also months with fewer visitors and lower prices, but muddy terrain might make it more difficult to visit.
Halifax has a full range of hotels, B&Bs, and cottages waiting for you. But first, you must pick the neighborhood. Here we’ll discuss the best places to stay in Halifax:
Downtown Halifax is a perfect place to explore the city from—it is close to city attractions, such as the Citadel, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Maritime Museum, or farmer’s market. It is also an excellent neighborhood to engage in the city’s nightlife—it is packed with the best bars and clubs. Here you can also find the most diverse restaurant scene in the whole city.
Peggy’s Cove is a place for couples and romance lovers. Situated 45 minutes away from bustling downtown, it offers an escape to a picturesque fishing village. Here you can stay in romantic B&Bs, spending your days enjoying the waves and eating the world’s best lobster.
West End is a haven for all shopping lovers—it features Nova Scotia’s largest mall, the Halifax Shopping Centre, and a number of smaller stores. Also, it is close to downtown with lots of sightseeing opportunities.