Welcome to Nova Scotia’s seaside capital city of Halifax! Here's a list of don’t miss things to see, do, eat, and drink that also includes tour options, pubs with live music, and the most popular spots that promise a true Halifax experience.
Pubs and live music venues
Halifax is home to the largest number of pubs per capita with many featuring live music. Pull up a seat, order local craft beer, cider, wine, or a cocktail made with locally distilled spirits. Then, hit the dance floor and enjoy performers from across Atlantic Canada at The Old Triangle Irish Alehouse, The Carleton Music Bar & Grill, Stayner's Wharf Pub & Grill, The Lower Deck Pub, Durty Nelly’s Irish Pub, and more.
Explore the Halifax Waterfront
This waterfront boardwalk offers visitors an assortment of unique shops, popular restaurants with waterfront patios, and even a vendor marketplace alongside a waterfront beer garden that serves up local crafted beers and ciders — all with unobstructed views of the busy harbour. With annual festivals like TD Halifax Jazz Fest, Halifax International Busker Fest, and Halifax Seaport Beer Fest taking place along the waterfront, there is no shortage of entertainment.
Take a tour… or two
Experience this port city on foot, or by bike, boat, bus, segway, or kayak! Here's how:
- Discover the best of Halifax's amazing food and craft beer scene with Taste Halifax Tours. Don't forget — a visit to Halifax is not complete without trying the city's official food: the donair.
- Take a historic ghost walk through downtown Halifax with Tattle Tale Tours or join a ghost tour at the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site where you'll be led by candlelight through historic tunnels, and prison cells.
- Take the Halifax Ferry to Dartmouth and head out on your own self-guided culinary walking tour. Make sure Humble Pie Kitchen, Battery Park Beer Bar & Eatery, Two if by Sea Café, The Canteen on Portland, Portland Street Creperie, Evan's Fresh Seafood, and Picnic at the Dart Gallery are on your list!
- Go kayaking with Kayak Halifax to Georges and McNabs Islands in the heart of Halifax Harbour and participate in an exclusive glamping experience on Georges Island.
- Book a wine, dinner, or harbour cruise at Murphy’s the Cable Wharf. Maybe you'd rather feel like a kid again? Hop aboard an amphibious Harbour Hopper tour or tour the harbour aboard Theodore Tugboat.
- Visit Alexander Keith’s historic brewery and learn about the beer making process in the original brewery. You'll of course taste the beers — including new craft beers being made onsite — in the original tavern.
Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market
Bring your appetite when you visit North America’s oldest continuously running farmers’ market. The Halifax Seaport Farmers' Market is now home to 205+ vendors featuring seasonal produce, meats, fish, local wines, spirits, craft beers, and ciders, as well as local artisans, in its state-of-the-art sustainable green building.
Be sure to pop up to the rooftop patio and take in the amazing views of Georges and McNabs Islands.
Halifax Citadel National Historic Site
The Halifax Citadel has long watched over the harbour and downtown core of the capital city. Originally built as a military fortification to protect the Empire from enemies (and the occasional pirate), today the Citadel and its distinctive Clock Tower act as a reminder of Halifax’s rich past. Want to get hands-on with history? Dress like a Highlander and become a solider for a day or participate in ‘Ready, Aim, Fire!’ where you get to hold — and fire — an authentic Snider-Enfield Rifle just as they did in 1869.
Historic parks and gardens
Discover the Halifax Public Gardens, a 16-acre Victorian garden oasis in the heart of downtown Halifax. Opened in 1867 and declared a National Historic Site in 1984, stroll the paths and take in the ornate fountains, lush gardens, and the traditional bandstand that hosts performances throughout the summer months.
Want a taste of home? Visit Point Pleasant Park, a historic wooded park with almost 39 kilometres of easy winding trails and wide paths that the city of Halifax rents from the British Government for 1 shilling a year, with a 999-year lease. During the summer months, take in a theatrical performance in the park by professional theatre group, Shakespeare by the Sea.
Stuff for history buffs
Located on the Halifax Waterfront boardwalk, the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic is home to the largest collection of wooden artifacts from the Titanic. Halifax played an important role in the rescue and recovery mission following the Titanic disaster and is where many of the deceased passengers were buried. The Museum is also home to a permanent exhibit containing artifacts that tell the story of the Halifax Explosion, the largest man-made explosion prior to the Atomic bomb, that devastated Halifax in 1917.
Did you know that over 25 million North Americans can trace their ancestors’ path back to Pier 21? Between 1928 and 1971 over one million immigrants entered Canada through Pier 21. Today, the site is home to the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21, Atlantic Canada’s only National Museum.
Art Gallery of Nova Scotia
The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia in downtown Halifax is home to a vast art collection and offers a wide range of exhibitions including displays of historic and contemporary Nova Scotian, national and international paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, photographs, and ceramics.
A major attraction within the AGNS is its acclaimed collection of folk art, including the vibrantly decorated Maud Lewis house which features her charming paintings.