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HomeTravel 202335 Best Things to Do in Halifax 2023: Travel Guide

35 Best Things to Do in Halifax 2023: Travel Guide

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For complete directions from Halifax, tips to know, who to book with, ways to save, and much more information about this Halifax day trip, be sure to check out all the details in our complete post that reviews: Tidal Bore Rafting on the Most Extreme Tides in the World!

25) Cape Split: One of Nova Scotia’s Best Hikes

Also in the Bay of Fundy area is what we’ve found to be one of Nova Scotia’s most scenic hikes. It’s the Cape Split hike!

These jagged cliffs dramatically jut out for 7 kilometers right into the Bay of Fundy, where the extreme tides do their thing.

The only way to get here is the hike down to the cape. It’s a 6-kilometer trek each way that winds through a forest, before ultimately opening up to the barren cliffs that drop off into the bay.

drone shot of Cape Split Nova Scotia

For those who are active, hiking Cape Split is a perfect recreational pursuit you can to do as a day trip from Halifax!

It’s also another free activity. Just park your car at the trailhead and set off. The Cape Split trailhead is about a 90-minute drive from Halifax, located here.

Tip: If you want to check out the tides at Halls Harbour, do this hike in between the tide change to compare before and after.

26) Drink Tidal Bay Wine at Annapolis Valley Vineyards near Halifax

While in Nova Scotia’s tidal area, it’s only appropriate to drink the signature wine variety of the region: Tidal Bay.

There’s a burgeoning scene of wineries throughout the rolling hills of the coastal farmland of Annapolis Valley. Just a short hop away from Halifax, visitors can find these vineyards that produce the area’s signature white wine.

Tidal Bay is Nova Scotia’s first wine appellation and winemakers must maintain strict standards, such as 100% Nova Scotia grapes, in order to have the Tidal Bay designation. It’s a crisp & refreshing white wine, with green fruit notes and a distinct minerality. Appropriately for the region, it pairs exceptionally well with seafood.

Tidal Bay Wine at Luckett Vineyards

It’s about an hour’s drive from Halifax to get to the Annapolis Valley wine region featuring Tidal Bay wineries. In particular, Luckett Vineyards is one of the more popular wineries that we really enjoy.

It’s also a budget-friendly choice, as Luckett has a scenic tasting room with a tasting of five wines starting at only C$12. While there, be sure to wander through the grape vines to find the red phone booth that makes for some great photo ops.

In addition to Luckett, other popular Annapolis Valley wineries to visit include:

  • Lightfoot and Wolfville Winery – A certified organic, family-owned winery known for its handcrafted, small-lot wines, located in the Annapolis Valley. Visitors can enjoy tastings and farm-to-table dining with stunning views.
  • Benjamin Bridge – Renowned for its world-class Méthode Classique sparkling wines, this winery offers tastings, tours, and intimate culinary experiences.
  • Domaine de Grand Pré – Nova Scotia’s oldest farm winery, Domaine de Grand Pré offers a diverse range of wines and is home to the acclaimed Le Caveau restaurant.

Of course, you’ll need a designated driver to be able to enjoy multiple wineries. Instead, consider a proper Annapolis Valley wine tour from Halifax. The Wine and Lunch Escape makes three stops at three Annapolis Valley wineries and a very nice includes lunch! The wine tour receives excellent reviews, but it does book up. Check availability and reviews.

Also, if you enjoy a good drink, there’s much more to drink within the city of Halifax itself. And that’s a perfect segway into our next section of this Halifax travel guide!

Drinking Things to Do in Halifax

Halifax is said to have the most bars per capita of any city in Canada. With such an accolade, drinking IS one of the best things to do in Halifax!

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So in addition to drinking Tidal Bay wine at Halifax’s neighboring vineyards (as suggested above), be sure to partake in these other drinking experiences throughout HRM.

Gahan's House patio in Halifax

27) Tour Alexander Keith’s Historic Brewery

This Halifax mainstay is one of the oldest breweries in North America, dating back to 1820. Keith’s has maintained the historic brewing facility that goes back nearly two centuries in Halifax’s history.

Alexander Keith's Brewery Halifax Nova Scotia

It’s a fun brew tour that’s one part history, one part brewing, and one part Nova Scotian tradition. It’s an equation that adds up to a great time, complete with intimate local music performances and many opportunities to drink Keith’s beer while being toured through the old hallways!

Visitors will learn just as much about the namesake Scottish brewer that became Halifax’s beloved mayor, as you will the brewing process.

Alexander Keith's beer while on brewery tour in Halifax

The tour includes four glasses of different styles of beer, adding to the value of this fun brewhouse tour!

If You Go: Alexander Keith’s Brewery

💲Cost: C$26.95
📍 Where: Just off the central Waterfront, right here.
🕒 When: Tours generally occur every hour during summer months, Mon-Sat, Noon-7:00 pm.
🔗 Booking and availability: Alexander Keiths Brewery Tour.

28) Partake in the Halifax Tradition of a “Ceilidh”

Kitchen Ceilidh Durty Nelly's Halifax band playing Gaelic musicOne Nova Scotia drinking tradition is attending a cèilidh (pronounced kay-lee), which is a party of Gaelic folk music and dancing. Nova Scotia is Latin for “New Scotland,” after all. And it’s during a cèilidh that Halifax’s Scottish roots shine brightest.

During the aforementioned Alexander Keith’s brewery tour, they’ll fully demonstrate what a cèilidh is like. Yet try to make it to an actual cèilidh while visiting Nova Scotia. For those heading up to Cape Breton, know cèilidhs are common occurrences up there. Yet if the timing is right, you can be fortunate to catch this tradition of a cèilidh in Halifax too.

One place that has regular cèilidhs in Halifax is Durty Nelly’s. They often have a cèilidh on Thursday nights 7-10 PM. Check their event calendar to see if one is occurring while you’re in town. The ceilidh itself is free. Just pony up to the bar for a pint while enjoying the live Gaelic music. Beers start at C$7.75.

Alternatively, you can also try the Old Triangle Irish Alehouse. They often host live traditional music sessions, and they’ve been known to turn into a full-on cèilidh. Check their gig calendar.

29) Patio Drinking is a Quintessential Thing to Do in Halifax

During the summer months, Halgonians and visitors alike love drinking on a sunny patio. There’s nearly a sport to patio drinking in Halifax and it’s become a hardened summertime tradition in this city.

The BG is a perennial favorite on the waterfront. We love it too for the local beers and the open-air wooden seating directly on the Waterfront with views of the Halifax Harbour. It’s the perfect atmosphere to sip on a beverage on a bright sunny Halifax day. It’s a popular spot in the middle of the Waterfront that tends to get particularly busy during weekends.

But don’t worry, there are plenty of patio bars to enjoy drinks all throughout Halifax. The Lower Deck also sports a welcoming patio along the Waterfront during the summer months. Or go across the harbour to the Wooden Monkey in Dartmouth sweeping views of the Halifax skyline to accompany your cool beverage.

Another one of our favorite waterfront patios in Halifax is Stone’s Throw. This patio bar on the northern fringes of the Halifax waterfront isn’t as popular as the centrally located, BG. Yet for those who want to enjoy patio drinking in Halifax on a budget. During happy hour (4:00-6:00) Stone’s Throw offers local Nova Scotia craft beer for C$6 for a generous 16 oz. pour. There’s also $6 wine and rotating cocktails.

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The patio bar is hidden in plain sight, as it’s part of the Marriott Harbourfront Hotel. We recommend Stone’s Throw for inexpensive pre-dinner craft beer on the waterfront.

Stone's Throw Halifax patio with beer on the Halifax waterfront boardwalk

30) Drink Halifax’s Fantastic Local Breweries

Halifax has a fantastic local beer scene! There are loads of breweries, brew pubs, and cideries to check out all throughout the city. Brewing runs deep in Halifax and is currently having a major resurgence producing delicious results!

Halifax breweries have lots of appeal and new brewpubs are sprouting up all the time. At last count, we tallied over 20 breweries, brewpubs, and cideries across HRM. All beer-loving Halgonians seem to have their favorites.

Personally, we really enjoy Good Robot, Two Crows, and Propeller Brewing Company, to name a few. But try ‘em yourself and tell us which of Halifax’s local breweries you like best!

To sample some beers by the Halifax Waterfront, hit up Garrisons Brewery, near the Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market. Enjoying their C$2 tasters from the variety of brews across their dozen taps is easy on the wallet too. At that price, grab a few at a time. We recommend the 8% Juicy Double IPA for those who like a hoppy beer if they have this specialty brew on tap.

Garrisons Brewery Halifax taster flight of craft beer

Use the Good Cheer Passport to Find Halifax Breweries and Earn Prizes

Those beer lovers visiting Halifax, make sure to join the (free) Good Cheer Trail Passport Program! This passport can be used to discover local breweries, wineries, cideries, and distilleries all throughout the province of Nova Scotia. An excellent interactive map can be found on the Good Cheer Trail Passport website, to help you navigate your way to each of Halifax’s breweries.

Once you collect a stamp from 15 different places, you can redeem your Good Cheer Trail Passport for a free t-shirt to commemorate your drinking accomplishment! You’ll also be entered in a drawing for a grand prize.

Pick up your passport at any of the participating breweries and at the Halifax Tourism Office. Alternatively, use the digital Good Cheer passport found on the Taste of Nova Scotia Mobile App.

Nova Scotia Good Cheer Trail Passport stamps

And while the passport can be used throughout the entire province, you can easily collect 15 stamps right in Halifax. We can tell you from personal experience that this is a fun pursuit.

Eating is a Thing to Do in Halifax!

There are some interesting things to eat in Halifax that are unique to the city and to Nova Scotia. So these final five things to do in Halifax offer up some suggestions for these interesting foodie finds throughout the city.

Halifax has a designated official food that you may find surprising. It’s a must-try, reviewed below.

Yet it’s Nova Scotia’s seafood that simply can’t be ignored. Whether oysters, scallops, lobster suppers, or local haddock (fish), there is lots of seafood to try throughout Nova Scotia’s capital. And while seafood can tend to be expensive, of course, you know that we’re offering up our signature budget tips to help you enjoy the best of Halifax’s dining scene without spending a fortune.

31) Try the Official Food of Halifax: The Donair

The Halifax Donair has been proclaimed the official food of Halifax. And lucky for budget-conscious visitors to the city, the Halifax Donair makes for an inexpensive meal to try while in town.

Halifax donair is a great cheap eat in Halifax and is the city's official food

It may look like a Greek gyro or a Turkish doner kebab. Yet here in Halifax, donairs have taken on their own identity.

What is a Halifax donair? A large pita is stuffed with shaved spiced beef, rather than lamb or other doner meat. But what really makes it a “Halifax donair” is the “donair sauce.”

A concoction of condensed milk, sugar, garlic, and vinegar is what gives a Halifax Donair its distinction. As the story goes, it was 1973 when a Greek immigrant adjusted his recipe to local tastes by using beef and developing the signature sauce.

Nearly 50 years later, there are now donair shops all over Halifax. But his “King of Donair” shop is still in Halifax too. So go there to try this deliciously messy meal. Just grab some extra napkins!

Official Website: King of Donair

32) Eat Local Maritime Oysters in Halifax

Nova Scotia, along with the surrounding maritime provinces, is known for its fresh oysters. So be sure to try some freshly-shucked raw oysters on the half-shell while you’re in Halifax.

Local oysters are a culinary delight to try in Halifax. Being so close to the source helps to ensure freshness. The shuckers really take their oysters pretty seriously around here. The quality and freshness are unparalleled.

You’ll find many oyster varieties on the menu local to Nova Scotia and the surrounding Martime provinces. But keep an eye out for Sober Island oysters in particular, which are farmed about a 100-km west of Halifax and considered a premium oyster.

Oyster Happy Hour at Five Fishermen Halifax Little Fish is a cheap seafood deal in Halifax

Many oyster bars can be found all throughout Halifax. Often recommended Halifax oyster bars include the Press Gang, Barrington Steak House and Oyster Bar, Five Fishermen, Waterfront Warehouse, and McKelvie’s Restaurant, among many others.

💡 Budget Tip: Oyster Happy Hours

Oyster prices vary in price around Halifax but are typically somewhere around C$3+ per oyster (2023 prices). So wouldn’t be unusual for a dozen oysters to cost C$40+ at a Halifax restaurant or oyster bar.  Thankfully, oyster happy hours around Halifax will help to enjoy these mollusks for less.

Here are a few places in Halifax with known oyster happy hours:

  • Highwayman – C$2 oyster daily 4:00-5:00 pm.
  • Lot Six Bar & Restaurant – Dozen oysters for $C24

33) Try the “Best Fish & Chips in Canada!”

Halifax and many coastal communities throughout Nova Scotia have been based around fishing throughout the local waters. So a great way to try the local catch is with fish & chips!

The fish used around Halifax is local haddock, a type of cod, found locally in the cool & clean Atlantic waters offshore. The mild white fish makes for some particularly awesome fish & chips!

Fish & chips are fairly commonplace on menus throughout Nova Scotia, a nod to the province’s British roots. You can find fish & chips ranging from upscale restaurants to pubs and super casual counter-service joints.

While in Halifax, try fish and chips at Fries & Co., Willman’s Fish & Chips, or Evan’s Fresh Seafood in Dartmouth. But if you want what’s been considered Canada’s best fish & chips, head over to John’s Lunch.

John's lunch Fish & chips Halifax

Cross the Halifax Harbour to the Woodside area of Dartmouth to find what Canadian Living deemed as the “best fish & chips in Canada.” John’s Lunch coats its haddock with a homemade batter, mixed fresh every morning, then fries the battered haddock to a crisp golden perfection. We must concur with Canadian Living, as this Halifax institution definitely delivered the best fish & chips we’ve had in Canada!

Prices vary by the number of pieces: 1-piece (C$9.75), 2-piece (C$14.00), 3-piece (C$17.50) meal. 💡 Budget tip: the 3-piece meal is plenty for couples to share, adding value to this delicious meal!

Official Website: John’s Lunch

34) Try Some Canadian Snacks at the Waterfront: 

There are some tasty treats and local snacks to try while wandering around the Halifax waterfront. Most of them are easy on the budget too! Here are some quintessential local snacks we suggest trying while visiting Halifax:

Ice Cream: Cows Creamery & Moon Mist

Cows Creamery is known to have the best ice cream in Canada and is often listed as the world’s best ice cream. It’s a staple in the neighboring province of PEI, you can also find a Cows Creamery location directly on Halifax’s waterfront. Scoops for this primo ice cream start at C$4, a sweet price for this tasty treat that we think lives up to the hype!

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And for a uniquely Nova Scotian treat, keep an eye out for “Moon Mist” ice cream at any of the ice cream joints along the waterfront. This colorful mix of grape, banana, and bubble gum ice cream is a Nova Scotia tradition that can only be found around these parts.

Cows Creamery ice cream cone Halifax

Eat a BeaverTail on the Halifax Waterfront

BeaverTails are a beloved Canadian snack food that originated in Ottawa and quickly spread across all of Canada. So you can now find this flattened fried dough at a kiosk along the Halifax boardwalk. They’re shaped like (you guessed it) beaver tails and covered with cinnamon & sugar. If that’s not sweet enough, you can choose to have it loaded up with an assortment of other sugary toppings, from a maple spread to Nutella. BeaverTails start at about C$5.

Enjoy Canada’s National Dish in Halifax – Poutine

If you’re visiting Halifax from outside the country, you must try Canada’s national dish – poutine. It’s an economical snack/meal/gut bomb. For the uninitiated, poutine is a delicious concoction of french fries covered in squeaky cheese curds and brown gravy.

Perhaps one of the most convenient places for poutine on the Waterfront is Smoke’s Poutinerie. It’s a poutine franchise that has a kiosk in a central location on the Halifax waterfront.

Yet locals in Halifax point to Willy’s Fresh Cut as the best poutine in town. We visited, devoured, and concur. Prices range from C$6.00 for a small to C$9.50 for a large. Willy’s is located at Pizza Corner, which is another eating thing to do in Halifax that’s further explained next.

Smokes Poutinerie is a great place to try poutine in Halifax

35) Eat Lobster in Halifax

Nova Scotia’s waters are teeming with lobster fishing boats, and the province exports millions of pounds of lobster globally each year. So be sure to try this delicious local seafood while visiting Halifax.

Usually served boiled and served with classic sides, such as potato salad, restaurants in Halifax, many restaurants in Halifax feature local Nova Scotia lobster on their menus. Yet for a local tradition, consider a lobster supper, which can be a fun way to connect with Bluenosers (Nova Scotians).

To see if any community lobster suppers may be occurring during your visit, check local Facebook events, Eventbrite, Kijiji, local bulletin boards, or community social media pages. Yet for more of a sure bet, head out to the longstanding Shore Club in Hubbards (a 45-min drive from Halifax) for a traditional lobster supper, with mussels, and all the fixins.

Once considered the “poor man’s protein,” Nova Scotia lobster has since transformed into a premium culinary delight with prices to reflect that. Throughout Halifax, lobster is often at “market price” throughout Nova Scotia. Expect to pay somewhere around $C40-$C60 for a full lobster supper in Halifax (2023 prices).

If that’s a bit steep for those on a budget in Halifax, consider indulging in a lobster roll instead. Chunks of chilled, succulent lobster meat are tossed lightly with mayo and served in a toasted, buttery roll. It’s a simple, yet incredibly delicious way to enjoy lobster in Halifax. Expect to pay roughly $C25-C$35 (2023 prices) for a lobster roll in Halifax, which may or may not include a modest side like a bag of chips.

Lobster in Halifax: Dave's Lobster (upper left), Lobster Poutine from Halls Harbour (upper right), and lobster supper in Halifax from Mic Mac (bottom)

Here are just a few notable suggestions among the many places to eat lobster in and around Halifax:

  • Five Fisherman – Upscale restaurant in a historic setting known for its seafood dishes, with lobster suppers at market price.
  • McKelvie’s – Situated on the Halifax Waterfront, this seafood restaurant serves steamed lobster at market price and also offers a delicious lobster pasta (C$49).
  • Salty’s – Located directly on the Halifax Harbour, Salty’s has a more casual downstairs and a more upscale upstairs restaurant, each with steamed lobster at market prices.
  • Dave’s Lobster – Seasonal counter-service joint slinging various lobster rolls (market price) and even a lobster grilled cheese, conveniently located on the Waterfront.
  • Shore Club – A 45-minute drive east of Halifax will take you to this lobster supper institution, with traditional communal seating, live music, and all the accompaniments. (1-pound lobster dinner: C$43.95, 1.5-pound: C$54.50).
  • Halls Harbour – Given the 1.5-hour drive from Halifax, it’s a smart idea to include as part of a Bay of Fundy day trip. In addition to lobster meals (market price), this active lobster pound has a wide variety of lobster dishes, including lobster nachos (C$25.50), lobster mac & cheese (C$24.50), lobster BLT salad (C$30), and our personal favorite – lobster poutine (C$23.25)!

And if you haven’t got your fill of lobster in Halifax, also check out our separate article about lobster in Nova Scotia’s neighboring province: 6 Best Ways to Experience Lobster in PEI.

More Halifax Travel Tips

Here are a few more travel tips to help you explore Halifax!

☀️ Best Time to Visit Halifax:

There is little debate that Summer (June-August) is the best time of year to visit Halifax. This is the warmest time of year for Halifax, yet temps usually remain mild and crisp, with highs ranging from 18°-24°C (~65°-75°F) in the afternoon. Blue, clear skies becoming increasingly prevalent.

All seasonal establishments are open. Summer also brings an influx of events and festivals across Halifax. Yet summer is also peak season for Halifax. So visitors may encounter high-priced accommodation, crowds (particularly on weekends), long waits for attractions and restaurants, and/or availability problems.

While summer can be an ideal time to visit Halifax, one could make a solid argument to travel to Halifax in the early Fall for optimal conditions. Temperatures are still mild, with highs ranging from 16° to 22°C (61°-72°F). And it’s the month of September that actually has the greatest propensity for clear skies. Fall visitors to Halifax may also get an opportunity to see foilage around the city. stunning fall foliage. Yet another perk is how Halifax becomes less crowded after Labour Day.

There’s never a bad time to visit Halifax, but do know that winter can be quite cold, with temperatures often below freezing. Seasonal establishments will be long shut down before winter even begins, so that may limit your activities. There’s usually a good amount of snow during winter in Halifax, so this brings about the opportunity for winter sports.

🧥 Pack for the Weather:

Halifax’s maritime climate can be unpredictable. Pack layers and a rain jacket, especially in the spring and fall. If your trip to Halifax is in the next week or so, here’s the Halifax 7-day forecast.

Also, understand that even during warm summer days, temperatures can dip down towards 11°C (low 50s F) in the evening. So be sure to pack a light jacket or sweater to keep warm, even in the summer. To see what weather averages are during any time of year, find year-round Halifax weather averages on WeatherSpark.

Local Time in Halifax

Remember, Halifax is in the Atlantic Time Zone, which is one hour ahead of Eastern Standard Time. Your phone will adjust automatically. But just make sure you’re aware of the time change.

⚠️ Not from Canada, eh? You need travel insurance!

While Halifax is a very safe travel destination, accidents can occur. If you’re visiting Canada from the US, be sure you have medical coverage while within the country.

If not, you won’t be covered by Canada’s health care system. Medical costs will be outrageous should an unforeseen accident occur. Medical coverage is an absolute must, but travel insurance will also cover other mishaps like trip cancelation and lost luggage, which can also be assuring to have. For Americans visiting Canada, we recommend World Nomads travel insurance which contains the medical coverage you need to have while traveling in Canada. Get a quick quote for your travel dates.

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✈️ Getting to Halifax

Halifax is well connected by flights to the Halifax Stanfield International Airport. Air Canada and WestJet have numerous flights throughout Canada, which make for convenient connections elsewhere.

For those traveling to Halifax from the US, direct flights are limited to Boston year-round, so a connection will likely be necessary. Although, there are seasonal direct flights between Halifax and Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Tampa, Philadelphia, and DC.

We’ve spotted flights around $400 and less for roundtrips from US locations. Of course, airfare prices change regularly. Search around to score a good deal on flights to Halifax. Get creative with your flight searches and be sure to book at least 3 weeks out (or more) to secure a low fare.

🚐 Getting from the Airport to Downtown Halifax

The Halifax Airport is 35 kilometers (22 miles) away from downtown, so it takes over a half hour to get into town. A taxi will cost you a flat rate of C$65 and Uber estimates are C$55-C$60.

For travelers on a budget, the Regional Express Airport 320 bus runs every 30-60 minutes and drops off in Scotia Square, right in the heart of downtown Halifax. The cost is only C$4.25, so it’s quite the savings over taking a taxi! Find all the timetable and route info: Regional Express 320.

🚶 Getting Around Halifax

Halifax is a very walkable city. Most all the attractions, restaurants, and bars that we’ve mentioned throughout this guide can be walked to. Be sure to pack a pair of comfortable shoes!

Those driving to Halifax and staying downtown (recommended), may find they have no need for their car throughout the visit. If the need arises, you can use Halifax Transit as an affordable way to get around the city. Uber is now in Halifax too, providing a convenient option.

📍 Where to Stay in Halifax

The best area to stay in Halifax is downtown, preferably close to the Waterfront. Part of the beauty of Halifax is its walkability. Staying within the downtown core will allow easy access to almost all of the best things to do listed throughout this Halifax travel guide.Map showing the best area to stay in Halifax

Most Halifax hotels are naturally located within this area, so there are plenty of options to choose from. Just consider booking early.

📍 For Summer Reservations – Book Early!

If staying in Halifax over the summer, particularly during a summer weekend, be sure to secure a reservation as soon as possible. Hotels will be sold out and those that still have availability will likely have very high prices. Book early to have your pick of hotels and to secure a good rate.

With over 100 properties listed, we’ve found Booking.com to have the most hotel listings and often the best prices too. Search Halifax hotels on Booking for your travel dates to lock in your accommodation.

🚗 Use Tours or Rental Cars for Day Trips from Halifax

There’s no need to rent a car to get around Halifax itself. In fact, it may even be a burden to find parking. Yet Halifax makes a great central base to explore much of Nova Scotia.

We’ve found rental cars to be surprisingly inexpensive in Halifax, with rates as low as C$50 per day for an economy car. Most of the major car rental agencies have locations in downtown Halifax (Hertz, Avis, Budget, Alamo, etc.). Often rental car prices were cheaper from those downtown locations compared to picking up a rental car at the airport.

We scoured through all the main booking sites and even got quotes from agencies directly. In doing so, we noticed the best rental car rates in Halifax by searching on Priceline. Book your rental car as early as possible, because these also become sold out during popular summer days. Search rental cars for your travel dates.

Cheap rental car we got in Halifax

🚰 Tap Water in Halifax

Halifax’s tap water is safe and delicious to drink, so bring a reusable water bottle.

💬 Know the Local Lingo in Halifax

You may encounter some new words and phrases while in Halifax, or even while reading this article. To help you make sense of things, here are a few local words we’ve picked up during visits to Halifax:

  • Bluenoser: A term for someone from Nova Scotia. It originated from the schooner, Bluenose, which is featured on the Canadian dime.
  • Caper: Someone from Cape Breton Island.
  • Scotian: Another term for someone from Nova Scotia.
  • Maritimer: A term for someone from the Maritime provinces, which include Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island.
  • The Peninsula: The Halifax Peninsula, is a smaller portion of the city of Halifax that includes downtown and the waterfront and is defined by water boundaries that include the Halifax Harbour, Northwest Arm, and Bedford Basin.
  • HRM: Stands for “Halifax Regional Municipality,” which is the 5,000+ sq km wide region that includes Halifax, Dartmouth, Bedford, and Halifax County.
  • The Valley: Refers specifically to the Annapolis Valley region of Nova Scotia.
  • Sociable!: Similar to “cheers!” Raise your glass, say “socialable!”, and take a drink.
  • Donair: A popular fast food item in Halifax, similar to a gyro, but with a distinct sweet garlic sauce.
  • Kitchen Party: A social gathering in someone’s kitchen, often involving music and dancing. This is a common tradition in Atlantic Canada.
  • Storm Chips: Bags of potato chips Nova Scotians stock up on before a storm.

📖 Order a Free Halifax Visitor Guide

Want some more info and ideas for Halifax, be sure to check out Discover Halifax. It’s the official tourism website for Halifax and has loads of great information. If you live in the US or Canada, they’ll even mail you a complimentary Halifax Visitor Guide by using this link.

If you want even more travel info for Halifax, Nova Scotia, and the Maritimes, consider ordering a Travel Guide. We like the Lonely Planet Nova Scotia, which was last updated in 2022.

Best Things To Do in Halifax: Conclusion

We hope that this post has helped to give you lots of ideas for what to do in Halifax and show that it is very possible to enjoy many things to do, whatever the travel budget. Halifax is a wonderful city that has proven to be one of our favorite lengthy stays while traveling all over the world.

We have absolutel fallen in love with Halifax while roaming around the city.

Halifax Waterfront boardwalk chairs

If this travel guide has helped you plan your things to do in Halifax, please let us know in the comments below.

Or if you have been to this fun Canadian city and have your own travel tips or suggestions for things to do in Halifax – let us know too! We will actually be roaming around Halifax once again in the summer and fall of 2023, now as a family with little ones in tow. 😊 So we’d love to use your Halifax travel tips and update this article again!

Happy travels to beautiful Halifax, Nova Scotia! 🇨🇦

Publishing note: This article about the Best Things to Do in Halifax was originally published in November 2017. It was most recently updated in May 2023, in an effort to reflect current pricing and up-to-date info.

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