Halifax is full of affordable and family-friendly fun activities. The international airport and train station makes it an easy city to visit. There is no shortage of things for you to do in Halifax, no matter what time of year that you are visiting. To help you plan your visit to Halifax, here is a sample itinerary to help you explore this wonderful city.
Day 1 in Halifax
The Halifax Waterfront district is full of great places to eat and shop or to just take in the sights of the Halifax harbour. You can start the day off with coffee and a muffin at Cabin Coffee on Hollis Street. Cabin Coffee is a popular location for students, business folks, and families. Their coffee is some of the best on the Waterfront and they make tasty daily soups and sandwiches.
Around a 5 minute walk from Cabin Coffee is the Maritime Museum of The Atlantic. The Maritime Museum of the Atlantic explores Nova Scotia’s marine history. It is the oldest and largest maritime museum in Canada. Along with their regular exhibits, they regularly have special exhibits and events.
Right across the road from Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, is the largest art museum in Atlantic Canada. The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia is home to the Province’s art collection, along with a huge collection folk art including the Maud Lewis House. The Gallery provides visitors with a fascinating and enlightening day out.
Enjoy lunch on the waterfront at Stayner’s Wharf Pub and Grill by taking a very short walk (only about a minute) down George Street. Known for their delectable fish and chips, Stayner’s Wharf Pub and Grill serves up some of the best meals in Halifax. Try some of their local brews or sit back and get ready for the rest of the day. The pub is often packed during dinner time and on their open mic nights, so lunch is the best time to enjoy this pub’s awesome food.
After lunch, you can take a leisurely 20-minute stroll down to the historic Pier 21. Pier 21 is one of the most famous locations in Halifax because nearly 1 million immigrants entered Canada using this gateway from 1928 -1971. The Canada Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 offers hands-on activities and stories from immigrants who left their homes to make a new home in Canada. You should plan to spend a few hours at the museum since there is so much to do. Don’t forget to visit the gift shop because they have unique Atlantic Canadian treasures on offer.
After leaving Pier 21, right down the road is East Coast Lifestyle. East Coast Lifestyle is a clothing brand designed for people who love the east coast. The brand has been worn by Sidney Crosby, Skrillex, Ed Sheeran and many more famous people. Their logo was designed to show what makes the East Coast so special.
Work up your appetite by walking about 10 minutes to Barrington Street and down to the Boneheads BBQ. They are smoking meat up low and slow every day of the week. Boneheads BBQ is where you can enjoy delicious, authentic Southern BBQ in downtown Halifax. You should come hungry, so you can leave full.
Before heading in for the night, why not enjoy some board games and a few drinks down the road at The Board Room Game Café. There are over 500+ games to enjoy. If you are wondering how to play a game or want to try something new, ask the game bosses. Enjoy a coffee, tea, milkshake or beer during your game or grab a midnight snack.
Day 2 in Halifax
Just start your day at The Summit Cafe for a coffee and breakfast because their portions are large and priced fairly. The café is located on the waterfront and offers inside and outside seating. The café is tucked away inside the Summit Building but is open to the public.
Just a 10-minute walk or 3-minute bus ride on the 29 from the Summit Café is the Discovery Centre. The Discovery Centre is a favorite spot for families in the HalifaxMetro area. The new building is a 40,000 sq. ft. facility thathas four floors of fun, interactive, hands-on learning experiences for kids of all ages. You should plan to spend a few hours at the centre to fully experience the Discovery Centre.
After exploring the Discovery Centre, walk the waterfront and head to the Halifax Seaport Farmers Market for lunch. The Seaport Farmers Market is the oldest and one of the largest farmer’s markets in Halifax. There are over 250 vendors at the market that you can stop and chat with. This market is the perfect place to grab lunch and learn about Halifax and Nova Scotia.
You can become a kid in a candy store at Freaks Lunch Box, which is on Barrington Street. It is just a short 15-minute walk or a10-minutebus ride from the Farmers Market. The large-scale mural on the side of the building and the bright colors in the windows makes it easy to find Freaks Lunch Box. The shop offers hundreds of different types of candy and chocolate bars from across the globe.
Enjoy an hour on the Harbour Hopper and explore Halifax by land and by sea. The tour will take you to view places of interest including the Citadel Hill National Historic Site, Spring Garden Road, and the Victorian Public Gardens. The tour starts and ends at Salter Street, which is a ten-minute walk from Freaks Lunchbox.
A 20-minute bus ride from the Harbour Hopper is the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site, which has some of the best views of downtown Halifax and the Halifax Harbour. This military fortification is now a bash to the past. The site has sentry guards that are changed every hour that the Citadel is open. Inside the gates is the living museum, where interpreters who can answer your questions.
Right across the road from Citadel Hill is the Halifax Alehouse. The Halifax Alehouse is known for great live music and tasty food. Along with dinner, you can enjoy a local brew or a popular Canadian brand. The building is over 130 years old and has much of its original charm.After dinner head back to the Halifax Citadel National Site for the Halifax Ghost Walk. Each tour is around 90 minutes long and is available on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings. The tours start at 8:30pm and the tour guide will take you through dimly lit passageways, the burial grounds, and the fort while telling you about their spooky history.
Day 3 in Halifax
Enjoy an incredible cup of coffee to start the day at the Smiling Goat Cafe on South Street. You can enjoy one of their freshly made baked goods or delicious breakfast sandwiches.
If you want to enjoy your breakfast outside, head up the road to the Halifax Public Gardens. It is only about a 5-minute walk. The Halifax Public Gardens is a popular spot for both locals and tourists. The gardens are 17-acres that are enclosed by a wrought-iron fence. The gardens have walking paths that will take you around the gardens and to the ponds and fountains. Live band concerts happen during the summer at the bandstand.
You can walk down Sackville Street or get a bus down to Granville Street to visit the Nova Scotia Sport Heritage Museum. Located in the Scotiabank Centre, the Nova Scotia Sport Heritage Museum is the perfect place to take any sports fan. The museum covers the last 150 years of sport heroes and heritage in Nova Scotia. One of the most popular exhibits in the museum is the Sidney Crosby collection.
A two-minute walk up Sackville Street will take you to the famous Neptune Theatre. The Neptune Theatre puts on some of the biggest plays and shows in Halifax. There are always new productionsbeing showcased at the theatre and they have shows on at different times each day. The Neptune Theatre has a wide range of theatrical experiencesfor all ages and interests.
Right across the street from the Neptune Theater is a local favorite, the Durty Nelly’s Irish Pub. The food is tasty, and the Durty Nelly’s Irish Pub is known for their Seafood Chowder and their fish and chips. If seafood is not your thing, they also offer traditional Irish fare including Shepard’s Pie and lamb shanks. Enjoy your meal inside, or get some sun on the patio.
After a delicious lunch, you can go for a 10-minute bus ride or a15-minute walk up Sackville Street to visit the Museum of Natural History. The Museum of Natural History displays fossils, stunning Mi’kmaq artifacts, and many more exhibits. You can get up close and personal with sea creatures at the touch pool. There is always a new exhibit because they regularly bring in National and international displays.
Next, warm up with a 10-minute walk down Trollope Street to Cogswell Street and then turn onto Gottingen Street to go to Seven Bays Bouldering for some rock climbing. The rock climbing wall is designed for all skill levels and it is 120 foot long, so there’s room for everyone. If you need a break, there is a small licensed café on site that serves coffee, smoothies, and local draught beer.
After working up a sweat and your appetite, take a minute walk to the EDNA Restaurant for their Instagram worthy dishes. They offer some of the best vegan meals in Halifax, so they have something to meet everyone’s dietary needs. The vegan chocolate mousse is a ‘must have’ favourite dessert forvegans and non-vegans alike.
Travel to Upper Water Street on the waterfront and enjoy an evening at Casino Nova Scotia, which is the largest gaming and entertainment destination in Atlantic Canada. Try your hand at one of the over 500 slot machines, or at the 32 table games. You can also enjoy a show at the Casino or try the famous buffet.
HRM Metro Transit:
HRM Metro Transit is the city’s public transportation system and is made up of buses and ferries. This is the least expensive and fastest way of moving around Halifax and the HRM area. Each ride is $2.50 and you can get a transfer that is good for up to 2 hours, so you can switch buses and ferries to get to your destination. Bus tickets are available, a pack of 10 tickets is $20.
Rent a Car:
If you are planning to head out of Halifax, you may want to rent a car. Renting a car does give you the freedom to explore Nova Scotia. However, parking in Halifax is limited and expensive. Many of the roads near the waterfront are tight and there are a few one-way streets. Enterprise Rent-A-Car is the most popular rental car company in Halifax and has locations across the city.
The main taxi companies in Halifax are Casino Taxi, and Yellow Cab, although you may spot some other companies. Most taxis are metered and start at around $3 plus $1 for every kilometer or extra for every minute in the taxi, depending on the company. This is the most expensive form of transportation. There are stops for taxis to pick up, but most times you will have call to have a taxi pick you up.