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10 Best Things to Do in Halifax (Nova Scotia, Canada)

Halifax is the capital of Nova Scotia. It has a long history with ships, beautiful buildings, and a beautiful coastline. It has one of the best natural harbors in the world, which is still a busy seaport and a huge economic hub for all of Eastern Canada.

The Halifax Public Gardens
The Halifax Public Gardens

Halifax is a great place to visit because it has beautiful scenery, famous landmarks, and important historical sites. It also has a beautiful waterfront, great shopping areas, and areas with a lot of culture. People who love food, nature, the city, and shopping will all enjoy a trip to the city. Check out this list of the 15 best things to do in Halifax if you’re planning a trip there.

1. Put yourself in a soldier’s shoes

Halifax Citadel was built as a military fortification, but today it is one of the most popular places to visit in the city. It’s a place where you can go back in time and even spend a day as a soldier.

By wearing a real military uniform, you can fully immerse yourself in the history of Halifax and this National Historic Site. Even how to use a Snider-Enfield rifle can be taught.

If you don’t want to be a soldier, you can still look at the history of the fort as you walk around it. You can explore the fort with a tour guide or on your own.

2. Learn about people coming to Canada

Pier 21 in Canada is like Ellis Island in the United States. Between 1928 and 1971, more than a million immigrants went through the terminal, which is now a national museum.

At the museum, there are a number of permanent displays that show how people came to the country by sea. Some of them are made just for kids, so the whole family can have fun with them.

There is also a place on Pier 21 to remember the more than 500,000 Canadians who left the port to fight in WWII. There are also citizenship ceremonies and other events, as well as temporary shows.

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3. Take a walk around the harbor

One of the best city walks in Canada is along the Halifax Waterfront Boardwalk. The public footpath is open 24 hours a day and has shops, landmarks, and other places to see.

Start at the southern end of the footpath at the Halifax Seaport and walk three kilometers north to the Casino Nova Scotia. This walk can also be done in the opposite direction, from north to south.

Stop at places like the Halifax Historic Properties buildings, the Halifax Farmers’ Market, and the Garrison Brewery along the way. You can also go shopping in a shop run by local artists, grab a bite to eat at a cafĂ©, or try your luck at the casino.

4. Go to a famous place

The Peggy’s Cove Lighthouse is one of the most popular places to see in Nova Scotia. The red and white lighthouse is still working, and the Canadian Coast Guard uses it.

Even though the famous picture is not in Halifax, the 43-kilometer trip to the lighthouse and the town it is in is well worth it. In fact, the Lighthouse Route is the way to get from the city to the town of Peggy’s Cove.

The Peggy’s Cove Lighthouse is one of the most photographed places in Atlantic Canada. It is also one of the world’s most well-known lighthouses.

5. Walk through gardens from the 1800s

The Halifax Public Gardens, which are 6.5 hectares, are one of the best Victorian gardens in North America. The beautiful gardens are right in the middle of the city, surrounded by a fence made of wrought iron.

The Halifax Public Gardens opened in 1867, and in 1984, they were named a National Historic Site. Before 1874, the gardens were made up of two smaller gardens that were separate from each other.

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Walk through the beautiful gardens and look at the trees, bushes, and flowers among the fountains and statues. In the summer, go there on a sunny Sunday afternoon to hear a free afternoon concert.

6. Go ice skating

The Emera Oval is an outdoor skating rink, so this can only be done in the winter. The public ice rink is as big as three NHL rinks put together.

You can skate around the rink or come watch a speed-skating competition, which isn’t something you see every day. You can also take lessons on how to skate here.

Every day, more than 2,000 people come to the rink to skate for free. When the weather is nicer, anyone can bike, rollerblade, or roller skate on the rink.

7. Visit a village with a long history

Fisherman’s Cove is a fishing village that was built 200 years ago and has been rebuilt. It is about 20 minutes from downtown Halifax. The cute village is a great way to see how the city used to be.

Visit the shops of local artists as you walk along the boardwalk. Enjoy some of the freshest seafood or a cup of coffee with a piece of cake.

Even now, people still live in the fishing village, and boats are still parked at its docks. Along the shore, old boat houses and wooden cabins have been turned into shops.

8. Look at works by well-known artists from the area

The Art Gallery of Halifax has the largest collection of art in Atlantic Canada. The gallery also shows work by well-known artists from the area, like Alex Colville and Maud Lewis.

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Ondaatje Court separates the two historic buildings that make up the Art Gallery of Halifax. Most of the collection is in the old Dominion Building, and the rest is spread out over several floors of the Provincial Building.

The gallery has more than 17,000 pieces of art, ranging from oil paintings to Inuit stone carvings. Most of the art in the collection was made in Nova Scotia, but there are a few pieces by artists from other countries.

9. Go to a tropical island

At 395 hectares, McNabs Island is the biggest in the Halifax Harbour. It is a great place to go hiking and enjoy the scenery for a few hours.

The island has more than 22 kilometers of trails and beautiful coastal and forest settings. Fort McNab, which is a historic site, is also on the island.

In addition to being a great place to hike, McNabs Island is also a great place to watch birds. There are also places to have a picnic, but you’ll need to bring your own food and water.

10. Look at the inside and outside of the new library.

CNN picked the new Halifax Central Library as one of the most impressive buildings of 2014, and they were right. A competition was held around the world to find the most modern design for the library.

Since December 2014, when it first opened, it has become quite a show. Not only because of how it looks on the outside, but also because of how it looks on the inside.

The five-story building has a study area, a play area, and an adult learning center, as well as two cafes, a rooftop terrace, and an auditorium with 300 seats. It is also, of course, a library. On the third, fourth, and fifth floors, you can find books, magazines, and newspapers.

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