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Best Things to Do Halifax Canada Itinerary 2023

Greetings, Internet Stranger, and welcome to a perfect best things to do Halifax Canada itinerary. Halifax, in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia, is a small city, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to do here! In fact, Halifax is a delightful place full of historical interest. That’s not only because it’s the capital of Nova Scotia, but also because it played an important role in British Colonial Canada.

Plus, it’s also just a darn cute city with tons of enjoyable things to do. Come join me today, and we’ll visit the Citadel, which is the most famous spot in Halifax. Then we’ll check out some art, some amazing food, and some extraordinary gardens. It will be a best things to do Halifax Canada itinerary to remember!

Want to cut right to the chase, Internet Stranger? The best activity in Halifax is this fabulous Harbour Hopper tour right here with tons of five-star reviews!

Or if you want to explore all tours in Halifax, check this search engine right here to find the best deals!

best things to do Halifax Canada itinerary

best things to do Halifax Canada itinerary

Where to Stay?

Halifax is a cute and walkable city, so you’re going to want to choose a hotel that has a convenient location within walking distance of all the main attractions. I assume that there’s Uber in Halifax, but I never needed to use a car, except when I was going to and from the airport.

So I suggest spending your best things to do Halifax Canada itinerary at the Garden South Park Inn. It has a perfectly convenient location within walking distance of everything. As you can see from my photo above, the rooms were adorable, clean, and comfortable. Plus, a very convenient breakfast was included with the price. What more could you want?

If you’re looking for a great deal for this amazing hotel, click here. And if you’d rather save money on hundreds of other hotels in Halifax, click here. This search engine will help you find the perfect place to stay during your plans for your best things to do Halifax Canada itinerary. With plenty of options to choose from, I’m sure you’ll find something for your schedule and budget.

one day in halifax itinerary

best things to do Halifax Canada itinerary

Morning: Halifax Citadel

The Halifax Citadel is the most famous spot to visit in Halifax, and not just cause it provides great views. (Some people might say that the harbor is the most famous spot, but I say that’s too big to be just a spot.) It is also a spot of major historic significance, and pretty much the only place to go if you want to hear an impressive display of bagpipes while you are in Halifax.

This citadel was created by the English back in the 18th century to protect Nova Scotia from the French. (Ho ho ho!) Nowadays, it’s pretty much just used to welcome tourists to the fair city of Halifax. I recommend reserving two or three hours to come here and explore.

There’s plenty to do in the citadel, including the several museum displays helpfully outlined in both English and Frenc. You should especially take advantage of the guided tours included with the price of admission. They leave regularly, alternating between French and English, and they’ll definitely teach you more than:

Three Fascinating Facts: The Halifax Citadel

one day in halifax itinerary
1) What is this outfit?

So, I know I said that the English built this fortress, but it wasn’t just the English defending the fort. After all, what does Nova Scotia mean? That’s right, New Scotland. So of course there were Scottish troops like the Highlanders who were sent to defend the fort. (And England and Scotland have been part of the same nation for quite some time, though who knows if that will last forever.)

The Highlanders were stationed at Halifax Citadel for only three years, but their legend lives on because of their amazing fashion sense. Of course, the man in my photo isn’t a real Highlander, just a docent dressed as a Highlander for the benefit of schoolchildren and tourists.

He did tell us all about each piece of his outfit, and I was impressed at his ability to stay cool even though he was wearing this heavy outfit on a warm summer day.

one day in halifax itinerary

Not only did he explain the different pieces of his uniform to us, he also showed us how to fire his old-fashioned rifle. Never fear because he was only shooting blanks, and he took great care to fire away from any people. It was certainly fascinating to see how long it took to load and fire a rifle back in the 18th century. I’m sure it would be much harder to glamorize guns if they were still as difficult to operate.

Finally, there are regular bagpipe performances led by docents dressed in the Highlander uniforms. This will either encourage you or discourage you from visiting the Citadel, depending on your feelings on bagpipes.

one day in halifax itinerary
2) What’s the most interesting feature of the citadel?

People will debate about this, but I think most would say it’s the noon time cannon. If you go on the 11 o’clock tour of the citadel, it will be the last thing you see on the tour. It’s so loud that the docents have protective earwear, but you won’t need it, since you probably won’t hear the gun again soon. They have to listen to it every day, and over time it could damage their ears.

Also, one thing I noticed is that some people kept trying to climb the walls of the citadel to get a better video of the noon gun. Don’t do this! The docent kept having to ask people to get down and they just wouldn’t listen. Don’t be this kind of obnoxious tourist.

one day in halifax itinerary
3) Why did they choose this spot for the citadel?

Well, we’re at the top of the hill, and in Colonial days, you always wanted to build your fortress at the highest point, so you could always be on top of your enemy and see him coming. That’s why the British cleared the entire area around the Citadel. If anyone invaded, the Highlanders and their associates would see the rapscallion coming from a mile away.

Now, were there any actual invaders? No. The citadel was never intact, and the French never did invade Halifax. Instead, the cleared areas have been used for public celebrations and other fun Canadian landmarks, like the botanical garden. Now, that’s what I call a feel-good ending to this story.

So even if you’re not interested in the ins and outs of the Highlander uniform or the noon time gun, you can still enjoy these amazing views of Halifax.

one day in halifax itinerary

best things to do Halifax Canada itinerary

Afternoon: Explore Halifax

So now that we’ve spent the morning in one location, let’s take the rest of the afternoon to go see some of the other beautiful sights in Halifax. There’s the water and flowers and art and so much more. I promise to take you to all of my favorite places, but first–lunch!

And after we feed our bellies, we’ll get to finding the rest of the…

Approximately Top 5: best things to do Halifax Canada itinerary

one day in halifax itinerary
1) Lunch at Cha Baa Thai

Cha Baa Thai is a popular local chain. For this itinerary we want the Downtown Halifax location. I was impressed with my spicy prawn lunch special because it was actually spicy! Unfortunately, in my experience in Nova Scotia, most times when people told me that a food was spicy, it turned out to not be spicy at all.

Plus, I was happy to enjoy the plump prawns with my lunch. When in Halifax, you need to eat as much seafood as you can. That’s just science. I recommend this place if you want tasty food that is an excellent value.

one day in halifax itinerary
2) Dairy Bar

You might have room for some dessert, so if the weather’s warm, head to Dairy Bar for some soft serve. (This ice cream bar is only open seasonally, so catch it while you can.) I recommend the sesame vanilla twist, which tasted like my favorite Romanian halvah candy turned into ice cream form.

one day in halifax itinerary
3) Art Gallery of Nova Scotia

The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, like the rest of Halifax, isn’t massive. But if you’re interested in learning about Nova Scotia and the artists that live here, this is the gallery for you. And we’re going to be outside for most of this best things to do Halifax Canada itinerary, so I think it’s good to have one indoor suggestion. After all, you never know what the weather in Halifax will be like.

one day in halifax itinerary

The most famous artist featured in the gallery is probably Maud Lewis. If you learn only one Nova Scotian artist, let it be her. By the time you’re finished exploring the museum, you’ll get familiar with her style, with its bright and colorful figures enjoying the many trees of Canada.

one day in halifax itinerary

Bonus Maud Lewis cat picture for your enjoyment.

one day in halifax itinerary
4) Alexander Keith Brewery

If you enjoy fine craft beer, head on over to the Alexander Keith Brewery for a tour. Here, you can go on a highly entertaining excursion that will teach you all about the famous Scottish brewer Alexander Keith, and how he came to bring his fine ales to Nova Scotia. You’ll also get to sample several of the Alexander Keith beers along the way.

On my tour, everyone got the rich coffee cacao stout and the hoppy IPA. However, we were all free to choose our final beer, and I selected the sangria wheat, which tasted exactly like it sounds. There’s also some delightful live music to enjoy with your beer at the end of the tour.

one day in halifax itinerary

This tour is extremely popular, so you need to book your reservation in advance. You can go ahead and do so by clicking here.

one day in halifax itinerary
5) Halifax Harbour

As you exit the Alexander Keith Brewery, you’ll be right at Halifax Harbour, so why not go for a scenic walk? It’s lovely and completely free of charge. There’s often artists selling their wares at little booths in the harbor. For example, I bought a pair of earrings shaped like cats from a lady who makes all of her jewelry out of cloth. You can also buy some fine pewter goods or some pottery that will benefit sea turtle habitats.

You never know what events might be at the Halifax Harbour. For example, when I was there, I happened upon the Africa Festival of Arts and Culture and bought a nice handmade purse from a lady from Nigeria. I can honestly say that I wasn’t expecting to find this event in Halifax, but I’m sure glad it was there.

one day in halifax itinerary
6) Halifax Public Gardens

Finally, no trip to Halifax is complete without a stop at the Halifax Public Gardens. These stunning Victorian gardens are free to visit, and they are certainly one of the most beautiful places in all of Halifax. Just check the schedule online in advance to see when the park will be open.

I mean, correct me if I am wrong, but I don’t think anyone wants to stroll around a Victorian garden at night, even in Canada. It’s best to appreciate this glorious fountain in the daytime, is it not?

one day in halifax itinerary

After your stroll through the gardens, you’ll probably be in need of a rest before dinner, especially if you stopped at the Alexander Keith Brewery for some ales. So go ahead and do that, and we can meet up again for dinner.

one day in halifax itinerary

best things to do Halifax Canada itinerary

Evening: Dinner at Da Maurizio

For dinner, I’m taking you back to the harbor area and Da Maurizio, which is sometimes called the best Italian restaurant in Halifax. (I’m from New York City, and I’ve been to a lot of Italian restaurants, and this is a very good restaurant, full stop.) You’ll need to make a reservation in advance, but it’s definitely worth it.

Start your dinner with a classic Italian cocktail like the Paper Plane, which manages to be sweet, bitter, and smoky, all at the same time.

one day in halifax itinerary

For the appetizer, I chose the gamberi, which claimed to be a spicy shrimp dish. It was not terribly spicy, but I enjoyed the interesting combination of flavors with the pomegranate salad and the garlic toasts. It was a light and unusual way to start the meal.

one day in halifax itinerary

Of course, if you’re going to have a light appetizer, go decadent with the main course, like this rich lobster ravioli in a tomato cream sauce. Some people say that you should never pair seafood with cream, but I say these people are wrong. Dead wrong.

one day in halifax itinerary

For the main course, I had my favorite Italian dessert, aka the cannoli. (Technically cannoli is a plural, but it would be very pretentious for me to go around calling this a cannolo.) What I liked about this cannoli was the bright red berry flavor that contrasted with the rich filling of the dessert. A perfect end to a perfect day in Halifax!

one day in Halifax itinerary

best things to do Halifax Canada itinerary

What to Pack?

  • A cell charger so you can keep your cell phone charged for the entire best things to do Halifax Canada itinerary
  • My favorite guide book to Canada, including Halifax
  • The most reliable travel umbrella that is small enough to fit in my purse, but strong enough to stand up to powerful winds
  • These great TSA approved clear toiletries bags, so I can always keep spare toothpaste and travel sized toiletries in any carry-on.
  • My book Get Lost, that I wrote myself with all my best travel tips. This book will show you how travel can take you on a journey of self-discovery.
One Day in Halifax Itinerary

best things to do Halifax Canada itinerary

How To Get There

Now, I wish I knew where you lived, Internet Stranger, because I could send you a box of Halifax’s finest lobster. But sadly, I do not, and so I can’t tell you exactly how to get from your home to your best things to do Halifax Canada itinerary

But I can tell you that you can use a lovely airplane to get from many cities to the Halifax airport, and I recommend Expedia for the best way to find the cheapest flight to Halifax at the best time of day. If you’re coming from another country, like the US, you’ll need to fly through a bigger city first, like Toronto, but it’s easy enough to do.

You can also use Expedia to book a car in advance for your destination. (I do not drive, so I did not use this feature myself, but it sounds like it might be useful.)

Just click here to start looking for the best possible deals on your flight, so you can head out to your best things to do Halifax Canada itinerary

One Day in Halifax Itinerary

That’s a Perfect best things to do Halifax Canada itinerary

What would you do during a best things to do Halifax Canada itinerary? Are you ready to start booking your hotel in Halifax now? Do you need to wear protective ear gear so your ears won’t be permanently damaged at your job too? Please email me at and let me know!

Note: If you want to know how I put my travel itineraries together, just click here. Keep in mind that while each article is about how to spend 24 hours in a place, that doesn’t mean you should ONLY have a best things to do Halifax Canada itinerary. If you’re looking for another one day in Halifax itinerary, just click here.

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