Centred on a picturesque harbour, with a cheerful, maritime vibe, Halifax is a city that positively brims with East Coast charm. From the tall ships at anchor along the waterfront, to the graceful architecture and salty tang in the air, many aspects of the Nova Scotian capital evoke the romance of a bygone age; but this is also a vibrant, youthful city, home to three universities, a bustling naval port and a buzzing bar and restaurant scene.
As the largest city in Canada's Atlantic Provinces, Halifax has everything you'd expect from a major urban centre, but the slower pace of life and genuinely friendly residents lend it a welcoming, small-town feel. Many Halifax hotels are located right in the city centre, making it easy to get around the attractions in its compact, walkable core. Plus, the city is an ideal base for exploring Nova Scotia more widely, with popular day trips including destinations such as Peggy's Cove, Lunenburg and Mahone Bay.
Start your visit with a stroll along the waterfront, which is often packed with tourists, buskers and locals enjoying the view. Browse the shops along the cobbled lanes of the Historic Properties for local handcrafts and unique souvenirs, and consider going on a harbour cruise yourself – perhaps on the famous schooner Bluenose II, a Nova Scotia icon, or on one of the colourful amphibious bus tours.
Learn about the city's rich maritime heritage at the outstanding Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, including its involvement with the Titanic disaster (many of the victims are buried in the city's cemeteries). Then check out the touching exhibits at Pier 21, known as the Canadian Ellis Island, where over a million immigrants arrived to begin their new lives in Canada.
Next, get up close to Halifax's military past and enjoy breath-taking views at the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site, a star-shaped hilltop fort on the site of the original British outpost established in 1749. Culture vultures, meanwhile, can check out the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia for an impressive collection of works by local artists, or catch a concert by Symphony Nova Scotia.
Ready for some time out? Relax in the beautiful Victorian Public Gardens, or walk the trails in Point Pleasant Park, just outside the city centre. For a bit of retail therapy, indulge in some quality shopping along Barrington Street and Spring Garden Road.
Once you've worked up an appetite, you can chow down on everything from fresh local seafood and hearty pub grub, to a variety of international cuisines and sophisticated fine dining. Then, there's the nightlife – choose from traditional pubs, trendy cocktail bars, rocking nightclubs or live gigs. There's never a dull moment!
Ready to plan your stay in Halifax? Choose from a selection of Halifax hotels by Marriott and get ready to explore the dynamic Nova Scotian capital.