Halifax, Nova Scotia
Halifax, the capital of the Nova Scotia province in Canada, overlooks one of the largest natural harbours in the world. The extensive coastline around Halifax and greater Nova Scotia heavily influence the weather while also encouraging a healthy amount of tourism.
The city of Halifax is a mixture of history and modern culture with sprawling waterfront development and a thriving music scene. Halifax has a population of more than 370,000 and the city is very welcoming to visitors. There are numerous sights to see and something to suit everyone, whether you are a history buff or an art lover.
Drop in and enjoy one of the many craft beers available at Garrison Brewing Company or browse the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia. Refuel with a bite from the many food trucks or stop at one of the waterfront dining options.
An efficient public transport system makes it easy to explore Halifax, even if you are on a limited schedule. The Visitors Centre or the friendly locals will happily point you in the direction of unmissable sights.
Halifax is part of Nova Scotia and a popular stop for cruise ships along the Canada/New England cruise corridor. The Port of Halifax is approximately 2.5km from the Downtown Halifax area, with regular public transport and transfers available.
The Port of Halifax is equipped to handle a large influx of cruise ship passengers. Passengers disembark at Pier 20 or Pier 22, which offer direct ship-to-shore access to the terminal, with numerous facilities available.
Port of Halifax facilities include:
- Dedicated passenger terminal
- Wheelchair accessible
- Public restrooms
- Public telephones
- Access to taxis, buses and private limousine transfers
- Tourism kiosks.
Public transport is readily available in Halifax from the moment you walk out of the cruise ship terminal. A taxi rank and bus stop are directly outside the Port of Halifax. Private limousine transfers and taxis can be arranged to collect passengers from the Port of Halifax cruise ship terminal.
How To Get Around
Halifax’s bus service runs regularly between all major areas of the city, including the Port of Halifax and throughout the city. If you plan to take the bus, carry adequate change for fares – most bus operators do not carry change. Car rental is another transport option for exploring Halifax. There are several rental companies throughout the city.
Travel times from the port:
- It is a 20 minute walk to Downtown Halifax
- It is a 21 minute journey to the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site
- It is a 23 minute walk to Point Pleasant Park.
Hiring a bike is a great way to sightsee around Halifax. Several bicycle hire companies can provide you with a bike as well as guides for bikeways and bike parking around the city. Helmets are compulsory for bike riders in Nova Scotia.
Currency – Halifax uses the Canadian Dollar (CAD). The coins in circulation are the 5, 10 and 25 cent and $1 (loonie) and $2 (toonie) coins. Banknotes are available in $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 denominations. Currency exchange is available at the airport as well as in most financial institutes in Halifax.
Time Zone – Halifax runs on Atlantic Standard Time, which is 4 hours behind Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). During the summer months, Halifax observes Atlantic Daylight Time, which is 3 hours behind Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).
Weather – The climate in Halifax is temperate; neither the winter nor the summer temperatures are extreme. Summer daytime temperatures range from 20 to 25 degrees Celsius, while winter temperatures range from 0 to -14 degrees Celsius. The temperature can vary depending on your proximity to the ocean, so it is advisable to carry or dress in extra layers.
Point Pleasant Park – This 75 hectare sanctuary is located only 1.5 kilometres from the city centre, making it a perfect stop when touring Halifax. Featuring more than 39 kilometres of nature trails, visitors can enjoy both seaside and woodland walking tracks. Take a cultural walking tour and make use of the interactive maps and commentary along the way.
Halifax Citadel National Historic Site – Constructed in the mid-1800s, the citadel overlooks the city of Halifax. The unusual star shape is reflective of naval ports built by British military, and it sits atop a hill in prime defensive position. Now a national historical site, visitors can take a guided tour through the museum.
Guided Walking Tours – These tours of the city take in many sites as well as sharing lesser-known facts about Halifax. Some tours can be customised to your group, so your walk can take in any of the local sites. Walking tours are popular throughout Halifax, with numerous paved walkways and hiking trails.