Halifax on your own – sightseeing in Halifax and excursion to Peggy’s Cove

Advertising, unsolicited! This text is an editorial contribution, which could have a promotional effect, without me being commissioned or paid in any way to do so!

Halifax, the capital of the province of Nova Scotia, is not necessarily the best-known tourist city in Canada. Yet it boasts a rich maritime history, interesting historic sites, a wonderful waterfront and a diverse dining scene. Not to forget one of the main attractions of Nova Scotia in the vicinity of Halifax: the lighthouse of Peggy's Cove. Besides, it is quite easy to explore Halifax on your own.

Whether you are here on an individual trip or as a cruise tourist, Halifax itself is best explored on foot, even if the city's hillside location makes it a bit of a hassle at times. The center of the city is quite manageable and offers something for everyone: culturally interested, nature lovers, gourmets will all equally enjoy the visit to the city.

So what are my recommendations for a visit to Halifax? The following sights and activities excited me during my visit and I can recommend them wholeheartedly:

Halifax on your own – stroll along the waterfront promenade

The waterfront is a sight in itself. Between the cruise terminal in the south and the casino in the north, the waterfront stretches over ca. 4 kilometers one of the most beautiful boardwalks in eastern Canada, partly built as a boardwalk directly over the water. Many stores and restaurants are located along this route. If you don't want to eat in a restaurant, you can also have a snack at one of the numerous food stalls. Or just stroll along the waterfront.

Halifax Waterfront

Halifax Waterfront

Halifax on your own – enjoy first class seafood

On a trip to the east coast of Canada it is a must to enjoy the fresh seafood as well. The quality is first class, lobster & co. are as fresh as can be and the prices for seafood are quite low compared to those in Germany. Whether it's the classic lobster dinner with a whole boiled lobster, fried scallops, a lobster roll on your fist, or maybe even a McLobster at the ever-popular yellow M, the offerings and choices are simply vast.

We stopped in a few times at Salty's Bar & Grill restaurant on the waterfront. On our first visit at lunchtime we were immediately impressed, so we made a reservation for dinner right away. The restaurant extends over two floors. The lower area is a bit more casual, it is decorated in the style of a typical diner. In the upper area there is a restaurant with a very nice view over the harbor of Halifax, for this a previous reservation is recommended. Excellent seafood is offered on both floors, although I liked the atmosphere in the upper area a little better.

The restaurant'Salty

the lower area in the restaurant'Salty


Scallops deep fried in bacon

Lobster for dinner in Halifax

Halifax on your own – immerse yourself in the city's maritime history

Not far from the Salty's, about halfway down the boardwalk, is a museum that catches our attention because of one of the biggest disasters in cruise history: the Maritime Museum often the Antlantic.

the Maritime Museum often the Antlantic

The Titanic exhibition

There is a special connection to the sinking of the Titanic: the salvage ships that pulled the victims out of the sea left from Halifax. While the survivors of the disaster were brought to New York, the dead are buried in Halifax. That's why the museum has a permanent exhibit, "Titanic – The Unsinkable Ship and Halifax.". The exhibition documents life on board, the sinking of the ship, and displays historic photographs and artifacts recovered from the sea. It is already depressing to look at this. Especially the few personal belongings that were not burned, contrary to the ordered procedure, give you goose bumps.

Model of the Titanic

Of course there are other exhibitions in this museum. Halifax is located on one of the largest natural harbors in North America, so the sea and seafaring are naturally omnipresent in the city.

Don't miss a new post on SilverTravellers!

Sign up for our newsletter! No spam – promised! You will receive a newsletter once a month via eMail, which contains a lot of interesting information about the current entries. You can also unsubscribe at any time if you no longer wish to receive the newsletter.
>>> Click here to register

The great explosion of Halifax

Another very well documented event at the Maritime Museum often the Antlantic is the great Halifax explosion of 6. December 1917. In the process, two ships collided in Halifax Harbor, one of which was fully loaded with ammunition and exploded. Almost 2000 people were killed and many thousands injured. The blast is considered one of the most violent non-nuclear explosions in world history and destroyed a large part of the city.

The museum as a whole is really worth seeing and a visit is highly recommended. For opening hours and entrance fees you can check the website.

Halifax on your own – walk through a Victorian garden

One of the most beautiful Victorian gardens in North America is the ca. 6.5 hectare Public Gardens in Halifax. Originally privately owned, the park, established in 1867, is now the property of the city. It is located at the corner of Spring Garden Road and South Park Street, in the heart of Halifax.

The beautifully landscaped park is surrounded by a wrought iron fence. You enter the park through a very decorative gate and you are like in another world – a green oasis with winding paths leading through colorful flower beds, along under a green canopy of trees and everywhere new views and vistas present themselves. Fountains, statues, a picturesque pavilion and many benches invite to linger. We stroll through the various themed areas, such as a dahlia garden, where we admire never-before-seen species and are amazed at the size of the flowers.

Entrance to the Halifax Public Garden

Pavilion in the Halifax Public Gardens

Cafe in the Halifax Public Gardens

Fountain in the Halifax Public Gardens

Fountain in the Halifax Public Gardens

Admission is free, and the Halifax Public Garden is open daily from 8 a.m. to dusk in spring, summer and fall. The park is closed between December and mid-April. An overview map can be seen on the park's website.

Halifax on your own – visit the citadel in Halifax

The Citadel

Perched high above downtown Halifax, the Citadel is a sign of the city's military past. The present Citadel, which was completed in 1856, is the fourth fort in a row to be built on this site. It was named after Britain's King George II. named. Fort George was a major military base and is the main reason Halifax was never attacked.

Cannon in the Halifax Citadel

Today the citadel has no more military meaning, but is one of the most visited sights in Halifax. You can explore the area individually and immerse yourself in the military life of a bygone era, visit the barracks, the ammunition depot and the trenches. Of course, there are also guided tours. The fort is excellently restored and one could almost get the impression that everything is still in use here. And suddenly we look puzzled – during our tour we actually meet a soldier in Scottish uniform. Not a real soldier, of course, as it turns out. He is a student and a tourist guide at the Citadel and shows us the casemates of the former barracks, where the folded-up cots look like they will be used again in the evening.

Casemates in the Halifax Citadel

Ammunition depot

At the time of our visit we are allowed to experience another special highlight: in preparation for a change of command of the local garrison, the ceremonial act is being rehearsed in the courtyard of the Citadel. A Canadian and a Scottish music corps march up and down to it. We watch this for quite a while and listen to the music from the Scottish bagpipes.

Halifax Citadel

Halifax Citadel

The clock tower of Halifax

There is one more attraction at Citadel Hill. The clock tower, also Halifax's landmark, dates back to 1803 and has also been faithfully restored, with the clockwork still the original.
Supposedly Prince Edward, the father of Britain's Queen Victoria, donated the clock tower. The reason is said to have been the notorious unpunctuality in the local garrison, which he wanted to combat with it – that's why he had a clock attached to each of the four sides of the tower. However – in any case the clock tower of Halifax is very worth seeing.

Clock Tower Halifax

Halifax on our own – visiting the most photographed lighthouse on the Canadian Atlantic coast

In addition to the already described sights in Halifax itself, there is a very special highlight in the surrounding area.
Peggy's Cove lighthouse is one of Nova Scotia's most visited attractions. It is still in operation today and is used by the Canadian Coast Guard.

Peggy's Cove is located about 45 kilometers from Halifax and you drive about one hour. At the Infopoint there is a small parking lot. The last stretch through the small village can easily be done on foot. Peggy's Cove is a small picturesque fishing village, which probably nobody would know without the red-white lighthouse, which towers high above the sea on granite rocks polished smooth by the water. It almost looks as if it is being attacked by the foaming waves.

Peggys Cove Lighthouse

Granite rocks at Peggys Cove lighthouse

Port of Peggys Cove

The lighthouse is, of course, also a popular destination for guests on the many cruise ships that dock in Halifax harbor during the peak season. Therefore, a visit very early in the morning is recommended, when there are not yet so many tourist buses on site. If possible, one should choose a day for the visit, on which not so many cruise ships lie in the harbor.

By the way, the landscape a few kilometers on the way before Peggy's Cove is also worth seeing: a coastal landscape with huge granite stones, almost a little unreal. It's worth stopping there once in a while and taking a few pictures.

Reading tips:
If you're looking for more inspiration for your visit to Halifax on your own, check out the "Travelsanne" blog. There you will find more tips for Halifax and various other places on the Canadian Atlantic coast.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *