Exploring Halifax is one of my favorite things to do! As someone who has lived in Canada for a long time and traveled all around, I can personally attest to the fact that Halifax is an amazing place full of wonderful experiences.
To help those who may be unsure of what to do when they visit Halifax for 3 days, I’ve put together this 3 day itinerary with lots of activities and attractions you won’t want to miss.
You’ll also find recommendations on where to stay and how to get around town – so let’s get started!
Looking for a weekend getaway to Halifax, Nova Scotia, is what you need to add to your travel bucket list destination.
This vibrant and historic maritime gem of Canada is nestled along the east coast of Nova Scotia and the shores of the Atlantic Ocean. It is a city that seamlessly blends its rich maritime heritage with modern urban experiences, offering a delightful vacation for travellers looking for a unique adventure.
In this 3-day itinerary for Halifax, we will go over the places that are a must-see, things to do and even the restaurants to eat at in the city.
If you’re not familiar yet, Halifax is the capital of Nova Scotia, a region in Canada known for its fascinating history that dates back to the early 18th century. This coastal city played a significant role in various pivotal moments, including the sinking of the Titanic, which is commemorated at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic.
However, that’s just the peak of what Halifax has to offer. For 3 days in Halifax, iconic landmarks you should visit are the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site, Alexander Keith Brewery, Point pleasant park and Halifax central library.
Additionally, you should not miss seeing Mahone Bay and Prince Edward Island when travelling to Halifax. These nearby towns are a few hours away from Halifax, offering a picturesque and unique adventure.
It’s essential to visit Halix during months with pleasant weather. The best time to visit Halix is from June to August, when numerous festivals and events occur. Many tourists flock to the town, so be ready for big crowds.
Meanwhile, for your accommodation, the best choice would be downtown Halifax. This neighbourhood in Halifax provides convenient access to many attractions, restaurants, and shops.
During your long weekend in Halifax, you’ll be immersed in a delightful fusion of culture, history, and natural beauty. This is why, as you continue reading, we’ll share a more detailed 3 days in Halifax itinerary to help you plan your trip.
Plan your trip?
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Overview of 3 Days in Halifax Itinerary
Without further ado, here’s a glance at what you’ll see and do during your three-day stay in Halifax:
Day 1 in Halifax
- Grab a coffee for breakfast at Cafe Lunette
- Visit the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site
- Check out the Halifax Public Garden
- Walk to the Spring Graden Road
- Lunch at Bicycle Thief
- Stroll around the Halifax Harbourfront Boardwalk
- Explore the Historic Properties
- Get dessert at the Fog
- Stop by the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic
- Dinner at Waterfront Warehouse
Day 2 in Halifax
- Breakfast at Dilly Dally Coffee Cafe
- Day trip to Peggy’s Cove
- Take a photo at the Cove’s lighthouse
- Lunch at Rhubarb
- Visit the Canadian Museum of Immigration
- Take the ferry going to Dartmouth
- Explore Downtown Dartmouth Mural’s
- Stroll around Sullivan’s Pond
- Head back to Halifax Harbour for Dinner
Day 3 in Halifax
- Have breakfast at Mateus Bistro
- Visit the Mahone Bay Museum
- Check out the three iconic Mahone Bay Churches
- Lunch at Salt Shaker Deli & Inn
- Explore Lunenburg
- Tour around Alexander Keith’s Brewery
- Dinner at Bar Kismet
- Join a Halifax City Ghost Tour
Day 1 in Halifax
Grab a coffee for breakfast at Cafe Lunette
Cafe Lunette is a one-of-a-kind cafe in Halifax known for its French-inspired interior. Before you journey in the city, head to Cafe Lunette and grab an expertly crafted coffee for your caffeine fix.
They also have delectable pastries to enjoy something hearty before you explore the rest of the town. Whether you’re a coffee connoisseur or simply seeking a morning pick-me-up, Cafe Lunette makes a great place to start your first day in Halifax.
Visit the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site
Halifax Citadel National Historic Site is one of Nova Scotia’s most iconic tourist landmarks. This star-shaped fortress is a designated national historic site because of its role in developing the city of Halifax.
The Citadel is atop a hill, with a commanding view of the Halifax Harbor. It was once an important fortress that protected the city from worldwide threats, now serving as a social and military museum.
You’ll be able to delve further into Halifax’s history through a guided tour, interactive exhibit and live reenactments in the Citadel. Additionally, you should look forward to the Noon Gun that fires daily at noon, which can be heard till downtown Halifax.
With the sweeping views of the city and harbour and the lessons you learn, Halifax Citadel National Historic Site is a must-visit during your 3 day trip to Halifax.
Pass by the Halifax Public Garden
Next, head to the Halifax Public Gardens, located southwest of the Citadel. You can easily walk to the gardens to enjoy a scenic walk.
At the park, you’ll be welcomed by colonial and modern Victorian landscaping, where colourful flower beds and a pond surround a beautiful gazebo. The park is open to the public year-round, making it a famous local dating spot.
If you’re visiting Halifax during the summer months, you’ll be able to see flowers in full bloom. Meanwhile, during the winter season, we highly recommend you come by during the evening to enjoy the light displays that change annually.
Walk to the Spring Garden Road
After a few minutes of strolling and taking pictures at the Halifax Public Garden, your next stop is Spring Garden Road. Spring garden road is one of the busiest streets in the region, filled with bustling vendors, shops, boutiques, cafes, and restaurants.
Before heading for lunch, you can indulge in retail therapy here while you shop for unique souvenirs and gifts at artisan shops. This is also a great area to sample a few local treats and observe how the locals run their everyday life in the city.
Lunch at Bicycle Thief
The famous restaurant Bicycle Thief is just a few minutes from Spring garden street. Located at Bishop’s Landing, this Italian restaurant is renowned for its classic vintage decor alongside excellent food service.
Many tourists and locals dine at Bicycle Thief if they want to get their Italian fix without travelling far. A menu favourite here is their beef short rib, seafood pasta and lobster rolls, all greatly paired with a good cocktail glass.
Since Bicycle Theif is a known restaurant, expect long lines here throughout the day, especially during the weekend. Make a reservation beforehand to avoid queuing for walk-ins.
Stroll around the Halifax Harbourfront Boardwalk
During your three days in Halifax, there’s a high possibility that you’ll find yourself at the Halifax Harbourfront. Next to downtown Halifax, this is one of the busiest areas in the city.
The Halifax harbour t is nearby plenty of tourist attractions, which you’ve probably seen by now. The harbour also houses plenty of shops, restaurants and cafes. It is even considered the most-visited destination in all of Nova Scotia in Canada.
The boardwalk stretches about 4 kilometres, making it the longest in the world. Since you’ve just finished your lunch meal, you can just relax and take it slow while you enjoy the view of the harbour.
Explore the Historic Properties
Halifax’s historic properties are also located at the Harbour, also known as Privateers Wharf. Here you’ll find seven beautifully restored structures and buildings preserved from the 1700s.
These historic properties, in fact, are listed as national heritage sites, surpassing hundreds of years in Halifax’s history.
You can already find restaurants and boutiques here, making it an area with a balance between a historical and contemporary vibe. The site is also photographed mostly for Halifax postcards, which you will recognise if you’ve seen one already.
Get dessert at The Fog
A trip will only be complete with a fix of local dessert, and in this Halifax itinerary, we made sure to include it for you. The Fog is a famous ice cream and dessert spot in Halifax serving flavorful frozen treats, cookies and doughnuts, all handmade by them.
It has gained popularity over the years, especially in social media, because of its whimsical ice cream desserts.
The Fog’s signature cones are said to be inspired by the waterfront’s ambience. It is served with soft serve, decorated with candied sea glass and white chocolate mermaid tails – a must-try!
Check out the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic
The last stop before you wrap off your first day in Halifax with dinner is the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. It’s located in the harbour and is open till 7:30 PM.
A visit to the museum is a must to complete 3 perfect days in Halifax. This is because the museum features an extensive collection of artefacts from the Titanic and HMCS Sackville, a World War II corvette.
You’ll only need an hour to go around the museum, so it’s a perfect destination to squeeze into this afternoon itinerary.
Dinner at Waterfront Warehouse
Head onto Waterfront Warehouse, a famous seafood restaurant located at the harbour of Halifax, for your first dinner meal in the city.
Waterfront Warehouse is best known for its seafood tower. It is served with Atlantic lobster, local oysters, shrimp cocktail, crab claws, chilled mussels and a selection of sauces and chutney. This is a crowd favourite, which we suggest you try for yourself.
You can also pair this with a cold glass of cocktail – the perfect way to end your day!
Day 2 in Halifax
Breakfast at Dilly Dally Coffee Cafe
Another adorable must-visit cafe in Halifax is Dilly Dally Coffee Cafe. This coffee shop is open as early as 7 AM, so it’s the perfect place for an early breakfast run. They serve many brunch options, such as yoghurt sundaes, egg benedicts and BLT bagels.
You can enjoy a good meal in this coffee shop in a homey and cosy cafe. Since you’ll be going on a day trip to a nearby town today, you’ll need to wake up early and have your breakfast fixed before the day starts.
Day trip to Peggy’s Cove
Not known to many, Nova Scotia is home to over 160 historic lighthouses, and one of the most famous ones is the Peggy’s Cove Lighthouse, also known as Peggy’s Point Lighthouse.
Situated on the south shore of the small fishing village Peggy’s Cove is where the lighthouse sits. This UNESCO world heritage site became famous in Nova Scotia because of its picturesque location and atmosphere, and many photographers worldwide spend their days taking landscape photos here.
You’ll travel for more than an hour to reach the village. So, you can spend your whole morning watching the waves and exploring the rocks around you. But since it’s located at the waterfront, make sure you wear the proper shoes to avoid slipping. Rouge Wayes are commonly splashed up the rocks.
Early Lunch at Rhubarb
After a calm and slow morning at Peggy’s Point Lighthouse, head to the village’s famous restaurant, Rhubarb. The restaurant is set at the town’s harbour, offering a cosy seaside setting.
Since you’re already out of Halifax, make the most of your trip to Peggy’s Cove and try one of their local restaurants. Rhubarb already has decades of experience serving seasonal and locally themed dishes, such as fresh-baked biscuits and braised lamb shack.
You can contact them for reservations to avoid getting wait-listed, especially during the peak season.
Visit the Canadian Museum of Immigration
Continue your journey at Halifax by going to the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21. This is one of the most famous attractions in the region and is a must on your list of what to see in Halifax in 3 days.
Located at the end of Halifax’s boardwalk, this museum was once an immigration facility turned into a National Historic Site and Museum. When visiting, you can browse exhibits and interactive displays inside that share information about people who were once residents of Canada.
Lots of people come to visit the museum in the luck of searching for their roots. One out of five Canadians who visit here is said to have been able to trace their origins with the information provided inside.
Take the ferry going to Dartmouth
Dartmouth is a picturesque town on the banks of the River Dart that offers a range of tourist attractions and activities. For only 15 to 30 minutes of travel via Ferry, you can reach Dartmouth from Halifax, making it a convenient afternoon trip for this itinerary.
The city has a different vibe from Halifax, making it a worthy destination. It’s even recommended to stay here for a day or two to enjoy every nook and corner. However, since you’re travelling to explore Halifax, a few hours is already more than enough!
Explore Downtown Dartmouth Mural’s
When visiting Dartmouth, you should take advantage of an Outdoor Mural Walk downtown. Over 30 murals and sculptures are scattered all over, and you can see them for yourself as you explore downtown Dartmouth.
There are also guided walking tours in Dartmouth that will take you to every mural spot in town while sharing essential information on these art installations with you.
Stroll around Sullivan’s Pond
After checking out the murals and sculptures installed at downtown Dartmouth, head onto the famous Sullivan Pond. This is an iconic spot in Dartmouth where locals get a nice air breeze after a long day.
Before heading back to Halifax, stroll along the pond path or cross the small bridge over the city where old locks can be found. There are also other historical markers and monuments where you can learn some historical information about Dartmouth.
Head back to Halifax Harbour for Dinner
To head back to Halifax, ride the ferry you took again, and you’ll be led to Halifax Harbour again. Since you’ve been here a few times on your 2 days in the city, you’ve seen every restaurant there is!
We suggest you go on a harbour cruise dinner. You will enjoy a buffet dinner, listen to live music, and sightseeing at the main attractions. Some of the city attractions you’ll see from the cruise are Point pleasure park and Dingle.
Still, you also have many options at the waterfront harbour, including famous restaurants like Salty’s and the Canteen.
Day 3 in Halifax
Have breakfast at Mateus Bistro
On the third day of your Halifax trip, you’ll spend your morning at Mahone Bay, including breakfast. Before proceeding with your morning tour at Mahone Bay, head first to Mateus Bistro for breakfast.
Mateus Bistro is a local restaurant that offers Mediterranean tapas. They are also known for their charcoal-smoked meats and fresh seafood that are all locally sourced. With its al-fresco dining option, this is a great place to start your day at Mahone Bay.
Visit the Mahone Bay Museum
Mahone Bay is a historic port town between Peggy’s Cove and Lunenburg that was once a fishing and shipbuilding centre; you can learn more about it if you visit Mahone Bay Museum. Although small, the museum offers exhibits depicting the early settlers in the town.
The museum is in the former Begin family home, built in the mid-1700s. Inside the museum, you’ll find maps of the town, the region and the whole of North America, alongside information about major landmarks in Mahone Bay.
There will also be exhibits on the early kitchen, antique toys and information about the Begin family.
Check out the three iconic Mahone Bay Churches
After learning more about Mahone Bay’s history, head to see the three iconic Mahone Bay churches around town. You should be looking for St. James Anglican, St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran, and Trinity United.
These three churches have become iconic for Mahone Bay because of their unique assembly, standing alongside the town’s coast. It is a fantastic site, creating a visually captivating harmony with nature, making it a must-visit in Mahone Bay.
Lunch at Salt Shaker Deli & Inn
After strolling at Mahone Bay, head to the famous Salt Shaker Deli & Inn for lunch. Located at Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, this cosy and casual inn offers a quaint restaurant where you can grab a quick meal.
Salt Shaker Deli & Inn, from the name itself, is a small inn on the waterfront of Lunenburg. It has only four rooms with kitchenettes, private bathrooms and sofa beds. You can consider staying here if you plan an overnight trip to Lunenburg.
However, for now, only head to Salt Shaker Deli and enjoy their food while having a good look at the waterfront.
Lunenberg is a day destination famous among travellers who come to Nova Scotia and travel from one city to another. Since you’re only visiting for a few hours, we’ll ensure you see the significant spots and landmarks the city offers.
While there are many things you can do in Lunenburg, the first thing you should do in this itinerary is visit the Old Town of Lunenburg. It is a UNESCO heritage site, with colourful houses lining the streets and the harbour.
These colourful houses make a perfect background for your Instagram pictures. The houses are coloured with quirky colours, from bright to pastels, yet they’re still good to look at.
Aside from walking around the streets of the Old Town, you can also enjoy the local art scene by visiting art galleries such as Cranston Gallery, Quartet Gallery and Laurie Swim Gallery. Lunenburg is famous for its art culture and even has its own Lunenburg School of the Arts.
If you want to make the most of your time, join a guided walking tour that will take you around the city. Usually, these tours take you to the waterfront, a local cafe and historical landmarks like the old town.
Before heading back to Halifax, we suggest you look around local markets and boutiques for unique souvenirs and gifts. There are many of these in Lunenburg, and you can find something in at least one of these shops.
Tour around Alexander Keith’s Brewery
Alexander Keith Brewery is one of the oldest working breweries in North America. It is dedicated to crafting small batches of brews. The brewery was named after Alexander Keith, as it was inspired by local Nova Scotian culture and Keith’s heritage.
During your visit, you’ll have the chance to tour the brewery while learning about Keith’s legacy and history. Additionally, you will be shown a behind-the-scenes exclusive of the brewing process inside the historic pub.
After touring around and learning about the brewery, you’ll get to sample small batches and limited-edition beers locally. At the same time, local musicians play music for you and the rest of the tour group. All these make visiting the Alexander Keith Brewery one of the trip’s highlights.
Dinner at Bar Kismet
Halifax is all about good scenery and food, so you should visit Bar Kismet for your last dinner meal. Bar Kismet is a 5-year family-owned and run bar and restaurant that serves a mix of local, seasonal and international cuisine.
Wines, cocktails and seafood plates are most famous in Bar Kismet, which you should try if it’s your first time visiting. The restaurant is cosy and casual, yet you can feel elegance in the atmosphere. They have a small bar inside the restaurant, where the in-house bartender creates custom cocktails and serve a selection of natural wines.
They accept reservations online and walk-ins if they’re not packed (which rarely happens).
Join a Halifax City Ghost Tour
Before ending your three-day trip to Halifax, trying out their famous Halifax City Ghost tour is a must! We included this in the itinerary because it’s a unique and exciting thing to experience in the city.
You will be taken to walk downtown Halifax with a tour guide and a small group. Your guide will share tales of ghosts, spirits and devils surrounding Nova Scotia and some factual historical context to each story.
As you visit one iconic spot to another, you’ll be shared with a different story while surrounded by a different atmosphere – a one-for-the-books experience!
Tours in Halifax
Halifax is renowned for its harbour, and it’s not surprising that a tour of the harbour waterfront is available for you to join. This tour will take place on land and water, riding an amphibious Vietnam Wat vehicle.
First, you will drive along iconic land spots, including St. Paul’s Cathedral, Citadel Hill and the Halifax Public Gardens while riding the vehicle.
You will then head on to float along Halifax Harbour Bay to get a panoramic view of the waterfront and boardwalk while learning about the city’s history and origins from your local guide.
To spend a romantic time with your loved one, you should consider sailing on a sunset yacht at Halifax’s harbour. In this tour, you will be sailing through the Northwest Arm of the Halifax harbour aboard the boat, together with a small group.
This sailing experience also includes four sampling wines and a cheese board to enjoy while learning about the city from your tour guide. Enjoy the picturesque view of Halifax Harbour, George’s Island, and McNabs Island as the sunsets.
Recommended tours in Halifax
- Halifax Harbour Hopper Tour
- Wine and Lunch Escape
- Nova Scotia Day Tour – Visit Peggy’s Cove, Lunenburg, and the Annapolis Valley.
- Alexander Keith’s Brewery Tour
- Half-Day Small-Group Tour of Nova Scotia’s South Shore
- JFarwell Adventure Yacht Sailing in the Halifax Harbour
- Historic Halifax by Foot
3-Day Itinerary for Halifax Wrap-up
Everything we have mentioned, from things to do, places to visit and food to eat, is something you can enjoy in Halifax in 3 days. With the proper planning, all that’s left for you to pack your things, and you’re ready to set off and explore Halifax!
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