Halifax Public Gardens — One of the only Victorian Gardens in Canada, Halifax Public Gardens occupies the top spot on this list. Over 16 acres located in the heart of downtown guests will see floral displays that include exotic and tropical species of trees and shrubs. The Gardens also feature a bandstand that treats guests to free concerts in the summer.
Halifax Central Library — Recognized as one of the most beautiful libraries on earth, an afternoon spent here is not wasted. The building’s design catches your eye as your approach this centrally located building as it’s meant to represent a pile of books. With its rooftop cafe, auditorium and free programs, it has become a cultural hub for the city and the province. Be sure to check out Library Cards, a commissioned piece of artwork that serves as a focal point on the main floor.
Halifax Waterfront — Walking is free, and there is no better place to meander through Halifax than on the boardwalk. Start by Pier 21 and snake your way along the waterfront, watching container ships, sailboats, and seagulls over the harbour. You’ll have the chance to lounge on hammocks, get a picture with Theodore, and try to climb The Wave.
Point Pleasant Park — Technically Halifax doesn’t own Point Pleasant Park, but you’re still invited to check it out. This 75-hectare park is on-loan from the British Government (for a 1-shilling yearly fee) and offers over 39-km of easy trails that offer striking views of Halifax Harbour. Visitors can check out ruins of early military fortifications dating back to the 1700’s, watch a Shakespeare production, or go for a swim at the supervised beach.
Fairview Cemetery — Not what one would expect to see on an attractions list but this cemetery offers a unique glimpse into one of the world’s great tragedy. 121 victims from the Titanic are buried here, more than any other cemetery in the world. To explore more of the connection between the Titanic and Halifax, check out the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic.
Halifax Seaport Market — If something is 250 years old, you should probably check it out. The Halifax Seaport Market is the longest continuously operating market in North America. In its new home on the waterfront, you’ll find over 250 vendors, including coffee roasters, baked goods, and beer. In the neighboring pier, you can find Canada’s immigration museum.
St. Mary’s Basilica — Inspired by Saint Martin in the Fields, St. Mary’s Basilica’s spire is a staple of the downtown skyline. The Basilica is made entirely of local granite except for three portals of pink granite from Aberdeen, Scotland. The church offers mass and free tours, both of which will allow you to take in the majesty of its interior.
Emera Oval — A legacy product of the 2013 Canada Games, the Emera Oval is open to the public year-round. In the winter, you can rent ice skates for free and do laps until your hands freeze while in the summer you’ll have access to inline skates. Once you’ve burned off enough calories, help yourself to a Beaver Tail (Cinnamon and Sugar is recommended).
Old Burying Ground — At one point the only burying ground in Halifax, the Old Burying Ground played an important role in the history of Halifax. With over 12,000 graves in its fences, visitors will be able to see rare 18th-century grave markers of prominent figures, including Major General Robert Ross, the man who burnt down the White House.
Sir Sanford Fleming Park — Across the Northwest Arm is where you’ll find 95 acres of trails, beaches, and playgrounds. Donated to Halifax by Sir Sanford Fleming himself (father of Standard Time), it has become a destination for all who want to escape the city with leaving without actually leaving. If you want a workout, climb the Dingle Tower to grab a panoramic view of the ocean and city.