14 Free Things to See and Do in Halifax

Halifax | Courtesy of Destination Halifax
Halifax | Courtesy of Destination Halifax
Photo of Kate Horodyski
30 January 2018

A visit to Halifax doesn’t need to break the bank! In addition to lots of budget-friendly activities, the city has a number of awesome adventures that are completely free.

Walk Along the Waterfront

Whatever the season, there is always lots going on along the Halifax Waterfront. The four-kilometer (2.5-mile) boardwalk is one of the largest in the world and is always bustling with activity.

Waterfront Hammocks

While you’re there, why not relax in one of the waterfront hammocks? All summer, you’ll find hammocks strung along a portion of the boardwalk, and they’re the perfect place to relax and enjoy a view of the ocean.

Halifax Waterfront | Courtesy of Destination Halifax

Take a Free Fitness Class

Fit some fitness into your vacation with a free exercise class. A number of stores, including Lululemon, LOLË Women, and MEC, offer free weekly classes.

Take a Guided Tour of Halifax

Explore Halifax from a local perspective with Halifax Free Tours. They offer twice-daily tours during the summer months for absolutely free (though donations are welcome).

Grand Parade Square | Courtesy of Destination Halifax

Watch Artisans at Work at NovaScotian Crystal

Stop by NovaScotian Crystal on the Halifax Waterfront to watch the talented artisans create mouth-blown, hand-cut crystal glassware. It’s a fascinating sight and always draws lots of onlookers.

Check out the City Parks

Halifax has no shortage of parks, including some great spots right downtown. Stroll through the beautiful manicured Public Gardens or enjoy the more rugged beauty of the seaside Point Pleasant Park.

Halifax Public Gardens | Courtesy of Destination Halifax

Watch an Outdoor Movie

The Atlantic Film Festival puts on free movie screenings on the Halifax Waterfront during the summer. Bring a comfy chair and some popcorn and enjoy a movie on the water.

Samples at the Seaport Farmers’ Market

The Seaport Farmers’ Market is brimming with delicious food vendors, and there are so many free samples that you can enjoy a delicious assortment of treats without ever making a purchase. For the best selection, hit up the market on Saturday mornings.

Seaport Farmers' Market | © Nicole Bratt/Flickr

Skate or Rollerblade at the Oval

Head to the Halifax Commons for a few laps around the Oval, initially built as a skating rink for the Canada Games. Locals loved it so much though that it became a permanent fixture. In the winter, you can get free skate and helmet rentals and free rollerblade rentals in the summer.

Visit a Nearby Beach

There are plenty of beautiful beaches just a short drive from downtown Halifax. Rent a car and visit local favorites such as Crystal Crescent, Lawrencetown, Queensland, and Rainbow Haven.

Crystal Crescent Beach | Courtesy of Kate Horodyski

Hang out at the Halifax Central Library

The locals love their new downtown library, and it’s not hard to see why. This beautiful building has five floors of seating and a rooftop terrace. The library also offers lots of free classes and workshops available to the public.

Enjoy the View from Citadel Hill

Right in central Halifax, you’ll find Citadel Hill, which is topped by the historic Citadel fortress. While entrance to the structure has a fee, you can enjoy hanging out on the hill for free. Depending on the season, you’ll find lots of locals sledding, jogging, suntanning, and picnicking at this popular hangout.

Halifax | Courtesy of Destination Halifax

Canoe in the Northwest Arm

Head to Saint Mary’s Boat Club on weekends during the summer for a free hour canoe rental. After all, a visit to Halifax isn’t complete without at least one ocean adventure.

Northwest Arm | © Kate Horodyski

Take a Hike

Get outside the city for a day in the great outdoors! There are lots of great hiking trails around the province, most within just a couple of hours of Halifax.

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