Getting to explore a new place is always something that I love to do so when I found out that my new camp was in Nova Scotia and I would get to explore Halifax for a few days I was very excited. As I made the trip from the airport to the city I was amazed at how spacious and green it was. Everywhere I looked there were trees and open green spaces. When I arrived in downtown I was happy to see mixed in amongst the skyscrapers some old historic townhouses which showed a lovely contrast between the old and the new. I was really looking forward to spending a few days here and taking a look around.
Where I stayed:
I stayed in the HI Halifax which is located right downtown and close to everything that you would need. It is part of the Hostelling International group and so you know that you are going to have a good stay. Located in one of the historic townhouses it is a little bit of a maze with rooms up and downstairs. There is a kitchen, tv room, little library and outdoor patio as common areas where you can chill with your friends or make new ones. I was in a 6-bed female dorm down in the basement and it was perfect. The beds where comfy and as it is a short walk from main downtown it means that at night it is nice and quiet. There are lockers provided in the rooms to lock away all your valuables which was great. There was friendly staff on hand throughout the day to help with any questions you have.
What to see:
Most of the things to see in Halifax were all within walking distance which made it very easy to get around and see things. It is a place steeped in history from WWI and WWII with Halifax playing a pivotal part in helping the allies in the war in the Atlantic. this means that there are many museums and information’s boards around the city giving you all the information that you would need. I mostly just wandered around seeing what I could find and didn’t do any museums. The only place that I went to was the Citadel which is located up a hill overlooking the city. It was not too expense to get in and have a look and while you are in there, you can look in all the different rooms and learn about how the citadel was used. There are also people dressed up in uniforms giving you all the information you would need and posing for photos if you wish. You get a beautiful view of the city.
Another place that I loved was the Harbourfront walk which is a walk downtown which takes you all along the seafront. There are plenty of opportunities to sit and take in the view or grab a bite to eat while looking out over the ocean. Along the walk, there are also information boards all along giving you a history lesson as you go. It is a lovely way to spend an afternoon just wandering along, maybe getting an ice-cream or beavertail and sitting to enjoy the view.
Finally, the last place that I went and loved was Park Pleasant. This is a park at the end of the town, maybe about 20 mins walk from downtown. It is a large park with many winding paths and trails that lead to a walk along the oceanfront. It is a nice place to go to get away from the hustle and bustle of the town and take a break. Much like the rest of the town it is also steeped in history and there are many monuments around the park dedicated to those who were lost at sea during the war.
Where to eat:
There are many places to eat in Halifax and a wide range of different types of foods. Whether you want poutine, burgers, pizza, and Irish stew, lobster or falafel you will probably find a place to suit all of your needs. The first day I headed to Tomavinos which is a little pizza place down on the harbour front. I had seen this when I had researched places to eat in Halifax and the reviews were all great. You can get pizza to take away or eat in and it is lovely. Perfect for a light snack or something to go along with some drinks. It is definitely a place you should check out. Another place I found myself in was the Irish pub ‘The Auld Triangle’, I mean I had to check it our just to see what it was all about. I had some Mac’n’Cheese which when you think about it is weird but it was really good and the pub itself is nice. They do some traditional Irish dishes with a twist and other pub grub, a great place to stop into if you’re feeling peckish. Keeping on the pub theme I also went to a place called ‘Henry House’ which was right across from my hostel and recommended as a place for dinner. It has a real old pub feel on the inside with carpet floors and dark woods. I had a gorgeous Fish and Chips my first night there and went back the next day for Poutine. I am in Canada after all. It is quite reasonable and the food is great.
Finally, if you are looking for somewhere to get some breakfast, you should go to ‘Elle’s Bistro’. Again, this was another recommendation from the hostel and it was worth it. The breakfast menu is extensive from pancakes, French toast, omelettes and egg benedict, you will surely find something you like. I had the banana chocolate chip pancakes which were amazing, too much that I couldn’t finish them but they were so good. It is quite a small place so definitely try get there early to get a seat or reserve one but the food is definitely worth a little wait.
I definitely think if you are staying in the city you really don’t need more than 2-3 days to explore and you will get everything in. It is a beautiful city and the people are all so friendly that you should put it on your places to visit.
Now I am off to another new place to start camp and I can’t wait to see what it is like.