Any time I travel outside of Toronto, I am immediately on the hunt for those highly sought after “instagrammable” locations. My visit to Halifax was no different.
About a month after our trip to Montréal, we hopped on a plane and flew to Nova Scotia where one of my best friends would be getting married. It was my first time as a bridesmaid and I was beyond excited to experience the behind the scenes of a wedding day.
The wedding was taking place on Cape Breton Island, but we flew in early to spend a few days in Halifax. My parents were wedding guests as well and they had never been to the East Coast, so I wanted to show them around as I’d already been once before.
There are tons of things to do and see in Halifax, from a café/rock climbing gym combo, to the top of citadel hill, and down to the glorious sunsets at Inverness Beach. I’ve put together a walking tour of the downtown area of places to visit that double as Instagrammable locations.
Weird Harbour Espresso Bar
Located on Barrington Street, Weird Harbour is an awesome spot for coffee. It’s a tiny place with limited seating, so I wouldn’t recommend setting up your laptop. But it’s perfectly designed for grab and go or a 15-20 minute catch up between friends. They have amazing pastries, milk alternatives for your drink, and a super friendly staff. They also sell espresso beans, Keepcups, and beautifully made ceramic mugs.
Things to note:
- when I say tiny, I mean TINY
- there was quite a rush of people as it’s a popular place, so you might have to wait around to snap a photo
- no public washroom
Biscuit General Store
Just around the corner on Argyle Street is Biscuit General Store. Biscuit is an independent and locally owned boutique department store that features a fun and quirky selection of men and women’s clothing, shoes, accessories and gifts. They support many Canadian designers and also have their own line – Bonanza by Biscuit. Oh – and the exterior is really cute!
Halifax Public Gardens
I didn’t actually manage to get a picture of myself here, but the Halifax Public Gardens provide a gorgeous backdrop for any Instagram photo sesh – check it out here. If your caffeine levels are low – Uncommon Grounds is located in the middle of the park, and is also very cute for pictures.
This is definitely the most touristy area in Halifax, but it doesn’t feel like it. I imagine most Haligonians like to hang out here during the summer. It’s a super lively area with tons of activities, restaurants, food stalls, cafés, and little local shops.
Side note – here you can take a tour of Pier 21 which holds the Canadian Museum of Immigration. It’s the last surviving seaport immigration facility in Canada. Over 1.5 million immigrants came to Canada though Pier 21 between 1928 to 1971. One of which was my grandfather, who came over from Germany after the war, which is why I’m here today! They put on a great tour which ended up being really emotional for both my mum and I. We were able to stand in the exact same place my grandfather walked through when he was only 23 and setting foot in Canada for the first time. I only wish he could have been there with us.
Halifax Waterfront Boardwalk
The Halifax waterfront is absolutely beautiful – and it leads straight out into the Atlantic Ocean. There are several Muskoka chairs set up along the boardwalk so you can sit down and take in the view for as long as you like. Just don’t fall in!
Admittedly, the lighting inside Vandal Doughnuts is not great. But the doughnuts definitely are – and they have vegan options available. They also provide adorable pink boxes so the best option for photos may be to take your doughnuts to go. Those with a professional camera and/or better editing skills than mine may have better luck. They do have a cool mural on the outside which may be your thing. Personally, it just didn’t “fiT mY aEsThEtic.”
Our last stop the morning before we left for Cape Breton Island was Rousseau Chocolatier. The owners Julien and Nathalie fell in love in Quebec, and traveled all over Europe before setting up shop in Halifax. This café/chocolate shop combo is seriously stunning on the inside. The coffee is fantastic, the chocolate is beautifully made, and the croissants were as big as my head. Not kidding. They’re massive. And delicious.
Have you been to Halifax? Let me know your favourite spots in the comments below! I’ll hopefully be back here again in the next year or so. Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram, and please feel free to share or pin the image below if you think someone else would benefit from this post.