Overlooking Downtown Halifax, this strategically set hilltop fortification has presided over the capital of Nova Scotia since 1856, with earlier versions of the fort having stood here since 1749. Today, the former British citadel remembers the military history of Halifax, with exhibits focusing on life within the 19th-century fort.
Visitors to the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site can embark on a self-guided or guided tour (45–60 minutes) of the grounds. Watch an introductory film at the Information Centre, then explore the various exhibit spaces, including the soldiers’ barracks, tailor shop, engineer store, signal post, defense casements, garrison cells, and the Army Museum, which displays rare military memorabilia.
Living-history reenactments take place here regularly, including drill demonstrations of the Royal Artillery and needlework demonstrations by actors portraying the wives of the 78th Highlanders Regiment. Evening ghost tours are also available. For even more in-depth insight into life in the citadel, sign up in advance for the soldier-for-a-day program.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The citadel is a must for history buffs and families, with child-oriented experiences, tours, and activity booklets available.
- Start your visit at the Information Centre, where you can get an overview of the site or join one of the regular guided tours of the grounds.
- The Halifax Citadel is wheelchair accessible.
How to Get There
The citadel is situated in Downtown Halifax, about a 20-minute walk from the Halifax Ferry Terminal at Halifax Harbor. From the Halifax Train Station, it’s about a 25-minute walk.
When to Get There
While the citadel is open year-round, the best time to come is between May and October as guided tours run frequently during this period. Evening ghost tours typically run from July through October. From November through April, the grounds are open, but visitor offerings such as tours, exhibits, and reenactments are limited.
Green Spaces Near the Citadel
During the warmer months, the green slopes of Citadel Hill—upon which the citadel stands—are a popular hangout. Pack a picnic and join the locals who come here to stroll, jog, walk their dogs, toss Frisbees, fly kites, and sprawl out on the grass. From the citadel, it’s just a 15-minute walk to Halifax Public Gardens, another popular recreational space.