7 Best Halifax Museums You Have To Visit

Maritime Museum Halifax

Between its fortified hilltop citadel and iconic harbourfront that was once the centre of mass immigration to Canada, Halifax has no shortage of striking historical sites. After all, it is one of the oldest cities in Canada, with many of its old charms just waiting to be uncovered along its antique streets.

While many of the city’s most popular landmarks are found along the waterfront or downtown area, these outdoor attractions are best suited for the warm weather conditions of the summer season. Luckily, the city is full of spectacular museums offering fun and interactive ways to explore local history from the comforts of an indoor setting.

Whether visiting Halifax in the winter or looking for a fun way to spend a rainy day, these are the seven best Halifax museums you must visit when touring the city.

1. Maritime Museum of the Atlantic

If you only have time to visit one museum in Halifax, it has to be the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. Founded in 1948, the museum is the oldest and largest maritime museum in Canada and explores the naval shipping, travel, and fishing histories of Atlantic Canada. Along with displays dedicated to the ‘Days of Sail’ and the ‘Age of Steam,’ some of the museum's most popular exhibitions feature artifacts recovered from the Titanic shipwreck, the Halifax Explosion, and treasures recovered from shipwrecks around Nova Scotia.

2. Halifax Museum of Natural History

The Halifax Museum of Natural History is another must-visit museum and explores a more natural side of Nova Scotia's history. Along with hosting a variety of temporary displays and activities, the museum's permanent exhibits include a complete retelling of the province's geologic history, from the rocks and minerals that shape the land to the plants and wildlife that have graced its terrains, airs, and waters. The museum also includes a special permanent exhibit containing Mi'kmaq artifacts that retell the story of the region's pre-colonial inhabitants and how they interacted with their natural world.

Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21

3. Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21

Once the gateway to over one million immigrants arriving in Canada between 1928 and 1971, the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 is a great starting point for any tour of Halifax. Found within the Port of Halifax at the southern end of the iconic waterfront boardwalk, Pier 21 is the only national museum in Atlantic Canada and contains both travelling and permanent exhibits that explore the Canadian Immigration Story. Popular exhibits include first hand accounts of arriving in Canada through Halifax and significant artifacts that reveal the history of the Pier itself.

4. Naval Museum of Halifax

Operating out of the historical residence for the admiral of the British Royal Navy’s North American Station between 1819 and 1905, the Naval Museum of Halifax is a must-visit for any fan of military history. Formerly known as the Maritime Command Museum, the Naval Museum consists of the Admiralty House, where you will find several artifacts exploring the history of the Royal Canadian Navy, along with the Royal Navy Burying Ground and Admiralty Gardens that decorate the rest of the property.

5. The Discovery Centre

While Halifax's history museums are filled with fascinating artifacts and retellings, they can tend to be a little boring for a younger audience. Luckily, The Discovery Centre promises a fun and exciting selection of interactive exhibits that make exploring local history and science fun for visitors of all ages. The best part is that the museum's featured exhibit is rotated every few months, meaning there is always something new to experience when visiting.

The Halifax Citadel National Historic Site

6. Halifax Citadel National Historic Site

While originally the central stronghold defending the Halifax Harbour throughout the 19th century, the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site has since been converted into a living history museum and the most prominent landmark blessing the Nova Scotian capital today. Here, you can travel back in time as you explore the hilltop fortress, join the 78th Highlanders in a Soldier For a Day Experience, or visit the onsite Army Museum to learn more about the fortifications and their evolving role in local society.

7. Nova Scotia Sports Hall of Fame

Found in the Scotiabank Centre, the Nova Scotia Sports Hall of Fame isn't just one of the best museums in the city but one of the best free things to do to experience Halifax on a budget. That’s right, the Nova Scotia Sports Hall of Fame offers free admission to visitors and promises an extensive journey through sports history. This permanent exhibit first opened in 1946 and has grown to contain over 7000 artifacts and photographs, with its most popular display being the dryer once used for target practice by Sidney Crosby.

Whether you are a history buff looking to visit one or more of the city’s inviting museums or are looking to tour the city while enjoying the nightlife and amenities of the downtown area, a room at Cameo Suites is the best way to experience Halifax. Not only are we steps from the city’s top restaurants, attractions, and waterfront, but we are also within walking distance of all of the museums featured on this list.

Reserve your room today to begin planning your ultimate Halifax getaway.