A really neat historical place to visit in Halifax, Nova Scotia is The Citadel which sits within a hill overlooking the seaside town below. My family and I went there on our cruise this month(a not-so-penniless activity), but I found out after our visit that you can get into The Citadel for a much better price on the off-season, so I’ll share our trip there with you in the hopes that you’ll have the time to visit then.
We walked up to The Citadel from where our ship was docked. The hill is quite a hike and we were taking off layers as we went up…it certainly gives you a sense of why it’s good to have your enemies at the bottom of a big hill. When we got to the top it was raining (I’m discovering that there is quite a lot of that in Nova Scotia…along with fog).
We bought our full price tickets and made it in just in time to hear bag pipes start playing! I’m embarrassed to say that THIS was the moment that I figured out Nova Scotia means “New Scotland.” I mean, I kind of knew somewhere inside, but never really made the connection out-loud. Anyway, after I was done reeling about my new discovery that everyone else in the educated world was aware of, we went to the visitor center for the guided tour that goes along with your purchase.
Our tour was led by a college student who was dressed in army attire. He was incredibly knowledgeable and showed us the different parts of the fort from the armory, to the passages around the outside of the citadel. He explained to us that the towers which appear to be ships masts were actually used for communication. One use was to let those on land know when shipments had arrived in the port, so they wouldn’t have to go back and forth checking.
Unfortunately we had to duck out before the guide’s final words, but I’m so glad we hiked up! What a beautiful view of Halifax and a fun way to learn some history that we definitely don’t hear about in the US.
- Go during the off-season for the best price!
- Bring your rain jackets and umbrellas…and cameras!
Where: 5425 Sackville St. Halifax, Nova Scotia
When: 9AM-5PM most times of the year (check their website, sometimes they’re open until 6PM)
Cost: May 7 to May 31 and September 16 to October 31 $7.80 (adult)
June 1 to September 15 $11.70 (adult)
Special Prices for Families and Students
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Nice post. I’ve been wanting to visit the Canadian Martimes for years now. Someday I’ll make it up there! Have you been to The Citadel in Quebec City? Curious if there is a big difference.
No I haven’t been to Quebec actually. I’m looking forward to it sometime, but for now I don’t know what the difference might be between the citadels. It sounds like an interesting comparison to make though!
Love their attire. The attire alone makes me want me to visit those places.
Same here. It really makes the whole experience feel more authentic!