Halifax is a mid-sized Canadian city in Nova Scotia with a whole lot going for it. The city is consistently listed as a top place to live, and is widely regarded as one of the best locations for business. Catering to a large population of students, it’s where you’ll find more pubs and clubs per capita than almost anywhere else in the country, and it’s home to the ‘donair’, a twist on the doner kebab that’s as sweet as it is addictive.
You’ll have plenty to do and see while you’re in Halifax, as well as a number of alluring road trip options, and a car rental is just the way to manage it all. Fortunately, as a city of just over 400,000 residents (Haligonians), normal traffic conditions are generally only busy or slow during rush hour or around road works.
Driving from Halifax Airport to the CBD
If you’re picking up your car rental at Halifax Airport and heading into town, it’s roughly a 30-minute drive to get there. As you leave the terminal, take Bell Boulevard to the Veteran’s Memorial Highway (NS-102) and turn left. Follow this road until you reach NS-118, then drive along this highway to join the Highway of Heroes, which crosses the A. Murray Mackay Bridge into town. Note that the bridge route is the fastest option but it does include a small toll.
Halifax rental car driving tips
Halifax’s CBD is straightforward in terms of driving. The grid layout makes it easy to navigate, although it will always help to plan your route. It is important to keep an eye out for pedestrians throughout the downtown area, as they have the right of way.
To park at the Halifax Airport, choose from hourly or daily lots, or park a little further away in the terminal exterior parking lot to save on costs. Or, if you’re planning to leave the car long-term, the Park’n’Fly option will be the most cost effective.
Parking in Halifax
In town, the city offers metered parking on streets throughout the downtown area. Each area has different maximum time limits, so be sure to pay close attention. Should you visit in winter, be extra careful not to park in a snow clearing spot, as you may be fined or towed. Also note that there is no outdoor overnight parking in Halifax from December 15 to March 31 to make way for snow clearing, so it’s best to find a spot at your hotel or in a parkade such as the MetroPark on Hollis Street.
How AirportRentals.com can help you book a car rental in Halifax
Every traveller knows that the secret to a good deal is to compare all the options available before making a decision. Usually, that process takes time and effort, but with Airport Rentals, it’s as easy as entering in your travel details once and hitting ‘search’.
The site will automatically present a list of available cars from multiple car rental companies at Halifax Airport. You can refine your search using filters for vehicle type, transmission type, group size and more. Once you’ve made your pick, book securely online and pat yourself on the back for saving so much time.
Keep in mind that picking up your car hire at Halifax Airport doesn’t mean you have to drop it off there. Check out a few other nearby locations where you may finish your Canadian road trip:
The Halifax Stanfield International Airport regularly ranks as one of the world’s best airports and hosts more than 3.9 million passengers every year. It was the first facility in North America to offer a self-service baggage drop and offers an array of amenities and facilities to its arriving passengers. There are shops, restaurants, art installations, currency exchange booths, free WiFi, and even live performances.
Follow the signs from the arrivals area and you’ll find the car rental desks on the lower level of the airport parkade.
From historic boutique hotels to budget hostels and lodgings right next to the airport, there’s no shortage of Halifax accommodation. Keep in mind that downtown rooms fill up quickly during major events, so book as early as possible during these times.
Be sure to leave some time in your Halifax schedule to attend some of the city’s top events. There’s something going on no matter the time of year, whether that’s the annual Canada Day celebrations, a buskers’ festival or a celebration of art at night-time.
The week-long spectacle is the world’s largest indoor annual event, drawing in visitors from all over North America. You’ll be blown away by the talent of the artists, performers, musicians, and dancers who fill up the week’s jam-packed schedule. With history interwoven throughout the 7 days, you’ll learn about the background of the show, and the story behind its beginnings in 1979. The Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo festival is perfect for the whole family, with non-stop shows and events to get involved with all over the city. Jump in your rental car from Halifax Airport and head to the festivities!
Phone: (902) 420-1114
Culture in Halifax
The local social scene in Halifax is centred around the arts, embracing its identity as the cultural capital of the Atlantic Canadian region. Main attractions include museums, theatres, and art galleries, and there is a real focus on art and culture from the indigenous Mi’kmaq peoples.
Halifax is also very much a college town. Hosting six out of ten universities in Nova Scotia, the city emanates a youthful, diverse and progressive vibe.
Top Halifax attractions
Head to a performance in the historic Neptune Theatre, sip on a beverage from a brewery that began in 1820, and ponder the works in the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia. Your Halifax car rental will make it all possible.
With a name like Seascape Coastal Retreat, it’s no wonder this spectacular spot in Canada’s Nova Scotia is a popular one. Situated in the heart of the Cape Breton Highlands, Seascape Coastal Retreat will have you wining, dining, and relaxing in style when you book in for a night or two. Beautiful cottages along the stunning shoreline not only give you a fantastic view across the ocean and the mountains, but are equipped with a bubbling whirlpool bath, cosy fire and splendid surrounding gardens. Stay around the beautiful beaches, or head out into the countryside for hiking trails, kayaking trips, or whale watching. Pick up your rental car at Halifax Airport, and head north west for 4.5 hours.
There’s nothing quite like stepping into your own little home away from home and when you book accommodation in Nova Scotia with Ingonish Vacation Rentals, you are sure to have a holiday to remember. From large homes sleeping up to 10 guests, to cosy compact accommodation for a couple’s getaway, there’s something for everyone with Ingonish Vacation Rentals. Beachfront houses, cabins in the wood, cottages on the plains - no matter your style or preference, a simple scroll through the beautiful homes will help you find your dream spot. Use the map of Nova Scotia to see where you’d prefer to stay, and adjust handy filters to see the homes you really want. Pick up your rental car at Halifax Airport, and head out into the stunning region to begin your adventure.
How: Head to the website to book online for your stay in Nova Scotia, Canada
What to do
Maritime Museum of the Atlantic
“Take a Front Row Seat to History” is the motto of Halifax’s Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, and you really do soak up the incredible past of this waterfront city when you visit. Drawing from a rich heritage, the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic takes you on a voyage of days gone by, with photographs, models, artifacts and more on display throughout its halls. There’s much more to see than just old relics however, with annual events held at the museum, special themed exhibitions erected each year, and even a LEGO stop motion animation club for the kids. Make the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic a stop on your adventure in Nova Scotia. Pick up your rental car at Halifax Airport and head straight to the city’s waterfront. It’ll take around 35 minutes to drive there.
Where: 1675 Lower Water Street, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Hours: Opening hours change depending on the season. Visit the website for full details.