Halifax Citadel National Historic Site

Halifax Citadel National Historic Site

Halifax Citadel National Historic Site
4.5
Military MuseumsHistoric SitesPoints of Interest & LandmarksHistory Museums
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
Experience an exciting part of Canada's history by visiting this 19th-century fort with a sweeping view of downtown Halifax. Between May and October, the Citadel is brought to life by two historic regiments of the British Army - the pageantry of the 78th Highlanders and the precision of the Royal Artillery thrill visitors daily with live re-enactments. The skirl of the bagpipes mixes with the crack of a rifle and the assembly of recruits for the next foot drill. There's no shortage of authentic experiences to view and participate in! Kids will love the Xplorers Program - an activity book just for them. When the sun sets, it's time to experience the other side of the Citadel - join the Halifax Citadel Ghost Tour and experience the dark and errie lore from the early 1800's. Tours start mid-July and run select Friday and Saturday nights starting at 8:30pm until the end of October. Between Nov. to April, all exhibits and rooms are closed but noon gun fires daily.
Duration: 2-3 hours
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Address
Neighbourhood: Downtown Halifax
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See what travellers are saying
  • Stephane G
    2 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Historical throw back
    Very nice place to visit with a true immersion into the history of the canadian army. Very clean and well preserved piece of history. Very accessible for everyone, and highly interesting. Truly recommend this visit.
    Visited June 2023
    Written June 18, 2023
  • PavlaPavla
    Chrudim, Czech Republic6,903 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    A piece of history
    The Citadel is located on a hill, so it has a beautiful view of Halifax. Inside the citadel itself is an exhibition showing the life of the people at the time when this fortress served its purpose. You can walk here on your own or take a tour with a guide. During my visit, people dressed in period costumes, mostly military ones, moved around the fortress and visitors took pictures with them. There was also a small gift shop and an information center.
    Visited July 2023
    Written July 14, 2023
  • Stirling B
    Ottawa, Canada700 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Fortress Halifax
    The Halifax Citadel was constructed to protect Halifax from an attack by sea. Sitting high above the Harbour it offers sweeping views and once you have visited you can understand why it was selected as the place to put it. After a long walk up the hill you enter the gate and one inside you are greeted by a huge central square. There are many areas to view and can see the history in a museum and walk across the top of the Citadel where the cannons are. There is also a small gift shop.
    Visited July 2023
    Written July 21, 2023
  • BellBoy53
    Brisbane, Australia609 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Insightful
    A historic monument where the staff, dressed in military uniforms from a by-gone era, give you an insight into life during the formative stages of Halifax’s development. Entry price is reasonable and includes a free walking tour. Lots of info in the static displays. Great all round views of the current city. Worth a visit.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written July 27, 2023
  • Susan P
    Putnam, Connecticut945 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    The Must-Go Fort in Halifax
    This is a must do when in Halifax. If it is a sunny day, you can see the downtown area in the harbor. There is ample parking as well as handicap parking. This is a fort and quite large so allow ample time to see everything. There is a large building, which is now their visitor Center and museum. My husband and I spent almost 2 hours in this building alone. Exhibits include the Citadel through the years and relates to historic events in the area. Don't miss the room where you can try on military outfits, including hats for terrific photo opportunities. Interpreters dressed in period garb give presentations throughout the day. The big draw is the canon being fired at noon. No matter where you are someone will remind you that it's going to happen. The courtyard area is gravel and it was somewhat challenging to navigate on a drizzly, windy day. Nonetheless, I highly recommend going, and I would allow 3 to 4 hours.
    Visited June 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written August 23, 2023
  • JC
    London, United Kingdom52 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Very Insightful!
    We visited the Citadel in September 2022. It is a really informative place to visit, with history and displays from various times throughout the Fort's life. The changing of the guard is a very cool thing to witness, you can't miss it as they make quite a bit of noise doing so! Make sure to visit at noon to see the daily firing of the gun from the top of the Fort. Also keep an eye out for talks from the staff around the site.
    Visited September 2022
    Travelled as a couple
    Written August 31, 2023
  • Davigeta
    Saint Louis, Missouri1,084 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great historic site
    This fort is a landmark in Halifax. It has protected the port since 1749, and the current structure is the 4th version of the fort. There are many exhibits in the buildings, explaining the history of the forts and other matters. There is an exhibit for kids on the 1944 Normandy invasion and the Canadian role in this. There are reenactments with people dressed for past periods of the fort's existence. They have military drills with firing of rifles. There is a small gift shop. The Halifax Citadel has great views of the surrounding area. Very informative, a must-see.
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written September 16, 2023
  • TravelerUK1
    49 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Historical site worth visiting
    Highly recommend visiting. I got there when they opened and went on a free guided tour. Well worth it to learn more about the history of the citadel. The changing of the guard and the shooting of the 12 o'clock gun is worth seeing as well. I spent 3 hours there and walked through the whole place. They have a small cafe that sells good food. I ate lunch there. It's on top of a hill, so it's a bit of a trek and can get very windy up there. It's well worth a visit if you like history. I walked back up the hill the next day to walk around the outside of the citadel. You can do that at any time.
    Visited September 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written October 1, 2023
  • Jamie H-D
    Poole, United Kingdom1,491 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Very interesting.
    My husband and I came in ‘shoulder season’ so there wasn’t a full time table of re-enactments or activities, but that was ok. Lots to see and do as you explore the timeline for the French and British rule in the area, you can easily spend half a day or more here. Very friendly volunteers and staff that are happy to answer any questions you may have. It would have been good to have some sort of sign posts / direction to let you know a recommendation on where to walk round and in what direction so you make sure you see everything. If you have a Parks Canada Pass then it’s free entry.
    Visited September 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written October 5, 2023
  • roaming_kiwi58
    Christchurch, New Zealand2,817 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Interesting structure and worth a visit,
    We are not really into museums, but decided it was worthwhile to visit the Citadel in Halifax. It was pleasant to wander around the walls and watch the changing of the guard. There are also a lot of museum type displays, which we perused only briefly. If you are into military history then there would be a lot to interest you. Worth a visit and we enjoyed our time here. We walked to the citadel from the wharf where our cruise ship was docked.
    Visited September 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written October 28, 2023
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Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles3,843 reviews
Excellent
2,232
Very good
1,329
Average
240
Poor
29
Terrible
13

THINGS2LIVE4
Rocky River, OH2,229 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2024 • Family
They have actresses, actors, and tour guides in costume. I can’t recall the name of my tour guide, but will include his picture. They honor all wars, I was there on the 80th anniversary of D-Day. They had a GREAT display.
Written June 14, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

GoFools
Davie, FL16 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2024 • Couples
Thiis is worth the time it takes to take a guided tour and then explore on your own. All guides are in appropriate period dress. You will learn the history of the fortification as well as the history of the 78th Scottish division. This is not a cookie cutter look at life in the late 19th century. We were quite impresses with the in depth knowledge every docent possessed. Ask a question, you get an answer.
Written June 9, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Alex H
Huddersfield, UK342 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2024 • Couples
The volunteer guides add so much to this wonderful spectacle. They are passionate, knowledgeable and great sports to dress up in period costumes and enact historical practices. They carry this off with authenticity without any hint of “cheese” or appealing only to children.

There are so many aspects of this tour that add value.
The free guided tour is an absolute must as the knowledge shared brings this place to life. The guides are fabulous.

The flag system is fascinating, the rifle demo very interesting, and try to make your tour include the midday gun (tour at 11:05!).

Also don’t miss a visit to the school room which is brilliant.

The temporary DDay exhibit is worth taking in as is the museum of the army which provides a Canadian insight especially to the first and second world wars as well as other conflict areas where Canadians have seen service.

A really great day out. Don’t miss it.
Written June 9, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

asiatrip2007Winnipeg
Winnipeg, Canada276 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Family
This is a crazy walk uphill. An issue if you have vertigo. There is a parking lot with all day parking so you won't need to walk like crazy. We were there at 9am and received a tour from a lady dressed in period costume. It was interesting as many staff were in period costume. There was an opportunity to dress as a soldier. It was educational and walking distance from the Halifax Public Gardens. I believe kids under 18 were free. Worth visiting.
Written May 19, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Joanne
Lake Mary, FL2,046 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Friends
Magnificent views of the city and interesting exhibits. Some of the rooms were open but it was early in the season, so not everything. The museum was great with uniforms and guns from the various wars. I wish we had more time than 45 minutes, you probably need about 2 hours. The guards are really friendly and willing to answer questions. It does get windy at the top of the hill, so dress warmly.
Written April 29, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Dave1796
Springfield, VA576 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2023 • Couples
This is a must see when in Halifax. It's history, and the sweeping views of the city below. Highly recommended.
Written December 4, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

TennisStar602
New Jersey659 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2023 • Solo
The Halifax Citadel was free to enter in the middle of November when I visited. The staff was extremely friendly and informative. It was not very crowded when I appeared. Most of the indoor room attractions were closed, but guests were free to walk around the grounds inside and outside of the fort. There were many cannons and other such structures throughout the fort. There were also great views of Halifax and Dartmouth. There was a firing of the cannon at noon, but I was not present for this event. I parked directly outside of this attraction on the street.
Written November 22, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Foodange
Manchester, UK3,910 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2023 • Couples
We really enjoyed our visit here.

We arrived in time to see the Noon Gun fired from close quarters.

When the cruise crowd left we stayed behind to chat to the actors, who were full of stories for us.

The side exhibition on Fortress Halifax is worth the entry fee on its own, with a multimedia show taking us through the building and destruction of the 5 different forts on the site.

We walked all the way round the battlements for good views over the town.

The only really bad issue was the belching diesel fumes from old London buses, sitting next to the queues at the entrance.
We weren't the only ones coughing and spluttering.
Tried to give one of the drivers some 'feedback' but he wasn't interested at all.
How do these drop on/drop off buses even get a license?
They’ve been banned in the real London for years, that’s why they’ve been sold to gullible tourist companies!
Oh and BTW London buses were always red, not white, pink or blue!
Written November 21, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

thedz Bear
Halifax, Canada284 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2023 • Friends
Fascinating!!
We just arrived in Nova Scotia and in less than a week, we visited the place and it was a good experience. For us newcomers, the place showcases it’s beautiful heritage and inspiring story. This is a must go place once you’re visiting Nova Scotia.
Written November 6, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

roaming_kiwi58
Christchurch, New Zealand2,817 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2023 • Couples
We are not really into museums, but decided it was worthwhile to visit the Citadel in Halifax. It was pleasant to wander around the walls and watch the changing of the guard. There are also a lot of museum type displays, which we perused only briefly. If you are into military history then there would be a lot to interest you. Worth a visit and we enjoyed our time here. We walked to the citadel from the wharf where our cruise ship was docked.
Written October 29, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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