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Halifax Transportation

Getting There

Airport
Halifax is blessed with a great little airport, Stanfield International that makes flying in or out a very pleasant experience and having to wait around not too painful, either. The airport has U.S. pre-clearance, which is awesome. There are more than 100 flights a day in and out of Halifax, with flights to Toronto almost hourly and direct flights to many major U.S. cities. There is free Wi-Fi throughout the airport, as well as some good retail areas (you can pick up a live lobster to take home with you at the Clearwater Seafood store), as well as a pretty great pub that is prime for people-watching. A fleet of tartan-clad volunteers are on hand to aid travelers, and a helpful tourist information desk sits next to the baggage claim. There is an airport shuttle service that drops you at downtown hotels for $19.50; a cab downtown costs a flat rate of $53.
Train
While there isn’t a train service to get around Halifax, arriving on VIA Rail’s the Ocean train from Montreal is a good option (since the trip takes about 22 hours, you might want to consider coming one way on the train and flying back). The sleeper cars are cramped but quaint, and the service on board is seamless. As you meander through rural Quebec and New Brunswick through farmland, forest and along beaches, the scenery is gorgeous (especially if you do the trip in the fall to catch the changing leaves in their blazing glory). You can take the train to Moncton, too (same route), and stay on to head to Toronto (this adds another four hours to the journey).
Bus
You can get to Halifax using Acadian Bus Lines, which connects with Greyhound to get you everywhere in North America, and has a downtown bus station. The bus station isn’t conveniently located, though, so you’ll need a cab to get to any hotel other that the Westin Nova Scotian, which is situated next door. Bus routes go to other regions in Nova Scotia, if you want to explore farther afield without having to shell out for car rental.
Boat/Ferry
Lots of cruises come into Halifax, and the ships’ terminal has a market with all manner of traditional (and pseudo traditional) Nova Scotian wares to spend your money on. Unfortunately, the wares are overpriced and you’re better off taking your money to the Halifax Seaport Farmer’s Market just a short walk away for more authentic and cheaper gift items.

Getting Around

Public Transit
Because Halifax is so small, it is a very walkable city and pretty much everything you need can be found in the downtown core. The transit system is easy to navigate, and it never seems to be difficult to hail a cab (apart from when the pubs kick out at 1 a.m.).

Useful information about metro transit: While the transit system in Halifax isn’t terrible, it can be a bit frustrating if you are trying to get anywhere in the evenings or on weekends, when many services run hourly instead of every 15 or 30 minutes. Fortunately, there is a decent website to help you plan your journey, and an automated number to check schedules at your chosen bus stop. Riding the bus costs $2.25, and you can get a transfer, which allows you to travel for 90 minutes and is also valid on the ferry system to get to Dartmouth, a separate city just across the bridge from Halifax (it takes 12 minutes to get across). Ride the ferry for the amazing views of Downtown Halifax and the harbour.
Taxis
Taxis are plentiful in Halifax, and because the city is so compact, it will rarely cost more than $10 to get anywhere. Cabs in Halifax always keep their lights on, even when they aren’t available.
Driving
Driving in Halifax is a fairly mellow experience. The city is easy to find your way around and drivers are generally polite. Beware, however, if you find yourself at the Rotary — Halifax’s only roundabout — which can be frustrating, as people don’t seem to get how to use it, and it tends to bring out dithering qualities in some drivers. At rush hour certain areas tend to get backed up, but nowhere near as bad as in other major cities.
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