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bw10 Jan 20th, 2008 01:59 PM

montreal or halifax?
My wife and I are planning our 20th and we're debating Montreal or Halifax. We've heard great things about both. We will be going in early Oct and will be staying for 3 days. Would love to hear from folks who have visted both. Thanks to all who respond.

wow Jan 20th, 2008 02:53 PM

Hi, bw10! Happy Anniversary!;)

Early October is a very nice time to visit Montreal and Halifax. This is a tough choice. I grew up in NS & have spent a lot of time in Halifax. It is a wonderful city & I am sure that you wld find enough to keep you occupied for 3 days.

Recently I have had the opportunity to spend a lot of time in Montreal. I absolutely love Montreal! It has a certain energy that you won't find anywhere else. For a 3 day "Anniversary Celebration", I wld choose Montreal...the restaurants, the shopping, the historical sites ( or I may be tempted to even choose Quebec City over both Montreal & Halifax!!) Will you be flying to Halifax or Montreal? If so, from where? That might make a significant difference in terms of available flights & fares.
For instance, if you are coming from Toronto then there are flights almost hourly from Toronto/Montreal. Last week I saw a one way fare for $29 Toronto/Montreal! ( Normal wld be around $99 each way + taxes but if you have the time & the patience to shop around @ you shd be able to get something b/t $59 & $99 each way). Halifax, on the other hand, has far fewer flights to/from Toronto & the fares are pretty steep(I know b/c I do the Toronto/Sydney,NS run frequently & the fares are nuts)

Bencito Jan 20th, 2008 03:46 PM

Hi bw10,

Both are great cities and it is indeed a difficult choice. With three days, both cities have many great things to offer. It really depends on what you like…

I personally would choose Montreal as I prefer the bigger city vibe and the beautiful old Montreal. At night the buildings are nicely lit up and it is very pretty! The Notre Dame Basilica is well worth a visit. These places make Montreal romantic to me.

Halifax is great as well. It is a much smaller city than Montreal. The harbour is beautiful, and the historic properties are very nice. It has a nice salty Maritime feel to this historic city. It is so relaxing to walk along the waterfront…The downtown Halifax has many beautiful historic buildings and the impressive Citadel. There are colourful Victorian style houses close to city centre. My tour guide told us that Halifax is nicknamed Little San Francisco because of its hilly streets (though not as hilly as San Francisco), colourful houses and the two bridges that resemble Golden Gate Bridge. The lobster is great there and an excursion to the rugged Peggy’s Cove is nice as well.

Good luck in your decision for your special trip!

travelingmad Jan 20th, 2008 04:28 PM

I second wow on thinking about Quebec city. 2008 is the city's 400th anniversary and many events and celebrations have been scheduled. Here's the official website for more info and have a look at the calendar (mid-page on the right side) as you can see what events will take place during the time you plan to visit.


If you are only debating Montreal or Halifax, and you only have three days, I would go with Montreal. If you decide for 6 to 7 days (why not?), Nova Scotia as a whole is quite spectacular to see.

Finally, keep in mind that Canada's thanksgiving is on the 2nd Monday of October - everything's closed. This year, it would be Oct. 16, I believe.

wow Jan 20th, 2008 05:51 PM

Good point about Thanksgiving from travelingmad. This year it is Oct 13. So, Thursday,Oct 9th (which is also Yom Kippur), Friday, Oct 10 & Monday, Oct 13th will all be busy travel days resulting in higher fares & heavier road traffic.
Let us know what you decide, bw10! ;)

Daniel_Williams Jan 20th, 2008 05:52 PM

I would say generally speaking you won't go wrong with either one... I live in Montreal and have visited Halifax twice. There are some terrific parks and gardens in both; nightlife is fun in both (although different).

If you like the idea of a larger city, cosmopolitan bustle, hearing a considerable amount of French on the streets, picking up a baguette at a boulangerie on a random side street, Montreal may be more for you.

If a smaller city appeals more where the sea calls to you with lighthouses, fresh seafood, charmingly painted wooden Victorian homes, friendly Maritimer charm... maybe Halifax is more for you.

If both sound good, flip a coin and don't worry. You'll have a good time!


goddesstogo Jan 20th, 2008 06:07 PM

I have visited both and it's hard to make a bad decision here but I think Montreal is a very romantic city and just perfect for a special anniversary.

I know you haven't asked but regarding hotels, there are many lovely ones in Old Montreal. My favourite is the suite hotel, Saint Sulpice.

Searching here for 'hotels in Montreal' will give you others.

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