I did a whirlwind tour of Halifax in November. My last-minute flight took me from Ottawa to Halifax on a Friday night after work and I turned right back around again to come back late in the day on Sunday. I managed to pack a lot into 48 hours, and my expenses for the weekend reflect that. Here’s my cost breakdown by category, with a link to download the detailed spreadsheet at the bottom of the post.

The foggy skyline of Halifax at night

Flight – $320.57

Flights within Canada are not cheap, so $320 round trip from Ottawa to Halifax with all taxes and fees included is actually quite a deal. Book well in advance to avoid the spikes in prices that occur as you approach the departure date.

Accommodations – $70.00

Hostels in Canada are not cheap, and Halifax is no exception. $35 a night for a dorm in the downtown of a major city is not unusual.

Food – $103.40

If I were traveling across Canada for much longer I would make an effort to occasionally prepare meals myself rather than always eating at restaurants. Unfortunately this is not really possible when traveling for 48 hours, so all of my meals were eaten in restaurants. I ate a variety of food at a variety of prices – from coffee shops to fast food to pubs and sit-down restaurants. Averaging $50 a day on food is not unexpected.

Alcohol – $19.50

Alcohol is expensive in Canada, even compared to Western Europe. Expect to pay anywhere from $5-11 for a drink at a pub or a club. As you can see from the total I did not do much drinking when I was in Halifax, but this is an expense that could blow up astronomically if not kept in check.

Attractions – $22.94

This is the cost of entrance to various attractions that I visited, the most expensive of which was the Alexander Keith’s Brewery tour.

Car and Gasoline – $74.82

I managed to get a great deal on a car rental for the weekend – $21.89 per day for a small car. Rates for car rentals vary a lot and are based on supply and demand. Book early (at least a week in advance) and book online for the best rates. Gasoline in Canada at the time of writing is about $1.30/liter, and the $31.04 that I spent on gas took me from Halifax to Peggy’s Cove to Lunenburg and back again.

For a weekend in Halifax that mirrors my own you can expect to pay about $290 plus the cost of your flight. That’s a whopping $145 a day. Of course the more you try to pack into a short period of time the more expensive things get, and these numbers are no exception. Canada is by no means an inexpensive place to travel, but if this weekend in Halifax were spread out over a week then the cost per day could be reduced significantly.

Here’s the spreadsheet with the detailed breakdown of my weekend expenses:

BWSB Halifax Cost Breakdown – November 2013.xlsx