Over 90 percent of Nova Scotia residents speak English, while over three percent speak French, both are Canada’s two official languages. Minority languages spoken in the province include Arabic, Mi’kmaq, and German.
Like the rest of Canada, Nova Scotia uses the Canadian dollar (C$) as its official currency, with C$1 divided into 100 cents. Other currencies are not normally accepted for purchases within the province. Currency can be exchanged at banks, airports and some hotels. ATMs are widely available, particularly at banks, gas stations, and shopping malls. Major credit cards are accepted at most major stores, hotels, gas stations, and restaurants, but it’s best to check for your card supplier’s sign before trying to make a purchase. Travelers’ checks can be exchanged at banks.
The province is in Canada’s Atlantic Time Zone, which is four hours behind GMT.
Canada uses electricity at 110-120V with Type B plug sockets. Visitors wishing to use electrical appliances that operate according to a different voltage in Nova Scotia will need a transformer, while appliances that have different plugs to the region’s Type B plugs will need a plug adaptor.
The dialing code for Canada is +1, while the area code for Nova Scotia is 902. Canada’s top mobile network operators include: Rogers Wireless, Bell Mobility, and Telus Mobility. Most of the province has mobile phone coverage except for areas around Kejimkujik National Park, the stretch of coast between Oyster Pond and Canso, and Cape Breton Highlands National Park. Internet cafes are hard to find outside of the main cities, but many coffee shops offer wireless internet.
Duty-free alcohol, cosmetics, perfume and more are available to international passengers at Halifax Stanfield International Airport. Customs allowances depend on the country the passenger is entering, with passengers en route to the US able to purchase up to 200 cigarettes, 1 liter of alcohol, and gifts to the value of US $400 duty-free. However, there are limits placed on the amount of alcohol and cigarettes that can be purchased duty-free.
Nova Scotia Department of Tourism and Culture, Halifax: +1-800-341-6096 or http://explore.gov.ns.ca.
Consulates in Nova Scotia
US Consulate, Halifax: +1-902-429-2480 German Consulate, Halifax: +1-902-420-1599 Consulate of the Netherlands, Halifax: +1-902-422-1485 Norwegian Consulate, Halifax: +1-902-468-1330 Finnish Consulate, Halifax: +1-902-420-1990 Consulate of Austria, Halifax: +1-902-429-8200 British Consulate, Halifax: +1-902-461-1381
Emergency services: 911