Clifton Area Information

Clifton is one of the most popular and extravagant suburbs in Cape Town, and its beach is no different. Subdivided into four by huge boulders, the beaches are named – originally enough – First, Second, Third, and Fourth. Sheltered from the infamous South Easter wind, these little coves are perfect for a sun-bathing Cape Town holiday.

Don’t be fooled by the dual track road which passes through the suburb, Clifton extends below the road onto the beach and above it onto the mountain. Accessed by steep steps and an infamous parking waltz, the Clifton beaches are some of the most popular in all of Cape Town. Clifton accommodation is at a premium with the rich, famous, and beautiful, so make sure you book early if you wish to stay here during the summer months.


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With very few restaurants and nightlife only conducive to chirping crickets and crashing waves, Clifton is a quiet place in the evenings. This makes Clifton ideal for a romantic getaway – spend the days on the beaches and the evenings tucked up in bed or staring out at the moonlit sky.

Who goes there?

Clifton is popular among the wealthier members of society. Accommodation here is designed for those who like to be seen by others, with architectural masterpieces clinging to the sides of the cliffs and pondering the sea from all rooms. If you like to languish on balconies looking at the ocean, then Clifton accommodation is for you.

When to visit Clifton?

Clifton is at its best in the summer months, with temperatures reaching between 25 and 30°C, perfect beach weather. The daylight lasts longer during the November to April summer, while the winter tends to be wet and windy.

Close By Attractions

Only a few moments walk down the road is Camps Bay, the hip and happening suburb with a Miami-style promenade. The pearly white beaches rival Clifton’s own four beaches, but this stretch of white sand is even more popular with wind surfers and joggers. Laze on the sandy shore and work on your tan while you watch children play in the cold surf.

The slopes of Table Mountain tumble into the ocean here, and invite you to hike up the mountain. But beware, this mountain is not a tame beast – make sure you tell friends or family what your intentions are and take enough warm clothing and water, even if it is a bright sunny day on the ground.

Things to do near Clifton

Table Mountain National Park is but a step away from this popular Atlantic Seaboard town. Why not take an adventure up this mountain, or drive to the top of Signal Hill? Closer to the centre of town you’ll find the South African Museum, Cape Town Holocaust Centre, and South African Jewish Museum, each depicting history from a unique South African perspective.

In the centre of the city is Greenmarket Square, a perfect spot to pick up that ideal African trinket or just to sit at one of the many cafes and people-watch.

Near to the popular V&A Waterfront is the Two Oceans Aquarium. Take the kids and spend the day watching the marine life indigenous to the two seas swirling around the peninsula. Speaking of children, take them to the local theme park, Ratanga Junction. This place is ideal for thrill-seeking adrenaline junkies.

Shopping in Clifton

Clifton itself does not have any shops or malls, but Camps Bay is only a ten minute walk away where you can find all which your heart desires.

Restaurants and Entertainment

Clifton Beach House is located right above 4th Beach and offers contemporary Mediterranean dishes to be enjoyed on the terrace on in the elegant inside restaurant. This eatery offers excellent views of the 12 Apostles and the Atlantic shoreline and is open seven days a week.

La Med, just down the road from 4th Beach, is an ideal summer venue for tourists and locals. Watch the paragliders swoops down from above as you sip summer cocktails and nibble on tapas. With no dress code and queues an hour long, make sure you dress to impress and get there early during the summer months.

Getting around

Cape Town has one of the best public transport systems in South Africa and is currently being upgraded for the 2010 FIFA world cup. Take a Hop On Hop Off bus tour around the peninsula or hire a car for a personalised trip. Be warned, however, that parking on Clifton’s streets is infamously impossible to navigate. Rather book a taxi or chauffeur drive.

Further a field

From the centre of Clifton, you can access the Cape Winelands in under an hour. Take a leisurely tour around the wine farms and bring a few bottles back for consumption over a romantic dinner. A few hours further will bring you to Cape Town’s closest safari park, Aquila. Stay the night or visit for a day; whatever you decide to do, the majestic animals in this safari park will take your breath away.