Top 10 Things to Do in Chennai that Shouldn’t Be Missed

What is the first thought that strikes your mind when you read “10 top things to do in Chennai?” Is it pristine beaches, intriguing temples, scrumptious healthy meals, beautiful hill stations, or rejuvenating spots?

There are so many enjoyable things to do in Chennai for every person. From temple-hopping being the prime attraction to enjoying at the beaches; one can enjoy their time in multiple ways.
Chennai also offers a dearth of to-do things and a perfect blend of historic monuments and modern buildings. Not one but there are many reasons that make Chennai one of the most visited destinations of India.

So, here we have a list of top things to do in Chennai with family, friends, and your partner.

Here is the list of 10 Top Things to Do in Chennai

1. Visiting the magnificent Kapaleeswarar Temple

Kapaleeswarar Temple

When someone plans on visiting Chennai, magnificent temples ranging from Dravidian Style to Cholas architecture are the first thing that comes to mind. One of the best amongst them is the Kepaleeshwara Temple. Offering your prayers and witnessing the magnificence of the temple is one of the best things to do in Chennai.

Holding a strong and remarkable religious and historical importance the temple was built in the 7th century AD by the Pallavas. The present temple was built in the 16th century by the Vijayanagara Kings in a typical Dravidian style of architecture.

The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and his consort Parvati is worshipped as Karapgambal. Bedecked with some of the most exotic carvings, The Kapaleeshwara Temple has numerous other shrines as well as many halls. Therefore, not just for family visiting here and seeking the blessing from the lord is one of the best things to do at Kapaleeswarar Temple for couples as well.

Location Vadakku Maada Veethi, Mylapore, Vinayaka Nagar Colony, Mylapore, Chennai, Tamil Nadu.
Ideal For Families, couples, and solo devotees
Activity Cost Tickets Free Free of cost
Timings 5:00 am to 12 pm & 4 pm to 9:30 pm (Every day)

[ Book our Best of Tamil Nadu Tour Packages here ]

2. Spending time with your partner at Marina Beach

Marina Beach

Marina Beach is a landmark that is almost synonymous with the name of Chennai itself. This golden sand beach is said to be the second longest beach in the world and the longest in India. The cool breeze and wonderful sights of sunrise and sunsets draw many locals and tourists to its shore every day.

There are several historical monuments and statues of famous personalities built along the junction of the pathway sands. To make things better one can find a lot of food stalls of ice cream, murukku, sundal as well as other South Indian snacks dotted across the beach.

An aquarium is also situated near the beach, comprising some of the most astonishing and splendid range of tropical sea and freshwater fish. All of these attractions at the beautiful Marina Beach make it an ideal place for families on vacation, friends on a trip as well as couples wanting to have a romantic time together. Apart from these, there are multiple other things to do at Marina Beach making it a must-visit attraction too.

Location Chennai, Tamil Nadu
Ideal For Couple, families, friends
Activity Cost Tickets Free Free of cost
Timings Open throughout the day

3. Exploring the beauty of Ripon Building

Rippon Building

One of the finest examples of the neoclassical style of architecture incorporating a combination of Gothic, Ionic, and Corinthian styles is the magnificent Ripon building. It is one of the most exotic monuments of Chennai. The building is currently the seat of the Chennai Corporation. It was commissioned in the year 1933 and was designed by G.S.T Harris. It is an all-white structure and stands near the Chennai Central Railway Station.

The exotic building is constructed in a rectangular shape with a 43-meter high tower and a 2.5-meter clock hanging on the front wall. It is the main attraction of the building and is also called the Westminster Chiming Clock. The building is classified under the heritage structure which intrigues people a lot and makes exploring the building a must-do thing in Chennai

Location Sydenhams Rd, Periyamet, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
Ideal For Group, solo, family
Activity Cost Tickets Free N.A.
Timings Currently closed for renovation
Open on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday (9:30 am – 5:30 pm)

4. Offering prayers at Varadaraja Temple

Varadaraja Temple

Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, The Varadaraja Temple is one of Divya Desams, the 108 temples of Lord Vishnu, believed to have been visited by 12 great poet-saints. This temple is spread across 23-acres. It is also believed to have been first built by the Pallava King Nandivarman and was later expanded during the reign of Cholas.

The temple is located in the suburb of Kanchipuram which is already home to many other famous Vishnu temples. But this is one of the most sacred sites for Vaishnavites. One of the most famous attractions of the temple is the 9-day celebration of Rama Navmi. With wonderful architecture, exquisite murals, magnificent paintings, and beautiful colors, the temple is one of the best-visited sites in Chennai. Visiting the temple is one of the best things to do in Chennai during Ram Navmi.

Location Kari Varadaraja Perumal Temple, Nerkundram, Koyambedu, Chennai
Ideal For Families, newlywed couples
Activity Cost Tickets Free N.A.
Timings 7 AM to 11 AM and 5 PM to 8 PM (Every day)

5. Visit the historic Senate House

Senate House

Senate House is the center of the University of Madras. It was constructed by Robert Chisholm between 1874 and 1879. It is considered to be one of the best and oldest structures of Indo-Saracenic designs in India. The building also incorporates multiple components of Byzantine style and is one of the best attractions in Chennai.

The main attraction however is the central hall which is huge and is built on six stone pillars. Besides, a convocation hall, porticos, parapets, meeting halls, and the library are other attractions in the vicinity too. The Senate House is nevertheless Chennai’s vintage landmark and exploring it with your friends has been listed as a top-notch activity to do during winters.

Location Senate House, Navalar Nagar, Chepauk, Triplicane, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
Ideal For Solo travelers, explorers, historic buff
Activity Cost Tickets Free N.A.
Timings 8:30 am to 7 pm

6. Visiting Christ the King Church

Christ the King Church

One of the most beautiful buildings of Gothic architecture, located in the middle of the Loyola College Campus is the Christ the King Church. It is an awe-inspiring edifice in the capital city of Tamil Nadu. The structure was commissioned by a French Clergyman but was constructed by an Indian architect. With its ribbed vaults, rose windows, beautiful stained glass windows, exquisite pointed arches, the church is a captivating sight to behold.

The structure covers a total area of 150 feet by 60 feet and has a spire rising 157 feet high. A regular mass involving students and people from the neighboring area is organized each day. Besides the regular folks from the Christian community, the Church is an attraction for travelers coming to admire the Gothic construction, paintings, and other exotic structures. So, put visiting this church on your 10 top things to do in Chennai during your trip.

[ Plan a Short Trip to Chennai From Bangalore ]

Location General Kumaramangalam Colony, Kolathur, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
Ideal For Families and couple
Activity Cost Tickets Free N.A.
Timings 6:00 am to 10:00 pm (Monday to Sunday)

7. Pay your visit at the Vivekanandar Illam

Vivekananda Illam

Associated with Sri Ramakrishna Math since Swami Vivekanada’s triumphant visit from the west, the Vivekananda House or the Vivekanandar Illam is an important landmark of the Chennai city and Chennai tourism. The structure is almost like a pilgrimage center for the followers of Swami Vivekananda and is considered to be one of the top things to do in Chennai.

Maintained by Sri Ramakrishna Math, the Illam is a source of transcendental bliss and inspiration for thousands of seekers, who visit here every year. The site now houses a permanent exhibition on Indian Culture and on the various aspects of the life of Swami Vivekananda. It is a great place to know more about Swamiji, his mission and find some peaceful moments amidst the hustle and bustle of Chennai.

Location Kamaraj Salai, Marina Beach Road, Triplicane, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
Ideal For Explorers, history buffs, family
Activity Cost Tickets Free 20 INR for Adults

10 INR (Age Group 3-12 years)

5 INR (Group of school kids)

20 INR (For 4D VR movie)

Timings 10:00 am to 12:30 pm & 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm (Closed on Mondays)

8. Enjoy mesmerizing view at the Elliot Beach

Elliot Beach

The famous Elliot beach is a place to relax and unwind for locals as well as travelers. The beach is named after Edward Elliot, the erstwhile colonial governor of Madras. During the British period, it was the exclusive place for the whites to enjoy the cool breeze and getting an escape from the hot and humid atmosphere of Chennai.

The Elliot beach is one of the tidiest beaches in Chennai. It is ideal for long, lazy walks and enjoying the fresh air. The beach is dotted with several restaurants and stalls near the beach where tourists can enjoy in local delicacies. An important landmark on the beach is the Karl Schmidt Memorial, named after a Dutch, who lost his life, saving many other people from drowning.

Location Beasant Nagar, Chennai
Ideal For Couples, beach lover, families
Activity Cost Tickets Free Free of cost
Timings Open all day throughout the week

9. Seek blessing at the Chayavaneashwara Temple

Chayavaneashwara Temple

Chayavaneswarar is a beautiful temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and visiting here is one of the top things to do in Chennai. This temple is located at the confluence of River Kaveri with the sea, which is called Kaveri Patnam.

People believe it to be great religious merit to bathe in these waters and then take the darshan of Lord Chayavaneswarar. It is located a couple of miles away from Tiruvengadu. The temple also acquires significance due to its association with Iyarpagai Nayanar, who was one of the sixty-three Nayamars of South India. The place is also called Chaikadum and is one of the must-see sites in Chennai.

Location Poompuhaar near Sirkazhi, Chennai Tamil Nadu
Ideal For Devotees, newlywed couples, and families
Activity Cost Tickets Free Free of cost
Timings From 7.00 a.m. to 12.00 p.m. and 4.00 p.m. to 7.30 p.m.

Also Read
Top Temples in South India

10. Explore the Government Museum

Government Museum

The Government Museum is the second oldest museum in India, the first being the Indian Museum in Kolkata. The museum is rich in numerous archeological and numismatic collections and counts as one of the top things to do in Chennai.

Spread in a total area of 16.25 acres, there are six independent buildings and 46 disparate galleries within the premises offering a historical and visual treat for the visitors. The museum is a great lure for the general public, who are interested in history, sociology, anthropology, and cultural evolution. It remains closed on Fridays as well as on National Holidays. Therefore, visiting here and enjoying the collection of the museum is one of the best things to do in Chennai.

Location Egmore, Chennai, Tamil Nadu,
Ideal For Chennai Government Museum Address: Beside Government Maternity Hospital, Pantheon Rd, Egmore, Chennai, Tamil Nadu,
Activity Cost Tickets Free 15 INR for Adults (Indians)

10 INR for Children (Indians)

3 INR for School Children

250 INR for Foreign Tourists

200 INR for Still Camera / Video Camera (Indians)

500 INR for Still Camera / Video Camera (Foreigners)

Timings Monday to Sunday (9:30 am to 5:00 pm) (Closed on Fridays)

[ Plan a trip with Chennai tour packages and explore places of Interest ]

Related Post:

Top 10 Places to Visit Near Chennai
Top 51 Things to do in Tamil Nadu
19 Best Warm Weather Destinations in South India
Top 12 Things to Do in Pondicherry: Which One Should Not be Missed

Shashank Yadav

A bachelor's in technology passed out student, who decided to follow his heart, has looked forward to see his future as a traveler and a travel writer. This was his passion that ignited the spark of travelling to different places and share his experience with others. It's his writing and pictures that do all the talking now.

Comments ( 4 )
Add Comment
  • ram

    Thanks for the information, I have been staying in Chennai for 4 years. My fav tourist spots are Mahabalipuram and thiruvanmiyur beach

    • Diksha Khiatani

      Hi Ram

      Thank you for your kind words! Keep on following our blogs for more such informative posts in the future.

  • Priya Singh

    Beautiful pictures! I would never imagine having this kind of experience in India. Thank you for sharing your experience!

    • Diksha Khiatani

      Hey Priya

      Thanks for your kind words. Keep on following our blogs for more such informative posts in the future!