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Chennai Tourism | How to Plan a Trip to Chennai

Popularly known as the "Gateway of South India", Chennai is noted for its beaches, medical tourism, bird watching sites, Fort St. George and religious destinations like St. Mary's Church, Kapaleshwar Temple and the Big Mosque.

  • Chennai City in Tamil Nadu
Chennai At a Glance
  • Average Climate:18°C - 35°C
  • Best Time to Visit:November - March
  • STD Code:

Chennai Travel Guide

A city with modern, commercial, and historical significance, Chennai is one of the most popular tourist destinations in India. Blessed with picturesque locales and a history that dates back to times immemorial, Chennai once a tiny fishing village has today become one the most important cities in the world. It is among the four metropolitan cities of India and is one of the most beautiful destinations to head to if you are planning a tour to Tamil Nadu.

On your visit to Chennai, explore its buzzing streets, heritage temples, shopping arcades, and striking beaches. Chennai is also home to thriving technology, which makes it one of the biggest IT parks on the Asian continent. With Puducherry and Mahabalipuram in proximity, Chennai is an important cultural hub of India. So, if you want to enjoy the distinct flavors, warm hospitality, and vibrant culture, plan a visit to this destination in South India.

Whether you are looking for spiritual bliss, a party scene, or thrilling adventure activities, Chennai has everything in store for all kinds of travelers. There are a lot of things to do in Chennai other than unwinding at its pristine beaches and visiting the ancient temples. Chennai invites you to indulge in various activities and have the time of your life. But before you pack your bags and book a flight/train ticket, there are some things you must know about Chennai. We have curated a Chennai Travel Guide to help you plan your tour conveniently.

Why visit Chennai?

From beaches to temples, forts to museums, markets to art-hubs, Chennai has plenty of things to keep you entertained. The seafood, the wildlife, and the Dravidian-style architecture are some of the important things that make Chennai a must-visit. Also, the sunsets at Marina Beach are truly mesmerizing! Chennai has the longest sea beach in Asia, which is another great reason to take your loved ones to this South Indian destination.

How to reach Chennai 

Chennai is well-connected to all major Indian cities by air. Land at Chennai International Airport, which plies several domestic and international flights regularly. If traveling to Chennai by train, then get off at the Chennai Central Junction. It is well-linked with various local and express trains throughout India. Chennai is also well-connected by road via several national as well as state highways and links Chennai with many prominent cities in India. You can also choose to plan a road trip to Chennai from Kolkata via NH 16, from Bengaluru via NH 48, and from Trivandrum via NH 38. Read more here.

How to get around Chennai 

With the availability of AC/NON-AC local buses, traveling around Chennai is quite affordable and convenient. Cabs services like Ola Cabs, Meru Cabs, Uber, and local taxis can also be hired. Auto-rickshaws, car rentals, and Chennai Metro are some other options to move around the city.

Best time to visit Chennai 

Chennai, being a popular tourist attraction, lures tourists all around the year. However, the best time to visit Chennai is during the winters i.e. November to February as the weather is pleasant and is perfect to indulge in various activities and sightseeing tours. You might experience sudden rainfall even during winters. There are a lot of festivals in Chennai that are celebrated during winters, so be a part of as many as you can. Summers are extremely hot and humid in Chennai with temperatures reaching as high as 45 °C. However, with rain showers, the temperature goes down eventually allowing you to enjoy the weather. Monsoon brings heavy rainfall and strong winds, therefore, it is advised to carry an umbrella and raincoat to avoid getting soaked. To know more click here.

Places to visit in Chennai 

From old to contemporary, and from nature to architecture, Chennai has a lot of beautiful and striking places to see. Marina Beach is a popular beach that is perfect to get some fresh air and enjoy the soothing winds. Then there are exquisitely carved temples of Kapaleeshwar and Sri Parthasarathy. Their magnificence and eye-catching architecture are something you cannot miss on your Chennai travel. Fort of British Rule, Royapuram fishing harbor, Guindy National Park, Government Museum, and Edward Elliot’s Beach are some other attractions in Chennai. Know more here.

Things to do in Chennai 

  • A major tourist destination in India, Chennai offers abundant activities and things to do. Here are some of the things you can indulge-in on your Chennai trip.
  • Unwind at the largest beach in India, Marina Beach.
  • Savor South Indian delicacies.
  • Enjoy the ocean views at Thalankuppam Pier.
  • Admire the architecture of Kapeeleshwar Temple.
  • Explore the fishing market at Royapuram Fishing Harbour.
  • Visit Fort St. George.
  • Enjoy fishing at Barracuda Bay.
  • Read at Anna Centenary Library.
  • Visit San Thome Cathedral.

How many days are enough to visit Chennai?

5 days are enough to visit Chennai.

Average Chennai Trip Cost

The average cost of traveling to Chennai will be INR 17,000 to INR 24,000 per person.

*Prices are subject to change.

Accommodation in Chennai 

Chennai has a lot of accommodations options to choose from. From luxury hotels to budget stays, honeymoon special to kid-friendly ones, you can select whichever type of hotel you prefer. Some major hotels in Chennai are ITC Grand Chola, Green Park Chennai, The Accord Metropolitan, WelcomHotel Chennai, and Hilton Chennai.

Where to eat in Chennai 

Chennai is no doubt a foodies hub and offers a wide range of delicacies. Eden, Seena Bhai 1977 Dosa Centre, Dindigul Thalappakatti, Southern Spice, and Nair Mess are some of the famous restaurants in Chennai. Here, you can indulge in culinary delights like lasagna, podi idli, uthappam, biryani, kori ghee roast, and Vanjaram fish fry.

Shopping in Chennai

Chennai’s shopping culture is known to everyone. It is quite a heartwarming experience as you not only get good quality products but there are quite a number of shopping markets that sell stuff at good rates. T.Nagar (saris, gold jewelry), Pondy Bazaar (clothes, footwear), Sowcarpet (suits and lehengas), Ritchie Street (electronics), Georgetown (saris), and Isha Life (handmade and organic products) are some of the most popular shopping markets in Chennai.

Useful Tips for Chennai Trip

  • Respect the local culture and be humble to the locals.
  • Do not wear revealing clothes on your visit to a temple or a mosque.
  • If you visit in summer, carry sunscreen with you to avoid burning your skin.
  • Keep yourself hydrated and carry a water bottle with you wherever you go.

FAQs about the Chennai Travel Guide

Q: Where is Chennai located in India?

Ans: Chennai is a Metropolitan city located in South of India on eastern coastal belt. It is capital of Tamil Nadu state of India.

Q: How to reach Chennai?

Ans: Chennai is a very easily accessible by Air, Road and Railway.

By Air: Chennai has international airport, known as Chennai International Airport (MAA), which connects to many other countries plus offers very good connections from other Indian city airports. very good connections from other Indian city airports.

By Rail: Chennai houses the Southern railway headquarter thus provide massive connectivity to other Indian cities. In Chennai there are 03 railway stations, the most central is Chennai Egmore& Chennai Central Station. Tambram station is in suburban area of Chennai. Many express trains include Shatabadi Express- super fast day trains operates to & fro Chennai.

By Road: Chennai offers well connected toad network, to other cities of India. The ones you can cover by road on a major touristic routes are Tirupati, Mahabalipuram, Kanchipuram, Pondicherry, Velore etc.

Q: Which are the sightseeing places in Chennai?

Ans: Best places to visit in Chennai are Marina Beach, Government Museum, DakshinChitra Museum – a living history museum, Sri Parthasarathy Temple, Kapeeleshwar Temple, Royapuram fishing harbour, Santhome cathedral Basilica, Fort St. George, etc.

Q: How is the weather in Chennai?

Ans: Chennai being a coastal city,Chennai remains hot and humid almost throughout the year. The ideal time to visit the city is from October to March when the weather is pleasant.

Q: Is there any night life in Chennai?

Ans: Like other metropolitan cities, you can do club hoping, as city offers you good number of clubs and bars. If you are looking to explore something away from bar crowds, you can visit marina Beach or Besant Nagar beach and enjoy a night stroll before retiring for the day.

Q: Are there any day excursions available from Chennai?

Ans: Yes, from Chennai you can enjoy same day trip while stationed in Chennai to Kanchipuram, Mahabalipuram, Vellore, Pondicherry, Tiruvannamalai etc.

Q: Are there any beaches in Chennai?

Ans: Yes there are beaches in Chennai, Marina Beach – fit for strolls and street food, Elliot Beach – fit for sea bathing, Covelong Beach – now converted into a resort by Taj – namely Fisherman’s Cove Resort.

Q: Which is the best place to stay in Chennai?

Ans: You should look for hotels in and around George Town in case you want to stay near to sightseeing places of Chennai. If you want to go for shopping, cinema, gaming arcades, night clubs etc, Thousand Lights is the area for you. If you are in a city only for a connection to flight, there are many good hotels for you near the airports.

Q: Which are things to do in Chennai apart from regular sightseeing?

Ans: If you are in Chennai on a weekday, you can choose to visit Kalakshetra – school of fine Arts. Situated on a 100 acres campus in southern Chennai in a distinctively simple style of architecture, is Kalakshetra Foundation, an important physical and artistic landmark of India. You can take a guide and non-guided tours of the campus at extra cost. You can enjoy a Bharatanatyamclassical dance experience, if you want to know more you can write to us.