Fly into Chennai International Airport
Chennai International Airport in the Tirusulam district is one of the busiest in India. Airlines from all around the world use Chennai, flying to such destinations as London, United Arab Emirates, Singapore, Bangkok and Hong Kong. You can also catch domestic flight to cities within India, too. There’s a good range of accommodation within easy reach of Chennai International Airport, including luxury hotels with outdoor pools.
Chennai Airport has numerous places to eat and shop before you board your flight, as well as a selection of airport lounges for domestic and international passengers. Browse the dozens of duty-free shops and boutiques before you fly, and stop for a bite to eat or a drink at one of the restaurants and snack bars in the terminals.
Where to Find Chennai International Airport
Chennai International Airport is about a 20-minute drive west of the city and is on the suburban railway network that goes directly to the centre. There are also buses and a metro that go to central Chennai. You can choose to book a taxi in advance or use an auto-rickshaw to get to the city.
Chennai’s Many Attractions
Discover the narrow streets and busy bazaars of George Town, which was the first British outpost in India and is the historic heart of Chennai. Wander round the imposing 17th-century Fort St. George, which also contains a museum whose exhibits hark back to the colonial days of the past few centuries. You’ll find more history at the Government Museum, a large complex that also has several art galleries and a children’s museum.
Explore the Portuguese legacy with a visit to San Thome Cathedral, which is said to be the resting place of Doubting Thomas, the apostle who is believed to have brought Christianity to the Indian subcontinent and was killed in Chennai. Chennai’s temples, such as Parthasarathy and Kapaleeshwarar, are extraordinary creations, with brightly coloured pavilions and ornate carvings.
And don’t miss the chance to stroll along Marina Beach and take the lift to the top of Madras Lighthouse for glorious views of the Bay of Bengal. You might want to confine yourself to walking in the surf, as strong riptides make this part of the Bay of Bengal unsafe for swimming.
Discover South India
Head south of Chennai to the colourful coastal town of Mahabalipuram, whose beautiful temples have earned them a place on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Don’t miss the eight-century stone Shore Temple, which holds a commanding position overlooking the Bay of Bengal and has two magnificent towers.
Nearby are the Five Rathas, an impressive collection of temples carved from single large rocks back in the seventh century. The British discovered these temples hidden by the sand for centuries 200 years ago.
Wherever you’re staying in Chennai, you’ll find travelling to and from Chennai International Airport straightforward. It’s also useful if you want to take a domestic flight to another one of India’s fascinating cities.