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ChennaiIndia

An exhilarating mix of ancient and modern makes Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu, one of the highlights of South India.

The first British outpost in India, Chennai combines compelling sights such as eighth-century temples with cutting-edge 21st-century developments. While skyscraper headquarters of multinational corporations line the city’s self-styled IT Corridor, Chennai’s historic quarters recall not just the era of British colonial rule but also the days of the first-century Pallava dynasty.

Discover the city’s rich past in its many excellent museums before hitting one of Chennai’s street-food stalls or trendy sophisticated restaurants.

Start in the narrow streets of George Town, where the 17th-century Fort St George takes you right back to the days of the British Raj. Get up to speed with colonial history with a visit to the fort’s museum. While you’re there, you can pop into the 17th-century St Mary’s Church, the oldest surviving British church in India.

Chennai’s cultural high points include the massive complex of museums and galleries that makes up the Government Museum. See the seventh-century bronze statues in the Bronze Gallery before going back to prehistoric times in the Anthropology Galleries. If you’ve got kids in tow, take them to the Children’s Museum within the complex to see the collection of antique dolls and toys.

Enjoy the views of the Bay of Bengal from Marina Beach, where locals play games of cricket on the sand among the market stalls and fortune-tellers. For panoramic views without having to work for them, take the lift in Madras Lighthouse on the southern end of the beach.

If you love the outdoors, spend the day in Guindy National Park, which has a Snake Park as well as a Children’s Park within its forested trails. For shopping, check out Chennai’s countless silk and jewellery shops as well as lively market stalls.

For an exciting taste of the Tamil Nadu region, explore Chennai’s fascinating history, mouth-watering street food and dramatic location facing the Bay of Bengal. This gateway to South India will whet your appetite for other delights along the coast, including the former French colonial city of Puducherry.

Where to stay in Chennai

T Nagar, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

T Nagar

4/5Very Good!(17 area reviews)

Restaurants, shopping and spas are some highlights of T Nagar. You might stop by Valluvar Kottam or Express Avenue while you're in the area.

T Nagar
Central Chennai, Chennai, India

Central Chennai

4/5Very Good!(57 area reviews)

The churches and monuments are just a few things visitors like about Central Chennai. Marina Beach and Fort St. George are worthwhile spots to check out, and you can hop on the metro at Mannadi Metro Station or LIC Metro Station to get around the larger area.

Central Chennai
Nungambakkam, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Nungambakkam

4.5/5Wonderful!(15 area reviews)

You'll enjoy the cafes and monuments in Nungambakkam. You might want to make time for a stop at Valluvar Kottam or SDAT Tennis Stadium.

Nungambakkam
Chennai featuring religious aspects

Guindy

4/5Very Good!(24 area reviews)

Unique features of Guindy include the shopping and spas. Make a stop by Chennai Snake Park or Guindy Race Course while you're exploring the area.

Guindy
Kapaleeswarar Temple featuring a temple or place of worship and heritage architecture

Mylapore

4/5Very Good!(31 area reviews)

Mylapore is known for its abundant dining options, and you can plan a trip to Kapaleeswarar Temple and Chennai Citi Center Mall while you're in town.

Mylapore
St. Andrew\'s Kirk which includes a church or cathedral and interior views

Egmore

3.5/5Good!(16 area reviews)

You'll enjoy the monuments and spas in Egmore. You might want to make time for a stop at Raja Muthiah Hall or Government Museum.

Egmore

Top hotels in Chennai

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Hyatt Regency Chennai
Hyatt Regency Chennai
5 out of 5
365 Anna Salai, Teynampet, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
£62
per night
10 Apr-11 Apr

This family-friendly Chennai hotel is located near the airport, within 2 mi (3 km) of Consulate General of the United States, Chennai, Express Avenue and Spencer's ...

4.1/5Very Good! (280 reviews)

"Good customer service and exceptional cleanliness."…"

Reviewed on 14 Mar 2020

Hyatt Regency Chennai
Radisson Blu Hotel Chennai
Radisson Blu Hotel Chennai
4.5 out of 5
531 Gst Road, St.thomas Mount, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
£58
per night
5 Apr-6 Apr

This family-friendly Chennai hotel is located near the airport, within 3 mi (5 km) of Olympia Tech Park and Chennai Trade Centre. Phoenix Market City and MIOT ...

4.3/5Excellent! (478 reviews)

"Excellent stay but lobby was bit warm and humid. The customer should get proper food information. Like what is available and at what price. They should get food menu in their hotel room."…"

Reviewed on 17 Mar 2020

Radisson Blu Hotel Chennai
ITC Grand Chola, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Chennai
ITC Grand Chola, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Chennai
5 out of 5
# 63 Mount Road, Guindy, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
£110
per night
4 Apr-5 Apr

Located in Guindy, this luxury hotel is 0.8 mi (1.2 km) from Chennai Snake Park and within 3 miles (5 km) of Old Mahabalipuram Road and Chennai Trade Centre. ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (285 reviews)

"If at all I have not attended bit that the attitude is fine and only proper"…"

Reviewed on 26 Mar 2020

ITC Grand Chola, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Chennai

Popular things to do in Chennai

Marina Beach
Image for Marina Beach

Marina Beach

4/5(44 reviews)

Relaxed walks, pretty sunrises, elaborate entertainment, traditional Indian street food and historical landmarks make this one of Chennai’s liveliest beaches.

Kapaleeswarar Temple
Image for Kapaleeswarar Temple

Kapaleeswarar Temple

4.5/5(31 reviews)

Marvel at the Dravidian architecture of this centuries-old temple, spot intricately carved figurines, watch devotees pray and experience a lively Hindu festival.

Old Mahabalipuram Road
Image for Old Mahabalipuram Road

Old Mahabalipuram Road

4/5(24 reviews)

After visiting Old Mahabalipuram Road, make a plan to see the other sights and activities in Chennai. While in this culturally rich area, find time to visit its shops.

Fort St. George
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Fort St. George

4/5(25 reviews)

Spot impressive architecture and admire displays of British Raj artifacts as you explore this 17th-century citadel, one of Chennai’s finest colonial monuments.

Elliot's Beach
Image for Elliot's Beach

Elliot's Beach

4/5(16 reviews)

Enjoy relaxed walks on a golden-sand beach, watch a picturesque sunrise, sample traditional Chennai beach food and visit architecturally impressive landmarks.

Valluvar Kottam
Image for Valluvar Kottam

Valluvar Kottam

4/5(6 reviews)

Learn about the local history of Chennai with a stop at Valluvar Kottam. Wander the beaches and marina in this culturally rich area.

Top activities in Chennai

Chennai Half-Day Private City Tour
Image for Chennai Half-Day Private City Tour

Chennai Half-Day Private City Tour

£72
Per adult
Mahabalipuram & Kanchipuram Private Full-Day Tour with Lunch
Image for Mahabalipuram & Kanchipuram Private Full-Day Tour with Lunch

Mahabalipuram & Kanchipuram Private Full-Day Tour with Lunch

88% of travellers recommend
£200
Per adult
Chennai Walk of Divinity Tour
Image for Chennai Walk of Divinity Tour

Chennai Walk of Divinity Tour

£9
Per adult

Reviews of Chennai

4

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
47
5 - Excellent 29.746835443037973%
4 - Good
72
4 - Good 45.56962025316456%
3 - Okay
31
3 - Okay 19.620253164556964%
2 - Disappointing
8
2 - Disappointing 5.063291139240507%
1 - Terrible
0
1 - Terrible 0%

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

25 Jan 2020

All the places we remember had changed

4/5 - Good

SG

8 Jan 2020

Better roads and infrastructure than Bangalore!

3/5 - Okay

Verified traveller

17 Dec 2019

visit the vivekananda temple and the theosophical society

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

6 Dec 2019

Grt

3/5 - Okay

Verified traveller

12 Nov 2019

Traffic tests your patience Weather is hot even in November

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

30 Oct 2019

506 room is dusty

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