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ChennaiIndia

Temples and colonial monuments, food and festivals combine to showcase the best of South India’s artistic and religious heritage.

Colonial-era relics, temples and a rich food and arts scene welcome visitors to Chennai. The city was established as a British trading post in 1639. Now Chennai is India’s fourth-largest city and the capital of the southeastern Tamil Nadu state. Chennai’s people are welcoming. A variety of attractions presents the chance to experience the best of Tamil culture.

Chennai’s historic heart is George Town, a medley of narrow streets and bazaars lined with traditional silk and spice shops. Admire the architecture of the red-sandstone High Court and take a tour of the 18th-century Armenian Church, one of the oldest churches in India. Learn about Chennai’s history at the museum of Fort St. George, India’s first British-built fortress.

Take a rickshaw to the Government Museum, set in a complex of British-era buildings. Check out the ancient bronze sculptures and a curious skeleton and taxidermy display. Spot work by notable Indian artists, such as Raja Ravi Varma, at the National Art Gallery.

Wander through the vibrant streets of Triplicane, where you’ll find the impressive eighth-century Parthasarathy Temple. Enjoy a dawn or sunset stroll along Marina Beach. It’s a hive of activity, from cricket matches and kite flying to fortune tellers and street food vendors.

Don’t miss the Portuguese-influenced Mylapore neighborhood. Marvel at the white-washed San Thome Church, built on the tomb of the apostle St. Thomas. See a typical example of Dravidian architecture, characterized by pyramid-shaped buildings, at the Kapaleeswarar Temple.

Chennai thrives in showcasing its Tamil culture through music and dance, most notably during the Margazhi Festival in December and January. See a vast collection of everyday art at the Rukmini Devi Museum. Sample the city’s delectable Tamil cuisine. Try dishes such as spicy chettinad pepper chicken and local vegetarian specialties.

Chennai is the busy transportation hub of South India, and is well served by trains, buses and international flights. The city is notoriously hot and stuffy; after a few days of sightseeing activity many visitors travel to nearby beach resorts and hill stations.

Top hotels in Chennai

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Grand Chennai by GRT Hotels
Grand Chennai by GRT Hotels
5 out of 5
120, Sir Thyagaraya Road, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
The price is AU$85 per night from 17 Oct. to 18 Oct.

Located in T Nagar, this luxury hotel is within 3 miles (5 km) of Consulate General of the United States, Chennai, Marina Beach and Valluvar Kottam. Kapaleeswarar ...

4.4/5Excellent! (386 reviews)

"Food items, in two days breakfast items are same, non veg also not satisfied"…"

Reviewed on 10 Mar. 2020

Grand Chennai by GRT Hotels
Park Hyatt Chennai
Park Hyatt Chennai
5 out of 5
39 Velachery Road, Raj Bhavan, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
The price is AU$90 per night from 3 Oct. to 4 Oct.

Located in Guindy, this luxury hotel is 0.5 mi (0.9 km) from Chennai Snake Park and within 3 miles (5 km) of Old Mahabalipuram Road and Indian Institute of Technology ...

4.6/5Wonderful! (272 reviews)
A++ hotel! Amazing.

"Amazing! Simply amazing. Comfortable bed, excellent service, great food. Would definitely stay here again. Felt like the price was right for what you get as well."…"

Reviewed on 22 Feb. 2020

Park Hyatt Chennai
Hyatt Regency Chennai
Hyatt Regency Chennai
5 out of 5
365 Anna Salai, Teynampet, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
The price is AU$95 per night from 2 Oct. to 3 Oct.

This family-friendly Chennai hotel is located near the airport, within 2 mi (3 km) of Consulate General of the United States, Chennai and Valluvar Kottam. Marina ...

4.1/5Very Good! (285 reviews)

"Good customer service and exceptional cleanliness."…"

Reviewed on 14 Mar. 2020

Hyatt Regency Chennai

Popular places to visit in Chennai

Marina Beach
Image for Marina Beach

Marina Beach

4/5(11 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(6 reviews)

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

Edward Elliot's Beach
Image for Edward Elliot's Beach

Edward Elliot's Beach

4/5(5 reviews)

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

Top activities in Chennai

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

Chennai Half-Day Private City Tour

AU$118
Per adult
Same Day Tour Of Kanchipuram from Chennai - Private tour
Image for Same Day Tour Of Kanchipuram from Chennai - Private tour

Same Day Tour Of Kanchipuram from Chennai - Private tour

AU$102
Per adult
Food Walk Tour Chennai
Image for Food Walk Tour Chennai

Food Walk Tour Chennai

AU$23
Per adult
Private 2-Day Tour to The Taj Mahal, Agra with Return Flight
Image for Private 2-Day Tour to The Taj Mahal, Agra with Return Flight

Private 2-Day Tour to The Taj Mahal, Agra with Return Flight

AU$1,051
Per adult
Night Walking Tour Chennai
Image for Night Walking Tour Chennai

Night Walking Tour Chennai

AU$19
Per adult
Private Departure Transfer: Hotel to Chennai International Airport
Image for Private Departure Transfer: Hotel to Chennai International Airport

Private Departure Transfer: Hotel to Chennai International Airport

AU$78
Per adult

Reviews of Chennai

3.8

Guest rating

5 - Excellent
7
5 - Excellent 20.58823529411765%
4 - Good
19
4 - Good 55.88235294117647%
3 - Okay
5
3 - Okay 14.705882352941176%
2 - Disappointing
1
2 - Disappointing 2.9411764705882355%
1 - Terrible
2
1 - Terrible 5.882352941176471%

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

1 Mar. 2020

Chennai is the cleanest of the many large Indian cities I have visited, not only in terms of trash but in terms of air quality. There is a more relaxed general ambience as well.

4/5 - Good

Christine

5 Jan. 2020

Enjoyed our stay as we were visiting family, but traffic and pollution really bad.

4/5 - Good

bg

19 Dec. 2019

Interesting to just walk around the streets

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

28 Oct. 2019

Loved Chennai ..... no comparison to Delhi.

4/5 - Good

Rasiah

11 Oct. 2019

Excellent city for ladies shopping. Car hiring is good.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

22 Jun. 2019

It’s an assault on all your senses, but is amazing. Great to experience another culture

Cities near Chennai

Chennai

Mahabalipuram

Marina Beach showing general coastal views as well as a large group of people

Anna Salai

Tiger Cave which includes heritage elements

Chengalpattu

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