ChennaiIndia

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Visit Chennai

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
The Leela Palace Chennai
The Leela Palace Chennai
5 out of 5
175 Sathya Dev Avenue Extn, MRC Nagar, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
Free Cancellation
AU$167
per night
Feb 14 - Feb 15

This family-friendly Chennai hotel is located by the sea, within 3 mi (5 km) of Kapaleeswarar Temple and Marina Beach. Phoenix Market City and Chennai Trade ...

4.6/5Exceptional! (331 reviews)

"Ambience , cleanliness and staff were excellent . We had the premier room which was huge and beautifully decorated , great views of the Bay of Bengal . Gorgeous bathroom . Loved the little touches such as chocolates / cookies and fruit on request. The clarity and cleanliness Of the swimming pool ..."…"

Reviewed on 16 Jan. 2020

The Leela Palace 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
AU$232
per night
Jan 24 - Jan 25

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! (256 reviews)

"One of the best hotels that I’ve had the pleasure of staying; excellent food and very helpful staff"…"

Reviewed on 5 Jan. 2020

ITC Grand Chola, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Chennai
Hyatt Regency Chennai
Hyatt Regency Chennai
5 out of 5
365 Anna Salai, Teynampet, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
AU$158
per night
Feb 1 - Feb 2

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! (268 reviews)

"The overall stay was comfortable. Good breakfast. I wish the bathroom sliding doors have locks. And have a bathrobe and slippers for the max number of ppl the room could support. There was only one set. And please control the humidity. Our room felt a little damp."…"

Reviewed on 4 Dec. 2019

Hyatt Regency Chennai

Popular things to do in Chennai

Marina Beach
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Marina Beach

4/5(10 reviews)

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

Kapaleeswarar Temple
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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.

Fort St. George
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Fort St. George

4/5(4 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.

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$41

Embark on a private tour to discover the sights of Tamil Nadu's capital. Visit the former British stronghold of Fort St. George and see the world-famous collection at the Government Museum. Witness the vibrant Marina Beach and see the graceful San Thome Basilica, built by Portuguese settlers.

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

AU$107

Pick up at 0800hrs from hotel in Chennai city center by our driver. Discover the history of Hinduism in India as you see beautiful and ancient temples on a full-day tour with a private guide.

One Day Mahabalipuram Tour From Chennai
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One Day Mahabalipuram Tour From Chennai

AU$72

Our driver will pick you from at the hotel/Airport in Chennai. Afterward drive to Mahabalipuram is renowned the world over for its exquisite 6th century rock cut temples and intricate statues of stone.

Half Day Heritage Building with Culture Tour in Chennai
Image for Half Day Heritage Building with Culture Tour in Chennai

Half Day Heritage Building with Culture Tour in Chennai

AU$86

Our driver will pick you from your hotel at 9:00 AM in Chennai and move you in a private Ac cab to visit famous Buildings of the city.

Day Tour of Kapaleeshwarar Temple & Marina Beach in Chennai
Image for Day Tour of Kapaleeshwarar Temple & Marina Beach in Chennai

Day Tour of Kapaleeshwarar Temple & Marina Beach in Chennai

AU$144

Our driver will pick you from your hotel or airport in Chennai and we start your tour of Chennai with a visit to the St. George Fort, located on the banks of the Bay of Bengal. The fort is believed to be the first establishment of the British in India.

Rugweaving
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Rugweaving

AU$22

Itinerary They will have an opportunity to see our in house weaver work on a silk on silk rug. And also, learn a few techniques of rug weaving. We will also take you through the process of making a rug.

Reviews of Chennai

3.8

Guest rating

5 - Excellent
6
5 - Excellent 20%
4 - Good
16
4 - Good 53.333333333333336%
3 - Okay
5
3 - Okay 16.666666666666668%
2 - Disappointing
1
2 - Disappointing 3.3333333333333335%
1 - Terrible
2
1 - Terrible 6.666666666666667%

4/5 - Good

Christine

Jan 5, 2020

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

4/5 - Good

bg

Dec 19, 2019

Interesting to just walk around the streets

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Oct 28, 2019

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

4/5 - Good

Rasiah

Oct 11, 2019

Excellent city for ladies shopping. Car hiring is good.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Jun 22, 2019

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

2/5 - Disappointing

Verified traveler

Jun 22, 2019

Chennai requires a full study of Waste Management. Roadsides are dumped with all kinds of Rubbish. There is good potential to engage a consultant to review current system and the remedy needed.

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