Top 10 Things to Do in Chennai

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Chennai, the capital city of Tamil Nadu, is a vibrant metropolis that boasts of a rich cultural heritage and a modern cosmopolitan lifestyle. From stunning beaches to historic temples, from delicious street food to high-end restaurants, Chennai has something to offer to every kind of traveler. Here are the top 10 things to do in Chennai that should definitely be on your itinerary.

1. Visit the Kapaleeswarar Temple

The Kapaleeswarar Temple is one of the oldest and most famous temples in Chennai. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, this temple is known for its stunning architecture and intricate carvings. It is also home to a bustling market where you can buy everything from flowers to traditional clothing.

2. Explore Fort St. George

Fort St. George, built in the 17th century, is a historic landmark in Chennai. It houses the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly and the Secretariat, as well as a museum that showcases the city’s colonial past. The fort also has a church, St. Mary’s, which is the oldest Anglican church in India.

3. Relax at Marina Beach

Marina Beach, the longest urban beach in India, is a must-visit attraction in Chennai. Take a stroll along the sandy shore, enjoy the cool sea breeze, and try some of the delicious street food that is sold here. The beach also offers several water sports activities, including surfing and parasailing.

4. Shop at T. Nagar

T. Nagar, one of the busiest shopping districts in Chennai, is a paradise for shopaholics. From traditional silk sarees to trendy western wear, this area has something for everyone. Don’t forget to haggle for a good deal!

5. Visit the Government Museum

The Government Museum in Chennai is one of the oldest and largest museums in India. It has an extensive collection of art and artifacts, including ancient sculptures, paintings, and coins. The museum also has a children’s section and a natural history section.

6. Try the Local Cuisine

Chennai is famous for its delicious and spicy food. From the famous South Indian dosa and idli to the mouth-watering biryani and seafood, the city has a wide range of dishes to offer. Don’t forget to try the filter coffee, a popular local beverage.

7. Visit the Santhome Cathedral

The Santhome Cathedral, located in the Mylapore neighborhood, is a beautiful church that dates back to the 16th century. It is believed to be built over the tomb of St. Thomas, one of the apostles of Jesus Christ. The cathedral has stunning stained glass windows and a peaceful atmosphere.

8. Take a Trip to Mahabalipuram

Mahabalipuram, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is located about an hour’s drive from Chennai. It is known for its ancient temples and rock-cut sculptures, including the famous Shore Temple and the Five Rathas. The town also has a beautiful beach and several resorts.

9. Visit the Guindy National Park

The Guindy National Park, located in the heart of Chennai, is a green oasis amidst the urban chaos. It is home to several species of birds, animals, and reptiles, including the spotted deer and the blackbuck. The park also has a children’s park and a snake park.

10. Watch a Movie at Sathyam Cinemas

Sathyam Cinemas, located in the Royapettah neighborhood, is a popular movie theater that is known for its comfortable seating and excellent sound quality. It also has several restaurants and cafes, making it a perfect place to hang out with friends and family.

11. Experience the Chennai Music Season

The Chennai Music Season is an annual event that takes place in December and January. It is a celebration of classical music and dance, and features performances by some of the most renowned artists in India. The festival attracts music lovers from all over the world.

12. Visit the Vandalur Zoo

The Vandalur Zoo, also known as the Arignar Anna Zoological Park, is located on the outskirts of Chennai. It is one of the largest zoos in India and is home to over 170 species of animals, including tigers, lions, and elephants. The zoo also has a safari park and a butterfly house.

13. Take a Day Trip to Pondicherry

Pondicherry, a former French colony, is located about 160 kilometers from Chennai. It is known for its beautiful beaches, quaint colonial architecture, and delicious French cuisine. The town also has several yoga and meditation centers.

14. Explore the Kalakshetra Foundation

The Kalakshetra Foundation is a cultural institution that was founded in 1936. It is dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Indian classical arts, including dance, music, and theater. The foundation also offers courses and workshops in these art forms.

15. Attend a Cricket Match at Chepauk Stadium

Cricket is a religion in India, and the Chepauk Stadium in Chennai is one of the most iconic cricket stadiums in the country. It has hosted several international matches and is home to the Chennai Super Kings, one of the most successful teams in the Indian Premier League.

Chennai is a city that never fails to impress. Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, or an adventure seeker, there’s something for everyone here. From exploring ancient temples to relaxing on sandy beaches, from shopping for traditional handicrafts to experiencing classical music and dance, Chennai is a city that will leave you enchanted.


Chennai is a city of contrasts, where tradition and modernity coexist in harmony. With its rich cultural heritage, stunning architecture, delicious food, and warm hospitality, Chennai is a city that is sure to leave a lasting impression on your heart. So pack your bags and head to this vibrant metropolis to experience the best of India.

Travel Tips

Before you embark on your Chennai adventure, here are a few travel tips to keep in mind:

1. Carry Cash

While most establishments in Chennai accept credit cards, it’s always a good idea to carry some cash with you, especially when traveling to rural areas. Make sure you have enough small denomination notes as most vendors may not have change for larger notes.

2. Dress Conservatively

Chennai is a conservative city, and it’s important to dress appropriately, especially when visiting temples and other religious places. Avoid wearing shorts, short skirts, or revealing tops, and cover your shoulders and knees.

3. Stay Hydrated

Chennai can get extremely hot and humid, especially during the summer months. It’s important to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and other fluids.

4. Use Public Transport

Chennai has a well-connected public transport system that includes buses, trains, and metro. It’s a convenient and affordable way to get around the city.

5. Try the Street Food

Chennai is famous for its street food, and you shouldn’t miss out on the experience. Try the local delicacies like dosa, vada, and idli at some of the city’s popular street food stalls.

6. Book Accommodation in Advance

Chennai is a popular tourist destination, and it’s always advisable to book your accommodation in advance, especially during peak season.

7. Respect Local Customs

Chennai has a rich cultural heritage, and it’s important to respect local customs and traditions. Remove your footwear when entering temples, avoid public displays of affection, and ask for permission before taking photographs of people.

By following these travel tips, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable trip to Chennai.


  1. What is the best time to visit Chennai? The best time to visit Chennai is between November and February, when the weather is pleasant.
  2. What is the local language spoken in Chennai? The local language spoken in Chennai is Tamil, but most people also speak English.
  3. Is Chennai safe for solo female travelers? Chennai is generally a safe city for solo female travelers, but it’s always advisable to take necessary precautions.
  4. What is the currency used in Chennai? The currency used in Chennai is the Indian Rupee (INR).
  5. What is the distance between Chennai and Mahabalipuram? The distance between Chennai and Mahabalipuram is approximately 60 kilometers.
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Upendra Yadav is a seasoned Data Analyst with a passion for exploring new places and immersing himself in different cultures. With a curious mind and an eye for detail, Upendra delves deep into the history, people, and cuisine of the places he visits, and brings his experiences to life through his writing.. His work has been featured in various travel blogs, where he shares his insights and recommendations for fellow explorers. Through his writing, Upendra aims to inspire others to venture beyond their comfort zones and discover the hidden gems of the world. When he's not analyzing data or traveling to new destinations, Upendra can be found indulging in his other hobbies, such as photography and trying out new recipes. He is currently working on his next travelogue, where he hopes to take his readers on a journey to even more exciting and lesser-known destinations.