Chennai is one of the vibrant cities in India. Situated on the coastlines of Bay of Bengal, Chennai is the southern jewel of India and the capital city of Tamil Nadu. Formerly known as Madras, Chennai keeps a perfect balance between traditional culture and thriving urban culture. All thanks to the geographical location, Chennai is also home to the second largest beach in the world - Marina beach is one of the popular hangout spots in the city. The beach is lined with street food stalls, make a stop there and try out some hot bajjis. You will come across all age group of people either walking, jogging, playing cricket, or simply sit by the beach and cherish the waves washing the shore.

Having been under colonial precedency, Chennai is a perfect place to witness a fantastic blend of pre-historic and colonial era architectural marvels. While Chennai is famed for its century-old temples bringing out the true Dravidian architecture, It is also the place to see some old British Museums, Neo-Gothic cathedrals, and colonial fort.

Top 10 places to see in Chennai

Marina Beach

Located on the eastern side of Chennai facing the bay of Bengal, Marina beach is one of the beautiful sandy beaches in India. It also happens to be India’s longest beach and world’s second-longest of it’s kind. This 13 km long beach attracts tourists and locals who come here to unwind and take a dip in the beautiful waters washing up to the shores. The road facing the beach is one known for some remarkable landmarks that includes, Madras University, Senate House, Cricket stadium, Swami Vivekananda Memorial house, and All India Radio building. You will also come across numerous statues of eminent personalities on the roadside along the beach. Make sure to try some tasty street snacks when you visit the beach.

St George fort

Chennai, formerly known as the Madras had been one of the oldest British colonies and eventually became the southern capital for the British. Madras is one of the port cities in the coromandel coast, became of the major place of trade for the British, French and the Dutch. To protect the English trade interests, the British then decided on the need for a Fort. In the year 1644, the British built this fort and named after a Patron saint of England Saint George. For a brief time, the fort was under the threat of French invasion and Mysore ruler Hyder Ali, later the British came out strong and the fort became the main center of British administration in the south. The fort complex has two cities specifically called the White town and the Black town, While the white town is where the English and the Europeans stayed, the black town was for the dockworkers and the locals. You will also come across St. Mary’s church and Fort Museum. The fort is now well maintained by the archaeological survey of India.

Egmore Government Museum

Established in the year 1851, the Government Museum in Egmore is the second oldest museum in India. This museum is of Human history and culture with an archaeological collection. Egmore Government Museum is home to one of the largest collections of Roman antiques outside Europe. The museum is built in the Indo-Saracenic style of architecture with a rich collection of paintings belonging to Raja Ravi Varma and bronze idol dating back to 1000 B.C. It is a must-visit museum in Chennai

Fort Museum

Situated in the fort complex of St. George fort, this beautiful museum was established in the year 1948 that houses to an impressive collection of beautiful antiques belonging to the colonial years. The antiques include war equipment, medals, coins, statues, and paintings.

St. Mary’s Church

This beautiful church is possibly one of the oldest British buildings in India, located in the Fort complex of St. George. It is also the oldest Anglican church that was built in the year 1678. Visit this age-old church and explore the beautiful architecture of the colonial era. It is definitely an awes-trucking place to be in Chennai

Kapaleeshwar Temple

This ancient temple dedicated to lord shiva was originally built by the Pallava emperors. It was however destroyed by the Portuguese explorers and later rebuilt by the Vijayanagar kings. Thus you will see an architectural blend of Dravidian and Vijayanagar style of architecture. Century-old temple sure does receives hundreds of devotees every day.

Santhome Basilica

Built between 14th and 15th century A.D by the Portuguese, Santhome Cathedral Basilica is a beautiful church and a popular pilgrim center. Designed in the Neo-Gothic style, Santhome cathedral is a popular tourist attraction in Chennai. Located very close to Marina Beach, one can definitely visit this church on the way.

Guindy national park

Guindy national park is one of the smallest national parks in India located in Chennai. Home to spotted deer, blackbucks, white bucks, river otter, hyena, bonnet monkey, civet cat, jackals, pangolin, hedgehog and common mongoose etc; this beautiful national park has a good bio-diversity.

Theosophical society

This beautiful eco spot is founded in 1875 AD lies on the bank od Adyar river. This vastly spread area is covered in lush green vegetation and tall trees. It is a perfect place for beautiful walks and a place to read a good book under the tree.

Best time to visit

This beautiful city is one of the popular destinations for cultural and religious tourism. Like many beautiful coastal cities in India, Chennai is also extremely hot and sultry almost throughout the year. It is best visited in the month of November to February. The weather during these months is pleasant to roam around the city and a perfect time to enjoy the cultural heritage Chennai has to offer.

Where to eat?

Burma Bazaar – It is the busiest market where you will come across a vibrant cultural exchange of the Tamil-Burmese community. While the market is known for various book shops and cheap electronics, Burma Bazaar is a fantastic place to try fabulous street food especially great Burmese street food. The must-try dish is Athouk – a yummy Burmese salad with an option of boiled egg and Mohinga a traditional Burmese soup.

Janal Kadai in Mylapore – It is a pretty modest set up in narrow lanes leading to Kapaleeshwar temple. Jannal in Tamil means Window and Kadai mean a shop or a stall. This modest place is literally a Window shop where one can expect fantastic Bajjis and bondas.

A stall outside Alsa Mall, Egmore – This is a very popular stall known for outstanding bread omelet situated right outside Alsa Mall. It is one of the top favorites for the locals to hang out and eat world-class bread omelets and sandwiches. 

How to reach

Chennai is one of the major metropolitan cities in the country that is well connected to major cities and countries around the world. Let us look at some of the best modes of transportation required to reach Chennai.

Air: Chennai is a metro city in India, has a very well connected airport; both international and domestic. Having been the third busiest airports in India; domestic airport connects to almost all the major cities in the country  and the international airports connect to important cities such as London, Frankfurt, Singapore, Dubai, Kuala Lampur, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and so on.. Traveling by air is the fastest and efficient way of reaching Chennai.

Train: Travelling by rail is probably the most comfortable way of reaching Chennai if you don’t have time restrictions. Chennai is home to one of the oldest rail services in the country along with Mumbai and Kolkata. There are super-fast trains and an express train connecting Chennai to cities such as Mumbai, Hyderabad, Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi, Bangalore, Delhi, Bhubaneshwar, Kolkata, Chandigarh, Ahmedabad, etc..

Road: There are a number of interstate buses connecting Chennai and its neighboring states. The roads are very well maintained for a smooth drive.