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.

Where to stay in Chennai

T Nagar
T Nagar, Chennai, India
trover photo by Shoba Krishnamurthy

T Nagar

Known for Friendly People, Dining, Luxury

4/5(14 reviews)

Notable for its restaurants, shopping and spas, T Nagar is a sought-after destination for many travellers visiting Chennai. If you want to see some sights in the area, check out Valluvar Kottam or Express Avenue.

Central Chennai
Armenian Church showing a city and street scenes

Central Chennai

Known for Temples, Cathedrals, Churches

4/5(41 reviews)

Get to know Central Chennai and its many features like its churches and monuments. You might want to explore sights like Marina Beach and Fort St. George, and you can jump on the metro at Mannadi Metro Station or LIC Metro Station to get around the city.

Guindy
Chennai featuring religious aspects

Guindy

Known for Temples, Shopping, Luxury

4/5(18 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.

Nungambakkam
Nungambakkam, Chennai, India
trover photo by Mike Belson

Nungambakkam

Known for Cafés, Monuments, Luxury

4.5/5(10 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.

Mylapore
Kapaleeswarar Temple featuring a temple or place of worship

Mylapore

Known for Dining, Monuments, Swimming

4/5(26 reviews)

Mylapore is popular for its abundant dining options, and if you're looking for more to see and do, you might think about a trip to Kapaleeswarar Temple or Chennai Citi Center Mall.

Egmore
St. Andrew\'s Kirk

Egmore

Known for Shopping, Culture, Spas

3.5/5(12 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.

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
Rs8,349
per night
25 Nov-26 Nov

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! (309 reviews)

"The view from my room was outstanding. The service exceeded my expectations. I felt I got excellent value at this hotel."…"

Reviewed on 23 Oct 2019

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
Rs9,600
per night
15 Nov-16 Nov

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! (243 reviews)

"Overall the best hospitality. Couldn't find any fault. Lounge access to happy hours are not clear, could improve to let us know,."…"

Reviewed on 22 Oct 2019

ITC Grand Chola, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Chennai
Hotel Savera
Hotel Savera
4 out of 5
No.146, Dr. Radhakrishnan Salai, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
Rs3,600
per night
17 Nov-18 Nov

Located in Mylapore, this spa hotel is within 1 mile (2 km) of Music Academy, Consulate General of the United States, Chennai and Chennai Citi Center Mall. Marina ...

3.6/5Good! (616 reviews)

"It is in the Center of the city. Easy access to hotels, malls, entertainment places."…"

Reviewed on 11 Nov 2019

Hotel Savera

Popular things to do in Chennai

Marina Beach
Image for Marina Beach

Marina Beach

4/5(36 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(21 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
Image for Fort St. George

Fort St. George

4.5/5(19 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.

Reviews of Chennai

4

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
37
5 - Excellent 31.092436974789916%
4 - Good
57
4 - Good 47.89915966386555%
3 - Okay
18
3 - Okay 15.126050420168067%
2 - Disappointing
7
2 - Disappointing 5.882352941176471%
1 - Terrible
0
1 - Terrible 0%

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

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

16 Oct 2019

very busy roads with cars and people drivers of Chennai knows how to drive through them and get to the places of visit and do our shopping, etc

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

12 Oct 2019

Weather was good this visit, not very hot!

4/5 - Good

KVsenthilkumara

19 Sep 2019

Nothing .

5/5 - Excellent

Siv

16 Sep 2019

Love the city full of history and the future.

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