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.

Known for

Shopping, Cafés and Temples

Explore map

Where to stay in Chennai

T Nagar
Image for T Nagar
Trover photo by Lynn Yamin

T Nagar

Friendly People, Dining, Luxury

A welcoming neighbourhood, T Nagar offers a variety of options for restaurants. Broaden your horizons with some local shopping.

Nungambakkam
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Trover photo by Shoba Krishnamurthy

Nungambakkam

Cafés, Monuments, Luxury

Nungambakkam is a welcoming neighbourhood.

Mylapore
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Trover photo by Shoba Krishnamurthy

Mylapore

Dining, Monuments, Swimming

A welcoming neighbourhood, Mylapore offers a variety of options for restaurants and bars. Many visitors come for its beautiful outdoor setting, especially the beaches.

Egmore
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Trover photo by Shoba Krishnamurthy

Egmore

Shopping, Culture, Spas

Egmore is a neighbourhood that welcomes all visitors. The neighbourhood has many appealing features, among them its festivals and rich culture.

Anna Nagar
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Trover photo by Shoba Krishnamurthy

Anna Nagar

Anna Nagar is a welcoming neighbourhood.

Triplicane
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Trover photo by Tracey Heppner

Triplicane

Triplicane is a neighbourhood that welcomes all visitors.

Top hotels in Chennai

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Image for Hyatt Regency Chennai
Hyatt Regency Chennai
5 out of 5
365 Anna Salai, Chennai
Rs5,450/night
4 Aug-5 Aug
4.1/5Very Good! (230 reviews)

"Central location is a plus point . Property did not look attractive . Exterior need to look better."…"

Reviewed on 16 Jul 2019

Hyatt Regency Chennai
Image for Hotel Savera
Hotel Savera
4 out of 5
No.146, Dr. Radhakrishnan Salai, Chennai
Rs3,600/night
4 Aug-5 Aug
3.6/5Good! (582 reviews)

"We liked thestaff service.room service was very good overall a good service"…"

Reviewed on 21 Jun 2019

Hotel Savera
Image for Taj Club House
Taj Club House
5 out of 5
No 2 Club House Road, Chennai
Rs6,750/night
27 Jul-28 Jul
4.4/5Wonderful! (292 reviews)

"Excellent food. Room is equipped with DVD player. Good TV channels selection. Comfortable bed and had a good night sleep. However, would suggest to have bidet combined in toilet for easy cleansing."…"

Reviewed on 25 Jun 2019

Taj Club House

Popular things to do in Chennai

Marina Beach
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Marina Beach

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

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

Spot impressive architecture and admire displays of British Raj artifacts as you explore this 17th-century citadel, one of Chennai’s finest colonial monuments.

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