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Chennai
Travel Guide

Chennai showing a city

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

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
The price is Rs3,850 per night from 20 Apr to 21 Apr
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! (336 reviews)
"Wonderful experience!!"

Reviewed on 4 Apr 2021

ITC Grand Chola, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Chennai
Taj Connemara
Taj Connemara
5 out of 5
Binny Road, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
Free cancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is Rs3,000 per night from 23 Apr to 24 Apr
Located in Central Chennai, this luxury hotel is 1.1 mi (1.7 km) from Consulate General of the United States, Chennai, and within 3 mi (5 km) of University of ...
4.4/5Excellent! (245 reviews)
"It was a good stay and I really liked the service and staff"

Reviewed on 18 Jan 2021

Taj Connemara
Courtyard by Marriott Chennai
Courtyard by Marriott Chennai
4 out of 5
564 Anna Salai, Teynampet, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
The price is Rs2,850 per night from 7 May to 8 May
Located in Central Chennai, this spa hotel is 0.6 mi (1 km) from Consulate General of the United States, Chennai, and within 3 mi (5 km) of Anna University and ...
4.1/5Very Good! (175 reviews)
"I made this reservation for my parents and they are happy about their stay"

Reviewed on 5 Mar 2021

Courtyard by Marriott Chennai
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
Swarna Sudarshan Service Apartments
Swarna Sudarshan Service Apartments
2.5 out of 5
No 16 Anna St, Chennai, TN
The price is Rs1,350 per night from 3 May to 4 May
Situated near the airport, this villa is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Old Mahabalipuram Road and 2.7 mi (4.3 km) from VGP Universal Kingdom. MGM Dizzee World and Indian ...
Swarna Sudarshan Service Apartments
Sai Orbit Serviced Apartments
Sai Orbit Serviced Apartments
3 out of 5
22 SIRNIVASA PALACE,LAKSHMI AVENUE, BAJANAI KOVIL STREET, KATTUPAKKAM, Chennai, TAMILNADU
The price is Rs1,585 per night from 20 Apr to 21 Apr
Located in Kattupakkam, this apartment building is within 2 miles (3 km) of Sri Ramachandra University, Aravind Eye Hospital - Chennai and Sri Kamakshi Amman ...
3.5/5Good! (2 reviews)
Not so happy
"The staff not aware of booking through expedia. Had to show the official email to them they were asking how much we paid to expedia. Too disappoiting questions to be asked to Guests!"

Reviewed on 27 Jan 2018

Sai Orbit Serviced Apartments
OYO 16596 Akash Inn Elite
OYO 16596 Akash Inn Elite
2.5 out of 5
25, 1st Main Rd., Karpagam Gardens, Adyar, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
The price is Rs929 per night from 2 May to 3 May
Located in Adyar, this apartment building is within 1 mile (2 km) of Theosophical Society Headquarters, Edward Elliot's Beach and Old Mahabalipuram Road. Indian ...
OYO 16596 Akash Inn Elite
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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