Chennai travel guide

Chennai tourism | Chennai guide

You're Going to Love Chennai

Chennai is a vibrant blend of coastal and urban scenery. The city formerly known as Madras was settled by the British just 400 years ago, but today it has spread to incorporate villages that are 1,000 years old.

Chennai is the capital of the state of Tamil Nadu and the so-called gateway to southern India. Although most of its residents are Tamil, you'll see traces of its British, Portuguese, Dutch, and French colonists all over the city.

A superb location on the Coromandel Coast on the Bay of Bengal, a thriving art and local culture scene, and friendly locals - what's not to love about Chennai?

Top 5 Reasons to Visit Chennai

When to Visit Chennai

Estimated hotel price

Chennai in {1}

1 night at 3-star hotel
Prices are not fixed and may vary with time

Chennai can be incredibly hot with temperatures soaring to 113 degrees Fahrenheit in the middle of summer (March to October). However, thanks to its high rainfall and proximity to the coast, the city is pleasant and enjoyable for most of the year. That said, November to February is widely considered to be the best time for a vacation in Chennai. Temperatures are a little lower and you can catch events like the traditional Chennai Music Season and the Pongal Harvest Festival.

Average temperatures
Celsius (°C)
When the weather is nice in Chennai

How to Get to Chennai

Airports near Chennai

MAA Chennai
TIR Tirupati

Airlines serving Chennai

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Where to Stay in Chennai

From the affordable to the opulent, you'll find hotels in Chennai for every occasion. Hotels such as the Lemon Tree Hotel, Ramada Chennai Egmore, or the Comfort Inn Marina Towers are great for family vacations while Le Royal Meridien, Courtyard Chennai, and the Accord Metropolitan are good luxury options.

Popular Neighborhoods in Chennai

Where to stay in popular areas of Chennai

Most booked hotels in Chennai

How to Get Around Chennai

The Cost of Living in Chennai

Shopping Streets

There are lots of malls to choose from in Chennai. Visit Express Avenue in Royapettah High Road for brands like Hamley's, Global Desi, the Body Shop, and Esprit, or pick up the latest in menswear at Chennai Citi Center in Radhakrishnan Salai. If you prefer a more authentic approach try Pondy Bazaar in Thyagaraya Nagar (T-Nagar) for leather accessories, footwear, and cotton clothing or Ranganathan Street and South Usman Road in Panagal Park for jewelry and fine silk saris.

Groceries and Other

More Supermarket, Grace Supermarket, and Amma Nanna Supermarket Chennai are ideal for food and basics. You'll pay ₹63 for a dozen large eggs and ₹46 for a quart of whole milk.

Cheap meal
Cheap meal
₹ 109
A pair of jeans
A pair of jeans
₹ 2,246
Single public transport ticket
Single public transport ticket
₹ 16
₹ 101

Where to Eat in Chennai

Street food is popular and you'll find vendors selling traditional dosa, a light crepe made from rice flour, with sambar (lentil and tamarind stew) or muttai dosai, a variant made with black lentils, all over the city. For something more filling, try Southern Indian Andhra food including biryani dishes, pickles, and chutney at Amaravathi in Cathedral Road, or visit Southern Spice at the Taj Coromandel Hotel for an upscale version. Be sure to try traditional Indian deserts like kulfis and faloodas - DOJO Kulfis (Mundaga Kanni Amman Koil St) is a Chennai institution! A meal in a mid-range restaurant costs ₹500.

Other popular cities in Tamil Nadu