Chennai Tourism, India 2020 (259 Tours & Activities)

Buzzing streets, stunning heritage temples, shopping arcades, and striking beaches are the elements that certainly allure the travel enthusiasts to visit Chennai. Located on the coast of Southeastern India, Chennai is one of the biggest cities in Tamil Nadu. It is also home to thriving technology, which makes it one of the largest IT parks in Asia. With Pondicherry and Mahabalipuram in its vicinity, it is pacing up as the cultural hub of India. This city has truly preserved its charisma all through its journey of becoming Chennai from Madras. Chennai is widely recognized for its bold flavors, warm hospitality, and colorful culture that never fails to impress the travelers.

Whether you’re seeking for spiritual bliss, party frenzy atmosphere or mind boggling fun activities Chennai has so much in store for the tourists that it offers something for everyone. You can marvel at the beautiful expanse of the world famous Marina Beach or you can engage into the trekking activities that are organized close to the waterfalls. You can also buy souvenirs from the shopping arcades and try the lip smacking cuisines of Chennai to make your entire trip memorable. The magnificently built temples of Chennai also attract tourists to visit this city. 

Chennai is not only the city of beaches and temples. This city offers you the provision to fly in the vast sky and sail in the water currents through the expansive sea. If you’re daring and have enough courage then get tied to the harness and jump from the highest mountain peak. Yes paragliding is a must try thrilling activity over here. Apart from this several other adrenaline rushing activities like river rafting, surfing and scuba diving are lined up for the tourists in Chennai. You can also indulge into rock climbing and camping session to test your adventurous streak. 

The ideal time to visit Chennai is the winter and pre-monsoon season between February and October. During this time of the year, the weather is quite pleasant, which gives you a chance to explore this city at its best. Summers can be scorching and intensely harsh as the temperature rises up to 40 degrees Celsius, so it’s best not to visit Chennai during this season. During the winter season, the temperature hovers between 20-25 degrees Celsius and cool breezes flow from the sea, providing relief from the otherwise humid weather. The months between September to July constitute the monsoon season, which is accompanied by strong winds and heavy rainfall.

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"Awsm experience... I opted for the Corporate package, I enjoyed a lot in that .... food was also delicious..... private beach having good & calm atmosphere... "
"Had a wonderful Christmas at the country club. The Food was really good. Everything about the buffet was very well organized. Had good fun.. Highly recommend for day outs. "
"Really enjoyed. It was a different quiet ambience. Thank u."
"Had a wonderful experience at VGP Golden Beach Resort. Swimming pool was well maintained. Private beach is another attraction here. Both breakfast and lunch was good and had many options in veg and non veg. Overall a nice place to spend a day with family or friends."
"amazing journey"
This was an incredibly well organized and amazing tour! Booking was so easy and the communication with the Thrillophilia team when setting up the tour was prompt and polite. The price was also very reasonable considering you are completely taken care of from the minute you are picked up to when you are dropped off.
Simply great! everything was there before you could ask for. the level of their hospitality and more importantly the presentation of everything was amazing. Thrillophilia made this trip worth the money paid. Keep up the good work, I would love to come back with them sometime again.
Its an awesome and memorable trip, only because of the hospitality which the Thrillophilia provided us. The driver was really so professional and knowledgeable one that he makes the trip full of enjoyment. Thanks for making our trip so awesome.
25 February 2020
Excellent
We had a family outing in the resort. Right from booking to check in, everything was smooth. The ambiance was cool in a clean environment. The staffs were very cooperative and found always attending the guests with smile The food was excellent. Definitely recommend to our friends and relatives in North East. Only one suggestion: The evening high tea quality may be improved. Thanks
All in all, Day-out was fantastic, you'll get everything mentioned at the Thrillophilia website. I will suggest to others also.

People Also Ask About Chennai

  1. What are some of the must do activities in Chennai with best offers?

  2. What are the affordable and comfortable beach resorts in Chennai to stay?

    With a long coastline, there is a variety of beach resorts near Chennai that not only provide a good hospitality but also great discount of upto 45% to suit your pocket:

    Silver Sands Beach resorts @ Flat 44% Off
    Ideal Resort @ Flat 31% Off
    Mamalla Resort @ Flat 37% Off
    Country Club Jade Beach Resort @ Flat 45% Off
    Green Coconut Resort @ Flat 44% Off
  3. Travel advice

    • Chennai is cosmopolitan, but there are some strict rules with regard to smoking in public places. It is against the law in Chennai to smoke in public areas.

    • Learn a few words in Tamil to negotiate better in the native language of people in Chennai. People in Chennai are passionate about Tamil, and prefer to speak in this language only.

    • Do not travel by autos in Chennai, they will charge you multifold times, and never use the meter attached to the auto.

    • Chennai is super hot, and always carry a water bottle along with you, and stay hydrated, wherever you go within the city.

    • Nightlife in Chennai is still at a primary stage and you have a few bars and pubs at this place.

    • Resort stays are available mostly on the outskirts of Chennai. Although you will find many hotels and budget accommodations in the city.

    • Do not wear short or skimpy clothes in Chennai, else you will invite unwelcome stares from public.

    • Never ever poke fun at the gods of Chennai who are movie stars. Especially, Rajinikanth, and other actors are revered like holy deities in this city.

    • When in temples, do not ask too many questions and disturb the pilgrims in the temples.

    • Many restaurants in Chennai do not serve alcohol, although you can buy from shopping centers and malls.

  4. Drinking Laws

    Chennai has been a dry state for the longest of time, so do not expect flowing imported liquor in the city. A few hotels and restaurants still sell liquor, many don't. Although you can buy branded alcohol from the malls and shopping centers.


  5. Our Recommendations: What you can’t afford to miss?

    Beaches and amusement parks
    You can wake up early morning and go to the Marina beach and enjoy the view of the sunrise while you take a walk there. There are no water sports or any other activities available within Chennai. People come here either in the morning or evening to spend some quiet time. The Marina beach ends at the Edward Elliot’s beach at the Besant Nagar in Chennai. You can also take family trips to the Queensland amusement park in Chennai. At the Arignar Anna Zoo park, you can take the deer safaris, and get a view of white tigers, otters, chimpanzees, and go on lion safaris. 

    Temple tours and cathedrals
    Chennai is a sacred place for pilgrimage as well. You will find temples like, Kapaleeshwarar Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and Parvathi. It is said that Goddess Parvathi worshipped Lord Shiva in the form of peacock at this place. The Parthasarathy Temple is dedicated to Lord Krishna. This is an 8th century old vaishnavite temple. The Church of Our Lady of Light is a Roman Catholic shrine built with Portuguese architecture. The San Thome Basilica in Chennai was built by the Portuguese in the 16th century. The Vadapalani Andavar Temple is dedicated to Lord Murugan, the son of Lord Shiva. 

    Mini excursions and water sports
    You can visit museums, crocodile bank that is close to Mahabalipurm, 44 kilometers away from Chennai. For water sports like canoeing, boating, and all backwater activities, you can visit Muttukadu which is only 36 kilometers away from Chennai. It has a lot of greenery and landscape that you can go sightseeing. You can spend your holidays here amidst peaceful atmosphere and serene nature. 60 kilometers from Chennai is Pulicat, also known as a seashore town. At Pulicat, you can enjoy bird watching of many migratory birds, the Dutch Fort, and enjoy the view of Bay of Bengal. The Covelong beach that is 40 kilometers away from Chennai offers many water sports and adventure activities as well. 

    Historical and heritage tours
    You will find many historical buildings spread across Chennai and also places near this city. Thanjavur district near Chennai has sculptures and monuments from the Chola dynasty. You can find many significant temples and monuments that have an esoteric architecture from 13th century AD. 

  6. What you will like there?

    Beaches and mini excursions

    Chennai has many weekend getaway options for tourists and people living in the city to relax and enjoy these activities. The beaches are serene, and only beaches away from Chennai have water sports activities. You can also take mini trips to places near Chennai.


    Shopping and eating out

    You can go shopping for authentic and a variety of silk and cotton fabrics and clothing. They are famous for ethnic kanchiveram sarees. You can gorge on the rice dishes, sambar, idli, snacks, and many other spicy dishes served across Chennai. There are also many restaurants that serve continental, European, and cuisine of other ethnicities.


    Religious tours

    You can visit temples and cathedrals as they are considered the most revered and sacred in Chennai. The architecture and the rituals here are entirely different from that of other places in India. Elaborate pujas are performed by the temple pundits and sanctity is maintained at all the temples.


  7. Recommended reads for destination

    Website :

    Tamil Nadu Tourism

    Books :

    Madras Rediscovered by S Muthiah


  8. Is Chennai safe?

    Yes, Chennai is an extremely safe destination as it experiences much less crime than the other Indian cities. It was ranked as the 121st safest country in the entire world. But you need to be vigilant about your safety at all times as pickpocketing is quite common over here.

    Especially when you’re traveling through public transport, or you’re near the beach area or main tourist sites, make sure to keep your money and cards safely.

  9. When is the best time to visit Chennai?

    Due to its proximity to the sea, Chennai enjoys tropical weather for most parts of the year. Except for a few hot months during summer, it’s pleasant to visit anytime of the year. But if you want to really want to enjoy the city and experience its rich and vibrant culture then the best months to visit are December and January.

     

    • December and January: This period is commonly referred to as the Madras Music Season and the Chennai Music Festival is held during this time too, so it’s going to be double treat for you.
  10. How to reach Chennai?

    Chennai is a big Metropolitan City and therefor can be accessed by Air, Bus, Road and Train.

    • Air: The Chennai International Airport is only 7 km’s away from the city and is called the Anna International Airport. It has two terminals and most Domestic and International carriers have direct flights to the city. It is also well- connected to most International Airports.
    • Bus: The CMBT is amongst Asia’s largest and busiest bus terminals. Seven state owned bus services operator busses from various locations in South India to and from Chennai. Depending on your budget you can chooses from a range of busses such as deluxe, semi deluxe, sleepers etc.
    • Train: Chennai is the headquarters of Southern Railway and has three main railways stations. Chennai Central and Chennai Egmore connect intercity and interstate trains. The third station is Tambaram which caters to the local suburban area. Chennai is well connected to ll major cities in India by way of express and super fast trains.
    • Road: Chennai has an excellent and well-connected road network with most of the neighbouring towns. It is connected to 5 national highways leading to major cities like Kolkata, Bengaluru, Madurai, Tiruvallur, Nellore, Vellore and Pondicherry.  
  11. How much it will cost for the Chennai trip?

    The cost of your Chennai trip will depend on the preferences in terms of the hotel and food options that you select. Since Chennai is not a very costly city, you can have an amazing trip under the budget of Rs 20000-25000.

    The average price that you’ll need to pay for a hotel for two people is around Rs 2000, and the average cost for a day meal would be around Rs 500. To further reduce the cost of your Chennai trip, you can take a well-executed package that will cover everything ranging from accommodation, food to sightseeing under your budget.

  12. What is Chennai famous for?

    Chennai exhibits the perfect amalgamation of music, drama, culture, and art and is one of the biggest economic and cultural center in the southern region. Chennai is extremely famous for its exotic beaches where you can experience soothing air, and try your hands at various water sports activities. From the mouth-watering cuisines to white sand beaches and enthralling museums, Chennai offers everything to the travelers.

    This city houses some of the most famous Hindu temples and Churches where you can seek the ultimate bliss. The Thousand Light mosque, Connemara Public Library, Birla Planetarium, and Marina Beach are the major attraction of Chennai that should be a must-visit on your travel list.

  13. Which are the best places to visit in Chennai?

    Although there is an endless list of amazing places to visit in Chennai, here is our pick of the best amongst them all:

    • Marina Beach
    • Breezy Beach
    • Marundeeswarar Temple
    • MGR Film City
    • Arignar Anna Zoological Park
    • VGP Golden Beach
    • Valluvar Kottam
    • Akkarai Beach
    • Ashtalakshmi Temple
    • Vivekananda House
    • Santhome Cathedral Basilica
    • Dash ‘N’ Splash (Water Park)
    • ISKCON Temple
    • Elliot’s Beach
    • Connemara Library
    • Prakasam Salai
  14. What are the different things/activities to do in Chennai?

    There is so much do in Chennai, but here is our pick of the best things and activities to do in Chennai.

    • Surfing and Paddle Boating
    • Visit to the Arignar Anna Zoological Zoo
    • Attend a Folk-Dance Performance
    • Take a Traditional Massage
    • Fishing
    • Visit the MGM Dizzee World
    • Off roads Sports
    • Scuba Diving
    • Parasailing
    • Laser Tag
    • PaintBall
    • Boating
  15. Is Chennai worth visiting?

    Yes, the trip to Chennai will surely be worth cherishing for a lifetime. This city beguiling with life offers everything that you can expect from an ideal trip. From the diversity in cuisines to the adrenaline rushing water sports activities, architectural marvels, and shopping arcades, there are plenty of things that will satiate your mind over here.

    From contemporary to old, scenic wonders to cultural marvels and nature to buzzing nightlife, Chennai offers everything to make your experience turn into a lasting memory.

  16. Which are the best places to experience local cuisine in Chennai?

    Here is our pick of the top 10 restaurants in Chennai to enjoy the local cuisine.

     

    • ID Meal for two here cost approx. INR 600 and 10 USD.
    • Prems Graama Bhojanam meal for two here cost approx. INR 300 and 5 USD.
    • Mana Andhra Meal for two here cost approx. INR 600 and 10 USD.
    • Madras -  The Raintree meal for two here cost approx. INR 1800 and 30 USD.
    • Andhikkadai meal for two here cost approx. INR 300 and 5 USD.
    • Welcome Hotel meal for two here cost approx. INR 250 and 4 USD.
    • Sangeetha Veg Restaurant meal for two here cost approx. INR 450 and 7 USD.
    • Maplai meal for two here cost approx. INR 100 and 15 USD.
    • Mahamudra meal for two here cost approx. INR 700 and 10 USD
    • Dakshin – Crowne Plaza Chennai Adyar Park meal for two here cost approx. INR 1800 and 30 USD
  17. Why was the name of Madras changed to Chennai?

    The name of Madras was officially changed to Chennai on 17th July 1996 by the government of Tamil Nadu. This was done to break free from the age-old legacy that was stamped by the British colonizers. Over the years, as a matter of linguistic pride, it became important to reclaim the name of those cities that had the hang of the names given by the previous administrators.

    Madras, too, was looked at as colonial rulers’ unwanted legacy, and therefore its name was changed to Chennai. The name Chennai was derived initially from Chennai Pattanam that was a town built by the Britishers.

  18. What are the best public transport modes to commute around Chennai?

    • The best public transport system in Chennai has got to be its local busses. The CMBT is one of Asia’s largest and busiest bus exchanges. It is located in the city on the inner ring road. Around seven state run bus services operate from here connecting all the major parts of the city.

    The buses are very cheap and fares start at approx INR 4 Per Person. There is also the option of Air Conditioned Deluxe and Semi Deluxe busses, although the fares for those are higher. Even then the busses are still the most cost-efficient way to make your way around the city.

     

    • Another good transport mode are the local autos, although you will need to negotiate the fare with them before getting in.
  19. What can I buy in Chennai?

    Chennai is extremely famous for the handicraft items and pure mulberry silk saree. Apart from this, you can also buy antique jewelry and leather items from the shops over here. If you want to take back more than just a few memories from your trip to Chennai, then the souvenir shops should be your ideal stop.

  20. Which are the best places for shopping in Chennai?

    Here is our pick for the 8 best places to shop in Chennai

     

    • Nagar: This is a favourite among the locals and you will find everything from a Pin to an Elephant here.
    • Sowcarpet: If you are looking for some North Indian style street shopping then this is the place to visit.
    • Ritchie Street: This is the place to visit to buy all your electronic good, although it's best to take a local so the vendors don’t fool you.
    • Spencer Plaza: This is the oldest mall in Chennai and sells everything from art, curtains to pashmina at very competitive prices.
    • Pondy Bazar: This is the ultimate street shopping paradise in Chennai.
    • Parry’s Corner: If you are looking to buy in bulk and save some money head here as this is the wholesale market of Chennai.
    • Nungambakkam: This is a high-end shopping district of Chennai. Although expensive you can shop at some amazing stores as well as enjoy fine dining in the area.
    • Mylapore Luz corner:  More than buying this place is the answer to all your alteration needs.
  21. Which language is spoken in Chennai?

    Tamil is the official language of Chennai that is used by the locals for communication. However, since Chennai is deemed to be a cosmopolitan city, many other languages like Hindi and English are also spoken over here. Apart from the mother tongue Tamil, English is also touted as the official language of Chennai.

  22. What are the famous beaches near Chennai?

    There are many beaches in Chennai to enjoy a evening stroll and watch the gorgeous sunsets. Top ten beaches in Chennai are as follows:

    • Covelong Beach
    • Elliot’s Beach
    • Marina Beach
    • Neelamkarai Beach
    • Thiruvanmiyur Beach
    • Breezy Beach
    • VGP Golden Beach
    • Santhome Beach
    • Pebble Beach
    • East Coast Road Beaches
  23. Why Chennai is called Detroit of India?

    Chennai is the hub of major automobile manufacturing companies and other allied industries and is therefore known as The Detroit of India. The leading carmakers, like Hyundai, Ford, Royal Enfield, and Nissan, are based in Chennai. This city accounts for around 60% of automotive exports and is the base of all the big auto names.

  24. Which are the best beaches for surfing near Chennai?

    Although there are numerous beaches in Chennai the best beach to surf would be the Kovalam Beach. You can also surf on the beaches in East Coast Road on your way to Pondicherry and Mahabalipuram.

  25. What is Chennai's famous food?

    Chennai is a paradise for food lovers and is known to be the origin point for chicken 365 dish. It offers a lot more than the traditional dosa and idli. You can have a refreshing and fresh filter coffee to gear yourself for an eventful day. Kuzhi Paniyaram, Nethili fry, and Venn Pongal are the staple of Chennai, and you must try these mouth-watering dishes.

  26. What are the famous walking tours one can take around Chennai?

    Walking Tours are very popular in Chennai. The top tours include:

     

    • Peacock Trail and Walking Tour in Mylapore cost approx. 23 USD Per Person or 1500 INR.
    • Cultural Chennai Tour and Healing Temple Visit duration is around 4.5 hours and costs approx. 69 USD or 4500 INR.
    • Bazaar Trail is organized by Storytrail, they conduct the tour 4 times a day.
    • Once Upon in Madurai again organized by Storytrail, they conduct the tour 4 times a day.
    • Potters Trail a visit to the potter’s village organized by Storytrail, they conduct the tour 4 times a day.
  27. Which is the best time to visit Chennai?

    Pre-monsoon and winter is the best time to visit Chennai as this city remains sparingly hot during the rest of the time of the year, which might make it difficult for you to explore this city at its best. The period between February to October is the ideal time to visit here as the weather remains pleasant and extremely heart-whelming.

  28. Where can I go with my girlfriend to Chennai?

    When it comes to a romantic escapade, there is no dearth of places in Chennai where you can have an amazing time with your girlfriend. At Marina Beach, experience the cool breeze and the roaring sea will make your love grow by leaps and bounds.

    If you wish to go on a long drive with your girlfriend, then the east coast road can be your ideal destination. You can also spend quality time with your girlfriend in the backwater by visiting Muttukadu Boat House. Azzuri Bay with a rooftop seating area is also ideal for a perfect date night.

  29. What are some best places for jungle Homestays near Chennai?

    There are excellent wildlife resort option in easy drivable distance for a much-needed weekend getaway from Chennai.

     

    • The Wilds at North Hay at Masinagudi.  
    • Inn The Wind at Masinagudi.
    • Bamboo Banks at Masinagudi.
    • The windflower at Bandipur.
    • Dholes Den at Bandipur.
    • Gorukana at BR Hills.
    • K Gudi Wilderness Camp at BR Hills.
  30. What are the famous camping destinations near Chennai?

    Camping is a popular activity in Chennai, enjoyed by locals and tourist. As a result, there are numerous places in and around Chennai if you want to scratch that camping itch.

     

    • Nagalapuramand the best time to visit is June to late January.
    • Tada Falls, and the best time to visit is June till November.
    • Yercaud, best time to visit is June to Late February.
    • Mahabalipuram, good to visit all year just except summers.
    • Gingee Fort, best time to visit is November to February.
  31. What are the famous places for adventure activities near Chennai?

    If you are an adventure junky, then there are numerous places in Chennai for you to go and satisfy your need for adventure.

     

    • Take Diversion
    • Mudstacle Run
    • Planet Adventure Paintball
    • Windertrails Adventure Club
    • Off Road Sports
  32. What is special about the zoo in Chennai?

    The Chennai zoo is India’s largest zoo in terms of area covered. It was first setup in 1855 and was India’s first Public Zoo. The zoo undertakes conservation of endangered species preventing their extinction. In addition to this, it also carries out research to promote wildlife conservation and management.

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