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  • Long, beautiful beaches and ancient temples adorned with divine images of carved Gods are the highlights among the best places to visit in Chennai. From old to contemporary and from nature to architecture, Chennai possesses an impressive variety of places to impress and entertain tourists. The choices of tourist places in Chennai are so wide that it is a challenge in itself to explore every good place in Chennai. That is probably the reason why Chennai is in almost every traveller’s bucket list, at least in India. Foreign tourists, however, visit Chennai in great numbers too.

    Chennai, which was earlier called Madras, is the capital city of the South Indian state, Tamil Nadu. This city has an interesting history due to the major historical phases it has been through, and is one of the important educational, economical and cultural centers in southern India. Being a coastal city, pretty and serene beaches are an important element in Chennai tourist places. Marina Beach and Elliot’s Beach are some great examples of the beaches one must spend time at, relaxing. Lazy sunsets on the gorgeous beaches of Chennai have their unique charm.

    Chennai also houses churches and temples from ancient times that exhibit an extraordinary level of architecture. San Thome Church and Kapaleeshwarar Temple confirm the presence of architectural brilliance here. The old temples of Chennai are very popular among Hindus as these temples hold great religious significance. The other architectural masterpieces that can be found here are Madras High Court Complex and Fort St. George among many others which make this city an absolute delight for the lovers of history and architecture.

    This beautiful city with abundant of amazing places also serves as an excellent destination for wildlife lovers, as places like Guindy National Park, Crocodile Bank and Arignar Anna Zoological Park with a huge range of animal species to witness exist in Chennai. All in all Chennai is an excellent option for those who prefer variety and quality.

    Visiting Chennai for the First Time? Go through these Travel Guides for an amazing trip in Chennai:

    1) Things you should not miss to do in Chennai.

    2) Best Resorts in Chennai for a Perfect Stay.

     BEST DEALS on Chennai Tour Packages.

    4) Best Adventure Sports & Activities to take in Chennai.

    5) Places for Trekking near Chennai.
  • Must Visit Places in Chennai

  • 01Marina Beach

    Marina Beach
    Image Credit : wikimedia

    India’s largest beach happens to be Chennai’s Marina Beach which extends from Fort St. George to Besant Nagar. One of the best places to visit in Chennai for viewing a spectacular sun rise, this sandy delight is lined by palm trees on one side.

    An old light house stands on the southern end of Marina along with several other structures including an aquarium, a swimming pool and a park. With food stalls, rides on ponies, kite flying and beach games to entertain you, a visit to here must be included on your trip to this city.

    Day Outs Tours to take in Chennai to know the every bit of this beautiful city.

  • 02Covelong Beach

    Covelong Beach

    Located a distance of 40km from Chennai, on the coast of Coromandel, Covelong Beach is well-known for its beach activities and the serene beauty of its surroundings. Once a major port, one comes across it on the way to Mahabalipuram.

    Adventure filled water activities are one of the best things to do in Chennai, and Covelong Beach is now thronged mostly by water sports enthusiasts for activities such as wind surfing and swimming. Close by are ancient monuments like forts, churches and mosques apart from the town of Mahabalipuram and the Crocodile Farm, makingCovelong Beach a popular destination for a day outing.

    Push yourself & get some thrills with the best adventure sports in Chennai.

  • 03Sri Parthasarathy Temple

    Sri Parthasarathy Temple
    Image Credit : Aj Photography - Flickr

    One of the historical places to visit in Chennai is the temple said to be the oldest in this city. Dedicated to Lord Krishna, one can see its splendid coloured gopuram apart from the other shrines that stand within the temple grounds.

    Timings: 4 am to 11:30 pm

    Entry Fee: None

    Photography: Allowed

  • 04Birla Planetarium

    Birla Planetarium

    Situated close to the Anna University in Chennai, Birla Planetarium is an important part of Periyar Science and Technology Museum. There are regular audio-visual programs on astronomy conducted here apart from exhibits that include Solar System, Cycle of Stars, Sky and Seasons, Comets and Man on the Moon. Science Park, Traffic Park and Science on Wheelsare the highlights of Science Centre which are of special interest for young visitors.

    Timings: 10 am to 5:45 pm

    Entry Fee: INR 40 for adults, INR 25 for children

    Photography: Not Allowed

    Add these best things to do in Chennai in your bucket list to enjoy to the fullest.

  • 05Elliot’s Beach

    Elliot’s Beach

    Now renamed as Besant Nagar Beach, Elliot’s is one of the places to see in Chennai and less crowded than the popular Marina Beach. On the southern side this seashore are the famedAshta Lakshmi Temple and Velanganni Church, popular among the residents of Chennai.

    The Schmidt Memorial is yet another draw of Elliott Beach which was built in remembrance of a Dutch sailor, Karl Schmidt. Head here to experience a tranquil evening overseeing the waves as they roll into the shore.

    The beach resorts in Chennai are the best when it comes to amenities. Stay at any of them for the most wonderful experience. 

  • 06San Thome Church

    San Thome Church

    An important religious spot for the Christian community, the sparkling white structure of San Thome stands on the tomb of St Thomas. This structure, which is a reminder of the colonial past of the city, has stained glass windows and a statue of St Thomas in a sitting posture. A museum, a library and a shop selling prayer material are found within the church premises too.  

    Timings: 6 am to 8 pm

    Entry Fee: None

    Photography: Allowed

    Searching places to stay on your Chennai trip? Choose form these best & unique places to stay in Chennai.

  • 07Kapaleeshwar Temple

    Kapaleeshwar Temple

    Apart from being a religious spot, what draws crowds to this temple is its unique architecture. The detailed Gopuram of this structure is 37 metres high and is a fine example of the Dravidian style of temple construction. The temple, home to the deities Shiva and Karpagambal, even holds a festival in the months of March and April.

    Timings: 5:30 am to 12 pm, 5-9 pm

    Entry Fee: None

    Photography: Allowed

  • 08Thousand Lights Mosque

    Thousand Lights Mosque

    One of the best places to see in Chennai for its architectural magnificence is this mosque which holds a special place in the Shia community. A total of 1000 oil lamps light up the hall of the mosque, which is how it got its name. Its multi-domes and twin minarets enclose the main hallwhere  men offer their prayers. There is a separate hall for the women.

    Timings: 5:30 am to 9 pm

    Entry Fee: None

    Photography: Not allowed

    Trekking is your love? There are lots of trekking options near Chennai to choose from for the ultimate thrill.

  • 09Fort St. George

    Fort St. George

    A delight for history buffs, this fort constructed during the British Rule, encloses historic monuments of St. Mary’s church and St. George museum. The museum houses artefacts from that era including paintings, coins, silverware, arms, porcelain and documents. 

    Timings: 9 am to 5 pm (except Friday)

    Entry Fee: INR 100 for foreign tourists and INR 5 for Indian visitors (only the museum)

    Photography: Allowed

    Grab the BEST DEALS on Sightseeing Tours in Chennai & don't miss any places to visit in Chennai.

  • 10Connemara Public Library

    Connemara Public Library

    Constructed in late 19th century, Connemara library is a treasure house of centuries-old publications. With a collection of over 600,000 books, it is one of Asia’s largest libraries. Be it avid readers or scholars doing research work, one could easily get lost in this enchanting world of books as they immerse themselves in their favourite activity.

    Timings: 9 am to 7:30 pm

    Entry Fee: None

    Photography: Allowed

  • 11Nettukuppam

    Who does not love the beaches, when it comes to beach there is like an open invitation for all. While you are planning your trip to Tamil Nadu then mark it on your bucket list to visit this one beach which is a hit among the people. Nettukuppam is the perfect spot for you where you can spend some time close to nature. For the photography enthusiast, this is like a double treat for you where you can click some memorable pictures.

    This broken bridge which is popularly known by the local is situated at the northernmost tip of Chennai. It is said that during the high tide the water rises to a great height where you will surely get drenched in the sea water.

    The distance from Chennai to the Nettukuppam beach is 24 km. The beach is located at the northernmost tip of the city is the Thalankuppam Pier where the beach is located.

    This is one of the most famous beach in Chennai which is visited by a huge number of people all round the year. One can see a heavy crowds during the weekends and the festival seasons. It is an ultimate tour for Photography in Nettukuppam where you can create some of your masterpiece photographs with the waves and the sea.
  • 12Guindy National Park and Snake Park

    Guindy National Park and Snake Park

    The only national park situated in the middle a city, Guindy has many birds, animals and reptiles as its residents. On visiting this place one can see blackbucks, spotted deer, jackals, tortoise and the likes. The snake park is home to cobras and pythons, while the birds found here include partridge, quail, fly catcher and buzzards. This is one of the few places to visit in Chennai with family where every member will enjoy the experience thoroughly. 

    Timings: 9 am to 5:30 pm

    Entry Fee:  INR 20 for adults, INR 5 for children

    Photography: Allowed, INR 20 for camera and INR 100 for handycam.

  • Historical Tourist Places in Chennai

  • 13Vellankani Shrine

    Vellankani Shrine

    Just off the Elliot’s Beach stands the AnnaiVailankanni Shrine which is much revered among both Christians and non-Christians. The pristine white structure of the church stands overlooking the Bay of Bengal and is visited by thousands of solace-seekers each day. One can attend the mass conducted here in both Tamil and English.

    Timings: 5 am to 9 pm

    Entry Fee: None

    Photography: Allowed

  • 14Madras High Court

    Madras High Court
    While you are in Chennai this is another place which is a must visit for you. For those of you who has some interest in learning about some judicial discussion and about different courts this is one place you should never miss while you are in Chennai. Madras High court is one of the highest court in India. The court exercise original jurisdiction over the whole city. In total there are 74 judges in the court which helps in the proper running of the jurisdiction. While you are at the court get amazed by the majestic architecture of the court. The decorated ceiling and the stained glasses are in itself a masterpiece here.

    Distance: 2.9 km from Chennai

    Location: The court is located at N Fort Rd, Parrys, George Town, Chennai, Tamil Nadu

    Open time: 10 AM- 5:45 PM

    Attraction: This is one of the major court in Chennai and the highest court in India which exercise the original jurisdiction in Chennai. And it is one of the oldest court in Chennai.

    Choose from the best attraction visit tours to take in Chennai if you don't want to miss an of the enticing places in Chennai.
  • 15Mylapore

    If you have been long planning for a vacation in Chennai than this is the time when you should explore all the exotic destination. For some when it comes to exploring Channai it is always about the weather. But we cannot miss to visit some of the best places in Chennai. Mylapore is one of the must visit place in Chennai. Mylapore is the central and the cultural hub of Channai. Known as the oldest residential area this place is historically known as Vedapuri. Located just a few kilometres to the south of the city Mylapore is now one of the most visited places in Chennai.

    Distance: 7.9 km

    Location: Mylapore is located south of the British built city Chennai.

    Best time to visit: October to March

    Attraction: Mylapore is mainly the centre hub of Chennai and here you will find a lot of religious places and temples. Don’t miss a chance to visit some of the well-known temples here like Adi Kesava Perumal Temple, Kapaleeswarar Temple, San Thome Basilica etc.
  • 16Vivekanandar House

    Vivekanandar House
    Image Credit :  Srinivasan G - Flickr
    Make your Chennai visit more special as you visit this another best places to visit in Chennai. Vivekanandar House is one place which is a must visit for you. This house id one of the important landmark in Chennai which is associated with Sri Ramakrishna Math since 1897. Vivekanandar House is the place where the great Swami Vivekananda stayed for 9 days after his return from the west. This places is visited by thousands of visitors every year. Nowadays this historic place houses a permanent exhibition on Indian Culture and Swami Vivekananda’s life.

    Distance: 5.6 km from Chennai

    Location: Vivekanandar House is located at Kamaraj Salai(Marina beach road), Neelam Basha Dargapuram, Near Triplicane, Chennai, Tamil Nadu

    Open time: 10:00 AM- 12:30 PM, 3:00 PM- 7:30 PM

    Attraction: This is one of the major attraction in Chennai as it houses a permanent exhibition on culture and Swami Vivekananda’s life. Each year thousands of visitors visit this place to learn about the life and culture which has been popularised by Swami Vievekananda.

    Weekend ahead? Plan a trip to the best places to visit near Chennai to make the most out of your weekend.
  • 17Royapuram Fishing Harbour

    Royapuram Fishing Harbour
    Image Credit : Kannan Muthuraman - Flickr
    On your Chennai visit there is one more interesting place which is a must visit for you. Well there is no doubt in that fishing is one of the leisure activities which everybody loves to do. How about a visit to the one of the busiest fish harbour where you will find people busy and even bustling in the dark. This amazing harbour can accommodate about 575 fishing boats.

    For the photography lovers you can click some of the amazing pictures of the fisherman piling up their fish and then the fisherman who are shifting their fish from the canoes. The best thing about this place are the people who shouts at the top of their voice trying to be the best bidder.

    Distance: 6 km.

    Location: The harbour is located at north of the Chennai Port and is under the administrative control of the Chennai Port Trust.

    Attraction: The harbour is very famous among the people and people from all over the world comes to visit this harbour to enjoy the fish market and the witness the collection of fish done by the fisherman. The breakwater inside the harbour leads up to 300 m into the sea.
  • 18Besant

    While you are planning your visit to Chennai then don’t miss a chance to visit this another best places to visit in Chennai which will surely make your vacation special. Located on the East Coast Bay of Bengal and bounded by Thiruvanmiyur to the South lies this amazing place Besant. Named after the famous personality Annie Besant this place is best known for its serene and tranquil setting which attracts visitors from all over the world.

    Distance: The distance from Chennai to Besant is 13.5 km

    Location: Besant is located on the east coast of Bay of Bengal.

    Attraction: the main attraction of this place is the amazing Elliot beach which was names after the Edward Elliot, Governor of Madras. For those of you who loved to visit religious places this is a double treat for them where they can visit the Annai Velankanni Church and the Ashtalakshmi Temple along the shore which is very famous among the people.
  • Places to Visit with Family & Kids

  • 19Arignar Anna Zoological Park

    Arignar Anna Zoological Park

    Located 35 km from the city centre, this zoological park is one of the places to visit in Chennai with kids. The expansive grounds of the zoo are home to 1500 species of wild beings, some of which are even endangered. An aviary, a lion safari, a deer safari and an elephant safari form the popular sections of the zoo. There is a separate section for nocturnal animals, an aquarium and a butterfly house too.

    Timings: 9 am to 5 pm (except Tuesdays)

    Entry Fee: INR 30 for adults and INR 10 for children between 5-12 years

    Photography: Allowed, INR 25 for camera and INR150 for a handycam.

  • 20Semmozhi Poonga

    Semmozhi Poonga

    overing an area of 20 acres, the Semmozhi Poonga Park is a botanical garden.Overseen by the horticultural department, it is an ideal place to visit in Chennai with family. Apart from the exotic and rare flora grown, there are also some medicinal herbs in the green houses of the park.

    Visitors can relax on the park grounds which also contain a water and rock garden, a butterfly garden, a fern garden, a sunken garden and many theme gardens.INR 15 for people over 10 years of age.

    Timings: 10 am to 8 pm (except Tuesday)

    Entry Fee: INR 15 for Adults, INR 10 for Children(Below 10 yrs)

    Photography: Allowed

  • 21Crocodile Bank

    Crocodile Bank

    Started in an effort to preserve and protect this reptile species, the Crocodile Bank even houses alligators, snakes, sea turtles and water birds. In all there are 2500 creatures within the premises of the Bank and one can spot crocs as well as ghariyals sunning themselves on the edge of the water body during the day. There is also a shop where one can purchase books and memorabilia related to these reptiles.

    Timings: 8:30 am to 5:30 pm (except Monday)

    Entry Fee: INR 35 for adults, INR10 for children below 10

    Photography: Allowed, INR 40 camera and INR 100 for video camera

  • 22Dakshina Chitra

    Dakshina Chitra

    This is one of the Best places to visit in Chennai with kids where they will be introduced to the South Indian culture of the past. Literally translating to ‘a picture of the south’,DakshinaChitra is a small village has been recreated using replicas of traditional South Indian houses dating back to the 19th and 20th centuries.

    The visitors get a peek into the lifestyle and customs of different communities of South India and also viewartefacts made by the local artisans. Another treat is one can taste a vast array of the traditional South Indian cuisine.

    Timings: 10 am to 6 pm (except Tuesday)

    Entry Fee: INR 100 for adults INR 30 for children between 5-12 and INR 250 for foreign visitors

    Photography: Allowed

  • 23MGM Dizzee World

    MGM Dizzee World
    Image Credit : wikimedia

    This amusement park, located on the East coast road, is a wholesome entertaining spot for young and old alike. With several thrilling rides and an amphi-theatre for performances, guests to Dizzee World would surely enjoy a day spent here. The water park on the premises has a wave pool apart from many other rides and slides.

    Timings: 9:30 am to 5:30 pm on weekdays, 10:30 am to 7:30 pm on weekends and holidays

    Entry Fee: INR 799 for adults (with food), INR 577 for kids (food included), INR 550 for adults, INR 450 for kids

    Photography: Allowed

  • 24Cholamandal Artist Village

    Cholamandal Artist Village
    Image Credit : wikimedia

    This artists’ commune is a platform for the resident painters and sculptors to showcase their creations to the visiting guests. Located on the fringes of Chennai, in the village of Injambakkam, Cholamandal has two galleries, an open-air theatre, a book store and a craft shop. For those interested in art and craft, this destination with a serene ambience will be an ideal outing.

    Timings: 9 am to 6:30 pm

    Entry Fee: INR 20 for adults and INR 5 for children

    Photography: Allowed

  • Places to Visit near Chennai (within 100 Kms)

  • 25Muttukadu


    A backwater area of the Bay of Bengal, Muttukadu is one of the tourist places near Chennai where one can get to indulge in water sports. With its extensive facilities, that include a restaurant, and a large number of boats, it can host visitors throughout the year.

    Distance: 31 km

    Location: Eastern coast, South of Chennai

    Best time to visit: November to March


    The Boathouse in Muttukadu is where all the action is. Apart from this, the beach at Muttukadu draws a sizeable crowd during trips to this area. Get a glimpse of various species of birds at the backwaters during migratory season.


    Rowing, water skiing, speed boat riding, wind surfing and paddle boating are possible in Muttukadu.

    Type of destination: Family and kid friendly

  • 26Mahabalipuram


    Famed for its ancient mountains, Mahabalipuram, also known as Mamallapuram, is one of the places to visit near Chennai. Placed around 60 km south from the city of Chennai, it was once a busy seaport during the dynasty of the Pallavas. Mahabalipuram is a famous spot for Team Outing near Chennai.

    Distance: 52 km

    Location: Eastern coast, South of Chennai

    Best time to visit: November to March


    The iconic Shore Temple, among the oldest temples of South India, is carved out of a large block of granite. A short distance from this place of worship is ‘Descent of the Ganges’ or‘Arjuna'sPenance’.Among the world's biggest bas-reliefs, it depicts the story of the descent of the River Ganges from Heaven to Earth. ‘PanchaRathas’ or the five chariots are again carved out of a single rock and are dedicated to the Pandavas.


    Explore and observe the fine sculpture of the various monuments standing in Mahabalipuram. The drive from Chennai to Mahabalipuram along the seashore is quite an experience too. The beach at this tourist place near Chennai is also ideal for spending a day just lounging on the sand and relaxing.

    Type of destination: Family and kid friendly, historic, beach and pilgrimage

  • 27Sadras


    The coastal town of Sadras was once a Dutch fortress which was taken over by the British in later years. It is currently in ruins but a few structures within can still be viewed.

    Distance: 71 km

    Location: Eastern coast, South of Mahabalipuram

    Best time to visit: October to March


    The glorious Sadras Fort was constructed by the Dutch as a post for exporting goods. It has a vast compound which contains a large granary, stables and structures used to mount elephants. 


    On a day trip to Sadras, one can enjoy a picnic on its beach after touring the fort.

    Type of destination:

    Family and kid friendly, historic and beach

  • 28Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary, Kanchipuram

    Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary, Kanchipuram

    This bird sanctuary is inundated with thousands of birds of varied species during the migratory season. The lake within the sanctuary is the all important source of water for these creatures, around which they build their nests and thrive.

    Distance: 78 km

    Location: Close to Palar River, south of Chennai

    Best time to Visit: November to February


    Birds of diverse origins are what you can see at this place to visit near Chennai. While some birds like cormorants, egrets, moorhens and terns are found at other places in India, others like snake bird, ibis, stork, heron and spoonbill come all the way from Europe to make Vedanthangal their home for a few months.


    Bird watching and capturing the experience with your cameras is the major activity to be carried on here.

    Type of destination: Trekking, family & kid friendly

  • 29Tiruttani


    This small town is known for the temple dedicated to Murugan that stands on top of a hillock here. One can reach the temple by climbing up the 365 steps that take you to it. A few religious festivals are celebrated here during which many devotees visit the temple.

    Distance: 90 km

    Location: West of Chennai

    Best time to visit: October to March

    Attractions: This pilgrimage centre has a number of temples located here apart from the famed one dedicated to Murugan. Some of these are Shivan temple, BajanKovil, VinayagarKovil and Eshwaran temple.

    Type of destination: Pilgrimage, family and kid-friendly

  • 30Pulicat Lake & Bird Sanctuary

    Pulicat Lake & Bird Sanctuary

    Formed by the backwaters of the Bay of Bengal, Pulicat is the second largest lagoon in India that has brackish water. And the bird sanctuary stands on a piece of land in the middle of this lake.

    Distance: 98 km

    Location: Eastern coast, North of Chennai

    Best time to visit: October to March


    The spectacular sights of thousands of pink Flamingoes flocked together can be viewed only at this place to visit near Chennai. Besides, you can spot pelicans, herons, kingfishers, storks and many more at the sanctuary. There are quite a few fishing villages on the lake’s edge which one can visit if interested.


    Boating in the lake during which one can see birds splashing about in the water.

    Type of destination: Trekking, family and kid friendly

    Whether travelling with a family or on your own; spiritually inclined or a history buff, nature lover or photography enthusiast – every kind of traveller to Chennai has something of their interest here. The best season to visit Chennai and its neighbouring regions is winters when it is relatively pleasant and one can make the most of the trip. 

Sightseeing in Chennai

Trekking in Chennai

Scuba diving in Chennai

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