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22 Amazing Things to Do in Chennai

 
  • Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu, lies on the charismatic coast of the majestic Bay of Bengal and is known for its colourful cultures, rich history, great contributions towards music and traditions. Also the home to some of the stunning beaches, sacred temples, pious churches and places to visit, this metropolitan proves to be a treasure trove for the visitors.

    No matter you are among the leisure seekers or honeymooners, travelling with family members or friends, looking for some fun and adventure or planning for a backpacking trip, the list of exciting things to do in Chennai will fulfil all your wishes! Decked with ancient temples, architectural marvels, scenic places, quaint villages and much more, this city will surely amaze you with all its offerings.

    Here are some of the best things to do in Chennai:

  • 01Revel around the Marina Beach

    One of the famous coastlines of Chennai, Marina Beach is best known for its breath taking view and serene surroundings. Nested within the city premises, the placid beauty of the beachfront, the rolling waves and the picturesque surroundings attract almost everyone visiting this kaleidoscopic city! With a coastline of around 13km, Marina Beach has bagged the title of being the second largest beach in the world; well, this makes it a must visit destination in Chennai.

    Being one of the most popular tourist spots in the city, this place is calling people to discover it in its raw form. Be it the azure waters, soft sands and the openness of the ocean, Marina Beach is sure to keep you enchanted with its alluring charm and appeal. Enjoy your vacation at this spellbinding seashore along with your family and friends; you will surely cherish these moments for a lifetime!

  • 02Take a Walk through Thalankuppam Pier

    Image Credit : Kannan Muthuraman - Flickr

    Thalankuppan, a small fishing hamlet located in the northern part of Chennai, is another mind soothing destination that will leave you with a therapeutic experience! A quaint and silent destination near the metropolis, this is the village where the Thalankuppam River meets the sea. An ideal place for the peace and silence lovers, the pier in this region is one of the must to visit locations.

    Extremely popular with the South Indian Film Industry, a walk along this pier is one of the best things to do in Chennai. Visit this spot during the morning or evening and you can witness the golden rays of the sun paying hide and seek with the sparkling waves. Take a walk through the Thalankuppam Pier, feel the tranquillity that exists here and curate some of the memorable moments of your holiday.

  • 03Stroll around Elliot’s Beach

    Image Credit : Nikhil B - Flickr

    Named after Edward Elliot, the then Governor of Madras; Elliot’s Beach is another exciting beach destination in Chennai. Not far from the city premises this stunning beach marks the end of Marina Beach and is located in the Besant Nagar.

    Also known as the ‘Bessie’ or ‘Besant Nagar Beach’, it is one of the most popular destinations among the locals. Owing to the Pictorial beauty, calm and tranquil surroundings, easy accessibility and the lesser amount of crowd within this sandy retreat, it is also gaining popularity among the tourists who prefers to avoid the rush and stay away from the crowd. A walk along the long stretches of Eliot’s Beach will not only pamper your sense, but will also take you to the ‘Schmidt Memorial’ that serves as a major landmark to the city.

  • 04Visit Mahabalipuram Temples

    Image Credit : Aasif Iqbal J - Flickr

    The modern state of Mahabalipuram; a town near Chennai, was established in the year 1827 and has a pre-history from the time of Pallavas. The town is an historical venture which attracts maximum number of tourists flocking Chennai, and keeps them engaged with its ancient architecture. With several temples and monuments in the town, this place gained much popularity among the visitors; it is a hub for the history, culture, architecture and archaeology enthusiasts.

    On your visit to this historic town, you can visit many of the ancient temples that has deities like Lord Krishna and other Gods and Goddesses; temple caves dedicated other deities can also be  visited within the town. Among the other major attractions in Mahabalipuram, there are enchanting Pancha Rathas, Krishna's Butter Ball, Mahabalipuram Beach and several others. Owing to its opulent beauty and religious importance, the range of temples and other historical monuments in Mahabalipuram has now been declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

  • 05Feel the Spirituality of St Thomas Mount Church

    Image Credit : Damien Roué - Flickr

    Located atop a small hill, St Thomas Church in the Guindy suburb of Chennai; within the reach of Chennai International Airport, is one of the most sacred as well as gorgeous churches in the city. According to devotees, this is the place where St Thomas, who was a disciple of Lord Jesus lived and also attained martyrdom around 2,000 years ago.

    In addition to the religious importance, this place is also known for its opulent beauty.  From the hilltop, you can enjoy astounding views of the nearby region. On a visit to this pious place, you can experience the sanctity and devotion that exists here. In addition to this, the opulent and charismatic beauty of the church and its surroundings will surely keep you enchanted all through; views from the hilltop are really commendable and is a must for everyone! 

  • 06Have a Glimpse of the Space in Birla Planetarium

    For all the science and technology geeks visiting Chennai, they don’t have to be worried about being getting bored! Along with the other classes of visitors, this city also offers a lot to the science enthusiasts; and one among these is the Birla Planetarium.

    Opened in 1988, this it has several exciting programmes that opens the doors to the outer space and solar system. Within a visit to this planetarium, you will get acquainted with the movement of the stars, earth, comets, moon and other fascinating elements of the universe. Be it for the children or the grown-ups, a visit to Birla Planetarium is considered as one of the most educative things to do in Chennai.

  • 07Enjoy Nature Photography at Ubbalamadugu Falls

    Image Credit : McKay Savage - Flickr

    Set out the water baby in you and explore this exquisite tourist spot in Chennai with a visit to the Ubbalamadugu Falls. Around 35km from the metropolis, this stunning cascade flows graciously in the forests of Siddulaiah Kona and truly makes for a must to experience site.

    In addition to the opulent beauty and appeal of the waterfall, it also serves as a sacred place among the Hindus; devotees visit this cascade during ‘Maha Shivratri’ and offer puja. Visit this falls, witness the  magical beauty it creates as the splashing water hits the base; unravel the best of the nature’s bountiful beauty while being a shutterbug and capturing some of the best clicks of your life!

  • 08Bird Watching near Pulicat Lake

    Image Credit : Srikaanth Sekar - Flickr

    If you are searching for some of the things to do in Chennai amidst its untouched, a visit to the gorgeous Pulicat Lake is a must for you! Situated in between the states of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, it is the second largest saline water lake in India. Globally known as the ‘Pulicat Lake Wildlife Sanctuary’, the placid and calm surrounding that engulfs it, offers a blissful experience to the visitors. In addition the scenic vistas also make it for a picture perfect setting.

    A treasure trove for the nature lovers, this saline lake is also the abode of a wide range of flora and fauna. Also, due to the favourable conditions and availability of foods, Pulicat Lake witnesses a large number of migratory as well as local birds within its surroundings. On your visit to this stunning lake, you can easily spot the greater Flamingos and several other exotic species of rare and playful birds. 

  • 09Water sports in Muttukadu

    Image Credit :  Simply CVR - Flickr

    Adorned with lush greenery and wonderful landscapes, Muttukadu is a small town that is famous for its serene beauty and enchanting back waters. The place is also known for some of the exciting water activities that keeps the adventure junkies enthral during their Chennai tour! Amidst the extremely elegant and historical traditions of this metropolis, here is a chance for you to let yourself loose and dive into the water adventure sports at Muttukadu.

    Some of the activities that you can enjoy at this destination are kayaking, boating, canoeing and surfing. The most popular among all the activities that are organized here is windsurfing regatta, which is generally scheduled during the month of February. 

  • 10Fun Rides in MGM Dizee World

    For those of you that love amusement parks and water sports, MGM Dizee World is the place to be in Chennai. With some of the most entertaining rides and water slides, a fun-filled day in this amusement park is also among the best things to do in Chennai with your kids.

    It is a destination that keeps the visitors engaged throughout the day. Water World of this park is something that every visitor of MGM Dizee World looks forward to explore in Chennai. If you are looking for some fun and exciting things on your way to Chennai, you now know where to go! 

  • 11Witness the Lords in Puri Jagannath Temple

    Dedicated to the divine trinity of Lord Jagannath, Baladeva and Subhadra, Puri Jagannath Temple in Chennai is another attraction for the devotees of these deities. The wonderfully carved temple is astonishingly stunning and engages all its tourists in its intimate splendour.

    Built according to the Kalinga architecture, the temple is a mirror that reflects great art and architectural designs of ancient times. Granites and white marbles that decorate the temple make the stone carvings look much prettier and splendid. It also has separate shrines that are dedicated to Lord Shiva, Ganesha and Bimala which can be visited by the tourists. The annual festival of this magnificent temple is something all devotees and tourists look forward to attend as it showcases the Rathayatra; one of the most prominent rituals of the festival. 

  • 12Visit San Thome Cathedral

    Image Credit : bunnicula - Flickr

    Built during the Portuguese rule in Chennai, what was earlier called Madras, San Thome Cathedral is one of the most popular shrines in Tamil Nadu. Built in the neo-gothic style, this church is beautifully decorated with amazing architecture that will leave every traveller spell bound.

    Believed to be built on the grave of St Thomas, it was recently declared as a ‘National Shrine’ by the Catholic Bishops Conference of India. A major religious centre for the catholic, it has also become one of the most sought after tourist destinations in Chennai. 

  • 13Seek Blessings in Kapaleeshwarar Temple

    Image Credit : Vinoth Chandar - Flickr

    Located in Mylapore, Chennai, Kapaleeshwarar temple is one of the oldest temples in Chennai and carries a rich traditional value among the devotees. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, it is one of the most visited temples within the city.

    Built in Dravidian style, the architectural brilliance of the temple complex also attracts a large number architecture fans. There are several deities that are worshipped in this temple in several mantapas and halls. Decked with intricate designs, the temple complex truly makes for an amazing display of ancient artefacts and beliefs. Visiting this world famous temple should definitely be one of the things to do in Chennai for any traveller.

     

  • 14Spend Time with Books in Anna Centenary Library

    For those travellers who look out for a place to explore the world through books, here is something in store for you in Chennai! Quite unusual for a traveller to be found in a library, but Anna Centenary Library is one of the greatest assets of Chennai that needs to be explored over and over again.

    Built with a budget of rupees 172crore and spread across nine acres, this centenary library is named after one of the former chief ministers of Tamil Nadu, C N Annadurai; such large scale libraries are hardly seen now-a-days. Also one of largest libraries in the entire of Asia, spending a day out at this library amidst the books of much value proves to be one of the unique things to do in Chennai.

  • 15Witness Architectural Brilliance of the St Andrew Cathedral

    Also known as the ‘Queen of Scottish Churches in the East’, St Andrew Church is a reminiscent of the Chennai’s past. Built in 1818, its construction was done according to Georgiana and Neo-classical architecture. Well, this also adds to the wonderful outlook and appearance of the church.

    Often referred as the ‘St Andrew Kirk’, this opulent marvel of the past showcases the finest blend of art and craft of a bygone era. Unique design, shape and form of this religious structure makes it one of the must visit places in the entire of Chennai and its surroundings.

  • 16Enjoy Fishing at Barracuda Bay

    For the adventure junkies who yearns to go for fishing in Chennai, they can make it to the Barracuda Bay Sport Fishing and try their hands in an amazing angling experience. Quite unique from any other kind of visit, this is a much exciting way to spend holidays within the city. Visitors to this club needs to complete the registration formalities, and once done with it, they can avail an array of packages.

    Most of these packages depend on the type and duration of your fishing expedition. Trolling, popping and jigging are some of the most popular types of fishing provided by the Barracuda Bay Sport Fishing club. The packages also mention the distance a traveller can go for fishing and the species available within that region. 

  • 17Valluvar Kottam

    Image Credit : Soham Banerje - Flickr

    A monument that adds to the great tradition of Chennai, Valluvar Kottam is a memorial built and named after a famous Tamil poet as well as a philosopher called Thiruvalluvar. The monument is a giant 35 meter chariot that depicts the best of Thiruvalluvar’s work in it. Thirukkural is the main work of Thiruvalluvar that inspired this giant temple chariot. Several inscriptions of his work from Thirukkural is seen written on this monument. 

    All these factors make this monument worth a visit while you are in Chennai. The wonderful architecture is still a blissful experience for the tourists that visit Valluvar Kottam in Chennai.

     

  • 18Rediscover History at Alamparai Fort

    Once a glorious fortress, though the Alamparari Fort was built during the Mughal era and depicts the valorous tales of the past. An ancient structure of great historical and architectural value, it was extensively used for the export of zari cloth, ghee and salt.

    Though, the fort is in ruins today, you can still witness its grandiosity and splendour from its amazing architecture and layout. Located next to the sea, it offers a view that will surely hold you captive as long as you stay here. If you want to enjoy the best of the Alamparai Fort, you must visit it either during the early hours in by evening. The golden rays of the rising or setting sun playing hide and seek with the azure water cuddles the entire vicinity and creates a soothing ambience.

  • 19Revelry in Choki Dhani

    Image Credit :  Arin Ghosh - Flickr

    A heart-warming Rajasthani treat in the heart of Chennai! Well, if this unbelievable, you must visit Choki Dhani within the city. A park themed on the culture, heritage and traditions of Rajasthan, it is the perfect example that shows how the Indian states are connected with a single thread.

    Though located in one of the extreme south corner of the corner, this unique park has all the essence and flavours of North India, and offers a lively glimpse of the vibrant and colourful lands of Rajasthan. While activities like camel ride, bullock cart ride, head massage and boating within the park will keep you immersed in unlimited fun and excitement, its range of delicious Rajasthani vegetarian cuisines and authentic cultural shows will make your stay memorable in Choki Dhani!

  • 20Heritage Tour to Royapuram Fishing Harbour

    Image Credit : Rajesh_India - Flickr

    Being a coastline, Chennai has enough and more destinations for a sea food lover. One of them, Royapuram Fishing Harbour is the place where one can experience the exhilarating and buzzing life of a fish market and nearby harbour. It is one such places in Chennai, where you can have a glimpse of the daily life of the locals and their fishing cultures.

    An absolute delight for the fish lovers, it is best visited at dusk when the entire harbour gets lighted up with the majestic sea reflecting them back! A visit to this quaint and bustling fishing village is one of the best things to do in Chennai and get introduced with some of the heritage and cultures of the city.

  • 21Queens Land

    Yet another theme park to enthral the tourists of Chennai, Queens Land is one of the nicest amusement parks in the city that will engage and excite you for an entire day. Spreading over 70acres, this amusement park is a must visit destination for all the fun ride lovers. The theme park offers a total of 51 fun rides including both water and land rides.

    This place is best when visited with a group of kids. Opened in 2003, the park is located on the way to Bangalore and attracts visitors from both the cities. Visit this park with family members; especially kids, friends or your corporate mates; spend a day filled with fun-frolic and exciting moments.

  • 22Fort St George

    Historically called as the ‘White Town’, Fort St George was built by the East India Company in 1644. A perfect destination to have a glimpse of Old Madras and its Colonial era, this gorgeous fort is also one of the popular sightseeing places in Chennai.

    Presently, it houses the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly and also a museum that exhibits several items from the colonial period. A hotspot for the history enthusiasts, it also consists of several well decorated halls that will remind you of the glorious days of a bygone era; the halls are symbolic of the colonial era and exhibit items like weapons, coins, uniforms and other artefacts of the colonial period. 

    Unlike other metros in the country, Chennai is considered as one of the quiet, calm and serene places. The list of all the above things to do in Chennai will take you for a joyride through the glorious history, cultural beliefs and traditional values the city holds in its bosom. Next time when you visit this warm-hearted city, make sure you opt for all these experiences and discover the city like never before!