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About Chennai

Including tips for the best time to visit Chennai

Known as Madras during the British reign, Chennai is the capital of Tamil Nadu and India’s southernmost metropolis. It is located on the Bay of Bengal’s Coromandel Coast, boasting the world’s second-longest urban beach, Marina Beach, stretching for over 13 kilometres. Home to the Tamil film industry, Carnatic music festivals and temples dating back to the 7th century, the city is a thriving cultural centre with plenty to see and do.

Chennai offers impressive examples of art and architecture from different eras and cultures. Its most famous monument is the colourful Kapaleeshwarar Temple, dedicated to the Hindu god, Shiva. A few steps away lies the neo-Gothic San Thome Cathedral, built on the final resting place of one of Christ's apostles. Influences of the city’s colonial past can also be seen in some of its main buildings, such as the Gothic Revival Chennai Central, the busiest railway station in South India. For further insight into the country’s history, you can visit its first British fortress, Fort St George, housing St Mary's Church and the Fort Museum.

When in Chennai, kick-start your day with a freshly brewed cup of South Indian filter coffee, locally known as ‘kaapi’. Make some time to savour South Indian staples, traditionally served on banana leaves. Try dosa (rice and lentil crêpe), idli (steamed rice cake) and vada (savoury doughnut) served with sambar (a spicy broth) and an assortment of coconut chutneys. Thanks to its coastal location, the city also offers several delicious seafood preparations and fish curries.


From $4 per night

Next weekend

From $10 per night

Most popular time to visit October-December
Cheapest time to visit January-March
Local currency Rs. 100 = $1.20
Language English
Average weekend price $57 per night
Average weekday price $55 per night
Average stay 2 nights

Points of interest in Chennai

Stay near the top sightseeing spots in Chennai

Chennai reviews

What other travelers say about Chennai


If you are willing to take the 3 wheel tu-tu go shopping in...

November 28, 2023

If you are willing to take the 3 wheel tu-tu go shopping in the markets. We wanted a get my hubby a haircut and asked staff for recommendations. Travel dest guy didn’t speak great English but other staffers did. They suggested Naturals Salon. We decided to walk there, got lost a couple of times and discovered a great place for cheap Indian tunics (800-2,000 rupees) the largest imitation jewelry store, a larger grocery store for stocking up on chips and fruit and very cold soda. It was so much fun we took our friends who arrived the next morning via tu-tu for shopping. Just try to find a better hotel than a Radission or the Grand hotels. They are amazing buffets but the hotels have been run down and of inferior quality in out experience in India. We popped into The Crown during a downpour and staff were equally friendly. The Hyatt might also have an option for a nicer hotel.

Martha United States of America

Huge city with decent public transport options.

November 25, 2023

Huge city with decent public transport options. The autos not booked through uber/ola are always trying to cheat you. The hotels are almost always underwhelming for the price compared to other cities. The beaches are very filthy and repulsive. Food options are all quite bad even at the best rated restaurants. Not a recommended visit unless as a pitstop to a better destination or on business.

Sriram India

Chennai is capital of tamil nadu which is famous and known...

November 23, 2023

Chennai is capital of tamil nadu which is famous and known for lot of things starting from beaches, unique and authentic foods and cuisines, Biriyani, unique chat items and snacks, tourist spots. historical places, IT hub, Innovative shops etc.. Must visit places.


Fantastic city with so much culture and diversity.

November 14, 2023

Fantastic city with so much culture and diversity. Food was great and access to different parts of the city was easily available via auto and OLA app, People are friendly and main attractions including the Marina Beach, modern shopping malls and thousand-year old temples make Chennai a city that you'd want to frequently visit.

Lingeshakumar Malaysia

I had travel to many parts of south india but choosing...

October 31, 2023

I had travel to many parts of south india but choosing channai airport was wrong . It is a metropolitan town with not much history and so much traffic. I do recommend coiembatore or Bangalore airport . I was traveling around to visit temples and ashrams . I found channai very expensive town . And I had the worst experience with the hotel I choose from booking .com they uploaded fake pictures . In smaller towns there are not these issues also you can enjoy seeing crafts, culture , history , cuisine …

Masoumeh United Kingdom

Beaches are excellent .

October 29, 2023

Beaches are excellent . Not very costly city . People are disciplined. Must visit dakshina Chitra . Use Uber as local taxi rents are more . Uber took 400 while local direct taxi cost 600 from airport for same distance.


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