Chennai

Travel Guide
Chennai featuring a city

Temples and colonial monuments, food and festivals combine to showcase the best of South India’s artistic and religious heritage.

Colonial-era relics, temples and a rich food and arts scene welcome visitors to Chennai. The city was established as a British trading post in 1639. Now Chennai is India’s fourth-largest city and the capital of the southeastern Tamil Nadu state. Chennai’s people are welcoming. A variety of attractions presents the chance to experience the best of Tamil culture.

Chennai’s historic heart is George Town, a medley of narrow streets and bazaars lined with traditional silk and spice shops. Admire the architecture of the red-sandstone High Court and take a tour of the 18th-century Armenian Church, one of the oldest churches in India. Learn about Chennai’s history at the museum of Fort St. George, India’s first British-built fortress.

Take a rickshaw to the Government Museum, set in a complex of British-era buildings. Check out the ancient bronze sculptures and a curious skeleton and taxidermy display. Spot work by notable Indian artists, such as Raja Ravi Varma, at the National Art Gallery.

Wander through the vibrant streets of Triplicane, where you’ll find the impressive eighth-century Parthasarathy Temple. Enjoy a dawn or sunset stroll along Marina Beach. It’s a hive of activity, from cricket matches and kite flying to fortune tellers and street food vendors.

Don’t miss the Portuguese-influenced Mylapore neighborhood. Marvel at the white-washed San Thome Church, built on the tomb of the apostle St. Thomas. See a typical example of Dravidian architecture, characterized by pyramid-shaped buildings, at the Kapaleeswarar Temple.

Chennai thrives in showcasing its Tamil culture through music and dance, most notably during the Margazhi Festival in December and January. See a vast collection of everyday art at the Rukmini Devi Museum. Sample the city’s delectable Tamil cuisine. Try dishes such as spicy chettinad pepper chicken and local vegetarian specialties.

Chennai is the busy transportation hub of South India, and is well served by trains, buses and international flights. The city is notoriously hot and stuffy; after a few days of sightseeing activity many visitors travel to nearby beach resorts and hill stations.

Where to stay in Chennai

The Park Chennai
The Park Chennai
5 out of 5
601 Anna Salai Road, Near US Embassy, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
The price is $41 per night from Sep 25 to Sep 25
Located in Central Chennai, this luxury hotel is 0.1 mi (0.2 km) from Consulate General of the United States, Chennai and 2.3 mi (3.6 km) from Kapaleeswarar ...
3/5 (363 reviews)
"Good"

Reviewed on Jul 4, 2021

The Park Chennai
Taj Fisherman's Cove Resort & Spa, Chennai
Taj Fisherman's Cove Resort & Spa, Chennai
5 out of 5
Covelong Beach, Kancheepuram Dist., Chennai, Tamil Nadu
The price is $108 per night from Sep 27 to Sep 27
Nestled on the beach, this Covelong Beach resort is within 3 mi (5 km) of Muttukadu Boat House and DakshinaChitra. Madras Crocodile Bank Trust and Old Mahabalipuram ...
4.2/5Excellent! (171 reviews)
"Beautiful surroundings, view of the beach & water and excellent food in the restaurant."

Reviewed on Sep 8, 2021

Taj Fisherman's Cove Resort & Spa, Chennai
Welcomhotel by ITC Hotels, Cathedral Road, Chennai
Welcomhotel by ITC Hotels, Cathedral Road, Chennai
4.5 out of 5
10 Cathedral Street, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
The price is $46 per night from Oct 1 to Oct 1
Located in Central Chennai, this luxury hotel is within 2 mi (3 km) of Consulate General of the United States, Chennai, Chennai Citi Center Mall, and Kapaleeswarar ...
4.3/5Excellent! (161 reviews)
"Property is awesome. We enjoyed our stay. Hope to visit again."

Reviewed on Mar 23, 2021

Welcomhotel by ITC Hotels, Cathedral Road, Chennai
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
Olive Serviced Apartments
Olive Serviced Apartments
2 out of 5
No. 36, Anna Nedun Salai, Facite Road, Kandanchavadi, Perungudi, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
The price is $17 per night from Sep 22 to Sep 22
Located in Mylapore Tiruvallikk, this aparthotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of American International School and Old Mahabalipuram Road. Indian Institute of Technology ...
5/5Exceptional! (1 review)
"the rooms were very clean"

Reviewed on Mar 4, 2020

Olive Serviced Apartments
Somerset Greenways Chennai
Somerset Greenways Chennai
4.5 out of 5
No. 94 Sathyadev Avenue, MRC Nagar, Raja Annamalai Puram, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
The price is $54 per night from Sep 28 to Sep 28
This family-friendly Chennai aparthotel is located in the business district, within 2 mi (3 km) of San Thome Cathedral and Kapaleeswarar Temple. Marina Beach ...
4.4/5Excellent! (149 reviews)
Peaceful and relax
"Quiet and clean place, friendly and helpful staffs the food was very good. Room is need and clean If I am Chennai again my first choice would be Somerset Greenways Chennai"

Reviewed on Apr 7, 2020

Somerset Greenways Chennai
Swarna Sudarshan Service Apartments
Swarna Sudarshan Service Apartments
2.5 out of 5
No 16 Anna St, Chennai, TN
The price is $20 per night from Oct 1 to Oct 1
Situated near the airport, this villa is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Old Mahabalipuram Road and 2.7 mi (4.3 km) from VGP Universal Kingdom. MGM Dizzee World and Indian ...
Swarna Sudarshan Service Apartments
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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