Do you want to visit magnificent South India and discover its traditional cuisine? So here are the best things to do or visit in Chennai! check our blog Chennai Travel Guide with 10 essential things to do.
Summary for Chennai Travel Guide.
- Fort Saint-Georges
- Marina Beach or Besant Nagar Beach
- Saint-Thomas Basilica
- Mount Saint-Thomas
- Traditional local cuisine
- Guindy Park
- A Bharatanatyam Performance
- Government Museum
- The Parthasarathy and Kapaleeshwarar Temples
- Also worth seeing in and around Chennai
How to get to Chennai?
Where to stay in Chennai?
Known by its former name of Madras, Chennai is the capital of the state of Tamil Nadu in South India. The city was founded in 1639 when the British East India Company chose Madraspattinam, a small fishing village, to settle in the region. Madras gradually became a major port and was even an important stake in the Franco-English rivalry for the domination of India in the 18th century. Today, it is one of the largest cities in the country, the majority of whose inhabitants are Tamil. Chennai is known as the cradle of traditional South Indian cuisine and your discovery of the city will necessarily involve tasting delicious local dishes! In addition to its culinary heritage, ancient Madras is home to historical gems from the colonial era, as well as the second largest beach in the world!
So what to do in Chennai during your stay? To help you experience an unforgettable trip, discover now the 10 must-see things and more to visit in Chennai, the culinary capital of South India!
Fort St. George: A Symbol of the British Raj in India
Built in 1653 by the English East India Company, Fort Saint-Georges once housed the garrison responsible for defending the city of Madras. Today, it houses the administrative services of the Tamil Nadu state government. What will especially attract you to this formidable complex is the Fort Museum which brings together objects from the colonial era and portraits of the governors of the fort. You can also admire the oldest Anglican church in India: Saint Mary’s Church, built in the 17th century.
Marina Beach or Besant Nagar Beach
So what to do in Chennai? To relax, enjoy the sun or admire the sunrise, Marine Beach is the perfect place! It is the second longest urban beach in the world, almost 13 kilometers long on the Coromandel Coast. The second, also known as Elliot’s Beach, is very popular among the youth of Chennai since it is home to many restaurants, cafes and bars in which to relax!
Saint Thomas Basilica
If you come to visit Chennai, you should absolutely go to the Saint-Thomas Basilica: this superb neo-Gothic church, built in 1893 to replace the small original Portuguese church, faces the sea. But above all, it welcomes in a crypt under the main altar the presumed tomb of the apostle Saint Thomas. Indeed, according to an ancient but archaeologically unproven tradition, he came to India in 52 AD to convert the local Jewish communities and died in the ancient kingdom of Mylapore.
This hill is the presumed site of the martyrdom and death of the apostle Saint Thomas. It has thus become an important place of pilgrimage for Indian Christians. At the top is a small church built in 1523 by the Portuguese as well as a cross of Saint-Thomas, carved in black stone and which dates from the 6th or 7th century!
Traditional local cuisine
Visiting Chennai without trying all the delicious local dishes is simply impossible! In addition, local cuisine is generally very inexpensive and qualitative. You can enjoy delicious dosas, typical pancakes made with lentil, rice or chickpea flour, generally accompanied by sauces, curry or sambhar: a typical stew made with lentils, peppers and other spices!
This natural park is one of the only ones to be located in the heart of a city! Visiting it will allow you to discover the local fauna and flora, since the park is home to a large population of birds and mammals, such as red-necked antelopes, axis deer or jackals. The Snake Park, for its part, welcomes cobras, pythons and other reptiles!
A Bharatanatyam Performance
If you are planning to visit Chennai, then you must definitely experience its famous classical music and dance: Carnatic music and Bharata natyam. The famous Kalakshetra Foundation frequently hosts dance performances and you should find out about upcoming events as soon as you arrive!
Are you still wondering what to do in Chennai? So don’t hesitate to discover the Government Museum. This building, a sublime testimony to Kerala style architecture, houses a beautiful collection of artifacts and objects from Tamil history.
Parthasarathy and Kapaleeshwarar Temples
Are there still any iconic monuments to visit in Chennai? Obviously ! Kapaleeshwarar Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to the god Shiva, it is located a few steps from St. Thomas Basilica and is a perfect example of the Dravidian architectural style. The Parthasarathy Temple, for its part, is one of the oldest temples in the city! You will definitely be amazed by the magnificence of its colorful Gopuras – massive and elaborately decorated entrances.
Also worth seeing in and around Chennai
If you’re still wondering what to do in Chennai, here are more attractions to visit and activities to enjoy in and around the city:
- Stroll through the bustling Burma Bazaar: one of the oldest and chaotic markets in the region, and a dream space to taste delicious local street food or buy typical products!
- Admire the Armenian church, testimony to the presence of this community centuries ago.
- Visit the Arignar Anna Zoological Park: this superb zoo brings together more than 170 species of birds, mammals and reptiles, some of which are endangered!
How to get to Chennai?
To visit Chennai, three options are available to you: plane, train or bus.
From Europe, America, Australia or other destinations, you will find regular flights to Chennai. However, although all flight offer direct flights, not all of them do: you will need to allow at least ten hours of flight to reach Chennai airport, sometimes with a stopover. If prices vary depending on your departure period, do not hesitate to do so in advance, in particular by consulting & contact us, whatever your departure dates, the flights at the best prices.
Chennai Travel Guide:The train or the bus
It is also possible to reach Chennai from another Indian destination. The train or the bus are excellent ways to visit it at a low cost. You can consult the Virail site, train travel comparators around the world to find out more. By bus, the journey will certainly be longer, but should cost you less than the train.
Where to stay in Chennai?
If you wish to visit Chennai, know that the accommodation options are numerous. There are many areas to stay in Chennai. We through the Chennai Travel Guide blog, particularly recommend the areas of George Town, Park Town, and Mylapore. In terms of prices, Chennai benefits from largely affordable prices: from local accommodation, you can contact us, the possibilities are numerous and can be suitable for all types of travelers.
Thankyou for checking our Blog Chennai Travel Guide.