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

Park Hyatt Chennai
Park Hyatt Chennai
5 out of 5
39 Velachery Road, Raj Bhavan, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
Fully refundableReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is ¥7,332 per night from Jan 25 to Jan 26
Located in Guindy, this luxury hotel is 0.5 mi (0.9 km) from Chennai Snake Park and within 3 mi (5 km) of Old Mahabalipuram Road and Phoenix Market City. Chennai ...
4.6/5 Wonderful! (283 reviews)
"Amazing hotel! Was a breeze to stay with an incredible staff. Will be back!"

Reviewed on Jan 22, 2022

Park Hyatt Chennai
ITC Grand Chola, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Chennai
ITC Grand Chola, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Chennai
5 out of 5
# 63 Mount Road, Guindy, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
The price is ¥9,928 per night from Jan 25 to Jan 26
Located in Guindy, this luxury hotel is 0.8 mi (1.2 km) from Chennai Snake Park and within 3 mi (5 km) of Old Mahabalipuram Road and Phoenix Market City. Chennai ...
4.4/5 Wonderful! (392 reviews)
"Excellent property. Special call out for Bela for providing excellent customer service."

Reviewed on Jan 12, 2022

ITC Grand Chola, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Chennai
The Leela Palace Chennai
The Leela Palace Chennai
5 out of 5
175 Sathya Dev Avenue Extn, MRC Nagar, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
The price is ¥9,621 per night from Jan 31 to Feb 1
This family-friendly Chennai hotel is located by the sea, within 3 mi (5 km) of Kapaleeswarar Temple and Marina Beach. Phoenix Market City and Chennai Trade ...
4.6/5 Exceptional! (403 reviews)
"Na"

Reviewed on Jan 2, 2022

The Leela Palace 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.
Swarna Sudarshan Service Apartments
Swarna Sudarshan Service Apartments
2.5 out of 5
No 16 Anna St, Chennai, TN
The price is ¥2,290 per night from Feb 22 to Feb 23
Situated near the airport, this villa is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Old Mahabalipuram Road and 2.7 mi (4.4 km) from VGP Universal Kingdom. MGM Dizzee World and Indian ...
4/5 Very Good! (1 review)
Decent hotel
"Stay was good, food and cleanliness can be improved. Good staff. But the road in front of the apartment was filled with water for so many days even though the rain was stopped. Hard to travel in such scenarios"

Reviewed on Dec 8, 2021

Swarna Sudarshan Service 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 ¥6,110 per night from Jan 25 to Jan 26
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 ...
4.3/5 Excellent! (153 reviews)
"Food in the restaurant was very good & i cud notice 10-20 tiny cockroaches in the cupboard area as well as the bathroom...this was very disappointing"

Reviewed on Nov 22, 2021

Somerset Greenways Chennai
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 ¥2,455 per night from Jan 25 to Jan 26
Located in Mylapore Tiruvallikk, this aparthotel is 0.1 mi (0.2 km) from Old Mahabalipuram Road and 3.1 mi (5 km) from Phoenix Market City. Apollo Speciality ...
5/5 Exceptional! (1 review)
"the rooms were very clean"

Reviewed on Mar 4, 2020

Olive Serviced 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.

Popular places to visit in Chennai

Top things to do in Chennai

Cities near Chennai