The heart and home of all things cultural in the South, Chennai is an underrated gem for travelers. With sprawling beaches, centuries-old temples, crowded markets and a rich culture, Chennai has a way of converting tourists into frequent visitors. The warmth and hospitality of the locals, coupled with their innate pride for the city and a vast knowledge of everything from culture to politics, is largely responsible for making Chennai, Madras to the old-schoolers, what it is.
Though Chennai is one of the four metros of the country, it is far more relaxed, and more concerned with history and culture than progress and financial matters, especially compared to Mumbai and Delhi. This Southern city is also home to many expats, who have found their comfort zone here.
Whether you want to experience the life of a typical Tamilian in a small close-knit neighborhood, enjoy a lavish stay at one of the many burgeoning luxury hotels, or up your culture quotient by watching a dance recital or visiting a museum, this southern city offers it all. While there are many bars and restaurants that stay open till the wee hours, the beauty of those raised here is that they enjoy watching a play just as much as they like sipping on cocktails at pubs. Make friends with a local, and you’ll find a home in Chennai forever.
Chennai offers a number of walking and guided tours to help you explore the city that is a blend of the old and the new. If you’re visiting in winter, be sure to sign up for a night walk to discover nesting Olive Ridley Turtles. Winter is also a good time to visit as most of the cultural and music festivals take place during this period, with the most notable being Pongal, the Tamil harvest festival.
While summers in Chennai can experience sweltering heat, the fact that the sea breeze caresses the city all day long makes it a little more bearable.
Go shopping for saris and temple jewelry at the old, bustling markets at T Nagar and Egmore. Visit the Marina and Besant Nagar Beaches for some quiet time. Watch a play, go for a dance or music recital at the RK Swamy Hall or enjoy some live music at Geoffreys or the Tryst Café.
Once you’ve explored Chennai, hop onto a bus and head towards Mahabalipuram or Pondicherry, which have their own set of sights to offer.
Auto rickshaws and buses are the most convenient modes of transport while in Chennai. However, rickshaw drivers in the city are known to give outsiders a hard time with language (if you don’t speak Tamil?) and the fare. You could even hire a bike to get around.
On a daily basis there are approximately 0 flights that operate at Chennai International Airport. JetLite, Jet Airways and Jet Konnect are the most popular airline brands that fly frequently to this airport.
Besides flying you can also reach Chennai through train. Chennai Central, Tambaram, Chennai Egmore are some of the most popular train stations in Chennai. On an average about 300+ trains pass through Chennai on a daily basis. Arakonam to Chennai, Jolarpet to Chennai, Chengalpattu to Chennai are some of the most popular routes to Chennai with 247, 205, 198 trains weekly respectively.
By road Chennai is surrounded by St.Thomas Mount-cum-Pallavaram, Tiruvallur, Tambaram which are 5.42 km, 8.62 km, 12.2 km away respectively. These places are ideal spots for people to plan their short weekend break.
Chennai has a total of 343 hotels.
There are 343 hotels in Chennai with the popular ones being ITC Grand Chola, Chennai, Radisson Blu Hotel GRT, Vivanta By Taj Fishermans Cove, The Park Chennai, Lemon Tree Hotel Chennai, Trident Chennai etc.
Looking for hotels around Chennai airport? Currently, there are 11 hotels near the airport with popular ones being Le Royal Meridien Chennai, KEK Accommodation, Hotel Mount Heera, Hotel Mars etc.