Chennai is a beautiful city located in the southern region of India. Formerly known as Madras, it is the capital city of the Tamil Nadu state of India.Regarded as one of the most visited tourist cities in India, Chennai will never cease to amaze you with its magnificent temples, scrumptious foods, tranquil beaches, an assortment of theme parks and shopping districts. You will find tons of places to explore and to have a good experience.
To fully appreciate the beauty and cultural significance of Chennai and to leave a memorable impression on you to look back in the future, you need to spend your time and effort to explore as many attractions as possible.
To know more in detail, go through our list of top 30 things to do in Chennai. This is to ensure that the marvelous city of Chennai has a long-lasting impact on you.
You might want to check this: Top 30 Things to Do in Hyderabad
Top 30 Things to Do in Chennai
1. Appreciate the beauty of the famous Marina Beach
Marina Beach, the second longest beach in the world, presents you with a warm and soothing ambiance. With an elongated white sandy coast, the beach has a landscape that is extremely fascinating and peaceful. It is an ideal place to view the sunrise and sunset with your near and dear ones.
As you go for a walk on the beach, you will make acquaintance with an assortment of souvenir-selling shops. Some souvenirs to mention include ethnic jewelry, handcrafted items, and artifacts. You will also catch sight of children playing various games with the utmost joy. The aquarium and the Ice House are two notable attractions of Marina Beach.
2. Don’t miss out the foods in Chennai
Chennai has a wide range of mouth-watering foods to offer. Be it on a fine-dine restaurant or a local street cart, the foods of Chennai will never leave you dissatisfied. Idli, vada, dosa, idiappam, paniyaram, pongal, biryani, murukku sandwich, atho are some foods you should not miss out on your visit to this amazing city.
3. Visit the MGR Film City -Things to do in Chennai
Next on this list of things to do in Chennai is the MGR Film City, which is managed by the government of Tamil Nadu. It has been constructed in 1994, to cherish the memories of MG Ramachandran, who was a tamil actor and a former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu.
MGR Film City covers an area of around 70 acres at Taramani. It is a place where people from the film fraternity work during the shoot of a movie. Apart from being a direct intersection spot to meeting tamil actors, MGR Film City is a place where you will locate a film school, temple, church, mosque, post office, police station and so on. MGR Knowledge Park is a recent addition to MGR Film City.
4. Go sightseeing at Mylapore -Things to do in Chennai
Mylapore is a notable neighborhood of rich history and culture in Chennai. Due to having a tie with the ancient heritage, this locale comprises of a variety of tourist attractions you might want to experience during your trip.
The primary attraction of this neighborhood is the Hindu temple, Kapaleeshwarar Temple. Other attractions to mention are San Thome Cathedral, Luz Church, San Thome Basilica, Madhava Perumal Temple and Ramakrishna Mutt Temple.
5. George Town Markets and Bazaars are sure to allure you
George Town, formerly known as Black Town is a congested neighborhood of Chennai. It is an area occupied by a variety of street stalls, retail shops and wholesale markets selling a wide range of jewelry, clothes, fruits, vegetables, spices and so on. The vibrancy of this neighborhood is sure a photographer’s delight.
6. Find serenity in Marundeeswarar Temple
The majestic Marundeeswarar Temple is situated in Tiruvanmiyur, near Chennai. This temple is dedicated to Hindu deity, Lord Shiva. It is well-known for the self-manifested Shivalinga and the statues of Lord Vinayaka and Lord Muruga. The local believed that the prasadam of this temple aids in curing any health-related issues. So, people attended this temple is regularly for worship by people having diseases concerning their health. You must visit this temple to experience the miraculous impact of this prasadam.
7. Explore Cholamandal Artists’ Village
Next on this list of top things to do in Chennai is visiting a particular art village. If you appreciate visual art, then you are clearly must pay a visit to the Cholamandal Artists’ Village. Cholamandal Artists’ Village is a community for the local artists and sculptors of South India. They sketch, paint, build and sell their works through the exhibitions they conduct. One interesting fact to mention is that these artists and sculptors have not received any financial assistance for the growth of this community. They are self-sufficient and have managed to construct their houses, studios, galleries, theater, and workshops on their own.
8. Find peace in Breezy Beach -Things to do in Chennai
Breezy Beach resides in a remote region in the neighborhood of Valmiki Nagar. This beach is small in area and so, accommodates a few visitors. If you are someone looking for a quiet, soothing beach to have a good experience with your dear ones, Breezy Beach is the one you should go to.
9. Get fascinated by Koyambedu Wholesale Market Complex
Koyambedu Wholesale Market Complex is one of the largest perishable goods markets in the Asia region. The street of this area accommodates a huge array of wholesale shops and retail shops. The most appropriate time to visit the wholesale market is between 3 am to 5 am. So, if you are an early riser, make sure to spend some time experiencing the Koyambedu Wholesale Market Complex.
10. Enjoy the calmness of the Elliot’s Beach
If you want to get immersed in the beauty of nature and experience a surreal moment soaking your feet in the crystal-clear splashing seawater, then you should explore the Elliot’s Beach. Elliot’s Beach resides in Besant Nagar and is one of the cleanest beaches in Chennai city. It is an ideal place to go for long walks with your near and dear ones and share great moments together.
11. Get a glimpse of the culture of Chennai at Kalakshetra Arts Academy
Next up on our list of things to do in Chennai is the Kalakshetra Arts Academy, which is the most celebrated arts academy in South India. It is a cultural school based on traditional Indian art forms. It provides tuition on bharatanatyam, carnatic vocal and instrumental music, the visual arts, traditional crafts, and textile design, history and philosophy. Kalakshetra Arts Academy is open for exploration for visitors and you should not miss out on the chance to visit this wonderful place to know more about the art and culture of Chennai.
12. Pay a visit to Guindy National Park
Guindy National Park is the eighth smallest national park in India and is among very few parks to reside inside a city. It is a protected area of Tamil Nadu. This park is home to snakes, geckos, tortoises, snails, crabs, butterflies, scorpions, spiders and so on. It is a very popular tourist attraction and you should visit this lively park to have a wonderful experience.
13. Visit the Arignar Anna Zoological Park
Arignar Anna Zoological Park, located in Vandalur, is perhaps the most favorite picnic spot for both children and adults. It is a home for a wide range of captivating species. Some of these include lion, camel, tiger, wolf, sangai, nilgai, giraffe, hyena and so on. In addition to experiencing the flora and fauna of the region, visitors will watch lions and deer up close in the safari parks. The vibrant Butterfly House is one of the notable attractions of this park which is sure to mesmerize you in many ways. Arignar Anna Zoological Park is an amazing spot for amusement and recreation.
14. Bookworms should visit the Connemara Public Library
Connemara Public Library is a bookworm’s delight, coming up next on our list of things to do in Chennai. Situated at Egmore, the library is one of the four national depository libraries of India and thus, receives copies of all the books and manuscripts published in India. It has an enormous collection of books, journals, and magazines, totaling to more than six lakhs for you to get engrossed in. The library contains a video room, a periodical hall, a reference room and an entire floor that is solely dedicated to Indian books. If you are a literature geek or a bookworm there is nothing better than this library which you could have asked for.
15. Explore the Dakshinachitra Museum
Dakshinachitra Museum, located at Muttukadu, attempts to preserve the South Indian heritage and culture. It showcases the traditional lifestyle and beauty of South India. Traditional houses from all four south Indian states are reconstructed here. While your visit to Dakshinachitra Museum, make sure to read the information provided at each of the houses and exhibits. This is important to fully appreciate the cultural significance of this place. Besides, Dakshina Chitra itself means the “House of South”. So, if you are a person of history, and a person who love culture , this place is for you. Pay a visit Dakshinachitra Museum to explore and learn about the life and history of South India.
16. Go experience the Nagalapuram Falls
If you want to experience the surreal sound and feel of the waterfall, Nagalapuram Falls is the place for you. Situated at Andhra Pradesh near the Chittoor District, Nagalapuram Falls is the most beautiful and worthwhile place to spend your time on. It offers an epic trekking chance as you go to the forest, in the area of the Eastern Ghats. The trek is scenic; you will witness streams alongside the trek route. There are three waterfalls you will come across and each of them has a pool next to it. The water is very clean and refreshing.
17. Enjoy your time at Talakona Waterfall
Talakona Waterfall is situated in Sri Venkateswara National Park and is regarded as the highest waterfall in the region. Due to having a serene atmosphere with a scenic view, this waterfall is a favorite picnic spot for the visitors. People said that the Crystal-clear water of this waterfall have medicinal characteristics and comes from an unknown underground water source. The attraction is also well-known for trekking, and has many trekking routes around it in the middle of natural, scenic surroundings. If you love waterfalls this place is a paradise for you.
18. Get thrilled at MGM Dizzee World
MGM Dizzee World is one of the oldest and largest theme parks in India. It is very famous for being the pioneer of several attractions in an amusement park. Dated back in 1999, it brought Jurong’s Bird Show to India from Singapore. The park arranged a hot air balloon ride in the year 1998 and a helicopter ride, in 2000.
MGM Dizzee World has a variety of rides for all range of visitors. There are extreme thrill level rides as well as nice and enjoyable rides. Some rides to mention are Ferris wheel, roller coaster, dashing cars, spider spin, the funny mountain, super trooper and so on. Make sure to drop by this amusement park and enjoy to the fullest.
19. Experience the Chennai Sangamam
The Chennai Sangamam is an annual festival celebrated in the city of Chennai. It is organized by the Tamil Maiyam and Department of Tourism and Culture of the Government of Tamil Nadu. This festival takes place during the Tamil harvest festival of Pongal and lasts for a week. It is organized in various open places such as beaches, parks and so on. Traditional folk activities, martial arts, classical dance, and South Indian cuisine are few attractions of this festival. If you happen to arrive at Chennai during the Pongal season make sure to take part in the Chennai Sangamam.
20. Go Up to the Kolli Hills
If you love hiking amidst nature, Kolli Hills is sure to interest you. Kolli Hills is a mountain range situated in Tamil Nadu, in Namakkal. Due to having the Arapaleeswarar temple, Kolli Hills is visited by many for pilgrimage. This place is a favorite among motorcycle enthusiasts due to the high-altitude motor-able terrain. This hill is untouched by tourism, therefore has kept most of its greatness, which makes it superb for trekking.
21. Explore Meghamalai -Things to do in Chennai
Popularly known as the “High Wavy Mountains”, Meghamalai is a beautiful place situated in the Western Ghats of the Tamil Nadu state of India. Meghamalai has plenty of attractions to offer, ranging from tea estates to cardamom plantations and lush green plains to misty mountains. The atmosphere is so serene that it will make your heart filled with joy and peace. So, make sure to keep this place in your list of places to visit in Chennai.
22. Drop by the Santhome Church
San Thome Church is also known as St. Thomas Cathedral Basilica. This church was built in the memory of Saint Thomas and has now become a Basilica. This church has a huge significance in the history of Christianity in India and is one of the three churches in the world to house the tombs of one of Christ’s original disciples.
As you pay a visit to this church, you will get to know the historical tale of this church, dated back a couple of centuries. There is a museum inside the church which showcases the souvenirs of Saint Thomas, a great saint and a legend.
23. Go sightseeing at Napier Bridge -Things to do in Chennai
Napier Bridge is a bridge in Chennai which is constructed over the Coovum River. It is the oldest bridge in the city. Napier Bridge connects Fort St. George and Marina Beach. The view from the bridge is amazing and you should click some pictures of the bridge and the overall view during your visit.
24. Get amazed by the Ripon Building
Ripon Building is named after Lord Ripon who was the Governor-General of British India. Located close to the Chennai Railway Station, it is a classic example of Neoclassical style architecture. The white painted building is to represent the Indo-Saracenic architecture. The building is splendid to look at and is only allowed to be visited with a prior appointment.
25. Pay a visit to Shirdi Sai Baba temple
Shirdi Sai Baba temple is one of the most visited and respected temples not only in Chennai but also in India for the worshippers of the deity of the temple, Sai Baba of Shirdi. This temple is located at Mylapore in Chennai and offers a retreat for anyone, regardless of whether or not they are believers and followers. The temple welcomes people of any religion with open arms. Anyone who wishes to listen to spiritual songs or holy texts is allowed to spend time here in the serene and calm environment. It is a great place to visit and to offer your prayers.
26. Your heart will skip a beat as you explore Madras Crocodile Bank Trust
The Madras Crocodile Bank Trust resides in Mahabalipuram of Tamil Nadu. It is one of the largest reptile zoos in the world, covering an area of eight and a half acres of land with a home to over 2500 reptiles. Apart from witnessing the species of this zoo, such as frogs, lizards, snakes, turtles, the authority has also arranged night safari, guided tours, and feeding programs for the visitors. Madras Crocodile Bank Trust is a great place for you to enjoy the wildlife.
27. Trek through the Kodaikanal -Things to do in Chennai
If you love to immerse yourself in the beauty of nature and trek through the adventurous trails while you enjoy the surreal view around you, then Kodaikanal is the place to be. Kodaikanal, referred to as the Princess of Hill Stations is a hill station located at Dindigul district. It offers a cozy atmosphere filled with the beauty of nature comprising of meandering rivers, cascading waterfalls and verdure valleys. Thus, Kodaikanal is a favorite honeymoon destination and one of the most visited tourist spots in Tamil Nadu. Make sure to have this place listed in your places to visit while you are traveling to Chennai.
28. Visit the VGP Golden Beach
VGP Golden Beach, regarded as one of the most attractive beaches in Chennai, has the cleanest water and is very well maintained. It is located in Injambakkam and is a very popular destination for families to share quality time during their weekends. This beach is a part of the VGP Universal Kingdom, which is a very sought-after amusement park.The atmosphere is cozy becuase of the cool wind and the picturesque view make . Due to the safety environment, the visitors are able to indulge themselves in bathing or swimming in the clean and cool water shower without any worry. The beauty of the beach is so regarded that VGP Golden Beach is often the first choice as a shooting location for movies. If you happen to reach Injambakkam, don’t miss out on your chance to experience VGP Golden Beach. You will surely have a great time there.
29. The Turtle Walk, an awareness event you must experience
Chennai is the home of the Olive Ridley turtle. Starting from January and extending till April, a multitude of turtles come on the beaches to hatch eggs. During these months the Students Sea Turtle Conservation Network (SSTCN) arranges night walks on the beach to search for the eggs so that they are able to collect them and relocate them to a safe space. After the baby turtles hatch, they are setting them free back into the sea. This view is open for visitors to experience and it is sure to mesmerize you.
30. Don’t forget to visit the Thousand Lights Mosque
The Thousand Lights Mosque is one of the most respected mosques of the Tamil Nadu state of India. It is a holy place of worship for the Muslim community, the Shia Muslims in particular. This mosque rose to popularity because of its architectural, historical and religious significance. It the traditional Islamic architectural design with domes and high minarets construction. This mosque has a large prayer hall for men and a separate smaller one for women. It is a great place to offer prayers and seek blessings during your visit.
Chennai is an amazing city to go on a trip. We have talked about the top 30 things you would like to do while your visit to Chennai. These places will be sure to give you some great memories to look back in the future.