Top 32 Best Places To Visit In Chennai

May 27, 2024

Best Places To Visit In Chennai : The capital of Tamil Nadu, Chennai, not only boasts a diverse array of attractions but is also rich in cultural heritage and ancient art. This vibrant Indian metropolis features numerous sea beaches, British colonial architecture, modern markets, and some of the world’s oldest temples. Renowned for its religious architecture, the city’s skyline is adorned with temples, reflecting a unique way of life.

Chennai is home to Marina Beach, the second-largest urban beach globally, attracting thousands of visitors. The city offers a multitude of destinations that will captivate any traveler. Upon visiting Chennai, you will be enthralled by the blend of culinary flavors and cultural experiences. We have curated a list of top places to visit in Chennai, encompassing a mix of historical and contemporary attractions that highlight the city’s colonial past.

1. Covelong Beach

Covelong Beach | At Covelong… | Flickr

Nestled on the Coromandel Coast near the village of Covelong, Covelong Beach is one of the most picturesque beaches near Chennai. Surrounded by palm trees and shimmering silver sand, the beach provides a captivating atmosphere, making it perfect for excursions and picnics. As a major tourist attraction in Chennai, Covelong Beach offers numerous water activities, with swimming and windsurfing being among the favorites.

Whether you stroll along the sands, relax under the palm trees, or savor the tranquility of the sunset, the experiences at this beach are unparalleled. With activities like surfing, jet skiing, and boating, Covelong Beach draws thousands of visitors daily.

2. Thiruvanmiyur Beach

Local Guides Connect - Sunday Morning in Thiruvanmiyur Beach, Chennai - Local Guides Connect

Situated in the Thiruvanmiyur neighborhood of Chennai, Thiruvanmiyur Beach is a serene and relatively secluded spot compared to other local beaches. Renowned for its stunning sunrise and sunset views, it’s an ideal location to relax and rejuvenate. Favored by nature enthusiasts, the beach is even more enchanting than you might expect. It stands out as one of the most romantic destinations in Chennai, perfect for couples and those seeking solitude, thanks to its peaceful and tranquil ambiance.

3. Fort St. George

Fort St. George

A prominent symbol of British history in India, Fort St. George is an official building of the British Empire in Chennai and the first English fortress in India. Established in 1644 in the coastal city of Madras, it now functions as a museum. The impressive monument and its architecture showcase remarkable British craftsmanship. Open to tourists, the fort allows visitors to explore a vast collection of artifacts, paintings, coins, silverware, arms, documents, and more.

4. Madras War Memorial

Victory War Memorial, Chennai - Travel Guide, Places to see - Trodly

Visit the Madras War Memorial to honor the martyrs of the Second World War. As one of the most frequented sites in Chennai, it features well-maintained gardens and beautifully carved white stone structures that detail the names of those who sacrificed their lives during World War II. For a particularly moving experience, visit during Army Day or Vijay Diwas to witness the special homage paid by the armed forces to the fallen heroes.

5. Prakasam Salai

Prakasam Salai

Constructed in 1795, this Roman-style architectural marvel is a major tourist attraction in Chennai. The imposing building, made of distinctive red bricks, boasts a unique charm and can be seen from afar. A visit to Prakasam Salai allows you to immerse yourself in Roman culture as you explore the grounds of this historic edifice.

6. Swami Vivekananda’s House

ancestral building

Embark on an educational journey to deepen your understanding of Indian culture and the life of Swami Vivekananda. This is where Swami Vivekananda spent several days upon his return from the West. Visiting this historical site will inspire positivity and offer a fresh perspective on life. Explore the gallery, meditate in the serene room, and stroll through Vivekananda Park to fully experience the transformative ambiance of this location.

7. Arignar Anna Zoological Park

Arignar Anna Zoological Park

For animal enthusiasts, this destination is a must-visit. It houses over 500 rare and endangered species. Enjoy various safaris, including the Lion Safari and Elephant Safari. In addition to its endangered inhabitants, the zoo showcases a diverse array of the region’s flora and fauna. Located 32 kilometers from Chennai, this zoological park is an excellent weekend getaway for families. Explore the aquarium, crocodile house, butterfly house, and amphibian house during your visit.

8. George Town

George Town

Shopping is an essential part of any trip, and when a marketplace is steeped in history, it becomes even more intriguing. George Town, one of the oldest markets in Chennai, offers a wide array of goods at reasonable prices.

Stroll through the narrow lanes of George Town, where every corner is rich in history and has a unique story to tell. The vibrant scenes and bustling atmosphere are sure to captivate you.

9. Marina Beach

Marina Beach

Immerse yourself in profound serenity and tranquility as you meander along the shores of the world’s second-largest beach. Marina Beach is a mesmerizing spectacle, embraced by graceful palm trees and sparkling golden sands beneath your feet. A renowned tourist destination and a must-visit during your trip to Chennai, Marina Beach enchants visitors with its breathtaking sunrises and sunsets.

The refreshing sea breeze never fails to invigorate you here. Don’t miss the opportunity to savor authentic South Indian snacks like crispy sundal and murukku, available along the beach. Unleash your inner explorer and discover the numerous historical sites nestled near the coastline. Blessed by the divine, Marina Beach is a sublime retreat nestled in the heart of South India.

10. Elliot’s Beach

Edward Elliot's Beach Chennai (Timings, History, Entry Fee, Images & Information) - Chennai Tourism 2023

Situated in Basant Nagar, Chennai, Elliot’s Beach stands out as a prime destination for young visitors. Named after Edward Elliot, a prominent figure in British Madras history, this stunning beach marks the endpoint of the Marina Beach shoreline.

Among Chennai’s many magnificent beaches, Elliot’s Beach is celebrated for its pristine cleanliness. For those seeking solace amidst the beauty of nature, this beach offers a serene and tranquil retreat. To enhance your vacation experience, explore nearby attractions such as the Velankanni Church and the Ashtalakshmi Kovil.

11. Mylapore


Mylapore, nestled in the Chennai district, offers a diverse array of attractions catering to all types of travelers. From revered religious sites to renowned eateries serving mouthwatering cuisine, this neighborhood has something for everyone. Highlights include the iconic Kapaleeswarar Temple and Ramakrishnan Math, contributing to Mylapore’s reputation as one of Chennai’s top destinations. As the oldest residential area in the city, Mylapore holds a treasure trove of history waiting to be explored, making it a must-visit for anyone keen on delving into Chennai’s rich past.

12. Royapuram Fishing Harbour

N4 Beach in Kasimedu: a safe harbour | Latest News | The Hindu

For avid photographers and travelers seeking captivating snapshots of their journeys, Royapuram Fishing Harbor emerges as one of Chennai’s premier tourist destinations. Also known as Kasimedu Fishing Harbor or Chennai Fishing Harbor, this site holds immense allure as one of the city’s primary fishing hubs. A visit here offers a poignant glimpse into the daily lives of Chennai’s locals, with fishermen hauling in their catches amidst a bustling array of boats.

Wandering through the harbor, you’ll witness the vibrant activity of the local fish market, where residents barter for the day’s freshest catches. As dusk descends, the scene transforms into a breathtaking vista, with the setting sun casting a mesmerizing glow over the Chennai Fishing Harbor—a moment of pure bliss awaiting all who venture there.

13. Birla Planetarium

Birla Planetarium

Are you captivated by the mysteries of the solar system? If so, the next stop on our curated list of Chennai’s must-see attractions is tailor-made for you. Embark on a family adventure to the Birla Planetarium, nestled in Kotturpuram, Chennai. Here, you’ll delve into an immersive experience, with cosmic shows and virtual tours unveiling the wonders of our celestial neighborhood.

Bring your children along for an educational journey through the planets, stars, and other celestial phenomena. The Birla Planetarium offers a fascinating exploration of the cosmos, promising an enriching experience for visitors of all ages.

14. Thousand Lights Mosque

Thousand Lights Mosque

Prepare to be awestruck by the grandeur of the Thousand Lights Mosque, one of the nation’s largest mosques boasting an impressive architectural design. Step into the tranquil ambiance of this multi-domed sanctuary, offering a serene space for prayer and meditation. The mosque features separate sections for both men and women, ensuring a respectful and inclusive environment.

When planning your visit, remember to dress modestly and cover your head as a sign of respect. The Thousand Lights Mosque welcomes visitors from 5:30 AM to 9 PM daily, providing ample opportunities to experience its spiritual ambiance and architectural splendor.

15. Guindy National Park

Guindy National Park

Guindy National Park, the 8th smallest national park in India, stands as a haven for wildlife enthusiasts in Chennai. Home to a diverse array of creatures including deer, blackbucks, jackals, snakes, and tortoises, this sanctuary offers a rich tapestry of biodiversity. With approximately 130 species of birds and 14 species of mammals, the park promises an exciting adventure for visitors of all ages.

Whether you’re keen on spotting mammals, birds, or other fascinating creatures, Guindy National Park is a must-visit destination in Chennai. Grab your binoculars and prepare for an unforgettable birdwatching experience amidst the park’s lush surroundings.

16. Parthasarathy Temple

Parthasarathy Templer

Parthasarathy Temple stands as a cherished religious landmark in Chennai, tracing its origins back to the 8th century and dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Nestled in Thiruvallikeni, this venerable temple was commissioned by King Narasimhavarman I and remains a testament to ancient architectural prowess.

Devotees flock to this sacred site to pay homage to Lord Vishnu, whose five incarnations—Gajendra Varadaraja, Narasimha, Ranganatha, Rama, and Krishna—are revered within its hallowed halls. To witness the temple’s grand ceremonies in full splendor, time your visit to coincide with traditional festivals, ensuring a truly immersive spiritual experience.

17. Valluvar Kottam

Valluvar Kottam

Valluvar Kottam stands as a striking tribute to the esteemed poet and philosopher Valluvar in Chennai. Thiruvalluvar’s profound contributions to literature have left an indelible mark on Chennai’s cultural landscape. Inaugurated in 1976, this monument has since become a focal point for tourists visiting Chennai.

Shaped like a majestic chariot, Valluvar Kottam boasts one of India’s largest auditoriums. Visitors can marvel at the intricate inscriptions of Valluvar’s renowned work, comprising 133 chapters, adorning the monument’s walls. As one of Tamil Nadu’s most significant landmarks, Valluvar Kottam is a must-visit destination for travelers seeking to immerse themselves in the region’s rich cultural heritage.

18. Government Museum

Located in Chennai, the Government Museum, also known as the Madras Museum, stands as a testament to human history and culture. Within its walls reside some of India’s most precious artifacts, drawing scholars and enthusiasts alike. Established in 1851, it holds the distinction of being the second oldest museum in India and the tenth oldest globally. Its architectural charm, blending Indo-Gothic and colonial styles, offers a captivating backdrop for exploration.

The museum’s allure lies not only in its age but also in its extensive collections, particularly in archaeology and numismatics. History aficionados revel in its displays, which include rare paintings by notable Indian and European artists. One of its most striking features is the vast array of bronze idols, spanning back to 1000 BC, totaling an impressive 500 pieces. As the third-largest museum globally, it continues to captivate visitors with its wealth of historical treasures, making it a must-visit destination for tourists in Chennai.

19. Breezy Beach

beach festival

Tucked away in the tranquil Valmiki Nagar district of Chennai, this idyllic beach provides a serene escape from the urban hustle and bustle. Situated approximately 9 kilometers away from the city hub, it beckons with its peaceful ambiance and breathtaking sunrises, setting the perfect backdrop for a leisurely day out.

Renowned for its picturesque vistas and delectable breakfast offerings at the nearby eateries, this beach is a favored destination among both locals and tourists seeking respite from their daily routines. While strolling along the sandy shores, visitors can indulge in a variety of street snacks, such as savory sandwiches and steaming idlis, before exploring the vibrant Thiruvanmiyur market for unique souvenirs and trinkets.

20. Marundeeswarar Temple

Marundeeswarar Temple in Chennai

Nestled along the serene shores of the Bay of Bengal in Chennai, the Marundeeswarar Temple stands as a revered sanctuary dedicated to Lord Shiva, known here as Marundeeswar, the deity of healing. Pilgrims journey from every corner of the nation, seeking solace and supplication for the alleviation of their afflictions.

This architectural marvel embodies the timeless beauty of Dravidian craftsmanship, its origins traced back to the skilled hands of the Nayanars, Appar, and Thirugnana Sambandar during the 7th and 8th centuries. It was later embellished and elevated to prominence by the illustrious Chola dynasty in the 11th century.

Today, this sacred site remains a beacon of spirituality and a magnet for tourists, its historical significance and architectural splendor drawing visitors from far and wide. Among its many wonders, the temple’s unique prasadam, a divine concoction of ash, water, and milk, is revered for its purported medicinal properties, believed to offer respite from maladies and infirmities of all kinds.

21. Ashtalakshmi Temple

Ashtalakshmi Temple, Chennai - History, Timings, Entry Fee, Location - YoMetro

Nestled along the tranquil shores of the Bay of Bengal in Chennai lies the enchanting Ashtalakshmi Temple, a vibrant haven of Hindu spirituality just a stone’s throw away from the famed Basant Beach. Devoted to the revered deity of wealth and wisdom, this sacred sanctuary resonates with the soothing melody of ocean waves, enveloping visitors in a serene aura of tranquility.

The temple serves as a beacon of religious fervor, drawing devotees from far and wide to partake in the sacred rituals, including the esteemed ‘Jeernodhara Ashta Bandana Maha Kumbhabhishekam’. A cherished pilgrimage site and a highlight of Chennai’s tourist attractions, the Ashtalakshmi Temple beckons to the faithful and the curious alike, promising a glimpse into the rich tapestry of Hindu tradition and spirituality.

22. Connemara Library

Connemara Library

Standing as a venerable cornerstone of the city’s cultural landscape, the Connemara Library, established in 1896, stands as a bastion of literary riches. As one of India’s esteemed National Depository Libraries, it serves as a repository for the nation’s literary output, receiving a copy of every publication, be it book, newspaper, or periodical.

A sanctuary for bibliophiles, this centenarian institution boasts a diverse and expansive collection of books, braille manuscripts, and periodicals, drawing scholars and enthusiasts alike to its hallowed halls. Nestled in the heart of Chennai’s Egmore district, the library’s meticulously preserved surroundings offer a serene retreat, inviting visitors to immerse themselves in the boundless sea of knowledge it houses. A revered destination among Chennai’s tourist attractions, the Connemara Library promises a day of enlightenment and discovery for all who venture within its storied walls.

23. Madras Crocodile Bank Trust

The Madras Crocodile Bank Trust isn’t your typical zoo—it’s a lavish sanctuary dedicated to preserving these remarkable reptiles. Here, you’ll encounter the awe-inspiring yet serene beauty of crocodiles thriving in their natural habitat. It’s an educational haven for youngsters eager to delve into the wonders of wildlife, boasting over 17 species of crocodiles, some of which are perilously close to extinction according to the IUCN.

Conceived by the renowned wildlife advocate and herpetologist, Romulus ‘Rom’ Whitaker, this initiative aims to safeguard the dwindling crocodile populations across the subcontinent. Located in Chennai, the Crocodile Bank welcomes visitors six days a week, offering a captivating experience that’s well worth your time.

24. Nettukuppam

In the bustling city of Chennai lies a hidden gem known as Nettukuppam—a quaint fishing village nestled at the northern edge of the metropolis. Here, you’ll discover an untouched expanse of shoreline, where the beach remains pristine and tranquil. Adding to its charm is the weathered pier, casting a picturesque backdrop that’s straight out of a postcard.

Though weekends and festivals draw more visitors to the beach, Nettukuppam typically enjoys a quieter, more secluded ambiance. Situated approximately 20 kilometers from the city center, reaching this idyllic retreat takes a leisurely drive lasting three to four hours. As dusk settles, marvel at the mesmerizing Chennai skyline aglow with twinkling lights from the comfort of this serene coastline. And for early risers, a treat awaits as local fishermen offer their fresh catches at reasonable prices, providing a taste of authentic coastal life.

25. Basilica of Our Lady of Good Health

Basilica of Our Lady of Good Health Chennai

Standing majestically near Elliot’s Beach is the Basilica of Our Lady of Good Health, fondly known as the Vailankanni shrine—a monumental Catholic church of profound significance to Indian Christians. Originally a humble chapel erected by Portuguese mariners who attributed their survival from a perilous storm at sea to Mother Mary, it has since evolved into a grandiose white sanctuary.

Today, this revered site draws millions of faithful pilgrims from every corner of India during its annual nine-day festival. Over five centuries have passed since its modest beginnings, yet the Vailankanni shrine remains an enduring symbol of faith and devotion, embodying the miraculous intervention believed to have occurred on those turbulent waters so long ago.

26. San Thome Church

Santhome Church so beautiful

Nestled amidst Chennai’s landscape is the resplendent San Thome Church, a unique testament to history and faith, marking the final resting place of Saint Thomas. Its gleaming white facade captivates both locals and visitors alike, drawing them into its tranquil embrace. This architectural marvel not only echoes the echoes of colonial heritage but also serves as a poignant reminder of Chennai’s rich tapestry of culture and spirituality. It stands as a must-visit destination, offering a glimpse into the city’s storied past and enduring legacy.

27. Kapaaleshwar Temple

Renowned for its distinctive architecture, the Kapaaleshwar Temple in Chennai showcases the timeless beauty of Dravidian craftsmanship. Towering at approximately 37 meters, its grandeur captivates all who visit. The temple bursts with vitality during the months of March and April, attracting devotees and sightseers alike.

Central to its allure is a vast tank brimming with sacred waters, steeped in religious significance. This tranquil oasis serves as a focal point for spiritual reflection and devotion, adding to the temple’s allure and reverence.

28. Vadapalani Murugan Temple

Vadapalani Murugan Temple, Chennai (Madras) - Tripadvisor

With a rich history spanning 125 years, this temple stands as a cherished landmark in the heart of the capital city. Devoted to Lord Murugan, its vibrant halls showcase intricate carvings that enchant visitors. What sets this temple apart is its rare depiction of Lord Murugan wearing footwear—an anomaly in the temples of South India, adding to its uniqueness and allure.

29. Golden Beach

VGP Golden Beach

True to its name, this immaculate shoreline boasts vast stretches of golden sands that shimmer under the sun. While technically a private beach under the ownership of VGP Universal Kingdom, visitors can still bask in the full spectrum of excitement offered by the adjacent VGP Amusement Parks. Renowned for its cleanliness, this beach is a beloved destination in Chennai, offering breathtaking vistas of both sunrise and sunset that never fail to captivate.

30. Akkarai Beach

Tannirbhavi Beach

Ankara Beach, yet another gem in Chennai’s coastal crown, boasts a captivating blend of lush greenery and serene vistas along its shoreline. This hidden treasure stands out as one of the city’s lesser-known havens, maintaining its pristine beauty and peaceful ambiance from dawn to dusk.

31. Ripon Building

Ripon Building Chennai (Timings, History, Entry Fee, Images & Information) - Chennai Tourism 2023

The Ripon Building stands tall as a cherished attraction in Chennai, drawing tourists with its imposing presence and distinctive Romanesque architecture. Erected in 1913, this grand edifice pays homage to Lord Ripon, a distinguished figure who served as governor-general during British India’s colonial era.

32. Besant

Besant Nagar Beach , Chennai: How To Reach, Best Time & Tips

For those seeking budget-friendly attractions in Chennai, Besant Nagar presents an enticing option. Nestled along the picturesque East Coast of the Bay of Bengal, it offers a serene retreat, bordered by Thiruvanmiyur to the south. Adding to its charm are a revered church and temple, attracting a steady stream of devotees who come to unwind amidst the tranquil surroundings at their leisure.

Best Places To Visit In Chennai : Chennai, a bustling metropolis, is adorned with natural beauty, rendering it an ideal getaway destination. A journey to this vibrant city promises not only cultural immersion but also a serene travel escapade. Including the aforementioned must-visit locales in your Chennai itinerary guarantees a truly fulfilling experience in this Tamil Nadu gem.

One thought on “Top 32 Best Places To Visit In Chennai

  1. May 31, 2024

    The positivity and optimism conveyed in this blog never fails to uplift my spirits Thank you for spreading joy and positivity in the world

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