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Discover the Best Things To Do and See in Chennai

9 mins. read

Tamil Nadu is the southernmost state of India and represents Tamil-speaking people, also known as Dravidians (the descendants of the early Inhabitants of India). It is the second largest state economy of India, whose largest industrial and commercial centre is its capital city – Chennai. Despite bustling with economic activities all year, Chennai offers respite, adventure, fun, historical learning, a spiritual environment, food delights and much more to its visitors. Chennai truly encapsulates the ideal experience of a South Indian city and is thus known as the Gateway to South India. It makes it a perfect cosmopolitan city, open to be explored, lived, and celebrated.

No matter if you are flying solo, with friends and family or with your significant other, the below list of the best things to do in Chennai will be helpful.

7 Things to Do in the Vibrant Capital City of Chennai

  • Discover Chennai's Rich Culture
  • Indulge in South Indian Food
  • Enjoy Beautiful Beaches
  • Step into Chennai's Nightlife (pasha)
  • Local Markets of Chennai
  • Temples in Chennai
  • Kalakshetra Foundation

Discover Chennai’s Rich Culture

Among the many things to do in Chennai, knowing its culture comes at the top. Culture is what makes a city and its people. And it isn’t found in books or movies. It’s right there, on the streets. The moment you are in Chennai, you can witness how the city’s culture is reflected in its diverse population. One visit to Mylapore, Chennai’s cultural centre and the oldest neighbourhood, can give you a fair idea of Chennai’s rich and welcoming culture. Throng with eateries, temples, churches, markets, and a park, Mylapore is amongst the top places to visit in Chennai to discover its vast and deep-rooted culture and heritage.

Indulge in South Indian Food

Nothing reveals more about a city than its food, especially street food. One of the best things to do in Chennai is to explore all the food options. Try to indulge in the deliciousness of South Indian food, which is easy on the stomach, tasty on the tongue and loved by the entire nation. Below are a few must-visit eat-outs on your stay:

  • Viswanathan Chettinadu Hotel, Mylapore, for Madhurai-style Homemade Food!
  • Sapthagiri Tiffin Centre, T Nagar for Podi Dosas!
  • Tibbs Frankie, Basant Nagar for Kebabs & Tikka Rolls!
  • Novelty Tea House, Mint Street, for Pav Bhaji!
  • Gopaul Dairy, Georgetown, for the Freshest Buns with Butter and jam!
  • Over 100 years old Kalathi Newspaper Mart, Mylapore for Preservative-free Rose Milk!
  • Links Chaat, Strahans Road for Every Kind of Chaats!
  • Ravi Anna Kadai, T. Nagar forNei Podi Dosa with Sambhar!
  • Oye Hoye!, Khader Nawaz Khan Road forChole Bhature, Amritsari Kulche & Gulab Jamuns!

And if you like to experience unconventional ambience with lick-worthy food, try these restaurants in Chennai:

  • Kaidi Kitchen, Mylapore – Get served by Police and prisoners inside the cell.
  • The RainForest, Adyar – Choose from a huge menu and eat amid some natural scenery.
  • Haunted, Anna Nagar – Feel how the food tastes in an eerie atmosphere and spookiness!
  • Sunset Grill at Westin in Velachery – A Rooftop setting for THAT candlelight dinner.

Enjoy Beautiful Beaches

Enjoy Beautiful Beaches

Does the city become famous for its beaches, or are the beaches famous by the city? Get your answer by visiting some of the most beautiful beaches in the country, housed by Chennai. Beaches bring to you a confluence point where you can witness the sun bow to the city every day while the city lits up and waits for its return. Some beaches at Chennai that offer the best representation of such spectacle are:

Marina Beach near Mylapore – Do head to the top of Madras Lighthouse at the southernmost end to witness a surreal, expansive view.

Edward Elliot’s Beach – Take a stroll at the striking shoreline of Chennai’s cleanest beach, which also houses Ashtalakshmi Temple, along with numerous shacks and food options.

Sadras Beach – In contrast to the happenings at Marina & Elliot’s beach, Sadras Beach gives you seclusion and quietness.

Step into Chennai’s Nightlife

One of the fun things to do in Chennai is to be a night owl! The city offers a vibrant and lively nightlife to the visitors and people of Chennai. There are many pubs and clubs in Chennai offering an eclectic, groovy, and safe atmosphere where music reverberates all night and spirits keep flowing. Visiting a top club is one of the best things to do in Chennai with friends. A few pubs and clubs that stamped their names in the top list are:

The Moon and Sixpence: With an Irish décor exhibiting a laidback ambience, you know you are in for a relaxed evening. Opens at 3 PM till 12 midnight, it is one of Chennai’s best bars located near the airport.

Pasha: From 8 PM to 2 AM, Pasha is a place to be, especially on a Saturday night. A charmingly seductive and pulsating club, Pasha at The Park, Nungambakkam, tells you clearly how Chennai is sky-high when it comes to celebrating nightlife.

Local Markets in Chennai

Shopping on vacations has its own charm. Not only do you bring back memories in the form of artefacts, handicrafts, and fabrics that are new to your city, but you also learn more about the heritage and culture of the visiting city. From the main shopping district in Chennai at Thyagaraya Nagar (T. Nagar) to one of Asia’s largest vegetable markets known as Koyambedu wholesale market near Anna Nagar and the ancient Fishing market at Royapuram, you get to witness the expansiveness of the area and variety of products. A couple of these markets start as early as 3 AM and witness a hoard of buyers. It makes Chennai live up to the name of a trade town, which started since its beginning.

Religious Places in Chennai

Religious Places in Chennai

As a mark of devotion, visiting a religious place is always a peaceful thing to do in Chennai or anywhere. The capital city of Tamil Nadu is dotted with temples, churches and mosques. These shrines are important places, offering a spiritual environment inside out. Some of the notable and remarkable places to visit in Chennai are:

Kapleeshwer Temple – Located in the heart of Mylapore, this gorgeous-looking temple with colourful gopuram and pillared mandaps is dedicated to Lord Shiva and becomes liveliest during the Bhramotsav festival in March and April.

San Thome Church – This Roman Catholic cathedral is an exquisitely looking white structure and visually stunning interiors. It is believed to be the final resting place of St. Thomas the Apostle.

Thousand Lights Mosque – It’s a highly revered place for all Muslims in Tamil Nadu. Located in Anna Salai, this architectural marvel is built in traditional Islamic design, having towering minarets and domes and the interiors are adorned with verses from the Quran.

Vivekanand House – To have spread the message of love and world peace throughout his life, the ‘mystic and wandering monk’ Swami Vivekanand’s life is no less than a celebration. The Vivekanand House is where this spiritual leader stayed around 1897 and gave many discourses.

Kalakshetra Foundation

Another stuff to do in Chennai is to explore your artistic side. Chennai has roots deep in India’s history, and the city has seen tremendous growth in every aspect, including its artistic endeavour. Being the birthplace of Indian classical dance form – Bharatnatyam – Chennai celebrates this Tamil dance and music at Kalakshetra School of Arts. Built in 1936, the school is set amid beautiful green grounds and provides students from disadvantaged backgrounds a chance to enhance their art by offering sponsorship. A visit to this rich, colourful and knowledgeable place can get you to join and learn various courses.

Chennai does exhibit the traditional Tamilian culture, but it is truly a cosmopolitan hub, and the people here know how to have the time of their lives. It is a visitor’s paradise where people come from worldwide and also book tour packages from Chennai to nearby states and foreign lands. If you plan to visit Chennai, consider booking one of the Chennai tour packages from Veena World, which provides the best itineraries that promise a complete Chennai experience.

October 28, 2023


Veena World
Veena World

We are an Indian travel company founded in 2013 and excel at domestic and international tour packages including guided group tours, specialty tours, customized holidays, corporate MICE travel, inbound travel and destination weddings.

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