Located on the Coromandel Coast of India, Chennai is aptly called the Cultural Capital of South India. The city showcases its rich heritage through an amazing array of temples, churches, historical buildings, monuments, and museums. Equally fascinating are its golden sandy beaches and lip-smacking cuisine that includes fluffy idlis, aromatic filter coffee, tasty pongal, and melt-in-the-mouth masala dosas. There is no dearth of towering skyscrapers, amusement parks, shopping malls, and other modern attractions as well in Chennai, which paint the city in a very different light.

However, if you have just 48 hours to explore all these attractions, planning your sightseeing schedule could be an overwhelming task. Need some help? Here’s a comprehensive itinerary to experience the best of Chennai’s attractions in 2 days.

  Time Slot / Things to do
DAY 1 6.00 am – 8.15 am: Watch the sunrise at Marina Beach followed by a quintessential South Indian breakfast at Triplicane
  8.30 am – 11.30 am: Visit Sri Parthasarathy and other iconic religious attractions
  12.00 pm – 2.00 pm: Take a tour of the Government Museum followed by lunch
  2.30 pm – 4.00 pm: Soak in the history of Fort St. George
  4.15 pm onwards: Head to Burma Bazaar for some budget shopping followed by an early dinner
DAY 2 10.00 am – 3.30 pm: Explore the cultural and culinary delights of Mylapore
  4.00 pm – 5.00 pm: Witness the architectural beauty of Marundeeswarar Temple
  5.15 pm – 6.30 pm: Watch the sunset at Elliot Beach
  7.00 pm onwards: Shop till you drop at T. Nagar followed by dinner

DAY 1

6.00 am – 8.15 am: Watch the sunrise at Marina Beach followed by a quintessential South Indian breakfast at Triplicane

Marina Beach | 2 Days Itinerary Chennai

Marina Beach | 2 Days Itinerary Chennai

How about starting your first day with an early morning visit to the famous Marina Beach, one of the most popular beaches in Chennai? Stroll down the sandy shore and explore some of the man-made attractions dotting this longest natural urban beach in India.

What to do

  • Watch a glorious sunrise
  • Visit the lighthouse and enjoy a bird’s-eye view of the city
  • Take a look at some of the statues and monuments like the Labour Statue, Kannagi Statue, Bharathiar Statue, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Statue, Mahatma Gandhi Statue, G U Pope Statue, etc.
  • Visit the resting places of Tamil Nadu’s former chief ministers – M.G. Ramachandran, Anna Durai, K. Karunanidhi, and J. Jayalalitha

Now it’s time to head towards Triplicane, a busy commercial hub located near the beach, and relish a typical South Indian breakfast at a restaurant there.

  • By road: 5 minutes’ drive

Where to eat

  • Ratna Café
  • Sangeetha Veg Restaurant
  • Ananda Bhavan
  • Vishwanathan Chettinadu Restaurant
  • Bharathi Mess

After a satiating breakfast, proceed to explore some of the religious attractions in the city, located at a short distance from Triplicane.

  • By road: 5 minutes’ drive
  • By walk: 8 to 10 minutes

8.30 am – 11.30 am: Visit Sri Parthasarathy and other iconic religious attractions

Sri Parthasarathy Temple | 2 Days Itinerary Chennai

Sri Parthasarathy Temple | 2 Days Itinerary Chennai

Chennai is home to many magnificent places of worship that are known as much for their religious and historical significance as for their architectural beauty. Spend a couple of hours exploring some of these religious structures. Your first stop should be Sri Parthasarathy Temple, one of the oldest temples of Chennai known for its history and architecture. It is located in Triplicane, so you can even walk your way to the temple.

  • Timings:00 am to 12.00 pm and 4.00 pm to 9.00 pm; every day
  • Entry fee: Free

Once you have explored the temple and its premises, head off to visit two other key religious attractions in the city, namely:

  • Santhome Cathedral Basilica ( 10 minutes’ drive from Sri Parthasarathy Temple)
  • Thousand Lights Mosque ( 15 to 20 minutes’ drive from Santhome Cathedral Basilica)

Santhome Church, also known as St. Thomas Cathedral Basilica, is among the must-visit churches in Chennai and features a white façade, naturally lit interiors, and Neo-Gothic architectural style. The Thousand Lights Mosque, a multi-domed mosque that showcases elements of medieval architectural style, is no less stunning.

Now that you have seen the spiritual side of the city, how about exploring its history and culture a bit? Your next stop is the Government Museum, the second oldest museum in India.

  • By road: 10 to 12minutes’ drive (from Thousand Lights Mosque)

12.00 pm – 2.00 pm: Take a tour of the Government Museum followed by lunch

Government Museum | 2 Days Itinerary Chennai

Government Museum | 2 Days Itinerary Chennai

The Government Museum in Chennai offers fine insight into Tamil Nadu’s culture, art, and natural heritage. Constructed in the Indo-Saracenic style, the museum houses rich collections of archaeological artifacts, coins, bronze idols, Roman antiquities, and rare paintings by Asian and European artists, among other things.

  • Timings: 9.30 am to 5.00 pm; closed on Fridays and National Holidays
  • Entry fee: ₹ 15 for Indian adults; ₹10 for Indian kids; ₹ 250 for foreign adults; ₹ 125 for foreign kids
  • Camera charges: ₹ 200 for photography; ₹ 500 for videography

The tour through the museum will leave you famished for sure. Take a break and treat yourself to a filling lunch at a nearby restaurant.

Where to eat

  • Palmshore Restaurant
  • Sangeetha Veg Restaurant
  • Annalakshmi Restaurant
  • Mathsya

After lunch, make your way to Fort St. George, another structure steeped in the city’s rich colonial history.

  • By road: 20 minutes’ drive

2.30 pm – 4.00 pm: Soak in the history of Fort St. George

Fort St. George | 2 Days Itinerary Chennai

Fort St. George | 2 Days Itinerary Chennai

The magnificent Fort St. George once served as the headquarters for the British rulers on the Coromandel Coast. Currently, the fort houses the legislative assembly of Tamil Nadu and also has a church and museum within its compound.

  • Timings: 9.00 am to 5.00 pm; closed on Fridays
  • Entry Fee: ₹ 5 for Indians; ₹ 100 for foreigners

What to see

  • Mary’s Church
  • The Museum
  • The Flag Staff

Had enough of history and historical structures? Move towards Burma Bazaar, one of the popular shopping places in Chennai.

  • By road: 10 minutes’ drive

4.15 pm onwards: Head to Burma Bazaar for some budget shopping followed by an early dinner

Burma Bazaar | 2 Days Itinerary Chennai

Burma Bazaar | 2 Days Itinerary Chennai

One of the old market areas of Chennai, Burma Bazaar is a place where you can shop for a variety of items at pocket-friendly prices. Gadgets, perfumes, apparels or stationery items, you can find them all here. Make sure to use your bargaining skills and shop all you want!

  • Timings: 11.00 am to 10.00 pm; every day

Burma Bazar is speckled with several restaurants as well. End your day with an early dinner at one of these restaurants and retire to your room.

Where to eat

  • Al Bismi Hotel
  • Hotel Zum Zum
  • Chennai Woodlands
  • Al Arz Restaurant
  • Hotel National
  • Kalyana Bhavan Hotel
  • Top Form Restaurant

DAY 2

10.00 am – 3.30 pm: Explore the cultural and culinary delights of Mylapore

Mylapore | 2 Days Itinerary Chennai

Mylapore | 2 Days Itinerary Chennai

After a relaxed breakfast at the hotel, start your second day of sightseeing with a visit to Mylapore – the cultural hub of the city. Speckled with temples, tree-lined avenues, traditional eateries, and a host of shopping spots, the neighborhood will keep you engaged for hours.

What to see

  • Kapaleeshwarar Temple
  • Adi Kesava Perumal Temple
  • Sri Vedantha Desikar Devasthanam
  • Madhava Perumal Temple
  • Ramakrishna Math
  • Luz Church
  • Old houses on Mada Street

Don’t forget to take out some time from your sightseeing and enjoy an authentic South

Indian lunch at one of the eateries dotting the area.

Where to eat

  • Ratna Café
  • Nithya Amritam
  • Mylai Karpagambal Mess
  • Rayar’s Mess

After exploring the cultural and culinary delights of Mylapore, it’s time to visit one of the top religious and architectural splendors of Chennai – the Marundeeswarar Temple.

  • By road: 30 minutes’ drive

4.00 pm – 5.00 pm: Witness the architectural beauty of Marundeeswarar Temple

Marundeeswarar Temple | 2 Days Itinerary Chennai

Marundeeswarar Temple | 2 Days Itinerary Chennai

It is believed that Marundeeswarar Temple, where Lord Shiva is worshipped as the God of Medicines, relieves people of their health issues. The current structure of the temple was built by Chola kings in the 9th century and later expanded by the rulers of the Vijayanagar Empire. Adorned with two huge seven-tiered gateway towers, the spellbinding temple exhibits the Dravidian style of architecture.

  • Timings: 5.00 am to 12.00 pm and 4.00 pm to 9.00 pm; every day

Once you are done exploring the temple, head towards Elliot Beach for some relaxed moments.

  • By road: 15 minutes’ drive

5.15 pm – 6.30 pm: Watch the sunset at Elliot Beach

Elliot Beach | 2 Days Itinerary Chennai

Elliot Beach | 2 Days Itinerary Chennai

Elliot Beach aka Besant Nagar Beach is one of the cleanest beaches in Chennai. Bathed in tranquility, it is a great place to relax and watch the sun bid adieu to the day. Do not miss out on exploring some of the structures adorning the beach. Also, spend a few moments to pamper your taste buds with a quick bite or two from the beach stalls.

What to do

  • Relax on the sandy shores
  • Go for a long walk
  • Explore the Velankanni Church
  • Visit Ashtalakshmi Temple
  • Stroll down to the Karl Schmidt Memorial
  • Eat some delicious grubs at one of the beach stalls

Now get ready for some retail therapy at one of the most happening shopping hubs of Chennai. Yes, the one and only T. Nagar!

  • By road: 30 minutes’ drive

7.00 pm onwards: Shop till you drop at T. Nagar followed by dinner

T. Nagar | 2 Days Itinerary Chennai

T. Nagar | 2 Days Itinerary Chennai

Famous as a shopaholic’s paradise, Thyagaraya Nagar aka T. Nagar is the largest shopping hub in the city where you can shop for everything from clothes and jewelry to knick-knacks and accessories. Add to that the pocket-friendly prices and you have the perfect excuse to shop till you drop!

  • Timings: 10.00 am to 9.00 pm; every day

With all that shopping and walking around, it is natural that you feel hungry. But worry not! T. Nagar has several eateries to cater to the foodie in you. Once you are done shopping, go for a relaxed dinner at one of these restaurants to end your Chennai trip on a ‘delicious’ note.

Where to eat

  • Coal Barbecues
  • AB’s – Absolute Barbecues
  • Barbeque Nation
  • 3B’s – Buddies, Bar & Barbecue
  • Sangeetha Veg Restaurant
  • Hotel Junior Kuppanna
  • Courtallam Border Rahmath Kadai
  • Dindigul Thalappakatti

Had a good time? Finally, call it a day and depending on your schedule, head towards your hotel or the airport.

Recommended Hotels in Chennai:

Use Coupon Code "FABSTAR", Get 30% Discount!