There was a time when the name Chennai or Madras would bring up the image of a bowl of Idlis dipped in Sambhar on a table at a not-so-Jazzy restaurant. But, gone are those days as the bowl of idli has been gently nudged aside by a bowl of risotto and the little homely restaurant is now a swanky pub sitting smack in the center of the city. The scenario has changed not only on the food front, but also in the entertainment arena for almost all major cities like Chennai. Entertainment for the people of Chennai has an altogether different connotation now and is way beyond a visit to the nearest coffee shop. This list below mentions the most popular places to visit in Chennai with your group of friends.
1. VGP Universal Kingdom
If you are thinking about the best places to visit in Chennai with friends, you have to consider VGP. The amusement park offers thrilling adventurous activities for all age groups. It is the coolest place to hang out with friends as it offers eateries, adventure activities, rides and shows. If you are lucky enough, you might spot a shooting or two happening at the park, giving you a chance to spot your favorite celebrity. The water park has some crazy stuff happening all the time to excite the visitors. It has the among biggest wave pools in Chennai, which can hold as many as 1500 people at a time. The artificial waves are so authentic that they give you a real-life sea feel.
Food options inside the park are multiple and varied from Mughlai, Chinese, and Italian to authentic South Indian and Continental. The Family Roast is a supremely popular dish served here and is so humungous that it takes an entire family to consume, with leftovers.
- Fun quotient: Circus Train, Alaudin, Dashing Car, Go-karting, Water Chute, Tele Combat, Balloon Racer, Doll Kingdom, Flying Machine and Jungle Car, live music shows and dance performances
- Entry fee:
Adults: ₹ 550 (Universal Kingdom + Aqua Kingdom); ₹ 945 (Universal Kingdom + Aqua Kingdom + Snow Kingdom)
Children (90 cm to 120 cm): ₹ 450 (Universal Kingdom + Aqua Kingdom); ₹ 845 (Universal Kingdom + Aqua Kingdom + Snow Kingdom)
- Timings: 11:00 am to 7:30 pm
This backwater area in the Kanchipuram district is the haven for people living in Chennai looking out for some adventure in the form of watersports and boating. Opportunities for rowing, water skiing and windsurfing make it one of the best places to visit around Chennai. This is essentially a boathouse from where you can hire speed boats, row boats, water scooters etc. Plus, there is also a water park here, called MGM Dizzee World that you can hit for a thrilling time. If water sports and thrill rides do not enthrall you, then there are places like crocodile park, Thiruvidanthai Temple and Mayajaal Multiplex are not too far. The food scene is a little tight, with only selected items available at the restaurants. But, there is never a shortage of ice-cream so you can splurge as much as you want on it. The place is a family destination as well as a favorite hangout for groups.
- Fun Quotient: Karnakasi Ranger, Arrow Loop Roller Coaster, Dashing Boat, Dizee Shake, Dakshinchitra
- Entry Fee:
Boat Rides: ₹ 120 to ₹ 700
MGM Dizzee World: Adults – ₹ 599 (Jumbo Package); ₹ 899 (Mega Fun) and Children – ₹ 499 (Jumbo Package); 699 (Mega Fun)
Boat House: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
MGM Dizzee World: 10:30 am to 6:30 pm (Weekdays); 10:30 am to 7:30 pm (Weekdays)
- How to Reach: Driving down the East Coast Road would take somewhere between 1.5 – 2 hours. Bus connectivity between Muttukadu and Chennai is quite good.
3. The Crown
Thinking about a romantic dinner with your partner will immediately make you fix up a reservation at The Crown, situated at the rooftop of The Residency Towers. A poolside table with gorgeous-looking and of course, delicious food, against the backdrop of great music, is what makes this place one of the top romantic places in Chennai to take your partner to. The place offers inside as well as an outdoor seating, and you can pick the one depending on the weather and mood. The Indian and Continental food served with a dash of live music has made the people of Chennai fall in love with this restaurant.
- Location: The Residency Towers, T Nagar
- Must-try Dishes: Murgh Angaara, fish grill, beef steak, Palak Kebab, Paneer Dilruba, Vodka-marinated chili prawns, pasta and beef in paprika Cream, and exotic Mediterranean vegetables
- Timings: 6:00 pm to 11:30 pm
- Price for Two: ₹ 2050 with alcohol
4. Sera, The Tapas Bar
With its unique vibes, Sera is Chennai’s first Spanish-style tavern offering an exciting Tapas menu. This is one place that has been there for decades, lived through several name changes but still manages to wow Chennai. It is one of the best places to visit in Chennai for couples on a Friday night. You will have to visit the place more than once, not just because you will fall in love with it, but to try out the enormous variety of cocktails there. If picking from the a la carte menu seems too fussy, then drop by for their scrumptious Sunday lunch, buffet style.
- Location: Cathedral Road, Gopalapuram
- Must-try Dishes: Nachos, pasta, pepper chicken, chili paneer, brownie
- Timings: 12:30 pm to 12:00 am
- Price for Two: ₹ 1600 with alcohol
The South American decor and cuisine will transport you instantly to the land of empanadas. This is one of the handful of authentic South American retro pubs in India. The bartenders at Sudaka, who are addressed as barmaids by guests, whip up one wild cocktail after the other. If you are scouting a list of the best places to visit in Chennai with friends, this one is bound to feature on top owing to its buzzing vibe, unique pig-out menu and quirky in-house cocktails.
- Location: North Boag Road, T Nagar
- Must-try Dishes: Loco Lollypop, Peri Peri Potato Wedges and Rainbow Shooters
- Timing: 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm and 6:00 pm to 12:00 am
- Price for Two: ₹ 2000 for two people with alcohol
6. 10 Downing Street
For starters, the place allows only couples, and so is amongst one of the most popular places among lovers. The all-English decor and cuisine will give you the vibes of being in an authentic English pub. Visit it on weekdays to enjoy their lunch combos, featuring delightful Indian, Oriental and Continental dishes. Its dancefloor beckons party lovers after the sun has set.
- Location: Kences Inn Boutique Hotel, T Nagar
- Must-try Dishes: Mutton Keema, Chili Chicken and Shepherd’s Pie
- Timing: 12:00 pm to 12:00 am
- Price for Two: ₹ 2000 with alcohol
7. Marina Beach
The beach has to top your list of fun, enjoyment places in Chennai whether you are a six-year-old, a sixty-year-old or falling anywhere in between. And, the beach is frequented not only by the local Chennai crowd but anyone dropping into the city for business or tourism. A sunset that blows you away, horse rides that make you feel like a Bollywood star and sumptuous lip-smacking food that will tickle your taste buds are what define the Marina Beach. Statues of several renowned people adorn the beach, receiving salutations from the mighty waves.
The Marina Beach stretch is almost 13-km long, running between Basant Nagar and St. George Fort. It has an almost 50-meter high lighthouse which gives you a 360-degree view of the sea and city. Did you know, India got its first aquarium at Marina Beach in 1909?! On the food front, names like KFC and Dominos are present along with shacks offering South Indian snacks.
Fun quotient: Exploring the aquarium, kite flying, visiting the ice house, pony riding, and sampling authentic seafood