Being one of the biggest economic and educational centres of South India, Chennai has become one of the top places for IT firms and many other businesses to flourish. We’re sure that you too must have visited this ever-hustling city at least once for official work or are going to in near future! Have ever thought of exploring Chennai and the beautiful monuments it has? Read on to know about 15 amazing places to visit in Chennai on your next business trip to jazz up your mood.

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1. Marina Beach, Chennai

Marina Beach, Chennai

Marina Beach | #1 of 35 Best Places to Visit in Chennai

Tired of the sweltering heat of Chennai? Let the Marina Beach be a sweet escape spot for you. Beaches in Chennai along the Bay of Bengal coast, it happens to be the longest beach in India and one of the longest in the world. Got enough time to pay a visit to this amazing place during the morning or evening? We suggest that you should not miss out on experiencing the enthralling view of the sun setting or rising from the beach. You may shop for trinkets such as imitation jewellery, shell mementos from the stalls on the beach side. Among the best places to visit in Chennai with friends, it is perfect to build sand castles or play games like beach volleyball.

  • Timings: All through the day

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2. Valluvar Kottam, Chennai

Valluvar Kottam, Chennai

Valluvar Kottam | #2 of 35 Best Places to Visit in Chennai

Those of you who love literature must have heard or read about the famous Tamil poet and saint, Thiruvalluvar. For the uninformed, Thiruvalluvar is hailed as one of the greatest Tamil scholars. Valluvar Kottam is an intricately designed chariot built in his honour. The magnificence of Valluvar Kottam can be best experienced early in the morning or when the sun is just setting. Wondering how to reach here? It is located at the intersection of Kodambakkam High Road and Village Road; taxis and buses can be taken from around the city.

  • Location: Nungambakkam Lake Area Main Road, Chennai
  • Timings: 8:30 am to 5:30 pm
  • Entry Fee: ₹ 5 (children); ₹ 10 (adults)

Also read: Best Places to Visit in April in India 

3. Thousand Lights Mosque, Chennai

Thousand Lights Mosque, Chennai

Thousand Lights Mosque | #3 of 35 Best Places to Visit in Chennai

This multi-domed mosque, which is a revered place of worship for Local Muslims, literally lights up the Royapettah area of Chennai. It is believed that in olden times, about 1000 lights were required to light up the hall of this mosque which is why it has been named as the Thousand Lights Mosque. As it goes without saying, this place looks absolutely spectacular all glowing: hence, is among the most popular places to visit in Chennai at night. With two minarets towering at a height of about 64 feet, this mosque exhibits the excellence of medieval architectural style.

  • LocationRoyapettah, Peters Road, Peters Colony, Chennai
  • Timings: 5:30 am to 8:30 pm
  • Entry Fee: NA

4. Elliot’s Beach, Chennai

Elliot’s Beach, Chennai

Elliot’s Beach | #4 of 35 Best Places to Visit in Chennai

With Ashtalakshmi Kovil in its vicinity, Elliot’s Beach is a famous place to visit with friends or family. This beautiful beach, which was named after Edward Elliot (the Chief Magistrate, Superintendent of Madras during the British Era), is one of the cleanest seafronts in India. Sunbathe, relax and unwind, keeping the stress at bay at this extremely calm and scenic place. Featuring in the list of places to visit in Chennai for couples, this one is great for a moonlight walk.

  • Timings: All through the day

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5. Dakshinachitra, Chennai

Dakshinachitra, Chennai

Dakshinachitra | #5 of 35 Best Places to Visit in Chennai

Literally translating to “a picture of the south”, DakshinaChitra is a living history museum in Chennai. This museum has 18 houses put together to depict the culture, architecture, craft and lifestyle of all four South Indian states – Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh/Telangana and Karnataka – via more than 4000 artefacts. A quick trip to 4 states under the same roof? Yes please! If you are looking for places to visit in Chennai with family, then this is the right pick as your children will learn a lot about South India here,

  • Location: SH 49, Muttukadu, 25 km south of Chennai
  • Timings: 10:00 am to 6:00 pm 
  • Entry Fee:
    Children 5-12 years: ₹ 20
    Students: ₹ 30
    Adults: ₹ 110 (₹ 130 during festivals and national holidays)  

6. Ashtalakshmi Temple, Chennai

Ashtalakshmi Temple, Chennai

Ashtalakshmi Temple | #6 of 35 Best Places to Visit in Chennai

Regarded as an abode of Lakshmi, the Goddess of Wealth and Knowledge, Ashtalakshmi Temple is a few kilometres from Besant Beach. Constructed to worship the eight avatars of Goddess Lakshmi, the divine ambience of this temple is bound to leave you feeling relaxed. The most interesting part of this place? The waves of the ocean echo in the temple complex, which further makes it all the more peaceful. Ideal place to give rest to those worries while spiritually enlightening yourself, isn’t it?

  • Location: Elliots Beach, Besant Nagar, Chennai 
  • Timings: 6:30 am to 12:00 pm and 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm
  • Entry Fee: NA

7. Government Museum, Chennai

Government Museum, Chennai

Government Museum | #7 of 35 Best Places to Visit in Chennai

Do you love artefacts? If you do, you will love the Government Museum of Chennai. This place is known for preserving some of the best ancient (10-13th century) and modern South Indian bronzes. What’s more is that the Amaravathi Gallery houses marble sculptures depicting the life of Gautam Buddha dating as back to 2nd century. Truly a gem of a place to visit in Chennai for kids and grownups alike!

  • Location: Pantheon Road, Egmore, Chennai
  • Timings: 9:30 am to 5:30 pm (closed on Fridays and national holidays) 
  • Entry Fee:
    Students: ₹ 5
    Children below 12 years: ₹ 10
    Adults: ₹ 15

8. Mylapore, Chennai

Mylapore, Chennai

Mylapore | #8 of 35 Best Places to Visit in Chennai

Want to soak in the rich and colourful culture of Chennai? Head to Mylapore, which is regarded as the cultural hub of Chennai, boasting a history going back 1500 years! Whether it is beautiful temples you are looking to visit or delicious South Indian delicacies to binge on, Mylapore has it all! All this, combined with endless options for shopping, make the neighbourhood one of the best entertainment places in Chennai.

9. Guindy National Park, Chennai

Guindy National Park, Chennai

Guindy National Park | #9 of 15 Best Places to Visit in Chennai

Feeling a little adventurous? How about visiting a national park? Home to over 300 kinds of trees and plants, 150 bird species and 15 species of mammals, reptiles and amphibians, Guindy National Park is a forest situated on the grounds that were earlier part of Raj Bhawan and IIT-Madras. If you are visiting Chennai with your family, make sure you bring your kids here too. We assure you that they will love every bit of this place!

  • Location: Rangeguindy, Chennai 
  • Timings: 9:00 am to 6:00 pm (closed on Tuesdays) 
  • Fees:
    Government and Aided School Children: ₹ 2
    Private School Children: ₹ 10
    Adults: ₹ 15

10. Sri Parthasarathy Temple, Chennai

Sri Parthasarathy Temple, Chennai

Sri Parthasarathy Temple | #10 of 35 Best Places to Visit in Chennai

Dedicated to Lord Vishnu’s incarnation, Lord Krishna, Parthasarathy Temple was built in the 8th century. The intricately carved pillars of this place and colourful gopurams will leave you spellbound. The main features of this temple are the two intricately carved pyramid shaped rajagopuram or domes, one of which is located in the east direction while the other in the west direction.

  • Location: Narayana Krishnaraja Puram, Triplicane, Chennai
  • Timings: 5:30 am-12 pm and 4:00 pm-9:00 pm

11. Kapaleeswarar Temple, Chennai

Kapaleeswarar Temple, Chennai

Kapaleeswarar Temple | #11 of 35 Best Places to Visit in Chennai

The holy shrine of Lord Shiva, Kapaleeswarar Temple was built by the mighty Pallavas which was demolished by the Portuguese explorers and rebuilt during the Vijayanagara Empire. Kapaleeswarar Temple is the best specimen of the Dravidian and Vijayanagara architecture making it look absolutely marvellous!

  • Location: Vinayaka Nagar Colony, Mylapore, Chennai
  • Timings: 5:00 am to 12:00 pm and 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm

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12. Connemara Public Library, Chennai

Connemara Public Library, Chennai

Connemara Public Library | #12 of 35 Best Places to Visit in Chennai

Nerdy heads, Connemara Library is where you will find every textbook that you can ever think of. Don’t believe us? This is one of the four depository libraries of the country that house almost every literary work published in India. From periodicals to historical scriptures to modern-day books – this library has them all. For the convenience of readers, Connemara also has a reference room, video room and a periodic hall. Can you imagine how huge a library this is? You need to check it out yourself!

  • Location: Pantheon Road, Egmore, Chennai
  • Timings: 9:00 am to 7:30 pm (Monday-Saturday); 9:30 am to 6:00 pm (Sundays) 
  • Entry Fee: NA

13. Royapuram Fishing Harbour, Chennai

Royapuram Fishing Harbour, Chennai

Royapuram Fishing Harbour | #13 of 35 Best Places to Visit in Chennai

A fishing harbour might not sound too appealing, but watching the fishermen bring freshly caught fish makes for a sight to behold. Also, remember to click photos of the stunning dock and backwaters while here. Thinking what fun activities you can indulge in here? Maybe learn how to catch a fish or simply distinguish between the different varieties of fish! Come here early morning to see the catch being unloaded and then being auctioned to restaurateurs from around the city.

14. Semmozhi Poonga, Chennai

Semmozhi Poonga, Chennai

Semmozhi Poonga | #14 of 35 Best Places to Visit in Chennai

Nature lovers, Chennai has something for you as well! Semmozhi Poonga is a beautiful botanical garden, which attracts lots of tourists every day. With an artificial pond and lush greenery to boast, this place can be a quick escape from the usual hustle and bustle of the city. What’s more? The exotic species of plants that have been imported from all over the world make Semmozhi Poonga are an added feather in its cap of many!

  • Location: Ellaiamman Colony, Teynampet, Chennai
  • Timings: 10:00 am to 7:30 pm
  • Entry Fee: NA (Children up to 10 years); ₹ 15 (adults)

15. Marundeeswarar Temple, Chennai

Marundeeswarar Temple, Chennai

Marundeeswarar Temple | #15 of 35 Best Places to Visit in Chennai

Know somebody facing health issues? Then, you might fancy paying a visit to Marundeeswarar Temple, which is dedicated to Lord Shiva in the form of the God of Medicines. The legend has it that Lord Marundeeswarar taught Sage Agastya about magical medicines. Believed to have been built in the 11th century, the temple offers prasada of mil, ash and water that is said to cure health issues. With the finesse of Dravidian architecture, this is a must visit place in Chennai.

  • Location: Lalitha Nagar, Thiruvanmiyur, Chennai
  • Timings: 5:00 am to 12:00 pm and 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm

16. MGR Film City

MGR Film City

MGR Film City | #16 of 35 Best Places to Visit in Chennai

South Indian movie buffs must visit MGR Film City. Spread across 70 acres, it will transport you to a dream world with its replicas of religious places, urban and village scenes, and landscaped gardens. You might catch sight of some famous Tamil actors too! 

  • Location: MGR Film City Road, Tharamani
  • Timings: 8:00 am to 8:00 pm
  • Entry Fee: INR 25

17. Breezy Beach

Peace and quiet, perfectly describe this not-so-famous, but the clean beach that attracts nature lovers. Unlike most other tourist attractions in Chennai, it sees fewer crowds, but will surprise you with beautiful sunsets. 

  • Location: Valmiki Nagar
  • Timings: All day
  • Entry Fee: NA

18. Arignar Anna Zoological Park 

Arignar Anna Zoological Park 

Arignar Anna Zoological Park | #18 of 35 Best Places to Visit in Chennai

Also known as Vandalur Zoo, this park is spread over 1260 acres and boasts 138 species. Wildlife enthusiasts will be thrilled at the sight of deer, lions, Indian civet cats, Himalayan brown bears and elephants. The park also has a reptile house. 

  • Location: Grand Southern Trunk Rd, Vandalur
  • Timings: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm (Tuesday closed)
  • Entry Fee: Adults – INR 50
    • Children under 2 years – Free 
    • Children from 2 to 12 years – INR 20
    • Cameras – INR 25
    • Zoo round (Adults): INR 100
    • Zoo round (Children): INR 50

19. VGP Golden Beach 

VGP Golden Beach 

VGP Golden Beach | #19 of 35 Best Places to Visit in Chennai

Among the various places to visit in Chennai, this beach steals the show with its beauty and cleanliness. Enjoy swimming, go for walks or simply laze around here. Adventurous souls can try surfing at this beach, which is a part of the exciting VGP Universal Kingdom.  

  • Location: 5, 159, SH 49, Injambakkam
  • Timings: 11:00 am to 7:30 pm (Monday to Friday) and 10:30 am to 8:00 pm (Saturday and Sunday)
  • Entry Fee: Adults – INR 600 and Children – INR 500 (for entry through VGP Universal Kingdom)

20. Vivekananda House

Vivekananda House

Vivekananda House | #20 of 35 Best Places to Visit in Chennai

A trip to the Vivekananda House is a must if you admire the celebrated monk. In 1900, Swami Vivekananda stayed in this double-storey Victorian mansion for 6 weeks. Today, you can explore his bedroom, dining table, kitchen, and the garden where he connected with nature.

  • Location: Kamaraj Salai, Marina Beach Road, Triplicane
  • Timings: 10:00 am to 12:30 pm and 3:00 pm to 7:15pm (Monday closed) 
  • Entry Fee: Adults – INR 20, Children (3-12 years) – INR 10 and Group ticket for school students: INR 5

21. Santhome Cathedral Basilica

Santhome Cathedral Basilica

Santhome Cathedral Basilica | #21 of 35 Best Places to Visit in Chennai

Looking for famous places in Chennai that are architectural delights? This neo-gothic cathedral will intrigue you. Built by Portuguese explorers in the 16th century, it stands over the Saint Thomas’ tomb, who was one of Jesus’ twelve apostles. 

  • Location: 38, Santhome High Rd, Dummingkuppam, Mylapore 
  • Timings: 6:00 am to 9:00 pm
  • Entry Fee: NA

22. Madras War Cemetery

Pay your respects at the tranquil Madras War Cemetery, which houses an memorial stone in honour of the 1000 people who sacrificed their lives in the Great War and the remains of almost 855 martyrs from the Second World War. 

  • Location: Mount Poonamalle High Road, Nandambakkam 
  • Timings: 10:30 am to 5:30 pm (till 6:00 pm on Monday) 
  • Entry Fee: NA

23. Fort St. George 

Fort St. George 

Fort St. George | #23 of 35 Best Places to Visit in Chennai

One of the major tourist attractions in Chennai, this fort was once a British stronghold and their first garrison settlement in the country. You can explore the Clive House, the first British official residence, and attend mass at the St. Mary’s Church. 

  • Location: Mount Poonamalle High Road, Nandambakkam 
  • Timings: St. George Museum: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm (Closed on Friday)
    • St. Mary’s Church: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm (Monday – Saturday) (Regular masses held on Sundays)
  • Entry Fee: For St. George Museum – INR 15 (Indians), INR 200 (Foreigners) and Free for kids up to 15 years

24. Vadapalani Murugan Temple

Dedicated to Lord Murugan, this intricately-carved temple helps devotees with everyday problems related to jobs, academics and marriage. Legend has it that the founder Annaswamy Naikar had a dream about building this temple for society’s benefit. 

  • Location: Palani Andavar Koil St, Vadapalani 
  • Timings: 5:00 am – 12:00 pm & 4:00 pm – 9:00 pm
  • Entry Fee: NA

25. Annai Velankanni Shrine

Seeking spiritual peace by in Chennai? This gothic-style shrine must feature on your list. Apart from exploring a small adjoining museum for religious artefacts, you can attend special masses and concerts too. 

  • Location: Annai Velankanni Road, Odaimanagar, Besant Nagar 
  • Timings: 5:00 am to 9:00 pm
  • Entry Fee: NA

26. B.M. Birla Planetarium 

Does the night sky amaze you? Then this large planetarium with its virtual tours and cosmic shows will impress you undoubtedly. There are 8 galleries, including those devoted to Energy, Physical Science, Life Science and International Dolls.  

  • Location: Gandhi Mandapam Rd, Duraisamy Nagar, Kotturpuram 
  • Timings: 10:00 am to 5: 45 pm 
  • Entry Fee: Science Centre: Adults (INR 30), Kids below 12 years (INR 15) 
    Shows: Adults (INR 20), Kids below 12 years (INR 10) 

27. Ripon Building 

Ripon Building

Ripon Building | #27 of 35 Best Places to Visit in Chennai

Boasting neoclassical architecture, this majestic building is all-white. As the seat of the Greater Chennai Corporation, it is among the famous places in Chennai. The Westminster Quarter chiming clock is a notable aspect of this property. 

  •  Location: 53, Raja Muthiah Rd, Kannappar Thidal, Periyamet
  • Timings: 10:00 am to 6:00 pm (Saturday and Sunday closed)
  • Entry Fee: Restricted entry

28. Akkarai Beach

Akkarai Beach

Akkarai Beach | #23 of 35 Best Places to Visit in Chennai

If you want to unwind in peace and far from the madding crowd, head to this sandy beach. It stretches from Ennore to Uthandi and is ideal for lazy strolls and admiring the verdant greenery. 

  • Location: Injambakkam
  • Timings: All day
  • Entry Fee: NA

29. Prakasam Salai

The list of architecturally impressive tourist places in Chennai is incomplete without this Indo-Saracenic building rendered with red bricks. Named after T. Prakasam, the freedom fighter, it was known as Popham’s Broadway earlier and built in 1795.   

  • Location: 88, Prakasam Road, Mahfushkhan Garden, Manadi Police Colony, George Town 
  • Timings: All day
  • Entry Fee: NA

30. The Madras Crocodile Bank Trust 

Apart from being a reptile zoo, this place undertakes herpetology research and aims to protect the endangered saltwater crocodile, gharial and marsh crocodile. Go for an adventurous night safari or watch the crocodiles get fed. 

  • Location: Post Bag No 4, Mahabalipuram 
  • Timings: 9:00 am to 5:30 pm (Monday closed)
  • Entry Fee: INR 60 (adults), INR 30 (kids below 10), and approx. INR 200 (Night Safari)  

31. Cholamandalam Artists’ Village

Since its inception in 1966, this village has grown to become the largest community for artists in India. Famed for the Madras Movement of Art, this village lets you admire the works of notable artists, and visit the craft shop, sculpture garden and the art book store. 

  • Location: Injambakkam 
  • Timings: 9:30 am to 6:30 pm 
  • Entry Fee: INR 20 (adults) and INR 5 (kids) 

32. National Art Gallery

Also known as Day Dreamer Artworks, this gallery is one of the oldest in India and among the top places to visit in Chennai. Housed within the Government Museum Complex, it was built in 1906 with red stones. This Indo-Sarsenic building boasts sandalwood sculptures and ethnic paintings.  

  • Location: Egmore, Pantheon Road
  • Timings: 9:30 am to 5:00 pm (Friday closed)
  • Entry Fee: INR 15 (adults) and INR 10 (kids) 

33. Wallajah Mosque

Inspired by the Mughal style of architecture, Wallajah Mosque or Triplicane Big Mosque is made of granite entirely. Built by the family of Muhammad Ali Khan Wallajah in 1795, is beautiful mosque is considered as the oldest and largest in Chennai. The mosque also serves as a good example embodies of the peaceful coexistence of Muslims and Hindus as most of its administrative staff are Hindus.

  • Location: Triplicane High Rd, SVM Nagar, Ellis Puram, Padupakkam, Triplicane 
  • Timings: 5:00 am to 8:00 pm
  • Entry Fee: NA

34. Chennai Rail Museum

Definitely among the best tourist attractions in Chennai, this museum is a 6.25 acre affair, featuring numerous heritage and technical exhibits. Admire steam engines from the British era and vintage coaches, and enjoy a ride on the toy train.  

  • Location: New Avadi Rd, next to ICF Furnishing Division, Lakshmipuram, Villivakkam 
  • Timings: 5:00 am to 8:00 pm
  • Entry Fee: NA

35. Victoria Public Hall

Victoria Public Hall

Victoria Public Hall | #23 of 35 Best Places to Visit in Chennai

Constructed to commemorate Queen Victoria’s golden jubilee and opened in 1890, this regal building will take your breath away with its exquisite British architecture. During the late 19th and early 20th century, it acted as a public assembly hall and theatre. 

  • Location: 11/33, Evr Salai, Park Town Park Town, Kannappar Thidal, Poongavanapuram 
  • Timings: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
  • Entry fee: INR 15 (adults) and INR 10 (children)

Frequently Asked Questions About Chennai:

Q: What are the best places to shop in Chennai?

A: Pondy Bazaar and T. Nagar are the most popular markets in Chennai. Other popular shopping places in Chennai include Sowcarpet, Ritchie Street, Burma Bazaar, Cotton Street, Panagal Park and Parry's Corner.

Q: When is the best time to visit Chennai?

A: Chennai remains hot and humid almost throughout the year; hence, the ideal time to plan a trip to Chennai is in the months of November through February when the weather is pleasant.

Q: Suggest some good places to visit in Chennai at night.

A: Go to Marina Beach or Besant Nagar Beach for a night stroll. But if partying is more your thing, explore clubs and bars in Chennai like Pasha, Gatsby 2000, 10 Downing Street, Blend, The Leather Bar and Bay 146. Burma Bazar is also open till late night and is a must-visit for street food lovers.

Q: Are there any good places near Chennai for a one-day trip?

A: Mahabalipuram is one of the best places to visit near Chennai for a one-day trip. Other options include Kanchipuram, Tirupati, Vellore, Pondicherry and Tiruvannamalai.

Q: Which street foods are available in Chennai?

A: Top street foods in Chennai include bhajji, murukku sandwich, idli, sundal, chaat, puttu, uthappam, dosa, idiyappam, thukpa, athouk, atho and kothu parotta.

Q: Which temples in Chennai are a must-visit?

A: Kapaleeswarar Temple, Parthasarathy Temple, Thyagaraja Temple, Ashtalakshmi Temple and Vadapalani Andavar Temple are the most popular Hindu shrines in Chennai that are worth exploring.

Q: I am in Chennai for a day. Where all can I go?

A: You can cover top tourist attractions in Chennai like Marina Beach, Santhome Cathedral Basilica, Parthasarathy Temple, Kapaleeswarar Temple and MGR Film City. Also, don't miss T. Nagar for shopping and savouring the street food of Chennai.

Q: How to travel from the airport to hotels in Chennai?

A: The cheapest way to travel to the city from Chennai International Airport is suburban train. The air gateway is also well-connected to different parts of the city via metro, prepaid taxis and app-based taxis.

Q: Is there more than one railway station in Chennai?

A: Yes. Chennai has two major railway stations namely Chennai Central and Egmore. Chennai Central services daily trains from important cities across India like Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Ahmedabad while Egmore connects the city to other places across Tamil Nadu and a few other major cities.

Q: How is the bus service to Chennai from other cities?

A: Chennai Mofussil Bus Terminus (CMBT) is one of the largest bus stations in Asia. It services state-owned corporations operating buses between Chennai and other cities in South India. Omni Bus Terminus services many private buses to and from Chennai. Both stations are connected to the airport and railway stations by bus.

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