Tourist Places

Top 15 Tourist Places In Chennai (With Photos & Details 2019)

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In case you are living in the south, there are no fewer tourist attractions as such. There is an abundance of options and Chennai is one. Chennai tourist places also suits for those who are looking for a weekend getaway in from the city nearby. Chennai is a coastal city which still has ancient and historical influence on it. There are monuments, museums, serene beaches, gardens and religious spots that offer an all in one experience to a tourist. Hence continue reading to know more about the best places to visit in Chennai for your upcoming trip. Given the range of services the city provides (such as commerce, software, finance, and IT) along with the natural beauty blended within, the city for sure has a lot to offer for tourists!

Famous Chennai Tourist Places:

Tourist places in Chennai are no less. There are plenty of places to visit near Chennai city. Chennai is the reservoir for the famous tourist places and sightseeing attractions. Here we have given a list of 15 beautiful tourist places to visit in Chennai and around it.

1. The Connemara Public Library:

This is one of the best places to visit in Chennai. This being a famous hot spot for travelers and locals alike, the Connemara Public Library, Chennai. The library came up in 1896 and is home to unique and rare books, manuscripts and collections from all over the world. The plethora of information which one can gain from this library is vast. The architectural wonder of the library is a mix of the famous Southern Hindu Deccan, along with the Goth touches and nuances of the Rajput and Mughal too.

Tourist Places To Visit In Chennai

  • Highlights of the Tour: In the library, one would find a video room, a reference room, and a periodic hall too. The library also has a Braille room which is meant for those who are visually challenged.
  • Things to Do: This for that bibliophile who loves to look around and discover a plethora of books in this huge library
  • Best Time to Visit: All around the year
  • Peak Season: None
  • Nearest City: Located in Chennai city
  • How to Reach: One can take public transport or hire a private vehicle to reach this place. Further, to reach Chennai, you can either fly or travel by road and rail network. The city is well connected with other important and significant cities in India.
  • Languages Spoken: Tamil and English
  • Ideal Duration: Couple of hours to a whole day as you wish

2. The Theosophical Society:

Another place to visit around Chennai, this is a must visit. The Theosophical Society is a place where universal brotherhood dwells, sans distinctions of being human. Every religious value and teaching is brought out here, and the power of humanity is shown in the ways and actions of The Theosophical Society. This is also the world headquarters of the “The Theosophical Society” across the globe, and is located in Adyar. The Theosophical Society commands a place of high respect and is thronged by people from all across the globe-spanning all faiths.

Tourist Places To Visit In Chennai

  • Highlights of the Tour: In 1883, The Theosophical Society was established, and within it is the famous paradise for birdwatchers, the Huddleston Gardens, which is the home for plenty of migratory birds. There is also a 450-year-old Banyan tree, a large one which covers 59500 sq.ft of land.
  • Things to Do: Enjoy the lush green site along with the peaceful atmosphere, sit back and relax
  • Best Time to Visit: Evenings
  • Peak Season: Weekend evenings
  • Nearest City: Located in Chennai
  • How to Reach: This famous place in Chennai can be reached by local train or bus or private vehicle. There is good connectivity through public buses to Adyar region in Chennai.
  • Languages Spoken: Tamil and English
  • Ideal Duration: 2-3 hours

3. The Arignar Anna Zoological Park:

Did you know The Arignar Anna Zoological Park was the first zoo in India? Being one of the best tourist spots in Chennai, the zoo came about in 1855 and was first located at the famous Moor Market and then was relocated to Vandalur in the year 1976. The Arignar Anna Zoological Park is a huge area with plenty of rare wildlife and species it houses.

Tourist Places To Visit In Chennai

  • Highlights of the Tour: One of the largest zoos, this can be enjoyed to witness different flora and fauna and an experience to cherish.
  • Things to Do: Enjoy your lion safaris and elephant rides here, and there are battery-operated vehicles for touring, but nothing beats covering the entire stretch on foot
  • Best Time to Visit: You can visit this beautiful place in Chennai with good climate from October to February every year
  • Peak Season: December
  • Nearest City: This is one of the tourist spots in Chennai
  • How to Reach: You can reach by taking the metro or local bus from any bus stop or metro station.
  • Languages Spoken: Tamil and English
  • Ideal Duration: Whole day can be spent here

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4. The Semmozhi Poonga:

Ok, let’s beat the heat and escape the scorching sun by visiting the Semmozhi Poonga, known for its architectural wonders and visual treat.This is also one of the romantic places in Chennai. It was at the far end of 2010 when the Semmozhi Poonga was built on 20 acres and has plenty of lush flora and fauna with amazing landscaping done, and the exotic trees here are an embellishment to the mise-en-scene around.

Chennai Tourist Places

  • Highlights of the Tour: The trees here are almost a century old with a mix of aromatic and herbal plants. There is also a beautiful artificial waterfall here.
  • Things to Do: Enjoy the lush green scenery and beautiful waterfall along with some shopping area around.
  • Best Time to Visit: You can visit this as one of the beautiful places in Chennai easily from November to February every year
  • Peak Season: Holiday time
  • Nearest City: This is located in the Chennai tourist places list
  • How to Reach: You can easily access and reach this place by taking a public bus or private transport as you wish.
  • Languages Spoken: Tamil and English
  • Ideal Duration: You can spend three to four hours here.

5. The Kapaleeswarar Temple:

One of the oldest temples around Chennai,and this is among the top tourist attractions in Chennai one can easily find. It is still a mystery as to who built it; the Kapaleeswarar Temple is a must visit place. Some say it was during the 7th century that the Pallava kings built the Kapaleeswarar Temple, but historians refuse to believe so, owing to the architectural genre which isn’t more than 400 years old.

Tourist Places To Visit In Chennai

  • Highlights of the tour: The style and architecture of the Kapaleeswarar Temple is that of the Dravidian domain which you do not find much in present-day era.
  • Things to Do: Enjoy the calm and serene atmosphere and beauty of the temple beside the water body
  • Best Time to Visit: All around the year
  • Peak Season: Festivals times
  • Nearest City: This is among sightseeing places in Chennai
  • How to Reach: You can reach this best tourist places in Chennai by taking a public bus or local train or private taxi as you wish
  • Languages Spoken: Tamil and English
  • Ideal Duration: Two to four hours as you wish

6. The Pulicat Lake:

There are not many places in Chennai which can boast of bringing you very close to nature. Hence another in the list of famous tourist places in Chennai comes this lake.The Pulicat Lake is on the border of Tamil Nadu, and you can relax and unwind here, enjoy with family and friends or simply wile away time as you please, with no disturbance whatsoever. Pulicat Lake is one of the most exciting tourist places to visit in Chennai.

Tourist Places To Visit In Chennai

  • Highlights of the Tour: The Pulicat Lake is home to the famous and splendid 17th-century Danish fort as well.
  • Things to Do: One can have fun and enjoy the smooth boat rides, fishing, bird watching, and visit the famous Nelapattu Bird Sanctuary as well if time permits. Here you would find kingfishers, ibis, pelicans,and flamingos in large groups which are eye catching
  • Best Time to Visit: From October to March of every year
  • Peak Season: December and January
  • Nearest City: Chennai
  • How to Reach: This being one of the nice places to visit in Chennai can be reached easily by bus or train. This is around 66 km from the city. One can take a private vehicle here too.
  • Languages Spoken: Telugu, Tamil, and English
  • Ideal Duration: Whole day can be devoted as this is among most visited places in Chennai.

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7. The National Art Gallery:

This being Chennai best places to visit, the National Art Gallery stands proud, displaying the Indo-Saracenic architecture ever since 1907. The National Art Gallery is made of red sandstone and is divided into four main sections, the names of which are, the Tanjore Painting Gallery, the Ravi Varma Painting Gallery, the Indian Traditional Art Gallery, and not to forget, the Decorative Art Gallery too.

Tourist Places To Visit In Chennai

  • Highlights of the Tour: A gallery is a place which brings back memories of the 11th century, and there are interesting shows here, such as Tran slides and Son Et Lumiere
  • Things to Do: Enjoy the long and vast museum and gallery giving you insight on various aspects of ancient age old life and history
  • Best Time to Visit: All round the year
  • Peak Season: Being one of the famous places in Chennai to visit, this is most visited during weekends
  • Nearest City: Chennai
  • How to Reach: You can access this place by bus or private vehicle or taxi here.
  • Languages Spoken: Tamil and English
  • Ideal Duration: Whole day can be easily devoted to this as this is among one of the popular places in Chennai.

8. Marina Beach:

In case you are wondering where are beaches, here we are. This is a must visit place to see in Chennai for sure. For a nice cool time out this evening, visit Marina Beach. Be prepared to walk a lot if you plan to cover the entire stretch.

Tourist Places To Visit In Chennai

  • Highlights of the Tour: Marina Beach is known as the second longest beach in the world. The silver sands and the picturesque horizon makes it perfect to end the day with.
  • Things to Do: You could play volleyball here, indulge in fishing, engage in wind surfing or simply lay out a picnic with family. Do not forget to try out yummy fishes available here.
  • Best Time to Visit: All round the year, especially the glorious sunrise
  • Peak Season: November to January or holidays
  • Nearest City: This is one among the famous tourist destinations in Chennai
  • How to Reach: You can get to this place easily by local train or bus. You have direct connectivity to several places in Chennai,and this is one. You can even rent a taxi for visiting the site.
  • Languages Spoken: Tamil and English.
  • Ideal Duration: As many hours as you wish to spend in this top tourist places in Chennai.

9. The Little Mount Shrine:

There is a lot of mystery and history behind the Little Mount Shrine, especially at the St. Thomas’ cave, where the saint hid before being martyred. There is even a rock which has the foot prints of the martyred saint too. It is one of the most beautiful Chennai tourist places to visit.This is also among places to visit in Chennai at night due to the gorgeous view it provides.

  • Highlights of the Tour: In case you are wondering why this is among the tourist places to visit in Chennai, you must catch a glimpse of the beautiful carved rock and location of this place. This is one among the beautiful sites in the busy city.
  • Things to Do: Shopping can be done near the market stalls found near this tourist place.
  • Best Time to Visit: You can visit this place all around the year in the evenings
  • Peak Season: Weekends and holidays
  • Nearest City: This is one of the tourist places near Chennai
  • How to Reach: You can get here through via cab or take a bus to reach this place easily
  • Languages Spoken: Tamil and English
  • Ideal Duration: 2-3 hours as you wish as this is among the best places to visit near Chennai.

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10. The Breezy Beach:

Next comes the most sought out picnic places in Chennai. The Breezy beach is an attractive place to be with no pollution. It is located in Valmiki Nagar and is known to be a virgin beach, untouched by the modern day commercialization. This is one of the best tourist places to visit in Chennai.

  • Highlights of the Tour: Sitting back and relaxing in the calm and serene beach amidst the busy city life.
  • Things to Do: Water sports on the clean waters and the sandy Breezy beach is what makes people come here. Swimming and boat rides are available!
  • Best Time to Visit: You can visit this beach all-round the year as it is among the best picnic spots in Chennai.
  • Peak Season: Holidays and weekends
  • Nearest City: Chennai
  • How to Reach: You can visit this place by taking an auto, bus or taking a taxi from your place of living.
  • Languages Spoken: Tamil and English
  • Ideal Duration: 2-3 hours

11. Fort St. George:

In case you are searching for historical places in Chennai, you are in the right place. Fort St. George is a historic building that was constructed during the rule of British East India Company. However, it now functions as home to the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly and Secretariat. Fort Saint George houses the relics of the historic St. George Museum and St. Mary’s Church.

  • Highlights of the Tour: The highlight of this place is having vintage and ancient materials still intact. There are plenty of other artifacts worth admiring such as documents, silverware, paintings, porcelain, and coins.
  • Things to Do: You can enjoy the serene atmosphere and location of the fort and have tiny market places around to visit once you finish the sightseeing within the fort.
  • Best Time to Visit: All round the year, especially from November to February
  • Peak Season: Weekends and Summers
  • Nearest City: Chennai
  • How to Reach: You can easily take a bus to this place or the local train directly there, besides, you can also take a private taxi
  • Languages Spoken: Tamil and English
  • Ideal Duration: 2-4 hours

12. Turtle Walk:

Now here we are with places to visit in Chennai for couples. This is located near serene and calm beach yet gives you soothing experience. Further, many of us would not have been aware of the fact that the coastal regions of Chennai are home to the endangered Olive Ridley Turtle. Many of the young turtles die, and therefore an initiative is taken by the Students Sea Turtle Conservation Network (SSTCN) to provide better chances of survival to them. The turtle walks are organized during this time on specific days, and the general public is also allowed to witness this fascinating sight.

  • Highlights of the Tour: Thousands of turtles gather at the coast during the breeding season from the months of December to April to lay their eggs. The eggs are left ashore unattended to fight their own way into the deep blue sea.
  • Things to Do: Witnessing these turtles, going for turtle walks
  • Best Time to Visit: November to January.
  • Peak Season: November to April is peak season here
  • Nearest City: This is one of the places to visit in Chennai with friends
  • How to Reach: You can get easily to this place by taking a bus or private taxi easily
  • Languages Spoken: Tamil and English
  • Ideal Duration: 2 hours

13. Sri Parthasarathy Temple:

Now we come to places to visit in Chennai with family. Sri Parthasarathy Temple is one of the popular historical places and religious spots to see in Chennai. The presiding deity of the Sri Parthasarathy Temple is Lord Krishna and also has temples for other four incarnations of Lord Vishnu namely, Ramar, Ranganathar, Narasimhar, and Varadaraja.

  • Highlights of the Tour: It is also known to be the oldest temple of the city, and its origin dates back to the 8th century. The carvings and magnificence are worth to witness and admire.
  • Things to Do: The pillars and towers of Sri Parthasarathy Temple are adorned with elaborate carvings that are worth watching.
  • Best Time to Visit: All around the year
  • Peak Season: Festivals time
  • Nearest City: This is one of the places to visit in Chennai in one day.
  • How to Reach: You can either take a direct bus to the place from well-networked road transport around the city or take a taxi for easy commute
  • Languages Spoken: Tamil and English
  • Ideal Duration: 2-3 hours as you wish

14. Velankanni Shrine:

The Annai Vellankani Shrine is located just past the famous Elliot’s Beach. It is one of the popular places to visit in Chennai for Christians as well as non-Christians. The white structure of the shrine stands boldly overlooking the Bay of Bengal. There is no entry fee for visiting Vellankani Shrine and be visited any day from 5 am to 9 pm.

  • Highlights of the Tour: This place is very pristine, and the atmosphere is extremely peaceful. Vellankani Shrine is visited by thousands of people of all religions who come in search of peace.
  • Things to Do: You can also attend the mass held here in Tamil as well as English.
  • Best Time to Visit: All round the year
  • Peak Season: Christmas and December
  • Nearest City: This is located in Chennai city
  • How to Reach: You can take public transport or take own taxi for the commute
  • Languages Spoken: Tamil and English
  • Ideal Duration: 2-3 hours

15. Kalakshetra Arts Academy:

The Kalakshetra Arts Academy is one of the ideal Chennai tourist places for those in the field of arts and music. It sprawls over an area of 100 acres near the southern shore of Chennai. This cultural academy was established with an intention to preserve and propagate the varied Indian art forms. In the Kalakshetra Arts Academy, the focus is primarily given on Bharatanatyam, instrumental music, visuals arts, Carnatic vocal, textile design, traditional crafts, philosophy, and history.

  • Highlights of the Tour: Admire the beautiful infrastructure and art forms over this site. One should experience the art, dance and music conducted here.
  • Things to Do: When visiting the art academy do check out the museum and craft center. Also, the free evening performances held on specific days in the auditorium are worth watching.
  • Best Time to Visit: All round the year
  • Peak Season: Holidays
  • Nearest City: Chennai
  • How to Reach: You can get to this place by taking public transport or take a private taxi as you please
  • Languages Spoken: Tamil and English
  • Ideal Duration: Depends on the show, 2-4 hours as you please.

Additional Tips:

Here are some additional tips in case you are visiting Chennai for the first time

  • Serenity: Do not miss out on experiencing the serene beaches located in the city
  • Cuisine: Must try out is the local food at Chennai including dosa and idli with sambar. It is among the first in the must-try list when visiting the city.
  • Language: Most of them in the city speak English in case you are worried that language would be a cause for concern, so do not worry
  • Climate: Given the geographical location of the city, it is always good to carry a water bottle with you

Given that Chennai is one among the famous tourist destinations in cities you must visit, do not miss out on learning about the history and culture of this ancient place. The sightseeing and shopping attractions are for sure going to leave you awestruck after your time there. Please do let us know your experience after your visit; we would surely love to hear from you.

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers:

1. What can we take back from the city of Chennai when we leave as tourists?

You should not fail to try out famous food varieties like dosa and idli with sambar in Chennai. Being a multi-cuisine city there is always something available to suite the palate of the young and old. Similarly, you could carry back with you packets of chutney powders, pickles and try out various other traditional recipes. Another item in your shopping list should be sarees (cotton and silk) from old and reputed shops without the fear of getting duped.

2. Where are the best shopping areas in the city of Chennai?

Most of the tourists prefer to visit shopping markets like T Nagar and Pondy bazar where you can get a good bargain and is also for best place for street shopping in the city. Do not miss out to check out clothes, apparel, accessories, bags, and jewelry at this place.

3. Are taxis like Uber and Ola easily available and which is the best mode of transport in Chennai?

Ola is mostly used than Uber in the city; however both are easily accessible. Further more, there is good metro service and local train connectivity available along with public bus, which provides a strong transportation network in this city.