Chennai

From Eco Friendly Travels
Home / Asia / South Asia / India / Chennai

Eco-friendly travel guide to Chennai advises how to be a responsible tourist. Learn how to explore the attractions in a sustainable way and how to respect the local people and culture. Make your trip green by supporting locally owned hotels, organic restaurants and other businesses. Read more on how to protect the environment by making conscientious choices and how to travel green in Chennai, India.


  • Air quality: 2 / 5
  • Exploring by foot: 3.5 / 5
  • Exploring by bicycle: 4 / 5
  • Public transportation: 3 / 5
  • Parks: 5 / 5
  • Outdoor activities: 5 / 5
  • Locals' English level: 3.75 / 5
  • Safety: 3 / 5
  • Accommodation: US$5 - $225
  • Budget per day: US$25 - $325

Responsible Travel

Chennai is a South Indian city in the Tamil Nadu State of India that also serves as the respective India state's capital city. You will often hear people calling Chennai by 'Detroit of India' as it homes many major automobile manufacturing industries. The town sits on the Coromandel Coast in the Bay of Bengal and serves as a significant educational, cultural, and economic hub of India. The city also possesses a lot of historical significance as it served as a popular port Indian city during the colonial rule. Previously referred to as Madras, the city is the hottest in India with a well-balanced mixture of modern and traditional attributes. Here are some tips on how you can get the most out of your Chennai trip;

  • There are many accommodation options at your disposal in Chennai, most of which will provide you a luxurious and quality stay but hardly use any measure towards environmental protection. Instead, search and opt for an eco-friendly accommodation option as they are the best places to stay present.
  • After arriving in Chennai, you will get surrounded by taxi and rickshaw drivers that will offer you various cheap rates. Try avoiding taxis and rickshaws as these transports run on petrol and diesel, non-renewable fossil fuels. Vehicles that use fossil fuels emit many greenhouse gases and harmful substances like carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen, lead, soot, and other particulate matter. These substances are the primary causes of air pollution. It would be best if you preferred using public buses, trains, and electronic vehicles as they are comparatively less harmful.
  • As a famous Indian city, the prevalence of international brands and franchises is quite common. You can find almost all international brands like K.F.C., McDonald's, Burger King, Starbucks, H&M, etc. but you should try to avoid them at the most as you can get the same services back home. It would be best to visit and use local businesses to better exposure to the culture, traditions, and people.
  • The pollution rates in Chennai are very high, which is why you need to ensure that you don't worsen the situation by your actions. It will help if you prefer using eco-friendly products like refillable water bottles, food containers, handkerchief, cloth bags, etc.


Air Quality and Pollution

The air quality and pollution rates are relatively high in Chennai. You will find that a person with any respiratory disease or allergy will face more trouble than a healthy person. If you have any such problems, you need to follow certain precautions to avoid getting sick during your trip. The urban places are severely polluted, and people don't even bother following the state government's environment protection guidelines and other national and international organizations. Because of such a careless mentality of the locals, the pollution levels are nowhere near reducing. Here are some statistics of Chennai's air quality and pollution to help you plan proper measure;

  • PM10 – 57
  • PM2.5 – 44
  • PM10 Pollution Level – High
  • Pollution Index – 75.08
  • Pollution Exp Scale – 131.30


Respect the Culture

While traveling or exploring any part or city of India, you must respect the local culture and traditions. The local communities are very conservative and will get a wrong impression of tourists by your disrespectful actions.


Top 10 Places to Visit

  • San Thome Church

This church was constructed as a mausoleum in memory of Saint Thomas as it is among the only three churches in the world that house the Christ's oldest disciple's tomb. It is located at Santhome High Rd, Dummingkuppam, Mylapore. Due to its historical significance is the most common tourist spot in Chennai.

  • The Madras War Cemetery

It is located on Mount Poonamalle High Road, Nandambakkam, Chennai, and was established in 1952. It is the glory and the horror of World War II, which was fought to establish peace amongst the country. The one interested in wartime memorial is a great place to look. On 11 November, they host the Armistice Day homage with a wreath offering and the great honors. They had honored the world war soldiers and presented the tribute to the doctors, nurses, and other support staff.

  • The Madras Crocodile Bank

It is offered to as zoo built is not a zoo. It is to keep the fading species of crocs safe. It was initially started with crocs to stay safe and breed and multiply Bank but now home to several other reptiles species. It opens six days a week. Visitors can volunteer for the programs, adopt an animal from the crocodile bank, and make a donation.

  • Nettukuppam

It is the northernmost tipoff of the Chennai, and a beach with a low count of crowds could be seen over there. It is most likely to be the solitary treat near the ocean floor and is a very peaceful environment; just the sea wind is gazing around the area. It is more of a resting place to look for away from the city crowd and the honking area, just the sea breeze, and the perfect environment to look for as it's about 21 km drive from the center of the city.

  • Vadapalani Murugan Temple

It sits about 4 kilometers away from the center of the city and is the most frequented visiting place for the Hindus. The temple has many legends, myths, and beliefs, especially by its founder and the priest Annaswamy Naika. People come to seek their answers to their problems. It has a traditional architecture found in the South Indian temples. It has a hall where approximately seven thousand couples ties knot every year and are blessed by Murgan.

  • Kolli Hills

It is a sitting destination as it takes you near to mother nature. Its name has a meaning attached to it, Mountain of Death. They are the range of Mountains located in the Namakkal district. As it is untouched by commercial tourism its, therefore it has retained it is natural magnificence. Well, it's about located far away from Chennai but a lovely place to visit.

  • MGM Dizzee World

It is amongst the largest and oldest amusement park in India. It was initiated in 1952. It was the first amusement park to give helicopter rides to their visitor in the year 2000. They even brought a famous the show was named Jurong's Bird Show from Singapore in 1999, which made them popular hit. They have extreme thrill rides and do a maintenance check on a high basis. If you are in Dizzee World, you have any ultimate access to all the enjoyable stuff that cost you around 699 for adults and 549 children. There are numerous children rides you can find over the place for children, but it can also be used for family picnics. It also has an aqua park attached to it, making it a great deal and sure destination to visit when you are in Chennai to relax and chill.

  • Thousand Lights Mosque of Royapettah

It is the most esteemed mosque of Chennai, which is located at Royapettah. It was built in the 19th century Wallajhah family of Carnatic rulers. Their daily prayers, social gathering, and festive occasions like Muharram are kept going to date. It gets its name light mosque as there are right about 1000 oil lamps lit in its hall in the back days, which illuminates the entire mosque and beautifies the dark environment with its oil lamps. It is respected among all Muslim sects, but it is of particular significance for Shia Muslims as it is home to the Shia chief, the denomination in Tamil Nadu. It was built with traditional Islamic patterns with domes and high minarets.

  • Ashtalakshmi Temple

It is located near the shore of the Besant coast, situated in Besant Nagar, and is a few meters away from the Bay of Ashtalakshmi, the Goddess of Wealth and Knowledge. It is an intricate, huge temple of about nearly 65 feet tall and 45 feet wide. It is built according to the "Ashtanga Vimana (eight parts)," the style was inspired by the Sundararajan Perumal Temple in Uthirameru and comprised of 4 levels. The ocean waves create the echo inside the temple, which makes the mind peaceful with its aroma. For this enormous temple's renovation, approximately 7 million rupees were spent, which tells the place's grandiosity.

  • Kapaleeswarar Temple

Kapaleeswarar Temple is a holy place of Shiva in Mylapore, Chennai, and was built by the Mighty Pallavas in 7th century CE but was destroyed by the Portuguese explorers rebuilt the Vijayanagar king of the Tuluva Dynasty in the 16th century. It is located on the seashore of Mylapore, and the original structure stands within a radius of 1-1.5 km. You will find Tamil religious culture and architecture when visiting this temple, combining two different styles, Dravidian. This temple is about 6.4km away from the central station of Chennai.


Explore

Apart from all the major tourist spots, many places in Chennai will give you proper exposure to the local culture. The various parks, landmarks, and museums will provide you in-depth knowledge and first-hand experience of the biodiversity, culture, history, and traditions.


City Parks

  • Semmozhi Poonga, Chennai

Semmozhi Poonga is the first Botanical Park that opened in November 2010 in Chennai. It has over 500 species of plants, including herbs and medicinal plants as well. It is open to access every day from 10 am to 7:30 pm. The entry fee is very cheap for adults and children, which is only INR 15 and INR 10, respectively.

  • Nageswara Rao Park, Chennai

Nageswara Rao Park is an urban park spread over 4 acres of land in Mylapore, Chennai. It has a badminton area and a separate play section for kids as well. However, this park also hosts civic forums and musical functions. You can visit this park between 5 am to 11 pm and 3 pm to 8 pm only on weekends with no entry fee required.

  • Anna Nagar Tower Park, Chennai

It is an urban park in the Anna Nagar suburb of Chennai. The main highlight of this park is the 135 feet tower built at its center. This tower was constructed in 1968 as part of the World Trade Fair and is still the garden's major attraction. You can visit this place between 5 am to 9:30 pm every day without any entry fee.

  • Tholkappia Poonga, Chennai

Tholkappia Poonga Park is also known as “Adyar Poonga or Adyar Eco Park. It is an ecological park that was established by an initiative of the Tamil Nadu Government. This park is situated in the Adyar Estuary. It boasts over 160 species of trees and an Eco-friendly environment where tourists and locals can spend their time among nature's beauty. The entry fee is very cheap as well, which is INR 60 per person only and is open at different slots of time throughout the day.

  • Jeeva Park, Chennai

Jeeva Park is located on the GN Jetty Road and is one of Chennai's most famous green parks, especially joggers and kids. Groups of friends and family can also visit this park for a day's picnic or spend some quality time amidst nature and immense greenery. You can see the park free of cost between 5 am to 9:30 pm.

  • May Day Park, Chennai

May Day Park was opened in 1950 and was initially named as NAPIER PARK. This park is located in Chintadripet in Chennai. Mostly, political rallies and May Day celebrations are held in this park. It has many sports facilities like cricket, football, volleyball, and badminton and is infused in lush green trees, which gives a healthy and peaceful environment for the public. The park is open for locals and tourists every day of the week between 5 am to 8 pm.


National Parks

  • Guindy National Park

Guindy National Park is considered as the eighth smallest National Park in the country. It is situated opposite IIT Madras. In Guindy National Park, plenty of fauna such as Blackbuck, Chital or Spotted Deer, Jackal, Small Indian Civet, Hyena, and many live peacefully. This National Park is a huge tourist attraction in Chennai, which is visited by around 700,000 people every year. To see this park, you only have to pay INR 15 and INR 10 for Adults and Children, respectively, and the timings are from 9 am to 6 pm (Tuesday closed).

  • Pallikaranai Wetlands

Pallikaranai Wetlands is a natural bird habitat located within the city. This park draws a tremendous amount of bird species, whether local or migratory. It is one of the most expansive wetlands in the entire state and covers a geographical area of over 80 square kilometers. The swamp draws many photographers, birdies, and enthusiasts during the annual migratory season. It has attracted immense interest in its conservation in recent years, after being plagued by encroachments and biodiversity destruction. It is open for public access from 9 am to 6 pm every day.

  • Anna Zoological Park

Anna Zoological Park is located in the middle of the Vandalur Reserve Forest and its largest Zoological Parks. The park provides a natural habitat to over 1,500 wild species, such as the White Bengal Tiger. It also serves as one of Chennai's main tourist attractions and has more than two million visitors annually.

  • Rollapadu Wildlife Sanctuary (Near Kurnool)

The Rollapadu Wildlife Sanctuary is the best sanctuary in the Tamil Nadu and is primarily known for the Great Indian Bustard habitat, which is a rare bird species. The Sanctuary now houses nearly 800 Blackbucks and over 132 bird species. India monsoon and the post-monsoon season is the best time to visit—also, a small bird museum, a water tower, and a guest house sit near the Sanctuary.

  • Nagarjuna Sagar – Srisailam Sanctuary

This Sanctuary is found between Nagarjuna Sagar & Srisailam Dams, is considered the country's most important tiger reserves. It covers about 3568 square kilometers of land and homes exotic animals like panthers, tigers, spotted deer, mouse deer, Blackbuck, nilgai, tree straw, wolves, sloth bear & wild dogs. Jeep Safaris are allowed in this park for a limited time to keep the environment free of pollution. There are several places of interest situated within the Sanctuary like the Malleka Teertham Falls, Saleshwaram & Uma Maheshwaram, which provides a chance to experience the park's ecology.


Beaches

  • Marina Beach

Marina Beach is located along the Marina Beach Road and is the longest beach in India and the world's second-longest one. It is considered one of the best beaches in Chennai. Groups of families and children can be seen wandering or playing around on the beach from the early morning to late in the evening, enjoying fun activities, and the cool breeze. There is also a lighthouse which attracts people to hang out here and gives a 360-degree panoramic view of Chennai and the beach itself.

  • Besant Nagar Beach

Besant Nagar Beach is located along the 6th Avenue of the Chennai metropolis. It is named after Annie Besant, a former Social Activist and the first female President of the Indian National Congress. It is the most famous beach in Chennai. The tourist counts are in a large number here, especially during weekends. It is an arch-shaped beach which is often used by movie producers for shooting. It is not as crowded as Marina Beach, but visitors come here for a beautiful scenic view and spend quality time with families and friends.

  • Breezy Beach

Breezy Beach is located in the Valmiki Nagar area of Chennai and is the best family beach. People often visit here for picnics and fun activities. It is also less crowded than other beaches in Chennai, making it even better for those who love to spend quiet time on a beach. Apart from walking or jogging, horse riding is also popular on this beach. A small café is located nearby where you can grab some quick bites of hot and delicious idlis, which is this place's specialty.

  • Kovalam Beach

This beach is located about 40 kilometers from Chennai and along the Coromandel Coast of India. It is an ideal destination for tourists looking for a day out on a beach since it is away from Chennai's heat and humidity. It is one of Chennai's best family beaches and offers ample opportunities for adventure and sports. One can also experience adventure sports like Paragliding, parasailing, jet skiing, scuba diving, windsurfing, etc.

  • VGP Beach

This beach sits inside the VGP Universal Kingdom Amusement Park, and to enter this beach, you need to pay an entry fee. It is a very secure and hygienic beach for spending some quality time with family and friends. You can also indulge in a variety of adventure sports and fun activities for both adults and children. Proper safety measures are taken care of by the faculty, making this beach a must-go beach for everybody. Amusement Park here can make visiting the beach more enjoyable for you and your family. Movie producers also use the beach for shooting movie scenes.

  • Thiruvanmiyur Beach

This beach is also called "Pebble Beach." It is an isolated beach away from the locality. Many tourists are attracted to the beach because of its serenity, quietness, cleanliness, and the beautiful view of sunrise and sunset that you can get from here. It is the calmest beaches in Chennai. A few restaurants are present around the beach where you can enjoy some local delicacies.


Landmarks

  • Fort St. George

Fort St. George is the first fortress in India built in1644 by the British East India Company to secure spice trade from South India. The fort houses St. Mary’s Church, a museum, and the Wellesley House. This fortress is located on Beach Road on the shores of Marina Beach, Chennai. The Tamil Nadu State Legislative Assembly now operates it.

  • Ripon Building

Ripon Building was built in 1913 and constructed by Loganatha Mudaliar and was named after Lord Ripon, the then Governor-General of British India. This building is known for housing the office of Madras Corporation. It is located at Periyamedu near Central Station. This royal building has a 43-meter tower with a 2.5-meter clock, also known as Westminster Chiming Clock, which has been the building's main attraction since it was built.

  • HigginBotham

HigginBotham was established in the year 1844 during the British Rule in India and is the oldest bookstore in the country. One can get a book from different genres like history, religion, science, psychology, to many other titled books. It is historically the most important landmarks of Chennai, which is located on Mount Road.

  • Spencer Plaza

It is the oldest shopping place in India and is also one of South Asia's biggest shopping malls. It is located in the Anna Salai area on Mount Road and was initially built during the British Rule and reconstructed in 1985. Over 700 shops are there in the plaza, and around 22,000 people visit the plaza every day. It is open for public use from 9:30 am to 10 pm every day.

  • Anna Memorial

Anna Memorial or Anna Samadhi is located on the Marina Beach of Chennai. It is a memorial constructed in the memory of former Chief Minister and a great Dravidian Leader Arinzar Annadurai who was cremated here in 1969. The monument is situated amid a lush green park across an area of 510 hectares. The memorial also has a museum, safari park, animal house, and an aquarium.

  • Statue of Labour or Triumph of Labour

It is located in Marina Beach, which is dedicated to the hard work of the labor class. It is a bronze statue, sculpted by Debi Prasad Roy Choudhary. The statue was erected on 25 January 1959 and is listed as one of the essential sights. The figure shows four men toiling to move a rock, which depicts the laboring class's hard work.


Museums

  • Chennai Rail Museum

It is a railway museum in New Avadi Road, Chennai. It's five indoor Galleries, including gallery and Miniature Models of Train and LED lighting Boards, is managed and maintained by the ICF. It's technical and heritage exhibits a set of steam engines from the British Rule. It displays various vintage coaches like Ooty trains endemic to the Indian Railways. It is closed on Tuesdays but is open the remainder of days from 9 am to 5 pm.

  • Government Museum

It is the oldest museum in India and has a vast complex consisting of six buildings and nearly fifty Galleries. This museum showcases impressive work across every era and branch of science and art. Painting, puppetry zoology, anthropology, and fiber optic sculptures are also an attraction for the public. This museum also has a Connemara library, zoo, and aquarium. The entrance fee for adults and children is INR 15 and INR 10, respectively.

  • Cholamandal Artists’ Village

The Cholamandal Artists’ Village was built in 1966 and is 9 kilometers from the city. It is located in Injambakkam, Chennai. It introduces the local art of Cholamandel Village and has a beautiful set-up, displaying works of upcoming and established artists, painters, and sculptors from South India. The village houses an Art Gallery, Museum, and a theater for performances/acts.

  • National Art Gallery

National Art Gallery sits on the Pantheon Road in Egmore, and the artwork here includes 10th Century paintings, religious statues, and relics. Modern arts are also showcased in a separate building of this museum. This museum is best suited for art lovers as it has several beautiful paintings and some original pieces of artwork.

  • Vivekananda House- Multimedia Cultural Museum

Swami Vivekananda House is one of the most famous places to visit in Chennai, and it is believed that Swami Vivekananda used to live in this house. The museum showcases Swami Vivekananda's whole life with various paintings, photographs, and other significant objects. It is located in Kamarajar Salai near Marina Beach, Chennai. It is a must-do activity in Chennai and will help you witness a 2D Holographic short movie/film on confidence, and Swami Ji's speech on the Chicago World Religious Conference can be seen. The entrance fee for adults and children is INR 20 and INR 10, respectively.

  • B M Birla Planetarium

It is on Gandhi Mandapam Road, Chennai. It is a modern planetarium which is a part of the Tamil Nadu Science and Technology Centre. You can visit the planetarium museum between 9 am to 6 pm any day. Visitors can enjoy a 3D sky theatre in this museum, which shows motivational videos about science and technology. Hence, children interested in science and technology can easily spend half a day here having fun and learning at the same time.


Eat

Indian food cuisines are spread worldwide and have much popularity because of its vast range of savory and sweet food items. If you love Indian food items, this is the chance for you to indulge in authentic tastes and let your taste buds dance in appreciation. You can find non-vegetarian, vegetarian, and even vegan dishes in most restaurants' menus. After trying out the traditional and international cuisines in the local restaurants and cafes, don't forget to taste the local street food. The local street food will complete your Chennai taste and will leave you wanting for more.


Traditional Local Restaurants

  • Pan Asian

Pan Asian Restaurant is situated in the luxurious ITC Grand Chola Hotel. It specializes in a variety of Asian Cuisine, including Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, and Thai. Popular dishes at Pan Asia include Roasted Duck, Wasabi Prawns, Prawn Chip, Stir-fried Veggies, Sushi, and Dim Sums. Pan Asian Restaurant is also considered as India's finest Asian restaurant.

  • Tuscana Pizzeria

This restaurant is one of the few classic wood-fired pizzerias in Chennai. They have pretty posters hanging on the walls with fine artwork. The restaurant's ambiance attracts many customers to visit here and have a great time along with high-quality food. It specializes in traditional Mediterranean Cuisine, including bruschetta, thin-crust pizzas, and refreshing panna cotta for dessert. The pizzeria also offers a range of gluten-free and egg-free dishes.

  • Madras Pavilion

It is within the same building as Pan Asian and is taken into account as Chennai’s best buffet restaurant. The restaurant’s menu features many cuisines, including the best of North and South Indian fusion, Mediterranean and International cuisines.

  • Dakshin

Dakshin Restaurant is situated in the Park Sheraton Hotel. This restaurant is famously known for its authentic, delicious yet straightforward South Indian food. The restaurant offers a reasonable range of the best South Indian Dishes from Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh. Traditional Thali and fresh fish/seafood like prawns, lobsters, and squid dishes are liked by customers the most.

  • Barbeque Nation

Barbeque Nation is a cozy Indian Restaurant owned by Sayaji Hotels. The presentation and eating process as in a live grill where customers can cook their food is the main reason for this restaurant's success.


Vegetarian and Vegan

  • Eden

Eden Restaurant is the first vegetarian restaurant to offer a "Continental" menu. The Continental menu includes baked dishes with a generous amount of cheese. The homemade Indian Cuisine also complements it. The taste is constant since the day of its establishment, making it the best choice for vegan. It is on Second Avenue, Besant Nagar, Chennai. Popular dishes here are Baked Pasta, Sundae, Corn Florentine, Chili Cheese Toast, Falafel.

  • Royal Vega

This restaurant's main attraction is its interior that seeks inspiration from palace architecture and has private dining, which many customers prefer. Royal Vega is bold, ambitious at presenting a vegetarian meal. Its menu evolves along with six seasonal ingredients, which are its specialty. Kanak halva and Chandragupta malpua are among the delicious desserts at Royal Vega. It is situated at ITC Grand Chola, Mount Road, Chennai.

  • Krishna Restaurant, New Woodlands Hotel

This restaurant presents Chennai’s best vegetarian cuisine. The place is warm and cozy, having the most comfortable and excellent ambiance restaurant in the city. The restaurant’s famous dishes are RavaIdlis and Mangalore Bondas, crispy masala dosas, and filter coffee. This restaurant is situated at Dr. Radhakrishnan Salai, Mylapore.

  • Hamsa

Hamsa restaurant is situated on B. Ramachandra Adithanar Road, Gandhi Nagar, and is a fair dining vegetarian venue. It is said to be a lavishly appointed restaurant that brings together a range of vegetarian dishes from all across India. The décor is so elegant and has a well-lit interior. The restaurant's signature dish is Gongura Annam (cooked with Sorrel leaves) and coconut Kheer with a litchi fusion, Paneer Saunfiya, Tomato Shorba, Garlic Kulcha, etc.

  • ID

This restaurant is located in Sathyam Cinemas, Thiru Vi Ka Road, Royapettah. ID is the city's most popular vegetarian chain. The savory garlic dosa and the traditional buttermilk are the best sellers here. Also, sweet Pongal, filtered coffee, vada curry, stew, chutneys, and uttapam are among the popular dishes. Their outlet at the Chennai Domestic Airport is equally popular too for South Indian food.


Street Food

Your Chennai trip will not be complete if you skip the street food in the local Chennai Streets as they represent the locals' traditions and cultures.

  • Bhaaji
  • Idli
  • Sundal
  • Chaat
  • Puttu
  • Uthappam
  • Dosa
  • Thukpa
  • Athouk
  • Kothu Parotta


Drink

While exploring Chennai, you should also examine the fantastic drinking culture by indulging in some local drinks available in the various restaurants, cafés, and street vendors.

  • Rose Milk
  • Jigarthanda
  • Buttermilk
  • Lime Mint Cooler
  • Goli Soda
  • Mango Juice
  • Paneer Soda


Tap-water

Although India is known for its purity and serenity, you will find that the tap water is not at all safe to drink for foreign people. The water is high in chloride, ammonia, boron, coliform, and calcium, making it hard to taste. The primary reason for such hard water quality in Chennai is that the primary water source is the Bay of Bengal. The water is filtered and treated correctly, but the quality of water supplied from treatment plants to the city's tap water supplies reduces as it gets altered by third parties, making it unhygienic. The best sources of drinking water in Chennai are the mineral water bottles, but they aren't as good as those in your city. It would be best to buy filtered water from the various local businesses that offer good quality and hygienic service.


Organic Cafés

If you prefer organic food free from preservatives and chemicals, you can get some mouth-watering food in Chennai's organic cafés. These cafés make their dishes using locally sourced ingredients and maintain a fresh stock. These cafés serve not only Indian snacks but other international snacks as well.

  • Green Café
  • Wild Garden
  • The Brew Room
  • Ayur Square
  • Writer’s Café
  • The English Tearoom
  • Ashvita Bistro


Breweries

Chennai homes a significant number of breweries in Tamil Nadu that serve the state and many parts of the country. Local Indian beverages are quite unlike in taste of the foreign drinks. You can visit the local breweries while visiting Chennai to get a first-hand experience and authentic flavors.

  • Prodeb Brewery Technology Private Limited
  • United Breweries Limited
  • SNJ Distilleries Pvt. Ltd.
  • Accord Distillers
  • EMPEE Breweries Limited
  • Ravikumar Distilleries Ltd.


Activities

There are many fun and adrenaline-filled activities in Chennai where you can understand the local culture, heritage, traditions, history, and people's lives. You can both opt for solo trips or group trips and have a good time exploring and discovering new things about Chennai. Here are some must-do activities in Chennai;

  • Take a Chennai food walk
  • Opt for bird watching at Pulicat Lake
  • Take a fishing trip with a local Chennai fisherman
  • Take a turtle walk during the nesting season
  • Go on a trekking trip at the Koli Hills
  • Scuba Dive into the Bay of Bengal
  • Parasailing
  • Participate in rowboats racing events


Yoga and Retreats

Yoga is a widespread practice of keeping your body and mind healthy and at peace. Originated from India, you will find that authentic and traditional yoga practices are still followed in various parts of India. Chennai homes many traditional yoga institutes where you can learn the art and enlighten your mind.

  • The Chennai Iyengar School of Yoga Centre
  • Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga
  • Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram
  • Sarva Yoga Studio
  • 136.1 Yoga and Wellness Academy
  • Patanjalee Institute of Yoga & Therapy
  • Body and Soul Yoga Studio


Accommodation

Chennai, the Gateway of South India, offers endless options for accommodation that you can choose according to your budget and preferences. There are accommodation options for all types of travelers and a wide variety of prices. You can choose from 5-star hotels, eco-hotels, hostels, guest houses, and rental apartments. Before booking your accommodation option, make sure to inspect it properly, and avoid paying any advance payments.


Green Hotels

Green hotels or eco-friendly hotels are the new trend amongst tourists and are essential today. These hotels are just like 5-star hotels, but the only difference is that they use eco-friendly practices to minimize their carbon footprint.

  • Hotel Green Park
  • Green Meadows Resort
  • Udipi Guest Hotel
  • Green Coconut Resort
  • Lemon Tree Hotel, Shimona
  • The Raintree, Anna Salai
  • Savera Hotel


Hostels and Guest Houses

Hotels aren't the best accommodation options if you want to learn and become a part of the local culture of the city you are visiting. Hostels and guest houses are for travelers who are low on budget and want a place to interact with fellow travelers and locals.

  • Sundaram Guest House
  • Elements Hostel and Guest House
  • Taramani Guest House
  • Zostel
  • Hostel Gandhi
  • Red Lollipop Hostel


Apartments

Rental apartments are perhaps some of the best options for travelers staying in Chennai for a long time. You can find many apartment buildings scattered throughout the city. While renting out an apartment, you should always prefer the ones closest to the prime locations so that you can get various amenities like transportation, food, security, etc. Also, ensure that the apartment is in good shape before paying any money to the landlord.


Couchsurfing

Couch-surfing isn't yet popular in India, but a few locals in Chennai offer free or a chargeable stay at their homes. You can look for such people on the couch surfing website and contact them before leaving your hometown.


Camping

For travelers who can't afford the luxury of hotels and guest houses, camping is the best option. There are various campsites in Chennai where you can enjoy a pleasurable and cheap stay.

  • Tent N Trek
  • Jacob Gardens
  • Tonakela Camp
  • Murasoli Maran Park
  • Chennai Adventure Club


How to Get There

As one of the four primary metropolitan cities in India, Chennai is reachable by various ways. You can get a direct flight from your home town to Chennai International Airport, which is the best option as it will save you lots of time and money from transfer flights. If you are in India, you can reach Chennai by trains, buses, domestic sites, and even boats. You can choose your mode of transport according to your budget and comfort.


Air

The best way to reach Chennai is by taking a flight directly to Chennai International Airport. Almost all major international airlines offer their services to the airport, and you will not face much problem in reaching it.


Bus

You can opt for buses only if you are already in India. The country only allows international travel through airplanes at the majority, and other modes are often restricted. You can take a long-distance bus to Chennai from any city in India.


Train

India doesn’t allow international train travel like major European countries do. If you are already in India, you can use the efficient railway network to reach Chennai.


Hitchhiking

Hitchhiking is a common practice in India as a lot of people with low cash options ask the drivers on highways for lifts. You will not face much problem asking for rides as the Indians are very friendly and will try to help you out whenever they can.


Others

Other ways of reaching Chennai include boats and rental cars, which are not affordable or comfortable. They are also the major contributors to air and noise pollution, so try to avoid them at all costs.


Moving Around

Chennai's people are accustomed to seeing foreigners in their city and helping them out whenever they can. You do not face much trouble navigating and traveling as there are many modes of exploring in Chennai that include electronic vehicles, bicycles, and walking.


Walk

Walking is the cheapest and the healthiest mode of traveling in Chennai. You will need to be cautious of your environment as the chances of getting in an accident are high.


Bicycle

If you feel unsafe walking around the city, you can rent out a bicycle from any local bicycle business for the time frame you want.


Electronic Vehicles

Electronic vehicles are trendy in Chennai. You will find that electronic rickshaws, cars, and bikes are available in many city areas for renting or buying.


Public Bus

For ease in travel, you can opt for public buses and be aware that they are not safe and the hotspot areas for pickpockets. These buses are often crowded, and you may feel uncomfortable.


Tram, Train and Subway

The city of Chennai is served by both metro and railway trains. The metro trains focus on providing fast and quality services inside the city, whereas the railway trains are for traveling to other cities outside Chennai. They are both efficient and reliable modes of transports.


Sustainable Shopping

Sustainable shopping is a huge trend in India, as locals and tourists prefer handicrafts and homemade items. Apart from these items, organic food and recyclable items are also very popular amongst India. Buying products that are made of organic ingredients is called sustainable or eco-friendly shopping.


Food Markets

  • Teynampet Market
  • Poompuhar Sea Food Market
  • Ambattur Market
  • Suyambulingam Vegetable Market
  • Organic Farmers Market


Flea Markets

  • Moore Market
  • A Cube
  • Cotton Alley
  • Radio Market


Second Hand Stores

  • JJ Traders
  • Thatha Used Book Store
  • Thiruchenthur Murgan Traders
  • ARS Cars
  • Royal Traders


Eco-Fashion

  • Rossbelle
  • Eco Green
  • Ecco Wear
  • Tula India
  • Mayori Conscious Clothing
  • Bhushavali


Recycling

With high rates of pollution, the need for recycling and proper waste disposal is essential in Chennai. Some organizations and businesses offer services for the appropriate recycling of your waste.


Waste

For proper garbage disposal and cleanliness, the Chennai government, along with the municipalities, has launched many dumpsters and trucks available worldwide for dumping your waste correctly.


Work and Study Abroad

There are many institutes and multinational corporations in Chennai that offer foreigners the option to study or work in Chennai.


Exchange Student

Various educational institutes offer the student exchange program in Chennai to study local culture, heritage, and traditions.

  • Madras Christian College
  • Ethiraj College for Women
  • Stella Matutina College of Education
  • College of Engineering, Guindy


Au Pair

Au pairing is a common practice in India where an individual or a couple voluntarily provides their help to low-income families in becoming better versions of themselves.


Volunteering

  • Chennai Volunteers
  • Bhumi
  • Team Everest
  • Teach For India

If you want to positively impact the local environment and make your trip memorable, try to participate in these organizations' volunteering activities in Chennai.


See Also