10 Best places to visit in Chennai – Urban side of India
Traveling through India, there are certain things you MUST see when visiting the bustling cities of this incredibly country. Some cities are riddled with tourist attractions and famous monuments, but the city of Chennai has a charm that goes beyond the typical tourist sites. If you are looking for hidden gems, keep reading below about the top 10 best places to visit in Chennai.
In order to get the most out of your visit to Chennai, you’ll have to explore into the heart of this cultural hub. The most enchanting places possess a rich history, a deep cultural appreciation, and an excitingly authentic Indian experience. This city can certainly turn out to be a life-changing adventure! Here are the ten best places to visit in Chennai!
10 Best places to visit in Chennai
1. The Cholamandal Artists’ Village
This thriving art community nestled in the Injambakkam Village on the outskirts of Chennai is a great place to see, experience, and purchase local works of art. The Cholamandal Artists’ Village has been around since 1966 and includes a wide variety of beautiful treasures. You can participate in a workshop, explore the paintings and sculptures, or you can simply walk through the village for the day! A great place to pick up a one of a kind souvenir!
2. Madras High Court
As one of the biggest judicial buildings in the whole world, this impressive Indo-Saracenic building will be a MUST see in Chennai. Built in 1892, this beautiful structure is filled to the brim with stunning works of stained-glass, painted murals and ceilings, and of course, judicial hearings!
The Madras High Court is easy to spot during your travels through Chennai, as it is has an alluring red exterior! Hotels in Chennai are easy to find as well, especially ones within walking distance from this extraordinary building.
3. Fort St. George
Home to the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly and Secretariat, Fort St. George is a main attraction in the old city of Madras. A lasting remnant from British control in India, as well as the British East Indian Company, this stunning building also includes some historic attractions.
You can choose to take in the beauty of Saint Mary’s Church, or take the afternoon to look through the Fort Museum. All in all, you can spend an entire day just exploring all of the fascinating aspects of this Chennai landmark.
4. George Town Markets
You wouldn’t be immersing yourself in Indian culture fully if you haven’t visited an authentic Indian Market. The George Town Market was one of the first settlements in this remarkable area. In the early 1640’s, this delightful market probably wasn’t as boisterous as it is now! Walk through and window shop as a free thing to do, or find some enticing spices to take home. Take in all of the sights, smells, and delicious treats of the George Town Market!
As one of the oldest residential areas in Chennai, this neighborhood is overflowing with the past in this exciting present. Walk through the streets here to see stunning art, the 17th century Kapaleeshwarar Temple, the San Thome Cathedral, as well as the Ramakrishna Mutt Temple. The wide variety of intersecting cultures not only reflect Chennai’s history, but the history of India as well!
6. Early Morning Markets
Those of you who love to rise with the sun will have a LOT to do in those wee hours of the morning. As Chennai is home to various markets, you can walk through acres and acres of fresh produce, fish, and spices! The Kayambedu Wholesale Market Complex, the Kasimedu Fishing Harbor, and the bustling district of T.Nagar are all worth the excellent prices and once in a lifetime shopping experiences.
7. Vivekananda House
As a dedication to one of the most respected spiritual teachers in Indian history, Swami Vivekananda, this beautiful building is a salute to his life and work. The Victorian-style building, initially built to store ice, is now home to a permanent collection of Indian cultural pieces and dedicated the Swami’s life.
8. The Turtle Walk
The coast of Chennai hosts the breeding grounds of the Olive Ridley Turtle. If you are able to visit Chennai during the nesting season (December to April), you can see turtles lay their eggs! In order to help this endangered species survive, the Students Sea Turtle Conservation Network holds walks on Friday and Saturday nights to collect the eggs and take them to a hatchery! Join in on the conservation and help this species endure!
9. Marina Beach and Triplicane
Triplicane is a neighborhood located directly off of Marina Beach. The beach is home to amusement rides, modern food vendors, and even boasts the title of longest urban beach in India! The noise and bustle of the beach is only a few steps from one of Chennai’s oldest and multi-cultural hubs.
There are a lot of similarities between Southern India and Sri Lanka, but it’s places like Marina Beach and Triplicane that make Indian cities like Chennai unique! Walk along the Marina Beach to have fun, then take in the history of Triplicane in the same afternoon.
10. Kalakshetra Arts Academy
Kalakshetra Arts Academy is an interesting experience for anyone looking to see Indian art forms in action. From visuals, to dance pieces, to crafts and textiles, this brilliant art academy is an exciting stop for anyone traveling through Chennai! You can not only participate with workshops, but you can visit the museum to learn more about keeping Indian art culture alive!
The 10 Best Places for Your Trip to Chennai
Whether you’re walking through the fresh produce of one of Chennai’s many markets, looking at the red façade of the Madras High Court, or making your way through a historic neighborhood, Chennai has so much to offer. Stay busy, have fun, and take in the culture of this amazing city with these ten best places to visit in Chennai!