Located on the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal, Chennai is a beautiful city known for its rich architectural and cultural heritage. The architectural highlights of this city range from the age-old Dravidian temples providing an insight into the culture of this city to the British-era buildings serving as reminders of the colonial influence to the modern skyscrapers depicting its advancement with time. Not just these, but also the beaches, parks, and museums are among the top attractions in Chennai. Planning to visit this city? Here we have listed some of the best tourist places in Chennai you must see during your first trip. Plan your itinerary today and book cheap flights to Chennai!
Stretching up to a length of 13 km along the Bay of Bengal, Marina Beach is the longest natural urban beach in India. It is the go-to recreational spot for the locals and a must-see for all those travelers visiting Chennai for the first time. Marina beach swarms with people during the evening, but you may still hope to find your silent spot on this long beach. Enjoy the coastal views, gorgeous sunsets, and lip-smacking South Indian snacks such as crispy Murukkulu or Sundal sold by the local food vendors. Stroll around and check out the statues of prominent figures installed along the length of this beach.
Fort St. George
Also known as the White Town, Fort St. George is an important structure in the colonial history of Chennai, and India at large. Built by the British, it served as the seat of power for the British Raj in India back then, and today, this historical building is home to the Secretariat and Legislative Assembly of Tamil Nadu. Considered among the best tourist places in Chennai, Fort St. George is visited by many tourists. Do explore the historical artifacts and antiques stashed at the Fort Museum and visit St. Mary’s Church, the oldest Anglican Church in India.
Located along the Pantheon Road in Egmore, Government Museum or Madras Museum is the second-oldest museum in the country after Kolkata’s Indian Museum. It was established in the year 1851. The museum houses some of the most precious artifacts such as bronze items dating back to the 10th century and marble sculptures related to the life of Gautam Buddha. The Government Museum also boasts a great collection of paintings, wood carvings, coins, and other objects belonging to natural history and archeology.
What was Chennai like before it was developed as Madras by the British? To get a vague glimpse of this, head to Mylapore – a culturally-rich neighborhood with a history of about 1500 years. It is situated in the southern part of the city, only 12 km from Chennai Airport. Apart from its cultural attractions like beautiful Dravidian temples, maths, etc., this place is also known for its picturesque tree-lined avenues, many shopping venues, and food outlets that serve authentic South Indian delicacies. Mylapore is one of the best tourist places in Chennai for history and culture enthusiasts as well as food and shopping lovers.
Arignar Anna Zoological Park
Arignar Anna Zoological Park is a must-visit place in Chennai for all wildlife enthusiasts. Sprawled across 602 hectares, this park shelters a wide variety of animals, including rare and endangered species. Established in 1855, Arignar Anna Zoological Park (also called Vandalur Zoo), is the first public zoo in India. Go on a safari and discover the diverse flora and fauna of the region. Explore the park’s many attractions like the lion and deer safari park, a terrestrial aviary, a forest museum, an aquarium, a crocodile house, a butterfly house, and more!
Together with the above, Kapaleeswarar Temple, Connemara Public Library, Guindy National Park, Elliot’s Beach, and Ashtalakshmi Temple are the top 10 tourist places in Chennai. The winter months from October to February provide respite from the sultry weather conditions typical of Chennai and thus are a perfect time to visit this city. Book your flights to Chennai from San Francisco (or any other US city) at Indian Eagle as soon as your itinerary is planned because booking in advance is the best way to get the cheapest flights!
Also Read: Places to Visit in Madurai