Chennai, formerly called Madras, is situated in India’s southern state of Tamilnadu and is approximately 400 years old. While Chennai may not be an obvious Indian holiday destination, the city has plenty to offer and the personable locals will make you feel very welcome. From outdoor pursuits, such as visiting the beach or parks, to visiting cultural attractions, there is something for everyone in Chennai.
Chennai is served by the third-busiest airport in India, Chennai International Airport (MAA). A return flight from London to Chennai will cost you between £388 and £550 depending on what time of year you make your trip. On average, a flight from London to Chennai will take 10 hours.
What to Do in Chennai
One of Chennai’s major attractions is its beautiful beaches which overlook the Bay of Bengal. The 12 km long Marina Beach is the second longest urban beach in the world and is perfect for walking and unwinding. It is not recommended that you go swimming in the water here as there are very strong under currents and no lifeguards present. Marina Beach tends to get quite busy, so if you want somewhere quieter, you should visit Elliot’s Beach.
Guindy National Park is a small national park situated within the city and is a popular destination with visitors to Chennai. The National Park is home to a variety of fauna including deer, foxes and monkeys. The most popular attraction of the park in the Guindy Snake Park which has a collection of Indian snakes on display including pythons and cobras.
Chennai has a diverse selection of galleries and museums that are certainly worth a visit while on holiday in Chennai. The Government Museum is the largest museum in Chennai and is spread-out over the Pantheon Complex, a collection of British designed buildings. In the museum you will find a number of archaeological displays including some impressive bronze artefacts. In addition, the Government Museum also incorporates the National Art Gallery, the Children’s Museum and the Contemporary Art Gallery. You only need to buy one ticket to access all of these attractions.
If you are looking for somewhere luxurious to stay, there are a number of 5 star hotels in the city, the bulk of them can be found in Central Chennai and the rest are situated near the airport. One of the most famous luxury hotels in Chennai is the Taj Connermara. This hotel was established in the 1800s and has stunning rooms adorned with classic furnishings.
While there is a selection of budget accommodation options in Chennai that offer a seemingly good deal, they are often very substandard. Therefore, you are usually better off paying a bit more for mid-range accommodation. Nevertheless, the cheapest accommodation in the city can be found in Egmore and in Triplicane High Rd region.