Places to Visit in Chennai | Chennai Tourist Places

by Surojit Palmal
Places to Visit in Chennai

Chennai is one of the most important and favourite places for the tourists for short holidays and vacations. The city is always bustling with activities and has some really interesting places that you can visit. Ranging from pristine beaches to national parks, heritage temples to museums, the city reflects its rich culture and elegance. A deeply rich historical past and a modern day developed set up makes it one of the best tourist spots in India. If you are in Chennai for a short time, you can surely go on a one day trip in Chennai to visit some noteworthy spots. In this article I will mention some of the best places to visit in Chennai with family. These Chennai tourist places mentioned in this article should be a must visit.

15 Best Places to Visit in Chennai

Marina Beach

Marina Beach

Location: Triplicane, Chennai

Timings: Open all day

Entry fee: No entry fee

best time to visit: November to March

Marina Beach in Chennai is one of the most popular tourist spots as this beach is the longest beach in India and one of the longest in the world. The beach stretches 13 km from Besant Nagar to Fort St. George. The beach is one of the popular places to visit and is always bustling with a lot of activities. The sunset looks gorgeous from here and a lot of people visit the beach during that time to grasp the beauty. The view from here is attractive with palm trees lining. An old lighthouse stands tall and makes it look even more beautiful.

The beach looks like a fair with small stalls selling local food and seafood along with shops selling small handicraft items and artifacts that you can check out. You can also enjoy horse riding there as an activity or just stroll around and get soaked into the beauty of nature. You can also enjoy beach games and kite flying here. The beach is easily accessible and therefore attracts a lot of crowd on a regular basis. This is surely one of the best places to visit in Chennai.


Elliot’s Beach

Elliot’s Beach Chennai
Image Source : Wikimedia Commons

Location: Besant Nagar Beach Road, Chennai

Timings: Open all day

Entry fee: No entry fee

best time to visit: November to March

This beautiful beach is another popular tourist spot in Chennai. The beach has been named after the Chief Magistrate Superintendent of Madras, Sir Edward Elliot, of the British era. also one of the cleanest beaches that you can find. It’s also known as Edward Elliot’s Beach and Besant Nagar Beach or Bessie. The beach has the Ashtalakshmi Temple and Annai Vailankanni Church nearby. Another major attraction here is the Schmidt Memorial built in the memory of Dutch sailor Karl Schmidt.

The white structure gives a royal feel to the beach and is one of the landmarks here. It is a family friendly beach so if you are searching for places to visit in Chennai with family, this beach is a good option. You can enjoy sightseeing here or just stroll around the sandy shore. The serene beach is a favourite picnic spot amongst many. So do visit this beach when you are in Chennai.


Thousand Lights Mosque

Thousand Lights Mosque Chennai
Image Source : Wikimedia Commons

Location: Royapettah, Peters Road, Peters Colony, Chennai

Timings: 5:30 am to 9 pm

Entry fee: No entry fee

The city of Chennai is known for many elegant architectures and this mosque is one of them. The mosque got its name from the 1000 lamps that light up the main hall of the mosque. It is one of the biggest mosques that are found in India. The dome shaped mosque looks magnificent. It is a multi domed mosque that looks spectacular on its own. It stands tall with a height of 64 feet. The architecture is breathtaking and you will see a distinct medieval style in its formation. There is separate space for women to offer their prayer here. The ambience is serene and calm. You can surely visit this place while searching for the best places to visit in Chennai.


Valluvar Kottam

Valluvar Kottam Chennai
Image Source : Wikimedia Commons

Location: 34, Valluvar Kottam High Road, Nungambakkam, Chennai

Timings: 8:30 am to 5:30 pm

Entry fee: For adults it is Rs. 10 and for children it is Rs. 5

The Valluvar Kottam is an intricately carved stone chariot built in the memory of famous Tamil Poet, Saint and Philosopher Thiruvallar. This monument is made with 3000 blocks of stone. The auditorium inside the Valluvar Kottam is considered the largest in Asia. A total of 133 chapters of Thiruvallar’s work Thirukkural is inscribed on the walls of the monument. A major attraction for tourists here are the plants planted by Mother Teresa in 1984. They also host regular exhibitions of handicrafts items here which are popular among visitors. Surely do visit this place and witness this intricate piece of art.



Dakshinachitra Chennai
Image Source : Wikimedia Commons

Location: SH 49, Muttukadu, Tamil Nadu

Timings: 10 am to 6 pm. Tuesdays are closed.

Entry fee: For adults the entry fee is Rs. 110, for students it is Rs. 30, for children from 5-12 years it is Rs. 20. During the festive season and national holidays the entry fee for adults is Rs. 130.

Dakshinachitra literally means “The Picture of South” and this living history museum stands true to its name. The huge area of 10 acres has been created like a small village that has replica houses of traditional South Indian styles from the 19th and 20th century. There are a total of 18 houses and together they depict the lifestyle, culture and history of the South Indian States of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. They exhibit almost 400 artifacts and show a collection of performing art and crafts and architecture. You will witness the simplest of things like utensils to fabrics in this museum. They also arrange regular classical dance events and musical concerts here. You will get a fair idea of South Indian culture here which will be an interesting visit. Do visit this place with your friends and family and have a great time.



Location: South of British built Chennai

Timings: 6 am to 1 pm and 4pm to 8 pm

Entry fee: There is no entry fee

Mylapore is popularly known as the cultural hub of Chennai. The place holds a history of almost 1500 years. This is the neighboring area in the south of Chennai and has a distinct culture of its own. The area is vast and covered in lush greenery which makes it look beautiful. It has some of the popular tourist attractions like the Kapaleeshwar Temple and the Ramakrishna Math. The area has a number of temples and churches like Adi Kesava Perumal temple and San Thomas Basilica. This is also known as one of the oldest residential zones. Previously this area was also known as Vedapuri.

Mylapore is also famous for its musicians and music sabhas. In the month of December a number of music sabhas are arranged here with the aim of reviving, restoring and promoting the age-old culture of playing music in a group. The place is also famous for its mouthwatering food that is another major point of attraction among the tourists. Do visit this place to soak into the elegance and culture of the city and have a great time. This is one of the best Chennai entertainment places so do not miss out on this place.

Government Museum

Location: Pantheon Road, Egmore, Chennai

Timings: 9:30 am to 5:30 pm. The museum is closed on On Fridays and National Holidays.

Entry fee: For adults the entry fee is Rs. 15, for children below 12 years the entry fee is Rs. 10 and for students the entry fee is Rs. 5.

For people who love visiting museums, you cannot miss out on the Government Museum in Chennai. This museum is famous as a museum that has preserved some of the best South Indian bronzes from the 10th to 13th century. Also the Amaravathi Gallery in the museum has marble sculptures that depict the early life and activities of Gautam Buddha that dates back to 2nd century. This is a perfect place for children as well as people who have an interest in old artifacts and have a leaning towards history and historical elements. Do visit this place with your friends and family and have a great time.

Connemara Public Library

Location: Museum Compound, Pantheon Road, Egmore, Chennai

Timings: 9 am to 7:30 pm from Mondays to Saturdays. On Sunday the timing is 9:30 am to 6 pm.

Entry fee: There is no entry fee

Libraries are not new to anyone, but what makes this particular library one of the must visit places in Chennai is its unique set up of stacking of books and flanked board arches. The library was constructed in the 19th century and has been standing apart in its uniqueness since then. It has a collection of over 6000,000 books ranging from periodic write ups to historical scriptures to almost every modern day publication. This is also one of the four largest depository libraries that have almost every work published in India.

The library has a separate video room, conference hall and a periodic hall for the readers. It is one of the largest libraries that you will find in Asia. For avid readers this will be like a book heaven but even non readers will be mesmerized at the vastness of the Connemara Public Library. If you are a reader yourself, you must visit this library to get a glimpse of the world of books and get yourself immersed in it.

Guindy National Park

Guindy National Park

Location: Rangeguindy, Chennai

Timings: 9 am to 6 pm. Tuesdays are closed.

Entry fee: for Adults the entry fee is Rs. 15. For Government and Government Aided School children the entry fee is Rs. 2. For private school children the entry fee is Rs. 10.

This National park in Chennai is another must visit place in Chennai. The Guindy National Park has almost 300 kinds of trees and plants. They have almost 150 types of birds and 15 mammals here. You can also see reptiles and amphibians here as well. Here you can see a variety of animals and birds including spotted deers, jackals, blackbucks, tortoises etc. There is a separate Snake Park inside the premises as well that houses pythons and cobras. The park also is a home to many exotic birds including Quail, Flycatchers, Buzzards and Partridge.

This National Park was previously a part of Raj Bhawan and IIT Madras and now it is one of the most popular places of visit in Chennai. This park is also one of the smallest National Parks and a National Park that is situated inside the city itself. You can visit this national park with your family and especially children are going to love this one a lot.

Royapuram Fishing Harbour

Location: North of Chennai Port

Timings: Open all day

Entry fee: No entry fee

A fishing harbor sounds a little odd when we are talking about tourist places but trust me when I include this place in the article of best places to visit in Chennai. This harbor is under the control of the Administration of the Chennai Port Trust. Groups of fishermen in action and freshly caught fishes can surely be a spectacular sight. The stunning backwaters here are another major attraction among the tourists. You will be able to see different varieties of fishes here and Chennai being a coastal area, harbors different types of fishes. The area is so huge that it can harbor a total of more than 575 boats at a time.

The place provides a perfect backdrop for photography lovers and the scenic elements will be a treat to enjoy. Visit the place during the morning and watch the fishermen unload their collection of fishes for the day. It is a different experience to see the fishermen shouting at the top of their voices and auctioning the fishes to restaurants. You will surely enjoy this unique experience so don’t forget to include this place in your list of Chennai tourist places.

Semmozhi Poonga

Location: Cathedral Road, Ellaiamman Colony, Teynampet, Chennai

Timings: 10 am to 8 pm. Tuesdays are closed

Entry fee: Entry fee for adults is Rs. 15, for children above 10 years it is Rs. 10 and for children below 10 years there is no entry fee.

This is a Botanical Garden in Chennai and is a perfect place for nature lovers. The area is huge, sprawling across 20 acres. If you are in search of places to visit in Chennai with family then this is an amazing option. This place will be a perfect spot to visit for people of all age groups. The exotic flora and fauna here attracts a lot of visitors on a regular basis. You will also get to see a lot of medicinal herbs here which is another interesting thing here. The park is divided into different sections like the Fern Garden, Butterfly Garden, Sunken Garden and more. These themed gardens are perfect for the visitors to enjoy a relaxing time sitting on the green grassy grounds of the park.

You can also see artificial ponds here with ducks swimming in it which looks beautiful as a sight. The whole garden is very well maintained and neat and organized. Trees are lined on the borders with many flowering plants as well. The greenery along with colourful flowers makes the place bloom with lots of freshness. This can be an ideal spot for people who want to relax and enjoy time amidst nature and natural elements. Do visit this place to experience fresh air and have a good time with your friends and family.

Sri Parthasarathy Temple

Location: Narayana Krishnaraja Puram, Triplicane, Chennai

Timings: 5 am to 12:30 pm and 4 pm to 9 pm

Entry fee: There is no entry fee

This is a 100 year old temple dedicated to Lord Krishna. Devotees from all over the world visit this temple to offer their prayer. This temple is also one of the 108 temples of Divya Desams in India. You will notice a distinct Dravidian style of architecture of this temple. The intricate wall carvings along with the finely made colourful gopurams of this temple will leave you awestruck. One of the major attractions of this temple is the two Rajagopuram which are the two main domes. These domes are intricately carved in a pyramid shape and are placed in the East and West directions of the temples.

Parthasarathy literally means “Charioteer of Arjuna” and is dedicated to Lord Krishna’s role as a charioteer to Arjuna during the Kurukshetra battle in Mahabharat. The temple was built by the Pallava king Narasimhavarman I during the 8th century. The temple also has shrines of Ranganatha, Rama, Gajendra Varadaraja, Vedavalli Thayar etc. it is one of the oldest monuments of Chennai.  This is also one of the few temples that are dedicated to Lord Krishna’s Parthasarathy form. The temple also has idols of other forms of Lord Vishnu namely Narasimha, Rama and Krishna.


Ashtalakshmi Temple

Ashtalakshmi Temple Chennai
Image Source : Wikimedia Commons

Location: Elliot’s Beach, 6/21 Paindi Amman Kovil, Besant Nagar, Chennai

Timings: 6:30 am to 12 pm and 4 pm to 9 pm on all days except Fridays and Sundays. On Fridays and Sundays timings are 6:30 am to 1pm and 4 pm to 9 pm.

Entry fee: There is no entry fee.

Located on the extension of Elliot’s Beach, the Ashtalakshmi Temple is dedicated to Goddess Mahalakhshmi. The most magnificent point is the structure of this temple that is shaped in an “OM”. Other than the presiding deity there are also idols of Ganesha, Dashavatara and Guruvayoorappan.

The temple rises to its full glory during festivals like Pongal, Navratri and Diwali. The evening pujas here are a major point here. Another interesting part here is the waves of the oceans echoes inside the temple and gives a peaceful feel and makes the ambience even more divine. This temple is one of the popular places of worship among the devotees and the relaxed and calm ambience is very soothing for anyone visiting here. Definitely do visit this temple in Chennai.


Marundeeswarar Temple

Location: 8, W Tank Street, Lalitha Nagar, Thiruvanmiyur, Chennai

Timings: 5 am to 12 pm and 4 pm to 8:30 pm

Entry fee: There is no entry fee

This temple is one of the oldest temples in Chennai that dates back to the 11th century. The temple was constructed during the Chola Empire. The temple is dedicated to a Marundeeswarar form of Lord Shiva who is believed to be the God of Medicines. It is believed that Sage Agastya learned about the magical properties of medicines from Lord Marundeeswarar himself. The architecture of this temple is praiseworthy with distinct Chola and Dravidian influence in its formation. There are 36 intricately carved pillars in the temple which look marvelous. The temple has a Shiva linga and Idols of Vinayaka and Lord Murugan.

This temple is one of the most visited temples in Chennai and it is believed that the prasadam of this temple that is made with ash and milk has the power to cure any ailments. The temple is most crowded during the festivals of Shivaratri, Ganesh Chaturthi and Panguni Brahmotsavam. So you can surely visit this temple during these times.


Kapaleeswarar Temple

Location: Vinayaka Nagar Colony, Mylapore, Chennai

Timings: 5 am to 12 pm and 4 pm to 9 pm

Entry fee: There is no entry fee.

The unique attractiveness of this temple is in its distinct Dravidian style of Architecture mixed with Vijayanagara style. The temple was first constructed during the Pallava dynasty rule but was later demolished by the Portuguese. It was again rebuilt during the reign of Vijayanagara Dynasty. This magnificent temple stands tall at 37 metres. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and Karpagambal. The intricate architectural style and the gopuram is one of the prominent things to witness here. Another major attraction here is a massive water filled tank that holds a lot of religious value and also is used to store water during the ancient times. The temple is mostly crowded during March and April. This temple holds a lot of significance for its devotees and is one of the popular sites of worship in Chennai.

Chennai is one of the culturally rich elegant cities that have a lot to offer. If you are in Chennai for some work or you want to enjoy a vacation, these Chennai tourist places are a must visit. If you are looking for places to visit with your friends in Chennai then check out the above mentioned places for sure. It is also a great city to visit with your family. Do let me know if you have ever visited Chennai or you wish to.

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