Flights to Chennai (MAA)

Flights to Chennai land you in one of India's most touristy cities, where bold cuisine is the order of the day.

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Flights to Chennai

There was a time when Chennai was simply a throughway to the south. Now, thanks to a steady rise in the number of cultural, shopping and dining hot spots – as well as a thriving arts and dance scene – Chennai is an exciting destination in its own right.

A lot of people still know Chennai as Madras (its former name during colonial times). India’s fourth largest city is also one of its fastest growing. It's a cosmopolitan place that's welcoming to visitors, which means that you can find your way around easily, whether you're visiting Fort St George, built by the British in 1644, or watching a Tamil film in one of the many cinemas. And while there are some laws in place to curb late night socialising, various nightlife venues are popping up for those who want to unwind after dark.

And, while it’s not India’s most well known beach destination, Chennai is actually home to some of the largest and loveliest expanses of sandy coastline in the country. The fact that this isn’t common knowledge means you're likely to feel a lot more peace and quiet as you sunbathe by the sea and plot how else you can enjoy this stunning corner of the country.

When you’re not soaking up the sun, visit Chennai’s many cultural attractions. It’s one of the best places to experience the unique Tamil culture of the region, particularly the love affair with dance and the arts.

Sunbathe on Elliot’s Beach

Marina Beach is the most popular sandy hangout in Chennai, but walk a little further along and you reach Elliot’s. While still busy at the weekend, it is perfect for a morning or evening stroll. A favourite of college students, there’s always something going on.

Elliot’s Promenade
Besant Nagar
+91 98844 88104

Visit Kuchipudi Art Academy

Kuchipudi Art Academy was founded in 1963 to help spread the discipline of kuchipudi dance. The chance to watch this graceful art form shouldn’t be missed. Call before your visit to guarantee that you will see the dancers practising or putting on a show.

No 4
DGS Dhinakaran Road
Raja Annamalai Puram
600 028
+91 44 2493 7260

See nature at Madras Crocodile Bank Trust

As one of the largest reptile zoos in the world, the Madras Crocodile Bank Trust and Centre for Herpetology is the perfect place to get up close and personal with crocodiles. The centre promotes conservation, but the fun is had watching the animals being fed.

+91 44 2747 2447

Visit the Government Museum

Without a doubt one of the cultural highlights of the city, this museum has a wide range of displays. The ticket also gives you access to the children’s museum and contemporary art museum, so you get a lot for your entrance fee. Check out the bronze gallery for some incredible pieces of Indian art.

Pantheon Road
+91 44 2819 3238

Tour Cholamandal Artists' Village

This artists’ cooperative has a history of being a hub of creativity. The friendly staff are very welcoming; you can explore the creative process of modern Indian art and even buy a piece. Private tours are available and are worth the money if you're looking for extra insight.

East Coast Road
+91 44 2449 0092

Visit Kapaleeswarar Temple

This ancient temple is one of the top cultural attractions in Chennai. As with many Hindu temples, there are temples within the temple, some of which are exclusively for Hindus. It's an important centre for local celebrations, so if you happen to be visiting when there's a festival, there’s an extra buzz.

12 North Mada Street
+91 44 2464 1670

The Fruit Shop on Greams Road (Healthy)

Smoothies and fruit-based drinks abound at this shop, which has a loyal following among locals. There are plenty of flavours to choose from, all of which will provide a refreshing break from the heat outside. All the fruit is wonderfully fresh, so the drinks are some of the best in the city.

21, 3rd Avenue
Besant Nagar
+91 44 2345 0876

Above Sea Level (International)

Perched on top of the 14th floor of The Raintree Hotel, it's all about the view when you visit Above Sea Level. Add the extensive menu and excellent quality of ingredients, and you've got a real hidden gem. Enjoying a cold beverage and tucking into a kebab as the sun sets over the horizon is sheer bliss.

The Raintree Hotel
120 St Mary's Road
+91 44 243 04050

Annalakshmi Restaurant (Vegetarian)

While you're tucking into your tasty vegetarian food at Annalakshmi Restaurant, you can relax happy in the knowledge that all the profits go towards helping the poor. The thali is one of the highlights on the menu and the carved wooden decor makes for a complete sensory experience. Book ahead, as this is a popular dining spot.

First Floor
Sigapi Achi Building
18/3 Rukmani Lakshmipathy Road
600008 +91 44 2852 5109

Zara (Tapas)

Billed as India’s first tapas bar, this restaurant is certainly unique. Expect fantastic beverages served alongside exotic tapas such as baked crepes with spinach or more hearty options such as battered fish. This is a good place to kick off an evening in vibrant fashion with the locals.

71 Cathedral Road
+91 44 2811 1462

Italia at the Park Pod (Italian)

You could almost forget you’re in the heart of Chennai at this popular Italian restaurant, thanks to its authentic cuisine and lovely terrace surrounded by greenery. There's always something interesting to try on the set menu. Be sure to leave room for one of the indulgent desserts.

Park Pod Hotel
23/13 Khader Nawaz Khan Road
Nungambakkam High Road
+91 44 4295 5550

Madras Pavilion (Indian)

This stylish buffet restaurant serves up the best of southern Indian cuisine with some international options thrown in for good measure. The grandeur of the interior makes for a fantastic setting to spend a few hours and the particularly good coffee rounds off an enjoyable meal.

ITC Grand Chola
63 Mount Road
+91 44 2220 0000

Global Residency

Beautifully maintained and well looked after, Global Residency is clearly loved by its owners and this passion extends to their guests. It feels like a home away from home and the location makes a great base if you plan to hit the nearby designer shops. But it's the home-cooked food that keeps guests coming back time and again.

AC-Block No 32
4th Street
Anna Nagar
+91 99624 16692

Ibis Chennai Sipcot

Fresh, vibrant and incredible value for money, this modern hotel is rightly recognised for its top-notch service. With its convenient location in the IT corridor and fair price point, it looks set to remain a favourite of those visiting Chennai, especially if you're on a long break. The wellbeing and fitness centre is a welcome addition too.

Plot No 34
Old Mahabalipuram Road
+91 44 6744 4777

E Hotel

If shopping is your passion, but value for money is key, then this hotel in Express Avenue Mall is perfect for you. The superb vegetarian restaurant is worth visiting, but if you need a meal with meat simply pop into the mall’s food court. And if there’s nothing on TV, head to the multiplex cinema.

Express Avenue Mall
Gate No 1
Patullos Road
Anna Salai
+91 44 2846 3333

The Leela Palace Chennai

The Leela Palace caused quite a stir in the luxury hotel sector when it opened in Chennai. Overlooking the sea, the hotel has some of the loveliest rooms and best dining options in the city, and the ESPA spa facilities add another layer of pampering. It's so beautiful that many people choose it for their wedding.

Adyar Seaface
M R C Nagar
+91 44 3366 1234

Hanu Reddy Residences, Wallace Garden

With its surrounding greenery, this hotel is a nice slice of tranquillity in a pretty area of Chennai. The rooms and Wi-Fi make life comfortable, but it is the food that warrants the recommendation. It will be hard to eat anywhere else once you have tried the impressive breakfast.

No 6A/24 Wallace Garden
3rd Street
+91 44 4503 8413

Vivanta by Taj Connemara

Lovers of old-world colonial luxury should stay at Vivanta by Taj Connemara. Originally built in 1884, it’s one of the oldest hotels in the city and has lost none of its charm. Relax by the pool and slip away into a world long since gone.

2 Binny Road
Anna Salai
600 002
+91 44 6600 0000

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