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3 Days in Chennai Madras Things to Do and Must Sees, Hotels and Where to Stay

Chennai, also known as Madras, is a bustling city in the southern part of India that is rich in history, culture, and cuisine. If you are planning a trip to Chennai, here are some travel tips to make your visit enjoyable and memorable.

  1. Stay hydrated – Chennai can get extremely hot and humid, so make sure to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated throughout the day.
  2. Dress appropriately – Chennai is a conservative city, so it is important to dress modestly, especially when visiting temples and other religious sites.
  3. Use public transportation – Chennai has a reliable public transportation system that includes buses and trains, which are an affordable and convenient way to get around the city.
  4. Try local cuisine – Chennai is famous for its delicious South Indian cuisine, so make sure to try dishes like dosa, idli, and filter coffee at local eateries.
  5. Visit during the winter months – The best time to visit Chennai is between November and February when the weather is cooler and more comfortable for sightseeing.

Top 20 sites and monuments to visit in Chennai / Things to do in Chennai:

  1. Marina Beach – One of the longest urban beaches in the world, Marina Beach is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike. (Reference: https://www.lonelyplanet.com/india/tamil-nadu/chennai/attractions/marina-beach/a/poi-sig/1159230/356508)
  2. Kapaleeshwarar Temple – This ancient temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is a must-visit for its stunning Dravidian architecture. (Reference: https://www.tripadvisor.in/Attraction_Review-g304556-d317413-Reviews-Kapaleeshwarar_Temple-Chennai_Madras_Chennai_District_Tamil_Nadu.html)
  3. Fort St. George – Built by the British East India Company in 1644, this fort houses a museum with a collection of colonial artifacts. (Reference: https://www.tourmyindia.com/states/tamilnadu/fort-st-george-chennai.html)
  4. Government Museum – Established in 1851, this museum has a vast collection of art, archaeology, and numismatics. (Reference: https://egovernance.unom.ac.in/public/museum/museum.htm)
  5. Valluvar Kottam – A memorial dedicated to the classical Tamil poet Thiruvalluvar, this monument is shaped like a temple chariot and houses his statue and a hall with his writings inscribed on stone. (Reference: https://www.tamilnadutourism.com/places-to-visit-in-tamil-nadu/valluvar-kottam/)
  6. San Thome Cathedral – Built over the tomb of St. Thomas, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus, this cathedral is a historic and religious site. (Reference: https://www.tamilnadutourism.com/chennai/santhome-cathedral)
  7. Guindy National Park – This protected area is home to a variety of wildlife, including deer, foxes, and birds, making it a great place for nature lovers. (Reference: https://www.forests.tn.gov.in/WildBiodiversity/np_gnp.html)
  8. Theosophical Society – Founded in 1875, this society promotes spiritual and cultural understanding and has a beautiful campus with serene gardens and historic buildings. (Reference: https://ts-adyar.org/)
  9. Elliot’s Beach – Also known as Besant Nagar Beach, this is another popular beach in Chennai that offers a more relaxed and less crowded atmosphere. (Reference: https://chennai.a2zcity.com/elliot-beach.php)
  10. Parthasarathy Temple – This temple dedicated to Lord Krishna is one of the oldest temples in Chennai and is known for its intricate carvings. (Reference: https://www.templefolks.com/temple-pedia/parthasarathy-temple)
  11. Arignar Anna Zoological Park – Spread over 1,300 acres, this zoo is home to a wide range of animals and is a great place for a family outing. (Reference: https://chennaizoo.org/)
  12. DakshinaChitra – A living museum that showcases the art, architecture, and culture of South India through traditional houses, crafts, and performances. (Reference: http://www.dakshinachitra.net/)
  13. Thousand Lights Mosque – Built-in 1810, this mosque is known for its unique architecture and is an important religious site for Muslims in Chennai. (Reference: https://www.tamilnadutourism.com/thousand-lights-mosque)
  14. Kalakshetra Foundation – Founded by the renowned dancer Rukmini Devi Arundale, this institution promotes Indian classical arts and has a vibrant campus with performances and exhibitions. (Reference: http://www.kalakshetra.com/)
  15. Birla Planetarium – A popular attraction for astronomy enthusiasts, this planetarium offers shows and exhibits on space and the universe. (Reference: https://www.birlasciencecentre.org/bplanetarium/)
  16. Cholamandal Artists’ Village – Established in 1966, this artists’ commune is a hub for contemporary Indian art and showcases works by local artists. (Reference: https://cholamandalartistvillage.art/)
  17. Semmozhi Poonga – A botanical garden with a variety of plants, trees, and floral displays, perfect for a leisurely stroll and some fresh air. (Reference: https://www.guidetogo.in/chennai/semmozhi-park-or-semmozhi-poonga/)
  18. VGP Golden Beach Resort – A beachside amusement park with rides, water slides, and entertainment options for all ages. (Reference: https://vgpgoldenbeachresort.com/)
  19. Egmore Museum – Established in 1851, this museum has an impressive collection of art, artifacts, and historical objects that showcase the heritage of Tamil Nadu. (Reference: https://www.tnarch.gov.in/museum/egmore-museum-chennai)
  20. . Arulmigu Parthasarathyswamy Temple – Visted by devotees from all over, this temple is known for its unique architecture and serene atmosphere. (Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parthasarathy_Temple,_Triplicane)
  21. When it comes to pricing and how to get to these sites, most of the attractions in Chennai are affordable with entrance fees ranging from free to a few hundred rupees. Public transportation such as buses and auto-rickshaws are the most common and economical way to get around the city. For sites that are farther away, you can take a taxi or use ride-sharing services.

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Here’s an itinerary for 3 days in Chennai, India:

Day 1:

  1. Morning: Visit Marina Beach and watch the sunrise over the Bay of Bengal.
  2. Afternoon: Explore Fort St. George and the Government Museum to learn about Chennai’s colonial history.
  3. Evening: Enjoy a traditional South Indian meal at a local restaurant and relax at Elliot’s Beach.

Day 2:

  1. Morning: Visit Kapaleeshwarar Temple and seek blessings at the historic temple.
  2. Afternoon: Spend time at Guindy National Park, spotting wildlife and enjoying nature.
  3. Evening: Attend a cultural performance or dance recital at Kalakshetra Foundation.

Day 3:

  1. Morning: Explore Valluvar Kottam and learn about the teachings of Thiruvalluvar.
  2. Afternoon: Visit the Theosophical Society and take a leisurely walk through the serene gardens.
  3. Evening: Shop for souvenirs at the vibrant markets in the city center and try street food.

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Top 15 Highest Rated and Best Reviewed Hotels in Chennai / Where to Stay in Chennai

Best Reviewed Chennai Hotels priced over $200 per night:

  1. ITC Grand Chola, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Chennai
  2. Park Hyatt Chennai
  3. Hilton Chennai

Highest Rated Chennai Hotels priced between $100 to $200 per night:

  1. Trident Chennai
  2. The Raintree, St. Mary’s Road
  3. Taj Connemara, Chennai

Top Chennai Hotels priced between $50 to $100 per night:

  1. Ramada Plaza Chennai
  2. Accord Chrome
  3. Avenue 11 Boutique Residences, Poes Garden Chennai

Highest Rated Chennai Hotels priced between $20 to $50 per night:

  1. Greens Suite – Business Class Hotel – Opposite Ripon Building
  2. The Hydel Park – Business Class Hotel – Near Central Railway Station
  3. Stay Court – Business Class Hotel – Near Central Railway Station

Best Chennai Hotels priced at or below $20 per night:

  1. BHIMAS INN
  2. BALA GULNAAR GUEST HOUSE
  3. Royal Paris

Please note that ratings and prices may vary depending on the season and availability. Make sure to check the current rates and availability through the provided links.

I hope this guide helps you plan your trip to Chennai and enjoy all that this vibrant city has to offer!

For more about India, New Delhi, Mumbai / Bombay, Agra, Chennai / Madras, Jaipur and Rajasthan, Kolkata / Calcutta, Bangalore and other destinations in India, read the travel tips and see all travel stories, videos, photos and writing on Rolling Coconut’s Travel section.

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