Chennai which was earlier known as Madras is one of the metropolitan cities out of the four, capital of the South Indian state, Tamil Nadu. The highlights of the beautiful city include extended, beautiful beaches and ancient temples embellished with exceptional divine sculptures of carved Gods.

Every corner of Chennai has something to explore out-of-the-box. Whether you talk about beaches, temples, lakes, national parks, the bird sanctuary. This is the reason why Chennai because of its stunning beauty is in every traveler wish list.

Marina Beach and  Elliot’s Beach are some great examples of the beaches to spend the relaxation time. The eye-catching sunsets on the spectacular beaches in Chennai are something that you can’t miss!

Have a look at some astonishing places of Chennai showing a great class of architecture, the diversity in wildlife and many more.

A look at the best places to visit in Chennai

1. Marina Beach

marine beach

Marina Beach, Chennai, is India’s largest beach which spans from Fort St. George to Besant City. For sunrise lovers, the best place to visit. It’s one of the must-visit attractions in Chennai. 

The sandy pleasure is being decorated with palm trees on one side. On the southern end of Marina, an old lighthouse stands alongside many other structures including an aquarium, a swimming pool, and a park. From kite flying to ride on ponies, and food stalls, every single thing will fill you with amazement.

2. Covelong Beach


Situated 40 km from Chennai on the coast of the Coromandel, Covelong Beach is famous for its beach activities and the undisturbed and calm beauty around it. Once a big harbor, you will find the beach on the way to Mahabalipuram.

Covelong Beach is jammed with mostly water sports activities like windsurfing and swimming. Ancient monuments like forts, churches, and mosques are the center of attraction apart from the town of Mahabalipuram. The Crocodile farm in Covelong Beach is a well-recognized destination for a joyous outing in the daytime.

3. Sri Parthasarathy Temple

Sri Parthasarathy Temple is one of the historic places to visit in Chennai, considered the oldest in this city. The temple is devoted to Lord Krishna, One can have the pleasure to see its glorious colorful gopuram aloof from other shrines that stand within the temple grounds. It’s one of the top places to visit in Chennai. 

  • Timings: 4 pm to 11:30 pm*
  • Entrance fee: None*
  • Photography: Allowed*

4. Elliot’s Beach


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Elliot Beach is now known as Besant Nagar Beach which is less crowded than the popular Marina Beach. The southern side of the seafront occupies the ancient temple, Ashta Lakshmi Temple, and Velanganni Church, which are known amongst the locals.

A memorial which was built in the memory of a Dutch sailor, Karl Schmidt, known as Schmidt Memorial is a famous place to draw your attention in Elliott Beach.

5. San Thome Church

san thome

For the Christian community, San Thomas is an important religious place, a bright white structure stands on St Thomas’s tomb. This structure, which is reminiscent of the city’s colonial past, has stained glass windows and St. Thomas’s statue in a sitting position. Within church premises only, you will get to meet, a museum, a library and a shop selling prayer material.

  • Timings: 6 am to 8 pm*
  • Entrance Fee: None*
  • Photography: Allowed*

6. Thousand Lights Mosque

thousand light mosque

One of the best places to see for your architectural splendor in Chennai is this mosque, which holds a special place in the Shia community of Muslims. A total of 1000 oil lamps illuminate the hall of the mosque, thus its name has been found. Its multi-domes and twin towers are attached in the main hall where men offer their prayers. There is a separate hall for women.

  • Timings: 5:30 am to 9 pm*
  • Entrance Fee: None*
  • Photography: Not allowed*

7. Connemara Public Library


Built in the late 19th century, the Connemara Library is a jewel house for bookworms having centuries-old publications. It’s one of the incredible places to visit in Chennai. 

A conglomeration of more than 60,000 books that what contributes to one of Asia’s largest libraries. Whether it is an enthusiastic reader or a scholar working in research, a fascinating world of books where people can easily immerse themselves in their favorite activity.

  • Timings: 9 am to 7:30 pm*
  • Entrance Fee: None*
  • Photography: Allowed*

8. Guindy National Park and Snake Park

guindy national park

The one and only national park situated in the middle of a city, Guidy is home to several birds, animals, and reptiles. You will also find blackbucks, spotted deer, jackals, turtles, and favorites. Snake Park gives shelter to Cobras and Pythons, while the birds found here include partridge, quail, Flycatcher, and buzzard. It is one of the few places to go with the family in Chennai.

  • Timings: 9 am to 5:30 pm*
  • Entry Fee:  INR 20 for adults, INR 5 for children*
  • Photography: Allowed, INR 20 for the camera and INR 100 for Handycam*

9. Madras High Court


When you are in Chennai, this is another place that is important to you. It is one of the oldest courts in the city.

The court is located at N Fort Rd, Parrys, George Town, Chennai, Tamil Nadu. For those who have some interest in judicial discussions and learning about different courts, this is a place where you should pay a visit to Chennai. Madras High Court is one of the highest courts in India. The court uses the original jurisdiction throughout the city.

Altogether there are 74 judges in the court, who help in the proper operation of the jurisdiction. When you are in court, you are amazed by the court’s wonderful architecture. adorned roof and stained glasses are a masterpiece in itself.

  • Distance: 2.9 km from Chennai
  • Timings: 10 AM- 5:45 PM*

10. Mylapore


Welcome to the central and cultural center point of Chennai to avail the exotic is known as the oldest residential area and the place is historically known as Vedapuri. The place is just a few kilometers to the south of the city Mylapore is now one of the most visited places in Chennai. Some of the best places to visit in Mylapore are Adi Kesava Perumal Temple, Kapaleeswarar Temple, San Thome Basilica etc.

  • Distance: 7.9 km
  • Location: South of the British built city Chennai
  • Visiting time: October to March*

11. Vivekananda House

vivekananda house

Vivekananda House is a place where a must visit label is required. Vivekananda house is situated at Kamaraj Salai(Marina beach road), Neelam Basha Dargapuram, Near Triplicane, Chennai, Tamil Nadu.

This home is one of the important landmarks in Chennai, which is associated with Sri Ramakrishna Math since 1897. Here Swami Vivekananda stayed for 9 days after he returned from the west. Every year the place is full of tourists. Nowadays this historic place has a permanent exhibition on the life of Indian culture and Swami Vivekananda.

  • Distance: 5.6 km from Chennai
  • Timings: 10:00 AM- 12:30 PM, 3:00 PM- 7:30 PM*

12. Arignar Anna Zoological Park

arignar anna national park

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Arignar Anna Zoological Park, located 35 km from the city center, is one of the places to visit in Chennai with your kids. The long stretched grounds of the zoo are inhabitants of 1500 species of wild beings, out of which some are even endangered.

An aviary (where birds are kept), a lion safari, a deer safari, and an elephant safari are the popular attractions of the zoo. There is a separate zone for night-loving animals, an aquarium, and a butterfly house too.

  • Timings: 9 am to 5 pm (except Tuesdays)*
  • Entry Fee: INR 30 for adults and INR 10 for children between 5-12 years*
  • Photography: Allowed, INR 25 for camera and INR150 for a handy camera*

13. Semmozhi Poonga

Semmozhi Poonga

Outstretched over an area of 20 acres, the Semmozhi Poonga Park is a botanical garden. Taken care by the horticultural department, is an ideal place to visit in Chennai with family. An exception to the exotic and rare flora grown, there are also some medicinal herbs in the greenhouses of the park.

Visitors can have a relaxing moment on the park’s ground filled with water and rock garden, a butterfly garden, a fern garden, a caved-in garden and you will get to meet many other themes of the gardens.

  • Timings: 10 am to 8 pm (except Tuesday)*
  • Entry Fee: INR 15 for Adults, INR 10 for Children(Below 10 yrs)*
  • Photography: Allowed*

14. Crocodile Bank


Came into action in order to preserve and protect the reptile species. The Crocodile Bank which gives housing roof to alligators, snakes, sea turtles and water birds.

Overall, there are 2500 animals within the Crocodile Bank’s region, and during the day, on the side of the water body, you can see the crocs along with the ghariyals having a sunbathe. There is a shop where anyone can buy books and remembrances related to these reptiles.

  • Timings: 8:30 am to 5:30 pm (except Monday)*
  • Entrance Fee: INR 35 for adults, INR10 for children below 10*
  • Photography: Allowed, INR 40 camera and INR 100 for a video camera*

15. MGM Dizzee World


This delightful park, located on the eastern coast road, is a great entertaining place for young and old people. With an amphitheater for performances and many thrilling rides, the Dizzee World welcomes you. In the water park, there are several other rides and slides besides a wave pool.

  • Timings: 9:30 am to 5:30 pm on weekdays, 10:30 am to 7:30 pm on weekends and holidays*
  • Entrance Fee: INR 799 for adults (with food), INR 577 for kids (food included), INR 550 for adults, INR 450 for kids*
  • Photography: Allowed*

16. Cholamandal Artist Village


This artist community is a platform for residential painters and sculptors to display their finesse to the visitors. Located in Injambakkam village, on the border of Chennai, there are two galleries, an open-air theater, a bookstore and a craft shop in Cholamandal. Those who are fond of art and craft, this destination with a tranquil atmosphere will be an ideal place to visit.

  • Timings: 9 am to 6:30 pm*
  • Entry Fee: INR 20 for adults and INR 5 for children*
  • Photography: Allowed*

17. Muttukadu


Originated from the backwater area of the Bay of Bengal, Muttukadu is one of the tourist destinations near Chennai, where one can enjoy the water sports. With a handful of facilities, it includes a restaurant and a large number of boats, it can host visitors all year round.

The boathouse in Muttukadu is the center of attraction, and also the home for many migratory birds. You can enjoy rowing, water skiing, speed boat riding, windsurfing and paddle boating in Muttukadu.

  • Distance: 31 km
  • Location: Eastern coast, South of Chennai
  • Best time to visit: November to March*

18. Mahabalipuram


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The place is designated with ancient mountains, Mahabalipuram, also called Mamallapuram, is one of the places to visit near Chennai. Located about 60 km south of Chennai city, it was once a busy port during the Pallava dynasty.

The iconic shore Temple is one of the oldest temples in South India. A short distance from this place of worship is ‘Descent of the Ganges’ or ‘Arjuna’s Penance’. From one of the world’s biggest bas-reliefs, it features the story of the descent of the River Ganges from Heaven to Earth. ‘Pancha Rathas’ or the five chariots are carved out of a rock and are dedicated to the Pandavas. You can also relax at the beaches here.

  • Distance: 52 km
  • Location: Eastern coast, South of Chennai
  • Best time to visit: November to March*

19. Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary, Kanchipuram


This bird sanctuary is overwhelmed with thousands of birds of diverse species during the migratory season.

Within the Sanctuary, the lake is the most important source of water for these creatures, around which they build their nests and grow. some birds like cormorants, egrets, moorhens and terns you will find at other places in India, others like snake bird, ibis, stork, heron, and spoonbill migrate from Europe to Vedanthangal to reside here for a few months.

  • Distance: 78 km
  • Location: Close to Palar River, south of Chennai
  • Best time to Visit: November to February*

20. Pulicat Lake & Bird Sanctuary

pulicat lake

Pulicat, formed by the backwaters (the water held back by a dam or any other obstruction) of Bay of Bengal, Pulicat is India’s second largest lagoon with saltwater. And the bird sanctuary stands on the piece of land in the middle of this lake. You will be amazed to see thousands of flamingos flocking together only at this place in Chennai. The bird sanctuary is also home to pelicans, herons, kingfishers, storks, and many more species.

  • Distance: 98 km
  • Location: Eastern coast, North of Chennai
  • Best time to visit: October to March*

21. Sadras


The coastal city of Sadras was once a Dutch fortress, which the British had taken over in later years. It is presently in ruins but still, some structures can be seen. You can enjoy a picnic with family and friends on its beach after touring the fort. It’s one of the best Chennai attractions. 

  • Distance: 71 km
  • Location: Eastern coast, South of Mahabalipuram
  • Best time to visit: October to March*