Math historical monument in Chennai

Top Tourist Destinations in Chennai

Culture, Family, Things to Do ,

Chennai, our very own Detroit of India, is not only famous for its temples and yummy food but also for housing some of the best tourist destinations in India. Whether it is a stopover or a casual visit to the city, do check out these wonderful places in Chennai for a pleasurable time!

1) St. George FortSt. George Fort Chennai

Built by the British in 1644, this fort is one of the ancient monuments in Chennai. The fort is extremely popular amongst tourists, and isn’t tough to find. There is a Fort Museum inside the Fort which harbors old relics of the first British family that inhabited it. St. Mary’s Church which is located inside the Fort is the oldest Anglican Church in India.

Timings: 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.


  • Rs.5 for Indians
  • Rs.100 for foreigners

Days Open: Saturday-Thursday


2) The Marina BeachMarina Beach Chennai

One of the most significant beaches in India, Marina Beach has a long colonial history of buildings, statues, tactical advantages and its famous promenade. Often regarded as the second longest urban beach in the world, the beach is 12 kilometers long and houses the famous lighthouse, view of the Madras University and many more important local  attractions. It is also famous for its golden sand and roaring waves.

Timings: Open 24/7

Fees: None


3) San Thome Cathedral BasilicaSan Thome Basilica Chennai

This historical and religious structure is not only sacred but also one of its kind. The basilica is built over the mortal remains of one of the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ. It’s named after St. Thomas, who was buried on the site centuries ago. The gothic architecture of the basilica is enthralling and the interior is even more fascinating! This is definitely a fabulous place for all history lovers!

Timings: 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Fees: None

Days Open: All Days


4) Vivekanandar IlamVivekananda House Chennai

The Vivekananda House & Museum, is one of the most important landmarks of Chennai. It’s currently run by the Ramakrishna Math, which was established in Chennai after Swami Vivekananda’s visit. The House is now used for permanent exhibition of Indian Culture and Swami Vivekananda’s life.


  • 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
  • 3:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.


  • Adults: Rs.20
  • Children: Rs.10
  • Group (students): Rs.5

Days Open: Tuesday-Sunday


5) Kapaleeswarar TempleKapeeleswar Temple in Chennai

The historic temple of Mylapore is sacred for most Shiva worshippers. It is known for its beautiful ‘gopurams’ and attracts thousands of worshippers from all over India. Although demolished when the Portugeese came in, the present temple was built 300 years ago. Ask one of the priests at the temple about the legend of Mylapore, and be prepared to hear an interesting story! If you want to enjoy a marvelous view of the temples “gopuram”, be sure to wake up extra early and visit the temple during sunrise.


  • 5:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
  • 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Fees: None

Days Open: All


6) Kolavai Lake

Kovalai Lake Chennai

Around 60 km from Chennai, Kovalai lake is a favorite amongst locals for a weekend getaway. This scenic place is ideal for just relaxing and enjoying nature’s pleasantness. There are various fishermen who live along the stretch of the lake, and if you’re a photographer, you can capture some excellent shots. Don’t miss out on the sunrise, it’s a must-watch!

7) Madras Crocodile Bank TrustMadras Crocodile Trust near Chennai

This one is a must-visit for all reptile and amphibian lovers! Snakes, crocodiles and other crawling creatures will definitely enthrall you at this scientific eco-center! The animals are kept in their natural habitat, and the trust aims to promote their well-being and breeding. The place is almost a 1 ½ hour drive from Chennai, and can be visited during the day!

Timings: 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Night safari: 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.


  • Adults: Rs.50
  • Children: Rs.30

Night Safari Price:

  • Adults: Rs.200
  • Children: Rs.100


8) Edward Eliot’s BeachEliot's Beach Memorial

Forming the end point of Marina Beach, Elliot’s beach is far less commercial than the former. It’s the perfect place for you to click pictures, enjoy the sunrise and just sun bathe. The Schmidt memorial located on the beach is a historical monument commemorating the death of a European sailor who died saving a girl. Finally, if you want to get away from the crowded Marina Beach, then Eliot’s beach is the right place for you.

Timings: Open 24/7

Fees: None


9) DakshinachitraDakshinachitra Tamil Nadu

This cross-cultural museum is located approx. 34 km from Chennai. The museum displays a variety of architectural, lifestyle, performing arts and cultural exhibitions. The museum holds different historical houses of all the states of South India, and shows the various forms of art, dance, music and culture of these houses. In addition, various live artists are also found working in the museum.

Timings: 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.


  • Adults: Rs.50
  • Students: Rs.25
  • Foreigners: Rs.175
  • Foreign Students: Rs.70

Days Open: Wednesday-Monday


10) Vedanthangal Bird SanctuaryMigratory birds at Vellabangha

A 2-hour drive from Chennai, this spot is a delight for all birdwatchers. The sanctuary hosts as many as 40,000 migratory birds every year, some of them endangered. Most birds found live near the marshes and this sanctuary is famous for water migratory birds. The size of the sanctuary isn’t big, with just 74 acres but the importance of it to build a healthier ecosystem isn’t lost!

Timings: 6:00 a.m.-6:00p.m.


  • Adults: Rs.25
  • Children: Rs.5
  • Parking: Rs.10
  • Camera fees: Rs.25

Days Open: All Days






Author: GoFro Travelers’ Network

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