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Things to do in
Chennai

Our most recommended things to do in Chennai

India: Tourist eSIM Data Plan

1. India: Tourist eSIM Data Plan

Explore India with a traveller-focused eSIM from 1 to 30 days. Get seamless connections while travelling with a prepaid plan perfect for iPhones and other smartphones. Effortlessly purchase and install your eSIM anytime, anywhere, and choose from various data packages and validity options. Activate your eSIM by scanning the eSIM QR code, and get instant access to all your essential apps as soon as you land in India. Say goodbye to the hassle of managing multiple SIM cards with this eco-friendly solution. Experience immediate connection, allowing you to hail a cab, check into your hotel, or post your first Indian adventure on social media without delay. Enjoy simple access with just one eSIM, and you can easily top up by purchasing and activating additional eSIM plans if needed.

India: eSim Mobile Data Plan

2. India: eSim Mobile Data Plan

Make your trip to India hassle-free with your convenient eSIM. Stay connected on your travels with high-speed coverage in India. Purchase and install your eSIM anytime and anywhere, and choose from a variety of data packages, validity options, and coverage in additional countries. Simply scan the eSIM QR code to access all your essential apps on your trip. Avoid the trouble of managing multiple SIMs with this zero-waste solution. Get one eSIM per device and top up by simply buying and activating additional eSIM plans as you go. Once activated, your coverage will begin according to your selected duration. Most devices released after 2019 are compatible with eSIM (e.g. iPhone XR, XS of models beyond, Google Pixel 4 and beyond). If you are unsure, please check the compatibility guideline photo to confirm eligibility. If you can not connect to the internet after install this eSIM, please follow the Self Help Troubleshooting Guide in your GYG voucher. Carriers to use: Airtel

Chennai: Mahabalipuram Tour with Lunch

3. Chennai: Mahabalipuram Tour with Lunch

Your experience will begin as you are collected from your accommodation at 7:30AM, at which point you will make your way to Mahabalipuram. Once having arrived, Panch Rathas is your first destination. These are rock-cut monolith structures which are dedicated to the lead cast of the Mahabharata epic. They are dedicated to Draupadi, Arjuna, Nakul-Sahadeva, Bhima and Yudhister. There is also a sculpture of an elephant next to the ratha of Nakul-Sahadeva. Next in the itinerary is Arjuna’s Penance, a 100-foot by 45-foot open-air rock relief where an entire masterpiece from the Mahabharata epic has been carved. The River Ganga is at the center of the panel, and is surrounded by divine beings, hunters, animals, birds, and trees belonging to the Himalayan ranges. The next stop is to Krishna’s Butterball, a 5-meter ball-shaped boulder which is perched precariously on a slope and seems to defy Newton’s laws of gravity. Next up, the magnificent Shore Temple beckons you. This 8th-century structural temple is made of granite, and served as a beacon for seafarers of the time. Legend says that this was a part of a complex of 7 temples dotted along the sea, and the legendary traveler Marco Polo also mentioned Mahabalipuram in his memoirs, referring to it as the "City of 7 Pagodas". Following this final stop, you will travel back to Chennai where you will be dropped off back to your hotel by 3:30PM.

Highlights of the Chennai (Guided Half Day City Tour)

4. Highlights of the Chennai (Guided Half Day City Tour)

If you are running short on time or just come down to explore tourist destinations in and around city, half day city tour is the best option. We have picked up all the spilled pieces together and created a beautiful garland of it in our Trails of Pondicherry tour, an unmatched heritage experience with awesome stories to understand a city's existence, culture and lifestyle. Visit the Kapaleeswarar Temple dedicated to lord Shiva - most ancient temple built around the 7th century CE in Dravidian architecture, who's original temple structure have been destroyed by the Portuguese in the 16th century AD. Visit the Parthasarathy Temple dedicated to the Lord Vishnu, built by the Pallavas in the 8th century have idol in five forms. Visit the marine driver and Chennai Marina Lighthouse and white sandy Marina beach beach- the second largest in the world. Visit the Vivekananda House and Museum known as the Ice House a memorial for Swami Vivekanada Visit the Perarignar Anna Memorial, Dr MGR Memorial and Museum, oldest university with beautiful architecture. Annai Vailankanni Shrine - Gothic-style Catholic pilgrimage destination with a small museum and Elliot Beach. Visit the beautiful Trails of Chennai on this tour with our guide.

Mahabalipuram and Kanchipuram Private Caves & Temples Tour

5. Mahabalipuram and Kanchipuram Private Caves & Temples Tour

Enjoy a full-day guided tour of Mahabalipuram and Kanchipuram. Starting in Chennai, you'll be transported to Mahabalipuram, famous for its splendid 7th and 8th-century art and architecture, especially its stone carvings. You will start your tour by visiting the magnificent 7th-century Shore Temple which is surrounded by lush gardens. In addition, you’ll also visit the 7th-century Five Rathas shrine, also known as Pancha Rathas. After visiting Mahabalipuram you'll stop to enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before driving to Kanchipuram. Kanchipuram is known as the "golden city of a thousand temples" and is also one of the 7 sacred cities of India. The city has some grand and majestic buildings that reflect the architectural experiments undertaken by different dynasties ruling the city over the centuries. Visit historic spots like the Kailasanatha Temple, Vaikunda Perumal Temple, Kamaskhi Amman Temple and Ekambareswara Temple. All of these are excellent specimens of the architectural splendor of the medieval period.   

Chennai Walking Tour ( 2 hours guided tour)

6. Chennai Walking Tour ( 2 hours guided tour)

Welcome to a journey that invites you to explore Chennai from a unique perspective. Our Guided Walking Tour is a gateway to the heart and soul of this vibrant city, where history, culture, and local life come to life through every step you take. Our experienced guides will lead you through the labyrinth of bustling streets, hidden alleys, and enchanting courtyards, revealing the hidden stories, traditions, and secrets of Chennai. You'll uncover the rich tapestry of the city's history as you visit historic sites, architectural marvels, and iconic landmarks that have witnessed the passage of time. But this tour is not just about the past; it's a chance to connect with the living culture of Chennai. You'll have the opportunity to engage with locals, witness daily life, and immerse yourself in the city's vibrant atmosphere. Whether it's chatting with street vendors, sampling local delicacies, or simply observing the rhythms of the bustling markets, you'll become a part of Chennai's fabric. Our Guided Walking Tour is designed to offer a perfect balance of history, culture, and local experiences. Whether you're a history enthusiast, a culture lover, or a curious traveler, this tour provides an enriching and immersive exploration of Chennai.

SPLENDID CHENNAI - DAY TOUR OF CHENNAI WITH CAR AND GUIDE

7. SPLENDID CHENNAI - DAY TOUR OF CHENNAI WITH CAR AND GUIDE

Explore the Heart of Tamil Nadu - Chennai! Discover Chennai, the vibrant epicentre of Tamil Nadu's rich political and cultural heritage. Despite not housing landmarks like the Red Fort or Marine Drive, Chennai is acclaimed as the "Gateway to South India" due to its status as the oldest modern city in India. Known for its beaches, temples, textiles, historic monuments, Carnatic music, and classical dances, Chennai is an ancient city steeped in culture, trade, and impressive architecture. It embodies a unique blend of colonial influences from the British and French eras, akin to a microcosm of Asia with diverse people, cultures, and traditions. Highlights: Embark on a half-day tour encompassing the essence of Chennai's history and spirituality with a professional guide. From the airport, railway station, or hotel pick-up, immerse yourself in an unforgettable and educational journey. 1) Kapaleeswarar Temple: Get ready to be enchanted by Chennai's historical charm. The holy Kapaleeshwar Temple is your first stop. It is right in the middle of the Mylapore district. This architectural masterpiece has a stunning 37-meter gopuram at its entrance, which is an awe-inspiring sight that marks the start of your cultural journey. 2) Agraharam and Brahmin Lifestyle Experience: As you enter the revered Agraharam, you will continue your journey through the complex tapestry of Hindu history. Explore the timeless appeal of old Hindu traditions and buildings, taking in the peaceful atmosphere and cultural wealth that these places give off. One of the best things about this stop is the chance to enjoy real, delicious filter coffee that was made with great care by Brahmins. 3) Pattinapakkam Fish Market: Experience the vibrant atmosphere of one of Chennai's renowned fish markets, bustling with diverse varieties of fresh fish and stalls frying them on-site. 4) Fort St. George & Government Museum: Explore the historic British-built Fort St. George housing the Tamil Nadu legislative assembly and a museum showcasing artefacts depicting Chennai's history and colonial era. 5) Marina Beach: Take a scenic drive along Marina Beach, which is India's longest urban shore, to keep exploring. Take in the stunning scenery as you watch the colorful fabric of local life play out against the blue waters. Enjoy the chance to go on horseback rides along the shore, a popular activity that gives you a unique view of this famous place. 6) Santhome Cathedral Basilica: Visit this monumental cathedral built over the tomb of one of Jesus's apostles, showcasing the ancient roots of Christianity in India. 7) St. George's Cathedral: Experience peace and serenity in this South Indian cathedral renowned for its architecture and tranquil ambience. Conclude your half day of exploration and culture by being dropped off at your hotel, railway station, or airport. Discover the vibrant tapestry of Chennai's history, spirituality, and culinary delights in a single day!

Chennai: India eSIM Roaming Mobile Data Plan

8. Chennai: India eSIM Roaming Mobile Data Plan

Say goodbye to the hassle of physical SIMs and finding mobile network operator stores with our e-SIM service. After purchase, you'll receive a QR code that you can scan on your compatible device to install the e-SIM wherever and whenever you need it. Choose from a range of data volumes, validity periods, and coverage options in different countries to stay connected with ease. Most iPhone models beyond XS support e-SIM, and follow our instructions in the photo session to check compatibility for other devices. Share the QR code via AirDrop or scan it to another device. Install the e-SIM by connecting to WiFi or a network, and remember to turn on roaming for the e-SIM. If you have trouble connecting to the network, consult our self-troubleshooting guide. If you have a connected trip in Asia, just simply select the 22 Asian countries option, which covers: Vietnam, Hong Kong, Macao, Cambodia, China, Taiwan, Malaysia, Australia, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, New Zealand, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Japan, South Korea If your data is used-up? Simple, just buy another e-SIM to top-up. APN (Access Point Name): iboots Local Network:Bharti/Vodafone

Chennai Street Food Crawl ( 2 hours guided walking tour)

9. Chennai Street Food Crawl ( 2 hours guided walking tour)

Explore the vibrant and diverse flavors of Chennai with a guided food tour that invites you to embark on a mouthwatering journey through the heart of Tamil Nadu's capital. Your experienced guide will lead you to culinary hotspots beloved among locals but often hidden from tourists. It's here that you'll get to sample an array of delectable local delicacies, including idiyappam, dhokla, and a tempting variety of sweets and snacks that tell the story of Chennai's rich gastronomic heritage. As you stroll through the bustling streets, you'll witness the lively and colorful markets, hear the sizzle of street vendors at work, and immerse yourself in the aromatic blend of spices wafting through the air. This food adventure not only provides a feast for your taste buds but also offers a unique opportunity to connect with the city's vibrant food culture and the warm-hearted people behind these culinary treasures. Join us for an unforgettable culinary voyage as we uncover the true essence of Chennai, one delicious bite at a time. Get ready to savor the city's soul through its delectable offerings.

Chennai Walk of Divinity (2 Hours Guided Walking Tour)

10. Chennai Walk of Divinity (2 Hours Guided Walking Tour)

This walk is very different because when we go on any tour, we are exploring and experiencing places and things that are outside, but on this tour we will be taking a journey inwards and you will explore the very life within, it could be a life changing experience if you decide to take it in the right perspective. Connect the dots of spirituality, religion and science to make sense and go beyond the framework of logic, an experience designed to elevate your spiritual journey. Marundeeswarar Temple - temple dedicated to Hindu deity Shiva in form of Aushadeeswarar, the God of Medicines. Temple has dravidian architecture and has been a place of curative worship for people with diseases.

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Frequently asked questions about Chennai

What are the best day trips and excursions from Chennai?

The best day trips and excursions from Chennai are:

Mahabalipuram

Other Sightseeing Options in Chennai

Want to discover all there is to do in Chennai? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Chennai

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 24 reviews

Our tour guide James was really nice and informative answering any questions we had. We were only a group of 4 and he was very accommodating to the needs of the group (the other couple didn’t want to try anything - despite being on a food tour - but he took us to multiple food places to try and find something that we would all enjoy!). Thank you James!

The tour is well balanced with the Fort, church, walk in the street, coffee... The Guide was very nice with a great knowlage in history of Chennai, South India and other Regions of India. He took time answering our questions. Very good experience.

We booked the Tour directly After arrival on our First day in india, and it was a great start into the culture with it‘s various Food. Our tour guide Manikanda Perumal was such a friendly, helpsome guy. We Highly recommand this tour!

The walking tour was great and our guide, Tamilvendhan, very knowledgeable. He extended the time so we were able to finish everything. The fish market was certainly a very local experience. Highly recommended!

Manikanda is a national treasure. He is such a wonderful guide that unlocked the food scene in Tamil Nandu.