With sandy beaches, cultural and heritage sites, massive shopping complexes, theme parks and historical landmarks, Chennai is the third most visited city by tourists next to Delhi and Mumbai. Without further ado presenting, India Imagined’s best places to visit in Chennai.
Marina beach, world’s second longest beach is one of the must see places in Chennai. Marina’s sand, loud noise from the sea, beautiful clouds, fresh fish and the spicy Milaga Bajji available on the shores of the beach are an experience. This beach is one of the most famous tourist attractions with 30,000 visitors on a weekday and 50,000 visitors on weekends. Though swimming is not allowed in the beach due to the strong undercurrent, the fresh and chill wind in the evening will bring out the energy in you. The beach stretches for about 13 km and is home to Annadurai memorial, M.G.R memorial, Triumph of Labor statue, kannagi statue and many more prominent statues. Watching the sunrise from the ocean is definitely a delight. Weekends are pretty overcrowded, so plan to go on a weekday. Getting in and out of the beach on a weekend could be a nightmare.
Crocodile Park, located at about 30 km from Chennai on the East Coast Road is one of the popular tourist destinations thronged by domestic and international travellers alike. Crocodile Park is the home of 2500 specimens of crocodiles, lizards, snakes and freshwater turtles. The crocodile bank has a great collection of crocodiles from Africa, America and Australia. 14 species of crocodiles out of 23 species of crocodiles living in the world are available in the park. The crocodiles in the park are some of the most critically endangered species listed by IUCN.
You may also get a chance to see the crocodiles and snakes being fed which could be a terrifying and exciting experience. There is also a venom extraction center in the crocodile bank. It may take 3-4 hours to completely enjoy this park. Don’t be surprised when you notice the different entry fees for Indian and Foreign nationals. Crocodile Park is a truly enjoyable place for kids and family – in fact any animal lover.
Elliot’s Beach :
Elliot’s beach is another popular beach in Chennai named after the Chennai governor during British rule. Elliot’s beach that was once mainly visited by college students is now visited by students and family alike. The old can feel happy and peaceful about the nearby Ashtalakshmi temple and Velankanni church and youngsters can enjoy the variety of food available in the nearby restaurants and plenty of shopping options available nearby. Do not miss to taste the idly in nearby Murugan Idli shop. Karl Schmidt Memorial that was seen in many Tamil movies is a noted memorial in Elliot’s beach. The beach is surrounded by coffee shops like Barista, shopping places and multi cuisine restaurants. Just like Marina beach Elliot’s beach also gets too crowded on weekends, it could be difficult to find a parking space in the evenings especially on Sundays. If you prefer to avoid the crowd, go to this beach after 8 pm.
Sathyam Cinemas is a movie complex located in the heart of the city where you will have a unique movie watching experience. There are multiple screens and they play Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Hindi and English movies. With the use of latest technologies like RDX and the way the management team maintains this complex, it is no wonder Sathyam cinemas is in our list of Top 25 places to visit in Chennai. If you are an expat, foreigner or from a metro, movie experience at Sathyam may not be a big surprise to you. But people from tier II cities and villages will be amazed with the experience at Sathyam Cinemas. Don’t miss to taste the butter and caramel popcorn from Sathyam Cinemas. The tickets approximately cost $3 which is quite reasonable for the ambience.
10 Downing Street:
10 Downing Street is one of the very few places in Chennai to enjoy the night life. It is designed with the theme of English drinking house. 10 Downing Street has a cozy and great ambience, tastefully done wood paneling and deep comfortable sofas. The entry fee and food in this place is slightly higher for Indian standards, but the food and ambience is great. Get here on Wednesday nights which is Lady’s day out. Bands perform live on Saturday nights. The pub closes by 11.30 pm due to local laws, so be sure to hit this place by 9.00 pm when the dance floor just comes alive.
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