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Top 10 Amazing Tourist Places to Visit in Chennai (Madras)

Chennai is one of the four metropolitan cities in India. The city is famous for its beach, temples, shopping malls, restaurants and cinema halls.

Chennai is hot and humid in most days even during winter. For young couples in the city, places with cool breeze, a little shade and privacy are very hard to find. Amidst the Chennai we know as crowded, dusty and polluted, there are many places in Chennai which offer what young couples look for.  Unlike, other metros the city is relatively secure and if you adhere to certain precautions, then you can visit many places during broad daylight and still find privacy. For example, most of the beaches in ECR between Akkarai and Mahabalipuram are clean and not crowded.  We see isolated incidents in the news and are often afraid to visit these beautiful places.

Marina beach has certain areas where you can spend a lot of time with your love. Though it is not advisable to venture into the waters, hiding behind boats after darks puts bad light on you as well. Couples always have big company in Marina as you can find many of them hanging out for long hours in the afternoon and in the evenings. Marina has also got many restaurants with lots of choices.

Elliot’s beach in Besant nagar is a little posh. The crowded beach may not offer the much needed privacy for couples, still it attracts a lot many couples because of the cult following it enjoys among young couples. Elliot’s beach attracts couples who visit Astalakshmi Temple and Velankanni Shrine aka Besant Nagar Church. Events like beach volley ball tournaments are conducted in the beach periodically.

Anna Nagar Tower Park is very spacious with lot of trees and plants that offer scope for privacy seeking couples. The park is crowded in weekends especially in the evenings, but on weekdays it attracts very few visitors offering lot of privacy for couples. Besides, there are good hangout spots near Tower Park like Coffee Day, Saravana Bhavan and many road side restaurants which serve tasty dishes.

Metro Stations are good hangout spots for couples. They are clean and well maintained. While the trip in the Metro Train is in itself a good experience, couples who put privacy more than anything else will not find the ride that great. Couples have to wait for a few years before Metro stations also come up with many restaurants and shops just like malls. The MRTS train on the other hand may prove to be good for couples if you can bear with the unclean and unhygienic stations and coaches.

With a vast area to hang around hand in hand, Vandalur Zoo attracts a large number of couples every day. Its proximity to the Vandalur Railway Station is another reason couples prefer it besides being located away from the city. During summer vacation, the zoo attracts a lot of crowd on all days of the week, so couples may not find private spaces to hangout during that time. But otherwise, it is the best spot in natural setting for couples.

Discotheques and pubs offer good ambience, great food and drinks. These are mostly located in posh and upscale localities around Chennai. Pubs are good places to hang out and have fun. The only flip side is the money part and many couples can find them not affordable at all. But if you are willing to trade some money for a wonderful time, then occasional visits definitely provides an experience. A word of caution, unless you know the partner very well, it is not advisable to go to bars or discotheques.

While neighborhood parks and malls are favorite spots for the locals, the city has a handful of amazing tourist spots. We have picked up the Top 10 Places to visit in Chennai for our readers and tourists.

Top 10 Tourist Places to Visit in Chennai (Madras)

#1 Marina beach

Marina beach is the second longest urban beach in the world. There is a ban on venturing into the sea, but still one can wet their feet. Hundreds of snack shops sell fish, corn, ice creams, chat items, Bhajjis and many more street foods which are popular in different parts of the country.

During summer and weekends, the beach is overcrowded and it is very difficult to find a parking space. A morning or evening stroll on the beach is an experience by itself and can be relieving for anyone.

#2 Express Avenue

One of the largest shopping malls in South India, Express Avenue ia built on 10 acres and has over 9, 00,000 sq.Ft of mall retail space. It has a game arcade (Fun City), Food Court and a Multiplex (Escape Cinemas - 8 screens - 1600 seats).

The mall has ample parking space to accommodate 1500 cars besides a large two wheeler parking lot.

#3 Elliot''s Beach (Besant Nagar)

Besant Nagar has become an upscale locality owning to the beauty of Edward Elliot''s beach. The beach attracts lot of crowd in the evening. There are lot of restaurants and joints to hangout.

One of the prominent structures on the beach is Karl Schmidt Memorial (who lost his life in the beach trying to save someone). AstaLakshmi Temple and Velankanni Church are other attractions near the beach.

#4 Egmore Government Museum

Egmore Government Museum was opened in 1851 and its is one of the oldest and largest in the country. Spread over 16 acres of land, the museum complex has many galleries including the National Art gallery.

Besides many buildings of architectural importance, the complex houses a Museum Theatre and the Connemara Public Library.

A Kid''s Museum completed dedicated to children has many galleries such as civilization gallery, Technology gallery, science gallery and transportation gallery.

#5 Kalashetra foundation

Kalashetra foundation is founded by Smt. Rukmini Devi Arundale in 1936. It is a huge campus with many institutes which offer many programmes in dance, music and cultural.

A parlimentary act in 1994 recognised the foundation as an "Institute of National Importance". Visitors’ hours are between 8:30 a.m. to 11.30 a.m, but photography is prohibited.

Regular dance events and art festivals are conducted throughout the year in the Kalashetra auditorium and visitors can buy tickets and watct these programs.

#6 Guindy National Park

Guindy National Park is a small park and a protected area located in Guindy between IIT, Madras and Raj Bhavan, which is home to the Governor of Tamilnadu.

While Snake park and Children''s park are open to public, entry to the forest area is restricted. Timings are between 9.0 am to 6.00 pm and the parks remain closed on Tuesday (Holiday).

#7 Arignar Anna Zoological Park(Vandalur)

Visiting Arignar Anna Zoological Park is itself a pleasant experience owing to its vast area (1500 acres apprx.), greenery and infrastructure. A new addition is the Safari where visitors get to watch Lions in their natural habitat.

The zoo houses many species of mammals, reptiles, birds and fishes. The zoo boasts about 2 million visitors per year. Electric vehicles and tourist vans area operated in specific timings for visitors convenience.

#8 Kapaleeshwarar Temple

Kapaleeshwarar Temple is a Shiva temple in Mylapore. Constructed in the 17th century, the temple boasts classic Dravidian architecture with a tall gopuram at the east which stands at 40 m and a huge tank adjacent to the temple.

Most important festivals include the Arupathimoovar festival and brahmotsavam in the tamil month of Panguni.

#9 Santhome Basilica

Santhome Basilica is one of the oldest basilicas in the country. Built in the 16th century by portugues sailors, the structure was later converted into a cathedral by the British.

One of the famous pilgrimage centers for christians in India, the dedicated to St.Thomas, one of Jesus christ''s disciples.

#10 Ranganathan street

Ranganathan street is one of the busiest streets and the shopping hub of Chennai. The entire street is lined up by multi storeyed shopping centers and street vendors alike who sell articles worth few rupees to few lakhs.

Famous shops like Saravana Stores, Jeyachandran Textiles and Ratna Stores have a huge presence in the street. For rail commuters, shopping in Ranganathan street is hassle free due to its proximity to West Mambalam railway station.