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3 Days in Chennai: Suggested Itineraries

By Viator, June 2014

4.5 12 Reviews | Add your review

Home to many of India’s manufacturing plants and IT companies, Chennai, the country’s fourth largest city, makes a great home base for a handful of excellent excursions in the area. When you’re not day tripping around Tamil Nadu, there’s plenty within the city itself to keep you occupied.

Day 1: History & Religion


Despite its rapid growth, Chennai has managed to retain much of its rich cultural and religious heritage. Many of the city’s most important religious sites, both Hindu and Christian, are located in the south, including the San Thome Cathedral and Kapaleshwar Temple. Fort St George, located in northern Chennai, was the birthplace of the British Raj, and the Fort Museum’s collection of memorabilia takes you back in time to colonial Madras. For a taste of art history, contemplate the collections at the Government Museum in Central Chennai.

Day 2: Understanding South India

The city of Chennai offers a dizzying example of modern Indian life, but to dig deeper into South Indian culture, spend the day at Dakshinachitra. This heritage village near Chennai is made up of several rural, open-air structures complete with artisans using traditional methods to make everything from ceramics to puppets. The village hosts regular dance and musical performances and operates a restaurant specializing in South Indian cuisine. After shopping the craft market of Dakshinachitra, head back into the city center for more modern retail therapy along Khader Nawaz Khan Road, Chennai’s ‘Golden Mile.’

Day 3: Day Trips

It would be a shame to visit Chennai without taking at least a day to visit some of the nearby attractions. For a taste of colonial France in the middle of bustling India, spend the day in Pondicherry meditating at the local ashram or munching on French cuisine. Alternately, visit Kanchipuram, The City of 1,000 Temples and one of Hinduism’s seven holiest pilgrimage sites.

Tours & Tickets

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Private Tour: Pondicherry Day Trip from Chennai

Enjoy a serene escape from metropolitan Chennai on this private day trip to Pondicherry. Discover the region’s unique cultural and spiritual heritage with ...  Read more

Location: Chennai, India
Duration: 12-14 hours

From USD $51.99

Private Tour: Chennai Sightseeing Including Fort St George and Government Museum

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 3 Reviews

On this private sightseeing tour of Chennai, the capital city of Tamil Nadu, discover the city’s architectural diversity with visits to popular landmarks ...  Read more

Location: Chennai, India
Duration: 8 hours (approx.)

From USD $26.25

Private Cultural Tour: Day Trip to Mahabalipuram and Dakshinachitra from Chennai

4 star rating: Recommended 5 Reviews

On this private tour from Chennai, journey back in time to discover traditional South Indian culture through its artistic, architectural and religious ...  Read more

Location: Chennai, India
Duration: 8 hours (approx.)

From USD $60.00

Private Tour: Half-Day Chennai Sightseeing with Government Museum and Kapaleeshwar Temple

See Chennai’s historical and architectural gems on this half-day private sightseeing tour. Visit Fort St George, the first English fortress in India, and ...  Read more

Location: Chennai, India
Duration: 4 hours (approx.)

From USD $26.25

Small-Group Bazaar Walking Tour in Chennai

Be captivated by the colorful sights, exciting sounds and exotic smells of Chennai's bustling bazaars on this small-group walking tour. In Georgetown, a ...  Read more

Location: Chennai, India
Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $22.99

Small-Group Cultural Walking Tour of Mylapore Neighborhood in Chennai

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 5 Reviews

Gain an in-depth insight into local culture and traditions on this small-group walking tour of Chennai’s ancient Mylapore neighborhood, said to predate the ...  Read more

Location: Chennai, India
Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $22.99

Evening at the Beach in Chennai: Marina Beach, Covelong Beach or Elliot Beach with Private Transport

Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and spend an evening at the beautiful Chennai beach of your choice: Marina Beach, Covelong Beach or Elliot Beach. Kick ...  Read more

Location: Chennai, India
Duration: 4-5 hours

From USD $14.99

Small-Group Tour: Chennai’s Churches and Basilicas

Discover the influence of Western religious traditions in India on this small-group tour of Chennai’s many churches. Your expert guide will provide interesting ...  Read more

Location: Chennai, India
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

From USD $21.99

Private Art and Culture Tour: Kalakshetra in Chennai with Lunch

Discover a rich fusion of art, classical music and dance forms on a guided visit to Kalakshetra, a cultural academy in Chennai dedicated to the preservation of ...  Read more

Location: Chennai, India
Duration: 6-7 hours

From USD $45.00

Private Art Tour: Cholamandal Artists' Village in Chennai

Discover India's rich art culture on this private tour of Chennai’s Cholamandal Artists’ Village, the largest self-supporting artist commune in India. With the ...  Read more

Location: Chennai, India
Duration: 5-6 hours

From USD $26.00

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