4.5 star rating: Recommended 5 Reviews

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

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

On this private sightseeing tour of Chennai, the capital city of Tamil Nadu, discover the city’s architectural diversity with visits to popular landmarks including Fort St George, the Government Museum, the Madras High Court and the Ripon Building. As you explore this bustling metropolis and cultural hub, your private guide will teach you about the fusion of traditional Dravidian (South Indian) styles of architecture with European colonial influences. You’ll also discover Chennai's religious diversity while exploring San Thome Cathedral and Kapaleeshwar Temple, and soak in the vibrant beauty of the city with a stroll through a flower market.


  • Private sightseeing tour of Chennai with an English-speaking guide
  • Discover Chennai's architectural diversity and history with visits to Fort St George, the Government Museum, the Madras High Court and the Ripon Building
  • Visit San Thome Cathedral and Kapaleeshwar Temple and learn about Chennai's religious culture
  • Enjoy the beautiful and colorful sights of Chennai as you drive along Marina Beach and stroll through a flower market
  • Indulge in an authentic Indian lunch served on a banana leaf
  • Transport by air-conditioned vehicle and hotel pickup and drop-off included

What You Can Expect

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

San Thome Basilica

After pickup from your hotel in the morning by air-conditioned vehicle, your private guide will take you on journey through Chennai, a bustling cultural hub that’s the capital of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. On your tour of the city’s architectural landmarks, discover the mix of traditional Dravidian styles with European colonial influences while enjoying your guide's illuminating commentary, as well as fun facts and trivia.

Visit Fort St George, the first English fortress in India, founded in 1644. It now serves as the headquarters for Tamil Nadu’s legislative assembly. Inside, tour St Mary's Church, Wellesley House and the Fort Museum, whose exhibits showcase relics from British rule in India including weapons, coins, medals and uniforms.

Head to the Indo-Saracenic-style Government Museum (also called the Madras Museum), the second-oldest museum in India housing the largest collection of Roman antiquities outside of Europe. With your guide, browse diverse exhibits of archaeological findings, coins, sculptures, palm-leaf manuscripts and Amravati paintings, as well as rare works from artists like Raja Ravi Varma.

Continue to San Thome Cathedral, built in the 16th century by Portuguese explorers and rebuilt by the British in 1893. Admire its Neo-Gothic style of architecture as you learn about its historical significance from your guide.

In between sightseeing, you’ll head to a local restaurant to indulge in an authentic Indian meal served on a banana leaf.

Then, experience India’s religious heritage at Kapaleeshwar Temple, dedicated to the Hindu goddess Shiva and built in the 7th century. See its imposing gopuram (ornate monumental tower) and learn how this is a fine example of Dravidian architecture.

You’ll also visit the Indo-Saracenic-style Madras High Court, with beautiful painted ceilings and stained-glass doors, as well as the Ripon Building, combining three types of architecture: Gothic, Ionic and Corinthian.

Before returning to your hotel, drive along Marina Beach and visit a flower market, where you’ll take a leisurely stroll and see a variety of bright, colorful flowers and fruit.

Customer Reviews

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2014

This tour was excellent. Both guide and driver were very knowledgeable, spoke good English and made sure we had seen everything on the itinerary and some! Lunch was a great experience with good local vegetarian ingredients. Would recommend to anyone thinking of visiting Chennai.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2014

The guide did an excellent job and told me in details what the fort,the peacock temple and the museum about.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2013

Exceeded expectations. Guide really knew the detail history and his English was great.

4 star rating: Recommended September 2015

The guide was very knowledgeable! The driver was very reliable. I felt very safe at all times. I saw all the major attractions in Chennai and had a lovely lunch!
The problem is that they didn't arrive at the agreed time. In fact, I think that they forgot about me! Luckily the hotel staff helped me by calling the local agent Apollo and I think the tour was organized right there and then! I had tried to confirm the tour by email as advised but my email was never acknowledged. I suggest that you call the local agent and speak with someone directly and confirm the tour and pick-up time. It's well worth it!

2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better April 2015

After confirming the tour a week in advance, I was disappointed that the driver was not at the hotel to pick us up at 9 a.m., the pre-arranged meeting time. The hotel was wonderful and called the number that had been provided, only to find out that the number belonged to someone in New Delhi. That person gave the hotel another number to call that was based in Chennai, and contacted them to inform them that we were waiting on our driver. The driver then showed up an hour after the initially agreed upon time at 10 a.m.

We went to the Government Museum and our tour guide was terrific although based on her comments it was evident that the tour was put together at the last minute. She was extremely knowledgeable and made the day very enjoyable. Unfortunately, it seemed that neither the driver nor the guide knew the itinerary. After the Government Museum, we went to the Kapaleeshwar Temple, and then to Fort St. George, followed by a late lunch. We were dropped back at the hotel by 3:30 p.m. which was a much shorter day than we had anticipated and paid for. We missed out on the experiences of visiting the Madras High Court, the Ripon Building, and the flower market that had been promised.

I was so disappointed, as this was our only day in Chennai for sightseeing and given my previous experiences with Viator, failed to meet my expectations.

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Tour code: 5353MAAPVTHER


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