Top 10 Hidden Tourist Spots in Chennai You Can’t Miss

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Chennai, the capital city of Tamil Nadu, India, is known for its rich cultural heritage, vibrant traditions, and bustling city life. Beyond its well-known landmarks, Chennai boasts several hidden gems that offer unique experiences for travelers. Whether you’re a history buff, nature lover, or simply seeking tranquility, Chennai has something special to offer. Here’s a curated list of the top 10 places to visit in chennai that you can’t afford to miss.

Introduction to Chennai

Chennai, formerly known as Madras, is a city steeped in history and culture. It is famous for its classical dance, music, and traditional arts. As a tourist destination, Chennai attracts visitors with its diverse range of attractions, from ancient temples to modern IT parks.

Marina Beach

Marina Beach is not just a stretch of sand; it’s a way of life in Chennai. Stretching over 13 kilometers along the Bay of Bengal, Marina Beach is the longest urban beach in India and offers breathtaking views of the sunrise and sunset. Apart from enjoying a leisurely stroll or horse ride along the shore, visitors can indulge in activities like beach volleyball, kite flying, and sampling local street food. The best time to visit Marina Beach is during the early morning or late evening to avoid the scorching heat.

Kapaleeshwarar Temple

Kapaleeshwarar Temple is an ancient temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and is renowned for its stunning Dravidian architecture. Located in Mylapore, this temple is a significant religious and cultural landmark in Chennai. The intricately carved gopurams (gateway towers) and vibrant sculptures depicting Hindu deities attract devotees and tourists alike. It’s recommended to visit early in the morning or during festival times to experience the temple rituals and festivities.

Santhome Cathedral Basilica

The Santhome Cathedral Basilica is a historic church built over the tomb of St. Thomas, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ. Located near Marina Beach, this Roman Catholic minor basilica is a blend of neo-Gothic and colonial architecture. Visitors can explore the serene interiors, learn about the saint’s life through informative displays, and enjoy panoramic views of the city from the basilica’s rooftop.

Besant Nagar Beach

Besant Nagar Beach, also known as Elliot’s Beach, offers a quieter and more relaxed alternative to Marina Beach. This beach is a favorite among locals for its clean sands, gentle waves, and picturesque surroundings. Visitors can unwind at one of the beachside cafes, catch a breathtaking sunset, or indulge in delicious South Indian snacks like sundal and murukku.


DakshinaChitra is a living history museum that showcases the art, architecture, lifestyles, crafts, and performing arts of South India. Situated on the East Coast Road, this cultural village offers visitors an immersive experience into the region’s rich heritage. From traditional pottery workshops to Bharatanatyam dance performances, DakshinaChitra provides a glimpse into the diversity of South Indian culture.

Thalankuppam Pier

Thalankuppam Pier is a lesser-known gem along Chennai’s coastline, offering panoramic views of the Bay of Bengal. It’s a favorite spot for photography enthusiasts, especially during sunrise and sunset. The pier’s serene atmosphere and cool sea breeze make it an ideal place for a peaceful getaway from the city’s hustle and bustle.

Theosophical Society

The Theosophical Society estate is a tranquil oasis in the heart of Chennai, spread across 260 acres of lush greenery. Founded in 1875, this society promotes the study of comparative religion, philosophy, and science. Visitors can explore its botanical gardens, visit the Adyar Banyan Tree (one of the largest banyan trees in the world), and attend lectures on spirituality and philosophy.

Madras Crocodile Bank Trust

The Madras Crocodile Bank Trust is a renowned reptile zoo and research station located south of Chennai. Founded by herpetologist Romulus Whitaker, this facility is dedicated to the conservation of crocodiles and other reptiles. Visitors can observe various species of crocodiles, turtles, and snakes in their natural habitats and learn about ongoing conservation efforts through guided tours and educational programs.

Pulicat Lake

Pulicat Lake, located on the northern fringes of Chennai, is the second largest brackish water lagoon in India. It is a haven for birdwatchers, especially during the migratory season when flamingos and other migratory birds flock here in large numbers. Visitors can take boat rides to explore the lake’s islands, go fishing, or simply soak in the peaceful ambiance surrounded by mangrove forests and serene waters.


Exploring Chennai top 10 tourist places offers a refreshing perspective on this vibrant city. Whether you’re fascinated by history, architecture, nature, or cultural experiences, Chennai’s lesser-known gems promise delightful surprises at every turn. Step off the beaten path and uncover the richness of Chennai’s diverse attractions beyond the well-trodden tourist trail.

FAQs About Chennai’s Hidden Tourist Spots

Q1: Is Chennai safe for tourists visiting these hidden spots? Chennai is generally safe for tourists, but it’s advisable to exercise caution and follow local guidelines, especially in less crowded areas.

Q2: What is the best way to travel around Chennai to visit these spots? For convenience, consider hiring a local guide or using ride-sharing apps. Public transport options like buses and auto-rickshaws are also available.

Q3: Are these hidden tourist spots suitable for families with children? Yes, most of these spots are family-friendly, offering activities and amenities suitable for visitors of all ages.

Q4: Are these spots accessible for differently-abled visitors? Accessibility may vary. It’s recommended to check with specific locations beforehand for facilities catering to differently-abled individuals.

Q5: Can I visit these spots year-round, or is there a specific season that’s best? While most spots are accessible year-round, the weather in Chennai is more pleasant from November to February, making it an ideal time for outdoor exploration.



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