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Charming Chennai

Book flights to Chennai and lounge on golden beaches in the Bay of Bengal, visit the glorious Kapaleeshwarar Temple and immerse yourself in the culture of historic Mylapore.

Formerly known as Madras, the Gateway to South India is as vibrant as the spices that pepper its cuisine.

colourful sculpted facade at kapaleeshwarar temple facade in mylapore chennai india

Try fragrant chickpea curries or dine on fiery and fresh seafood bites to get a real sense of the local passion for flavour.

A former colonial port that has evolved into southern India’s cultural hub, Chennai is the capital of the Tamil Nadu state and home to the immense Marina Beach and Edward Elliot’s Beach.

Visit the state museum to learn more about the local people, tour the 17th-century Fort St. George or venture out to see the diverse villages that combine to create one of India’s biggest cities. Extend your trip by travelling north to Andhra Pradesh or south into the heart of Tamil Nadu.

Book flight tickets to Chennai with Etihad to start your journey to this fascinating destination.

What's the weather like in Chennai?

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Chennai’s tropical climate means the city is warm and humid for most of the year, with temperatures usually peaking between May and August. The summer regularly sees daytime temperatures hit 40°C and above.

Heavy rains traditionally arrive in October and November as part of the north-east monsoon season. The early part of the year is often a good time to fly to Chennai as it’s dry and cooler.

Reasons to visit Chennai

exterior of ornate high court building in chennai india

Amazing beaches and buildings

Chennai has an incredible coastline – visit charming towns overlooking the Bay of Bengal and explore the soft white sand of Marina Beach. Just take note that the strong currents mean you can’t swim here. Relax at Elliot’s Beach into the evening and enjoy the local nightlife when the sun goes down.

There are some beautiful examples of Indian architecture to admire in Chennai. The High Court, built in the Indo-Saracenic style, was completed in 1892. The all-white Ripon Building, meanwhile, has a neoclassical design and today houses the Chennai Municipal Corporation.

intricate religious statues at the entrance to kapaleeshwarar temple in chennai india

Intricate temples

See the colourful carvings of Kapaleeshwarar Temple, where rainbow-coloured gopuram – or entrance towers – pay homage to Lord Shiva. March and April are the best months to visit Chennai’s most impressive attraction, as the annual Brahmotsavam festival brings the streets of Mylapore to life.

Visit Santhome Cathedral to see Portuguese architecture beneath the Indian sun or glimpse the waterside delights of Vadapalani Andavar Temple. The UNESCO-listed shoreline at Mahabalipuram is home to an incredible complex of stone buildings dating back more than a thousand years.

range of spices in bags chennai india

Delicious local cuisine

Chennai is home to many unique southern Indian flavours, packed with vibrant spices.

Visit the restaurants, markets and street food vendors of Chennai and try mouth-watering sundal on the sands of Marina Beach. The chickpeas are tossed with coconut, mustard seeds and mango for a tangy flavour.

If you love seafood, don’t skip the opportunity to try the freshest daily catches. The city’s most famous fish dish is anchovies, deep-fried in a spicy masala sauce.

Things to know before you fly to Chennai

plane Airport transfers

Your flight to Chennai will land at Chennai International Airport (MAA). It takes around 40 minutes to reach the heart of the city by car. Chennai also benefits from an impressive rail system – ride the suburban railway from Tirusulam Station to Park Railway Station in the city centre.

holiday Public holidays

There are many public holidays in Chennai thanks to the mix of local faiths and traditions. Deepavali (Diwali) is a regional government holiday in Tamil Nadu and is celebrated each November with feasts and fireworks. Tamil New Year takes place on 14 April.

bus Getting around

The public transport system is easy to navigate, with the Chennai Metro Rail a good way of getting around. There are also pre-paid taxi kiosks, as well car rental options at Chennai airport.

currency Local currency

As in the rest of India, the currency in Chennai is the rupee, with 100 paise equalling one rupee. You can exchange currency at local banks, travel agencies and currency exchanges.

Flying to Chennai: FAQs

What are the best places to visit in Chennai?

Among the top attractions in Chennai are Marina Beach, Kapaleeshwarar Temple and the Government Museum. Guindy National Park is a great place for relaxing and spotting exotic animals.

How long should you spend in Chennai?

Five days to a week is a good amount of time to spend in Chennai. Spend a weekend relaxing on the beaches before visiting the local historic sites and wildlife parks. Stay longer and explore more of Tamil Nadu or India as a whole.

Where is Chennai airport?

Chennai International Airport (MAA) is located in Meenambakkam, south-west of the city. It is close to the Adyar River and the popular resort of Adyar.

Why we love Chennai

“The temples in Chennai are truly beautiful, especially Kapaleeshwarar. If you’re looking to soak up the local culture, explore Mylapore or head to the busy lanes of George Town with its popular bazaars.”

Why fly to Chennai with Etihad?

Book flights to Chennai with Etihad and enjoy a world of choice.

Choose how you would prefer to check in, add extra baggage and pre-book an airport transfer before you fly. First and Business guests can relax in our airport lounges, with complimentary food, drinks and Wi-Fi. In some airports, Economy guests can also pay to use the lounges.

Create your own type of journey in Economy. Reserve Economy Space to enjoy extra legroom or bid for Economy Neighbour-Free if you’re looking for more privacy.

Every guest can enjoy a complimentary meal and drink from our menu. All our dishes are made using fresh, seasonal ingredients and include options inspired by your destination.

*Aircraft, cabins and services may vary by route and flight. You can check this when you search for your flight. This page was last updated Sept 2019.

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Book the lowest flight deals to Chennai (MAA) from AED 1467

London (LHR) to Chennai (MAA)

Departure 18 Nov 2020,
Return 30 Dec 2020
from GBP1663*

Abu Dhabi (AUH) to Chennai (MAA)

Departure 10 Nov 2020,
Return 10 Dec 2020
from AED1467*

Dublin (DUB) to Chennai (MAA)

Departure 16 Dec 2020,
Return 13 Mar 2021
from EUR986*

Paris (CDG) to Chennai (MAA)

Departure 16 Dec 2020,
Return 2 Jan 2021
from EUR980*

Riyadh (RUH) to Chennai (MAA)

Departure 1 Nov 2020,
Return 30 Dec 2020
from SAR2142*

Stockholm (ARN) to Chennai (MAA)

Departure 28 Dec 2020,
Return 16 Jan 2021
from SEK14533*
*Round-trip fares recently viewed by others

Weather in Chennai

32 °C
Tuesday29 Sep 2020
26 °C
Wednesday30 Sep 2020
31 °C
Thursday1 Oct 2020
31 °C
Friday2 Oct 2020
32 °C
Saturday3 Oct 2020
32 °C
Sunday4 Oct 2020
32 °C
Monday5 Oct 2020
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