Chennai, formerly Madras, is the political capital of Tamil Nadu and one of the largest educational and cultural centres in South India. It is the fifth largest city and is the 4th most populous in the country. It is one of the largest economies and is called the ‘Detroit of India’, thanks to its booming automobile industry. Chennai is also famous for the Tamil film industry, known as Kollywood. Chennai’s wide transport network connects the city both domestically and internationally via air, road, water, and rail. The Chennai International Airport is the fourth busiest terminus in the country and handles flights to Europe, Asia and North America. Chennai is the headquarters of the Southern Railway and has two main terminals, Chennai Central and Chennai Egmore Station. For travel around the city, you can choose the Metro, the city’s government-run buses or the Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS), popularly called ‘parakkum rail’. Owing to its popularity among tourists and historical and economic importance, Chennai is a hotspot for travellers of all kinds. There are a number of comfortable two-star hotels in Chennai to accommodate travellers on a budget. These hotels are usually small two to four storey buildings and are located near popular tourist attractions, major intersections and transportation hubs around the city. Don’t expect too much though, as these hotels are usually clean but offer basic amenities. Most 2-star hotels in Chennai do not come with in-house restaurants but don't worry as they are close to a number of affordable, well-rated restaurants. Chennai’s food was rated the second-best in the world by National Geographic. For a hearty meal or quick bite visit Shiraz Art Cafe, GoGo Ramen, In Seoul, Ma Tint Tint, Manhattan Fish Market, L’amandier, That Madras Place, Ciclo Cafe, Y Cook and Winter Palace.
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