Chennai has a lot to offer tourists – from shopping to adventure and food to history, you will be spoilt for choice when you visit. It’s a great mix of things to do and it gets even better when you’re travelling with friends.
If you and your gang are visiting this vibrant city, then make sure you head out to experience all Chennai has to offer. And if you’re confused about where to go, our extensive list has just the right mix of fun and relaxation for you and your friends.
Places to visit in Chennai with friends: Shopping
1. Phoenix Marketcity
If you’re looking for the best mall experience in Chennai then you and your friends should make sure to check out Phoenix Marketcity. Here you can shop till you drop as they have a number of high end trendy stores such as Only, Diesel, Ed Hardy and Aldo.
There is also a large food court where you can dig into fast food favourites such as Burger King and Dominoes, as well as a lot of dessert options.
- Location: Indira Gandhi Nagar, Velachery
- Timings: 11 am to 10 pm
2. Burma Bazaar
This bazaar is a great way to spend an evening out with friends in Chennai. Here you will find a mix of things to do, including checking out the many street stalls that sell everything from apparel to trinkets.
There are also a number of reasonably- priced stores where you can pick up mobiles and accessories, books and even jewellery.
- Location: Burma Bazaar
- Timing: 9 am to 10pm
Places to visit in Chennai with friends: Entertainment
3. Open Air Theatre (OAT)
This is a great place to hang out with your friends once the sun sets. This open air theatre is located inside the IIT Madras Campus and is very popular among the youth in Chennai.
On the weekend, the theatre screens movies and, occasionally, even hosts live music shows and performances. Catching a movie here makes for a fun time out.
- Location: Hostel Avenue, Indian Institute Of Technology
- Timing: The last show is at 9 pm
4. Prarthana Beach Drive-in Theatre
The beach makes everything better – including movies. Watching a movie under the stars is one of the most fun things you can do, and lucky for you, Chennai has a options including the Prarthana Beach Drive-in Theatre.
This theatre is located right on the beach and screens all the latest movies. And you can grab a bite here at the restaurant that serves up local delights. If your group includes kids, don’t forget to visit the play park close by.
- Location: East Coast Road
- Timing: Last show is at 10.15 pm
5. Ispahani Center
Located in Nungambakkam High Road, this mall is on the smaller side and while it may not have too many shopping options, it has some good gaming zones and reasonably-priced food on offer.
In this mall you will find one of the biggest gaming cafes called Arknemesis Gaming. Do make sure to check for events because they organise cosplay events too. An eatery worth checking out here is the Dhaba Estd 1986 Delhi.
- Location: Nungambakkam
- Timings: 10 am to 11 pm
6. Grand Square
This mall offers a good mix of shopping, dining and entertainment. Their gaming zone is quite large and is the perfect place to visit with a large group of friends as they have snooker, bowling and a VR world where you are sure to have fun.
Some of the fast food eating options here include McDonald’s and Noodle Doodle. If you’re looking for a fun day out that doesn’t burn a hole in your pocket, do drop by Grand Square.
- Location: Velachery Tambaram Main Road, Velachery
- Timings: 10 am to 10 pm
Places to visit in Chennai with friends: Outdoors and Activities
7. Marina Bay
Chennai offers tourists a beautiful coastline where they can enjoy solitude right within the city. One of the best places to enjoy this coastline is along Marina Bay. Here you and your friends can have a picnic as you enjoy the rolling waves and breeze.
You should also bring your cycles here and ride all the way up to the lighthouse for a stunning view. The best time to visit is just before sunset as the weather is pleasant.
- Location: Marina Beach,
- Timings: All day
8. Elliot’s Beach
This is a popular hangout spot in Chennai and offers a great view and even better weather. This beautiful beach is named after Edward Elliot, the then Governor of Madras. Tourists and locals throng here by the hundreds on weekends, so if you and your pals want to really relax, try visiting during the week.
You can have a picnic here and even take a walk along the stretch that leads up to Schmidt Memorial, one of Chennai’s famous landmarks.
- Location: Elliot’s Beach
- Timings: All day
9. Queens Land
Queens Land is a hot spot for fun in Chennai! We recommend you go in a large group here because it’s really a case of the more the merrier. Here you can find over 50 rides, which also include water rides.
This amusement park is located a short distance away from the city centre and is very accessible. Some of our favourite rides to try here include the dashing cars, water slides, mirror rooms and lots more. As expected, it gets very crowded on weekends.
- Location: Palanjur, Sembarambakkam
- Timings: 9.30 am to 6 pm (open till 7 pm on Saturday)
Places to visit in Chennai with friends: Cultural and Educational
10. Fort St George
Earlier, this area was historically known as White Town and it was built by the East India Company back in 1644. A visit here will transport you back in time as you can check out the architecture that is reflective of what Madras was like during the Colonial era.
Currently, the fort houses Tamil Nadu legislative assembly and here you will find a number of exhibits that showcase items from the colonial period.
- Location: Rajaji Salai road, Near Legislature and Secretaria
- Timing: 9 am to 5 pm (Friday closed)
11. Birla Planetarium
The Birla Planetarium is a superbly fun place for you and your friends to check out. This space opened up in 1988 and since they have seen people flocking from all over the country thanks to their exciting programs.
Here they have a number of fun (and educational) activities where you can learn about the stars, earth, comets, moon and other elements of the universe. There is also a 360-degree sky theatre, which offers a fantastic audio and visual show.
- Location: Duraisamy Nagar, Kotturpuram
- Timings: 10 am to 5.45 pm
12. Visit the Government Museum
A visit to this beautiful museum is a must when you’re visiting Chennai. If you and your pals enjoy history then you will be spoilt for choice as here you will find over 50 galleries that showcase everything from artefacts from diverse fields including archaeology, numismatics, zoology, natural history, sculptures, palm-leaf manuscripts and Amravati paintings.
- Location: Pantheon Road, Egmore
- Timing: 9.30 am to 5 pm (Friday closed)
13. Soak in culture at Kalakshetra
If you love diving into culture, Chennai has a lot of places where you can get a feel of the beat of the city. One of the best places to catch events and musical performances is Kalakshetra.
Most of the popular Tamil film faces have performed at this well-established venue. One of their most popular shows includes the live Kathak and Indian classical music concerts.
- Location: Kalakshetra Road
- Timing: Last show is at 9 pm
Places to visit in Chennai with friends: Food
If you and your pals are looking for a futuristic night out, then do plan a trip to Robot – which is, well, all about robots! From the moment you step in, you will be greeted by robots. They will also take your order and offer table service.
With neon lighting and other hi-tech touches through the restaurant, it makes for a fun night out with friends. It is a very popular hangout spot, so we recommend you book a table a day or two in advance. Do try their Thai fare.
- Location: Kamaraj Nagar, Semmancheri
- Timings: 12 pm to 3 pm, 7 pm to 11 pm
15. Ratna Café
If you and your friends are visiting Chennai, then you cannot miss out on the good food they have to offer and the best time to dig in is at breakfast.
Chennai has a number of South Indian eating joints and some of the ones worth checking out include Ratna Café and Saravana Bhavan. Here you can dig into fluffy ghee podi idlis, crispy thin dosas and hot pongal. Don’t forget to wash it down with filter coffee.
- Location: Triplicane
- Timings: 6 am to 11 pm
16. Animal Kingdom
This restaurant is very popular with tourists and locals alike, thanks to their impressive menu and even more interesting décor. Here you will find a jungle theme décor that is complete with greenery and fake wildlife.
Yes, we know it may seem childish, but going here with a group of your besties promises to offer a lot of fun. Located in the South of Chennai, Animal Kingdom is famous for their continental menu.
- Location: Gandhi Nagar, Adyar
- Timings: 12 pm to 11.30 pm
17. US 101 Be A Sport
This is the most popular sports bar in Chennai and it is always packed, especially during the big matches. This is the perfect place to watch a match (IPL seems to draw in the biggest crowds) as it is covered with sports posters, trophies and other memorabilia.
There is a large screen in the main viewing area, which can be seen by the whole place. Service is friendly and the food is good – which makes this a perfect hangout spot for you and your gang.
Location: T Nagar, Chennai
Timings: 12 pm to 11:30 pm
Chennai is one of the country’s most fun places to head to for a small break. And if you plan on going there with a group of your friends, you’re bound to have an even better time as the city offers a host of activities. Let us know about your experiences in the comments below.