Chennai is an ancient city. You can spot remnants of the colonial age and even the age of kings all around the city, juxtaposed with modern technology. It is obvious, Chennai is a city that cherishes its past. This is why shopping in Chennai will allow you to explore a unique style, a style you probably didn’t even know you had in you. Originally a British town, the city displays its Tamil culture with pride especially in its bazaars, the shopping places in Chennai.
The experience of shopping in Chennai is just like the experience of the city – a mix of the modern and the traditional. Founded on ancient histories, you can imagine the market bursting with noise and activity way back when the British ruled the country. Take for example Parry’s place. Its history includes a lone foreigner bringing his trade to Madras, setting up shop, and forming a tradition that evolved into a market which is one of the best shopping markets in Chennai.
1. A One Stop Bazaar – Street Shopping in Chennai
Chennaiites prefer one stop Bazaars, where in one place you get everything. In most shopping markets in Chennai, you will get a range of products – for you, for your spouse, for your children, for your house and even for work at times (Read Parry’s Corner, or Pondy Bazaar or even George Town).
Back in the 19th century, the city celebrated India’s first shopping mall – Spencer Plaza. Proud of its achievement, it is one of the go-to shopping markets in Chennai even today.
2. Parry’s Corner
The 23 streets of Parry’s corner is pretty much-organised chaos. It has 23 streets within the “corner” dedicated to a section of the market which is one of the most popular shopping places in Chennai. If you are looking for textiles and clothes, head over to Godown Street. If you are more interested in bangles, Perumal Mudali Street is your destination. From household items to industrial goods, Parry’s Corner has everything.
3. George Town Bazaar
Kanchipuram is not too far from Chennai, and has a big market in the city. Georgetown boasts of being “Madras” in modern day’s Chennai. At least 375 years old, the bazaar travellers will probably be walking where some of the greats of history strolled on their day off. Georgetown has everything in all quantities. Wholesale to retail, you probably won’t need to go anywhere else, this is why it is one of the best shopping places in Chennai.
4. Cotton Street
With a climate like Chennai’s, cotton is the most preferred fabric in the city. Affordable and in a range of qualities, you will find all kinds of cotton material here. This is a popular shopping market in Chennai for locals. Beware of pickpockets and expect a dense crowd if you go to Cotton Street on holidays. Street Shopping in Chennai requires your full attention.
5. Pondy Bazaar
Pondy, short for Pondicherry, is a centre for all kinds of merchandise. From big names and brands to small names and brands, everything is available here. Focused on everyday use, the bazaar is affordable, making it one of the best shopping markets in Chennai. Make sure you bargain even in the best shopping places in Chennai.
6. T Nagar
Roam around and find your favourite shops and clothes at T Nagar, one of the most popular shopping places in Chennai. The shopping area gets extremely crowded on holidays. Saree outlets like Nalli’s and Pothy’s are a must see for tourists looking to buy saris as souvenirs. Silk lovers here is your heaven.
7. Burma Bazaar
Located on Parry’s corner, Burma Bazaar gets a special mention for its history. Founded by Burmese refugees, this Bazaar supported families after being set up by the government in 1969. The place is famous for its electronics, sans warranty. However, like the best shopping markets in Chennai, it has everything as well.
Dedicated to clothes from the North India, this area is for the ghagra cholis, lehngas and more. Going along with the theme of the area, the chaat is also a must try. Located in one of the oldest parts of the city, Sowcarpet is also known for its food walk along with its wholesale prices, which is why it is considered one of the best shopping places in Chennai.
The malls get a special mention because they are so many of them! Chennai has its fair share of malls for all the brands that you see and love. These hypermarkets can hold thousands of people, as seen on weekends. While the shopping is great, the people can test your nerves. Time your trips to one of these shopping places in Chennai on weekdays to make the most of your outing.
For all the dancers out there, Mylapore is a must-visit. It ranks as one of the best shopping places in Chennai. Classical Dancing is the theme of this shopping area, and we love it all the more for it! Promoting beauty with its costumes and jewelry, tourists consider this one of the best places for shopping in Chennai.
11. Victoria Technical Institute
There’s one thing Millennials love more than shopping – shopping for a cause. Promoting artists, the Institute hope to enhance the handicraft market without bleeding the artists dry, making it the best place for shopping in Chennai. Hands down. The institute was set up in 1887. Within it, you can feel the essence of the place Chennai is and was. It may not be Street Shopping in Chennai, but it is beautiful, on so many levels. Famous for its Tanjore paintings and handicrafts that remind you of a different time, The Institute will give you souvenirs and gifts that are thoughtful and soulful.
12. Amethyst Room and Naturally Auroville
The essence of Chennai’s upmarket society can only be felt by Amethyst Room, not at one of the shopping markets in Chennai. While a little expensive, the place is a must see because it is a work of art. Including the café and the events, the Amethyst Room is an experience. Of course, the fashion, the accessories and the jewellery are great as well. Naturally, Auroville is considered the best place for shopping in Chennai by the soul searchers that cannot get enough of the old French town. Handicrafts and home décor, everything is natural.
Chennai offers myriad shopping experiences, from street vendors to upscale malls. Indulge in some retail therapy in the city and do share your experiences with us!