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Travel Tips

Chennai: southern megacity

Chennai is the fourth largest city in India. It's a fascinating tourist destination with lots of things to do and see. There's everything from temples to museums, restaurants, nightclubs and bars.

Best seasons for Chennai travel

The monsoon season is from mid-October to mid-December with the possibility of cyclones. The highest temperature is from late May-June, rising to around 40°C. The best time to travel is in January, which is the coolest month at about 25°C.

Holidays and festivals: for three days in January there's the Harvest Festival, known as Pongal. During November and December at full moon, Karthikai Deepam is celebrated when lights and firecrackers light up the sky. September sees the Vinayak Chaturthi which honours Ganesh, this ten day festival ends with a procession on the very last day. Enjoy the Chennai Music and Dance Festival held in mid-December to mid-January  - a festival of classical southern Indian music.

Before you get there: Chennai travel tips

Before you travel, update your routine vaccinations. Hepatitis B, Japanese encephalitis and rabies are recommended for some travellers. There's a low to no risk of malaria here. The official language is Tamil however Madras Bashai, local Tamil is widely spoken. The cost of living in Chennai is very low, cheap meals are around Rs 20.

Local info for Chennai visitors

Airport transfer using the suburban train that go to the centre of the city will cost around Rs 5. The service goes to Chennai Park and Egmore, trains leaving from the Tirusulam Station which is 500m from the airport. To take a prepaid taxi, you pay at the booth (approximately 300 rupees to central Chennai) and will find the taxi car number of the receipt you are given.

Accommodation: a single room in a hostel or boarding house will set you back about 400 rupees. Expect to pay around 1,000 rupees for a mid price range hotel.

Getting around: auto rickshaws are metered but sometimes still overcharge if you don't know the going rate. Prices vary from about Rs 25 for 1.8 km. Suburban trains are much faster than buses or rickshaws, the cheapest fare is in the region of Rs 5. For cheap travel take the MTC bus. Fares are around Rs 3 or buy a day bus pass from about 50 rupees. A weekly pass will cost about 300 rupees for all services. Alternatively take a taxi, minimum fare is approx. Rs 100 for 4 km, then around 12 rupees per km after that, don't expect any air conditioning.

Flight information Hyderabad - Chennai
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Flight details Hyderabad - Chennai
  • Flight duration: min. 01:00 / max. 03:45
  • Distance: 510 km
  • Flights per week: 122
  • Return flight duration: min. 01:00 / max. 03:45
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