The best things in life are free (well, most of them are anyway). Whether it’s the awesome beaches we can’t live without or the many cultural centres in the city, there’s something for everyone in namma Chennai, so gear up! We bring you a list of fun things to do in Chennai, which won’t require you to spend a single dime.
Kasu Ille Na, No Problem! Here's What You Can Do In Chennai Without Spending A Penny
Get Lost In Books At The Anna Centenary Library, Kotturpuram
Bookworms! You can get a whiff of old books found across eight floors here! This massive library houses books across genres and even has e-books, audiobooks and Braille books. If you’ve got your own book, bring it over to the Own Books Reading Section and switch off from the rest of the world. It's open from 9 am to 8 pm and with some food and book, you could easily spend your whole day here.
Capture Chennai's Old World Charm At Mylapore
Calling all shutterbugs! Get a dose of Chennai’s rich culture in and around areas close to Kapaleeswarar temple. It’s a great place to take photographs of quaint stores, local cuisine, and people going about their day. There are a number of sacred sites and the architecture of these buildings is fascinating and a huge part of Chennai’s cultural significance. Markets, flower-sellers, food-stalls – it’s a colourfully chaotic scene here in Mylapore and you easily while away your evening here.
Read more here.
Get Fit at Bessy
Fitness enthusiasts wake up really early or get here by late evening (because no thank you, Chennai sun) to get involved in all kinds of fitness activities. It’s a great place for a jog (if you want to go solo), practice yoga and even train for a marathon with a group of your fitness buddies. If you want something more fun, Ultimate Frisbee is a popular sport, so crash a game maybe? This can easily help you while away 3-4 hours.
For a complete hood guide to Besant Nagar, click here.
Cycle Down East Coast Road
ECR is not just popular for its restaurants, but cyclists call it a godsend. Weekends would be a good time to ride down. Just make sure to head out during traffic-free hours. Don’t forget to wear comfy clothes and hydrate regularly for the way ahead is not only picturesque but also long. You could spend about 3-4 hours here, so stay back for the weekend if you've packed for it.
For more fun things to do in ECR, click here.
Catch A French Movie At Alliance Francaise Madras
Bonjour! Not only does Alliance Francaise Madras teach French, but also hosts all kinds of cultural events including performances and French film screenings. Anyone can drop by and watch (for free, of course). Just brush up on your French. And if you’re new to the language, don’t worry - there’s always subtitles! You can easily spend 3-4 hours here.
Explore The Kalakshetra Foundation
If you’re a right-brainer (you know, the creative, artistic sorts), you will love visiting the Kalakshetra Foundation - a centre for the study and performance of fine arts. You can walk around the 100-acre campus, sit through morning prayers at the Banyan Tree and pass by the Instruments Cottage, the Vishnu Statue, Tagore Hall, Padma Pushkarini, the Visual Arts Department and the Ayyanar Shrine (Village Shrine). You might even get a chance to watch the classes! You could spend an entire evening here.
Learn About Olive Ridley Turtle Conservation At SSTCN Turtle Walks
Olive Ridley mommies come to nest on Chennai shores between January and April. Around that time, you’d get to look for turtle eggs, relocate them to safe places and 45 days later, see them off safely back into the sea! The walks start late at night around 11 pm at Neelankarai and end at Besant Nagar around 4-5 am. Read more here.
Go On A Heritage Walk To Mount Road
Mount Road is home to a lot of iconic structures. Agurchand Mansion, Higginbothams bookstore, LIC building (over 60 years old), The Gove Building (over a hundred years old and houses the Mercedes-Benz showroom), Bharat Insurance Building (over 121 years old) and more. Perfect for getting a glimpse of Old Madras in today's Chennai, you could spend good 3-4 hours here, clicking pictures and gawking at beautiful handicraft stores.
Forest Bathe At Theosophical Society
Located in Adyar, this place is perfect for taking a break from the hustle-bustle of the city. Running 100 hectares long, this place is full of rich flora and fauna,and other structures that serve as repositories of spiritual literature. There's also a Buddhist Shrine, a Zoroastrian Temple, an iconic banyan tree (over 450 years old). You can easily spend about 3-4 hours here (if you have the stamina), walking around, taking in the sights and just relaxing.
Go Art-Gallery Hopping
Chennai has a range of art galleries for you to explore. From Cholamandal Artists' Village and Apparao Galleries to Forum Art Gallery and DakshinChitra, go art-gallery hopping with this list of best art galleries in Chennai.