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17 Places To Meet New People In Chennai

Arun posted on 29 March

New to the city? Or just looking to broaden your social circle? Chennai is filled with cool people doing cool things, you just need to know where to look. To that end, check out these 17 places where you can meet new people in Chennai.

Human Library

This unique library uses humans as books!  Founded upon the principle of “walking a mile in another’s shoes”, the human library have speakers {aka books} from different walks of life, share their stories to interested audiences. This sharing of space helps break barriers and bust myths that we have about people who come from different backgrounds. Ever known what it was like to grow up a transgender? Or travel as a solo woman? Well at the Human Library you get to hear those stories and more.

For more on the Chennai chapter of the Human Library, check out our recommendation here.

Chennai Board Gamers

CBG is a group of enthusiastic board gamers, looking to spread their love of board games to all. They function out of a Facebook group and set up game days/nights and board game trades. Their game days happen at least once a month at a co working space in the city and are open to all. A small fee of INR 150 is collected to cover overheads and board game purchases, additionally beginners are welcomed and taught by all game owners. All you have to do is show up to the next one and you’ll become a regular board gamer in no time.

For more on CBG, check out our story on them here.

Chennai Trekking Club

This volunteer based non-profit organization conducts, treks, runs, marathons and even cleanup drives. The 45,000 strong public Facebook group helped organize the recent Kodai Hills Ultra marathon and plans to organize a cleanup of the Urur Kuppam fishing hamlet near Bessy Beach. The focus on nature comes from CTC’s host of treks and trails and as a group are committed to protecting such spaces, hence the cleanup and tree plantation drives. Their list of social and outdoor activities are written about by their attendees in their blog here. Rest assured you’ll get to meet and interact with energetic and socially conscious folks at this space. For more, check out our feature on them here.

Turtle Walks

Nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts of Chennai would have no doubt heard of the turtle walks in Chennai. A yearly event where turtle conservationists walk the shores of Chennai to scour for Olive Ridley turtle nests and transport turtle eggs to a controlled hatchery, where the hatchlings are released upon birth to the ocean. These walks are conducted at night, which is when the turtles are said to nest and are run by the long standing Student Sea Turtle Conservation Network SSTCN. This event occurs almost every day during the turtles November to February nesting season and is open to the public on weekends. The public walks are a great place to learn more about the endangered Olive Ridley turtle as well as wildlife around Chennai from the people taking ownership to protect it. For more info, check out our story on them here.

Alliance Francaise

Take a French class, watch a foreign movie, catch a local theater production, attend a dance performance, and eat French café food and more at the Alliance Francaise in Chennai. This French cultural center is a buzzing hub of activity throughout the year. Their website, is packed with events and things to do, and most of it is free or at nominal charge. Fans of theater and art will be at home amongst the crowds that frequent Alliance as the auditorium it boasts is one of the most popular in the city thanks to its intimate nature and makes it a great place to meet and interact with the city’s most creative and artistic minds. For more on what’s going on there, check out their website here.

Community Groups

24, College Road, Opp. Good Shepherd School, Subba Road Avenue, Nungambakkam, Chennai

4.5
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Sofar Music Gigs

Keeping in line with the setting of small and intimate audiences, Sofar music gigs are for people who don’t like to listen to music at crowded bars or packed concerts. Once a month, a gig is organized in an artist/members house and details of which are circulated just before the event and entry is restricted to members only. This careful curating of attendees ensures that the people that turn up are ones that care about the artist and music. Additionally the platform functions as a springboard for budding musicians as well as established ones. The informal and low-key nature of the event makes it a great place to experience and interact with the music crowd from Chennai.

For more on Sofar, check out our story here.

Backyard Cafe

This one of a kind, anti-café, is everything from a co-working space to a music stage. Started by two architecture graduates, Nithya and Akshaya, Backyard is fast becoming a hub of social and cultural events in Chennai. As a visitor the coffee shop doesn’t function the way you might expect, instead of paying for products you pay for your time there, and services like coffee and internet are made available for that time. But coming back to the events that happen there, there’s a lot, from glass painting workshops to art installations to gigs and stand up acts, there’s a lot going on at Backyard and by extension a great place to meet passionate people doing things they love. For more on what’s happening at Backyard, check out their Facebook page here and our story on them here.

Co-Working Spaces

53/23, 3rd Main Road, Gandhi Nagar, Adyar, Chennai

4.5
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Hotel For Dogs

If every human you saw had a pet with them, odds are we’d be friends with everyone. Hotel For Dogs is a pet boarding facility, that has a large 10,000sqft open space for dogs to play, cleaned enclosures and kennels, pools for the dogs to play in and trained and animal loving staff. While their service is of a pet boarding facility, they’re more than happy to have visitors come, help and play with the dogs during the day. So chances are if you’re there to spend time with the doggos, you’re probably going to run in to others who are there for the same reason. For more on the awesome place that is Hotel for Dogs, check out our feature on them here and on their website here.

Pet Care

12-A, Sunrise Avenue, East Coast Road, Akkarai, Injambakkam, Chennai

Story Trails

Chennai is a city with rich history and heritage and has a burgeoning population interested in learning more about it. That’s what the good folks at Story Trails are here to do, organize walking trails around the city by their knowledgeable guides who educate you about history in the form of stories that took place years past in our city. Bazaar trails and food trails will take you through some of the oldest parts of the city like Mylapore, Sowcarpet and even Marina. Perfect for those of you interested in getting to know the city and the best part is that these trails are in small groups and highly interactive as you and your team go on an adventure through the city. For more info check out our feature on them here and on their website here.

Puliyogare Travels

Keeping in line with discovering heritage and uncovering history, Puliyogare travels organizes food holidays and food walks, where special chef Rakesh Raghunathan will take a group through origins of the most iconic South Indian dishes in Chennai and Tamil Nadu. Think of it as a history class on food, where you and your classmates are there for one reason, to know about and sample some of the best South Indian food. You can sign up as a group or as an individual for these walks, the durations for which last anything from a couple of hours {food walk in the city} to an entire weekend {food holiday in locations across Tamil Nadu}. What better way to get to meet other foodies than on a food holiday! For more on Puliyogare Travels check out our feature on them here.

Broke Bibiliophiles

This book club is run by its enthusiastic members who host monthly discussions on the books they’re currently reading. Each attendee is given time to talk about their current book of choice and space for interaction is encouraged after. What started as a small 15 person Facebook group is now a 1000 member strong group with regular members. Genres can range from science fiction to contemporary biographies and there’s an audience for almost anything you’re currently reading. So check these guys on their Facebook group here and who knows you can find other similar book lovers and even new books to read.

Bessy Beach

Now this entry unlike others, is an actual physical space, and the reason we chose to include it is because there is just so much going on here. In the mornings and evenings you’ll find runners, ultimate frisbee players, football players, people practicing yoga, playing with their dogs, eating amazing street food and just chilling. It’s a great place to try new activities thanks to all the people that come there to use the publicly owned space, especially if you’re looking for a sport or physical activity to try out. For more on Bessy beach and what to do there, check out our story here.

Other

Besant Nagar, Chennai

    Arknemesis Gaming

    Gamers, this one’s for you. India’s largest gaming café is right here in Chennai. With state of the art tech, 68 top of the line gaming computers, brand new consoles and a stocked café, there’s very little that a gamer can want. But while gaming is one of the services they offer, if you’re there to meet fellow gamers, sign up for one of their many tournaments, where they play everything from Counterstrike to Fifa. Speaking of football they also host viewing parties for big football matches, so if you’re a football fan you’ll fit right in, just make sure you’re wearing the right jersey. For more on Arknemesis and what they offer, check out our story on them here.

    Gaming Zone

    Ispahani Centre, Lower Ground Floor, 123/124, High Road, Nungambakkam, Chennai

    4.7
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    FitKits

    If gaming is a little too couch potato-ey for you, try your hand at group fitness classes with FitKits, one of the newest in the city’s slew of outdoor gyms. Jump, squat and crawl your way to health along with a group of other motivated individuals at their classes in Gopalapuram. The classes are an hour long and take you from warmup to a workout and then to a cool down with stretches, and will leave you and your class feeling refreshed and on an endorphin high right after. There’s yoga classes too, so if you’re a fitness enthusiast looking to find your crew in the city, try FitKits. For more on what they do check out our story on them here.

     

    Gyms

    9, Basement, 6th Sreet, Chokkalingam Nagar, Gopalapuram, Chennai

    4.2
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    Quiz Foundation Of India

    If you grew up watching the Bournvita Quiz contest on TV like we did then you’ll love this group. The Quiz Foundation of India, is a group of quizzers that organize events every fortnight in the city for quizzers. They have an active Facebook group that frequently hosts events and can be found here. The quizzes that they organize are a great way to meet some of the most gifted minds in our city, and the best part is that the fee for joining this group is a nominal INR 1000 per year.

    For more info check out their website here.

    Cinema Rendezvous

    This film club is a home for world and local cinema enthusiasts. The group’s focus and priorities are kept in check by a member fee of INR 150/month that goes in to running their monthly film screenings and other overheads. Originally called the Madras Film Society, Cinema Rendezvous became an offshoot that is now a strong group of film enthusiasts that meet regularly to watch and discuss films. Great for film lovers looking to meet and get to know their kin. For more on Cinema Rendezvous, check out their Facebook page here.

    Community Groups

    The Savera Hotel, 146, Radhakrishnan Salai, 6th Street, Mylapore, Chennai

    Chennai Weekend Artists

    This public Facebook group is a home for artists in Chennai. The group organizes weekly sketching and art sessions at various locations around the city every Sunday and functions as a platform for new artists to learn from experienced ones. The process of teaching and learning is so important to them that they offer how to lessons on the various forms of art. So if you’ve got an easel gathering dust or a set of paints that you’ve always been meaning to try, but have lacked the motivation, join the Chennai Weekend Artists on their weekend jaunts, and let them motivate you to get back to art. As a bonus you can meet and learn from some of the best artists in the city! For more on them, check  out their Facebook group here.