This section is dedicated to take away all your "I wish someone had told me that before I went!" experiences. This way, you are better prepared for what to expect, what not to expect and can spend less time settling in, and more time making new friends in your chosen hostel. We share our insider knowledge of tips, tricks and important things to look out for in Chennai. To help you make friends with Chennai before you visit, we've included a few helpful and fun things you should know about the area. Enjoy!
Chennai (formerly -- and in some cases locally still -- known as Madras) is the capital of the Southern India state of Tamil Nadu. As it's of the major metropolises in India, Chennai offers a lot of variety when it comes to accommodation, entertainment, cultural, and gastronomic experiences.
The city is huge, but there is a suburban train connecting different parts of the city and the outskirts. Same as the local buses, the train tends to get quite busy and some might find the experience stressful. Like anywhere else in India, taking an auto-rickshaw (motorized) or rickshaw (bicycle, also known as tuk-tuk by some travelers) is always an option, as drivers for both are always parked in strategical points or constantly driving by.
Apart from some famous religious sites (belonging to the Christian, Hindu, and Muslim faith), Chennai is famous for its extensive beachfront. This is not the kind of beach where people come for sunbathing or even swimming; the waters are rough and the local customs keep visitors from stripping down to get into the water, especially women. The beach is more a place to come to for walks and to have a snack; for travelers, it makes a perfect spot for people watching and -- if you get lucky and act friendly -- meet some locals and learn more about life in Chennai and India in general.
There is a lot on offer when it comes to hostels in Chennai, and some of them even cater to women only. Anna Nagar, Adyar, Velachery, Kilpauk, Abiramapuram, ECR, or OMR are considered nice areas to stay, so look for a Chennai hostel in one of these.
Written by local enthusiast for Chennai hostelszararock