Madras, India » City Info » Travel Tips

Chennai (formerly known as Madras) is the capital of Tamil Nadu, and it is referred to as the 'Gateway to South India'. The cultural hub of India has become a metropolitan city with various types of Indian and international industries. Chennai is famous for ancient temples, museums, churches, and forts. It is a perfect beach destination for tourists to explore the blue waters of the Bay of Bengal.


Tipping is not mandatory and not even added to the bills of the restaurants. Typically, around 5-10%, tipping is expected from a tourist, especially if the service is good in restaurants. In addition, if payment is made by credit cards, then it is expected to leave coins or some cash in the form of tipping. Normally, taxi drivers do not expect any tip unless they offer extra services like helping to carry bags into hotels or at airports.


Smoking is strictly prohibited in public transportation services like railways. Any violation in this act can be treated as a punishable offence with a fine. There is no law passed by the legislation about smoking in the public areas of the city. Soon, the government plans to make Chennai a smoke-free city of India and more strict rules regarding smoking will be imposed. At many places, smoking zones are available, and it is better to ask local people before lighting up a cigarette.

When to Travel

Chennai comes under a tropical climate zone and experiences hot and humid weather all year round. It is situated on the southeast coast of the country, and therefore, rainfall is expected at any time. However, due to rainfall, the climate remains pleasant and comfortable besides high humidity in the daytime. The best time to visit this city is the winter season, which starts from November to February. Chennai experiences cool and warm weather with lovely breezes from the sea during these months creating a perfect ambience for tourists.

City Transport

As one of India's largest cities, it offers a wide range of modes of public transport like bus, auto-rickshaw, taxi, van, and private bus. The most important and affordable source of transport in the city is a bus, which covers all famous areas of the city along with nearby suburbs. Taxi is suitable for long-distance tours. Taxi charges are taken as per distance covered and one needs to check the taximeter before setting up. There are auto-rickshaws available for a short distance and are a little expensive than public transportation. Another local mode of transport is Maxi Cabs, i.e. vans that cover different city routes.

Emergency phone numbers

Country code +91
Area code 44
Police 100   
Fire 101
Ambulance 102
Traffic Complaints and Accidents 103