Once you have witnessed the splendour of Marina beach, things to do after you're done exploring its 12 km stretch would be the last thought on your mind. You cannot take a trip to Chennai without paying a visit to Marina beach and the myriad iconic sights nearby. Just in case you are the kind of person who builds itineraries for vacations, here are a few places to visit and things to do in and around India's longest beach:
For fitness enthusiasts, Marina beach hosts the Chennai marathon every year. It is also home to an old lighthouse, a number of statues, an MGR memorial and the Victory War Memorial. Visitors can spot children and adults playing cricket and football, flying kites, walking their pets or just walking around and enjoying the gentle breeze blowing in from the Bay of Bengal. Multiple Tamil celebrities also have had memorials erected here in their honour after their passing. So there is no dearth of Marina beach activities, no matter what time of year you visit this historic location.
Initially built as a storage facility for blocks of ice, this was sold to Biligiri Iyengar who hosted Swami Vivekananda during his trip to Madras in 1897 while delivering a series of lectures in cities across India. Since then, it has been colloquially known as Vivekananda House and has been an important historical site since, and is a worthy addition to the list of things to do near Marina beach.
St. Thomas Cathedral Basilica
Celebrating its 500th anniversary in 2023, this imposing structure was built over the tomb of St. Thomas, who was one of the 12 disciples of Jesus Christ and a pioneer of the spread of Christianity around the world. It was initially built by the Portuguese and rebuilt by the British in the late 1800s. It is under 4 km away from Raj Park Chennai and needs to be on the list of places to visit near Marina beach.
Fort St. George
Initially built to help protect British trading interests at a harbour near the Malaccan Straits, it now houses a museum and other remnants of the British occupation of India. It was named after the patron saint of England because construction was completed on St. George's Day 1644. It is located a half-hour drive away from our hotel in Chennai and is a must-visit place for history buffs.
Built in the 5th century to honour Lord Shiva and Parvati - his consort, this architectural marvel has withstood the test of time and has been an important pilgrimage site since its doors first opened to devotees. It was demolished by the Portuguese but was rebuilt by the rulers of the erstwhile Vijayanagara empire in the 16th century.
Come visit Marina beach near tourist places that are famous around the world during your stay at Raj Park Chennai and leave with a wealth of memories and Insta-worthy pictures.