Chennai is the sixth-largest city in India, when the population is concerned, with more than 7 million citizens. It is the center of culture, art, history. Being among major tourist destinations in India, it is one of the world’s fastest growing cities.
Chennai is one of the biggest cultural, economic and educational centers in South India and very well visited by foreign tourists. The UNESCO Heritage Site of Mahabalipuram, temples, extremely beautiful and inviting beaches and many other sites make it attractive to travelers from all over the world and they usually tend to start their trip to the rest of the region exactly from here.
Warnings & Dangers in Chennai
OVERALL RISK : HIGH
Generally, the city is considered to be the safest one in India. There is no violent crime, but petty crime acts cannot be avoided in such a huge city. If you remain watchful when in crowds, do not display cash in public and respect certain safety rules for big cities, all these kind of crimes can be prevented.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : MEDIUM
If you decide to drive in Chennai, which is not advisable at all, keep in mind that the traffic is chaotic, neither rules are respected, nor pedestrians. In order to cross the street, always use underground crossings, except at night when they can be dangerous. During the motorbike ride, put a helmet on your head.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : HIGH
Pickpocketing and bag snatching are very common in India, as well as in Chennai. Crowds in front of monuments, in public transport and on the beaches, especially during weekends, when they are really overcrowded, are the hubs of thieves, so tourists must not leave their possessions unattended.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : HIGH
Natural dangers, such as earthquakes, flooding, and storms are frequent in India, since it is prone to these due to its location. In case a disaster occurs, tourists just need to follow the instruction of authorities.
MUGGING RISK : LOW
Kidnapping and mugging do not happen in Chennai, and if they occur, they are not against tourists. There is no risk of this kind of crime in Chennai.
TERRORISM RISK : HIGH
Islamist extremist groups such as Harkat-ul-Jihad-i-Islami, Harakat ul-Mujahidin, Indian Mujahideen among many others are working on the territory of India. That is why there is a threat of terrorist attack, especially against British people, due to the conflict in Iraq and Syria.
SCAMS RISK : HIGH
Distracted tourists are the easiest pray for scammers, and they tend to take advantage of the situation. Pay attention to fast meter scam when in a taxi. The best way to take a taxi is via phone or Internet. Rickshaw drivers also tend to overcharge foreigners. The possibility of the milk and gems scams on the markets exists.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : HIGH
This is the city where female travelers cannot feel safe if happen to be alone, neither during the day, nor night. The best advice is to dress modestly, not to have deeper communication with local men and, if possible, not to come alone.
So... How Safe Is Chennai Really?
Regarding all the monuments, historical sites and architecture, there are plenty of things to see and do in Chennai, but you need to bear in mind that it is one of the most populous city in the world, that you can find any kind of people here, which in turns, leads to different types of criminal acts.
Taxi drivers, as well as the driving itself, is horrendous, some parts of the city are more prone to violence, and solo female traveler can feel at danger while in Chennai.
On the other hand, it can be a safe place only if you exercise precaution, take taxis from licensed agencies and do not wander around at night in the isolated areas.
All in all, theft, armed robbery and rapes are constant threats when in Chennai, but vigilant tourists enjoy their stay without any problem and have a fabulous time. Nevertheless, it is the safest city in India.
- Visas - A visa is a required documentation together with valid passport when entering India and you need to take it out before coming there. Any necessary information regarding visas can be found on the Internet.
- Currency - The official currency in India is Rupee and it is available in the form of notes and coins. Once you exchange your money, leave some coins for giving tips and other minor expenses.
- Weather - Chennai has a tropical wet and dry climate and the variation in temperature are constant. Summer is hot and humid and it lasts from April to June. The monsoon season is from October to December. Period from December to March is probably the best time to visit Chennai.
- Airports - There are various airports that can be used when coming to India, but when coming to Chennai, you can travel via Chennai International Airport, which is the fourth busiest airport in India or Kempegowda International Airport.
- Travel Insurance - Whichever country you are visiting, injuries, accidents and problems cannot be predicted. That is why it is advisable to take out a travel insurance policy before starting your journey. It should cover all possible issues that may ruin your trip.