8 Best Places To Shop In Chennai (2023)
Chennai is one of the four major metropolitan cities of India, and as a result, a shopping spree in one of the most happening commercial hubs in the country is a must when you visit Tamil Nadu. After all, exploration of any city cannot be complete without taking a peek at its shopping culture, especially when you are in a heart-warming city like Chennai. Chennai has something to offer everyone, and there are many great shopping spots in the city. From shopping for traditional items like Pattamara mats to the metal works from Thanjavur, traditional jewelry from Kumbakonam, and the silk sarees of Kanchipuram, Chennai will not disappoint shopping lovers. Here are some of the best places to shop to your heart’s content in Chennai
8 Best Places To Shop In Chennai
1. Thyagaraya Nagar (popularly known only as T. Nagar)
T. Nagar is today one of the largest shopping markets in Chennai and a prominent shopping hub in Tamil Nadu. Once you enter the market of T. Nagar, you will be spellbound to see the endless retailers of sarees and jewelry on one side. At the same time, other apparel, utensils, craftworks, and other items are being sold on the other side.
T. Nagar is a very crowded market, regardless of what time of the day you visit here. The market is known for the incredible scope of bargaining it offers, especially if you are well versed in speaking Tamil. Otherwise, also there are significant discounts and price reductions during the festival season. The T. Nagar market is famous for its massive collection of sari and gold jewelry stores. This is the place to go to if you want to get a good bargain on some very expensive items.
There are several eateries and street food vendors also here in case you start feeling hungry while shopping and bargaining. A must-try feature of T. Nagar is the delicious raw mangoes that are served by street vendors at the roadside of the market.
However, be prepared to face a massive crowd as the T. Nagar market in Chennai is always crowded.
2. Pondy Bazaar
Another extremely popular market of Chennai city is the Pondy Bazaar. The Pondy Bazaar is known for selling kurtas, dress materials, salwar kameez, fashion accessories, handbags, trendy clothes, mobile phones, accessories, and footwear. The streets of Pondy Bazaar are also crowded with many small and big shops selling everything and anything you can possibly imagine. The Pondy Bazaar is popularly referred to as the ‘college tee fashion destination,’ and you will see many youngsters thronging the market at all times.
This bazaar is located in T. Nagar itself, but it is home to the city’s famous Naidu Hall and Ratna Stores. The Pondy Bazaar is such a renowned market in all of Tamil Nadu that it is often known as the ‘Mecca of all Shopping.’
An exciting feature of this market is the lively and breathtakingly beautiful fresh flower market that opens early in the morning.
You can find all sorts of trinket or junk jewelry as well as expensive antique and silver replicas of jewelry here, along with fake watches from all global brands, handbags, kids wear, travel bags, and other bits and bobs like pins, scrunchies, clips, etc., for children and adults alike. Overall it is safe to say that the Pondy Bazaar in Chennai sells everything you could possibly need, and that too at very reasonable prices.
There are also many good restaurants here that offer lots of traditional Tamilian cuisine. Treat yourself to some Udupi tiffin, which is one of the prime choices amongst locals who visit the market. Do remember to try out the lip-smacking and chilled Faludas at Udupi tiffin.
3. Besant Nagar
Besant Nagar is another famous place for shopping in Chennai. Its close proximity to the sea, and a popular beachside ensures that the market remains crowded throughout the day. Besant Nagar is known as one of the posh shopping streets of Chennai, but at the same time, it can also
be a shopping haven for the thrifty shopper who is looking for a great deal.
Take a break at Besant Nagar and try out the fashionable footwear or browse through the many shops of cotton handloom and mill material. You will be surprised to see some of the most striking, bold ikats, striped mangalagiri, and printed cotton fabrics here.
This area is usually the preferred hangout spot for college students and the many gypsy bead stalls that dot the street. This is truly one of the most colorful and attractive features of the market at Besant Nagar. You will find the strikingly colorful, differently shaped beads strung together to form different types of earrings, bohemian neckpieces, and you can even get a customized bracelet made with your name on it.
The proximity to the beach makes Besant Nagar a great place to try out some sumptuous seafood as many restaurants and food stalls like the street and make fresh seafood in front of you at very nominal rates.
4. The Pantheon Road
If you desire to buy some good quality cotton fabric and clothes at affordable places, then head on over the Pantheon Road market in Chennai. This is the best place in Chennai to find high-quality cotton fabric and clothes. From bright shades of cotton to the pastel shades or neutral colors, you can find all types of eye-popping colors here in this market. Not only is the right place to find cheap fabrics, but the wide variety of most expensive, high quality, and newly designed materials that carry the trendiest of patterns will leave you amazed. The availability of premium cotton fabrics at the most reasonable of rates has made Pantheon Street one of the most sought after shopping places in Chennai.
The market typically starts getting busy after 2:00 pm, with the crowd peaking by the evening. So head on over to the Pantheon Road market to pick up a great deal on cotton fabrics and garments.
5. The Sowcarpet
A visit to the Sowcarpet will give you a glimpse of North India in the midst of Tamil Nadu. Sowcarpet is the on-stop market you need to head to for buying churidars, lehengas, cholis, fashion accessories, and other dresses typically native to the northern part of the country. Interestingly, this market is also located in the north part of Chennai. If you have a problem understanding the local langue in Chennai, then the Sowcarpet is the ideal market for you as language is no barrier here. Most of the shopkeepers also descend from the north itself, thus making conversing in Hindi easily.
The Sowcarpet in Chennai is a great market for finding some great items at hugely budgeted prices. Word of advice – avoid taking your car to this market as the streets are very narrow. It also tends to get very congested, especially towards the evening hours.
6. Ampa Skywalk
Similar to the other metropolitan cities like Delhi and Mumbai, Chennai also has no shortage of big and majestic shopping malls, with the Ampa Skywalk leading the list. Even though the Ampa Skywalk is not the biggest mall in Chennai, the location of this mall in the heart of the Chennai city has made it very popular.
The Ampa Skywalk is also just like your typical mall and has many outlets of all the leading apparel brands. The mall also boasts of a 7-screen theater, a separate gaming zone, and a vast food court. Constructed over three acres and featuring a unique 25-meter long skywalk, you will find all global and local brands under one roof. The striking skywalk feature of this mall connects the mall with the ticketing boxes to the movie theaters. Many people come to get a glimpse of this skywalk and to check out the view from here.
The 7-D theatre hall is also a big draw at Ampa Skywalk as people come to watch movies in 7D in structure. The animation of these movies is created in such a manner that you will feel as if you are indeed inside the movie itself. It is possible to spend several hours at the Ampa Skywalk Mall.
7. Anna Salai Market
Earlier known as St. Thomas Mount Road, Anna Salai is today another prominent places for shopping in the city of Chennai. The market stretches right from Fort St. George to Kathipara Junction and is one of the best places to shop for handicrafts.
There are also a variety of stores selling ethnic clothes like heavily embroidered silk sarees and lehengas and handicrafts from all over Tamil Nadu. Anna Salai is also famous as there are many malls nearby on the main road, so in case you don’t find what you are looking for here, you can always pop into one of the malls for a look.
8. Moore Market Complex
Located in Park Town, the Moore Market Complex is a commercial shopping complex that also serves as a railway terminus for the Chennai Suburban Railways. This is the place to head to if you are looking to buy books. You can find all types of books at the Moore Market, ranging from fictional, non-fictional, academic, or even books on personal development. This is the one-stop market for all types of books.
This is also a place to find some great bargains on second-hand books. There are many stalls, bigger shops, as well as small shops at this market, with the books being displayed beautifully.
It is important to remember that in spite of the flashiness of the many malls that Chennai has, the best shopping experiences in Chennai actually can be found on its street markets like T. Nagar, Pondy Bazaar, Ranganathan Street, BB Barani Colony market, and many others. So when you are in Chennai, don’t forget to indulge yourself by going on a shopping spree here. Pick up some leaf handicrafts from Tirunelveli, some silks from Kanchipuram, and some stone carvings from Mamallapuram. All the favorite items of Tamil Nadu can be found in the many markets of Chennai itself. So go ahead and splurge – rest assured that Chennai will not disappoint its visitors when it comes to shopping.