The Ultimate Guide for Moving to Chennai

Moving Guide to Chennai

Moving to a new city can be an exciting and overwhelming experience. If you're considering moving to Chennai, also known as the "Gateway to South India," you're in for a treat. This city offers you a perfect blend of modernity and tradition, with its rich culture, history, and natural beauty.

However, navigating a new city can be challenging, especially if you're unfamiliar with the area. In this blog, we will provide you with an insider's perspective on the different aspects of living in Chennai, including accommodation, cost of living, food, transportation, weather, and so on. Whether you're a student, a young professional, or a family, this guide will help you in making a smooth transition to your new home in Chennai.

Cost of Living

Chennai is known to have a lower cost of living compared to other major cities in India. The cost of living index in Chennai is 25.48, which is 6.96% lower than in Bangalore. This means that a single person's average monthly expenses can amount to around ₹ 22,000, excluding rent. 

Here is a breakdown of the monthly expenses required for a single person to survive in Chennai:

  • Accommodation: Rs 8,000 - 15,000
  • Food: Rs 5,000 - 8,000
  • Groceries: Rs 2,000 - 4,000
  • Commute: Rs 1,000 - 3,000
  • Utilities: Rs 2,000 - 3,000
  • Clothing: Rs 1,000 - 2,000
  • Entertainment: Rs 2,000 - 3,000

Overall, the average cost of living in Chennai per month ranges from Rs 21,000 to 38,000, this can vary depending on your lifestyle and preferences.


Chennai has a range of options for accommodation, from budget-friendly shared apartments to luxurious villas. 

For instance, areas like Adyar, Anna Nagar, and Mylapore are considered upscale neighbourhoods and have higher rents. On the other hand Avadi, Madipakkam and Adambakkam are a few affordable places to live in Chennai and have relatively lower rents.

The average monthly rent for a 1 BHK apartment in Chennai is around Rs 10,000 - Rs 15,000, while a 2 BHK apartment can cost anywhere between Rs 15,000 to Rs 25,000. If you're looking for a more luxurious option, the rents can go up to Rs 50,000 per month or more.


Chennai is a food lover's paradise, with a wide variety of options available at different price points. The city is known for its delicious South Indian cuisine, which includes dishes like idlis, dosas, vadas, and sambar. The cost of food largely depends on the type of restaurant or eatery you choose.

On average, the cost of a meal for two at a mid-range restaurant in Chennai is around Rs 500 to Rs 800. If you prefer street food, you can find plenty of outlet options at affordable prices, costing around Rs 30 to Rs 40.

If you're a foodie in Chennai, there are several must-try food destinations that you shouldn't miss out on, such as Mylapore, Sowcarpet, T. Nagar, Anna Nagar, Adyar, etc. So, go ahead and indulge in the local flavours of Chennai!


Chennai has a well-developed public transportation system that includes buses, trains, autos and the metro. However, traffic can be congested during peak hours, so plan your commute accordingly. If you plan to drive, be prepared for busy roads and aggressive driving.


The fares for public transport are relatively affordable, with a one-way bus ticket costing around Rs 10 to Rs 30, depending on the distance. 


The Chennai Metro Rail is a relatively new addition to the city's transportation system, and the fares range from Rs 10 to Rs 70, depending on the distance.


If you prefer private transportation, there are several cab services like Ola and Uber available in Chennai. The fares for cab services vary depending on the distance, time of the day, and the type of cab.

Note: Price bartering is another challenge, few drivers will try to charge excessively high prices so be careful.


As the headquarters of the Southern Railway, the city has two main rail terminals that are Chennai Central and Chennai Egmore, offering convenient access to national and regional destinations.


Chennai International Airport has both an international and a domestic terminal. It is the fourth busiest airport in India that connects the city to numerous international destinations across the globe.


Chennai is located in the southern part of India, and it has a tropical wet and dry climate. The city experiences hot and humid weather throughout the year, with temperatures typically ranging from 26°C to 38°C (79°F to 100°F) during the day.

The summer season in Chennai usually starts in March and lasts till June, with the temperatures soaring up to 40°C (104°F) or more, making it extremely hot. The city receives heavy rainfall during the monsoon season which starts in October and lasts till December, which brings down the temperature and provides some relief from the heat. The winter season in Chennai starts in December and lasts till February. During this time, the temperature drops slightly ranging from 20°C to 28°C (68°F to 82°F).


Tamil is the official language of Chennai, and most locals speak it fluently. However, English is also widely spoken and understood, especially in urban areas. If you are relocating from north India, learning some basic Tamil phrases can be helpful in making new friends and navigating the city more efficiently.


Chennai is widely regarded as a safe city for both locals and tourists alike. Compared to other major cities in India, Chennai has a relatively low crime rate and was even ranked as the safest city to live in India when compared to Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Mumbai, and Delhi. Additionally, instances of police corruption are relatively rare in Chennai, and the city's inhabitants are known for their adherence to the law.


Chennai is home to some of the most prestigious educational institutions in India. The city has a long-standing reputation for its quality of education, and attracts students from all over the country and abroad.

The most well-known educational institutions in Chennai are the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Anna University, University of Madras, and the Tamil Nadu Dr M.G.R. Medical University. Some of the popular colleges in Chennai include Loyola College, Stella Maris College, Madras Christian College, and Women's Christian College. Research the options and admissions process well in advance if you're planning to enrol in an educational program.


While Chennai has a limited night life scene, it isn't non-existent. Pubs like Illusions, The Velveteen Rabbit, 10 Downing Street, Big Bang Theory, and Moon and SixPence are some of the most popular spots for pub-hopping enthusiasts. In addition to pubs, there are also plenty of rooftop restaurants that offer great food and breathtaking views.

Chennai offers a plethora of entertainment options for people of all ages. From movies and shopping malls to beaches and cultural events, there's something for everyone.


Chennai is a vibrant and diverse city that offers a unique blend of tradition and modernity. Whether you're a foodie looking to explore the city's culinary delights, a student seeking quality education, or a professional looking for career opportunities, Chennai has something to offer for everyone. With a relatively low cost of living compared to other major Indian cities, Chennai can be an affordable option for those looking to live and work in India. While there are some challenges that come with living in Chennai, such as the hot and humid weather and occasional water shortages, the city's many attractions and friendly people make it a great place to call home.

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