So if you like to shop till you drop, Chennai has many bustling markets for you. Have a look at some of the best places for shopping in Chennai:
Local Markets in Chennai
1. Thyagaraya Nagar (T. Nagar)
agar is short for Thyagaraya Nagar. This place was initially just a residential neighbourhood, but it's now one of the largest shopping markets (in terms of revenue). It is a prominent hub for shopping in the city. There are endless retailers of sarees and jewellery. Quite a lot of other apparel and utensil stores also exist in this market. It is a busy and very crowded place at all times of the day. There is a lot of scope for bargaining, especially if you know how to converse in Tamil (helps in negotiation). There are big discounts and price reductions in the festive season. The tasty raw mangoes served by vendors at the roadside are worth tasting.
2. George Town
George Town holds the reputation for being the most crowded market for shopping in Chennai. A walk through the Burma Bazar is quite enthralling. The market is mainly known for selling beautiful and soft mulberry silk and the famous Kanchipuram sarees. However, numerous shops deal in toys, perfumes, electronic goods, jewellery, fabric, readymade garments, stationery items, gift items, traditional handicrafts, clothes, bags, shoes, junk accessories, mobile accessories and what not. Moreover, it is considered that the price of products sold in George Town market is reasonable and hence it is one of the best places for shopping in Chennai.
3. Pondy Bazaar
Pondy Bazaar is considered to be the 'Mecca' of shopping in Chennai. Apart from being a prominent commercial hub, it is one of the busiest markets in the city. No matter how long you shopping list is, you are sure to get every single item in this market. From toys, clothes, shoes to perfumes, jewellery, household appliances, electronics, music, and movie DVDs, there is no end to the list of products sold in this market. Many big brands have established their stores in Pondy Bazar.
4. Godown Street
Godown Street is about 200 years old. The street has been dealing in textiles since decades and is a wholesale market. The market is way cheaper than any other place for shopping in Chennai and one you can enjoy discounts ranging from 30-40% on all items. Imported products from China, Taiwan, and other Asian countries are the highlight of this market.
Sowcarpet is a one-stop destination for lehengas, churidars, cholis and other dresses native to North India. The market is located in the northern part of Chennai and is filled with North Indians. Dazzling readymade garments are sold here. The only drawback in this market is that you will need a local to take you around and communicate as most shopkeepers here speak in Tamil. Nevertheless, you can find some fantastic stuff here which will have you make multiple trips to this market.
6. Pantheon Road
Cotton is the first choice of clothing for locals in Chennai, as the city experiences hot tropical weather. Pantheon Road is the best place where you can find good quality cotton garments. Be it bright shades, pastel shades or neutral whites, one can find all kinds of eye-catching colors in this market. All the trendy designs and patterns can be found at this place. Premium quality fabrics at a reasonable price with plenty of options are what makes Pantheon Street quite famous for shopping in Chennai.
7. Anna SalaiKnown as St. Thomas Mount Road in the past, Anna Salai is one of the most prominent places for shopping in Chennai. Stretching from Fort St. George to Kathipara Junction, the market is one of the best shopping areas for handicrafts. The market has many stores selling ethnic clothes like silk sarees and lehengas along with handicraft items. Anna Salai is also famous for the availability of many malls in on the main road, which serves as more of entertainment centres than just shopping hubs.
8. Ritchie Street
Ritchie Street is the second largest electronic hub in India. There are over 2000 shops in the market. The market is also spread across other adjoining streets. This market was previously known as the Radio market, as it started off as one. You can find all sorts of electronics, robotics, led lighting, TV, computers, mobile, laptop, CCTV stores and a lot more stuff pertaining to gadgets and other equipment. You can get the lowest prices and amazing deals at most shops in Ritchie market. There are certain repair shops as well. The market timings are from 11 a.m to 10 p.m; however, it is not too vehicle-friendly as it is usually super crowded.
9. Panagal Park
This one is a street market locality in T. Nagar. Apparently, it gets its name from the Raja of Panagal, Madras Presidency's CM (who created it). It is surrounded with lush greenery. It has close proximity to shopping destinations. The streets like Ranganathan street, South Usman road just around Panagal Park have a lot of shops. Most are of gold jewellery, while some have silk sarees and other ethnic apparels. There are shopping complexes having products like authentic Kanjeevaram sarees. These stores especially attract a lot of tourists. You can also find cotton clothes and everything from basic, inexpensive sarees to next level, super pricy, heavy sarees in these shops.
Kottivakkam is a locality situated in South Chennai. It is quite a posh residential area where well-known people and celebrities stay as well. It is majorly known for various shopping centres, big and small. Although it specialises in clothing and footwear; sports equipment, accessories etc. are also sold in the market area. There is everything ranging from local products to international brands. There are a lot of sweet shops and restaurants around. The market is busiest at about 6 in the evening. You can also check out the beach area that has vendors selling merchandise and food items.
11. Moore Market
Moore Market Complex is situated in Park Town, Chennai. It is a commercial complex and a railway terminus for the Chennai Suburban Railway Station. You can find all sorts of books in this market. Be it fictional or non-fictional, personal development ones or academic; all your book needs can be easily satisfied at Moore Market. Moreover, you can also purchase and resell second-hand books at greatly discounted prices. There are various stalls and small shops in the book mart, having books displayed beautifully. It is said that bargaining skills really come in handy when it comes to shopping in this market.
Some of the best shopping experiences in Chennai can be found on the streets. Some famous ones are Pangal Road, Ranganathan Street, North Usman Road and BB. Bharani Colony. These streets are decked with stalls selling fabrics, readymade garments, footwear, bangles, junk jewellery, bags, purses and much more. It is advisable to start early for shopping on these streets as they tend to get crowded by noon and most shopkeepers offer good bargains in early times of the day.
Shopping Malls in Chennai
12. Phoenix Market City
Phoenix Market City is one of the largest shopping malls in Chennai. The mall features the first IMAX theatre of the city with 11 screens along with an interactive gaming zone rendering spectacular effects like smoke, snow, thunderstorm, and bubble along with seat movement, synchronized with the movie. The mall sprawls over an area of 1.5 million square feet and is equipped with latest state-of-art facilities making it an ideal bet for people looking to spend quality time with family and friends.
13. Express Avenue
Express Avenue is one of the most popular shopping malls in Chennai and is home to South India's most significant gaming arcade. It is built on a 10-acre site inside the popular Indian Express Estate and offers an amalgamation of shopping, business along with leisure. The Escape Cinemas inside the mall spreads over 50,000 sq. ft. with a capacity of 1,600 seats. It is renowned as the largest cineplex in Chennai.
14. Spencer Plaza
Spencer Plaza is a famous mall for shopping in Chennai and one of the best landmarks in the city. Renovated in 1985 and built during the British Raj times, it is known to be the oldest shopping mall in India and one of South Asia's most prominent shopping malls when it was built. It showcases a lot of local and international brands and is a one-stop destination for shopping, dining and entertainment activities.
15. Chennai Citi Centre
Chennai Citi Centre is ultimate leisure, entertainment and shopping destination in Chennai. Located at the heart of Chennai, Chennai Citi Centre is offering a wide range of shopping, dining, and entertainment options. The mall is located close to many favorite tourist spots of Chennai such as Marina Beach, Kapaleeswarar Temple, and Santhome Basilica church which makes it a popular leisure place for tourists. This is the reason the mall is always bustling with tourists coming from different cities of India wanting to witness the commercial scene of Chennai.
16. Fountain Plaza
Fountain Plaza is a shopping mall in Chennai where customers can buy anything ranging from garments to electronics and from kitchenware to footwear. Fountain Plaza shopping mall is a perfect place in the city for spending leisure time. It has various stores for apparels, jewellery, shoes and much more. Products of very high quality are available here at affordable prices. There is also a spa and massage center in the Mall, which is a must-visit the place to relax. The mall also features a plethora of food joints where you can savor different cuisines and drinks.
17. Alsa Mall
Alsa Mall is a significant and one of the biggest malls for shopping in Chennai. It is considered as one of the oldest surviving malls in the city and attracts a lot of visitors owing to its vast pool of retail outlets, branded stores, food joints, and cafes. It is a one-stop destination for clothing, footwear, toys, games, accessories and a lot more at affordable prices. Some of the outlets also offer great discounts on select items.
18. Ampa Skywalk
Another popular shopping mall in Chennai, Ampa Skywalk Mall has ample outlets of leading apparel brands. The mall also sports a 7-screen multiplex, a gaming zone, and a lavish food court. It is built in an area of three acres and features a 25 m long skywalk which connects the mall with ticket boxes to the theatres. The food court is huge and can accommodate 650 people at once. All the major national and international brands can be found here. The food court serves delicious local and international dishes for you to feast upon.
19. VR Chennai
VR Chennai is one of the largest shopping malls in Chennai, located in Anna Nagar. The mall has interesting decor and beautiful interiors. The ambience is vibrant and colourful. It makes for a wonderful place to spend leisure time with your friends and family. The food court is expansive, there are coffee shops and the play zone for kids is quite fun as well. There is a multiplex, too. Most of the times, there are various events, treasure hunts happening, making it all the more fun to be here. There are celebrity store openings at times. A con would be the parking charges of this mall, which are apparently quite high.
20. The Marina Mall
Marina Mall is another gigantic and fun mall located in Old Mahabalipuram, Egattur. It is much more than just another shopping mall. Apart from various stores, a food court, restaurants, hypermarket etc., it also has a massive 8 screen multiplex, there is a beautiful aquarium on the ground floor, there's a gallery, an entertainment centre and more. The gaming area is exclusive as well, as it has VR gaming. It also has the largest toy store in Chennai. It is a happening place hosting fun events, celebrity store openings, shows etc. The seasonal and festive decor is put together quite well. All in all, it's the right place for complete family entertainment.
Chennai is famous for many things- high rise corporate towers to a thriving IT industry to the second longest beach in the world to delicious filter coffee to astonishing silk sarees. Apart from its growing metropolitan status in the country and various age-old temples and tourist attractions, Chennai is also famous for its enormous shopping scene. From vibrant ethnic markets selling traditional handicrafts and apparels to bustling shopping malls showcasing the top-notch brands of the world, Chennai has a diverse range of options for all kinds of shopaholics. Whether you are a street shopper or a luxury lover, you can find something to suit your style and taste in the city of Chennai.