Chennai (Madras) Nightlife

Laws that prohibit bars and nightclubs operating beyond midnight curb Chennai’s nightlife scene, but some do stay open a little longer. Nevertheless, there are some lively nightspots, many at 5-star hotels, though nothing quite on the scale of Mumbai, Bengaluru (Bangalore) or Delhi. Many nightclubs have a weekend cover charge, a smart dress code and may only allow couples (not single males).

Most national newspapers have a Chennai edition, including the Hindu, the Indian Express and the Times of India, with a supplement dedicated to local nightlife listings.

Bars in Chennai (Madras)

10 Downing Street

A convincing facsimile of a British pub, 10 Downing Street is all warm wood and leather loungers. First impressions, however, can be deceptive and the boozer hosts plenty of DJ nights, rock evenings and karaoke shows too. There’s even a small dancefloor for when things get lively.

50 North Boag Road, Chennai, 600017, India
Telephone: +91 44 2815 2152.
Bike & Barrel

Located in the Residency Towers Hotel, this is a cheerful, split level English pub with a lively atmosphere. The cosy décor has (you've guessed it) barrels for tables and a flying motorbike suspended from the ceiling. The pub grub isn’t bad either, but fellas need to be in shoes, sleeved shirts and trousers.

115 Sir Thyagaraya Nagar Road, Chennai, 600017, India
Telephone: +91 44 2815 6363.
Leather Bar

Ever so designer, the Leather Bar at The Park Chennai hotel could have been plucked straight from the pages of a coffee table book on home interiors. The namesake leather spreads over the furniture, floor and walls and there’s an alfresco terrace where you can catch the breeze over a cool cocktail.

601 Mount Road, Anna Salai, Chennai, 600006, India
Telephone: +91 44 4267 6000.

Clubs in Chennai (Madras)

Flying Bottles

In the belly of the JP Hotel, Flying Bottles is a neon-heavy cocoon of cocktails and resident tune spinners. With exposed industrial pipes, LED tables and some rather bizarre paintwork, it’s certainly nailed a vibe. With room for 200, the only shame is the teeny dancefloor, so keep arm flings to a minimum.

1131 Inner Ring Road, Koyambedu, Chennai, 600107, India
Telephone: +91 44 6688 8000.

For a glam night out, head upstairs to the ever-so-trendy Pasha club in The Park hotel, a magnet for Chennai's beautiful people. Lounge on recliner divans and cushions that are hidden behind Persian drapes, before grabbing a classy cocktail and hitting the LED dancefloor to the beats of resident DJs.

The Park Hotel, 23/13, Khader Nawaz Khan Road, Nungambakkam, Chennai, 600006, India
Telephone: +91 44 4295 5580.
Q Bar

The bar at the Hilton Chennai is where Chennai’s A-listers come to live the high life, literally. Set beside the hotel’s rooftop pool, Q Bar gazes out across the city, with shaded gazebos, an impressive cocktail list, and its own resident DJ spinning the disks nightly.

124/1, J.N. Salai, Guindy, Guindy, Chennai, 600032, India
Telephone: +91 44 2225 5555.

Live Music in Chennai (Madras)

Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan

Founded by the philanthropist Dr K.M. Munshi, and opened with a blessing from Mahatma Gandhi, the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan runs cultural festivals and one-off performances around the city. Expect everything from bhajan (Hindu devotional songs) to veena and sitar shows as well as choirs, violinists and other traditional music.

18-22 East Mada Street, Mylapore, Chennai, 600004, India
Telephone: +91 44 2452 4057.
Kalakshetra Foundation

Founded in 1936 by dancer Rukmini Devi to preserve and promote classical dance and Carnatic music, the Kalakshetra Foundation stages performances of classical dance, especially Bharatanatyam. They also hold a highly regarded 10-day arts festival in December and January.

Thiruvanmiyur, Chennai, 600041, India
Telephone: +91 44 2452 4057.
Music Academy

Established to promote music and dance in Chennai, the Music Academy runs high profile cultural festivals throughout the year, with periodic music and dance programmes, plus plenty of live concerts. It’s a great place to see traditional musicians perform, particularly in December when it hosts an annual festival.

168 T.T.K. Road, Chennai, 600014, India
Telephone: +91 44 2811 2231.
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