Guided Tour To The Best Shopping Markets In Chennai

Exploring any city would be incomplete without exploring its shopping scene. There’s something about making your way through the crowded streets and checking out the local wares. Every city has its own local specialties that are a must-buy during your visit. So, if you’re planning your next vacation to Chennai, then you better get ready to explore lanes and lanes of colorful, rich sarees and stunning gold jewelry. Don’t know where to begin? Then let us take you through our guided tour to the best shopping markets in Chennai.

8 Best Shopping Markets In Chennai

  1. Pondy Bazaar
  2. George Town
  3. Thyagaraya Nagar
  4. Sowcarpet
  5. Pantheon Road
  6. Ritchie Street
  7. Godown Street
  8. Besant Nagar

1. Pondy Bazaar

One of the most iconic shopping markets in Chennai is the Pondy Bazaar. As you take a walk on the streets of this bazaar, you’ll notice vendors selling different day-to-day items. This place is one of the busiest shopping areas in Chennai. Here, you’ll find everything from home appliances to garments for both men and women. No wonder this place is one of the liveliest areas of the city. 

You can even buy branded lingerie clothes from Pondy Bazaar. After a tiresome shopping adventure, don’t forget to treat yourself to the lip-smacking falooda sold at this bazaar. Other than that, there are many street vendors that sell mouthwatering dosa, that will surely satiate your taste buds.

What To Buy: If you’re a home decor item and antique fan, you will find some interesting art pieces and handicrafts here. Right from quirky jewelry and perfumes to vintage watches, you’ll find many accessories here.

Days To Visit: Monday to Saturday.

Timing: 10 am to 9 pm.

Location: Near Thyagaraya Road, Chennai.

Places To Eat: Shri Balaajee Bhavan, Sapthagiri Tiffin Centre, and Minar Biryani.

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2. George Town

George Town is a place where shopping seems more like a thrilling adventure than mere scouting for products. So, don’t be surprised to know that it has a reputation for being one of the most crowded markets in Chennai. 

It has both traditional items like silk sarees and other items like jewelry and home decor that’ll make you want to go on a shopping spree! One thing’s for sure, nobody leaves this market empty-handed. That’s because George Town has many streets lined up with colorful, decorative items that are tempting enough to make you buy them!

Since it is one of the most vibrant parts of Chennai and has some tourist spots worth checking out, you can book your accommodation in this area itself. There are plenty of hotels here that offer a comfortable stay like Hotel City Tower, SM Mansion near Harbor and High Court, and Santhi Bhavan Central.

What To Buy: When it comes to sarees, George Town has the best mulberry silk and Kanchipuram sarees! It’s also a great place for buying gift items like jewelry pieces, stationery, and readymade garments.

Days To Visit: You can visit this market any day of the week.

Timing: 10 am to 8:30 pm.

Location: George Town, Chennai.

Places To Eat: Adyar Ananda Bhavan, Sree Agarwal Bhojanaalay, and Ranga Vilas Restaurant.

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3. Thyagaraya Nagar

What was once a residential neighborhood has now become one of the most sought-after shopping destinations in Chennai. At Thyagaraya Nagar, you’ll find several shops and retailers selling clothing, accessories, and cosmetic products. Designer clothing brands may come with an expensive price tag. But if you buy sarees or dresses from a local shop, you might get a good bargain. 

For good deals, we suggest you visit here during festive seasons like Diwali. That’s when the shopkeepers here sell items at discounted rates. This market gets a huge crowd, especially during the festive and wedding seasons. Something that you shouldn’t miss out on at Thyagaraya Nagar is the delicious raw mangoes sold by the street hawkers.

What To Buy: Whether it's for weddings or festive occasions, Thyagaraya Nagar is the go-to place for all things jewelry. There is a wide range of shops you can explore for buying gold accessories in various designs. The variety is not just limited to ornaments. Even bridal and festive clothing is available with tons of options to choose from.

Days To Visit: Thyagaraya market of Chennai is open for visitors throughout the weekdays.

Timing: 10 am to 9 pm.

Location: Natesan Street, Postal Colony, West Mambalam, Chennai.

Places To Eat: AB’s - Absolute Barbecues, Kommune, and 10 Downing Street.

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4. Sowcarpet

A walk at Sowcarpet in Chennai will transport you to a North Indian bazaar. This is a one-stop shop for buying all kinds of clothes. The locals here call this place the ‘Mini Rajasthan of Chennai’. The sight of the many different kinds of ready-made garments, all shimmery and jazzy explains its nickname. 

Shopping at Sowcarpet means your wallet may certainly start thinning down after visiting a couple of shops. So, our advice to you is to make sure your wallet is stacked and you have a basic list of items, before heading here. One thing you must know is that most of the vendors only speak Tamil. So, you might have to hire a local or tour guide to help you get around and communicate in this market.

What To Buy: There are fashion accessories like traditional jewelry items, western earrings, and different varieties of footwear available here. You’ll even find an amazing variety of salwar suits, kurtis, churidars, lehengas, and sarees. Most of these clothing items seem to be inspired by North Indian culture and their designs reflect the same.

Days To Visit: To avoid the crowd, it’s best if you shop at Sowcarpet during weekdays.

Timing: There’s no set time to visit the market, however, most shops open at 10 am and close by 6 pm.

Location: Peddanaickenpet, George Town, Chennai.

Places To Eat: Kalada Ramprasad, Prasad Vegetarian Restaurant, and Sri Krishna Bhojanalaya.

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5. Pantheon Road

If you want a good variety of cotton clothes, then head straight to Pantheon Road. Whether you prefer ready-made outfits or fabrics, this market has it all. And the best part is that you’ll get good quality clothes at very reasonable prices. All the more reason for you to come explore Pantheon Road! The diversity of clothes here has made it the go-to place for buying both, casual and festive garments.

The market is known to pick up pace post 2 pm. So, you might want to go there a little early to avoid massive crowds at the market. If you reach early, you can shop at your pace and you’ll even get enough time to buy souvenirs to take back with you. When you feel exhausted after scouting this road, you can sip on some refreshing tea or coffee at the local stalls here.

What To Buy: You can buy fabrics of every shade and color. From vibrant hues to pastel shades, and even neutral colors, you’ll find them all. There are printed and embroidered fabrics sold here to stitch saree blouses. Other things sold here are tops, shirts for men, kurtis, short skirts, and cushion covers.

Days To Visit: The market area at Pantheon Road is open for shopping all days of the week.

Timing: There’s no set time to visit this market, but most shops open at 11 am and shut by 9 pm.

Location: Egmore, Chennai.

Places To Eat: Courtallam Border Rahmath Kadai, UTSAV - Celebration of Thali, and Chennai Rawther Restaurant.

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6. Ritchie Street

Ritchie Street is very different from all other markets in the city. It is a hotspot for all kinds of gadgets. If you’re interested in buying electronic items, this is the place for you. You’ll find working professionals, students, and teenagers scouting for items like watches, laptops, mobile phones, and video game gadgets over here.

The best thing about buying gadgets from Ritchie Street is that you may get products for almost half their price! That’s an insane bargain, right? To reach here, public transport is the best option for you. Since this marketplace is very narrow, you may have a hard time finding a parking spot. 

What To Buy: You’ll find laptops, computers, and mobile phones of several brands in this market. Other electronics that you can shop for are LED lights for various festivals and events. Most people flock here to buy their lighting for festivities like Diwali. In case you need to get any of your gadgets repaired like your mobile or laptop, there are many repair shops here.

Days To Visit: Most of the shops at this market are open from Monday to Saturday.

Timing: 11 am to 8:30 pm.

Location: Chintadripet, Chennai.

Places To Eat: Hotel Shree Venkateswara, GEETHAM - Veg Restaurant, and Symphony - Ramada.

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7. Godown Street

Get ready to explore one of the oldest places in Chennai, Godown Street. Said to be almost 200 years old, this place has several lanes, each selling a particular kind of product. It’s known to be one of the best wholesale markets in Chennai and is famous for buying textiles. 

Unlike the other shopping markets in Chennai, here, you may not really have to bargain as much. That’s because many items are sold here at discounted rates, attracting both tourists and locals alike. As you visit the many stores on Godown Street, you’ll witness artifacts from places like Taiwan, China, and many other Asian countries. 

What To Buy: Godown Street has a variety of textile materials at discounted rates. You’ll find an amazing collection of handbags, footwear, and earrings at this market. Men can buy formal shirts that are available in a variety of colors here. 

Days To Visit: Monday to Saturday

Timing: There’s no set time to visit the market, but most shops open at 10 am and shut by 9 pm.

Location: Near George Town, Chennai.

Places To Eat: The Tandoori Kitchen, Message in a Bottle (MIB), and The Godown Bar.

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8. Besant Nagar

Besant Nagar is certainly one of the most visited places in Chennai because of its close proximity to Elliot’s beach. But that’s not the only thing this place is famous for. All thrifty shoppers will have the time of their life exploring the shopping scene here! This vibrant market is always full of college students trying to hunt for the perfect accessories. 

The streets of this area are posh and you’ll not have a hard time finding souvenirs here, for your friends and family. Since Besant Nagar is a beachside area, you’ll find fresh seafood sold here at the numerous street stalls. After your shopping spree, you can have a feast of fish fry or prawns prepared by the local vendors here.

What To Buy: When it comes to accessories, Besant Nagar is one of the best shopping markets in Chennai. There are several stalls lined up on the streets here selling colorful beaded items, funky earrings, and bohemian necklaces. You can also buy trendy and fashionable footwear at this market. Fabrics like cotton and striped mangalagiri are available here at very cheap prices.

Days To Visit: Head to Besant Nagar market for shopping any day of the week.

Timing: There’s no set time to visit this market, however, most shops open at 6:30 am and shut by 9 pm.

Location: Near Besant Nagar Beach, Chennai.

Places To Eat: Little Italy Restaurant, Jonah’s Bistro, and Momo Nation Cafe.

Tips When Shopping At Best Markets In Chennai

  • If you wish to get good deals, you will have to utilize your bargaining skills to the fullest.
  • Always carry enough cash with you. Not all local shopkeepers will accept online transactions through apps like Gpay or Paytm.
  • You’ll have to walk a lot to get everything on your shopping list. Keep a bottle of water with you to keep yourself hydrated for such a tiring venture.
  • Markets are known to be crowded all the time. See to it that you keep your belongings with you all the time. When it comes to carrying valuables, we advise you to not carry anything more than the cash you need.

Summing Up

Whether you love street shopping or are a fan of exploring luxury stores, this city has something that suits everybody’s style and taste. From aesthetic traditional clothes to stylish casual wear, from elegant gold jewelry to quirky statement pieces, Chennai markets have them all. And our guided tour to the best shopping markets in Chennai has just about everything for a wholesome shopping experience.


Which Is The Most Important Shopping Area In Chennai?

Some of the most important shopping areas in Chennai are Pondy Bazaar, George Town, Thyagaraya Nagar, and Sowcarpet.

What Is Best For Shopping In Chennai?

Things like silk sarees, shoes, Tanjore paintings, and jewelry are best for shopping in Chennai.

Which Is The Biggest Market In Chennai?

Thyagaraya Nagar, George Town, and Pondy Bazaar are some of the biggest markets in Chennai.

Why Is T Nagar In Chennai Famous?

The T Nagar (Thyagaraya Nagar) of Chennai is famous for buying different varieties of sarees and jewelry items. It’s also famous for trendy garments and traditional wear that are sold here at discounted prices.

What Is Sowcarpet Famous For?

Sowcarpet is famous for festive-themed ready-made garments and traditional jewelry items. This market also has some of the most famous foods of Chennai like samosa, pani puri, and lassi.

What Is Special In Chennai?

There are many special things in Chennai like its shopping scene and mouth-watering cuisine that people love to explore. Apart from that, places like Marina Beach, Kapaleeswarar Temple, and MGR Film City have made this city a popular tourist destination.

Which Is The Best Month To Visit Chennai?

You can visit Chennai anytime from October to February as the weather during these months is cool and pleasant for sightseeing in the city.

What Is Famous In Chennai To Eat?

Idili, uthappam, chaat, and biryani are some of the foods that are famous in Chennai to eat.