Chennai nightlife is on the up, with a smattering of lively new openings, but you'll need a full wallet for a night out here. Continental-style cafes are growing in number, and, yes, Starbucks has arrived.

Bars & Clubs

Bars and clubs in five-star hotels serve alcohol 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so that's where most of the after-dark fun happens. Solo guys ('stags') are often turned away, and there's usually a hefty admission charge for couples and men. Dress codes are strict: no shorts or sandals.

Other hotel bars, mostly male-dominated, generally close by midnight. If you're buying your own alcohol, look for 'premium' or 'elite' government-run TASMAC liquor shops inside malls.