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Getting Around

Chennai Metro Rail

Chennai Metro Rail is an incredibly efficient way to get around the limited areas it serves – fortunately, stops include major transport hubs such as the airport, CMBT, and Egmore and Central railway stations. At the time of research, the system was nearly complete and travel was easy and uncrowded (but the Delhi metro was once like this too!). If you plan on using it more than once, get a metro card (₹50 refundable deposit) that you can preload with credit. Trains run from 5am to 10pm; trips cost ₹10 to ₹70.

Autorickshaw

  • Most autorickshaw drivers refuse to use their meters and quote astronomical fares that come down quickly with some firm haggling. Avoid paying upfront, and always establish the price before getting into a rickshaw. Rates rise by up to 50% from 11pm to 5am.
  • There are prepaid autorickshaw booths outside the CMBT and 24-hour prepaid stands on the south side of Central station and outside the north and south exits of Egmore station.
  • Tempting offers of ₹50 autorickshaw ‘city tours’ sound too good to be true. They are. You'll spend the day being dragged from one shop to another.

Car & Taxi

  • Both airport terminals have prepaid taxi kiosks. There are prepaid taxi stands outside the south side of Egmore and Central stations; a ride of 8km or 9km, such as to the CMBT, costs around ₹500.
  • Uber offers reliable, sensibly priced transport around town, as does the near-identical Ola Cabs app (for which you need an Indian mobile number). Rates to the airport are surprisingly cheap.