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Getting Around

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 ₹450.

Relatively reliable Fast Track taxis charge ₹100 for up to 4km, then ₹18 per kilometre (with a 25% hike in rates between 11pm and 5am); bookings by phone.

The Uber taxi app offers reliable, sensibly priced transport around town, as does the near-identical Ola Cabs app (for which you need an Indian mobile number).

Autorickshaw

Most autorickshaw drivers refuse to use their meters and quote astronomical fares. 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 (₹125 to Egmore), 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.

Chennai Metro Rail

Chennai Metro Rail, a much-awaited, part-underground rapid transit system, partly opened in late 2016. At the time of writing, the only operational section was a part of Line 2 (Green) that runs from the CMBT south to St Thomas Mount and the airport. When completed, Line 2 will continue east from the CMBT to Egmore and Central train stations. Line 1 (Blue) goes from the airport to Teynampet, Thousand Lights, Central train station, the High Court and Washermanpet in northern Chennai, running beneath Anna Salai for several kilometres, but isn't due to be completed until 2018. Trains run from 5am to 10pm; tickets cost ₹10 to ₹50.