Chennai - Post Report Question and Answers

Is this a good city for single people? For couples? For families? Why or why not?

Probably not for singles, as Tamil Nadu is a very conservative state and dating is likely very difficult. Seems most singles just made it work dating within the community. Couples and families it is good. Cheap and accessible household help, good school, cheap local travel. - Jan 2024

It's so lonely for singles. Indians don't understand because they marry young and their questions about family are just annoying. You may have a few friends at work, but mostly you are lonely and need to be creative with how you spend your time. People date, but not people they'd probably normally date if not stuck here. - May 2023

Definitely not good for singles. It can be quite lonely. Maybe ok for families but I would be worried about children's mental health. In my opinion, this place really wasn't good for anyone but some people just seemed to not know any better. - Apr 2023

No. - Aug 2021

This would be a challenging post for a single person. As South India is generally conservative, nightlife is almost nonexistent. Families seem the most happy here. - Apr 2021

Chennai is best for families due the the outstanding American School and lots to do for children. Singles still find it fascinating and find lots to do. However, the dating scene seems limited. There are dry days and not that much night life. - May 2019

There is no nightlife or scene for singles here. Everyone is in arranged marriages. The culture is very conservative. You can go out to eat, go to the mall and catch a movie, maybe the odd cultural event or so and that's about it. Netflix is a God-send. Couples and families tend to do much better. - Aug 2018

With arranged marriages and conservative alcohol laws and norms, this would probably be a hard post for singles. For couples, it would be best for homebodies. Due to the strength of the school, it's probably best for families, but there are plenty of struggles and frustrations for families as well, including a lack of green space, a lack of activities for kids of all ages, etc. - May 2018

I'm single and was very happy. Most singles complained about finding little to do. But see above comment about how getting to know locals can help avoid boredom. - May 2016

Families with young children seem to do best (that's a highly relative "best"), but there are continuous health issues for little children due to poor water quality (rashes and infections from bathing, swimming). Singles should avoid Chennai. It is not LGBT friendly either. The culture is very conservative with all arranged marriages and no dating scene. Couples need to make their own fun. Childless couples will find more to do in Mumbai or New Delhi. - May 2016

Families and couples- yes. Singles- stay away. The locals are warm and welcoming yet wary of letting anyone in in their inner circle. - May 2015

Since childcare is inexpensive, it is a good family post... Not many places for nightlife.... - Mar 2015

Families with young children and couples seemed to do best. Singles had a hard time due to lack of dating scene (South India is a very conservative culture and hard to break into, most marriages are arranged). Social life revolved around house parties and dinner/brunches at nicer hotels around the city. - Oct 2014

It's great for families. There isn't a ton to do so I think young couples and singles often found it dull. There is enough for families though and the cost of living plus the relative ease of commuting makes it great for families. - Oct 2014

For families it's good if having a good school is important, saving money, having a large living area etc. It's not great for people who love the outdoors and there are real health concerns. For singles, I think it's pretty rough, nightlife here is not good, but if you love to travel you can always escape. I think married couples who are interested in India or who have a family connection to India, do the best. - Jun 2014

This is a good city for families as there are plenty of good nannies, daycares, schools, and it seems there are a lot of activities geared towards children here. As previously mentioned, families can feel quite safe here. Singles may have a harder time if they are seeking a great nightlife - there isn't much of one here. However there are private members clubs - for example the Madras Club and the Gymkhana Club, and the less-exclusive Madras Hash House Harriers and OWC (Overseas Women's Club), to name but a few. Many in the diplomatic/other expat communities here organise expat events, such as pub quizzes, concerts, etc. For photographers there is the friendly Chennai Photowalk group. It's a good place for couples, particularly if you enjoy trying new restaurants - tons of great places here. - May 2014

This is a good family post simply because childcare is very inexpensive and good. There isn't really much of a nightlife. Nearly all marriages are arranged, so it is difficult for singles to date locals. - Aug 2013

It is a good place for families as many Indian people love children and many of the Americans here have families with young children. There are not very many outdoor places to take young children during the day, but there are lots of children available for playdates. - Jul 2012

Great, great, great for families with small kids, up through grade school -- great school, community pool, after-school activities, your driver can pick the kids up after school. HS kids get bored quickly. Singles get bored quickly: only one recorded instance of a USG person dating a local, in the 2-century history of the Consulate (kidding, but not much). - Aug 2011

Excellent city for families. Not much to do for singles unless they like to travel. It is definitely a family oriented community. - Jun 2010

Can be a great city for anyone. Dating in the Western sense is difficult in Indian society, but the friendships will last a lifetime. Decent number of young, fun expats too. - Sep 2009

This is a good post for kids with small children who do not find the need to go out much. Couples find it generally stifling as there is not much to do. You can't get a beer unless it's in a hotel. Bars are supposed to close by 11 PM. Singles would find it hard here. Arranged marriages are the norm. It is changing and I have heard that some male officers have been able to date local people. This is one post where women seem to do better than men in dating. - Aug 2008

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