Chennai - Post Report Question and Answers

What are some typical ways to socialize, either with local people or with other expatriates? Are there groups or clubs that you can recommend?

Mostly with other members of the Consulate community. There were a few people who surfed, sailed, biked, but I think that was mostly with other Americans. - Jan 2024

Go for dinner and overpriced drinks! - Apr 2023

It was very, very sleepy there. Indians are busy with their families and their religious duties and ceremonies and rarely engaged with us. The work community was not close and there were few opportunities to get together with others so no one really knew the whole community. Looking back, it is only now I realize how sad and boring that it was. - Apr 2023

I know a few expat families but there is not a lot of socializing for me in Chennai. Best to just have friends come visit or take lots of trips out of town. Most of my local colleagues from work do not want to go out after hours and there isn't really anywhere to go. You will feel odd being alone at a restaurant. - Aug 2018

There is a lot of home entertainment, brunches and dinners out, playdates, etc. There are malls and movie theaters, laser tag, a few small theme parks, a bounce park, surfing lessons, etc. Nothing is quite the same quality as in the U.S. (with the exception of some restaurants which are great). - May 2018

Making your own fun. Movies are cheap, but English-language films and subtitles are only available on certain days. - May 2016

It can be depressing at times, India is a very insular country. - May 2015

Eating out, movies, going to a bar at a hotel. - Mar 2015

Dinners out at nice hotels and some restaurants (since Chennai is dry, alcohol is only available if a restaurant is attached to a hotel). Lots of house parties and pool gatherings. Movie theaters are really nice and inexpensive (American and Indian movies shown). - Oct 2014

Restaurants in hotels. Chennai is a dry city so drinking is hard to come by. You can drink in the hotels though so that is where most expats go. - Oct 2014

House parties, pool parties, going to five star restaurants. - Jun 2014

Eating at great restaurants, drinking at hotel bars (the only places in Chennai which serve alcohol). There are a few good cinemas here, and tickets are cheap. The first IMAX cinema in Chennai just opened in April. There are social events organised by the CHEX (Chennai Expats group). - May 2014

- Aug 2013

We entertain in our home and we go out to fancy restaurants in the big hotels. We've definitely had a good time here. - Jul 2012

Locals socialize among themselves, in their extended families. Expats with families socialize with each other, it's about the kids; single expats have an OK time, but this is not partying India, Mumbai and New Delhi are on a completely different planet. - Aug 2011

Everyone entertained in their homes. That is where the social life centered around. There are several nice hotels with bars and clubs. - Jun 2010

You can have great parties at home catered for a low cost. There are a few bars/small dance clubs, too, but you'll have a much livelier social life once you make Indian/expat friends who invite you to celebrations, parties, dinners, and openings. - Sep 2009

You can go to a 5-star hotel and pay US$7 for a beer. Entertaining other in your home is another option. - Aug 2008

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