Counted among Chennai’s coolest neighbourhoods, Anna Nagar is home to a vibrant culture that is an equal mix of tradition and modernity. The neighbourhood is markedly different from most other parts of North Chennai in that it features a far better infrastructure and also boasts a lush green cover, with several parks and trees decked along the sides of most roads.
But even apart from its qualities as a residential neighbourhood, what makes Anna Nagar really great is the large number of fun options it provides, ranging from parks and sports arenas to pubs, nightclubs, and fine dining options. Here are some of the best things you can do if you find yourself in Anna Nagar for the day.
Anna Nagar’s Tower Park has defined the neighbourhood ever since its early days in the 1970s when it came up a new residential locality. In fact, it was around this sprawling 15 acre-park that the neighbourhood’s first residential complexes came up. Featuring manicured gardens, well-lit walkways, and play areas, the Tower Park attracts a large crowd of locals who visit it religiously for walking, cycling and running. Plus, the neighbourhood is home to a number of celebrities and famous personalities from the city, so don’t be surprised if you run into one at the park.
Amnjikarai’s Ampa Skywalk is the closest mall to Anna Nagar and located at a distance of just 0.5 km from the Anna Arch. One of Chennai’s biggest and most-famous shopping malls, the Ampa Skywalk is home to outlets of almost all major retailers across fashion, lifestyle, and electronics. Plus, it is also home to the multiplex PVR Skywalk which has seven screens in total, making the mall one of the neighbourhood’s most popular destinations.
While Anna Nagar does have a major mall in Ampa Skywalk in the vicinity, shopping in the neighbourhood is not just confined to the mall. Anna Nagar’s Second Avenue, one of its arterial thoroughfares and one of Chennai‘s best-known shopping districts, is as good as any major mall when it comes to shopping, food, and retail options. With a wide road and adequate parking, the Second Avenue in Anna Nagar attracts as much footfall as any other destination in the neighbourhood.
The Corporation/SDAT Sports Complex has quickly become one of the most popular destinations in Anna Nagar for all those who love sports. With facilities such as 36/18m swimming pool, two outdoor badminton courts, a skating court and a fitness centre, the complex is coupled with features and low fee-structure, and attracts a large number of sports enthusiasts every day. There are also coaching services available to members of the general public.
Anna Nagar is one of Chennai’s best neighbourhoods when it comes to options for food and desserts, and no matter what your taste you’ll definitely find what you like on its streets. Head down to Haunted for a spooky dinner or stop by Amadora, one of Chennai’s most-popular ice-cream parlours for trying out any of their several gourmet dessert options. Other notable restaurants and fine-dining options in Anna Nagar include The Cascade and Almaza or Bakers Cottage and Cream Stone for dessert.
Anna Nagar might be a residential neighbourhood, but that doesn’t mean it’s short on options for clubbing and cocktails. It is home to some of the most famous pubs and nightclubs in all of Chennai, from Sera-The Tapas Bar in Ampa Skywalk to Cycle Gap, a pub that reflects local culture. Other great drinking options include the Opium Bar and Flying Bottles.
The Anna Arch, located at the mouth of 3rd Avenue is a landmark that marks what is for all intents and purposes the centre of this neighbourhood. One of Chennai’s best-known landmarks, the Anna Arch is a twin-arch that stands 52-feet tall and was constructed in the late 80s to commemorate the platinum jubilee of former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister CN Annadurai, after whom the neighbourhood is named. Another major architectural landmark in the area is the Anna Nagar Tower located in the centre of Tower Park, which incidentally takes its name from this structure. One of the oldest structures in the area, the Tower, which stands 42m-tall was erected in the 70s when Anna Nagar first took shape as a residential neighbourhood.