GoWithGuideFind your perfect tour guide at GoWithGuide. Relax and cherish unforgettable tours with loved ones. Create personalized tours for a truly memorable trip!
GoWithGuideFind your perfect tour guide at GoWithGuide. Relax and cherish unforgettable tours with loved ones. Create personalized tours for a truly memorable trip!

Hiring A Guide In Chennai: Pros & Cons

Ajitsa A.

by GoWithGuide travel specialist:Ajitsa A.

Last updated : Aug 21, 202311 min read

Travel Tips

It's a lousy yet universal truth. Figuring out the specifics of your Chennai adventure isn't always fun, especially the "guide or no guide" debate. You'd rather focus on the sandy, inviting Marina beach. Or the awe-inspiring Dravidian architecture of neighborhoods like Mylapore and Triplicane. We hear you, so let’s take that internal dialogue off your hands. 

Exploring Chennai will be a blast no matter what. With that said, navigating a district with a metro population of over 11 million and the title of "South India's Cultural Capital" takes some planning. A guide can help or hinder your trip, so let's look at both sides and figure out if a Chennai tour guide is in your future. 

The Good Stuff 

Do you need a tour guide? If you want to stay safe, save time, learn things, enjoy convenience, and experience comfort, a guide is the way to go. 

Hiring a Guide in Chennai - Advantages -1

  1. Safety Secured - When touring Chennai, you get the good with the bad. With a guide, you will be able to stay safe from some of the many scams and dangerous situations in Chennai like;
    • Rigged taxi meters that run twice or three times faster. Guides keep trusted drivers on hand or drive you to locations themselves.
    • Overpriced goods in the bazaars. Our guides are part of the local network of shops, vendors, and sellers, so they know where the fair prices and overpriced scams are, and will help you avoid the latter.
    • Areas with high political and religious tension. Chennai has a healthy mix of multiple religious and political beliefs. While there are positives, this can lead to unrest and protests in some areas. Our local guides know the best way to avoid unwanted collisions.
  2. Time Well Saved - Planning a Chennai tour on your own can take weeks if not months, especially if it's your first time in the area. From scouting lounge locations at Marina Beach and booking tickets to the Chennai Museum, the back and forth can take a toll. A private guide can cut time-wasting activities by;
    • Handling your transport. Zigzagging through Chennai traffic can be a nightmare, and deciding which public transport is the most reliable takes time out of your tour day. A local guide plans your transport for the entire day, eliminating that stress.
    • Booking your venues. When you let your guide know where you'd want to go, they check the availability on your behalf and create the perfect itinerary based on that and your personal preferences.
    • Creating a breathable, time-saving itinerary. Planning a tour for yourself might leave you rushing from one side of the city to the next. A local guide knows the closeness of each destination, layering the tour in a way that allows calm progress with the closest venues in mind.
  3. A Walking Encyclopedia - Why is it best to hire a local guide? You can read about Chennai’s rich history and watch virtual tours, but there's nothing like getting first-hand knowledge from a local who's been part of the Chennai community for a while. They know the city's secrets, hidden gems, and untold stories, which enhances the tour.
  4. Chennai Convenience & Comfort - A guide creates a sense of comfort and convenience by;
    • Acting as a cultural guide. Local guides can help absorb some of the cultural shocks you'll experience while traveling to Chennai. They’ll show you how to navigate the do’s and don’ts within the city, such as dress codes, greetings, public smoking, and temple conduct.
    • Taking fantastic photos. You can say goodbye to that awkward “hi, can you take a picture of us?” conversation when you're with a guide. This especially comes in handy when you don’t want to give your phone/camera to a random stranger.
    • Keeping your preferences and travel needs in mind. Whether you've got specific allergies and dietary restrictions, mobility requests, or a tight schedule, a guide can tailor your tour experience to match your everyday necessities. Be sure to let your guide know what you'll need ahead of time.

Hiring a Guide in Chennai - Advantages - 2

The Not-So-Good Stuff 

What are the disadvantages of guided tours? Tour costs, limited exposure, personality clashes, and inflexible schedules might mean a guided tour isn't for you.

Hiring a Guide in Chennai - Disadvantages - 1

  1. Breaking The Budget - It’s always wise to consider the cost of any adventure, and while a private guided experience in Chennai won’t leave your pockets dry, it’s still an added cost. Depending on the type of tour you want, a private Chennai guide can start at around 30 USD, so if that’s not part of your final travel plans, a guide would increase your initial budget.
  2. The Tourist Bubble - Even with the best intentions, local guides create a filtered tourist experience, leaving out bad or questionable parts of Chennai. If that's what you want, a guided experience is amazing. However, if you want a 360-degree cultural immersion, a guide will only hinder that.
  3. An Inconvenient Clash - You know what would be dreadful? Pairing up with a guide that you don't get along with. It's rare, but sometimes personalities don't mix. If you get a guide, you risk ending up with an awkward tour.
  4. The Spontaneous Struggle - At GWG, one of our most exciting tour features is the customizable itinerary that molds to your wants and needs. With that said, after your itinerary is set, it would be a waste of your time and money to randomly change your plans on the tour day. If you like to plan as you go, a set itinerary would be frustrating.

Hiring a Guide in Chennai - Disadvantages - 2

Do’s & Don’ts When Touring With A Guide 

If you're new to the tour guide world, you're probably wondering what your first encounter should be like. Here are some tour tips to keep in mind.

Hiring a Guide in Chennai - Do
Hiring a Guide in Chennai - Do

Travel Tips: Picking The Perfect Guide
Okay, so you've decided to hire a guide. We want you to have the best experience. These tips should help answer your burning questions about guided tours and getting it right the first time.

  • How do I choose a tour guide? It's all about who sticks out to you and why. Consider expertise, knowledge of the local area, tour perks, and cost when picking a guide on our Chennai guides page. If you're a female traveler who feels most comfortable hiring a female Chennai guide, go with that! It's all about what makes you comfortable.
  • How do I find a local guide when traveling alone? It's simple, head to our Chennai tour guides page, click a guide whose brief description speaks to you, and after reading their profile, click "send a message" and tell them the type of tour you want. You can also check out that guide's pre-made itineraries to see which might suit your travel plans.
  • What should be included in a guided tour? This varies from guide to guide. Some of our guided tours include transport to and from your hotel, toll costs, and parking fees while excluding extras like lunch, personal souvenir stops, and entrance venue fees. For each tour, talk to your guide about inclusions & exclusions.
Hiring a Guide in Chennai - Picking the Perfect Guide

Enough Talk, Let’s See Some Sites!

What comes to mind when you think about guided tours? Stiff schedules? Robotic guides shuffling crowds of patrons across crowded landscapes? With GoWithGuide, that old formula goes out the window. Your customized itinerary can look however you want, you can bring whoever you want, or go alone, and these destinations are a great addition to your Chennai itinerary.

Explore the Everlasting Gingee Fort - Tamil Nadu is home to many monumental rock sites, yet there's something special and ominous about the imposing structure that is the Gingee Fort Complex. Through several takeovers and temporary occupations, the Gingee Fort has outlived empires, including the English, Mughals, and French. It's the perfect day trip, taking around 2 hours by train. All aboard the fortress express!

Marvel At The Mahabalipuram Group Of Monuments - With a history dating back to the 7th and 8th century C.E, the stone-carved monuments at Mahabalipuram have earned their status as UNESCO World Heritage Sites thanks to their intricate features, with over 40 monuments that celebrate Indian architecture at its finest. It's only one hour via private car from Chennai, making it a great stop on any Chennai day trip.

Stunning Saluvankuppam - Just 7 km from Mahabalipuram lies a continuation of Tamil Nadu’s legacy, and with the recently unearthed Murugan Temple revealing roots dating back to the 3rd century BCE, this site is bound to awe the history lover in all of us. Pair this site with your Mahabalipuram tour and get the best of both ancient worlds.

Chennai Tour Guide - Top Sites


It's not a GoWithGuide journey until you’ve made it your own. Beat the bad souvenirs, boring cattle-like group shuffle and hectic schedules, and enjoy Chennai with a custom itinerary that speaks to Y-O-U. Getting a local Chennai tour guide is as easy as one, two, click! 

Plan your trip to Chennai

Chat with a local tour guide who can help organize your trip.

Get Started