English Adjectives to Describe Places

We all like to travel and city breaks (short holidays) to foreign cities are very popular. A lot of my travelling is in Europe and it always amazes me how cities differ from country to country. The following are English adjectives to describe places. So when you are next travelling, try and put your destination in to one of these categories.

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English Adjectives to Describe Places

Many cities can be described as beautiful or interesting but it does not tell us the truth about that city. The following English words can be used to give a more detailed description.

TOURISTY

We have all visited this type of city. Full of gift shops and tourist buses. It is not necessarily a negative but we may not like cities that are too busy and often the prices in cafes and restaurants are inflated (high).

COSMOPOLITAN

There are many different dictionary meanings to this word. It can mean sophisticated and free from national prejudice. So it may be difficult to find a true cosmopolitan city anywhere! However, it is simplest definition it is a city that has sophistication and is occupied and visited by people from all nationalities. London would be such a city.

QUAINT

This word usually describes something or somebody as interestingly old fashioned or odd. We could used this word to describe the small old cities that have avoided or escaped any real modernisation and still have the old features of previous centuries.The old centre of Tallinn in Estonia is such a city.

MEDIEVAL

This certainly indicates a city with the charm of an ancient city with the spirit of the middle ages. Old ramparts (castle walls) and wooden buildings. There are not so many cities remaining like this but some cities in part still retain these old features. I think Carcassonne in South West France is an ideal example of a city with beautiful medieval fortresses.

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CONTEMPORARY

Such cities are easy to find. Modern re-building and renovations often give these type of cities a similar look and feel and can lose their uniqueness (individuality). However, there can be a beauty about these cities in terms of the high skyscrapers and glass buildings that are an all too often feature of these cities. Although I haven’t yet visited it myself I would believe the city of Brasilia in Brazil fits the bill (ideal example) as it was purpose built to contain all the presidential and government offices. It was built from scratch (from nothing).

Without describing the architecture or the historic nature of a city we can still find appropriate adjectives to describe other cities that we visit.

For example, a LIVELY city is a city full of life, lots of activities both during the day and at night. Some cities take on a different appearance in the evening with street cafes, bars and other night life activities (clubs and discos). I would describe Dublin the capital of Ireland as that type of city.

BUSTLING

city is one full of people, trade and business which is active all day. Street markets noisy traffic and people everywhere. This describes many Asian cities and pictures of busy cities in India like Calcutta come to mind as I am writing this.

It is hard to find a city that has been UNSPOILED (escaped change) by recent modern developments and still retains (keeps) its old world charms. However, we usually use such a word to describe parts of the nature or forests or parks near our cities.

Older cities full of old world charm (no high rise buildings) are often recognized by the narrow, meandering streets (long narrow streets going from left to right in gentle curves) and rambling lanes (small streets that last for ever!).

So the next time you have a holiday or a take a short trip discover what type of city you are visiting!!

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More Information

For more information in English Expressions, English Phrasal Verbs and English Grammar Rules, check ou the following links:

IELTS Vocabulary about Crime

Expressions with GET you need to know

Popular Travel Phrasal Verbs in English 

Adjectives that describe places can also be found here

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