English Adjectives to Describe Places

Here you will learn English adjectives to describe places. Quaint, medieval, cosmopolitan and more.

Let me know which adjectives would you use to describe your city or favourite place.

Adjectives for describing places

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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Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

INSANITY: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

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

Meaning: a city with a mix of nationalities, a mix of different people, languages, and cultures


A city like London is often described as a very cosmopolitan city. Every corner you turn, you hear a different accent. You go into a restaurant, the staff are from many, many different countries.

English Adjectives to Describe Places

English adjectives to describe places. Touristy, modern, contemporary, lively. Improve English skills and confidence in English with www.englishlessonviaskype.com #learnenglish #englishteacher #vocabulary #hoctienganh #ingles #ingilizce #английский

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🏰 quaint

Meaning: interestingly old fashioned or odd

We could use 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 a quaint city.

The hotel’s location was perfect for exploring the quaint villages in the Cotswolds.

🏰 thriving

Meaning: doing really well economically


The city is thriving ever since the end of winter. There’s a lot of activity. The restaurants are busy; even the tourists are back.

🏰 medieval

Meaning: very old, relating to the Middle Ages


Carcassonne in South West France is an ideal example of a city with beautiful medieval fortresses.

English adjectives to describe places. Touristy, modern, contemporary, lively. www.englishlessonviaskype.com #learnenglish #englishteacher #vocabulary #hoctienganh #ingles #ingilizce #английский

English Adjectives to Describe Places

🏰 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 nightlife activities (clubs and discos). I would describe Dublin the capital of Ireland as that type of city.

🏰 bustling

Meaning: full of activity

This describes many Asian cities and pictures of busy cities in India like Calcutta come to mind as I am writing this.


New York to me is a bustling city. There are honking of the taxis, the screaming of the whistle from the traffic police; all sorts of noises that you can only hear in New York.

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🏰 vibrant

Meaning: buzzing, full of energy and life


It’s an amazing city. The city centre is very vibrant and alive. People are nice and accommodating.

🏰 deserted

Meaning: opposite to vibrant, empty or almost empty, no people around


During the times of COVID, many, many city centres around the globe were deserted.

🏰 stunning

Meaning: absolutely beautiful, spectacular 


The view was really stunning. It’s really what I was expecting. It took my breath away.

🏰 accessible

Meaning: easy to get to, easy to find, easy to use


The architects designed the city to make it accessible for people with mobility issues.

Dublin is very accessible from Europe by plane. It’s also very accessible by water.

🏰 polluted

Meaning: dirty air and/or water that is dangerous for people’s health


As the city is polluted and congested, people now try to move to the countryside in search of fresh air and natural surroundings.

This city is polluted. You cough and sneeze. You come home with the little black dots on your clothes or on your hair.

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 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 forever!).

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

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 

You can always study English advanced level at Learning English with the BBC and British Council Learn English.

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