How to describe your house? Collocations & idioms

Describing places in English (complete list+video)

It sometimes happens to you to describe your hometown or a place you have visited in your life. For instance, when you meet a new person one of the things you can talk about to them is your hometown. So, if you intend to provide your audience with a proper and interesting description of a place you need to study this lesson carefully. In this lesson you will learn about the common vocabulary for describing places in English. Stay with us!

First, let’s learn how to talk about a city’s location:

Describing the location of a city

Jack: My living city is located to the north of New York. It is a four-hour drive from Chicago. I live in a residential area near the historic area of the city. My workplace is in CBD. I love living in this area because it is full of job opportunities and health facilities. Besides, my children can enjoy numerous educational and entertainment facilities that exist in the city.

You can talk about the location of your living city by using the following sentences:

✅ My living city is located in the north of England.

✅ My living city is located on the outskirts of a very big city.

✅ It can be found in the south of India

✅ It’s a two-hour drive from Chicago.

✅ It’s about three hours on the train from New York.


describing places in English


A city can include different areas including:

  • Residential area: the area in which the majority of buildings are houses
  • CBD (Central Business District): the area where you can find commercial activities, offices, and so on.
  • Historic area: the area you can see a lot of historic buildings and monuments

Example: I live in an old residential area of Homburg. Our neighborhood is near the historic area of the city. My workplace is on CBD which is the modern area of the city.


BUT What do we need to live in a city?

Use the following vocabulary when describing places in English:

✅ Well-paid job opportunities

✅ Educational facilities

✅ Entertainment facilities

✅ Health facilities

✅ Public transportation facilities such as Buses, Subway,

✅ Public spaces including parks, plazas

✅ Quality public utilities


Example: New York is a big city that is full of well-paid job opportunities in different sectors. Students can enjoy numerous educational facilities like schools and top-level universities and public transportation including Buses, Subways. In this city, people are provided with a lot of entertainment facilities, health facilities, and public spaces including parks, and plazas.


Let’s listen to Terry who is describing his living city:

Terry: I live in New York. New York is a spacious city with picturesque public spaces. The combination of various buildings with different structures has made the city elegant. The city is so lively and you can see a lot of activities on all streets. Overall, it is a magnificent city to live in.


Adjectives for describing places in English

For good points of cities, you could use the following adjectives:


Meaning: (especially of a place) attractive in appearance, especially in an old-fashioned way

Example: It was a pretty town with a picturesque harbor and well-preserved buildings.



Meaning: large and with a lot of space

Example: New York is full of spacious public spaces such as Central Park.


Elegant (Of adjectives for describing places in English):

Meaning: graceful and attractive in appearance

Example: The local park near our neighborhood is so elegant because of its colorful trees.



Meaning: very good, beautiful, or deserving to be admired

Example: Rome is a magnificent city. You can find a lot of historical monuments in this city.


Lively (Of adjectives for describing places in English):

Meaning: full of energy and enthusiasm; interesting and exciting

Example: Yew York City is so lively. All shops are open till late at night.


However, John is not satisfied with his living environment:

John: I live in a sprawling city. However, some areas of the city are so packed and filthy. In these areas you can see a lot of run-down buildings and experience Bumper-to-bumper traffic all day long and the incessant roar of trucks and buses. There are some deprived areas in which people don’t have basic facilities. If you come here I highly recommend you not to go to no-go areas because there are a lot of criminal activities happening there. Overall, it’s an awful place to live. I am leaving this city.


For the negative points of cities, you could use the following adjectives:

Deserted (Of vocabulary for describing places in English):

Meaning: no one on the street at night

Example: This city is so dead and deserted. You could find no one on the street.



Meaning: very crowded

Example: your living city is full of population and so packed.


Filthy (Of vocabulary for describing places in English):

Meaning: very dirty.

Example: This area of the city is filthy. It smells so bad.




Meaning: in a very bad condition.

Example: You can find many destroyed buildings in this city’s run-down area.


Sprawling city:

Meaning: a city covered with buildings across a large area, often ones that have been added gradually over a period of time

Example: Los Angeles is a sprawling city that is covered with a lot of buildings.

Sprawling city



No-go areas:

Meaning: an area, especially in a town, where it is very dangerous to go

Example: A lot of criminal activities happen in the no-go area of the city.


Deprived areas (Of vocabulary for describing places in English):

Meaning: The area without necessary things, e.g. enough money, good living conditions.

Example: You can’t find any educational facilities in deprived areas of the city.


Bumper-to-bumper traffic all day long:

Meaning: The volume of traffic is so high.

Example: In New York, you might be stuck in Bumper-to-bumper traffic all day long.

Bumper-to-bumper traffic all day long



The incessant roar of trucks and buses:

Meaning: Very loud noise from buses and trucks.

Example: The incessant roar of trucks and buses in my living city is so annoying.


In this article, we learned about the vocabulary for describing places in English. The most common adjectives were introduced. Don’t forget to practice these adjectives and try to use them in your conversations!

It’s all known that an important part of learning a language is to learn about ways to improve your vocabulary. Although having a wide range of vocabulary knowledge is not enough to be able to speak with native speakers, It’s also important to learn how to improve English grammar step by step.

If you are going to improve your English level, take our online English course and take your English to the next level.

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