Describe A City You Have Visited Essay

Topic Vocabulary >> Lesson 15: Town and City

In the IELTS Speaking exam you may be called upon to showcase your vocabulary to describe towns and cities. Read the following IELTS-style questions and answers below and pay attention to the phrases in bold. Use the ‘Definitions’ section at the bottom of the page to check the meaning of any phrases you don’t understand.

Part 1-style questions

Examiner: What is it like where you live?
Christiane: I live in a residential area of a busy town in the south of Spain … we have all the facilities you need … good public transport … a good shopping centre … it’s nice …

Examiner: Do you like living in the city?
Andrea: Yes I do … I like going out with my friends and there are lots of lively bars and restaurants within walking distance of my apartment … I’m a bit of a culture vulture as well so it’s great to have access to art exhibitions and that kind of thing …

Examiner: Do you get many tourists visiting your area?
Mandy: Not really no … I live in the inner-city and the area is a little run down … it’s basically a lot of high-rise flats and many of the shops are boarded up … so nothing to interest tourists really …

Part 2-style task

Describe an interesting town or city in your country that visitors might enjoy. You should say

  • what the place is called
  • where the place is
  • what the facilities are like

and say why visitors might enjoy going there.

Monique:  Anyone who comes to my country really should spend some time in Barcelona … it’s a beautiful place … it’s not what you would call a sprawling city … it’s quite compact really and you could walk across the city in a couple of hours … but there’s no need to do that as we have a fantastic public transport system so it’s easy to get around … there are various districts all with their own character … you have the upmarket shops in the centre … you’ll find lots of chain stores you’ll recognise from your own country but also local brands as well … we have the narrow streets in the Gothic district with lots of fashionable boutiques and tourist attractions … there’s the Olympic area and the beaches along the coast … and dotted around the city are some lovely public spaces … parks and squares in the city centre and on the outskirts of Barcelona where people relax with their friends and family … and of course pavement cafes everywhere … all that and some great historical places of interest… so a great destination for tourists …

Part 3-style questions

Examiner:  What are the advantages of living in a city or big town?
Carrie: I think it’s having access to local facilities really … local shops as well as access to larger shopping malls in the city centre … and if you’re well-off you can afford to live in the suburbs away from the busy traffic …

Examiner: In your experience are city centres usually attractive places?
Mary: Some can be yes … especially those with a historical interest … but sometimes they’re full of ugly office blocksmulti-story car parks … and residents living in poor housing … it depends on the city doesn’t it?

Examiner: What are some of the challenges facing towns and cities?
Penny: I suppose traffic congestion is a major problem … and the growth in out-of-town supermarkets and retail parks mean lots of town centre shops are closing down … plus a shortage of good quality housing … I think these are the major challenges …


  • boarded up shops: shops that are no longer doing business
  • chain stores: well-known brands with shops in multiple cities
  • to close down: to stop doing business
  • fashionable boutiques: fashionable clothes shops
  • to get around: to travel around
  • high-rise flats: multi-story apartments
  • inner-city: the central part of a city where people live and where conditions are often poor
  • in the suburbs: the outer area of large towns and cities where people live
  • lively bars/restaurants: bars or restaurants with a good atmosphere
  • local facilities: local buildings or services serving the public
  • multi-story car parks: car parks on several floors
  • office block: a large building that contains offices
  • out of town shopping centre/retail park: large shopping centres outside of the town or city
  • pavement cafe: cafes with tables outside on the pavement
  • places of interest: buildings that have a particular interest for visitors
  • poor housing: housing that is not in good condition
  • public spaces: areas in a town or city that are open to the public
  • public transport system:  public vehicles such as buses and trains that operate at regular times on fixed routes
  • residential area: an area where people live
  • run down: old and of a poor standard
  • shopping centre: an area consisting of multiple shops
  • shopping malls: large indoor shopping centres
  • sprawling city: a city that has grown over time and which covers a wide area
  • tourist attraction: a place of interest to tourists
  • traffic congestion: heavy traffic making it difficult to move around a town or city
  • upmarket shops: expensive fashionable shops

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Latest IELTS cue card with Answers: Describe a city that you have visited recently.

Dear friends,

Here, we are posting the latest IELTS speaking test questions with answers. Hopefully this attempt will rise your confidence.

Mr.Gibbs' English Team


PART 1 Interview

1.       What is your full name?
Ans.    I am Jenna Archer

2.       How shall I call you?
Ans.    You can call me Jenna only

3.       Can I see your passport please?
Ans.    Oh! sure. Here it is.

4.       Do you work or study?
Ans.    I have just recently completed my Graduation in IT

5.       Describe the place where you live?
Ans.    I live in Seoul. Its a nice place to live. All basic amenities are easily available. Its been safe for women even till midnight. And downtown is also very near that is the main advantage so that I can do Shopping very easily and frequently. No doubt my father hates that.

6.       Do you like it there?
Ans.    Yes, indeed.

7.       Is it a great place to raise children?
Ans.    By all means, Many parks and gardens are located here. Many institutes run creative and hobby classes. So children can really enjoy living here.

8.       Will you stay there in future?
Ans.   depends on Job prospects and exposure, so I will live there as long as I will be getting these.

PART 2 Cue card
Describe a city that you have visited recently.
- When and where was it?
- What did you do there?
- What did you like or dislike about it?

Ans. Recently, I have visited Agra, in India, It's  been a very beautiful place. I have gone to visit this place with my father who has some business meetings at there.
This place has many number of historic monuments built during reign of Mughal Era. In all places, I like Red Fort and Taj mahal very much. Taj mahal is considered as one of the seven wonders of the world. Its beauty is simply the best, completely inexplicable. Made in white marble and looks as same as from all four sides, very gigantic sculpture. while Red Fort is completely different. Inceptionally, I thought  that it would be mere a giant castle. But inside the Fort there was a city inside with many places of market, theatre, food streets and kings' palaces. These all are worth visiting places. One can not find the way if he lost. Very distantly scattered all these places inside the Fort. So nobody can see in a single day. People of city are also very friendly and always endeavour to assist. They have great hospitality sense and I have really enjoyed, had taken many selfies and snaps with others and posted on my social sites and many people inquired about this place too. Just only drawback I found that has been dirt. People seemed not taking care seriously about maintaining cleanliness around such beautiful places. Later, I have heard that government has initiated towards that part; but overall felt a great experience.
PART 3 Discussion
1.      Why do most people live in cities?
Ans.  Because in cities, People get better lifestyle and facilities of fast transportation, quality education and medical facilities within quick time. In addition, many  scopes of getting employment because of prevailing many industries.

2.     Why were cities established where they are?
Ans. Due to their geographical location set near to the port that had been used for international trade practice. So they might have been erupted where they are.

3.     Do you think city planning is important? why?
Ans. Indeed, its important or it will get crowded that will create many social problems like unemployment, accidents etc.

4.     Why are there better education offers in cities?
Ans. Because,the infrastructure and availability of tools and technical gadgets, and people are well educated. So they choose wisely for education facilities. while in villages people have all these limitations.

5.     Would you prefer living in city or in town?
Ans. Definitely in city because as in city many institutions of education and sports and hobbies are located and recreational places like multiplexes, restaurants.However, I will visit once in a blue moon to the towns even to get different experience of fresh air and wondering in farms and watching natural landscapes with great panoramic view. so would love to exploit the fun of living at the both places.

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